Reaction to Alonso’s howler in Monaco
Scuderia Ferrari
Reaction to Alonso’s howler in Monaco
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 May 2010   |  10:42 am GMT  |  84 comments

There has been an interesting reaction in Italy to Fernando Alonso’s accident, which put him out of contention for today’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Alonso: Feeling the pressure? (Darren Heath)

Alonso cut a dark, brooding figure yesterday during qualifying, having sidelined himself with an accident during free practice. His chassis was destroyed as the suspension pierced the tub. Spare cars are banned and the rules state that he has to start today’s race from the pit lane in a car made up from a spare monocoque.

Alonso lost control of his car at Massanet corner, as he braked from 170mph down to around 60mph for the left hander. He got off line and smashed into the barriers,
“It was my fault, ” he said. “I locked the left front wheel and the car went into the guard rail. Perhaps the hard tyres needed another lap to get to the optimal temperature and perhaps the track wasn’t at its best. It’s a shame. With the car I had I’ve missed an opportunity.

“But I want to get into the top ten and get some points. The numbers say that usually there are 8-10 retirements here and we need to be right there picking up the pieces.”

Alonso had just set the fastest time of the session to that point when he crashed.

In Italy the media has reacted by questioning whether the pressure of carrying Ferrari’s hopes is getting to him. They have also highlighted the absurdity of the spare car rule, which means that the public doesn’t get to see one of the stars they came for.

The Italian press put the accident in the context of other Alonso errors this season. In Gazzetta dello Sport, they pull him up for spinning at the start in Melbourne, going out in Qualifying 1 in Malaysia after misreading the weather conditions and of course the jump start in China.

“This is the fourth error in six races,” says the paper. “But he denies that behind it all lies the super-pressure of having to win for Ferrari.”

Il Giornale is stronger, “In one moment of folly the fake champion has burned months and months of work of the technicians from Maranello. This is the most serious aspect of an absurd incident, which compromises the whole season.”

While Corriere dello Sport’s headline says it all, “Alonso – what a disaster!”

All make reference to the rules preventing the use of spare cars. Until three years ago, Alonso would have been able to jump into the spare and be in the show, rather than skulking around the garages. Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali says that he is going to raise the issue with the team’s association, FOTA.

Like many rules in F1, the ban on carrying a third chassis was introduced to save costs. By not transporting a spare car and the mechanics to service it, the teams save around £350,000 a season, according to team managers I sounded out.

On days like this the fans are entitled to ask whether that is worth it.

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No one seems to have addressed the point of why was Alonso allowed to start the race in the first plce – HE DID NOT QUALIFY!

OK, so they got rid of the 107% rule in qualifying but have they also got rid of the need to actually turn up for it?

Surely if you don’t take part in qualifying you haven’t qualified to take part in the race.


fa is the guy, I am sitting looking at the results and he went from 24 to 7 postion (later 6th after schumacher incident) This should be enough to show his credentials. I agree that the racing has become boring as there are less or no stops for fuel and tyres. Its just people going around in circles. Much better when you increase the intangiables of stops (pit crew problem, stalling, fuel mishap, tyre nut jam)The show is a much better watch.


Bring back spare cars. I loved the sight of drivers sprinting back to the pits after an early crash.


Back in the not so old days, the spare car was used to blood drivers, engineers and mechanics. Often one of the main drivers would end up taking the setup from the spare.

Direct cost is minimal it appears, but the benefit to personnel and fans alike seems substantial.


The problem is obviously that the car is not fast enough. They spent much of last year focused on this year’s machine, were bullish coming in to the season and yet is still nowhere close to RBR. If someone is feeling the sword around his neck then its got to be Dominicali not Alonso.


Is it just me? if cost is so important, why not make Monaco the one off race where they can bring a spare?

Many WC crashed here…

Anyway, it was a good recovery drive and made for a good show.

Check out Andrew Benson’s blog at the BBC site for a different take, though.


Erm, save £350,000 ?

Where do you think the spare chassis and all the associated spare parts to build it up came from on Saturday evening? Scotch Mist?

Yes the teams take less people but no less spare parts. It’s the gearbox and engine rule that prevents the ‘T’ car from being a viable option not the lack of spare parts or reduction in freight costs.

Only the fully built spare car is missing from the garage, not all the parts to build it hidden round the back of the garage.Do you really think the bosses flying private jet everywhere is saving money?

Get a life, get informed!! If your on the outside you know nothing of the real inside.


The inside where you obviously aren’t? Its the teams themselves saying that not having a built up T-car saves 350,000, and I’d be more inclined to believe them than you.



only this and the china jump start.

thats it. 2 too many really but thats it. melbourne was not his fault. his rear wheel was clipped. he had a driver squeezing him on his left. he had no where to go.

italian press over reacting massively.

Aussie F1 Fan

It was his fault, he turned in on button when button was already there, as if he was entitled to the position & button should move out of the way.


BS take a look at it again and tell me where he could go.

keep with reality dude. talk sense rather than cr*P ‘like he was entitled to the position’

we are talking about world class drivers not idiots. none of them are like that.

button was too far back, it was a racing incident. cars too close on a damp circuit. alonso did not weave. end of the day he can take what line he likes when he was clearly ahead, what made it harder tho was michael on the left. which only pat symonds pointed out- and pat was right. where would fernando go.

Not fernando fault end of


What, “driver crashes at Monaco Shocker”.?

There was little on his mistakes when he topped all the timesheets up to that point.

“fake champion”??? I imagine that relates to when Alonso was in the Renault and beat Schumacher.

How boring


wow, I like that he is feeling the pressure.

Not a bad race from Fernando huh?

These italians….

Frankie Allen

I am not sure whether the pressure is getting to Alonso, or he is just generating that pressure himself by trying too hard, either way it certainly looks to be having an impact.

Some of the things he has done this season, Alonso would be one of the last drivers you would believe of. We might even get a few more this season, though I don’t see this continuing indefinitely. He does seem to get irate with the Italian press, but he’s on a loser there. They won’t give up even if he is successful and once they smell blood, very little will hold them back.


Alonso is not god under pressure and finally the Italian press see his true colours. Fake Champion he is indeed.


Funny that when this happens to the Guys In Back nobody whines.

But let it happen to a Contender and suddenly its a Big Deal.

What a crock of you-know-what!

And its completely idiotic to moan that “we’re not going to get to see our Big Star shine!”

What you’re going to see is the Big Star drive like a maniac, slicing through the field like theres no tomorrow.

People *remember Schumi’s drive. Maybe after today they’ll remember *Alonso’s!


Q: Who said Alonso is a “fake champion”?

A: A fake journo.


So we are clear, these are not my words, but those of the Italian writer in that paper


Eat your words guys

he drove an awesome race – Schuey got him on the last corner though.

After BoreRain ist been a brilliant season.


To me he is a one time world champion. Kimi was clearly the best in 2005 but was let down by his car. Even in 2006 he only won because Schui had that brake down at the most crucial time.

That said he is exciting to watch.


I too was disappointed when Schumi lost the 2006 title to Alonso, but fact is both had engine failures in critical parts of final part if 2006 season. So that’s not the real reason.


Same thing happened do Mark Webber at suzuka last year and nobody was complaining about it.

“the absurdity of the spare car rule” why is it so absurd?

For me it´s fine two drivers per team, one car per driver, it´s as simple as that, as long as the rules are the same for everybody it´s fine by me.

Absurd was some years ago i think on Spa with a big accident, some teams with both cars destroyd and only one spare care for one of their two drivers.

Many times drivers from the smaller teams have been starting from the pit-lane, this time his a big name so they start question everything about the rules.

I agree that yesterday we lost a chance of watching Alonso on quali, but today we might have the chance to watch him coming through the field and see some overtaking in Monaco.



Let us start a list of “Howlers”, then sure Alonso’s crash was one of them – but at the top of the list is Lewis shutting his engine down in Brazil after going off twice, then losing the championship to Kimi. Now that’s a real howler…


I think the Italian press is being ridiculously harsh here. Alonso is a genius, no one can dispute that. Even his biggest detractors have to admit that some of the things he has done with a steering wheel in his hands amount to a huge talent. We all make mistakes, and it’s season 1 at a new and legendary team. Keep the faith and wait for the season to unfold. There are more questions about Felipe for me.


Very interesting insight James, thanks. However I think the italian press are too harsh, he has made mistakes, so have Ferrari, but surely this is also because he has to push the limit so hard in a car that isn’t quite on the pace.

No doubt they wouldn’t be any happier if he left more margin for error and ran at a regular 5/6th place. He’s in 2nd place in the championship, they should get a sense of perspective.


fernando. the italian press is telling it like it is. The world championship years 2005-06, are way behide us. You can’t survive just on those wonderfull years. You need to raise your game. Because the begining of the season has being second class. Are you second class? Where is that magic? I don’t see it anywhere i look.


“The Fake Champion”?! seriously Il Giornale? I dont think you can win 2 back to back championships in F1 and be called a fake champion. As much as i hate Alonso he does have innate speed. he wouldn’t be where he is otherwise.

as for the ban on the 3rd chassis it is a rule that everyone has to live with and knowing that some drivers are able to push to the max and stay on the road is reason enough. it also gives opportunity to see the field get mixed up a bit 😛

richard hughes

very interesting. I don’t agree that the pressure is getting to FA – in fact, i am guessing that he will have a very good race today and will be a major factor in the driver championship come the end of the season.

all this from someone who doesn’t like FA that much.

The real story should be how Massa is folding under the pressure of FA.


Alonso is cracking under pressure. In 2005 and 2006 he had the best car so that he could just cruise and collect to the championship.

Now when he has to fight for the championship in the second best car, he is losing his mind left and right.

Did he really think they gave out points for FP3?


A fake champion. What a ridiculous and over the top reaction. Were these things said when Schuey made mistakes. Warm up lap in Shanghai rings a bell. For me it shows how hard fernando is pushing. Agree a 3rd car should be available, but the italian media reaction is harsh, and out of context. When a wins a WC for them, he should refuse to comment for those publications

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