Fernando Alonso tells rivals he’ll be even stronger than last year
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Mar 2013   |  10:28 am GMT  |  333 comments

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has told his rivals that he is better prepared ahead of the new season than last year – and he believes this year will be stronger.

The double world champion led the championship for much of 2012, despite having an inferior car to the Red Bull and McLaren, but missed out to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel by three points.

But after training hard during the winter and showing good pace in winter testing, setting the second fastest time on the final day in Barcelona, Alonso has high hopes for this season.

“Last year was the best year of my career and I was very happy with the performance, but I think this year will be better,’ said Alonso, who won the title in 2005 and 2006 with Renault.

“We have a better starting point and I have learned from some of the mistakes from last year.

“The trust, confidence and motivation are better than any other year and pit-stop wise, with starts, all these things, we are constantly learning. I have prepared better. I am better than last year.

“You can improve always as a driver. I am more motivated than last year, but I need a better car than last year because we were too far from the leaders.

“I expect the team to have a better car. We don’t ask to be half a second in front of everybody, but two tenths behind is OK.”

Ahead of the season-opening race in Melbourne, Ferrari technical director Pat Fry was cautious about his predictions for the race, suggesting there will be some “shocks” in the race because of the uncertainty of the tyres.

The teams have experienced high levels of degradation during testing due to the cold conditions, leaving teams unsure how they will react in warmer conditions such as in Melbourne.

“There are still going to be a lot of people learning things in Melbourne to be honest,” said Fry. ” [In Barcelona], the tyres, they grain massively, so what you see here is not necessarily going to carry over until Melbourne.

“I think there will be a few surprised people and a few shocked people. I think it is going to be fairly mixed up to be honest. I wouldn’t like to predict where we will be.

“It will be interesting to see if it is 30 degrees [in Melbourne] like it was there a few days ago. Then it will be a different story to [in Barcelona].”

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After reading a lot of comments. I have come to the conclusion that Alonso will produce fear.


I wonder if part of Alonso’s MO is to tell the team, “to hell with qualifying pace, focus on race pace and start clutch system” – because it seems that nowadays, a driver that starts/races better (as opposed to qualifying better) gets credit nowadays. The last few Ferraris have been much better in racing than qualifying.


“Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has told his rivals”

This is the kind of headline I expect for yellow pages, not from you James, he never told his rivals anything, he was talking about his preparation and current condition, just that, he never addressed his rivals like you say n the headline.


It’ll be interesting to see whether the other teams have caught up with the Ferrari’s standing start performance from last year.

Ferrari’s inferior DRS (and possibly Alonso not being the quickest over one lap) meant that quali was a big problem for Ferrari last year, but this was almost always mitigated by the incredible speed of the Ferrari at the start.

I think the standing start performance of the Ferrari last year was potentially the most important factor in allowing Alonso to fight for the WDC and something many commentators seem to forget.

DRS won’t is unlikely to cause Ferrari any problems in quali this year (due to the regulation chages) so if Ferrari still have a massive advantage at the start of races then they could be in a very fabourable position indeed.


Lol…Reading this is like that monolog from Pulp Fiction – Ving Ryhms to Bruce willis in the bar….

About a sportsman(boxer in the movie) being like a fine wine – ‘improves with time…they don’t’

Can’t wait for the season start.


Let’s just get to the driving instead of just talking.

IMO, he is not the only one who believes he is stronger and better than last year.

May the best team driver combo wins!


If this season is going to be a tyre poker – might make sense to put some on Lotus…atleast during the first quarter of the season..


Too bad for Alonso that he has the curse of #3 to contend with this year.


Here we go:

– number one brand in the world? – check

– Alonso media corporation ready to go? – check

Then its off to the races.

I liked Alonso a lot better when he just drove to victory, and didn’t drive the message down our throats, so much.




There’s nothing like a fresh dose of reality, the feeling of such clarity like in a moment of having an epiphany. So here it is… Hail the youngest 4 times consecutive championship winner, yes 2013 included, Sebastian Vettel!


Yeah good for Alonso, but can Massa please whup him at least a few times this season?


i dont like alonso’s way of going racing.. he is always trying to make things worse than as they really are.. take last year car for example, it was not really that bad… but because alonso all the time complained about it, everybody thought it was true… of course massa’s bad driving helped for alonso to make his point seem correct… if there was vettel or lewis in last years car, we would know really if ferrari was slow… but as always, alonso is already making things like they are behind top teams (who is top team by the way if not ferrari) so if he doesnt win this year, he is already quite successful.. nobody is asking why you lost 2 championship to vettel at the last race…we all hear alonso driving brilliantly, every year better…


Agree with you about many things.

Don’t get me wrong, I rated Alonso as the driver of the season last year. But I don’t believe he was miles ahead of Vettel or Hamilton last season.

F2012 was not a good car at the start of the season but it wasn’t that bad on race pace from the beginning. Ferrari did a quite decent job in developing the car through out the year (for which they weren’t given enough credit). The problems they had in quali are well documented but on high fuel loads and limited DRS at races, the car was on par with the front-runners for most part of the season.

Apart from that, they had bulletproof reliability, great launch control and perfect team strategies for a number 1 driver. All those factors helped Alonso’s title charge in addition to his brilliant driving. So I don’t see why he has to keep on saying how bad the car is/was.

For instance, I recall him saying that even Force India/Williams were faster than them at the end of the season. But at the same time he was being out performed by his resurgent teammate towards the end of the year. For example, Massa showed race winning pace at Brazil and had a great race while Alonso made several unforced errors.


I am really glad that James could judge the performances last year based on what he observed on track rather than the PR talk; and place Alonso just above Vettel in ratings rather than “miles ahead” as many believe.


Reptor, if I may…

You see, you are not that different from people that support alonso:-) they say that Alonso compensated for the lack of performance of the car, you say that Massa did not use the full performance.

I think that some people can deal with a car that is not perfectly balanced, that is not stable and take it to the absolute limit. This is what Alonso did. Massa struggled with the car that was not stable and he got better when the car improved.

I think that hilight of the year was Alonso driving in Kuala Lumpur…you do not have to agree, but in wet drivers can show the difference really. This is what Senna used to do as well….



When did Ferrari produced quickest car out of the blocks ? F2008

Since then Brawn, RBR, Mclaren and heck even Lotus (last season) were quicker than Ferrari

Massa requires a car with stable balance. Last season F2012 was sliding all around the tarmac

I do not see you as better expert than Gary anderson, Andrew benson, james himself and DC. All these pundits / journos have clearly evidenced and documented

If you think F2012 was not a bad car. you have some serious troble

Who lost 2 championship to vettel ?
Alonso NO WAY

It was Ferrari who lost the championship, in 2010 they covered Webber stratergy wise and lost WDC. In 2012 RBR had 9 victories as team to Ferrari’s 3 (Mixed weather and Alonso’s skill)

Vettel would have not finished even in top 10 if he Drove F2012

yes Alonso is brilliant and genius.


Please stop insulting other posters. Last warning – Mod

Tornillo Amarillo

Hey sponsors, I think Rosberg will challenge for the WD Championship,

I gotta feeling…


… that Mercedes’gonna be a good car…

and if Alonso believes he is stronger,

I’m sure Rosberg, Hamilton, Massa, Kimi, Grosjean, Hulkenberg and Sutil TOO!

and for me others looks like weaker like Button, Perez, Webber and maybe Vettel.

Just a feeling, sponsors, put your money in Mercedes first!

Just saying.


I was in Melbourne yesterday and it was 33 degC.


Not changing anytime soon – looks like a high 20’s / low 30’s GP weekend.


Go Fernando !! We believe in you !!


After last year’s performance he has the right to consider himself good enough to compete with a car that’s 2/10ths behind the Red Bull or whatever the fastest car will be this season.

In my opinion only him and Raikkönen is capable of doing that from the current list of drivers. When the car isn’t really up for the task, you can judge one’s talent pretty well. No offense to the Hamilton / Vettel fans here, but I doubt either of them could have performed better than Alonso in the Ferrari last year.


Ferrari better produce the good this year, I believe that Alonso’s patience will run out after this if they do not give him a car to mount a proper challenge then I see Alonso looking for greener grass.

Let’s see what happens in Melbourne, I believe Ferrari is in a better position this year than last year given the drivers feedback. I see strong challenge coming from Felipe Massa if he gets off to a good start I think he will give Alonso a run for his money there were races last year like Korea and India where he was lapping quicker than Alonso.

I hope it will be as close as last year just a pity we are not seeing Schumacher there this year, I think this should have been his last year after an improved performance and out performing Nico Rosberg for most the race towards the end. I think Lewis is going to smash Rosberg, this will expose Rosberg and it won’t be long till Merc will look around for another driver. Rosberg is not consistent enough to mount a challenge nor to back the team up for the constructors title.


alonso is better than last year and so are the other drivers.

i think raikkonen sizzled better alonso last year and i hope we enjoy a closer season.


I’m surprised Alonso is allowed to so publicly criticise the team. Even Schumacher never criticised the team during much darker times.

Alonso is a great driver but he never seems to be a team player.

I love Cheesecake

Mr. Alsonso, if you don’t win this year. Most likely, your end game at Italian stable will start! Ferrari first ! and LDM knows that. No title in 2013 will lead to Vettel at Ferrari in 2014/15 at max.

Antonis Papdakis

If he does not win the 2013 championship

then he might give a shot at top gear…


For some reason the car will be 1.6 sec slower, even tho’ it’s the same car.. 🙂


It’s interesting that he never says a word about the (never seen before) levels of bias Ferrari has in his favour.

Massa was beating him regardless towards the end of the season.


Have to say, Massa really impressed me at the end of the season. Driver of the day in Singapore, Japan, USA, and Brazil 🙂 I think he will push Alonso to his limit, and maybe beat him


Right….the good thing is that red bull equally supports two drivers.


Both Alonso and Vettel were very LUCKY last season. But, they might not an iron-clad guarantee of success this time. So, they should better remain humble!


Luck is an illusion!


off topic:

Red Bull may end up getting their way, to running the RB9 with new MAPS used at the Jerez pre-season test track.

They are seeking to change FIA 2012 MAPS ruling on the grounds of reliability.

Sounds like the same arguement RB got away with at Silverstone in 2011.

It seems they need the new MAPS to balcance the car setup because of the high rake


It look like they also have a bigger gap between the back wheel and the base.

Could be to blow more gas down there to help seal the deffuser cause of the high rake, (is this their new shape of the coke bottle shape?)


Ross Brawn said with out their “clever engine management system” “the situation could now harm Red Bull and Lotus”


Migth very well be why RB were not up to speed at the Barcelona test.


This is where Ross Brawn excels … he usually gets his way with the FIA. So if he has any say in the matter, I’m confident his side of the argument (i.e. to ban the new Renault engine maps) will win out.


That is Renault asking for it, not RBR. Nice try though.


James, I’ve always been curious about the bioscience portion of racing drivers, which often gets overlooked.

After having seen Alonso’s 2012 campaign, which was quite close to flawless – I’d absolutely enjoy a piece talking about what kinds of things a driver can do (physically) to help himself maintain such devastating form, for example if there are special diets or foods they avoid/take on, or just general fitness, etc.

Perhaps Alonso had a different mix of energy drink in the car’s drinks bottle, even?

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