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Rosberg signs up for two more years alongside Hamilton at Mercedes
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Posted By: James Allen  |  23 May 2014   |  7:53 am GMT  |  264 comments

Mercedes has signed a new deal with Nico Rosberg, according to reports on BBC Sport Online.

He may be giving second best to team mate Lewis Hamilton at the moment, but Nico Rosberg clearly has confidence that he can come back at the 29 year old, as he has signed a new deal for two years with Mercedes, the dominant team in F1 at the moment.

Rosberg won the opening round in Australia and led the championship until two weeks ago. This weekend in Monaco he aims to repeat his performance of last year, where he beat Hamilton to pole and in the race.

Despite the warm words from Dr Zetsche, of Mercedes’ parent company Daimler with regard to Fernando Alonso, the Rosberg deal puts paid to any thoughts the Spaniard may have had about getting into the dominant car in F1 at the moment.

The Mercedes driver pairing is well matched; Hamilton is paid more than Rosberg, but the German driver is important both to push Mercedes cars and to push Hamilton to the limit.

It is only May, but the drivers of the leading F1 teams look set already for 2015, with largely unchanged line ups from this year.

The possible exception is McLaren; Kevin Magnussen is establishing himself in F1, but will have pressure from Stoeffel Vandoorne, while Jenson Button is believed to be close to a new deal with the team, possibly a one year roll over, as Honda comes back into F1. Whether Honda has another driver in mind is not known yet.

There are a few question marks over whether Kimi Raikkonen will continue at Ferrari, but he has a two year deal and logic suggests that he has no reason not to fulfil it, even if this year has been a disappointment.

Alonso’s options look very limited, as he is believed not to want with McLaren’s Ron Dennis again, even if the veteran team boss has said repeatedly that he can imagine putting the acrimonious past behind them.

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264 Comments
  1. chris green says:

    bad move – i think a number of other drivers would do better in that seat. hulk ? alonso ?

    nico reminds me of keke. a good driver but a little short of the best.

    1. Kay says:

      Bad or good, both sides have positives.

      Bad in that possibly other drivers can take more out of that car, as you said, Alonso. Possibly Hulk, maybe? Have never seen him in a top seat so can’t really judge.

      I don’t know Keke, but Nico certainly seems good but just that little bit not good enough.

      Had it not been Hamilton’s DNF in Australia, Rosberg would most likely never to have led the WDC. I think currently he is too overwhelmed of himself and keep saying every single race “I strongly dislike coming second to Lewis”. I understand it’s in all drivers’ nature to see themselves as no. 1, but the fact is he has been out-raced so many times and he just can’t seem to accept it and strongly believe he is on par with Lewis. Yes in Bahrain and Spain he gave Lewis a run for his money, after studying Lewis’s data and stuff. However, Lewis without studying Rosberg’s stuff (at least in Bahrain), was still able to keep Rosberg at bay on the harder tyre that’s supposed to be 1-2 seconds off the softs. Lewis has much better race crafts than Rosberg and he just needs to realise this (Rosberg in Sinagpore 2013 springs to mind where he lost his first position at the start of the lap, Lewis most probably wouldn’t have made that kind of mistakes).

      Don’t take me wrong, I’m not bashing Rosberg here, I like him and I enjoy seeing the two Mercedes drivers race head-to-head, it’s just starting to get on my nerves where Rosberg keeps saying he strongly dislikes coming second to Lewis after every single race bar the first this year. IMO he should do his talking on track.

      1. Kay says:

        Just to clear that up on Sinagpore 2013 before anyone starts correcting me, yes Vettel was on pole, but Rosberg briefly stole it before he lost it again.

      2. HP says:

        have u not been paying attention to what lewis has been saying! lot of mind games

      3. David in Sydney says:

        HAM feels like he has to try to psych out ROS – meaning he’s such a threat to HAM that he feels he has to do that.

      4. Kay says:

        Of course I know what Lewis said. I’m whatever team there are always bound to be mind games etc. the point there is Lewis is getting the wins, Rosberg isn’t despite him kept saying he dislikes being 2nd to Lewis and the more he says it the more pointless it becomes coz he can’t do the talki on track.

        Again I gotta stress i am not being biased, I like both Lewis and Nico, it’s just this “I seriously dislike coming 2nd to Lewis” is getting a but tired from Nico and I would definitely like to see him out driving Lewis rather than keep saying the same words again and again

      5. Equin0x says:

        Doing the talking on the track? Is that what Hamilton is doing then? It seems [mod]is getting ahead of himself in the way he’s taunting Rosberg! “I should be dominating Rosberg instead of just beating him” “Nico is not motivated as me” “Stevenage is a bad area”.

        [mod]

      6. Hal says:

        Lulu? Very mature.

      7. David in Sydney says:

        I think it’ll be HAM’s year but why does he feel like he has to talk down his opponent – is he fearful looking over his shoulder at ROS who is always one step away from beating him.

        I think HAM saying that he should be dominating ROS is telling – the fact that he’s not is more a worry for HAM than for ROS who’s nipping at his heels. Must be pissing off HAM no end.

      8. Fortis96 says:

        He didn’t actually say that did he? Don’t just read the headlines of an article (autosport), maybe you should try reading the whole article. Because at no point did he use that phrase.

      9. Kay says:

        Tell me how Lewis isn’t doing the talking on track with those 4 consecutive wins? And Rosberg couldn’t find a way pass despite studying Lewis’s data, having softer tyres at the final stages of the race in Bahrain and superior strategy in Spain?

      10. Andrew M says:

        Maybe Vettel should start employing some mind games on Ricciardo, looks like he can use all the help he can get to keep his head above water.

      11. James Allen says:

        There is a real nastiness in the tone of your comments. Stop doing that or all will be moderated out – Mod

      12. Quade says:

        There’s a reason why Merc pays Lewis more than Rosberg…

    2. Dave C says:

      Yes definitely an error for Mercedes. They have an overwhlemingly good car to the point anyone can win the championship in but they signed Rosberg again? I’d take Alonso anyday. Also Vettel, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Bottas and Kvyat would probably be better than Rosberg too I’m sure one of them could have been persuaded to drive the fastest racing car in the world next year.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ dave C…i somehow can’t figure your logic here. if hamilton fails rosberg will take the no.1 spot. he is fast enough in the fastest car. if that is so then why would you dream of putting alonso alongside? what could alonso do, all things being equal, that rosberg is not doing? on top of that you risk elements of ego tripping that may well end in tears for team.there can only be one winner in any team.

        much and all as i follow alonso to a degree because i like his on track style, a drive in a mercedes would do nothing except move him up to the front end of the leader board. apart from mclaren there is nowhere for him to go. he may not like it but what are his options? williams? i think not, but then again……..

      2. RodgerT says:

        I believe, or am at least hoping, that Dave was employing sarcasm.

      3. kenneth chapman says:

        @ roger T…sorry, but on a re-read i have detected no sarcasm at all!

      4. C63 says:

        @RodgerT
        Nope, I think he was serious, lol !

      5. Gaz Boy says:

        Perhaps they should have signed the other Nico? Controversial statement, yes, but he does have the hunger, motivation and above all the mental toughness to take on Lewis.
        Rosberg junior on the other hand………this weekend will be pivotal. If he doesn’t start winning ASAP he may be mentally put out to pasture.

      6. C63 says:

        I don’t think the Hulk is likely to be signed by any of the top teams as he is just too big – they all passed this season when he was available and his stock was high. Time is running out for him, what is he 26, 27 (I would guess) – getting on a bit, in F1 terms to still be ‘languishing’ in a midfield team. If it doesn’t happen soon it won’t happen at all.

      7. C63 says:

        Mercedes can’t do better than finish 1 & 2 – what would be the advantage to the team by hiring any of the drivers you have mentioned? It wouldn’t improve their results one iota .

      8. Gaz Boy says:

        That’s true for this now, and probably the rest of the season (unless there is one of those freak races, like Hungary 2006 or Canada 2011).
        However, who to is say that in 2015 and 2016 Mercedes-Brackley will have retained their advantage?
        In all probability by next season the combined efforts of Renault F1, that balding bloke from the Midlands who is a softly spoken aero genius and the determination of the Milton Keynes mob will have closed the gap to Brackley and even possibly over-taken it.
        If that is the likely case, you want two matadors to take on a freshly energised pair of Bulls – and quite honestly, I’m not sure Rosberg Junior is the driver for that.
        The other Nico on the other hand………..ah well, I guess The Incredible Hulk will be off to either Ferrari or Macca……..watch this space.

      9. Dave C says:

        Do you really think Mercedes will have the same advantage next year? Sure they’ll still be quick but there’s no way Renault and Ferrari will just stay still and other teams will figure out the FRIC active suspension which I believe is at the core of Merc’s advantage. Mercedes need the best drivers they can get and thats not Rosberg. Hamilton is fast but he is fallable under pressure and consistency doesn’t quite match Alonso or Vettel and if Ferrari and Redbull come good next season whats better than take their drivers before they can do the damage.

      10. Elie says:

        Exactly people can ramble on about Alonso but he was already beaten by Hamilton as a rookie. Lewis today is even better than that. If Rosberg is that close why change it- besides as a team they move forward with these guys with Alonso he just pushes everyone else back which is no good for anyone.
        At Ferrari at least when hes being beaten by his team mate he can pull a few strings and vwella! hes in front again. Even the luck, P2 @ Monaco as soon as Kimi goes out on track purple sectors ,then bang a gear box failure.
        Its hilarious actually last year Ldm tweaks his ear and this year as soon as Daimler chief throw a dummy carrot out both Alonso and Domenicali bite with child like retorts.. Only to find Rosberg re-signing. The word destabilizing spring to mind.

      11. Kramgp says:

        I agree. Merc would appear to have good harmony in the team so why rock the boat. Ham and Alonso didn’t work out that we’ll for Ron Dennis. Also Nico is pushing Lewis and they have proven they can race closely and competitive without the Red Bull fiasco with Webber and Vettal, I would say they have it spot on, and this years results will only go to confirm that.

      12. justafan says:

        Alonso goes mad when a team mate is challenging him, Vettel doesn’t respect team orders. Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Bottas and Kvyat should win their first race before being promoted to a top team. Rosberg is a good choice obviously.

      13. Quade says:

        You see what Ricciardo is doing to Vettel and yet you suggest Vettel against Lewis?!!
        You want to take a thoroughly broken Vettel home in a casket? Wonders!

      14. Steve Zodiac says:

        Don’t be daft, Lewis is numero uno and that’s how Mercedes want it to stay so they have a hire a driver who will always run Lewis a close second and is cheap too. Makes perfect sense

      15. David in Sydney says:

        Maybe ALO is signed for McLaren in 2016 and therefore unavailable?

      16. C63 says:

        @DaveC
        This was your first post – I’m sure one of them could have been persuaded to drive the fastest racing car in the world next year…..

        This is your second post – Do you really think Mercedes will have the same advantage next year?

        I hate to be a pedant :-), but which is it? Will Mercedes have the quickest car or not?

    3. Satish says:

      Nico, especially this year, is running Lewis way closer than Webber ever managed with Vettel. Nobody said Webber was wasting a Red Bull seat.

      1. aezy_doc says:

        Yes they did. Loads of people said that.

      2. Yago says:

        Yes I said it many times…

      3. chris green says:

        lots of people questioned webber’s place at RB.

        btw – webber hosed rosberg at williams

      4. Andrew says:

        Can I just put an end to the fallacy that is peddled about by the fans of a certain driver.
        Webber didn’t “hose” Rosberg at Williams at all.

        Webber got 7 points over the season and Rosberg got 4.

        The car was poor but Rosberg had some good moments and performed well relative to Webber bearing in mind that it was Rosbergs first season.

        Rosberg will obviously be a better and faster driver now than in 2006.

      5. Truth says:

        Yes webber really battered Rosberg in his rookie year, something like 7 points to 4 .A real hammering and Rosberg should have just retired then probably. His hammering from the great Schumacher was really bad…Oh hang on!

      6. Lindsay says:

        If you look at the results from 2006 where both drivers finished a race, the results are:

        Mark Webber Nico Rosberg
        Bahrain 6 7
        San Marino 6 11
        Spain 9 11
        China 8 11

        So 4:0 to Webber.

        Williams only had Cosworth power at that stage, so were not racing for the major places. Also remember that they only paid points to 8th place in 2006. Very difficult to get a major difference in points in this situation (so 7:4 is a bigger gap than you make out).

        In qualifying, the results were:

        Mark Webber Nico Rosberg
        Bahrain 7 12
        Malaysia 5 3
        Australia 7 15
        San Marino 10 13
        Europe 10 12
        Spain 11 13
        Monaco 2 8
        Great Britain 17 12
        Canada 17 6
        USA 12 19
        France 11 9
        Germany 11 15
        Hungary 6 18
        Turkey 10 15
        Italy 19 12
        China 14 15
        Japan 14 10
        Brazil 11 13

        This makes it 12:6 to Mark Webber.

      7. Lindsay says:

        But he was only a rookie you might say. Just like Lewis Hamilton was a rookie who pushed two times world champion Alonso all the way to the end of the season.

      8. C63 says:

        Nobody said Webber was wasting a Red Bull seat….

        Eh? I must have been reading different comments to you, people used to say it all the time!

      9. chris green says:

        2006

        quali – webber beat rosberg 12 to 6. that’s pretty comprehensive.

      10. C63 says:

        Did you actually read my post – try as I might, I cannot see how your reply, is in any way, a reasonable response !

      11. mtm says:

        In 2010 Webber was ahead of Vettel in the championship for 12 of the 19 races, up to the last round in Abu Dhabi.

        His mistake running wide in Korea in wet conditions which ended up with him in the next barrier was probably the biggest turnaround in the season. In all likely hood he would have got 25 points extra and Alonso 7 less which could have put him above Vettel and Alonso.

        http://f1.dg42.net/?year=2010

      12. RodgerT says:

        If’s, but but’s, and when’s.
        If Vettel’s engine hadn’t melted down while leading in Korea the he would have had 25 more points and gone into Abu Dhabi ahead.

      13. Andrew M says:

        Webber was closer to Vettel in 2010 than in subsequent seasons, but he was only so close because Vettel lost 3 wins (Australia, Bahrain, Korea) through no fault of his own. And that’s before you take into account the mistakes Vettel made himself in Belgium, Hungary etc

      14. aezy_doc says:

        Webber’s trip to the armco barrier in Korea set the scene for the next 3 years at Red Bull. He lost that race, lost that championship as a result and lost any chance of being no1 and fighting for future championships.

      15. Lindsay says:

        They all made mistakes & had bad luck in 2010. Alonso also had his big crash at Monaco.

        That is the reason why it was such a great season.

      16. Jean-Christophe says:

        Exactly! I’m a Hamilton fan but rate Rosberg highly. Nobody knows whether any other driver would have done better against Lewis in this car. It’s not because you get beaten by Lewis that you become a bad driver

      17. Tealeaf says:

        No but when he was beaten by Webber and often outshone by a Schumacher in his 40′s then I’d say Rosberg is average at best, Button and Raikkonen would also probably beat him as well.

      18. Breton says:

        Tealeaf

        Rosberg consistently beat Schumacher.

        It was embarrasing to watch!!

      19. justafan says:

        That was because Webber was most fan’s darling. Rosberg isn’t the same.

      20. furstyferret says:

        Good news for lewis, having a strong no2, ie a slightly quicker massa type no 2, will keep him on his toes..

      21. Elie says:

        Nobody with any sense anyway…

    4. Optimaximal says:

      nico reminds me of keke. a good driver but a little short of the best.

      Probably worth pointing out then, that for one year, Keke *was* the best driver after he won, you know, the drivers championship.

    5. expatpom says:

      Al least Keke is a World F1 Champion!

      1. expatpom says:

        oops! – wrong post

      2. expatpom says:

        that post was for Chris ;)

    6. danny almonte says:

      Rosberg deserves the seat. Signing for another team at the moment wouldn’t make any sense. Mercedes picked the best available driver.

    7. Quade says:

      In his rookie year, Lewis beat Alonso in the same car. So it makes absolutely no sense to suggest that Alonso can do better than Rosberg is doing against a now very experienced Lewis.

  2. Ezekiel Nasser says:

    What really is frustrating, is that the teams know the reason why they are so far off the pace of the Mercedes cars, but they can’t do anything about it due to the freeze on engine development for the season. There is no way at all anyone is going to close the gap so the championship is already done and dusted (constructers). However, aside from the engine dominance, Mercedes don’t really have a good ‘chassis’, for example, a wet monte carlo qualifying will negate any engine advantage they have and expose the flaws of their chassis and ferrari/redbull would give them a huge run for their money and possibly beat them comprehensively.

    1. Kay says:

      You can argue it’s down to engine development freeze that’s stopping teams like RBR, Lotus, Caterham etc from being on par with Merecedes. However, McLaren, Force India and Williams all share the same engine as the works team, yet they are not up there with them due to a number of reasons, namely chassis-engine integration, late receiving engine information from supplier so don’t have as much time in getting the best out of the package in the design phase, etc. So it’s not as simple as engine development that’s holding them back. Other factors contribute.

      I thought it’s a general consensus that Mercedes have both a good chassis and engine, don’t know where you got that from regarding they “don’t really have a good ‘chassis’”. The next best if not better are the RBR as despite their lack of power, then seem to hang on well to be best of the rest so far and good in corners.

      1. Agent Orange says:

        I don’t think you can attribute anything due to the “engine development freeze” not least because there is no such thing.

        Engines continue to be developed.

        Certain parts of the engine are homologated but have a read of the FIA Technical regs. specifically the very last page (89)
        http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/regulation/file/1-2014%20TECHNICAL%20REGULATIONS%202014-01-23_0.pdf

        Plenty of scope for improvement in the coming years.

      2. Kay says:

        OP said “for the season”, I was solely focusing on that. Of course the engines can be improved during the off season.

        Plus changes during the course of the season can only be done with the approval of FiA AND all engine manufactuerers.

    2. Dave C says:

      I think you’re wrong there. Mercedes has an awesome chassis hence why they’re like nearly 2sec faster than the other similarly Mercedes powered cars like Mclaren and Williams. They are also fast on aero tracks like Barcelona and tight twisty tracks like Monaco and Melbourne it must be that FRIC active suspension giving them the advantage much like 1992 Williams.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Mercedes do seem to have excellent suspension compliance, can’t disagree with that.
        I would also add on Merc have an engine, sorry power unit, that produces much less thermal discharge so that means they can use very small sidepods, radiators and a “Coke Bottle” area compared to their main competitors (i.e Red Bull). The aforementioned smaller areas means better aero efficiency, better straight line speed and a cleaner airflow to the rear axle (i.e more downforce creating potential to the rear axle zone).
        I would say, from looking at photos – including this website! – that Merc’s front nose design is also very good; it is an elongated, which gives it width and shallowness which results in less frontal area. I wouldn’t be surprised if mid-season several of Merc’s rivals have a re-design of their nose to similar that of the Merc, although Red Bull have also got a good nose design – watch this space!

    3. Joe B says:

      Yes, the Merc chassis is so bad and that’s why they were losing time hand over fist in the tight sectors at Spain…

      Oh wait, that didn’t happen. The Red Bull looks to be the best chassis, but I don’t think there’s much in it to the Mercedes at all. They’ve built a very good car this year in all areas and they’re reaping the rewards. All credit to them!

    4. Joost says:

      Don’t have a good chassis?!?

      You’re probably right, ferrari’s chassis is much better. They will probably have a chance this weekend. LOL

    5. Gil Dogon says:

      Mercedes not a good chassis ? I think Mclaren, Williams, Force India, who use the same engine would beg to differ on that one ….

    6. Ezekiel Nasser says:

      My bad, poor wording on my part. I wasn’t implying their chassis is bad as in it’s undriveable, I was trying to draw comparisons to others, like red bull for example. Based on my judgement from what I’ve seen so far this season, I feel that ‘IF’ the engine performance of the various makers were on par with each other, red bull would be faster, and ferrari wouldn’t be as far behind. Or most probably this is me being extremely optimistic that we’re going to get an exciting race for the win this weekend instead of one team flying off.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        In a way, you are right about Red Bull: I would actually say that the Red Bull is producing the most clean, efficient downforce of any car, including Mercedes. Check out how much rake – nose down, rear axle up – the Red Bull is running – it’s more than any other chassis, Merc included. To run a car with a lot of rake a chassis needs an aerodynamic map and ride height that is very consistent – so Red Bull have mastered the black art of the underbody/belly section of an F1 car.
        However, the Bulls are being compromised by an engine that produces more thermal discharge than the Mercs. That means the radiators, sidepods and Coke Bottle area around the rear axle have to be bigger, which compromises downforce creating opportunity, and denudes the underbody’s ability to create clean, consistent downforce – so the downforce created by the excellent floor on the Bull is nullified by the engine’s heat in other words.
        Secondly, the engine is down on torque – around 80 lb at the moment, possibly more – compared to the Merc, so the acceleration of the Red Bull will always be compromised. Also the Merc engine has a fatter, more linear torque curve than the somewhat harsh response of the Renault engine. I also suspect that Mercedes have invested heavily in electro-dynamics and have an advantage in their electro-hybrid system in terms of its torque generation.
        If the Parisians can reduce the thermal discharge of their power unit – ie less heat! – and find some more twisting force and therefore acceleration, then Red Bull could go for a mid season re-design to reduce/shorten the sidepods ,radiators and Coke Bottle area and possibly take on the Mercs on merit.
        However, that’s a big ask on Renault’s part – and with the homologation rules already in place, it may be beyond them for 2014.

      2. Dr Lewis says:

        I think your listening to too much Sky reporting. Mercedes have clearly made a fantastic chassis this year that while it may have slightly different strengths to the RB, Spain clearly showed it is certainly very close if not equal in performance. Much to the dislike of RB no doubt.

        The engine is not the absolute differentiating factor and those persistently running down the Mercedes advantage as ‘just the engine’ are clearly not engineers and clearly somewhat biased.

        You only have to look at the other ‘fantastic chassis’ teams using the engine to see that. Late arrival or not. The chassis is key. Just ask Williams or Brawn.

        And at least there is a race at the front during this domination of an incredible number of four races (note sarcasm)

      3. Kingszito says:

        I could counter your “IF” with, IF the chassis performance of various teams were par with each other, this or that team would be fastest.

        “IF” doesn’t work in F1. There will always be a better packaged car. Live with it, Mercedes is the best packaged car this season, no need for your “IF”. The same set of regulation was provided to all teams at the same time and Mercedes obviously did the best job.

        There has never been a level playing field in F1, so this season or the next or the one after will never be different. There will always be a group of smarter people that would do the best job. I must admit that it’s very sweet if your team gets it right, and very bitter if they get it wrong.

        I am glad that Mercedes is beating Red Bull. It will encourage other teams to work harder because if Red Bull can be beaten, any team can be beaten as well.

      4. Quade says:

        @Ezekiel Nasser
        Stop making things up, Mercedes have even better aerodynamics than the Red Bull on many circuits.

        In all wet qualifiers so far, the Merc has come tops. In all twisty circuits, the Merc has come tops. That car is an all rounder… AN AWESOME BEAST, engineered violence and beauty bottled in silver.

        Respect it and do obeisance.

    7. kenneth chapman says:

      i presume that you’ve informed mercedes about their ‘failed’ chassis and that they have concurred?

    8. Fortis96 says:

      So why didn’t the wet weather negate their power unit advantage in Australia, Malaysia and China?

      Let’s be fair to them, it’s not just the power unit, they’ve built an overall very good car. Let’s not forget, they said Barcelona would be the true test of a good car, ”

      “if your car goes good in Barcelona, then it’s going to go good everywhere”…..

      Everyone expected that the other teams would close the gap, but if anything, they extended that gap. So let’s put the talk about the engine being their main advantage.

  3. F1interested says:

    Alonso should concentrate his power on improving the current Ferrari car instead of dreaming of another car.

    1. ngwe23 says:

      Alonso is not Lewis nor is he Schumacher. He, instead, prefers walking into a winning car from day one without putting in the hours.

      1. Hames Junt says:

        Interesting how you describe Alonso, I always thought Senna was that kind of driver. Threating to retire if he doesn’t get the best car, calling others cowardish if they don’t want to race with him in the same team, all that kind of stuff.

    2. Krischar says:

      Alonso cannot do anything more for Ferrari. He has carried the team on his shoulders for the last 5 season’s. Ferrari have tried the shuffle in team with various engineers and fired quite a few as well. Yet nothing have worked off the track in wind-tunnel nor in the testing. On the race track the pilots have done as good a job as they can do with F14T until now this season.

      Had alonso left Ferrari they would have fared even worse than they are now

      Alonso cannot be blamed for any failures Ferrari had in the last few seasons

      1. Thompson says:

        I have to differ……

        Massa & Kimi both enjoyed a very competitive Farrari when they were team mates , one winning a WDC the other was a wdc for 30secs…. a very close 2nd

        They did not enjoy the dominance of the Schumacher years but they were up there.( say what you will of the massa/Kimi partnership but Ferrari operated like a team -won together lost together)

        Alonso has achieved nothing – distant 2nd places and fragmenting the team who operate like individuals – bosses ranting like fools and falling on their swords just to stroke an ego!

        What ever the politics behind Kimi’s payoff the team bought into a poison chalice with Alonso.

        The sooner he go’s the better

      2. Quade says:

        Thompson, I couldn’t agree more.
        “Team bosses ranting like fools?” I never thought I’d see the day when a manager handed out gift daggers as motivation, but it happened at Ferrari! Shocking.

        That team stinks disharmony and long daggers (no surprises there). Fernando is neck deep in the murk, that’s if he cannot be described as its engine. These things are the ingredients of failure.

      3. James Clayton says:

        Nobody was a WDC for 30 seconds

      4. Kramgp says:

        We’ll said alono has out performed the car. I don’t think any other driver could have done a better job with what they were given.

      5. HulkenBerg says:

        If only they kept Tombazis…. he defected to Mercedes and helped them design a winning car!

    3. David in Sydney says:

      Ever since Brawn left Ferrari has been a rudderless ship. ALO should cut his losses and leave (I am sure he’s tried) before he gets too old. RAI is clearly an ALO replacement – I wouldn’t be surprised if ALO leaves at the end of this year to take up BUT’s seat – but it’s all speculation until we actually see it unfold.

  4. justin says:

    James, what are your thoughts on Alonso? Ferrari have been in gradual decline for a few years and I doubt many other drivers could have almost dragged that car to a couple of championships. I believe his prime form is being wasted in that team. Should he get out now and try somewhere else, or stick it out and hope Ferrari get their act together. But then what options are there? Not many.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, I think history will look back at this as a sustained story of right place wrong time. One of the best drivers F1 has had since Senna and Prost but the results don’t show the full picture

      He should have won 2007 with McLaren, which would have given him the 3rd title he craves. After that everything is a bonus. Without it, it’s a lingering frustration.

      He has to take some of the blame though, as clearly his way of operating within a team isn’t as effective as Schumacher’s for example. To be fair, there aren’t many TPs and TDs as strong as the Todt and Brawn combo.

      Alonso was terrific in 2010 and 2012 and is at his peak now as a driver. Running out of time for Title #3.

      1. Dave C says:

        James you say he’s one of the best since Senna and Prost but to be fair I don’t think Alonso has been THE best since them 2 as I think Schumacher and potentially Vettel and Hamilton is/was a bit faster than him. However and dare I say it I believe Alonso is actually an equal to Senna and better than Prost. A mercedes or Redbull drive next year will be required if he’s to fight for the championship again I still can’t believe Ferrari have come up short to this magnitude this season you’d expect them to beat Brackley as chassis goes but no they’re underachieving.

      2. Andrew says:

        So you’re saying that Vettel is better than Senna?

        Are you completely ignoring that fact that he is being well beaten by Ricciardo?

        How long will that have to go on for before you start to amend your view? 1/2 a season, 1 season?

        Remember, if he is as good as you think then he should be beating Ricciardo in the vast majority of races.

      3. Lias says:

        if u want to be honest to yourself, u have to admit that Schumacher was 0.3 slower than Rosberg, so no he was never the best or the fastest,Alonso on the other hand may not be as fast as Hamilton but he is imho the best man out there to get ANY job done.

      4. Lohani says:

        I do agree that Alonso can be called the next Senna and/or Prost. I think Mr. Allen didn’t mention Schumi, because he was talking about Prost and Senna. In any event, Schuy did have qualities that were in both Prost and Senna – fast, charismatic and driven (Senna); clinical, methodical and cunning (Prost). So, who is Schumi then. He is SCHUMACHER, of course! (pardon the uppercase). A legend himself!

        There is even a Baby Schumacher, and he’s called Sebastian Vettel. He’s the next Schumacher. Alonso is the next Prost and/or Senna. Hamilton is the next Senna. Before their own legacies are built, which is in the making, but not finished.

        I still think those 3 failed years (2007-2009) is the reason why Alonso doesn’t still have a 3rd title. As a 2WDC, he should’ve played that time and situation better. He was the senior driver, had more experience and was certainly capable of influencing the team to back him fully eventually, even if Ron Dennis had other ideas. He wasn’t mature then. He is now, though.

        The sad irony in Alonso’s case could be the time-told truth ‘time and tide waits for no man’. I hope I am wrong, because I would surely like Alonso to get a 3rd Title, at least. He has deserved it over the last few years, but so has Vettel. The real problem is the Ferrari, or the symbiosis between itself and Alonso, Alonso and Luca, Luca and Ferrari, do the permutations. Don’t forget to put some very shiny knives in there somewhere too.

        There’s some humor in seeing Scuderia Ferrari F1, one of the most iconic and amply resourced team in F1, struggling for years. The 2014 chassis, and especially the nose area, certainly adds to the humor.

      5. Dave C says:

        Andrew I never said Vettel is better than Senna. Maybe on pure speed at the absolute limit maybe they’re not so far apart but other than that its hard to say obviously. As for Ricciardo well we all knew he’s quick but even with the apparent advantage the championship standings says otherwise. Wait for the season to be over then we can say who’s better at Redbull. Afterall Rosberg seemed to have the upperhand on Hamilton at this stage last season no one is saying Rosebrg is the fastest ever. Also Lias Schumacher was often quicker than Rosberg just look at Monaco 2012 quali BUT it was a unfair comparison Schumacher in his 20′s was freakishly fast just watch the classic race of Monaco 1993 in a underwhelming Benetton he could keep up with Prost in the dominating Williams and he often got the better of Senna whilst driving inferior or similarly level cars! Lets see what Rosberg is doing by his 40′s.

      6. We maintain here that Ferrari loses 0.5 secs every time we translate from English to Italian;then the wind tunnel adds another 0.6sec deficit before we hit the track.

      7. Fastfastfast says:

        I think James was clear when he said that Alonso is “one of the best” and not “the best”.

        This reminds me of the Beeb saying that Hamilton is “hungrier” than Rosberg when he clearly said that “the hunger is different”. He never said that he was hungrier than Nico.

      8. Stu says:

        It genuinely breaks my heart that as each year goes by it seems there is less and less chance he has of winning number 3.

      9. justafan says:

        We used to say the same about Schumacher until … 2000.

      10. justafan says:

        What amazes me most is why Fernando didn’t learn anything from the way Schumacher led Ferrari. It’s pretty obvious that with Ferrari you need a different approach. Schumacher understood this. Others didn’t (Mansell, Prost, Berger, Alesi, Alonso so far).

      11. fox says:

        much depends on team principal, not driver.

      12. Femi-Akins says:

        I sometimes wonder if the whole Schumy thing about building teams is overated. I bow slightly to James more superior opinion and insight but watching the Grand Prix legends program on Sky with Eddie Irvine something came out.

        He said as far as setting up the car, Schumy was no great shakes but his strength was that he could put a trolley on pole.

        Eddie also said that Jean Todt and to a lesser degree Ross Brawn were the main players as they created a cocoon free from Italian politics and pressure which enabled them to perform.

        Unlimited testing at your own private test track doesn’t hurt either.

        What do you think James? Is this true or is it just Eddie being Eddie?

      13. James Allen says:

        There is a chapter on Team building in my second book on Schuey “Edge of greatness”

        He was very involved

        Todt, Brawn Byrne etc all played their roles and yes Todt kept the press and outside influences at bay

      14. Jonathan says:

        It wasn’t so much about schumacher leading ferrari as the team accepting that it take more than Italians only to lead the team – something they seem to have difficulty remembering these days.

      15. James Clayton says:

        Schumacher led Ferrari in an era where is was genuinely possible for a driver to make an big impact outside of the races. There was unlimited testing, and Ferrari had their own test track at which Schumacher would spend insane amounts of time.

        The best a driver can do these days is help calibrate a simulator…

      16. mbh says:

        As Mr Allison rightly says, Domenicalli and cia can’t be compared to Todt and Brawn combo.
        Besides, those were other times, without CFD, without correlation problems because Michael improved his car by testing in Fiorano. To do the same, Fernando needs to drive a 1:2 scaled car inside the spectacular but ineffective wind tunnel designed by Renzo Piano ;).

      17. German Samurai says:

        I’m not sure. teammate Trulli beat Alonso in 2004, a first year teammate beat Alonso in 2007.

        I don’t think he’s the best on the grid let alone in the company of the best since Prost and Senna.

        Alonso had a fast, very reliable car in 2010. Ferrari started the season with a 1-2. 1-2 in Germany where Massa was forced to move over for Alonso. Alonso was getting dry poles even though he’s got an ordinary record at best over one pole. Both cars on the podium at Monza and both qualifying 1 and 3.

        This notion that Alonso didn’t have the tools to win the championship in 2010 is patently false. Instead, it was the guy in his third full season of F1 who held it together best when it mattered most.

        2012 the fastest car was the McLaren. Most reliable by far was the Ferrari. The Ferrari was generally quick from Spain onwards.

        You look at the last few races of 2012 and you have to say Alonso underperformed and cost himself the championship.

        Failed to capitalise on Vettel starting from the back of the grid at Abu Dhabi with woefully bad qualifying and letting Raikkonen win despite the Ferrari being quicker.

        Austin resorts to having Ferrari break the seal on Massa gearbox to move him up one spot on the grid.

        Brazil, finishes in 2nd place only one position ahead of Massa. Frankly, if you can’t beat Massa by a bigger margin than that you don’t deserve the championship. Given that Alonso went into the race with a wet setup and given how quick the Ferrari was with a wet setup (as proven by Alonso’s wet poles), a win was possible and he would have been champion.

      18. mbh says:

        As usual you aren’t telling the truth.
        2004: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporada_2004_de_Fórmula_1#Campeonato_de_pilotos
        2003:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Formula_One_season#Drivers
        2007… I like Hamilton, he was impressive, but to be honest Fernando was fighting against his own team.

      19. HP says:

        spot on. complete package? not even the best. altough the media loves him so much.

      20. German Samurai says:

        Trulli got fired by Briatore before the end of the season.

        Trulli was ahead of Alonso when Briatore fired him.

        After Monaco, Briatore tried to undermine Trulli every chance he got to protect Alonso.

        As for 2007, Hamilton was already leading Alonso in the championship when Alonso tried to blackmail Ron Dennis and sour the team environment.

        Alonso attempted to blackmail Ron Dennis in order to secure preferential treatment over his rookie teammate.

        Alonso knew he couldn’t beat Hamilton in equal equipment.

      21. Stephen Taylor says:

        Will Kimi ever get title no 2?

      22. David in Sydney says:

        No.

      23. Phil Glass says:

        Hi James, with my great respect, the “should have” argument is a dangerous one to pursue….

        if ALO “should have” won 2007 ….
        then, equally, ALO should NOT have won 2005

        ALO could have won 2010, 2012: why did he make mistakes and lose at least one of these?

      24. German Samurai says:

        And Schumacher could have won in 2006 if his engine doesn’t blow up while in the lead at Suzuka…

        If Schumacher didn’t break his leg he would have romped to the title in 1999…

      25. HulkenBerg says:

        Had Grosjean not almost taken Alonso’e head off at Spa in 2012, then Alonso could have won the 2012 WDC….. coulda-woulda-shoulda…..

      26. NickH says:

        Ferrari adored Michael for the way he operated, he was very personal with everyone in the team so they all loved him. He was and still is their son. Alonso is not the same personality so he’ll never get the relationship Michael and Ferrari had. I feel Ferrari and the Italian public highly respect Alonso but don’t love him. Michael was all about Ferrari first, with Alonso it’s all about ‘me first’

      27. Jari says:

        Great remark, that italian public and I dare to add also Ferrari team, they highly respect alonso but don’t love him. And I actually share this feeling as well.

        And slightly paradoxically I think even never emotional Kimi gets more love from Italians.

        To get those final milliseconds to win the championship, you need the love around, to get most out of yourself and of your team around!

      28. Krischar says:

        James.

        I am afraid you have put too much blame on Alonso here. When Schumacher was at Ferrari there were unlimited testing allowed Ferrari were able to run the car and test the updates on track. Besides this schumi have never had any serious competition back in his Ferrari days from any team / driver combo. Bridgestone Aided Ferrari too with custom made tyres for their machineries.

        The Ferrari team were spineless and lackdaisical ever since 2008. Since F2008 Ferrari failed to produce any fast package for their pilots.

        I agree with you on one count. Alonso will be always remembered as a great pilot who never made the right career move or choices for himself at the right time otherwise the entire picture could have been different. Schumi is no where near Alonso and he cannot be compared with the Alonso at any cost.

        Schumi rode his luck with Ferrari and won titles with Ferrari quite easily. On other hand Alonso have drove his heart out pretty much every race weekend since he joined Ferrari in 2010. I will add 2011 along with 2010 and 2012 as well with the exception 2013.

      29. German Samurai says:

        “I am afraid you have put too much blame on Alonso here. When Schumacher was at Ferrari there were unlimited testing allowed Ferrari were able to run the car and test the updates on track. Besides this schumi have never had any serious competition back in his Ferrari days from any team / driver combo. Bridgestone Aided Ferrari too with custom made tyres for their machineries.”

        Long before Schumacher ever arrived at Maranello, Ferrari where the biggest spenders on the grid and had unlimited testing.

        In fact all teams had unlimited testing. That’s why they’d base themselves within several miles of Silverstone. Because it’s close to the track.

        During the tyre war the Michelin was the clear better tyre from 2003 onwards. Michelin had the advantage of having the top teams McLaren, Williams and Renault clocking up testing miles while Bridgestone only had Ferrari. Michelin had 3x the testing data Bridgestone did.

        “Schumi rode his luck with Ferrari and won titles with Ferrari quite easily. On other hand Alonso have drove his heart out pretty much every race weekend since he joined Ferrari in 2010. I will add 2011 along with 2010 and 2012 as well with the exception 2013.”

        2000 was as toughly fought a championship as you’ll get. Schumacher throughout his career only ever had the best car on the grid in 2001, 2002 and 2004. When he had the best car, he didn’t just win the championship he shattered every record in the book.

        2003 Schumacher didn’t have the best car. Schumacher would have won in Williams or McLaren.

        Alonso should be happy that he has two titles given Kimi out drove him in 2005 and given the advantage he had from the mass damper in 2006.

      30. Truth says:

        “Schumacher is nowhere near Alonso” I really have heard it all now, I am not and have never been a Schumacher fan for many reasons but to suggest Alonso matches up in any way is laughable. Alonso is not the best of the current crop of drivers and will never be talked about as maybe the all time best. Schumacher in his prime would have won a title in the Ferrari over the last 5 seasons, probably Vettel or Hamilton could have also. Alonso the emperor wears no clothes…..lol

      31. Breton says:

        Stats don’t back you up!

        Look at the league tables.

      32. Andrew M says:

        Just out if interest, why so you say he “should” have won 2007 for McLaren? Hamilton surely has a bigger claim when it comes to whether people “should” have won in 2007…

      33. Mike from Colombia says:

        100% agree.

        Hamilton dropped a 17 point lead a the very end. He should have won it with a race to spare. Alonso was never in that position.

        One day we will find out why many journalists can’t stand Hamilton. There must have been some kind of incident or breakdown in respect that took place. Seems very funny that while most journalists can’t stand Hamilton, he is incredibly popular with fans. Same happened with Schumacher.

      34. ErikT says:

        Maybe the Ferrari is better than we think and Alonos is worse. I’d like to see Alonso in a Red Bull, Merc or whatever just to find out for sure.

      35. mbh says:

        Poor Massa and Kimi… Really, are you serious?

      36. joe_in_Miami says:

        Yes, I would also love to see Vettel or Hamilton driving the Ferrari

      37. shri says:

        The willingness and ability of Ferrari is there to spend and win for last 15-20+ years.

        The combo of Brawn, Jean Todt & Schumacher had the sole goal of win and were ruthless in their execution.

        Pat Fry, Stefano may not be in the same league as above. Hard to say but may be Alonso is also not in Schumi league with his approach to get things done (nothing to do with driving skills but his style of working and pushing to make things happen).

      38. Witan says:

        Montezemelo’s stated aim was to have Ferrari led by Italians and to be staffed by Italians. Very patriotic but it hasn’t worked out very well,has it?

        When he goes then things can improve.

      39. Dr Lewis says:

        James – should have won 2007?

        On what basis?

        He was comprehensively outperformed from quite early on and required some rookie and team mistakes for his results to be even near close to his team mates.

        Hamilton was hardly ‘lucky’ that year was he yet his performance completely destabilised Alonso.

        Alonso was surely aware of the team history prior to signing a contract and knew that performance counts not status in that particular team.

        His [mod]meltdown might be down to temperament and age and he has matured into a fine racer but he certainly should not have won 2007 more than Hamilton in any way shape or form.

        I agree however his Ferrari years are a waste of a matured and excellent racer in the wrong place at the wrong time. He would certainly have taken a title in the KR first time round years.

      40. James Allen says:

        I have no desire to be drawn in to a tedious ‘my driver is better than your driver’ debate

        But remember that, like Kimi, Alonso switched from Michelin to Bridgestone in 2007 and it took both of them a while to get used to the new tyres. It’s a bit the same for Vettel this year driving without the most powerful exhaust blowing. He took a few races to get the back end how he needs it

        Hamilton had raced Bridgestones in GP2 in 2006 and knew no different, so hit the ground running in 2007.

        As the senior driver one would have expected Alonso to get the odd break here and there to smooth the way to the title..
        He expected that and early on realised that it was not the set out he thought it was. From McLaren’s point of view it was an embarrassment; they should have won the 2007 title and instead gave it to Ferrari

      41. TurboMuncher says:

        James,

        I have the utmost respect for you and generally value your opinions extremely highly, I really do. And I also note your comment re: not wanting to get drawn into a tedious debate, so would not expect a reply.

        But I must say, your comment here reads a little like an excuse for HAM matching ALO in ’07, ie that the difficulty in a change of tire manufacturer for ALO is somehow higher than the switch between racing formula for HAM – and I’m struggling with that notion.
        Also, is your post an indirect way of saying that because he had a few titles that the team should have given ALO no. 1 status, undercut strategies, moved HAM over etc?

        PS – I am a fan of both drivers and rate ALO as one of the best I’ve ever seen.

        TM

      42. Kingszito says:

        @James, “Alonso switched to Bridgestone tyers in 2007″ Hamilton wasn’t racing in formula one before 2007. Which one is more difficult to adapt? Tyres or racing in a higher category? James, for God sake Alonso was a double world champion and you are using tyre for an excuse as the reason Hamilton (a rookie) beat him. You should do better than that.

      43. James Allen says:

        Not making excuses – it’s called “context”

        Sometimes the more on eyed fans forget that such a concept exists…

      44. Ed Bone says:

        In 2007, Alonso held Hamilton up in the pit lane during qualifying for the Hungarian GP, denying Hamilton a chance to record a final lap time. This meant Alonso received a 5-place grid penalty, starting in 6th, while Hamilton inherited pole from 2nd. Hamilton won the race and Alonso came fourth.

        The points Alonso threw away that weekend after giving away his pole (or at least a 2nd place on the grid) would have won him the WDC.

        Don’t blame McLaren either – they have a history of pitting drivers against one another, as we all know. Alonso should have read up on his F1 history, (instead of allegedly threatening to shop his own team to the FIA in the Spygate saga.)

      45. German Samurai says:

        With all due respect James, I don’t agree that Hamilton was more advantaged in 2007 because he used Bridgestone slicks in GP2 in 2006, while Alonso had Michelin grooves in F1.

        Surely it was easier for Alonso to adjust to a different brand of tyres in F1 rather than adjust to a completely different category of racing.

      46. James Allen says:

        Look back at the reports of the time. I was there I remember it well

        Both ALO and RAI had quite a lot of problems adapting, the feel was quite different – it took several races.

      47. Ed Bone says:

        Whatever way you want to look at it, nearly winning the WDC in your very first season is absolutely astonishing, and frankly a badly needed shake-up in what was at the time an ailing sport crippled by off-tack politics.

        James, with respect you are lacking in any perspective here, and if we are talking ‘context’ you can’t simply take one factor and use that as the sole reference point.

        I guess the old guard in F1 commentating and beyond are never really going to accept the astonishing ability that Hamilton demonstrated in his first season, and will always try to find excuses as to why their own hero was spectacularly embarrassed by an absolutely inspired and super-talented rookie.

      48. Elie says:

        Raikkonen won 7 GPs out of 15 in 2005 lost by 16pts. Alonso got that title because Mclaren lost it for Kimi (3 mech failures in lead positions).- Plain and simple- it was that obvious.

        Schumacher won 2003 by 2pts to Raikkonen! Despite many mechanical failures by Mclaren/ mercedes Can people see how easily Raikkonen could have been a triple WC -much more so than any other driver around him now.

        Kimi took the batton from Michael immediately at Ferrari 2007. Without clear no1 status. He was/ is always a fair racer.

        I can understand people raving on about Schumacher being the biggest thing since Senna & Prost. But not Alonso he should have won 2010..! Does anybody here believe that Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen would have been held up by a 7th place Renault for a chance at the title…. As for 2012 brazil showed more about Vettels determination than Alonso- despite all the calamities Seb encountered (incl Webbers blocking) and Massa assistance to Alonso he still fell short.
        Alonso had a weaker second half of 2012 despite is incredible first half.

        I will leave you all with this -Alonso is without a doubt a great driver of an average car. But he does NOT excel in a great car- the problem everyone they cannot work out just how good or bad a car is because of his/Ldm/ Ferraris lies..Raikkonen is already faster than him at Ferrari and barring badly veiled team orders continuing ( because the season is effectively over for them) as we saw last week or technical problems ( Kimi has had half the FP time this season) Raikkonen will continue to outshine him in an improving car.

      49. German Samurai says:

        “Schumacher won 2003 by 2pts to Raikkonen! Despite many mechanical failures by Mclaren/ mercedes Can people see how easily Raikkonen could have been a triple WC -much more so than any other driver around him now.”

        Raikkonen won 1 race in 2003, while Schumacher won 6. Clearly the best man won.

      50. LEM says:

        +1000!

      51. And yet he won two titles in the second best car in 2005 and 2006, where the McLaren and Ferrari were the better overall package respectively.

        It’s a debate that has no end, as it is a matter of opinion.

        However, let’s remember he is one of only 33 drivers to have won a F1 WDC, and one of the 14 drivers to have won more than one championship. Respect.

      52. Elie says:

        @Damien_Marquez – A car that finishes is always better than one that doesnt. We are not talking about 1 or 2 failures- thats normal- we are talking about 3 complete engine failures whilst leading a GP and 3-4 others that moved him to the back of the grid.
        Besides Alonsos Renault was a full works car with the best suspension on the grid. Mclarens straight line / aero advantage was not going to overcome the failures ! Was it??
        @German Samurai- same for you as above. Further MS tailored bespoke tyres gave him a huge advantage over the entire field & he did not have the mechanical problems Raikkonen did.

        I keep repeating myself on this subject because its evident many punters and journos alike do not comprehend the gravity of those years in terms of impact on F1 history. We all know that F1 is about many many things working to be WDC not just top level drivers.But surely what those years proved is that we witnessed the best of his time. He still there or abouts but hes not head shoulders above like before.

      53. Zachary's disease says:

        It’s all about Kimi…..the potential 5 time champion who was beaten by heidfeld and massa

      54. Elie says:

        @Zacharys disease. I said 3 you make up 5.
        Massa was a great racer in 2008 almost WDC in 2008 against Hamilton- when the car was more suited to him.
        Heidfeld was a good driver but he was never a WDC- can you tell me which race in those 10 years he may have beat Kimi and 20+ other drivers?

        Address the facts dont make up fiction

      55. deancassady says:

        Clearly there are some dynamics surrounding Alonso, where ever he’s gone, that undermine his generally accepted premier driver status.
        The job of the team principal is to moderate sometimes opposed interests, oversee department heads, and sometimes be the deciding decision-maker on internally contentious issues.
        To do that job, one has to be in charge; for example, even when Vettel was ignoring team orders, Horner seemed always, ‘in charge’.
        The Alonso Ferrari seasons seem to have lacked that pinnacle control, unless the driver was supposed to be the pinnacle.
        So I see a pattern of extreme ego, mixing with accommodating team under weak leadership, resulting in sub-optimal outcomes.
        But if you are Alonso, you always beat your team mate; maybe, ultimately, that is what has been the higher priority, and combined with mediocre car development cpability, the Alonso-Ferrari seasons.

      56. kenneth chapman says:

        one point there, ‘horner seemed always ‘in charge’.

        i would think rather the opposite! he was on the backfoot and consistently taken to task for being unable to control his driver. he looked weak and ineffectual and hardly’in charge’.

      57. Quade says:

        James, you are overrating Alonso. He is good and one of the top of the current bunch, no doubt, but there is little basis for comparing him with Senna, Prost or Schumacher.

        As for 2007? He was beaten fair and square by the rookie Lewis.

        Let us not forget that Alonso is where he is because of his character which cannot be separated from his track success. Spygate wrecked his future just as much as it wrecked McLarens future.

        Nether Senna, Prost or Schumacher wrecked their teams and created so much acrimony. Ron Dennis had to leave F1 and McLaren paid a 100 million Euro fine. The Spygate fine would have been felt from 2009 onwards as the 2008 car had already been largely completed.

        It is arguable that a team playing Alonso might have won one (or more) championships at McLaren if he hadn’t ruined it for Lewis and the team in 2007.

      58. Hal says:

        Maybe he “should” have won James but ultimately whatever excuses you want to make for Alonso you can not downplay Hamilton’s debut season in F1. Just accept the fact that he was equalled (at least) by a very talented rookie who went on to win a WDC in a team that came second in the constructors.

      59. Dr Lewis says:

        Apparently it was all the tyres fault and we are one eyed fans for thinking such!

        Not a particularly sensible reaction to a fair debate James.

        I appreciate you have limited time for LH but I would still regard his behaviour during his Rookie year as just a little more mature than FA that year. Did you see his karting and other formula years? His racing was never any different from Cadet karts onwards.

        Furthermore the tyre debate fails a little in the later wet races would you say? Alonso certainly struggled there.

        I accept your argument regarding Mclaren but again a student of history would have realised that was going to happen if LH performed.

        Over confidence was more the issue frankly.

        Anyway we can agree to disagree.

  5. Joost says:

    This would make sense in terms of the budget cap… :-)

    1. Ben says:

      All the discussions I have seen around budget caps don’t include driver wages. But I like your joke… ;)

    2. Random 79 says:

      Hiring Chilton would make more sense in terms of the budget cap ;)

      Truth is he’s actually not doing too bad right now…

  6. Mike Martin(HAM fan) says:

    Nico Rosberg is a good driver and it seems they have a positive team atmosphere. Let’s hope it remains that way and they never crash into each other.

    Good and smart move by Mercedes so far.

    1. Pkara says:

      Agreed :-)
      Hope Lewis gets another pole & victory on Sat / Sun.
      Though James thinks (Radio5live yesterday) the Monaco Gremlins will mean Mercs may not be on the podium on Sunday.
      Come On Lewis for pole n victory :-)

    2. chris green says:

      mercedes claim their drivers are allowed to race
      but they won’t replace rosberg with someone better.
      mercedes know that hamilton is ‘the man’ and rosberg is there to pick up the pieces on the odd ocassions when hamilton faulters.

      1. Kingszito says:

        I can’t understand your logic. Do you want to force Mercedes to hire your favorite driver? Rosberg is doing a good job, not that Hamilton is trashing him. Yes, Hamilton has beaten him four times in a row, but in those four times Mercedes got the maximum points, which is the best any team can get in a race weekend. How are you sure that your favorite driver would do better than Rosberg against Hamilton? Mercedes has the strongest driver pairing in the grid. They are both pushing each other.

    3. jean-luc says:

      For it to remain like that would mean none of them is a true competitor, but we know they both are. So it’s only a matter of two or three more races before gloves are off.

      1. Thompson says:

        Lol….. It’s inevitable.

        Rosberg like Button will get frustrated and resort to desperate acts sooner or later.

        But the Bulls are coming – it’s almost time for the Hamilton v Vettel battles.

        Which should ease tensions for both Rosberg and Ricardo…… You watch.

      2. Kingszito says:

        Ricciardo is very, very good. It’s time you Vettel fans stop underrating him and start taking him serious.

  7. Gaz Boy says:

    Oh well Fernando and Sebastian that’s your chance to join Brackley gone………until 2017 at least if this report is accurate. Mind you, could Nando and Seb swap teams for 2016????????
    By the way, nobody has mentioned one of the most import elements of a good lap time in Monaco – the gearbox and clutch, especially in the lower reaches of the box. Monaco is unique during the European season in that the vast majority of the gear changes are in low gears, even the Hungaroring is mainly mid gear ratios round the fastish corners round the back of the circuit.
    I would also add sharp steering is vital at important – I would imagine the rack and hydraulic power assisted pump is modified to cope with the tightest corners in F1.

    1. Pkara says:

      Gazboy have you been eating gear boxes ,clutch pads, hydraulic power pump fluid for breakfast again ;-)

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Only that Mercedes transmission – the Renault is too slow to digest at the moment and the Ferrari doesn’t provide enough energy at the minute…..
        On a separate note, as its been wet at Monaco, presumably the track will be “green” and greasy for Saturday qualifying if its dry, and a track with all the rubber washed off will be very abrasive for the tyres.
        Will this have a big influence of tyre wear, even in qualifying and even the race? Without doubt, so I suspect the tyres are scrambling their brains to re-evaluate their potential problems with tyre consumption.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Typo: I should have typed “so I suspect the boffins are scrambling their brains”
        Why I was persuaded by a swarthy Italian called Luca to buy his Ferrari keyboard? I should have purchased that silver keyboard that was on offer from a chap with a Cambridge univeristy engineering degree called Paddy……….

      3. Random 79 says:

        The silver keyboard might be more effective, but the red one is much more entertaining ;)

    2. justafan says:

      Sebastian was never in the frame at Mercedes. He either stays at RBR or moves to Ferrari.

      As for Alonso he certainly would love to get the Mercedes but his chance seems to be gone now. Tough luck.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Justafan: I heard some rumours and hearsay last year at Silverstone that Sebastian might, might have “arranged” a pre-agreement with Ferrari for the future, but there are clauses related to Ferrari’s competitive performance – in other words if Ferrari keep of producing stinker/stinkers (like this year) then Sebastian doesn’t have to honour that pre-agreement.
        I must stress it was just rumour and hearsay, and Silverstone is always the epicentre of the silly season, but there may be just a grain of truth in it.
        Thing is, if you were a top racing driver, would you want to join Ferrari for 2016 when they have a pedigree of making stinkers? That is the question Sebastian has to ask himself.
        Should he stay or should he go………….that will be one the F1 musical charts start!

      2. Random 79 says:

        Either way he’ll still be losing to Ricciardo ;)

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        Thing is Random, Daniel’s contractual situation is just as interesting. I am sure 99.99% the Milton Keynes mob will take up his option for next year – pigs will fly if they don’t – but will they offer the wooly haired Honey Badger just a contract for 2015 – like they did with Mark, a year by year contract – or will they tie down the Smiling Assassin on a multi-year deal?
        My point is, if they offer Dan the Man just a contract for 2015, will the likes of Ferrari and Marc make a swoop for him in 2016?
        Interesting, very interesting!
        PS Can you e-mail Jonsey live in the C10 studio? If you can ask him about his memories of Monaco 1981 – Alan charged through the field to lead only for a fuel metering problem to slow him down just a few laps from the end and Gilles Villeneuve in his turbo Ferrari to snatch the win! Monaco was a never kind circuit to good old Jonsey! (He also head-butted a barrier in 1979 when he was poised to leap-frog the leading and eventual winning Ferrari of Jody Scheckter).

      4. Random 79 says:

        Different situation Gaz:

        Mark preferred the one year contracts in his later years to keep his options open.

        Ricciardo is basically just starting his real F1 career and is doing a brilliant job, so my guess is that –

        A – Red Bull will offer him a multi-year deal from 2015, partly to step up as team leader if Vettel leaves (or is booted, you never know) and partly to keep him out of Ferrari and McLaren’s hands.

        And B – Dan will jump at it because frankly he’d be nuts to go anywhere else just now.

        I don’t have AJ’s e-mail (although I’m sure he can be reached). Tonight was mostly dedicated to Jack Brabham but I suspect tomorrow night AJ might talk about his personal experiences at Monaco.

  8. Tom Westmacott says:

    Makes perfect sense from Rosberg’s side – he has a real chance to be WDC this year and the next two. And if he can’t beat Hamilton in a Merc, he certainly won’t be able to in a lesser car, at least for the next year or two.

    For Merc, it makes sense too – Rosberg is fast enough to push Hamilton, but without prima donna salary demands; he also does what he’s told with team orders, eg Malaysia last year, but still has the spirit to race when allowed. The only possible risk would be if Hamilton either left the team or had a downturn in form over the next two years, then Merc might be slightly exposed without a top-three driver, but this is likely a small risk to take, against the stability of a driver lineup that is working well right now.

    1. Vivek says:

      +1. Simply because Merc do not need a second driver as capable as Lewis. Nico is perfect for the team.

    2. oli says:

      +1

      Also – besides Rosberg’s skills as a driver, he is almost the perfect marketing product for Merc. German, speaks several languages, great with sponsors and PR. Lewis wins but Rosberg carries Merc’s image perfectly all around the world, which is also a great asset.

      Some people say it will be hard for Nico if Lewis wins this weekend in Monaco. I don’t. I’m happy he signed this extension, I believe their rivalry has only started.

    3. Alex says:

      Are you kidding. I could pick 10 drivers that could win in that Mercedes. 1.5 + sec per lap advantage!!
      Heck even Maldonado would win in this years Merc, that’s even counting 4-5 crashes that he would inevitably have…

      1. AxelC says:

        You are confirming what Tom said, if many drivers can win in that Mercedes, why on earth would you hire a diva (like Alonso) if Rosberg is fast enough and they already have Hamilton?

    4. matthew says:

      nico actually disobeyed team orders last year,i cant remember which race,but he wasnt racing lewis,but he still wouldnt get out of lewis way,despite being told to.

  9. German Samurai says:

    I think Rosberg is good value.

    In 2/4 races that Hamilton has won, Rosberg has actually had better race pace than Hamilton. He wasn’t able to the first corner in the lead and that made it very hard to get in the lead.

    I have to say I’m a little bit disappointed by Hamilton this season and I think he’s credentials as being the fastest on the grid is in serious doubt when you can’t dominate Rosberg for raw pace like Vettel dominated Webber, like Schumacher dominated his teammates.

    Then you take into account Hamilton not being able to beat Button in equal machinery in 2011. Last year Rosberg finished more races ahead of Hamilton when both cars finished the race.

    This contract certainly puts pressure on Hamilton. I feel like Mercedes aren’t really convinced by Hamilton.

    1. C63 says:

      I feel like Mercedes aren’t really convinced by Hamilton.

      hahahahaha, nice try. How’s the list of the ‘many’ drivers coming along – I must say it seems to be taking an inordinate amount of time to compile!

    2. Truth says:

      Did Schumacher dominate Rosberg…just saying!
      4 poles 5 front rows and 4 races for Ham completed, 2 with a good margin and 2 close ones, all wins, how do you do better? Maybe Rosberg is better than you give him credit for.
      Mercedes are definitely convinced by Hamilton, that’s obvious, even if you are not. Don’t be disappointed , or disingenuous.

      1. German Samurai says:

        Schumacher was 41 when he came back.

        He was nearly 38 when he finished the first time, then he sat on a pit wall and raced the occasional motorcycle at club level.

        So his skills had already diminished with age, then he spent three years on a pit wall and sometimes racing motorcycles for fun at club level.

        I’d love to see Hamilton in his prime sit out of the sport for three years not racing competitively, and try to mount a comeback at the highest level of the sport and deal with completely different regulations.

        He’d fail doing that in his prime, let alone at the age of 41 like Schumacher did.

    3. flesh says:

      what a ridiculous statement. In what area has lewis failed to impress Mercedes causing them to be ambivalent towards him?

    4. Dr Lewis says:

      Did you miss the first four races?
      LH won them just in case you were not sure.

      For two of them LH was 17+ seconds in front.

    5. Phil says:

      And Vettel getting hammered by Ricciardo doesn’t put a question mark on Vettel being one of the fastest?

      I suggest you choose your examples more wisely.

      Couple of other things – 2011 – it was quite evident Lewis had ‘lost the plot’ however he had lost none of his speed. He wasn’t beaten by button that year because of speed he was beaten because he constantly got himself into trouble running into other drivers.

      Then you mention unable to dominate like Schumacher, you mean the same Schumacher who had his team built around him with a strict #1 policy, the same Schumacher who was beaten by Rosberg when he went to another team (something which rosberg got no credit for) ?

      1. German Samurai says:

        As explained above Schumacher was 41 when he came back, so about 8 years past your prime as a race driver.

        Then you had him sitting on the sidelines for three years letting his reflexes, hand-eye coordination not get exercised.

        Remember, all these guys in F1 have raced non-stop competitively since they were 6 years of age.

        Schumacher never needed a number one policy for the simple fact he blew all his teammates away. Ferrari had a policy of giving advantages to the driver with the most chance of winning the championship.

        That was in evidence when Schumacher was forced to move over for Irvine at Malaysia 1999.

    6. Thompson says:

      Wow??!??

      Pretty skewed view there.

      I think it makes good sense this re-signing.

      Rosberg is a much better driver than many are willing to admit.

      He did a job on Schumacher quietly without fanfare (43yrs old or not , Schumi got owned), he is pushing Hamilton harder than Button ever did – which indicates both are getting everything the car can offer. – ie 1,2s.

      Imagine if he was pushing Alonso this way or Vettel during his purple patch?

      He will get better and as the old guards vanish from the grid one by one his stock will grow.

      Mercedes are in a good place right now they have vision.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        hi thompson…any messages for me this week end?

    7. Ed Bone says:

      I have to say I’m highly delighted by Hamilton this season.

      1. David in Sydney says:

        I have to say I second that, as well as being mightily impressed by Mercedes and the clear influence Lauda is having on the way races are being managed – fight it on track boys and may the best driver win!

  10. fox says:

    Second pilot signed two year contract of second pilot.

  11. jmv says:

    Good for Mercedes. They know what they get with this driver pairing. One hard working German, and one extremely talented still-growing most-marketable sportsman of the year.

    Nobody at Mercedes needs a diva to come in and blow-up the team (both horizontally and hierarchically).

    1. Ed Bone says:

      They make an excellent pairing, I’d agree.

      No number 1 driver at Merc, and yet no internal feuding either.

      And F1 is way better for it.

  12. goferet says:

    Well this new deal of Rosberg puts to bed any story of a falling out between Lewis and Rosberg in the future.

    Yes, this new deal makes sense for with Rosberg, the team have a strong driver that can pick up constructor’s points and yet also, a driver not strong enough to destabilize the team.

    Also Rosberg’s 2 year deal could be an indicator that he expects the team to be competitive for at least the next 2 years so he will be guaranteed poles and trophies.

    As for Alonso, Mercedes don’t really need his serves because they already have a number 1 driver bringing home the bacon.

    This is a different situation with the Alonso/Kimi partnership at Ferrari as the team made a conscious decision to target the constructor’s.

    Regards Mclaren, the only reason Alonso isn’t interested in the driver is because the car is uncompetitive. Nobody on Earth can reject a 2 second a lap car.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Goferet, in my opinion Merc F1 should have given Rosberg Junior a one year contract for 2015 and then signed a pre-agreement for The Incredible Hulk for to race for Brackley in 2016.
      The thing is, Rosberg Junior is the present, but The Incredible Hulk is the future. Of a World Championship………….
      Since Merc F1 have ignored Hulky, I reckon by 2016 either Macca or Ferrari will swoop for him. In either case it would be a good fit: Hulky is hungry, motivated, mentally strong, has a superb technique particularly in slippery conditions and he hits peaks on a regular, consistent basis.
      Actually, is it possible The Incredible Hulk could be heading for Maranello or Woking next year???????? Go on Luca or Ron, Hulky boy is yer man!

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        why does everyone try and big up hulkenberg? if he was anywhere as good as some people think why is it that he has been totally overlooked by the bigger/better teams? they aren’t stupid.

      2. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        To be honest, am waiting to see how this season unfolds before I can confidently rate The Incredible Hulk as future champion.

        So far this season we have seen Perez give Hulk a couple of problems.

  13. AlexD says:

    Now this is bad news for Alonso. I bet Alonso will leave F1 with 2 titles. Ferrari will give him no chances to win his third crown. Merc is done, Red Bull is done and McLaren is not a safe bet at all. It is not about his relationship with Ron, it is about having the best chance to win another title.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I don’t get the Alonso to McLaren rumours – even he he did go there it’s not they’re producing more championship winning cars than Ferrari these days…

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        And also Ron and Nando are best mates, aren’t they? No grudges or anything!

      2. Random 79 says:

        It’s amazing what adverse circumstances can do for a difficult relationship :)

      3. C63 says:

        Ah, but you are overlooking the arrival of Honda. Everyone knows they will sweep up in their first season back after a 7(?) year break :-)

      4. Random 79 says:

        My sarcasm detector just pinged again :)

      5. jake says:

        My money is on Honda building a good PU, it may even be close to the Merc on efficiency, power etc. I do not think it will be superior, certainly not so superior that it can drag that dog of a McLaren up to the front.
        Any bets on Red Bull/Honda 2016…

  14. John says:

    I wouldn`t write off Rosberg yet. Hamilton is likely to have a brain fart at some point. Yes he has strung a few races together, yes he has been in a better place mentally, yes he has been consistent, but the old Hamilton that throws the car away is still in there somewhere. Hard to believe he is suddenly that mature and grown up.
    Its only early in the season and there is plenty chasing him, I think he is peaking early and will fizzle out by the end of the season.

    1. James says:

      I believe that to be highly unlikely. Hamilton has been much improved since 2012, although he will inevitably make some mistake at some stage. Rosberg has already made mistakes in Bahrain and China. Also, the “clear the air” talks after Bahrain as well…what was that about?

    2. Ed Bone says:

      I think Hamilton’s brave decision to move to Merc in the first place is really paying dividends, as he has the freedom to really express himself.

      He’s been better prepared than in any previous season, and as a result I see him going all the way.

      His better fuel management and battling tactical races show just how good his driving really is, and puts paid to the lie that he is just a raw pace pole-grabber, without brains or strategy.

      The most talented, mature and complete driver on the grid, and all without the emotional prop of number one status (in any team).

      The only other driver I currently rate as having similar potential is Ricciardo, definitely one to watch.

      1. John says:

        I don`t see that Lewis has better fuel management, its just that he is leading from the front which make sit easier to safe fuel. Big statement to say he is the the most talented, mature and complete driver.
        When he has strung a few world championships together against real competition I am happy to revisit that.
        So far Alonso and Vettel have got the runs on the board.

        He is fast in qualifying and the rest is wishfull thinking.

  15. Phil Glass says:

    Could this be a panic measure by Nico and his manager, after all the Alonso talk of recent days?

    If it is, he should know that any contract in F1 can be binned if Merc or others so desire. He can ask Kimi!

  16. Methusalem says:

    Rosberg might move to Stevenege. Interesting what LH yesterday said about him being hungrier than the “spoilt child” Nico:

    “Let me tell you this: I come from a not-great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment – and Nico grew up with jets and hotels and boats, and all these kinds of things,” Hamilton said. “So the hunger is different.”

    1. Dr Lewis says:

      Heh – I love all these types of comments.

      Have you ever seen a Stevenage Council Estate?

      Or lived in one?

      There are worse I admit but given a childhood in Monaco or Stevenage along with the lets just say ‘family wealth options’ I know where I would choose and which would be the easier route to F1 – talent or not!

  17. Robert says:

    I can’t imagine anyone else in that seat right now. It would have to be someone that could take losing to Lewis, yet still compete against the rest of the field. So not a Vettel, not an Alonso. And preferably German, for the obvious Mercedes tie-in. Discarding Vettel – you have The Hulk, and Sutil as German options (I may be forgetting one). The Hulk is a very good driver – but not clearly better than Rosberg. Sutil is a mid-field driver who will not be in F1 in two years. So you have Rosberg as by far the best choice, as I cannot imagine Vettel and Lewis on the same team, and it working very well.

  18. WENDY says:

    Lewis Hamilton went to Mercedes when they didn,t have a great car no other top drivers were willing to take that risk.Alonso does not deserved the seat lewis will be there for years to come, it,s his time now.

  19. Phil Glass says:

    I guess if Nico doesn’t win here, there’s no way back?

    It’s Ham all the way, and Alonso is waiting with relish to play games with their impressionable young minds!

    Ham and Ros: watch out

  20. Xman says:

    Alonso needs to stay put at ferrari, see how 2015 goes as the PU will cone into line with the rest of the field.

    I think he needs to finish his career at ferrari. Will kimi in the other seat pushing him every race.

    If he jumps ship now he will need at least 1-2 seasons to build a team around him which will make him 34 and only a couple years left for him to drive.

    Staying at ferrari will allow him the best chance to clinch a 3rd wdc. Ferrari will come good at some point, he just needs to be there when it happens.

  21. Seeing Schueys name in a few posts, and now after 5 months’in a coma’does anyone know his true condition, or has Sabine now put a news blackout in place ?

    1. Ben says:

      Google – michael schumacher news – he’s showing signs of recovery.

  22. topo dipericolo says:

    It feels like fair reward for being a good team player. As others have said Rosberg is perhaps not quite in Hamilton’s league in terms of real pace but he may have one advantage…

    Hamilton should be on a huge confidence high but after Barca looked fairly ragged in the post race interviews. He then appeared to ruminate on Rosberg’s superior mental strength which was surprising.

    On the other hand Rosberg appeared calm and vaguely amused when that point was put to him despite having been beaten.

    Whilst Hamilton unquestionably has the edge so on the track it will be interesting to see if Rosberg can push him mentally and Hamilton has essentially invited him to do it. Furthermore the scoring system favours consistency and double points at the end carry their own pressure.

    Conventional wisdom says Hamilton now goes on to win the WDC having won all the races he has started. He will, however, need to keep it together if Rosberg can apply enough pressure. Frankly that is the main interest for the rest of this season and one wishes Nico luck therefore.

    1. Quade says:

      It is Lewis pushing Rosberg off the cliff in the mental stakes. Everything Lewis says is calculated for mental havoc.
      Rosberg has already spun when just a few metres from the finish line in quali and its only bound to get worse as the season goes by.

      I’m happy that all the pre-season “Lewis is stupid” myths have been blown to the back of beyond; instead, Lewis demonstrably understands the car much better than Rosberg.

      it shows in his greater speed, while consuming less fuel; Rosberg having to study Lewis data to improve his speed; and most tellingly, at the last tests, Lewis was helping Mercedes to understand Rosberg’s start issues.

      You are number two when you are paid less and when your teammate is effectively teaching you how to drive.

      1. C63 says:

        +1
        I had forgotten about the last test with Lewis trying to help Rosberg understand his start issues. What was that all about?

      2. Quade says:

        I think it was Mercedes beginning to ease Nico out of the farcical “rivalry” that the press has conjured up. No statement can be more emphatic than asking one “rival”to show another the ropes.

  23. deancassady says:

    That is a boy with nice teeth!

    1. Random 79 says:

      Nice of you to notice I guess…

  24. Bellof says:

    Pilots like Alonso don’t need X worldchampionships to he prove their incredible talent. Look at pilots like Villeneuve, Peterson, Moss,…they are never forgottten in the rankings of the best ever with zero worldchampionship under the belt. On the other hand, think of Vettel with his 4 championships, Button in 2009 with Brawn GP..they deserved it but it’s a completely different perception. Time will tell indeed, but I am convinced that it’s not only the won worldchampionships that count. It’s also the circumstances in which you did (or didn’t..). For Alonso also his period at Ferrari will contribute enormously in the perception of his enormous talent and achievements.

    1. AxelC says:

      But he just said (look one of the previous post on this blog) that he likes people to say how good driver he is. Also it is said (although I cannot confirmed it) that his dream is to have 3 WDC, we all know he is a good driver, but it seem that he needs something else, you can see it easily when he talks.

  25. Kam says:

    Jenson to stay on at Mclaren?

    This has to end. I am a JB fan, but either he is too comfortable, or just not up to scratch any more.

    The team needs a change, and perhaps the Hulk -experianced, but hungry enough.

    1. Goob says:

      Quite right… I can’t stand Button on any level… he is a rolling disaster for MacLaren…

      If doesn’t go, MacLaren are in for a world of hurt.

  26. F1 dingo says:

    Hulk to Ferrari and Kimi back at Mclaren…..hmmmmmm

    1. JD says:

      You, sir, just spoke my mind! McLaren is the team for Kimi to be with and suits his image well IMO.

    2. deancassady says:

      I like it.
      Where does Alonso go?

  27. Sebee says:

    Anyone in Monaco this weekend for at least a second time?

    Is it awesomely insane, tame, or lame? The sound I mean of course. What spot were you watching from?

    How does it compare to GP2 cars if you’ve stayed for the sessions?

    1. Sebee says:

      From the videos I’ve seen so far it sounds like regular daily Monaco traffic sounds same or better – considering what usually drives around those streets. You know…F40s, F50s, Enzos, Lambos, etc.

    2. Sebee says:

      I just saw Thursday GP2 2014 video after the F1 2014 Monaco video…oh me, oh my…how unfortunate. GP2 cars at lower RPM sound better to me. I wonder if the entire GP2 grid will be within 107% of F1 Q1 in Monaco as well.

    3. Sebee says:

      This?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzbJMnW7Eco

      Or That?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPn8tGhR-1c

      I can hear the marbles coming off the tires, the birds, the generator on the yacht. It’s wonderful!

      1. Random 79 says:

        I’m not going to comment on the sound because you know my position on that already, but as I was watching the first video I was thinking that the race director should use some shots like that.

        It really shows the acceleration of the cars which is something that is difficult to convey on TV.

      2. Sebee says:

        It breaks my heart to say this Random.

        GP2 is better than F1.

        It sounds better and for 2s a lap in Monaco, I’ll take the closer racing that doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t.

        I need to refresh my GP2 knowledge. Is there DRS? KERS? Or is it a nice V8 “standard” no gimmicks car? Sounds good. Looks good. Doesn’t blow sunshine in my tail pipe. Does this site have a GP2 section I can upgrade to?

    4. Gaz Boy says:

      I’ve never been to Monte Carlo for the GP but my neighbour has.
      I asked him what his over-riding memory was – he was sitting in the grandstands by Tabac – and he said the humidity and mugginess. He said the circuit felt virtually air-less and he could only admire how the drivers coped 78 odd laps with very little fresh air in their lungs. He said even for the spectators it feels like you’re breathing air the thickness of porridge!
      DC has mentioned this on the BBC – the lack of fresh air at Monte Carlo for the cars, drivers and team personnel. Monaco is almost as tight, constricted and airless as DC’s white jeans….

      1. Sebee says:

        Been twice. Never had an issue with air quality, even with all the air sucking fans.

        Tell me to recall Monaco and first thing I’ll tell you is THX, Dolby Digital Surround – it was nothing compared to being at Monaco under F1′s assault from the front, front the sides, from behind, from below. These new cars sound like a GSXR600 in regular traffic if it stays in first gear, if that.

    5. C63 says:

      @Sebee

      you know when one of your friends finds out their partner is cheating? Of course, at first, you try to be supportive but after a while you get a bit bored by their constant moaning and going on about it. Then eventually you want to scream “shut the #@8k up” – be honest, you must have felt like that. Well……

      1. Sebee says:

        I guess someone screamed “shut the #@8k up” to F1 and these F1 engines, because they sound pathetic.

        Vettel, last champion of real F1.

      2. Random 79 says:

        No need to scream C63.

        With these quiet new power units all you have to do is raise your voice a little :)

    6. Thompson says:

      The cars sound fine – watched FP1 on sky – maybe it’s the barriers the fact it’s a street circuit but the sound on Tv sounds fine. The onboard sounds pretty racey actually.

  28. shri says:

    - Rosberg should be happy. Established & respected in team. It is now upto him to delivery & win + he does not have any alternative top team spots available
    - Merc perspective – pairing doing well with stability. No reason to break the current set-up, bring another top driver and invite potential trouble
    - This could however change if suddenly Hamilton wins everything and Nico bites the dust. We may seen a trailer of this with 4 consecutive wins for Hamilton

  29. Rob says:

    Keep Rosberg to keep Hamilton happy and(relatively) stable.

    Putting Alonso or Hulkenberg there would risk destabilising him to the point of bring his bull dog to races again.

    I’d rather watch Alonso wrestle a sub par Ferrari as he has the past few seasons than to have dominates in a Red Bull or Merc.

    It is a shame that he’ll likely not win another title though. That his peers and most expert pundits to a man recognize him as the best driver of his generation will count for much when history look back at his record.

    I can’t believe that Mclaren would not take him back over Button if the chance presented itself, or that Alonso would refuse the chance of a Honda Mclaren seat over risking another fruitless year at Ferrari.

    (His fast lap in FP2 yesterday was just stunning to watch.)

    1. Sebee says:

      I’m OK with that.

      1. He won his 2 against Schumi.
      2. It’s all he deserves in my view. P1 trophy in his pad for Singapore 2008 – bookend for WDCs.

      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2014/01/09/massa-suspects-alonso-knew-crashgate-plan/

      Funny…after getting 2 up on the greatest F1 German, either another German or a German engine comes between Alonso and a WDC. Alonso being stopped is one positive in this Mercedes domination.

  30. Franco says:

    Rosberg is a good driver maybe not great but deserves the contract extension…. Let’s not forget he won more races than Hamilton last year.

    In reference to Alonso I’m hopeful Ferrari will replace with him Hulkenberg…… Id love to see 27 back on the Ferrari.

  31. mem says:

    yes alonso is a mug cos they lost the title in the last race a few times by a few points. they seem to have fallen back the last few years but how it that his fault.
    i dont recall alonso saying anything about mercedes or leaving or missing out on the drive.
    i guess in the high speed news world the punters have to race forward with imagined events.
    As for the mercedes thing . it makes perfect sense that you sign a driver that will win the race if his team mate falters.

  32. D Vega says:

    A wise move by Mercedes, but a peculiar one from Rosberg. He has relegated himself to a number two driver for two more years. By now it should be obvious to him that he is inferior to Hamilton. He couldn’t even beat on weekends that he was suppossedly quicker than lewis. Nico has severely over estimated his worth.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Peculiar why? What better option did he have?

  33. Baghetti says:

    Could it be that the timing of this announcement is driven by the stir that was unintentionally caused by the clumsy statements of Zetsche as if Alonso were to be perhaps the best driver in F1? Maybe the team wants to avoid that ROS goes all or nothing already at this stage of the season?

  34. Arya says:

    James,

    As much as I agree to the fact that Michael had a huge role to play in Ferrari’s resurgence and then domination, aren’t we talking about 2 different eras in F1?
    Schumacher was in an era when they could test continuously throughout the year. Schumacher literally used live out of his garage and help build the car by testing it tirelessly. By the time Fernando reached his peak, testing ban had already tied the hands of drivers. It has been the age of simulators since, something Ferrari has failed to muster.

  35. Bert Puttocks says:

    Is Rosberg doing good job, he really should be 5 nil down to Lewis this season?

    He is only in the picture because of a DNF, Rosberg is not Lewis’s biggest threat it is another DNF.

    1. Random 79 says:

      As it stands Rosberg is not only Hamilton’s biggest threat, he’s also his only threat.

      Hamilton has the edge right now, but don’t discount Rosberg just yet.

      Mind you, if Hamilton beats him in his home town that might do the trick ;)

  36. joe_in_Miami says:

    The drama of today’s once-top motor racing competition is that you do not only have to be a great driver, but you’ve got to be lucky. Lucky to be on the seat that gets the blessing and light “sotto-tavola” blessing from the owners of the spectacle. Alonso is an spectacular driver, but, has made wrong choices. Must be a thing of the Spaniards. The exact same thing happened to Carlos Sainz in WRC.
    In the old days you could have a car that was slightly off the pace but with good hands you would take it to P1. Today it is all about money. One team finishes 5th and the next season they eat everyone else alive with constant P1-P2s, i.e. GP Brawn (what a joke). One company starts sponsoring 80% of the FIA championships and they get all the help they need to make sure they win one after another. If the tyres have to be changed in the middle of the season, so be it. If we make yellow flags look green so be it. Mercedes threatens to leave the competition and they get an extra illegal stint of testing no one else does. What happens the next year? P1-P2 all the way. Of course they are intelligent enough not to make it so clear (except maybe Brawn GP).

    Is there anyone out there that genuinely believes this competition is not manipulated?

    Alonso will win again if he stays with Ferrari and it is turn again for the Italians to win, i.e. when all the political and financial stars align. This may or may not be while he is still a racing driver, so we will see.

    If Bernie believes it makes show for the circus to have William win he will make it happen, even if you put one of his daughters behind the wheel.

    1. James Clayton says:

      “In the old days you could have a car that was slightly off the pace but with good hands you would take it to P1.”

      You still can. There’s just not any cars right now that are just ‘slightly off the pace’.

  37. German Samurai says:

    Something just occurred to me.

    Why would you suddenly re-sign Rosberg? He’s not going anywhere.

    Two things.

    A) Keep Hamilton in line. If Rosberg was for instance a teammate with Button he’d probably have 5/5 wins. It’s sending a message that we think Rosberg is nearly as good as you Lewis and capable enough to win a championship if you aren’t in the team.

    Stops any prima donna behaviour like rocking up late for P1 in its tracks.

    or

    B) They re-negotiated the terms of the contract making him an effective number two that must obey all team instructions.

    He’ll get his chance to win races if he can out qualify the rock star and get to the first corner in the lead, but it seems doubtful.

    I hope it’s A.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Could possibly be both, but neither really makes sense to me.

      If it’s A then why would Hamilton care who they sign? He’s already beating Rosberg so while Mercedes might feel like they’ll want to fire him for whatever reason it’s unlikely that they would. Don’t forget that while Mercedes are currently blowing away the rest of the field it might not be that way in 2015 and then maybe they’ll find that Hamilton’s current edge will come in handy in securing the 2015 titles.

      Besides, Mercedes knew who he was when they signed him – If they think he’s a prima donna then it’s not like he became one overnight.

      If it’s B then that’s basically what Rosberg is doing already. He’s challenging Hamilton and keeping him honest but he’s not being a fool about it and they’re getting both cars home. I think telling Rosberg explicitly that he is the #2 driver might actually make things worse.

      Personally I think it’s actually the opposite of B:

      Sign Rosberg early to remove any doubt that he’ll be replaced so he can go out and do what he does best without any extra pressure.

  38. Thompson says:

    Lol….

    Merc have made a very sensible and wise choice in re-signing Rosberg. Who is a much better pilot than many of you are willing to give him credit for.

    Frankly I’m surprised McLaren have not approached him – he may not have the ability to set a car up is his only weakness, too much talk of him ‘studying’ Hamilton’s data from my observations.

    He is better than Hulkenburg who in recent races is getting worked over by Perez or has no one noticed.

    He is better than Alonso at this moment in time and can lose with grace. (look at Alonso’s history with team mates from Trulli uptill present) – watch his drives. I’ve said it a couple times now but if not for Hamilton the German dominance of F1 would continue with him. He is driving really well

    Hamilton is delivering on the promise he showed when he 1st stepped up to F1 – but Rosberg his more than upto the task of living with him without having to resort to disruption/politics etc.

    Vettel currently has his hands full at RB – but frankly there is no one better than Rosberg att.

    Both he and Lewis are blowing away the field right now, when was the last time you could say that in F1 – dominate car or not.

    Good move Merc and may the best man win.

  39. Kristchen says:

    I am quite surprised that so many people are actually brushing Nico aside this way.

    Nico has been very close to Hamilton in the Poles, and if he can fix his starts, he and Lewis will be at each other’s necks in actual race time, more and more.

    And why Wouldn’t Mercedes renew Nico?

    He is German, he’s been a loyal part of the build up of the team, and he’s a very good driver, good enough to challenge for the title, and not be illogically be pushed aside like some think around here.

    1. Random 79 says:

      “He is German, he’s been a loyal part of the build up of the team, and he’s a very good driver, good enough to challenge for the title, and not be illogically be pushed aside like some think around here.”

      I know the argument you were trying to make, but you just described Schumi as well.

      Nevertheless I agree with you. Even if Rosberg comes second to Hamilton in every single race it’s usually going to be a very, very close second.

  40. Dave Aston says:

    Perfect teammate; smart and fast, technically astute, but overall not quite in Hamilton’s league. I think it’s a good move to sign him again.

  41. sami says:

    There is absolutely no reason for Mercedes to hire Alonso when they already have high quality drivers like Lewis and Nico in the team. Unless they want to turn successful team into ruins like Alonso has done with Ferrari.

    1. justafan says:

      It was Renault mate, not Ferrari.

  42. chris says:

    Let me see if I’ve got this straight:
    Rosberg’s employer, while negotiating with Rosberg for a new contract, lauds a posible rival for Rosberg’s job. And, Rosberg signs the next day! Sounds like a successful negotiating strategy to me.

    1. Torchwood Five says:

      Interesting angle you bring to the table.

  43. Rob Mckune says:

    Rosberg’s a fantastic driver, but he’ll never get 2 shine alongside Lewis. The team will give him every chance but Lewis will always find that extra tenth. I hope I’m wrong but he’s in danger of becoming another Barrichello and driving his whole career as a number 2.

  44. Sam Torrens says:

    People having a go at Nico. He’s only 3 points adrift, and has finished two races hot on the tail of Lewis. He came second on both occasions, but he is pushing Lewis hard and driving well. Very deserving of the drive.

  45. Paul Mc says:

    Very interested in the dynamic within the team especially with those quotes from Lewis’ interview about Nico. I don’t really see why Lewis would stoke the flames now he is ahead in the championship and has beaten Nico in one on ones in the last few races.

    Just like in McLaren when Jenson and Lewis were best buds, I can see these two at loggerheads at some point it just remains to see how ruthless Nico is. So far he has played the best pal No 2 and been gracious in defeat. How long will that last I wonder…

  46. Paige says:

    Question:

    Why should a team that has won every pole and every race this year- and come 1-2 in every race except one, in which they retired one car because of a lost cylinder- change anything, especially their driving lineup?

    You can be assured that Hamilton and Rosberg are getting everything out of the car. Mercedes is not two seconds quicker than the other cars at full throttle, but these two managed to pull away by two seconds a lap in 10 laps at Bahrain. You”re not going to find any drivers out there who could do better than that. I seriously doubt that Alonso would overwhelm Rosberg on pace.

    There is no reason to change anything.

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