“Confident” Alonso talks up Hamilton, but says Vettel deserved his three titles
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Jan 2013   |  12:49 pm GMT  |  309 comments

The final player to take the stage at Ferrari’s pre-season warm up event in Madonna di Campiglio was Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard, who narrowly missed out on his third world title at the final round in Brazil last year, is refreshed and ready to challenge again with the new Ferrari, which will be launched in just over two weeks time.

Ferrari got their sums wrong on the 2012 car and started the season around 1.5 seconds off the pace. This year Alonso sees no reason why the new car, developed in the Toyota wind tunnel in Cologne by a strengthened aero team, shouldn’t be there or thereabouts at the start of the season, giving him a chance to challenge,

“This year everything should be much more normal and we are much more confident,” he said.
“We can be faster or slower, but not 1.5 or two seconds off the pace. It is maybe impossible to be worse than last year, so I am confident.”

With no significant rule changes, in theory the cars will be evolutions of the 2012 models with declining margins for development, so it should be a close season. Alonso will be hoping so, with little margin between the top cars, as this will give a platform for his consistency to prevail.

Alonso made comments towards the end of last year about who he rates most highly among his opponents and cited Hamilton, today he was back on the subject,

“Who is the strongest driver? My answer is Hamilton. It was true last year, it was true this year,” he told the audience.

“It is a personal opinion, not political, not to make people think something. Who is the strongest opponent, the strongest driver on grid? Who is the one you have to keep an eye on? It is Hamilton – and it will still be Hamilton next year.

“He is a super good driver because he won every year with any car: he won in 2007 and 2008. In 2009 they started around two seconds off the pace with the McLaren, and Hamilton was able to win races – and it was the same in 2010. Last year also Nico we saw winning in China with Mercedes. So with Hamilton he will be able to win more than one race.”

But Hamilton has won only one world title during Alonso’s career, while Sebastian Vettel has won three, more than the Spaniard himself. Asked why that didn’t rate more highly for him Alonso made clear that he felt Vettel deserved the success he had enjoyed, “In 2011, there was a fantastic performance from him. It is true the car was much in front of everybody, they [Red Bull] were first and second consistently, and when the car is good you tend to relax in some races. But I remember difficult races in 2011 with wet/dry conditions, and he did not do any single mistake.

“So for sure in these three years there were moments when he was better than anybody else and he deserved these three championships.”

It’s not necessary to see this thesis as disrespectful to Vettel. Alonso has to view it this way, after all Hamilton he is the only one of his rivals who has raced alongside him in the same team and been able to beat him over a season. You can debate the rights and wrongs of that momentous 2007 season at McLaren, but Alonso knows Hamilton’s strengths and weaknesses from that experience far more closely than he can know Vettel’s, never having competed in equal machinery with him.

None of this will bother Vettel one iota; the German has three world championship trophies in his cabinet and no-one can take them away from him. This year he will go out and seek a fourth and Alonso will be one of his main rivals again. Meanwhile Hamilton is not expected to challenge for the championship, given how far back Mercedes were at the end of 2012, but Alonso has no doubt that the Briton will win a race or races in 2013.

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1

Hello, James. It is very rude to not to let to express opinions that`s not to your likening. You`ll need to have a little more perspective. You exist because of us and F1 too for that matter. I took time to write and post and this is how i see the subject. I did not want you to say, what to think about something.

I never thought i will post comments but last few years are really frustrating to see how very nice personalities are thrown into mud, just to keep the business going. I say business, because these worlds should be kept separately-business and sport.

Why do sportsmen let to abuse themselves by the owners of F1. I tell you – they love the sport.

This is the down side of the sport, to have prostitutes next to you and you have to say that you love them.

I do not really need to let this kind of people to dictate, what to say or not to say. I`ll hope you don`t take this personally, because if you do, this is not the place for you to be.

So, da da, and thank you to show me, how wrong i was to think that my writing makes people to see things from another perspective.

2

I allow opinions not to my liking or that I disagree with, of course

But I won’t allow comments which attack people for the sake of it or which are simply negative and add nothing to debate

3
Scuderia McLaren

To be honest, James has allowed more leeway in the restrictions he places on comments than any other major blog I know. I was only thinking that the other day.

I applaud you James for allowing debates to run their course naturally. I applaud that you allow comments that can be very contra to your veiw and controversial all round (I’m sure some of mine have fallen into a category of nearly restricting).

Given that you check each comment, and given the popularity of your blog, I think you do a great job. As good as any and better than most. Saw another prominent blogger / F1 writer / novelist / consultant just the other day throw his toys out of the basket when he was challenged and shown to be wrong. Many comments on his blog I suspect do not get posted for the sake of being on “message” or his message to be accurate.

Never heard someone claim impartiality so often only to clearly be the opposite.

4

Wouldn’t it be unfair not to rate Vettel as great driver from 2012 Brazil’s race. Amongst the great, yes, but not the greatest. Senna is still the greatest.

If there was a vote for Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel I’m very sure it will be this order.

5

I saw the F2012 at the Australian GP last year. Trust me, it was a dog! The car spent the first two days of the weekend coloured in bright yellow flo-vis, had terrible turn in understeer and even worse exit oversteer. Granted, the RB8 wasn’t that quick that weekend, but the Ferrari was not only visibly slower, but it was unhinged! Alonso was by far the better Ferrari driver, he was throwing it arouna and somehow extracting whatever speed he could, while Massa was trundling around going nowhere. I doubt Felipe actually hit the apex at turn 1…

6
Scuderia McLaren

What you suggest is better than snap over steer on corner entry and massive push understeer on exit. That sort of balance means you are off throttle for too long. At least the other way around, broadly speaking, you can coax a car around a track with some steering violence on entry and throttle finesse on exit (not a massa strong suit).

Another thing, lest we forget this car was developed with Alonso in mind and for Alonso with his input being a premium factor. This was truly “his car”. The car’s terrible balance is as much his fault as it is Ferrari’s. F1 is not just about driving fast. The balance you suggest sounds like a classic Alonso direction to be honest, but clearly too extreme.

7

Looking through the comments, one thing I didn’t spot was any reflection on Alonso saying Vettel made no mistakes in wet/dry races in 2011. Canada is pretty famous. Hungary I don’t remember as clearly, but Vettel was defending pretty hard from Hamilton early in the race and I think he went wide at turn 2. Should we be thinking he had the best car and he did make mistakes?

I wonder how much Alonso is considering pure car speed? Hamilton still had the odd stint during 2012 where he didn’t get the tyre management quite right. Hamilton has a tendency to favour qualifying speed with set up choices – strategically he doesn’t like playing the long game as he’d rather attack early, rather than risk having too much to do at the end. It will be interesting to see Hamilton’s relationship with Mercedes. Button appeared to out manoeuvre Hamilton within McLaren. Did this change anything on the track? That is hard to tell. Hamilton’s way seems to be to repay the teams efforts with results rather than a sincere sense that cares for the team.

8
Scuderia McLaren

Yes, what an epic mistake Canada was. That would have been heart break, to have fallen off so late in the race.

I bet Vettel doesn’t like remembering that 2nd place often. Lol

9

Trulli has beaten Alonso in the past before he was “taken care of” by Alonsos manager Briatore.

Hamilton in the past 6 years hasnt done anything at McLaren a Raikkonen or Vettel for example couldnt have done better. He is not that exceptional talent that everyone in the british press is desperate to make out of him. A standard top driver with some flaws, but no more. I expect Vettel to keep outperforming Hamilton for the rest of their careers, maybe not every year but most of them. Vettel at Red Bull, Ferrari and possibly some other team and Hamilton at Mercedes and Red Bull or back to McLaren.

10

Agreed.

Hamilton has been boosted a lot in the English media. His flamboyant char and mistake prone abilities also made him popular.

In terms of success rate, Vettel and Raikkonen (the comeback version) are considerably better.

11

James,

Did Mclaren ever have a go at trying to sign Raikkonen instead of Perez? It would seem better to go with the devil you know!

Thanks!

12

I’m not sure that contractually it would have possible – I think Lotus and Kimi had both met performance targets that trigger a second season, so it would mean buying Kimi out. On top of that would have been his salary as a McLaren driver, his unwillingness to do much PR work and the likely loss of Mexican money.

13

I think Raikkonen is too free spirit to return to McLaren even though MW is a fan. I would love to see him back.

I think Lotus suits him better & maybe RedBull?

2013 will be a fun season with all the 5 WDCs spread out in different teams.

14

yes, so far Lotus has been a success for KR. But do you have a slight concern about their medium term prospects, with some slight signs of instability within the team, and can we be 100% certain that Lopez’s finances are solid.

I think Kimi needs to be in a top team to reach his full potential in what are probably his final years in F1.

RBR when Webbo is put out to pasture.

15

I disagree with most of the commenters here that Alonso’s comments are designed to unsettle Vettel. I think the motivation is much more narcissistic.

Hamilton is the only driver to beat Alonso in the same car (of course the actually finished level on points). By saying ‘Hamilton is the best’, Alonso is saying that only the very best driver (along with what many believe was favourable treatment from Mclaren) is capable of matching his ability.

Alonso has consistently used comments like these to raise his own profile. He was allowed by Ferrari to repeatedly criticise his car in order to raise his own profile (when the Ferrari was actually very competitive in race trim) and his comments about ‘racing Newey’ were just another example of this.

16

alonso is smart enough to refuse to deny facts. no sports person goes into a sport and all of a sudden become the highest paid without being the best at the sport.

looking at the number of posts on this story compared to older ones clearly indicates the interest this great sportsman generates. talent gets better results than ideologies.

17

“Hamilton he (sic) is the only one of his rivals who has raced alongside him in the same team and been able to beat him over a season.” This is a slightly disingenuous analysis. If you look at their results, Alonso finished ahead of Hamilton in nine races, which is more than Hamilton finished ahead of Alonso (six times), and they scored the same number of points; Hamilton only got second place on countback of second places.

18

In the DWC table, who is second, and who’s third? Also consider this was Lewis’ rookie year. He had an advantage of testing the Bridgestones for longer, but that should’ve been swamped by the disadvantage of being a rookie alongside the 2xDWC. Apparently Dennis told Lewis before the season not to get too down if he was 0.5-1.0 secs back of Alonso in lap time. We know how that turned out.

19

And that’s why I don’t like Alonso. Mind games, politics, downplaying his rivals, downplaying his own car, praising himself…Ugh. This guy has no champion mentality. He’s a great driver, but a sour loser.

20

As the likes of Lauda, Piquet, Senna, Prost, Schumy…

21

I’m not a Fan of Alonso, infact I don’t really like him that much. But I have respect for his talent, I’m confident he will go down in history as one of the greats.

22

It’s the truth regardless of what’s behind it. Because Lewis is always competitive and extracts most out of the car on each occasion.

However I would be equally worried about Raikkonen in his second year back – he waits for nobody also !

23
Scuderia McLaren

Hamilton extracts the most? Did you see him in the 2011 season? Over three yesrs, Button accrued more pts. Gaining pts is the whole purpose of F1. People put way to much stock into qualifying. Qualifying is just that, qualifying for the race. The race is what matters, as it is there that the pts are awarded and is what the teams crave. In 2010, Button was adapting. In 2011, Button destroyed Hamilton. In 2012 Button almost matched his pts. Over three years, Button delivered more than Hamilton. FYI, I don’t rate Button that highly.

24

Clearly you DO rate Button. Did you also consider how many times Lewis car broke down or how many times his pit crew failed him ( Petrol and tyres changes) and Im not just talking about this year. I also think a few of last years years faults were not Lewis problem. If you take only half if such instances Jenson did not come even close to Lewis – why do you think he left ??. The other thing I don’t understand is how can a WC like Jenson get lapped by his team mate or finished outside the top 10 in a Mclaren- in the same car !!- please tyre difficulty or not. Lewis is clearly another level to JB and anyone who thinks otherwise is absolutely dreaming !.

25

I think Alonso is overall the number 1 driver right now but his comments are absolutely intended to rub Vettel up the wrong way. In terms of Hamilton, Alonso’s comments are fair but make no mistake if he was going to be at a stronger team this year he would be much less inclined to praise him. Overall he knows Hamilton is not a threat this year and in reality Vettel is.

26

Except that Alonso said the same thing last year, when Lewis was still at McLaren.

27

And let’s not forget Hamilton’s 2011 season where he falling apart and lost to Button..

28

That is true and supports my point considering the season Vettel had in 2011…

29
Scuderia McLaren

Classic mental warfare. 100% spot on. The moto gp riders do exactly this. The real threat is never mentioned and someone who really won’t be a threat is claimed to be a riders “biggest worry”. Funnily this won’t work on Vettel, it hasn’t in the last 3 years and won’t in future either. Just shows how fragile Alonso is from yet another WDC stolen from under him.

30

I’m gonna skip the bit about Alonso’s thought on Hamilton and Vettel.

I’ll say this though

“The Ferrari F2013 is developed by Toyota!” There should be a Toyota badge on the Ferrari. LOL

31
Scuderia McLaren

Hehe, yep.

32

McLaren is using the Toyota tunnel too, as James mentioned recently. You may as well say that any car that uses the Nordschleife is a product of pre-Nazi Germany.

33

A windtunnel is way more complicated than a piece of tarmac.

34
Scuderia McLaren

Hi Martin, perhaps it’s not clear in text form, but I think JB made a joke. FYI The “Lol” is a give away. My reply, “hehe yep” is confirmation of said joke and that I also find the original connection JB mentioned between Toyota wind tunnel and Ferrari design humorous.

I don’t think either I or JB actually believe Ferrari should carry a Toyota symbol.

Hard to convey humor sometimes over the Internet. You can be calm now, I note that McLaren uses the Toyota wind tunnel also for correlative purposes.

35

This is just shows that Ferrari and certain other teams still receive money from tobacco companies (which I’m not against).

I have absolutely no idea why else why Ferrari would keep that horrible red and white scuderia logo. Unless that amateur designer is LdM’s friend or whatever.

36

….Red and white go together… Miss those colors on the McLarens! And as far as cigarettes go, Red Bull is pretty bad for your health too…

37

Vettel’s WDCs hold no merit for me… he was along for the ride. Just like Button was along for the ride when he was running the illegal double diffuser.

Vettel and Button’s WDC are both meaningless, as it was the car that was clearly the most important factor.

For me, the WDC lost all its value when DRS (blue flag overtaking) and excess aero was introduced to F1… any old clown can win now.

38

Hear hear

39
Scuderia McLaren

Couch warrior

40
Spinodontosaurus

So why did Hamilton not win in 2012? Or Webber from 2010-2012 with the oh-so dominant Red Bulls?

41

The only competitor Button had for his WDC was an aging Rubens… like I said, it holds no real merit for me… it was like taking candy from a baby.

Now, DRS helps deficient drivers exploit there cars to get past better drivers with inferior cars… again this requires next to no driving skill…

Infact, I find the blue flag overtakes to be more exciting then a DRS one…

42
Spinodontosaurus

Blue Flag passes more exciting than DRS? Get out, and take of those rose tinted specs. DRS is preferable to a procesion, even if it is artificial.

43

Why Hamilton didn´t win? Well the pit stop crew have the answer. They messed up too many times. Besides his car also have many problems like in Singapore.

Webber, he is the number 2 driver according to Red Bull.

44

The Alonso-Hamilton love is getting a bit nauseating.

Doesn’t anybody else feel that all the praise Alonso keeps heaping on Hamilton is not sincere, but has some sort of ulterior motive to it – to unsettle Vettel, to get Hamilton to praise him in return, and since Hamilton beat him in 2007 at least he got beaten by the best etc (someone even mentioned that Alonso kept putting down McLaren to help encourage Hamilton to move from McLaren to Mercedes so that he wouldn’t be a threat to Alonso for some years)

However the praise Hamilton piles on Alonso seems more sincere. But it could always be because Hamilton beat Alonso, and by saying Alonso is the best that makes Hamilton look even better.

45

Yes, I think you’re on to something there.

Anyway, soon enough, every driver will be doing his talking on the track and we’ll find out a lot more about where they all are. Can’t wait.

46

Yeah his name Raikkonen

47

There are two drivers who are misunderstood the most in the paddock

1. Kimi

Yep, everyone knows that he’s laidback and doesn’t give media a field day as opposed to many other drivers who seem to have a lot to say about others. Kimi doesn’t give a penny about others, does his job, works hard for races and comes out pretty clean. Even he has won in 2009 with a car that had development stopped mid way. His racecraft has been supreme all season and if that’s not the sign of a great driver, then what is?

2. Vettel

He’s not winning just because of Newey and atleast that can be understood. When the car was not to his liking, he worked with the engineers and designers to make it work. That’s why Marko is right because Vettel shoots the curve up in the second half of the season and that can’t be a coincidence all the time. His strength is controlled aggression and ability to learn from mistakes. Hamilton has been erratic all his career but he seems to have never learned from his wrong doings. Yet, in Alonso’s eyes he’s the best opponent. I think the media should understand where that man is coming from. Resting my case!

48
Scuderia McLaren

Spot on KK

49

Raikkonen works hard? He was so lazy, he didn’t turn up for the Thursday track walk at Brazil. Don’t know how many other times this has happened but on this occasion he ended up facing a dead end when he went off the track (he would have known the gate would be closed had he attended). Lotus should put it in his contract that he must be professional and attend these types of sessions. It has nothing to do with sponsor duties for crying out loud.

50

Gerard Lopez has said that Kimi has worked extremely hard in 2012 & he signs the multi million dollar cheques to Kimi- but I guess you know better.

The hard work is what the drivers do behind the scenes in setting up the car and on track giving the best possible feedback in the shortest possible time and getting the results on track- it’s not smiling at the camera and saying “Im the best” .

51

Wade I will go one step further and skip all your posts if you like. I can tell you are a very politically correct guy that is easily offended by people who don’t fit your perfect mould of how things “should be”. Perhaps you should take a leaf out of these very people’s books and learn a different perspective and you will enjoy f1characters”a bit more.

Who knows why Kimi skipped a track walk on a track that he’s walked / cycled 9times previously in his career. Perhaps the conditions were changeable and he deemed it more relevant to check the track out on Sat morning before FP1 which makes very good sense. It’s not that I found it “convenient” to skip your point but rather to address matters relevant to ascertaining a drivers ability. Something which in all your wisdom you have failed to comprehend. Sometimes the brilliant see things that conventional thinkers don’t – where would the world be without them!

My favourite drivers are Senna, Prost too and Mansell.I don’t care if you think Hamilton or Raikkonen or Vettel are “lads” as long as they are fantastic drivers that’s all that really matters. Your right in that Kimi can be very tactless even abnoxuous and crude at times- But I much prefer this and his honesty and integrity, on track to every driver I’ve seen so far which is why he is so revered by many. He is an enigma but certainly adds personality to the paddock which is tragically lacking nowadays. Unfortunately for many they see this and not his unbelievable skill, speed and accuracy which is something I look forward to every time he gets behind the wheel.

52

Why did you conveniently sidestep my central point concerning the track walk? Anyway, perhaps Gerard Lopez doesn’t want to criticise his driver who finished third in the championship. This does not mean he is happy about KR being unprofessional by skipping the track walk. The track walk is an important part of the drivers briefing and should be taken seriously.

Without intending to be offensive (or complimentary to those who may view it as such) but, I think Raikonnen appeals to the ‘lad’ element of the F1 fanbase. Drivers like Kimi Raikonnen, Nelson Piquet, James Hunt and Mike Hawthorn have never appealed to me. Brabham, Stewart, Senna and Prost are the prime example of a great Grand Prix driver. Perhaps it is a personality issue, but Kimi’s at times obnoxiousness is very offputting indeed.

53

Oh that was brilliant mate!

54

I do believe that Alonso fears Vettel the most. Therefore he’s playing mind games to try and unsettle Red Bull by saying that Hamilton is the best.

55

Mark Webber never feared vettel

Why Alonso need to fear vettel ?

Webber was superb this season Out Qualified vettel 9-11 and took 2 consummate victories earlier in the season when RBR struggled for consistent pace. vettel only drove well in fnal part of the season when RBR gained advantage over rest of the field.

@ mharker – Alonso hater ?

56
Scuderia McLaren

[mod] All the stats and analysis in the world don’t change this fact.

Vettel 1st, Webber 6th – same car.

The is really, when we boil it down, the only thing that matters, not most fastest laps or quali performance or delta diff to team mate before a pit stop etc. All this business, all the effort is all done to be the highest one can be on the WDC table at the end of e year.

Webber should be ashamed.

“Mark Webber never feared Vettel” – krischar.
Well maybe he should have. Four years of being destroyed is nothing to be super confident about.

57

Trullili, right over the head, eh?

58

its 11-9 for Vettel you muppet

59

dead right! but, understandable given that during the season the british press don’t get much access to the likes of vettel, alonso and kimi. they have to make their stories from those somewhat lower down the pecking order …. hamilton and di resta.

60

What an ill-informed statement. The Britidh press accounts for something like 40% of all the ink used to write about F1, worldwide! BBC and Sky will always have the greatest access of any media in the paddock.

Please better fine-tune your attempts at back-handed observations.

61

Both drivers aint good in promoting themselve. Genuine fans will still see though it =)

62

I understand but why would there even be a need to promote themselves? Aren’t they doing a job and excelling in the same job? Shouldn’t that act as self promotion? Fans and even the media need to judge the drivers on merit and not by what they “say”. Yes, Alonso is a great driver too but then he felt the need to play mindgames while Vettel didn’t. I think Vettel is one of the most secured drivers out there, so is Kimi.

63

I see you point but F1 drivers, football player or actors are public figures. So they are also judge for what they say. And it´s good business for the media because they use controversy to sell. Red Bull does the same thing but it´s not Vettel who speaks. He has Helmut Marko as his spokeman. It´s funny. Marko says Vettel doesn´t care about mindgames. If so then why Marko feels the need to speak about it?

64

i think the only british journalist that value kimi and vettel is James alone.

66

The thing was Seb is that he doesn’t mess up whenever he really needed to win titles. We have seen Michael choked, Lewis choked, even the most consistent driver ever, Alonso choked (Japan2007, 2010 last race).

That finger guy never choked when it mattered.He may be not the fastest, but that asset pays more dividends than being fastest and choke.

And that should makes him a very very tough opponent to beat.

67

Turkey 2010 choke, spa 2010 choke, canada 2011 huge choke, first half of 2012 choking when his mate was beating him, brazil 2012 huge choke at the first lap and only bombproof car saved his title…

68
Spinodontosaurus

Two of those are in 2010, when Vettel was very erratic and clearly struggled with pressure.

Canada 2011 wasn’t really a ‘choke’. It was Vettel being Vettel and completely taking the piss with how much of the track you can use, as he does so often especially in qualifying. He stepped fractionally outside the dry line trying to keep a much faster Mclaren behind. Simple mistake.

If the first half of 2012 was Vettel ‘choking’ then you must regard him extremely highly. It may have been poor relative to his 2011 form, but it was by no means poor at all.

Brazil 2012 I give you.

69

Really?

Spain 2010, warned by his pit to retire as his brakes may fail anytime, he stays on the track to get 3rd place.

It takes guts to do such a thing, especially when your life is on the line.

70

Exactly right.

Anyone who watched Abu Dhabi 2012 would have seen how Vettel was able reverse a complete disaster into a success. It left a deep impression on Alonso. And what about Brazil? Again a truimph out of a huge set back for Seb. Can Alonso convince himself that Seb can be beaten? Not going to be easy.

Hence the usual mind games.

Seb is going to be the “man to watch” 2013. Not Hammy !!

71

Seb as champion is The Man. As the great poet Ric Flair would say, “if you wanna be The Man, you gotta beat The Man!”

If anyone thinks that Alonso and Hamilton don’t know this, they’re dumb. But I think Alonso’s comments should be taken as-is … basically, that if F1 was a spec-series, that he’d expect to be competing against Hamilton at the top. Just a comment on solely driver ability, not the whole car-driver-team package.

72

Found this clip of the Nature Boy at his best:

http://bit.ly/UMvxmf

“Why don’t you get a Mercedes-Benz and be a real man?!!” Haha, love it.

That quote qualifies it as motorsports-related, no? 🙂

73
Scuderia McLaren

Love the quote! Lol.

“Wooooooooo!!”

74

Abu Dhabi? Wasn’t that the RBR team breaking the spirit of the rules and starting Seb in a faster configuration for the race?

Didn’t Seb collect damage to his car before completely destroying his nose whilst trailing behind a safety car and avoiding Ricciardo?

Alonso and most of the world has said, give him a car on a par with Red Bull and he’ll do the rest.

Don’t ever forget, Alonso beat Schumacher at his peak, no other driver can claim that honour.

75

Yeah Hakkinen and Villeneuve. And Hill.

76

Raikkonen almost did twice in a car that broke down every second race. One season Kimi had seven wins with Mclaren when there was only 17 races. These days that would win you a championship by mid season if you finished other races anywhere n the points.

77
Scuderia McLaren

Hakkinen? Did you watch F1 in the 1990’s? Or was the Ferrari ‘a dog’ then like is claimed now to justify losing?

78

I agree about vettels raging. But c’mon that brazil drive was mighty impressive with that amount of pressure. And that its all about newey crap is getting borring. I think newey was designing most of the mclarens in the 2000’s and they didn’t win any title till 2008 when newey was gone. I do love your replys most of time and you know quite alot but i think when vettel and especially Schumacher comes into play you seem to focuss to much on their negative sides. Regarding Schumacher you should look up a piece by pat symmonds on schumacher on why schumacher was a better driver then senna

And alonso.

79

Hold on. Seb started Abu Dhabi from the pitlane. He finished on the podium with Alonso. Fastest car, yes. Still had to deliver.

Not sure Schumacher was at his peak in 2006. He was crushed by Kimi at Spa 2004. He was certainly at his peak then.

80

he doesnt choke because when it matters he has the fastest car, which enables him to cruise and collect. everything is so easy with the fastest car, which some people still dont understand. without the fastest car vettel is nothing, as proven by being behind journeyman mark webber on points until Spa. Pathetic.

81

I think his turn in to Senna in Brazil was due to choking and having Webber in front of him already. He was staggeringly lucky to not lose a wheel.

82

Vettel remains mentally fragile IMO and choked in Brazil, only for his superior car to get him out of jail. Too often last season he was heard crying when things weren’t going his way, he put the car into a barrier under safety car etc..certainly not the cool head being suggested.

83
Spinodontosaurus

Vettel choked? Alonso was overshadowed by a driver who looked to be out of a drive half way through the season!

Vettel was over-cautious at the start perhaps (and was squeezed by Webber ironicaly enough), but Alonso was not just slow but erratic in Brazil, making the same mistake twice into turn 1 for example.

In contrast Vettel was lapping a second a lap faster than anybody when on the inters despite driving a damaged car.

Vettel is more erratic on the whole though, I agree with that. He also has a habit of loosing his head and reacting very strongly to things he should just let slip. His radio rant after his penalty in Spain was brilliant.

84

Psychology at play here I think. By complementing Hamilton he hopes to take the fight out of him. Hamilton’s best season was arguably 2007 when he fought hard all the way during their public fall out!! He disregards Vettel to some extent so he can disregard him on the race circuit and not tighten up. He knows to beat Vettel he needs help from his rivals, unless Ferrari give him a good car.

85
unF1nnished business

Spot on.

86
Tornillo Amarillo

IMO if the cars would be closer in 2013, and consistency the most important thing, so Vettel, Alonso and Kimi could fight for the Championship.

IMO Hamilton could fight for P4, I agree with Alonso’s words that Lewis can win in 2013, maybe Canada, Monaco, Hungary, hopefully.

87
Val from montreal

This is all Montezemelo’s fault ! If he would have minded his own damn business and let Jean Todt run his operation without interfering and putting his nose where it did’nt belong back in 2006 , the “golden era ” debate would have never materiaze … Mind you that in 2007 , Martin Brundle said on a couple of occasions ( to my surprise ) that he strongly believed that with Schumacher driving the F-2007 the 2007 season would of been alot different .. The 2007 Ferrari was still very much a “schuey” car …Brundle said that had Schumacher not retired , there was no doupt in his mind that MSC would have easily been leading the wdc by mid season … MSC knew the car and team more than Raikkonen … He even said Schumacher would of probably won the championship that year beating the McLarens …. Montezemelo ruined everything … He could’nt leave well enough alone could he ?

88

I cannot believe what I’m going to say, but you’re right.

He would have won the 2007 and 2008 WDC.

Problem was, MSC would never race against a decent driver. His career proved that out.

I’m guessing LDM wanted a replacement for when Schumi retired, and he pre-empted it

89

nope, if michael stay, kimi would remain in mclaren and won the 07 08 titles with ease. we saw how many points wasted by mclaren drivers in both years, still come in handy in the end just prove how great that car was.

90

In a Mclaren in 2007 & 2008 Kimi would have beaten any driver including Michael Schumacher and a rookie Hamilton. Ferrari did not pay $ 54m for Raikkonen for nothing. At the time he was the fastest driver on earth and many times at Mclaren he out qualified and out raced Michael Schumacher in unreliable Mclarens when Ferrari was a much better car.on better tyres. He was and still is very much the real deal just watch Michael Schumachers body language whenever he’s raced against Kimi- you can tell he knows it.

91
Spinodontosaurus

Raikkonen would not have remained in Mclaren, he was already headed for Ferrari.

As much as rate Raikkonen during his Mclaren years, in his first season at Ferrari he would not have stood a chance against a fully-bedded in Schumi given how much he struggled against Massa.

If we assume he did stay with Mclaren, he would be racing Alonso in the same team, and against Schumacher in a faster Ferrari. I don’t think he would have won it.

92

I do think you guys underrate Irvine, Barrichello and Massa – a lot. These drivers have all been pretty decent, but at Ferrai the number one gets what he needs, and the other one has to cope with it.

Irvine had a title shot in 1999 when Schumacher broke his leg and Ferrari concentrated on him for the first time, later at Jaguar he managed to beat Pedro de la Rosa, Luciano Burti. He remains only beaten by only beaten by Schumacher and Barrichello.

Barrichello – two times runner up in the championship. Before that at Jordan he has beaten Emanuele Naspetti, Thierry Boutsen, De Ceasaris, Aguri Suzuki, Ex-Ferrari driver Ivan Capelli, Eddie Irvine (see above), Martin Brundle, At Stewart-Ford he sniffed the young “prodigy” Jan Magnussen, Jos “the boss” Verstappen and Johnny Herbert, at Honda he beat Jenson Button in 2008, at Williams he has beaten both “prodigies” Maldonado and Hülkenberg. He remains beaten only by the World Champions Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button (who he beat in 2008).

Barrichello – not a decent driver? Oh, Please!

Massa could beat Ex-World Champion Jacques Villeneuve at Sauber, at Ferrari he beat Kimi Räikkönen (another World Champion) in 2008 to become runner up in the championship – not too shabby either.

You may say a lot about Ferrari, but not that they use to chose “no decent driver” as their number two.

93
Val from montreal

Super great post Wanja ! The worst part is that Ferrari did indeed offer a job to drivers like Villeneuve, Coulthard, Montoya, Alonso and Raikkonen during their title-assault years (1999 and onwards) … But the challenge of them going up against the defending world champ Schumacher in the same car was too much to handle …. They had their precious little “reputations” to worry about ……

94

2007 yes 2008 no

95
Spinodontosaurus

Massa came withing a point in 2008, I imagine Schumi would have done just fine.

96

2006 is over Val ! 2012 is too !- and Michael is Goooone – both times – Im so happy 🙂

97

lol 🙂

98

Alright everybody knows Vettel has the strongest mind control on the grid so it will interesting to see if he will fall to the same loss of form Alonso and Lewis suffered on their 26th year.

Yes, in both those cases it was a result of pressure from competition that led to this dip in form.

In Alonso’s case, it was pressure from Lewis in 2007 whereas in Lewis’ case in 2011, it was pressure brought about by the super Red Bull car.

So once again, all years will be on the Wonder kid in 2013.

99

You don’t run bettor.com do you? Seems as though every article of theirs ends with something like what you wrote.

100

You’re wtong mate. Alonso gets better with age.

101

Fuji behind Webber and pace car.

Turkey 2010 would suggest otherwise.

Any time Webber has beaten him, he looks like he’s sucking a wasp

Any time a back marker gets in his way..

Warming up tyres behind Ricciardo in Abu Dhabi

Most significant of all, his unbelievable fortune when he drove into Senna in Brazil, spun round and received no race ending damage.

His comeback may have been impressive, but I think pressure forced that mistake.

102

Still absolutely incredible that he was hit by two cars and was still able to continue at a decent pace. Some F1 god(s) must like him, that’s for sure!

103
Scuderia McLaren

And this does not apply to Alonso? Your first paragraph could be used to describe Alonso and Hamilton also.

104

Vettel the strongest mind? When? When he got angry at Webber in a 2010 accident? When he screams insults at Ricciardo in Abu Dhabi? When he got angry at Hamilton in Germany? When he got angry at Karthykain twice last season? I think Vettel has very bad temper

105

On the same hand, everybody wrote him off in 2010 just before the race in Japan and he did it against all odds, getting the maximum out of the car on every single occasion, even though there was hardly any margin for error left. If you think he’s got a weak mind, just imagine Alesi or Hamilton in the same situation.

106

lol vettel the strongest mind? easy to appear that way with a car 1 second a lap faster than the rest. He would crumble if he ever had to deal with a dog like the F2012.

107
Spinodontosaurus

It is even easier to exaggerate one teams’ pace advantage to big up your favoruite driver.

The F2012 was not a dog. Poor in a couple of races yes, but a very quick car overall. The RB8 wasn’t even the fastest car this year.

108
Scuderia McLaren

+1

109

He did when calling others cucumber.. and his frankly dangerous drivng at Monza wasn’t the most calm piece of driving I’ve seen, almost pre-meditated

110
Scuderia McLaren

Monza was revenge for the previous year. It was not coincidence. And Vettel got it and enjoyed it and showed Alonso not to f&£k with him. And all for a relatively small price. The Samurai got cut. Incidentally I loved Alonso’s messages to Rosberg in Bahrain and also to this incident. Trying to make them my ring tone, “you have to always leav a the space!!!”.

I saw a side of Vettel in Monza (last 2 years) that really impressed me, getting down and dirty and racing and showing who had the biggest balls. He doesn’t need a back full tattoo to show it.

111
Scuderia McLaren

1 sec per lap?! Lol. Sure thing.

112

I thought in Alonso’s case was due to his team boss at the time. And finishing one point behind the WDC can’t be considered a dip in form 😉

113

Also says his opinion, people spin it, shocking.

114
unF1nnished business

I can’t help to think that 50% of what Alonso says is mind games.

115
Scuderia McLaren

Alonso off season:

50% Mind Games

25% Self Aggrandising

20% History revisionism

5% My Car was Crap rhetoric

Alonso on season:

40% Mind Games

30% My Car is Crap rhetoric

20% Self Aggrandising

10% History revisionism

116

Wouldn’t the world be boring if we all liked the same mannerisms in others.

Senna was a passionate, charismatic racer, willing to push everything to the limit.

Prost, a consummate professional, very political and unhappy at being pushed beyond his limits.

I love Alonso’s character and his “Dick Dastardly ways”.

Something comes to mind, Kimi tells his engineer ” I know what I’m doing, leave me alone” and the world laughs.

Alonso told his engineer in the 2010 British GP, “I don’t want to hear anymore, leave me alone” some adversary was catching him after drive through penalty involving Kubica.

Yet because he’s this intense unlikeable character, it’s dismissed.

The power of the media right?

117

When your political and cunning, even if something is said in all honesty and spur of the moment – people do t believe you. If you are just being yourself and always honest people tend to trust it more…

118

I don’t see Alonso as unlikeable. I think he’s quite forthright most times. There are sometimes (calling Hamilton an “aggressive” starter in the wake of the La Source chaos, or saying Kimi should’ve backed off at the start in Suzuka) where I wonder if he and I are watching the same replay coverage. But on the whole I think he calls it like it is.

Of course he has many fans who go too far in their admiration for him, affording him extra-human abilities, etc. But can’t slag him as a driver just b/c some of his fans are a tad annoying.

119

50%? More like 99%!

120

He’s like Sir Alex Ferguson ( Manchester United manager) in that respect

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