F1 Winter Break
Ferrari bids farewell to unloved F2012 car
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Dec 2012   |  10:13 am GMT  |  205 comments

Ferrari’s traditional end of season sign-off, the Ferrari World Finals, has been the scene of some triumphant scenes in the last decade, but not today.

Over 15,000 Ferrari fans are in Valencia to see the last rounds of Ferrari’s own racing series and to see a demonstration run of the F1 car.

Fernando Alonso will attend the event, but there is not much to celebrate after the team missed the drivers’ title by 3 points, having enjoyed an advantage of over 40 points after the summer break. He will drive the unloved F2012 car for the last time.

Next season he will drive car number 3 in the world championship, with Felipe Massa in car 4, according to the FIA entry list published yesterday. (NB Close inspection of the list shows that the HRT team has not entered next year’s championship, so there will be just 22 cars)

The team can draw many positives from the 2012 season on one level: they beat McLaren in both drivers’ and constructors’ championships despite having a demonstrably slower car all year.

But they finished second in both championships and know that the driver’s title was within their grasp; with better work from the technical department and better luck at the start of the Belgian and Japanese Grands Prix, they could have won it.

Team principal Stefano Domenicali has not attended the event in Valencia, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Domenicali was at an event in Madrid on Friday and explained the background to Ferrari asking the FIA for clarification on Sebastian Vettel’s overtake on Jean-Eric Vergne in Brazil, which sent scaremongering headlines around the world last week of a threat to Vettel’s title.

Bernie Ecclestone has described the episode as a “joke” and there are some suggestions in the Gazzetta dello Sport this weekend that relations between Ferrari and Alonso have possibly been “frayed” a bit by the episode, which originated in Spain,

“It was incumbent on us to ask the Federation for a clarification, given everything that was going round on the Internet,” said Domenicali. “We had no intention of belittling the merit of the title winner, but it was right to have the matter completely cleared up. The FIA has replied and we have noted their answer and now consider the matter to be closed.”

“In the championship that’s just ended, we definitely had the best driver, the best reliability and a level of excellence when it comes to the work on the pit wall and during the pit stops. What was lacking was the car, despite the fact we staged a recovery after the very complicated start. We also lacked a bit of luck, especially with the incidents at Spa and Suzuka. That’s why I’d give Ferrari a 7.”

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo spoke to the team in Maranello at the end of last week, trying to rally them after a season of coming second.

“There were at least two cars, the McLaren and the Red Bull, that were better than ours,” he said.”Therefore having managed to get ahead of at least one of them in the Constructors’ and keeping Fernando in the fight right to the end, was very significant and I wish to thank you for that.”

He asked every employee to raise their game, “by a millimetre” in order to guarantee that they build a car capable of winning from the first round in 2013.

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TO be honest I like neither Ferrari nor Alonso (for many different reasons), but I have some degree of respect to them, and I must say they did a terrific job this year. Yes, the "end" was a bitter one, but I am almost sure that the inner "strength" of this team is so high (even higher than of Schumi-era Ferrari) that they will be able to come even stronger from that.

Congratulation to them.

BTW, I wonder how McLaren's season sign-off went (or will go... if at all they have such post season team-factory gathering)... to have the fastest car, but be unreliable, do tons of mistakes and be beaten by both RBR and Ferrari (and to lose Hamilton on the way) must be very painful.


"or will go… if at all they have such post season team-factory gathering"

Ron was seen petting a "Cosworth" and poofing Hamilton in a "M-Ulator"


In his interview with DC on the grid in Brazil, Whitmarsh was saying exactly that and that he needed to stay humble because they had the fastest car but did not manage to be in the hunt for either title.

Funnily enough, Ferrari would have won the WDC had Lewis Hamilton gone to win in Singapore!


The car should get some 'love' for it's cracking reliability all year. It's a spirited, grizzled warrior of a car!


Your right...but it was Pig Ugly from the get-go and the fact that it was also so slow out of the box surely just added insult to injury?

I think it was a good season for Ferrari, McLaren on the other hand have much to regret.



But it does have a bit of that look to it (the car). As you say it was reliable, not too fast, but tenacious and a trustworthy companion.

Almost like those big medieval warriors' horses:)


Haha, I love that description of the car. 🙂 Seems it somehow goes along well with Alonso's character of a "spirited, grizzled warrior", but it may be that perhaps Alonso made it look that way, since machine will only get you so far. How you fight with it is up to you.

I guess no one would call Massa's Ferrari a "spirited, grizzled warrior of a car" if Alonso never drove it. 🙂


The end was fantastic. In a car rated 3rd fastest on the grid, Ferrari came second.

There were times when the car was slower also than the Lotus.

Ferrari have much to celebrate, Alonso's fantastic drives which lifted the car beyond what they could reasonably expect. The second part of the season saw a resurgence from Massa that had to be seen to be believed.

Yes of course to win the WDC would have been better, but Ferrari are aware that there is only one champion each year!

Now Macca - there is a team who might have huge regrets. They really could have pushed RB, and perhaps won the WDC. They should have beaten Ferrari, but let themselves down.


Speed (taking into account the whole season):

1st McLaren

2nd Red Bull

3rd Ferrari


1st Ferrari

2nd Red Bull

3rd McLaren

It's no surprise how the constructors ended up taking the above into account; nor the drivers in truth.


I have to say Ferrari were very unlucky to lose this year. Fernando basically only did 18 races and lost by 3 points with Ferrari being very good on everything apart from the actual performance. I know u can say vettel was unlucky with reliability but that's his own teams fault which u couldn't really say about Ferrari. Also I think if u took the Ferrari of brazil back to the Ferrari of Australia the brazil car would lap it atleast twice. Back then it was a complete dog that was very hard on its tyres. They improved it as much as any car has done probably in the last 10 years from the moment it first hit the track. Maybe 3 seconds faster. But still at the end ultimately not enough.


On the car, at the start of the year it looked visibly rubbish. Later in the year though, I think people are over-hyping the lack of performance and Alonso's "out-performing" the car, especially considering Massa's performances towards the end.

In reliability and pit-stops though, Ferarri were near flawless. From memory they had a rubbish stop at Austin, but it wouldn't have made a difference. They also made a bad strategy call at Canada, trying the one stop and losing points instead of just following McLaren and possibly bringing it in for a 2nd place. If Vettel had done the same and followed him in for a 3rd, there's 3 points more to Alonso. Even near the end when Vettel made his stop, they left Alonso out there to just take the beating.

All that said though, I think Ferrari beating McLaren in the constructors' really highlights just how poorly McLaren did this year, especially with Hamilton (who should have been fighting for the WDC). The car was quick, and Hamilton was near flawless all year. Button had a big rough patch, but at other times was right on it too. But they gave Hamilton a car seemingly made of balsa wood, and performed pit stops with blindfolds on. Not all credit goes to McLaren for losing that spot though, as obviously Ferarri had to have been performing well enough to take it, and that they certainly did.


[mod] An alternator failure is the teams reliability. Their engine mana fractured is part of the team. Simply, vettel had no retirements due to other teams actions. Alonso had two retirements, both, nothing to do with Ferrari. Maybe second was alonso, doesn't matter. That's the facts, that's the truth.


Come on!?

Did Vettel finish 20 GPs?


Vettel also only completed 18 races due to two races being ruined with alternator issues.


Yes, but that was technical reliability. Which is basically Renault's fault (or possibly RB's for the way they mapped the engine). Either way, Alonso's DNF's were caused completely by a third party. He would have scored more than 3 points at Spa if not for Grosjean's flying Lotus. No points in Japan wouldn't have mattered.


Vettel competed in all 20 but retired twice due to mechanical failures. He did many laps in both races.

Alonso twice didn't make it through the first turn so he didn't even turn a lap in 2 races. One clearly not his fault, the second is about 50/50. Oddly, both times by a Renault from behind and likely podium places.

But hey, that's racing for ya.


The second one, although a racing incident, was Alonso's fault entirely.


Yeah but racing hard then retire is worse becUse you take life out of the engines for nothing, with only 8 engines a seasons if i knew id retire in a few races id rather it be on the first lap to aave engine life, what about that stupid HRT costing Vettel points in malaysia and texas???


I wonder what Alonso fans will feel when Vettel replaces him at Ferrari rather than be his teammate?

You can see this scenario happening. Could it be as early as 2015? I see no reason why Ferrari will deliver a world championship winning car next year. Who knows what will happen in 2014 with the rules change. Alonso will get frustrated. Ferrari will feel that may be something needs to change. Vettel will want a new challenge.

Alonso was probably the best driver of 2012, but not by much. He took part in 19 GPs. Most reports I have read place some responsibility at Alonso's shoulders for Japan. Vettel had more bad luck with Valencia and Monza.

Using Donenicali's formula Hamilton only took part in 17 GPs and arrived late at several others such as Spain due to problems beyond his control....

Final point. If what the media is saying is correct that Alonso was pushing for Brazil GP review I believe that this is desperation on his part as he knows that may be Ferrari will never deliver a car capable of winning the world champipnship in the near future.


It is completely beyond me, when people attribute reliability to "Luck", when the team and partners are at fault for this. Luck is where you are innocently taken out, like Alonso at Spa, not alternator issues where Renault were responsible.


So, if YOU were Lucca, you would hire Seb to replace Alonso, right???


Where would Vettel have finished if he'd have driven for Ferrari this year? 4th, 5th. As Coulthard have said several times this year, Alonso is the benchmark.


Second because it's not hard to imagine him out scoring Kimi


" but that’s his own teams fault which u couldn’t really say about Ferrari. "

So building a fast car isn't a team's responsibility?


The alternator failures were not Red Bull's fault. There were 9 failures across Renault, RB & Caterham.


I wouldn't divert the blame quite so easily. The team makes the final choice for every part that goes on their car, including their engine supplier, because they are ultimately responsible. They QC every part they receive before allowing them to be installed.


At the end of the day, it was a "team" fault. Unlike Alonso at Spa, where everything was out of his/Ferrari's control. If Alonso is to blame for Japan, Vettel is to blame for Malaysia/Brazil.


Adam - They have their methods of inspecting and they dyno and they do their own changes to the tune. Most importantly RB chooses Renault and would be considered a Partner, not just another Vendor.


No they don't.RB and McLaren don't strip down engines and check them before installation.


Alonso's Japan exit was his own making - much like Vettel's first lap incident with Senna in Brasil was mostly Vettel's fault.


“There were at least two cars, the McLaren and the Red Bull, that were better than ours,”

It must really hurt McLaren to finish behind Ferrari in both Champioships despite having a better car than Ferrari, according to Mr Montezemolo. At least Red Bull and Vettel were better than Ferrari. McLaren should have been too. It's strange that they squandered such a chance in 2012. I read on another site that McLaren had the fastest car in 2012 (in 11 races out of 20). Only reliability issues and operational errors cost them the title, it would seem. Will McLaren learn from this and mount a stronger campaign next year or will it be Vettel against Alonso all over again? What do you think, friends?


McLaren's failure to finish second was their own fault, nobody elses. The McLaren may have been faster but it clearly wasn't better. No matter how fast your car, if you don't finish the race you can't score points.


The McLaren didn't look much better when the Ferrari's were driving right around them in Japan, Korea & India.


Oh please!!! Don´t make Massa look like he is the second coming of Senna now. Neither of the 2 Ferrari had a chance to win the US GP. Vettel and Hamilton were in a league of their own. The HRT can´t get off the track only because Vettel wants it. Vettel has to deal with slow cars just like anyone else does it. What is this new obssession with Massa now? I ask because I see it all the time in many comments. Massa had a chance in 2008. He couldn´t win. Are we going to blame Hamilton? We can´t blame Ferrari. Massa got all the help he wanted. If he couldn´t beat Hamilton then, he can´t beat Alonso now


Massa lost the title in Singapore, when he fell innocent victim of Alonso's infamous crashgate stunt. Hungary didn't help much either, when his engine went booom three laps from the flag.


Maybe you didn´t watch the race in the US. Lewis, in a brilliant performance,chased Vettel during the entire race. Later he overtook Vettel to win the race. Alonso was way behind both of them because his car was not at the same level. And it is a race like that one what makes me think that Vettel is not as great as a lot of people think he is. I think it shows that when Vettel can´t open a 15 seconds lead it´s very hard for him to keep control of the race to the finish line


That's Lewis in the fastest car in F1 this year when it worked. Faster than the Red Bull at ~70% of races this term. So lets not make more of his DRS / HRT assisted overtake. Truth be told McLaren should have won both titles this year, but their car wasn't reliable enough. Red Bull had slightly more reliability which helped them, Ferrari's car was bullet proof and let them pick up points everytime McLaren and RBR hit issues. With cars not breaking down this year Lewis would have won, I have no doubt; but he would have won in the fastest car, Seb 2nd (in the 2nd fastest car) and Alonso third in er.. the third fastest car. So no real difference to what Vettel did last year, or Alonso at Renault, Schumi at Ferrari etc.


The RB was consistently slower in S1 than McLaren all weekend, yet Vettel would've won the race but for an HRT blocking him. The McLaren fell away in S3, closed back up again in S1 & S2 was DRS. Whilst Vettel may or may not be a great, Austin where Vettel kept a faster car behind him for the majority of the race despite a massive DRS zone was not the race to judge it.


Massa was just as quick as the leaders at several points during the race. The Ferrari was quick.


Compare that with Alonso who is able to soak the pressure from lap 1 all the way to the flag at Hockenheim, and not from 1, but from 2 different cars.

But Alonso showed that all the way back in 2005 at Imola in that legendary duel with Schumacher.

That performance was something out of this world.

And Schumacher came with something like 3 seconds per lap faster car at that point.

I remember Alonso talking after the race how he was always keeping an eye on backmarkers to make sure he overtakes them at the right place, where Schumacher won't be able to jump him.

Compare that to Vettel. Not really much to say. Vettel also managed to hit few cars and a trackside objects as soon as he fell into the pack. Those last few races showed just how better Alonso was doing under pressure then Vettel. Sadly, Vettel had a car fast enough to compensate for all of his screwups.


Just read it twice. Are Ferrari embarrassed that they asked the question to the FIA?


The part of the Montezemolo speech which James has overlooked would have clarified this point for you.

As reported on Gazzettta.it, the Fiat boss said the Ecclestone oubursts were "typical of a man his age, but that folks that old should probably not be running world sports organisations".

I did not pick up any sense of embarrassment there. Just another soupcon of poorly digested anger.


LdM is 65. The retirement age in many countries.He should take the hint.


They could have said 'The matter is closed' without asking the FIA, but they were hoping against hope they might get a result in their favour.

They could have done it by themselves by checking out YouTube carefully.

Clarification? Pffft.


I like how Ferrari stated they didn't want to belittle Vettel with the pass matter and at the same time take one more opportunity in the "apology" to say how they feel Alonso deserved the title.

The whole thing is low brow and has me hoping for a no championships period for Ferrari to humble their cockiness.


'The whole thing is low brow and has me hoping for a no championships period for Ferrari to humble their cockiness.'

It is really sad that so many fans think this way. But it's no surprise. Hopefully Ferrari can become more sympathetic in the future. Since they sacked Kimi they lost credibility with a lot of fans. Now a little more of a humble attitude would help to do the trick.


That´s a good question. But we have to keep in mind there were many controversial moves by Vettel (the crash with Senna, the overtake of Kobashashi,the overtake of Pic)Ferrari only asked about ONE. Maybe they just wanted to make sure the color of the flag in question was green and not yellow and why. They got an answered


None of those incidents were controversial. Senna was a first lap racing incident and kobayashi and pic were overtaken legally.


Sorry but it was FIA´s duty to investigate the crash with Senna the same way they investigated the crash between Hamilton and Hulkenberg. Tell Sky that there was not controversy with the Pic and Kobashsashi overtake because they brought it up. I´m not saying that Vettel was at fault. I´m just pointing out things that were debated because they were not 100% clear.


They are embarrased that they have the best ingredients and yet can't bake the cake.


yep they couldn't take the cake.


Ferrari deserved nothing for their despicable action with Massa's gearbox, to promote Alonso in the penultimate race. Massa is a poodle. He should join a team which wants him to win. As for Lewis going to Mercedes-I'm speechless!


Mate, in fairness, the team gave Massa many chances despite his poor form.. It's give and take situation.


Despicable might be a little harsh.

I'm happy Red Bull did not do it, even if it almost cost Vettel the championship.

The Webber chop at the start could qualify for the term, when it's done to one's team mate.


In many sports you substitute one player for another to give your team the best possible chance if winning. There are always pivotal moments in sport where you need the right player in the right position at the right time to make the winning play. It was strategically brilliant. Had Massa been in contention for the championship then it would never have happened.


You must feel the same regarding the RBR taking Webber's front wing and give it to Vettel, right?


This comment is two years out of date.



As I've already written in a previous post, it's not the same.

The issue I have in regard to your example is that the wing Vettel was given from Webber’s car was related to aerodynamic development. At that point in the Championship, Webber trailed Vettel on points by a significant margin. It seems logical that any team will want to confer an technological advantage to the driver that has the best mathematical chance of moving ahead in the points when the team can provide said driver a better aerodynamic package.

But Ferrari breaking the FIA seal on Massa’s gearbox had nothing to do with car development. They weren’t taking a new gearbox from Massa and giving it to Alonso, giving Fernando a better performing car, they were simply penalising Felipe for a achieving a superior qualifying position. It had zero to do with development. Not only that, every driver behind Massa that qualified on the clean side of the track now found themselves on the dirty side, penalising them as well.

Failing to develop a car and resorting to cynically hobbling a team mate who qualifies well is not the same as giving the driver who is ahead on points a piece of aerodynamic kit that enhances the team’s chances of winning both the driver's and manufacturer's championships.


Taking Webber's wing was done to maximize Vettel's chances.

Breaking the seal on Massa's gearbox was done to maximize Alonso's chances.

The only problem I have with these 2 particular situations, is that when Ferrari broke the seal on Massa's gearbox, Massa had no chance of winning the championship. BUT on Webber's case, he was only 12 points behind Vettel.

What was the difference on points between Alonso and Massa before Austin GP? Look at that difference and you will see who got 2nd place in the constructors for Ferrari, and it ain't Massa.

Why would Ferrari leave Alonso start on the dirty side when he was the only one capable of STILL winning the championship? Why? To please you, me and 50k other fans? I believe you fail to see beyond this aparent penalty to Massa. There was more at stake than just 5 places penalty to Massa and I am really sorry if you cannot realize this.

I am done with this. Have a good day!


Let's not be too harsh on Massa. He is fighting for his career. What other option has he got?


Massa, apparently "do anything for Alonso" team mate out did Alonso end of season. Alonso qualified poorly and was out done at last 2 of 3 last GPs by Massa with Massa moving over. That is no accident boys and girls. And the fact it happened at the most critical time of the season should give it more weight.


Yeah... and Webber out did Vettel in Brazil, Abu Dhabi, Korea, Belgium, England, Monaco, China, Malaysia and Australia in terms of qualifying..... Almost 50-50 and that is no accident boys and girls.


Is it too hard to understand that by the end of the season Massa didn´t have a chance to win the championship? The same can be said about Webber. He won the pole in Korea but did nothing against Vettel. He helped his team mate


as the poster above said, what they did was within the rules...and if you think RedBull (or any other team ofr that matter ) don't maximise the letter of the law to help them then you sir are living in cloud cuckoo land 🙂

Also, whats wrong with Hamilton leaving for Merc? Like McLaren have won the last 3 consturctors championships and helped their drivers win the WDCs. I love McLaren but hisory is one thing, but it's winning that counts. Time will tell if it was a good decision, but I'd rather he go to Merc and not have to put up with the whole "we let our drivers race fair and square" at McLaren - which means while they squabble RB and Ferrari run away with the points and championships as has been the case recently.


I don't understand how the transmission was a "despicable action" when it was totally within the rules.


I wouldn't say it's "within the rules" as such, more that it was a legal way of using the rules to gain an unintended (by the rules) benefit. It's supposed to be a penalty, but clearly that wasn't its effect on that day.

That said, RB's Abu Dhabi trick was similar. The rule is more intended to stop people from wanting to play with the car, so they don't lose their grid position and have to start from the pits. RB of course decided losing last place wasn't such a bad thing, pulled the car from parc ferme, made their changes, and started from pit lane away from the first corner mayhem (which there was some of on the day), i.e. something supposed to a penalty was used more in their favour in that situation.

The difference in perception really I guess is that RB's tactic didn't involve penalising one driver for the benefit of the other. From memory though, putting Massa on the clean side of the starting grid gave him a great start anyway; arguably better than he'd have had on the dirty side. So assuming Massa's grid drop turned out to be in his own benefit as well as Alonso's... Ferarri's and Red Bull's rules trickeries both seem about on par to me.


'Ferarri’s and Red Bull’s rules trickeries both seem about on par to me.'

Seriously? How about all the drivers from the other teams that were effected by the Massa penalty trick and had to move over to the dirty side?


I don't know that it's "despicable" but it's definitely desperate. It shows, as Domenicali himself admits, that Ferrari were unable to compete in the development stakes (driver talent fine, reliability fine, pit work fine) and resorted to a political solution rather than a technological one.

Yes, it's "within the rules" but the implications were firstly, to penalize Massa for a great qualifying position; secondly, to penalize everyone else on the grid who qualified behind Massa on the clean side and now had to start from the dirty side; and lastly, show to the world that innovation at Maranello comes second to clearing up "everything that was going round on the Internet."

Bring Back Murray

Just imagine if they tried to pull that one on Webber..

Can't imagine any other team apart from Ferrari doing that to their number 2.. no matter how close their lead driver was to the championship battle


I think Webber would have just accepted it, like he did at Silverstone 2010 with the front wing, when he was fighting for the title!!


I guess you forgot that back in 2010 Red Bull pulled the new wing off of Webber's car and put it on Vettel's after Vettel's was damaged


It wasn't a 'despicable action'. It was an act of desperation and of questionable sportsmanship but it was a decision I suspect an overwhelming majority could completely understand.


Vettel had three cars to help or more(Schumacher)

Alonso had only his team mate.

What do u say for that?


pure speculation (apart from Schumacher moving aside)


Webber ran wide couple of times to provide space for vettel


This Ferrari was very strong in race-pace, matching RBR in most races and sometimes being faster too.

It just lacked in qualifying because they thought about the race first when setting it up, not qualifying.

Everyone knows this but because there is so much hate towards Vettel, people want to pretend this car was a turd and how Alonso delivered miracles.

Objectivity people.


They were very strong in race pace especially in cooler conditions, Vettel just has the edge in qualifying that's all. So the car wasn't that bad as they make it out to be.


I agree, the Ferrari has fundamentally been a quick car. They struggled at the start of the season as they tried unsuccessfully to unlock it's potential, then calibration issues with the wind tunnel hampered their development.

You don't design a bad car and end up second in both championships.


I agree and got so fed up with all that talk I was happy to see Vettel win the championship.

It was a bad car compared to the top teams at the start of the year but even then it was reliable while McLaren kept shooting themselves in the foot and Red Bull figured out how to maximize a car that had it's goodies banned from the year before.



Don't know why we don't have sort of opta-like stats for qualifying pace of the cars and race pace...

The Ferrari had really good race pace and ace starts- that's a good car in my book!


Thank you! F2012 was a good fast car.

Maybe if they gave Massa 100% of its capabilities from race one, the result would have been different.


I agree with you on the fact that the Ferrari was up-there on Sundays, much better than on Saturdays.

How do you know that Massa was not given the same support and equipment at the begining of the season?

Australian GP: Alonso 5th, Massa 17th-retired

Malaysian GP: Alonso 1st, Massa 15th

Chinese GP: Alonso 9th, Massa 13th

Up to this point, after 3 races, Massa was the only driver without scorring points (except the 6 drivers from Caterham, Marussia & HRT).

How about that for a fact?

Maybe he got equal equipment and support maybe he didn't. But even if he didn't, how can you demand such thing when your performance was like that? It would be foolish by Ferrari not to support Alonso who was fighting for the lead of the championship.

I like Massa, and I am one of those who wished he would stay at Ferrari, but he did not perform at the begining.


Look, all we have is theories and we have to sift through bits of info to try and find the truth.

I can explain Massa poor start with my theory of handycapping the #2 through 0.2s to 0.5s slower hardwer to give the #1 driver a head start.

How can you explain the #2 outdoing the #1 in the most crucial stage of the 2012 season? (Last 3 GPs)


So I guess all the people with knowledge like James are just wrong, right? Seriously, get a grip.

Maybe if Massa would have performed from day one he wouldn't been asked to keep the distance in India, break his gearbox in US and allow Alonso passed in Brazil.

As far as I could see, Massa helped Alonso 3 times in 2012.


Massa had plenty of chances since 2007.He never delivered!!! In fact in 2007 he helped Raikkonen to win the Brazil because it was Kimi the one with a real chance to win. If you at Massa´s performance over the years you see that he lacks consistancy. And yes, he had very bad luck in 2009. But that season was dominated by Brawn GP since the begining. And when other teams catched up it was too late


Sure F2012 wasn't a dominant car, but it was no slouch. It was a contender, and thay means it was at least up there. And we can agree it WAS a good car on Sundays keeping up with podium spots.

As for Massa - that is my point. When given proper support and hardware he was up there taking points end of season, faster than Alonso even. Maybe if he wasnt given a handycap to make Alonso look so good he would be able to take points. Points other competitors got. He deserves more equal treatment. Those mighty sponsors Alonso brings need to be satisfied, but lets give the man a shot. That is how i choose to look at it.


Unloved car? They have one every year since 2009.


That is so true. Since the dream team left (i.e. Jean Todt, Brawn, Kimi or Schumacher) left, Ferrari is back to its old self. Back to the Jean Alesi, Gerhard Berger days.


"and there are some suggestions in the Gazzetta dello Sport this weekend that relations between Ferrari and Alonso have possibly been “frayed” a bit by the episode, which originated in Spain"

Gazzetta really wrote this? Where? I can't find it on their website.


Ferrari did that under pressure. They had a responsibility to respond to all the Italian and Spanish fans. Unfortunately it didn't go very well. Ferrari will be careful not to hurt Vettel as he is a driver they have earmarked for the future.


The problem is that the episode didn´t originated in Spain.It originated in Sky and eveywhere almost at the same time.


+1. Well said, Anne. Sky and then everywhere.


Including a certain drivers twitter account that then makes it rather obvious.


Honestly, Massa needs a fair shot next year. Nothing to lose Ferrari after 3 years of no WDC.

Any McLaren fan who thinks McLaren approach doesn't win WDC need only to study Ferrari 2010 and 2012 where I would argue they lost both with clear #1 driver status. Showing its no full proof way to win.


Where were McLaren in 2010 and 2012? At least Ferrari took it down to the last race in both the aforementioned seasons. So I would say Ferrari's strategy looks like it works more than McLaren's.


That is a valid point.

However, personally I don't really care who was 2nd those two years. And if getting to the "glory" of second means walking all over another driver in ways we could never imagine (gearbox seal for example) for your own glory then that second may as well be behind HRT for all I care.


I don't understand your point. Massa has been consistently slow in comparison to Alonso during the last three years, not only in qualifying, but in race pace. In the last three races he improved, but as Gary Anderson in the BBC has pointed out, Ferrari helps Felipe making the car more driveable, but losing in performance.


You are right mate. Spot on

Ferrari should have sacked both massa and rob smedley long time before

Leave this sebee he takes every chance to have a dig at alonso

Mclaren are poor team they had quickest cars in 2007 2010 and 2012 yet won nothing and mclaren policy now thrown even lewis out of the team


"Honestly, Massa needs a fair shot next year. Nothing to lose Ferrari after 3 years of no WDC."

He did get a fair shot, he just was painfully slow in the first 10 or so races. If Massa was head of Alonso by summers break their is no doubt that Ferrari would support the driver with the most chance of winning the drivers title. (SEE 1999)

"Any McLaren fan who thinks McLaren approach doesn’t win WDC need only to study Ferrari 2010 and 2012 where I would argue they lost both with clear #1 driver status. Showing its no full proof way to win"

I would argue that since 2005 (year Ferrari domination ended) Mclaren have won one drivers crown. Ferrari have won only one as well but have been in contention in the last race of the season more than Mclaren. Let me put it this way, if Mclaren had a clear #1 they probably would have won, 2005 (maybe), 2007, 2010 and 2012.


I read somewhere that it was Alonso who pushed Ferrari to appeal and that they studied Vettel's whole race to see if he made a mistake that could give him a penalty. Who knows if it's true...


What's wrong in it?


Its in the Sunday edition of the paper


James, do you think everything is as great about Ferrari/Alonso relationship as they make it out to be? I mean, Alonso isn't known for his patience. He isn't an angel -- far from it. I don't believe him when he says that he's happy, that Ferrari is the best team, etc. He can't be happy that it's been three years and there are still no titles. Just as Ferrari can't possibly be happy that they fired Kimi -- the guy who was their WDC -- for Alonso, who, year after year, fails to win for them. What are your thoughts? Do you think Ferrari will keep being patient with Alonso? Or do you think they might try to get Vettel? Maybe I'm wrong, but I've got the impression that Italian papers are quite eager to get Vettel.

6 Wheeled Tyrrell

Do you seriously believe Ferrari could have asked for more from Aloso?... he drove an amazing season in 2012, by all accounts the car just wasn't fast enough. As to the other two years the 2011 car was a complete dog and in 2010 Alonso fought for the title up until the last race when the team bet on the wrong strategy; I don't believe thee is a driver who could've won the championship driving the F2010-F2012 and the team know's it.


Would you believe 3 years and no WDC? Soon to be four years. This kettle is about to blow.


Being unhappy with Alonso is one thing and signing Vettel for Alonso is another thing. Ferrari are experienced enough to know that these two things don't balance. Alonso is by far the best driver on the grid by any measure. Winning the WDC is a team effort. It needs a great reliable car, great and consistent driver, and a reliable team. Vettel has had a great car and a fantastic team. Alonso had a reasonable car and a great team. You can't equate Alonso to Vettel. People believing that they are equals are in a cuckoo land. Maybe Vettel is enough to win a WDC if the other ingredients are present. He won't be enough when you have to start the race from down the grid, race after race.


The car was good and capable. The car was at or close to the front throughout the season, and physically that would not be possible if that was untrue (Alonso is good but can't defy physics).

The top drivers drive at close to 100% of the capability of the car.

To place the blame on the army of engineers invites low morale.


You must take those glasses off!


Best driver. Best teamwork. Just a Bad car.

And if you believe that ....

Alonso 10, ferrari 7. I would think Alonso should be big enough to look truthfully at the way the season played out, and not to be molly coddled like a child. He did under achieve in the last few races: that's fact.


Fair comment, either he underperformed or Felipe really is faster than Fernando (all things being equal). Fernando is a very talented driver and did a great job all season, whereas in pure performance Massa only came good at the end, of course it's complicated and there are many reasons why that's the case.

Nonetheless Fernando got enormous help from his teammate at the end of the season, much more so than Vettel and he just didn't do enough to win.

The tone of the team in defeat has been shocking and mean spirited. They have really tried to take the magic from Vettel and Red Bull's achievement, which is really pathetic.

I am not surprised Alonso is hacked off with the team, they're done his image lots of damage with this behaviour.. Domenicali has handled the whole 'end of championship' business very badly, the crass gearbox penalty farce in Austin and then the whole 'Fernando is the best' nonsense after Interlagos. I haven't even seen any praise from Ferrari of Massa's brilliant drive in Brazil, where he literally carried Alonso home, while blocking his opponents.

Vettel won the championship, plain and simple in accordance with the rules. Behaviour in loss often distinguishes individuals and groups more so than victory. It's easy to be the winner, everyone embraces success. However managing loss with dignity, is both character forming and respect enhancing, something that neither Ferrari nor Alonso gained this past week.


Domenicali did praise Massa in the same appearance in Madrid, for a strong second half of the season and for being a team player


James can you clarify the comment around 'relations between Ferrari and Alonso have possibly been “frayed” a bit by the episode' - whats the context of this as we have two different interpretations in the comments section.


Thanks for the update James.

I hadn't read that. It's nice to see his input recognised, though in fairness Ferrari have stood by Felipe too and perhaps next year both sides perseverance will be rewarded.


The fact is he lost at least around 10-25 points compared to Vettel in Belgium for a crash that had nothing to do with him. Vettel never had a DNF that was caused by some outside factor. Mechanical DNFs are their own fault.

Truth is, he would have won WDC if it wasn't for Grosjean.


Alternator failures were clearly not RBs fault as Renault & Caterham suffered them too with the same part.

Vettel lost a likely podium position in Malaysia when Karthikeyan drove into the side of him (proven later by Sky that Karthikeyan was looking in his left mirror whilst being overtaken on his right and strayed away from the outside white line)


Should they then get only half the points in every race, compared to Ferrari, since they are only building half of the package and the other part has nothing to do with them?


The alternator is manufactured by Renault, not Red Bull, so it's hard to say it's Red Bull's fault if they start throwing a wobbler. It happened with the other Renault-powered teams as well over the course of the season (Grosjean retired from the European GP for the same reason, for example). Also, it's not as if Vettel's driving caused it to break (Webber's failed in Austin without warning, after all) so I think it's fair to class those failures as an "outside factor".


The alternator comes as part of the engine, so they didn't exactly have a lot of choice in the matter once they signed an engine agreement...


Nobody asked them to buy a Renault alternator!


What about Massa matching Alonso end of season? Down to form or was he not getting a car? Now that is a poll I woild love to see.


You do have something against Alonso and you seem to think so highly of Massa. You're almost desperate to show it.

Massa himself said he did not perform in the first half of the season. Check his interviw on autosport.


True Massa was under performing. But fact is that Alonso got all new parts first.


You mister. Excellent mate spot on

I do not know why people like sebee and rob newman here almost in every post takes a crack (excavate) at alonso. Whether these people have something against alonso on a personal level not sure ?

If any one say massa perfomred they simply have some serious mental trouble


Hmmm, let's see. Austin=7(8)th on the grid to 3rd, then Brazil=8(9)th to second.

Masterful. Just a bad car.

I don't get your gripe?


If your car is good in race pace it should be able to make 4 or 5 places on race day. Other teams did it Lotus, Sauber even Williams.. So I don't understand how anyone can get excited about Ferrari doing it on 3 times the budget..Pfff !


What if he had qualified better in Abu Dabi, Austin, Brazil results might have been better. I'm not doubting Alonso's class as a driver, just that 10 out of 10 from Stef doesn't tell the whole story. Pat Fry had something to say about Alonso's qualis


Hahahaha... "What if Kimi would have given him a little more room in Suzuka?" - you have to be joking. I didn't know Kimi or any racer for that matter drove for appeasement than position.


What if he wasn't collected by Grosjean in Spa? What if Button's car would have failed in Brazil?

What if Kimi would have given him a little more room in Suzuka? What if's are just what if's.

I'm pretty sure Alonso dominated Massa in qualifying this year. The car was just no good over a single lap qualifying. Why am i even pointing the obvious out to you? Oh yeah, cause your original comment is nonsense.


Yeah finished the season with podiums in Korea, India, Abu Dhabi, USA and brazil. He under performed terribly didn't he. What more do people want from him.


I wouldn't want to be Stefano Domenicali at the moment; I'm sure he's wondering whether he'll still be in that role at the start of next season...


Stability is key to any team. Getting rid of any key member of staff will not do any good to Ferrari especially as there is not much change in rules for next season and the car is much stronger than it was at the beginning of the season. I am sure Stefano is safe.


Let's hope so! I think he's done as good a job as anyone could have; I was merely commenting on how Ferrari sometimes seem very good at making knee-jerk reactions...


Ferrari needs to catch up with the times.Enzo Ferrari was not a big fan of aerodinamics. Well now they need to make sure the wind tunnel works fine. And maybe they need new personel like new engineers with new ideas.


Just wondering what the real feeling is to Alonso in Ferrari, especially with the pat fry episode and now this, even Bernie mentioned this is not like Ferrari, did he mean Alonso, who knows, but no doubt Alonso is hard work


Knowing how in love Bernie is with RBR and Vettel, his comments don't suprise me.

If Ferrari wouldn't have asked the FIA for clarification, we would still talk this very moment that Vettel won the championship by doing an illegal overtake.


Tension at Ferraei over Spanish pressure to protest?

Quick everyone to the 'Vettel to Ferrari' thread!


Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is being modest in ranking their car only behind two others. My view, the 2012 Lotus, Sauber, and perhaps even the Williams are better cars than the Ferrari at the start of the season. If they have the resource and driver like Alonso, they can possibly beat the Red Bull as well. McLaren was undone by their suspicious reliability particularly on Hamilton.


James I've just realised that Fernando went into the summer break 40 points odd in front. In the 2nd half of the season he was on the podium in every race he finished and still lost the title. U have to say it was a terrific effort from him and couldn't have done much more.


How many poles has Alonso in his whole career?

It was just Felipe be unleashed, and qualify better than Alonso in every race...

It's not strange that after Ferrari signed Alonso the car becomes so bad and is just Alonso doing miracles?

When Felipe was team-mate of Kimi, both were always fighting with Hamilton for poles.

The Ferrari and Alonso problems are the same...

"Orders to team-mates to give position", "gearbox self injured problems", "other drivers crashing for you be able to win", and list goes on and on...

They needed two drivers to beat Lewis Hamilton as a rookie in 2007!!! And did by only 1 point!!

Lewis did beat the two times world champion, and even with Alonso holding Lewis afraid of him putting another pole position. Should not be easy for a driver that many "think" is the best, be out-paced race after race by a rookie!

For who follow f1 is really simple to see the facts...


The F60 of 2009 was pretty poor, and that had nothing to do with Alonso. The next car, Alonso's first at Ferrari, the F10 was not at all a bad car. It was very good, probably second best over the course of the whole season behind the insane RB6.

The F150 Italia wasn't exatctly bad either, not great in relation to Red Bull and Mclaren, but 3rd best out of 12 teams simply cannot be called bad.

The F2012 started out poor, but did not end poor. Struggled to an extent in qualifying the whole year, but was great in the wet and electric off the line and had very strong race pace. Not to mention great reliability.

Again, 3rd best car at worst over the course of the season.


The lotus was clearly better than Ferrari. Funny how so many forget , it was a class above for 2/3's of the season and evenely matched in the end.

A rusty Kimi doubled the points of Massa, says it all really when as team mates, Massa outscored him. You cant deny the facts.


Unfortunately Massa is not having a great time at Ferrari. I hope he qualifies well ahead of his team mate next season and be in a position where he doesn't have to sacrifice his position. Ferrari has destroyed Massa mentally. Let's hope next year will be better for him.


Then accoring to you Massa must be a insane. Massa wanted to stay in Ferrari. Ferrari was more interested in Webber and even Button last year. But both drivers decided to stay with their respective teams.


For Massa Ferrari was the best option, this is quite obvious. He knows he has to gift victories to Alonso but might still finish second which is better than driving a Sauber or Williams or whatever there is apart from the five big teams, of which only Ferrari were interested in him.


Button is adding to his skill set by not only being well spoken public figure, but now also the funny man of F1.

"I had so many angry Ferrari fans, but it was nice to make Christian [Horner] happy. I look forward to doing that again many times next year."


Agree 100%. You nailed it! I believe Massa will be extremely sharp next year.



Don't teams pay a team franchise fee upon entry? Isn't that a large amount? I would think potential discount on entry would make HRT assets valuable. After all, its a team that can be on the grid next year.


By the way, I'm not talking about the annual fee, I'm talking about the $40M deposit upon entry into the championship to assure the FIA that the team is serious about being in F1.


Could you elaborate on how things got "frayed" between Zo and Ferrari?

Thanks James and, as always, superb writing.


I wonder if these reports are just another Red Bull destabilisation effort by Ferrari - i.e. try to get the opposition to focus on you rather than their own game


It's hard to believe they could succeed in destabilizing RBR and Vettel. But we will see.


I imagine Ferrari are starting to lose their patience with constantly talking down the quality of their car (belittling the Ferrari brand) in order to talk up the talents of Alonso.

The Ferrari WAS NOT a bad car. It was up their with the Red Bull and Mclaren on race pace for most of the season. It was the best car from a standing start by a mile and it was also the best car in wet conditions. The only drawback was the DRS system which meant they suffered in quali.

I am amazed that a brand as big as Ferrari have been willing to pander to Alonso's ego for so long.


I am also surprised by this. After all, did they not boot Alan Prost out for talking down the brand.


I'm not sure, but this is what has been reported in Italy, by Gazzetta. I'll do independent verification


James, do you think it effects Sebs relationship with Ferrari?


[mod] Everytime an article like this comes out it makes me think that they are sore losers they do not have any respect for their competition. It is very un-sportsmanlike to continue to denegrate the opposition because they think that their driver was better. The better driver is determined on track not through talking to the media.


But this is not GP2 where all cars are the same.

What's wrong with an opinion that one car si better than the other?


Luck is a funny thing... sometimes people say that Ferrai were unluck to have the belgian and Japanese episodes and without these they WOULD have won the championship. Well thats all very well, but why say that as everyone can say that. Jenson, Lewis and Seb could say that,and if they had not had bad luck then in those races Alonso would not have got the points (or even podiums) that he did get.

So I personally find it a bit strange to claim luck on any side results are what they are... there is no point in looking back and saying if only all the time


I think Ferrari is simply crying because they are eating a lot of sour grape.

Calling their competitors lucky is just lame when they should have congratulate, respect and accept that the better (and worthy) team had won.


Looks like Ferrari have gone down considerably in fan's estimation after the Interlagos flag-gate.


when one person gets all the luck you will often find someone else getting all the bad luck...and thanks to karma at some point it switches.

Seb had his fair share of luck this season, especially the last few races, having collisions (not all his making) which would have probably ended the races of other drivers had they happened to anyone else.

You are right about not looking back and saying 'what if' all the time...but if you look at the record books when folks talk about previous champions they always say "oh well he won, but if xyz didn't have engine failure who knows what would have happened."


can;t agree more - the Renault alternators issue (nothing to do with RBR) cost Vettel 25 points in Valencia only, and provided Alonso 10 points (finishing 1st instead of 3rd with Grojean also retiring at that race) - that is a 35 points gap..

The whole luck / unluck debate is a waste of time


Scuderia Ferrari punched above their weight this year. Problem is, the car needs to move up to the heavyweight division. I don't want to read of a "wind tunnel" problem next year. Domenicali is on thin ice (psst, SD, NASA has wind tunnels).



Whoever says that Ferrari should not sought clarification knows nothing about racing. This happens ALL the time and basically after all races. Teams are constantly scrutinized. Just because Ferrari's clarification was sought after numerous rumours doesn't mean it's out of place. What if they looked for clarification to silence the rumours?? Ferrari are in no position to offer a press release and say "there was a green flag". It is the job of the FIA, and that's why Ferraro approached them.

Alonso's puncture in Japan was not entirely his fault. You could say even worse of Vettel's crash at Interlagos, and other contacts, but nobody bothers because the crash didnt terminate his race. Kimi could have simply braked in Japan, which is what he did strongly in Brazil, but Kimi was in for the fight and at that incodent it cost Alonso more than it did Kimi. However, it doesnt matter that Ferrari only had 18 races; i dont know why people keep stressing that.

Also, i dont see why people keep talking about the Ferrari having teammates help eachother when Vettel has people from at least 3 teams gladly moving over. And at times against their will (ask Alguersuari).

Best thing about Ferrari is that they don't listen to the pseudo-moralists in other teams.

The end.


Thank God, there's common sense here. You could say that internet message boards (including this one) are full of pseudo-moralists too.


The possible rift between Alonso and Ferrari is interesting. I understand that the whole flag-gate scandal was stirred by Alonso's management.

But Ferrari would have had access to the full HD onboard footage from Vettel's car, so did they know all along that the overtake was perfectly legal?


Monti says Red Bull and McLaren were better than Ferrari. I totally disagree. Reliability wise Ferrari was the best and that is why they are 2nd on the championship.

Whenever Red Bull or McLaren had technical problems, it was Ferrari who benefitted most. It has nothing to do with a Ferrari driver doing a better job this season but Red Bull and McLaren doing a bad job.

Ferrari were on pole this year. You can't get pole without a good car just as you can't win without a good car.


For what it's worth I was in Valencia today and both Alonso and Massa were driving 2009 F1 cars not the F2012.


Sometimes dominecalli really does take the biscuit! Ok so Alonso did not win but I think you would be hard pushed to say he was unlucky!?!? At the beginning of the season everyone was tripping each other up and he picked up the pieces. No,one can deny he is quick but he has a very good ally in Massa. One could argue about some of the things they got Up to but that has to be deamed an advantage that a lot of the other drivers do not have. With all this in mind I really believe they were very LUCKY to get 2nd place.


Massa was not even racing the first half of the season, he was not helping Alonso in any way.

Second half - I fully agree, he did help.

But, Vettel has 3 drivers to help him!!!!!!


'Vettel has 3 drivers to help him!!!!!!'

Do you seriously think Webber helps Vettel the same way that Massa helps Alonso?


And I agree with other comments here - Ferrari seem to always come across as sore losers and un-graceful winners.


except for Felipe Massa! most gentlemanly behaviour ever seen in sport, when he lost to Lewis in Brazil way back when!


Do you people reckon how things appeared and what statistics say about WDC winners at Interlagos - of the year's final race? that's the fact that before SV it was only 2 drivers from 6 that won WDC being favorite and having points advantage by arriving there. So, statistics was clearly vs driver with points advantage.

Why? because of immense pressing to driver and team, that is the source mistakes for the driver and miscalculations for the team. remember Ham in 2007 and 2008, in 07 he lost and in 08 he barely won by 1 point being faster than FM, the same was in 2010 with Alo at finale.

Therefore one can't compare same driver with the advantage and disadvantage of the points at the finale race.

I believe if at Interlagos SV had same number or less points than FA he would drive offensive racing (same at Abu Dhabi 2010) and ultimately finish in front of ALO, that's the psychology when driver and team think they got nothing to loose.

That's point that SV fought not only vs FA but vs statistics as well.

Even it's possible to calculate and figure out most dangerous advantage range at finale for the leader 🙂


Luca is right in many ways - they were lucky to do so well in the championship - and they were also lucky to have Alonso who managed to perform so well


That Ferrari must really be a dog...considering Alonso brings '6/10ths' to the car.


That's about the margin from Massa to Alonso on the starting grid. Nice catch!


I love the fact that Ferrari considers the energy drink company as their competitor.

Remember, this team came in the form of Stewart GP, then Jaguar, finally Red Bull Racing. Compared to Mclaren, Williams and Ferrari; RBR is the youngest team.

F2012 may be rubbish in quali but there are a lot of strengths in that car.

1. The start where both Massa and Alonso are able to easily overtake many cars because F2012 is probably the fastest at the start.

2. The race pace is also quite good.

3. The wet race pace is probably the best.

4. Finally, the reliability of the car is immaculate.

Perhaps Ferrari should focus their budget on more performance than reliability next year.. lol.


Alonso was strong in the wet earlier in the season. In Brazil he was terrible in the wet. He was lucky with the Hulk/Ham incident, otherwise he would've finished 5th or 6th.


He was strong due to perfectly executed strategy, I don't recall a single race where Alonso was fast in wet compare to some rain specialists. He was fast during British GP qualifying, that he must get credit for.


Vettel lost at least 50 points to Alonso due to reliability and Hamilton a great deal more.

The Ferrari reliability was worth at least two race wins where the main competitors did not score. That people is a huge advantage and when you add that to the reasonable race pace you end up with a car that was capable of winning this championship. Clearly the failing was in the qualifying. I do not know why a car with a race pace in the top two or three all too often found itself near the bottom of Q3 on Saturdays. That is a question for Ferrari and Alonso. I find it strange that Ferrari fans believe Alonso can consistently outdrive the car in the race that lasts for 60-70 laps but can't actually string two or three fast laps together for qualifying. I would expect that this would be a simple task for such a Legend. For all of you Ferrari fans who find it convenient to blame the car, I counted at least four separate occasions where Massa posted fastest lap during the Brazilian race.

Not a bad effort in a truck!


I will make it very plain and simple for the Alonso and Ferrari lovers- who was actually quicker than Fernando in the last few races ? - i will even say it for you - Felipe !Don't forget also that Felipes car did not have all the upgrades that Fernandos had since Singapore - he was one or two steps behind on parts but was easily Fernandos match during the race. I've never doubted Fernando had a great year and even rate him among the top 4 on the grid. But all those still rating him better than Sennas & Prost& Schumachers must surely wake up now & smell the roses.

As for that Ferrari- well many cars were slow over a single lap but were quick over a race- that included Lotus and Sauber & actually the Ferrari was always the best of these 3 in race trim Always!..evidenced by how much ground even Felipe made before he "understood" the tyres in the first part of the year. I never once rated it outside 3rd place and Im for once pleased that Domencali confirmed it. Still Ferrari out performed Mclaren and at least matched Red Bull operationally & strategically to finish 2nd in a 3 rd placed car. By that standard I would say Kimi and Lotus did an equal job by finishing 3rd in the drivers with a car was 4 th and we all be left wondering where they would have been had the crash test dummy stayed on track- probably ahead of Ferrari !


Actually I recall reading somewhere that Alonso took the new bits off in the last 2 races and that it was only Massa racing with upgrades, so not sure where you get the "Alonso got all the upgrades and Mass didn't .." story from? Can you perhaps enlighten me cause I could be wrong..Thakns


I'm not here to teach people about F1 you need to watch every race get news feeds from the f1live timing app and get all the tv previews that highlight this for you . As well as this fantastic site with heaps of info.Also you look at the f1 website news section it will summarise bits for you. Fernando always had first pic on development parts as he was fighting for the championship ( makes sense) especially since Singapore and sure he did take some things off for Interlagos - by which time both drivers had a similar car but at every race before Fernando had new bits on his car ahead of Felipe.


No one argues that Felipe closed out the last few races faster than Fernando. Felipe's speed was obvious. But you are overlooking two things. One is that there are many factors that account for Fernando not being quite as quick as Felipe at the end of the season, and two that over the entire season, Fernando outdrove Felipe especially when the car was at its worst.


I didn't overlook anything and Im well aware no one drives perfectly all year. But Ferrari and Alonso will have you believe Fernando was perfect and I'm just saying this is simply not the case-- other drivers had a fantastic year and had their teams done as good a job as Ferrari did, they would have won the championship- Mclaren for one springs to mind.


Why is 13 not used as a car number? The entry list goes from 12 to 14, skipping 13.


Because 13 brings bad luck. Or so they say.


In regards the entry list. Why is Rosberg 9 and Hamilton 10? I thought as Hamilton scored more points then Rosberg he would be entitled to the lowest numbered car?


Rosberg had contract at Mercedes before Hamilton, so Rosberg gets lower number. This is how it's always gone.


More of a concern than the yellow flag fiasco for me was that it demonstrated the Toro Rosso moving over for Vettel and this can't be right.

The fact that Red Bull have this 'sponsorship' arrangement does give them a slight advantage in some scenarios as other teams are not allowed to own other teams.

In both races where Vettel has had to some from the back it means that a big percentage of the reasonably competitive midfield cars don't pose the same problem as they would for a Mclaren, or a Ferrari.

I am not a Ferrari fan by the way but a Mclaren fan who likes to watch wheel to wheel racing rather than politics.


I like wheel to wheel racing also but to be fair to the Toro Rosso drivers they were never really racing Vettel, better to let him go and concentrate on your rivals. There is no point fighting the inevitable, risking a spin and accelerated tire wear for no gain. I was more disappointed by MS, he had nothing to lose by racing Vettel and I would have thought he would have relished the last opportunity to race his countryman.


But to use that logic you may as well say that everyone who is not in the chance of a podium may as well always let the top runners through as they are not technically racing them... My point is that when Toro Rosso come up against a Ferrari, or a Mclaren they would, and do fight hard against them, which is clearly not the case with the Red Bull cars and thus is a slight advantage in certain circumstances.

I don't doubt that there are no 'orders' for them not to fight but it is clearly understood that it is not good for their careers to fight against a Red Bull that is challenging for a win or title. For precisely this reason in other sports there are rules around owning more than one team, in order to protect the integrity of the sport.

Unfortunately, as Fireman was I think, ironically pointing out, F1 is so expensive and the sport is so desperate for as many 'competitive' cars as possible that FIA turn a blind eye to the Red Bull arrangement.


Maybe they should make F1 more expensive so Mateschitz wouldn't be able to own two teams.


It can't understand this indulgence in self praise by Domenicali and Montezemolo. Isn't building a competitive car part of their job of running an F1 team, something at which they have been failing quite frequently last few years. It is not like they were randomly alloted a car like it happens when you go to your local kart track.

I have no doubt why they went about getting a "clarification". It was very obvious to anymore who spent a few minutes the footage that the pass was legal. I think it was done to milk it to whatever extent possible to perpetuate ambiguity about Vettel's championship and try and put an asterisk next to it in people's minds, especially the casual fans'.


Part of knowing how to win is knowing how to lose. Ferrari appeared to lack knowledge of both this season.


Ferrari had a few problems this year - the car being one of them, at least the beginning of the season. But it came good at the end - enough to both drivers felt confident with it. The bigger problem remains. The team is a far cry from the Schumacher/Brawn/Todt/Bryne days. It felt like they were looking for excuses during the last few races.


Hey Tim,

I agree - excuses are lame.

Tim (The Genuine Article)


Didn't realise there is only one person called Tim in the world.

I guess it's unusual name 🙂


Enough is way too much. The season is over, definitely more than enough about how the F2012 was a bad car.
By race pace, it may have been the highest placing car on average over the entire season, admittedly, it would have ranked lower on single lap pace, but that's just the way it goes in this 'sport'.


My 2012 Driver Rankings

1. F. Alonso

2. K. Raikkonen

3. S. Vettel

4. P. Maldonado

5. L. Hamilton

6. D. Ricciardo

7. P. de la Rosa

8. P. di Resta

9. H. Kovalainen

10. T. Glock

11. M. Schumacher

12. S. Perez

13. R. Grosjean

14. K. Kobayashi

15. N. Rosberg

16. C. Pic

17. V. Petrov

18. N. Hulkenberg

19. N. Karthikeyan

20. J-E. Vergne

21. J. Button

22. B. Senna

23. M. Webber

24. F. Massa

25. J. d'Ambrosio.



Dear James, I think my comments in relation to Felipe Massa being as quick or quicker than his teammate Fernando Alonso in 2012 have been unequivocally proved correct!? I hope your commentary will reflect these matters in a more objective way in future. Look forward to your response. Yrs RM

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