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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
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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Well, he has been working out 😀


He may be working out, and the Ferrari better than last year, but lets see if he has such a 'fortunate' season as last year, and if he finds himself 40 points up at the midway point!


he wasnt fortunate 0 he maximized what he had.


I don't see how starting the season off with an inferior car and been taken out twice at the start, once almost taking his head off mind you, is fortunate. It's not that he was 'fortunate' but rather that the cars the were 'less fortunate' didn't get everything right on race day where he and his team did. He did everything right last year and had the Ferrari been just a little quicker in Qualy or at least one of those start incidents not happened he would have won. I say lets hope he is a little more fortunate this year and that we see a fight from the beginning to the end and may the best man/team win 😉


Ferrari put a lot of effort into the 2012 car also, and were saying everything they were saying this year a year ago. Except now they add what a POS last year's car was! 🙂

Where you say "or at least one of those start incidents not happened" the one with Kimi was Fernando's fault as he moved over on him and left no room, and K did not back out. So, that was Fernando's fault, and if you blame that for him not winning the championship, I can go with that too! 🙂


One thing is for sure. A strong Alonso+Ferrari package this year can produce a tense and exhilarating championship.

He is a fierce competitor who you want to see mixing it up with the rest of the field in every race.


Uh, it's one thing being strong and better prepared than you have ever been and it's quite a different thing when the cards fall in/against you.

For instance, last season Lewis was pretty prepared (with a good car) but it so happened the chips didn't fall in his favour.

As for Alonso, he had so many instances last season were fortune smiled his way for instance:

i) No mechanical failure the entire season with the exception of Monza qualifying

ii) His competitors tripping over themselves in the first half of the season

iii) A depressed teammate.

So Alonso may feel better prepared but there's no telling if good fortune will be him this season for as he said sometime last season >>> Will be pretty difficult repeating my 2012 heroics.


Maybe Mercedes and Vettel have this right.

It's better to downplay your chances and surprise instead of the other way round.


See reply to Geno above...


Time for Ferrari to finally get it together. And Alonso has a competitor once again.


Quite right goferet - the danger with Fernando's approach is the very real risk of over-promising and under-delivering. He fell foul of that last year, for example, in being "100%" confident he would win the title. I don't doubt he believed that, and to his credit he came within a whisker of doing so, but there's a fine line between playing mind games and coming across as slightly delusional. I'm not for a second saying he actually is, but the risk is the other drivers will start to treat it as such and give no heed to what he says - that way, his attempt at pressure backfires. It's a fine line, and I think he may just be starting to tip over it.

That being said, Ferrari do look considerably better than this time last season, so the chance may be there for the taking.


I agree totally. You expressed my thoughts exactly.

All of this Hyperbole is just talk... Journalists love this... I love the talk done on the track...

Maybe it is Alonso's year.. maybe not...

Personally I haven't got a clue..


i) thats called reliability and should be the hallmark of a good team - especially in an industry where obscene money is being spent.

ii) Like when Vettel has a Renault land on top of Alonso and Hamilton? Like when certain drivers can handle rain and others can't?

iii) Is that Alonso's problem!? Also, does the name Webber mean anything to you?


I think everyone in the paddock know who are the strongest drivers, and pretty much everybody recognise who was the best driver last year. In my opinion there are two drivers who can fight for the WDC not having the fastest cars: Lewis and Fernando.


Vettel is the best driver in F1 theres no doubt about it, the british fans can downplay it as much as they want but he would blow Hamilton and Alonso away in the same car, hence why Alonso has stopped the 2014 move to drive along Seb, he knows whats good for him, and also Horner refusing to sign Hamilton shows he knows he's got the best driver that will do the job year in year out without a overrated wannabe rap star, bet against Vettel for the title all you like the boy will win races when the cars strong or not, Hamilton will not win another title whilst Vettel is in F1 and Vettel won't have the fastest car this season just like last season as Mclaren was the fastest, bet against Vettel I dare you but all of you know deep down he will clean up again this year and next and will do for a long time poor Hamilton was thinking he'd be a great but beating Rosberg won't even be a walk in the park.


Dominant car? Last year maybe 3-4 races he had the best car and even then it wasn't dominant as Webber was fighting for the points instead of the win, Mclaren had the fastest car last year its quite clear I think even James wouldn't disagree with that. The only 'dominant' year for RBR was 2011 and even then Webber couldn't win a race and had to be gifted the win at Interlagos. This year I doubt Redbull will even have a championship winning car, its because they have an all time great.


I am not sure about that. In the last three years he had a dominant car, however only in 2011 he was dominant. Logic applied, perhaps he can not win without having an advantage over his competitors meaning having the best car.


I don't get it, if you really think 3 time world champion isn't the best, why would you watch the sport? I mean there is no legitimacy in world driver championship, at least for the people who believe Seb is rubbish.


To be honest driver and team need eachother, Vettel would have won the title if he were driving for Mclaren last year, yes you go on about how Hamilton had technical failures whilst leading but so did Vettel, also a certain HRT cost Vettel valuable podiums and win, but the Mclaren was faster and Seb would have won at least double the amount of races Button won, now talking about Button, I think he has done a good job in BEATING Hamilton over 3 years, just shows how overrated Hamilton is, looks like even Nico Rosberg will give him a hard time, the same Rosberg that was thrashed by Webber at Williams in 2006.


you would have to be a [mod] to think that a driver is a 3 time WDC on his own. You must be in the right team at the right time and even then everything has to be perfect for the driver to win. Dure he stoll has to drive great. Last year Hamilton would have won the championship if Mclaren did not make so many errors- they still had one of/ if not the fastest car .

Vince-you need to address the right post -JohnBT,to reply me.
I believe 2008 Ferrari set the Ferrari up to suit Felipe Massa. I also understand that by mid way though 2008 Ferrari were courting Santander and Kimis days at Ferrari were numbered. Including the fact Luca Di Montezemolo did mot like him. When you are talking about many€100m's - and Alonso coming with that deal for the Spanish audiences-( both he and Felipe) nothing and nobody was to stand in the way. You have to understand alot more about the politics of the sport before you understand the results . What I think is really amusing is that Kimi is Ferraris last world champion and Felipe and Fernando are not. Lotus were 8th in 2011 and they were 4th in 2012( almost beating Mclaren)in Kimis first year back. Great drivers add value quietly and honestly pushing development in the right way. Whilst others big note, and keep reminding us how bad a car is and how great they they are..

I think many fans watch the sport to see fantastic skill and great racing. Having 7, 3, 1 ,0 or even finishing 10th in championships is irrelevant unless you fully understand F1. Some of greats- Gilles Villeneuve are remembered amongst the very best even though they never won a championship and Michael Schumacher's 7 still raises questions - it's all perspective. You either have it or you don't .


I can see what you mean, but my point is in the last three years he had the best car, however in two of these three years he was not the best driver according to Team principals. I think Fernando has proven he can even fight for the WDC with a car slower than his competitors. By the way I don't think Vettel is rubbish.


Vettel is the best, British and English spsaking fans are deluded, probably the same people that thinks Rooney is the best striker in the world, makes me laugh.


Replying to Elie above, so Kimi could challenge in not the best car but couldn't when he had the best one (in 2008)? Strange that.


[there are two drivers who can fight for the WDC not having the fastest cars: Lewis and Fernando.]


Watch out for Lewis, he might not fight for WDC but i'm very sure he'll win a race or maybe a few.

As for Nando, respect goes to him for his matadorishness. Wish him well and hope his 3rd WDC is achieved for all that he has done in Ferrari. I still believe he brought 6 tenths to McLaren.


Elie, yes you're spot on about Kimi. Let's hope they sought out their reliability problems during the recent tests. I'm a Kimi supporter though.


Kimi Raikkonen challenged for the title in the 4th ranked team up to Abu Dhabi and he finished 3rd in the championship in his first year back.. If there is any driver who has the speed and consistency to win a championship- he is the man- all he now needs is a top three car and 3.0 sec pit stops like the top 3. I don't think anything separates Raikkonen & Alonso in terms of these two things. Hamilton possibly quicker than both over 1 lap but maybe with a year under his belt Kimi is back to his best.

unF1nnished business

Fernando yes. I can't think of a year Lewis challenged for the title without having arguably the fastest car. If you can I'd like to hear it.


@ Alboreto

I think MS the best car in 2006, and in 2010 and 2012 shouldn't have won by a bigger margin by Seb, but in both occasions was considered the best driver Fernando. Perhaps, you are overseeing these facts.


The funny thing is the only two driver´s lost a WDC in the best car in the last ten year´s are Alonso and Hamilton 2007.I thing they are in the group of the best drivers but there are more driver´s on the same level.mayby just one mayby 3 or even 4.hard to tell.but for some here it look easy to oversee that they not perfect. not even last Yaer.


2008, when Heikki perform terribly.



2008, just look at the constructors.


Lewis had the fastest car last year and did not crack it:-) i think you need more tha. Just a driver and a car.


The car needs to be able to finish races. Fast means nothing if it doesn't finish. Lewis finished 14 races, Alonso finished 18 races. Can't cede four points-scoring opportunities to your opponents and hope to be in the fight. Plus three of those races he retired from the lead, two of them comfortable leads.

That's not even counting the races he did finish that were handicapped in some way (pit stop errors, broken anti-roll bars, hitting debris on track, astro-turf [Ed. really, astro-turf??], yes astro-turf, etc.).

In the modern F1 era - with its increased emphasis on reliability - it was probably one of the most hard-luck seasons there's been.


I'm not sure what others think - But i feel that Fernando makes Ferrari look in a very poor light. Not a team player at all. How can you say things like "I'm ok with a car that is two tenths behind". Feel sorry for Ferrari!!


Don't be silly, Alonso is grandstanding...

Scuderia McLaren

Don't worry Gravity, Alonso will never be a Ferrari WDC.

The car wont match the RBR this year, Vettel will become 4 time WDC and Ferrari won't take that "Ferrari is a crap car" attitude for much longer. I expect fireworks from Marranello this year after it becomes clear that the 4th year is gone for the Ferrari/Alo_official partnership. Fry will be putting out contra statements to Alonso regarding the car throughout the year and be positioning the car as "good enough for a WDC". This will really p**s off the Samurai.

Even looking at the Ferrari WDC's list, the name Alonso doesn't fit well.

Ascari, Fangio, Hawthorn, P.Hill, Surtees, Schekter, Schumacher, Raikkonen... The next one begins with a V I think...


Totally disagree with what you have posted.


Well you are entitled to your opinion as I'm to mine..


It sounds as if hes just talking himself up. Hes saying "the can be crappy but I, only I, will make it go faster". He needs to be comending the team for at least trying, and push them behind closed doors. Self agrandizing...

I do, however, agree that hes one of the best, and CAN put a car where it doesnt belong.


Agree completely, getting really sick of him constantly downplaying the car's attributes. No matter how good the driver is you don't lead the championship for half a season with a donkey cart. The difference to other drivers is that he gives a time of how slow the car is, thereby suggesting that his brilliance makes up the time difference? And the complaining is near consistent (it's a slow car, the newer car is better) Stop worrying what the world thinks and just drive the thing!


Do you want him to say his car is better than RB?

Base on what he should say that?


Well that´s not how F1 works. All the drivers must address the media and answer questions whether they and you like it or not. Don´t read interviews if that bothers you so much.


No we just want him to shut up & drive '


Hallelujah J ! - the only other guy "smelling the roses here"


You are right, but so is Alonso. And Ferrari agree with him, at least according to what they are saying in public.


Let's see how long Ferrari is going to be patient & let his comments slide... time will tell.. this is a critical season for Ferrari & Fernando.


Er... you think coming out saying "We're going to be 0.5 faster than everybody" is better than saying what Alonso said? By saying what Alonso said, IF they do turn out being slower then they won't look so stupid. If Alonso starts saying they're faster, then the world would call him cocky.


He just said he can win, (beat everyone else), in a car that is slower than the leading car. You don't think that is being cocky?


"I would also like to call into question your assumption that the 2012 Ferrari was far inferior. Inferior to what exactly?"

Maybe you can dig up, from JA's site alone, on how the Ferrari performed in the early stages of the season to find out. There are also various other F1 sources widely and freely available. Commonly the Ferrari were known to be bad coming out of corners and lacked the traction / grip. In a straight-line their speed is what helped them a bit though.

He only missed out by a mere 3 points in 2012, otherwise he was in strong contention, so that alone has not proved to you that he's a strong driver and able to grab the most out of what he had at his disposal? Go back the year and see how long did Alonso lead the WDC. If you don't agree that he's a strong driver then you don't know what you're watching, because the entire grid of team bosses and engineers highly rate Alonso's performances in 2012, or even 2010.

Having a reliable car does not mean they are fast, it only means they're able to pick up valuable points when others trip over themselves. That's ALonso working things to his advantage, does not mean his car is anywhere close to fast.

Feel free not to agree and continue to be biased because you are not an Alonso fan, but the people who knows, knows.


Did he win 2012? No, then what has he demonstrated other than he can come second in a slower car.

Why should this year, 2013, be any different from last year assuming that he is in fact still in a slower car.

I would also like to call into question your assumption that the 2012 Ferrari was far inferior. Inferior to what exactly? The Red Bull that was unreliable or the McLaren that was unreliable and suffered due to team errors.

The Ferrari was more reliable than the Red Bull and the strategy and pit work were close. The red Bull was slightly faster at most tracks. The Ferrari was more reliable than the McLaren and the strategy and pit work was better for most of the season. The McLaren was slightly faster when it was able to perform at its best. In short the Ferrari and Red Bull packages (team, car and strategy) were very evenly matched last year and that is why Alonso finished second, not because he is a supreme being and not because he was able to drive the car faster than it could go.



If he said that without having performed like so previously then yes I'd say he's cocky.

2012 he clearly demonstrated he can put up a fight with a far inferior car, as the world knows very well by the end of the year.

I love Cheesecake

Ditto ! Enzo would have fired him by now! Even Schumacher knew the sacred code ! "Thy shall not criticize the team publically" He is just a 2 time wdc and there have been quite a few 2 time wdc in past..nothing special.


The car development issues last year were well understood and as a team insider, FA probably knew better than most it wasn't likely to get any better anytime soon, so moaning publicly would have been counter-productive. This year, the wind tunnel issues seem to be banished so he may be right to feel more optimistic. It's a no-brainer.


He didn't criticize the team! What are you talking about? Nobody know at this stage who is faster than who? But because of last year when Ferrari started 1.5s behind the rest, he is basicaly saying he can work with a car 0.2s slower than the rest in worst case scenario.

Is it really that hard to see what he was trying to say or ...nevermind!


er, actually no there haven't been quite a few. In fact, just being a race winner puts you in an elite F1 club.


I don´t think he is criticizing Ferrari. It´s more like dealing with reality. He and Ferrari know they can´t have the fastest car so he is saying he is ok with the best possible car they can come up with. The question is why Ferrari can´t build the fastest car.


but this is true....look what he managed to do with a car that was slower.


Ok Alex So What!- look what Perez and even Kobayashi did in a Sauber. Look at what Pastor Maldonado did- have a look at what Lewis did to Seb at Aistin!- If we continually focus on this guy Alonso no-one can see he brilliant drives happening behind and in front of him for that matter- including Red Bull who were not so quick first Hal of last year. Last year he was only just the best and there is a few other drivers very close to the best.

If he makes a few small mistakes then half the people singing his praises will be calling him a looser. I agree with Raikkonen when he doesn't get carried away with a win- because the minute he doesn't he becomes a nobody- this is why Fernando is so hell bent on reminding us of his very apparent acheivements- his fear of a failure is so high it's almost inevitable after such great success.!


Finish second...


What did he do? He just drove it! The others "tripped up/over themselves", that's how he got to lead the championship. Alonso's a good driver but people keep making him seem to be magic, but he's not, and the Farari wasn't actually as "bad" a car as people make out.

I'm hoping Massa has a decent run this season, and gets decent support from the crew.



For what my opinion is worth, I think you are correct. There is no doubt FA is a formidable

opponent and a fierce competitor. But the lead he built in 2012 was due,in part, to the misfortunes of his competitors.


I agree with you to some extend. Ferrari should aim higher. But Alonso can´t put a gun on factory workers, Fry and Domenicali in other to have a better car.


positive reinforcements will always work out better...


He doesn't have to say that he has a great car - all he has to say is that as team they are trying to have the best overall package..


I desagree.If he says he has a great car and then in a race we all can see that it is not the case. He and Ferrari are going to end up loking like people who live in a bubble and out of touch with reality.


I think if you look back the last three years, you realise he's got a point. Last year he made Ferrari looked better than they were.


Ferrari, as a team, was one of (if not) the best at pit stops (not failing once), strategy and team work.


Maybe Massa made the car look worse, how do we know? A car doesn't do a time if it can't


This is for sure, but this is why you have some drivers capable of getting more out of the car than the rest and this is why they are the best drivers.


So be it... F1 is a team sport. I will never have anyone who makes the team look bad - But again, that's just me....


I wouldn’t like to predict where we will be.


Maybe I could help with that.

Massa's Melbourn results for Ferrari so far

2006 - DNF

2007 - 6th

2008 - DNF

2009 - DNF

2010 - 3rd

2011 - 7th

2012 - DNF

Alonso's Melbourne results for Ferrari so far

2010 - 4th

2011 - 4th

2012 - 5th

So all in all, doesn't look very promising for a Ferrari podium in Melbourne.


Can't blame Massa for results that were from technical problems, such as the engine blowing.


If you're talking about Melbourne- as a track- not suiting the Ferrari, keep in mind that anything from '08 and backwards is invalid because of the new '09 regulations. '12 isn't a good reference either, given that the Ferrari was a terrible car regardless of the track.

If you're talking about Ferrari not doing well in the opening race of the season- remember that in '10, the opening race was in Bahrein where Ferrari scored an (admittedly inherited) 1-2 finish after qualifying 2nd and 3rd.

unF1nnished business

Kimi won in '07 with pole, fastest lap, and win. So it doesn't look that bleak.


AS long as they are allowed to use the '07 car this year 😉

Welcome to 2013 🙂


You do realise that Kimi won for Ferrari in 2007 in Melbourne, and I believe Massa had to start last that year that very race, so to finish 6th is a quite good result then, considering there wasn't DRS and the fact that is not as easy overtaking in Melbourne as lets say...Abu Dhabi,which has two DRS zones


Kimi is not at ferrari anymore


This looks too be the best out of the box ferrari that Alonso has had.

Bring Back Murray

Its about time he had a proper shot at it


I don't doubt fernando. I really dont care for much of his premadona past behaviour, but he is without doubt the most complete and strongest driver package on the grid. In terms of raw talent and speed, I would say Lewis is it, but I would always choose Fernando to get the job done. If ferrari can get their act together this year and next, Alonso will deliver and become a triple champion


I'd argue that Vettel is faster than FA over one lap and just as likely to 'get the job done' in the race.


Whilst I would agree that SV is definitely quicker than FA over a single lap, I am not so sure he would 'get the job done' in the race.

In my opinion SV does not cope with pressure as well - the first lap incident in Brazil last year comes to mind. SV is a triple WDC and deserves respect, but if I was betting my house (all other things being equal), it would be FA that I backed 🙂



I disagree and, more importantly, so do the majority of team principals who rank FA higher than SV.

But each to his own, it's a free country and just my opinion.


By now you would be homeless if you had placed that bet as for Vettel what he is good at, is doing what needs to be done to win a championship.


How much of a net gain have ferrari caught up on redbull and mclaren?


What are the winning lottery numbers?

Your question and my question are now twins! 🙂


You wanna know before they really start racing? Based on what?


Fernando loves to put messages out there he will shortly find himself contradicting. He's done it season after season since his start.

He's now saying 2 tenths is OK, but if this years extremely tight competition proves to be right, 2 tenths off in qualifying may mean Ferrari will start from the 3rd or 4th row every race, and then he will start complaining and exaggerating how good the competition is...

Fernando, you'd be so much better of quiet! Learn from Kimi!


Man whats wrong with saying something?

I think it's cool when one of the greatest racers say something like "give me a car two tenths of the pace, I will give the championship".


I find it boring when they are forced to keep their mouth shut. I think if Fernando thinks he can wipe the floor with Seb in the same car, same day, he should have the right to say it.

It's a show.

Scuderia McLaren

+ 1


The car is supposedly better, but not as good as the others. So if he has good results, he looks like a hero, and if he does poorly, he can blame it on the team/car.

I didn't mind Alonso before, but last year's, "We have the best team in F1... but they made me a crap car," double talk annoyed me.

This year, I'm hoping Massa can somehow continue to perform like he was late-2012. If he can manage that, all Alonso's talk of being a samurai who's even stronger than the year before, performing at 180% in a poor car... won't mean much.


Kimi is very arrogant at times.....


If he's interviewed and asked questions, he's gotta say SOMETHING, no?


Kimi doesn't! 🙂

Seriously, Fernando is a great driver but his mind games are boring. He always paints his cars as being MUCH slower than they are so that he comes out looking like a hero. I do hope Massa is allowed to race him this year as it'll help keep FA's ego in check!


Elie, funny how YOU suddenly decide to brand me like that. Just join the party out of nowhere and pull out your sword to slash someone like that.

It started by someone saying Alonso oughtta be quiet, to now saying i'm grandstanding as you say?

I didn't say Ferrari was slow in a race trim, I said Alonso "outdrove his car to drag the most performance possible". I didn't pinpoint particularly to anything to say he's bloody invincible, just saying his put up his best in order to achieve the most, without comparing his performance against anyone.

The only comparison I made was between the teams cars, not on drivers "Even on JA’s articles here has said in a very objective manner the 2012 car was not a front runner in comparison to McLaren and RBR."

If you really wish me to comment on McLarne, Red Bull or whatever, fine and here you are, in short:

RBR - started off on the backfoot and caught up the competition mid-way onwards thanks to Vettel's performance.

McLaren - had a damn fast car but didn't make the most of what they had and tripped themselves over with various reliability issues and errors.

Albeit not being a fan of Vettel, I still congratulated him in one of my previous comments on JA's articles several months ago.

So please stop taking things out of context or saying things I didn't say, or brand me Grandstanding or whatever.


Completely agree Doug he is just grandstanding as usual .

Kay - the 2012 Ferrari was quick in race trim from Germany onwards & it never broke down like the Bulls or the Mclaren - you must look at the total picture and not just the bull Ferrari and Fernando spin!... Funny how many people listen to the rhetoric and not the honest people in the sport.


The word "fast" was never mentioned in our conversation, thus you are not discussing the same point.

These days the competition is so tight, and having no testing, nobody can honestly tell where their order is before the season starts (with the exception of Brawn 2009 when they showed huge performance in comparison to the rest).

Alonso IS doing what he does best, in case you didn't watch 2012, he outdrove his car to drag the most performance possible. How's that mind games?

Don't wish to repeat this again. In short, it's better to say something safe than to say something overly optimistic then come out looking like a stupid idiot. Anyone would do this, not just Alonso. This is pretty much common sense really.


Hi Kay,

I think the confusion comes from the interpretation of the word fast. The McLaren last year was always a faster qualifying car than the Ferrari as was the Red Bull. However, the Ferrari had great traction off the line & was a much better race car on Sunday than many people gave it credit also used the tyres better throughout the season than the McLaren who had real problems getting temperature in theirs. This, combined with the McLaren being less reliable is why Ferrari finished second in the manufacturers championship to Red Bull.

I am not at all reluctant in saying that IMO Fernando was the best driver in 2012, however, I feel his "I bring 6 tenths" attitude undermines the very fine quality of his driving.

To me it shows an underlying mental weekness that he needs to constantly dig up the 'my car is much slower' excuse, just in case he loses.

He needs to stop playing mind games & concentrate on what he does best...driving!


Kimi doesn't just turn away without a word, he still says SOMETHING to the cameras and media despite having dislikes for it.

Is it Alonso "paints his cars as being MUCH slower than they are"? Or is it you are just reluctant to accept that as a fact?

Even on JA's articles here has said in a very objective manner the 2012 car was not a front runner in comparison to McLaren and RBR.


Kimi is not quiet, he's chilled sub-zero!


And he doesn't speak with his mouth full.


Yes indeed Fernando you will be immense this season

I hope and belive you will surpass 2012 heights easily to win WDC in 2013

“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” - This says it all

Ferrari needs to stay in touch with RBR maybe 2 or 3 Tenths.

We (Devout - Fenando Alonso Fans) expect another mega performance from you

Go for it and dictate the 2013 WDC


I hope he does exceed his 2012 performance. I hope he doesn't win it easily though, if at all. I hoping for a really hard fought nail biter, right until the end. 🙂


@ Peter

I hope he doesn't win it easily ? Do not worry mate this will never happen

Every season Ferrari make Alonso work harder than ever before

I feel very sorry for Alonso. He has been phenomenal and superb over the past 3 seasons. Ferrari have created a habit of producing woeful cars year after year from 2009 to till date. Many people here and in many other sites find multiple reasons to criticize Alonso despite his wonderful performances over the past 36 months

Come on people give credit to the guy who deserves it. If it wasn't for Alonso Vettel would have walked away the with 2012 WDC easily.

We are proud about you Fernando for the Vintage 2012 performances


Alonso should have gone for a really left-field media announcement instead and said, 'actually this year I'm going to be rubbish - just awful - I've forgotten how to use the pedals and everything, pay no attention to the Ferrari please.'

That'd be a proper mind game. 🙂


LOL! that's too much, don't you think so?


Hahaha 😀


Mmmmm - ominous I think, everyone knows Alonso is a fierce competitor. The line where he says 'we don't ask for a car half a second ahead but a car 2/10ths behind is fine' is scary. . .


...if you fall for that kind of guff!


Good to see him with a smile on his face after the disappointment of last year. I think he'll do okay 🙂


It might be, but it doesn't mean he will have a better result overall. It is a team sport. In 2012 Alonso was the best driver and yet it was not enough to take the title.

I honestly hope that this year he does it and has a car to take Pole Positions (something that he did not have for a very-very-very long time) and be competitive during the race.

It would be great to see him fighting at the sharp end already on Saturday.

But as he said at the end of last year, it is doubtful that this performance is going to happen in 2013.


And I guess even stronger the next 12 months... We are already convinced of his talent unfortunately Like Lance Armstrong said "It's not about the bike..." I say in F1 it's not about the Skill but the car. #sad


It´s both. Put Maldonado or Grosjean in a RB. Do you think they can win a championshp? I guess there is more than one reason why Webber in a RB couldn´t win the championship beside Helmut Marko or any frontwing controversy.


I'm glad he's changing the tune slightly from last year, "I have the fourth fastest car ..."

I'm sure Alonso would prefer NOT to win in the fastest car. People would say it was the car not the driver, as with Vettel.


Vettel won in 2012 NOT in the fastest car and people still say that. It's just that some drivers like Alonso and Hamilton are overhyped, while Vettel never gets the credit even when it's due. Disgusting.


Stats for 2012 -

Fastest laps: 7 RBR, 3 Lotus/Merc/McL

Pole positions: 8 RBR/McL

Wins: 7 RBR/McL

One-two's: 1 RBR

Podiums: 15 Fer, 14 RBR, 13 McL

Finishes: 37 Fer, 35 RBR, ..., 30 McL

Laps led: 434 RBR, 365 McL, 217 Fer

Not the best car? Yeah, right.

The McLaren was fastest AT POINTS in the season, but also not reliable at the same points as well (thinking Ham in SIN, ABU; But in ITA), or unlucky with external events/forces (Ham in GER, BEL, BRA; But in KOR).

The RB8 was the best car in 2012. All one needs to ask is would Vettel have wanted to change places with Hamilton in 2012? Hamilton would've jumped at the chance to get in that RB8, no doubt about that.


At no point in the season was the Ferrari faster than the Red Bull.


Held off the field pretty well in Germany, and if Ferrari would've pitted Alonso in Canada when it was clear the lead was lost, he would've finished 4th (ahead of Vettel), and that could've turned the championship (a 4 pt swing).

Also faster than them in the wet in Malaysia (faster than everyone save for Perez's Sauber it seemed). Faster than them in Spain. Clearly faster than them in Italy.

The Ferrari was very decent in race pace, it was just their qualifying that wasn't very good. But then their starts were out of this world, so it went some way to making up for their lower grid positions.


That slipped my mind! But still, that's only 1 race and 2 qualifying session in the entire season.


Yes James but in the rain DRS is not allowed.


In the rain in summer....


RB was not fastest at the start of 2012, and Maccas also gifted them a few points but really...?


He has done that when he was in Renault


I'm sure Alonso would like to win in the fastest car, we already know what he can do with an inferior car, whereas with Vettel....


Winning in a Toro Rosso... I think Vettel has proven he is a top rate driver.


I'm not saying Vettel isn't a top driver, he clearly is, i meant that Alonso can probably get results with any car they throw at him, whereas Vettel needs a specific set up (a well blown diffuser) to get good results.

Look at the start of last year, Webber was outperforming Vettel when Red Bull was struggling a bit to maximize the hot blown diffuser, once they nailed it, Vettel came back into the picture.

If there's any thruth in the engine mapping story,Vettel could have a hard time this year to.


We hear that line from him every year, around early March. Just how strong can this man get 😉


Stronger than ever?

Pedalling with his feet?

Kinetic Energy Replacement System.

FIA please investigate.

Steven Pritchard

Fernando in early Psychological warfare shocker, allow his team mate to race then I'd be impressed!

A shame really for me Alonso is the most complete driver on the grid, he really doesn't need to do this.





Spot on!


I'm fascinated by the revision people have of Alonso at Ferrari. Can you please point out when Massa hasn't been allowed to race when the Championship isn't the focus?

Where the hell was Massa all of last year?

It's ridiculous to put forward the argument based on the last handful of races where Massa supported the teams strategy?

Is it simply because its Ferrari and Alonso, that evil twin axis?

What about Red Bulls blatant support of Vettel?


Hockenheim 2010 still rankles. I know they had to put on a show b/c of the rules in place at the time. Plus wasn't that race a year to the day of Massa's horrible accident? Ferrari potentially robbed themselves of one of the best feel-good stories of that year.


I wonder how much criticism Ferrari would have had, if they had let Massa take the win and Alonso lost the championship by less than 7 points. This is business, and no individual is bigger than the team, whatever the sport.


Doesn't happen mate! Horner says so... 😉


Spot on. But I'd like to see Massa win somes races though and he's done it before and almost had the WDC in his hand for like 15 seconds? Felipe is a good guy.


Well put!


Yep, +1.

Also if anything the guy was trying to be humble with the .2sec behind comment, better that then beating his own drum like some other drivers do.


Erik if Fernando just said give me an equal car it would not be an issue. But by saying anywhere around .2 means he thinks he is at least 2/10 better than everyone!. This guy is as arrogant and big mouthed as they come - I have little time for his games!- I can believe how gullible so many people are .

Steven Pritchard

I would disagree with Red Bull's team manipulation too, if it were clear and present...

As for Massa, gear box penalty, plenty of races of "Fernando is faster than you". Don't recall any radio message that said "Massa is faster than you Fernando", and there have been a few of those over the years.


RBR may be more subtle in the way SV is favoured over MW than Ferrari are with FA.

But they quite definitely have a clear #1 driver. Remember the incident in Turkey - lots of arms round SV shoulder, or qulaifying for the British GP when the latest spec' wing was removed from MW car and put onto SV's?


Now I know you're provoking a reaction...


Massa was not fighting for the championship. So he as asked to take a penalty. The team order came in one race 3 years ago. I understand that might have been unethical but FIA didn´t say it was illegal. Massa never shown expectacular driving in recent years.




Some comments are just funny. Every year we heard the same story like Fernando wants a no 1 status in a team, but as far as remember his team mate has been slowly than him every year.


When teaming up with rookie Hamilton at McLaren... nuff said 😉


Alonso is good until he has a team mate who can challenge him like Lewis, then he spits the dummy like a spoilt kid..


Maybe you should look at how he was treated by McLaren that year, and then blame it on Alonso.


So you're suggesting Massa can't compete him? Pretty sure he can, if you watched 2006 and 2007.


2006, his first season at Ferrari with MSC in his last season. Alonso beat him to the championship

2007, some good drives, but Kimi won and at the Nurburgring, Alonso went past him in mixed conditions which up set Massa

2008, Massa stronger than Kimi, wins some great races and has terrible luck too, blown engine at Hungary? Pitstop release in Singapore?

2009, injured in Hungary but generally better than Kimi

2010-2012, up against the best of this generation, imo


and Alonso won nurburgring because the team didnt pit kimi for wet tyre as soon as the rain hit the track. Ended up with car failure and retire.

Another lucky inherited win for Alonso.

Hardly a spectacular display as you hype it.

Alonso was the worst performer in 2007 among title contenders. He was caught cheated on ferrari 's setup via email exchange with mike coughlan.



Lewis bang kimi in the pitlane in canada.

Exhaust failure in france, lead gone.

rain on last lap in melbourne, that F2008 was not good on wet condition. Spun.

Thats 3 win gone with bad lucks which is more than enough for Kimi to win 2008 title.

Massa better than kimi in 2009?? Kimi qualified 2nd with that crap in monaco. Scored 1st point and 1st podium for the team. It was due to terrible strategy and reliability that Massa edge him out on poins.

With a car that had no development, kimi went on to win a race and 4 podiums. Scored most point in 2nd half of the season compare to those with better cars.


In 2006 Alonso won the championship not Massa. In 2007 neither won Raikkonen did. I don´t understand you point.


Your argument would hold true if you were speaking of his career.

All you have quoted is one season in which Mclarens, and especially Dennis, supported his rookie teammate who had almost grown up within the teams home.

As a double WDC, I would have expected the team to support him and allow Lewis to learn the ropes.

He may not like being behind his teammate, what driver does? But he's on record saying he's never asked to be number 1, just not to be treated as number 2.

The fact that him and Lewis hold each other in enormous respect suggests the problem wasn't between the two.


You write it without taking in the absurdity of it: that Dennis, after signing Alonso in 2005 (as a 1xDWC), would spend all that money getting Alonso into McLaren, just so he could then support his rookie over the then 2xDWC?!?!?

Mon Dieu! Gotta love human nature ... always getting in the way.


the problem lies with Alonso frustrated with equal status and blackmail Ron for it.

He ask the team to pit Lewis in Us gp in order for him to win, the team said hell no.

This would not be the case had it been his ex team renault.


I remember an interview to Barrichello the same year than Lewis and Fernando shared the same team. Barrichello said he would like Fernando to win the WDC for the treatment given for Mclaren. He also said it was amazing Fernando was fighting for the WDC despite of Mclaren's efforts. We all remember Ron's comments after the Chinesse GP , don't we?


I find it fascinating that whilst Ron Dennis ran the team, Lewis was king of the hill. (Alonso & Kovalainen).

Yet when Whitmarsh took over and removed the security blanket from around Lewis, Button has come in and been on par, eventually pushing him out of the team.

I believe the guy is the fastest over a lap now, and his racing is getting better, but that comes with experience.

I understand now why Ron was so harsh when Lewis left the team.


Better to go with Occam's Razor here, don't you think?

That the truth is that the drivers were treated fairly in all circumstances (Alo/Ham, Ham/Kov, Ham/But)? I know you can't believe for a second that Button was on par with Hamilton last year, even with only a 2 pt point difference. In 2011, fair play to Button, he did incredibly well, probably raced the best of his F1 career. He was also aided by the gap between the top 3 and the rest of the grid that year, but there's no doubting his podiums and results that year.

Alonso thought he was going to get preferential treatment in 2007, and in the early going, he did (getting the better starting fuel levels, first call on pitstop, Lewis told to stay behind at Monaco, etc.). But when Hamilton kept driving out of his skin (9 straight podiums from debut will likely never be equalled), then Ron had to give Lewis an equal shot. The other option was to tell Lewis he was no. 2, potentially demotivating Hamilton and hurting McLaren's WCC prospects.

When Hamilton stopped Alonso from passing him at the start of the Canadian GP that year (they started 1-2), that was when Alonso knew he wouldn't be gifted anything anymore. He described Hamilton's maiden win in Canada as "lucky", then in the next race at the USGP he asked the team to let him by Hamilton. His request was refused, and he let his displeasure be known to the pit wall (check YouTube for that).

Alonso took this lack of preferential treatment for him to mean that preferential treatment was being given to Hamilton, when that was not the case.

By the time of China, the 2nd last race, and after Lewis has just won in Japan after Alonso has spun out (Alonso 12 pts behind), then I agree that Lewis would be getting preferential treatment. Which team wouldn't do that?!? If anything, they didn't give ENOUGH preference to Lewis in China. Of course, McLaren blew that whole race in spectacular fashion. They wanted to win in style ... I'm sure the fact that HAM, ALO, and RAI were all on 4 wins at the time had something to do with it, McLaren and Lewis wanting to "win on wins" as well.

I'm also pretty sure that after watching what happened in McLaren in 2011 unfold, that Alonso reassessed what happened in 2007. Part of his maturing process.


'We are racing Fernando' , could you have blamed Alonso. But Hamilton was bloody good.


Barichello likes to complain.


Exactly....we do.


Yea! How could we ever forget what Alonso did to Lewis in Budapest 2007? I was even suspecting Alonso for all those strange tyre problems Lewis had back then. And the Singapore scandal in 2009? When are we going to hear the truth? Forgiven and forgotten?!

Mark in Australia

James, on a side... Drug testing in F1 was a news article today with Dan Ricciardo tweeting he got an early wake up this morning.

Do you or can you give some insights to the drug testing in F1 befor the season gets underway???


They are tested like all other athletes - they have to give WADA a schedule of where they will be at all times and if a WADA inspector arrives they have to give them a sample

unF1nnished business

I'm a tad curious as to what the benefits would be in taking steroids in F1. Aside from anabolic, is there a steroid that increases reaction-time/reflexes or make you go faster???


Not unknown for WADA to miss a trick or two so I trust they'll employ Lance Armstrong in a poacher-turned-gamekeeper role much the same as the FBI did with Frank Abagnale some years ago.

I'm sure the F1 contingent is squeaky-clean, though?!


Looking at his pre-season physical preparation, I guess he could win the championship without a car, by just running around the track.

Joking aside, the strong body supports the strong mind.


He would still be making excuses for his poor performance. The running shoes Ferrari suppied me are 2 sec slower than the leaders. If it was only 2/10th I would have chance to outrun the shoes and win.. 🙂


Funny guy. Liked it! 🙂


30°C in Melbourne? It's been consistently higher than that for the last week, and next Wednesday (13th) is forecast to be 37°C (98.5°F). But being Melbourne, this is subject to much change on short notice.

The" rel="nofollow">Bureau of Meteorology forecast will be worth keeping an eye on for developments over the next week.

Remembering that teams were complaining that the tyres fell apart at Interlagos with a track temperature approaching 50°C, this could put a premium on tyre life preservation.


You do know the race is on in the evening yeh?


The days are long in Melbourne at the moment. The sun won't be down until after the race is finished, and even after it's down, it doesn't mean the temperature will have dropped significantly.

Right now for example, it's 4:40pm and 32deg outside. Last night (with the absence of air conditioning in my crappy place), I went to bed with a fan pointed straight at me from about a foot away. That was around 2am.


The race ENDS an hour before sunset. It you explore the site you will find that the temperature over the last week hasn't dropped below 30°C until well after race finishing time.

But that's beside the point, since the BoM now has the fortnight-long heatwave ending on Wednesday and the traveling circus are likely to get somewhat cooler conditions that what Victoria is experiencing now.


Fernando benefited immensely from Lewis' misfortunes last season.

He can't be hoping for those again this year, and has no choice but to improve his own performance.


Argue all day long on which driver is the best but one thing is certain. If Red Bull and McLaren had the reliability and team performance on a par with Ferrari, Alonso would have been a distant third in the 2012 WDC regardless of how good a driver he is.


But they didn't, did they? All of these woulda, shoulda, coulda arguments are nonsense.

The only thing that matters are the 'scores on the doors'!

Anything else is just wishful thinking 🙂


I am sorry Gravity, I have tried reading your post several times and I cannot understand your question.


So you are saying that Vettel & RBR have been the best the last 3 years - do you?


Agree completely Jake !


Good point man people always forget that and make him seem like a god its just so funny.


If there is anybody who benefited from Lewis misfortunes, its Vettel, if Lewis had won in Singapore, Vettel would have had 7 points less, and Alonso 3 less, which would've resulted in Alonso winning the WDC by 1 point


Like alonso didn't benefit from vettel retiring in valencia add 25 for him as well you see how flawed that logic is.


@ Richard

Perfect point mate

You made my day.

Vettel always had the luck element, even lewis termed him as the luckiest driver in the grid after ABU dhabi GP. In brazil even after the collision RBR had no damage what so ever and finished the race duly


Yeah, but ALO benefited in Malaysia when HAM was leading and McLaren made a slow pit stop. In abu dhabi he got a 2nd place because of HAM's gearbox failure. In SPAIN he got a 2nd place instead of 3rd because of HAM's fuel problems. In Valencia he got the lead because of McLaren's pit stop failure.


@ Anthony

You cannot say spain as misfortune

Mclaren tried to fool the stewards and paid the penalty. Lewis was tight lipped as well when he was under fuelled in spain.

In valencia Alonso made some fantastic passing moves (much of them are outside DRS zone) and the grosjean overtake was fabulous too, lewis pit stop is irrelevant and does not matter much

Race win from 11th on the grid with nearly 8 passing moves can be only termed as brilliance. Not luck or misfortune


In Valencia Alonso would have overtaken Lewis at some point just like Raikkonen did. The McLaren performed horrible in that race. Lewis strugle with Vettel and Grosjean early in the race. Lewis was never in a position to win that race.

In Abu Dhabi and Singapore Raikkonen and Vettel benefited a lot more.


ALO has been beating HAM comfortably every season since 2010 - including 2011-2012 when his car was nowhere performance wise compared to the Mclaren of HAM. So it does not look as misfortunes constitute a major part of that "achievement".


Why not?? Lewis has "misfortunes" every year!

as for performance, it would be difficult for him improve his own performance. On the other hand Ferrari need/must improve the car.


Since Fernando moved to Ferrari, Lewis has finished every WDC behind him in the leaderboard, just saying!


What does it matter, if you don't finish 1st? I'd rather finish 10th, 1st, 11th than 2nd, 4th, 2nd.


“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.”

I wouldn't be too enamoured by that statement if I were a Ferrari team member. It somehow feels like putting the team down to give himself a boost.


Well, the best way the team can give themselves a boost is by actually making a car that is 5 tenths quicker than anybody else. I'm sure Fernando would be delighted and would be praising the team everywhere.

So, it's up to the team.


I would contradict that by saying he's trying to put people's minds at ease at the factory. Perhaps inside Ferrari it's known that they might be ever so slightly behind and he's just keeping everyone calm. Taking the pressure off a bit.

I read somewhere that some of the parts intended for the last test will only show up in Melbourne now, so his comment could be aimed at the team, a public statement to them all that it doesnt need to be perfect, just good enough to compete.

Having been publicly asked about the teams performance I think this is a humble statement by Alonso.


Nothing wrong with facing reality. It looks like he is not going to have the fastest car.He is going to have a better car than last season but we don´t know yet how good the car really is. It would be silly for him to say he is going to win it all when it might not be the case.


the master of mind game at it again.

I hope Massa gained back the confidence he lost.


I hope this is the year, last seasons he showed to be a level above the rest. Maybe the most deserved title ever?


He is at it again. First he says you cant draw any conclusions from testing but then he goes on about Red Bull being the favourite for Melbourne ???

The Ferrari will be even stronger than last year (200 times better according to Ferrari boss Alonso). Last year he had the best of everything = Best reliabilty + best launch controll + best teamwork + best No 1 status + best tire saving car + no penalties for driving others off the road. Talk is cheap. Its time to stop with the excuses and deliver those championships to Ferrari starting this year or his reputation will take a nosedive.

Here in Germany the media is making fun of Alonsos daily mindgames on twitter and calling him a bad loser and even a psycho. His reputation really took a nosedive in the last 6 months or so.

There is nothing so far to indicate the Ferrari this year is not capable of both WDC and WCC (so same as in 2010 and 2012). Lets see if Alonso can deliver the goods this time.


Thank you for reminding us why no one likes Germans! FORZA ALONSO!



Understood incorrectly mate

My apologies for the post


Out of respect for James, his team and the amazing work they are doing here, I am not going to laugh in your face.


I do not know what do you have to laugh in my face

I have stated the facts here

Ferrari need to realise and accept they are only a midfield team for the past 4 seasons

Alonso has saved the team from massive humiliation for the past 3 seasons.

I want fernando to leave this team and try his luck elsewhere. He is the legend and genius wasted his time with Ferrari


My comment was not addressed to you, but to astra. 🙂


@ Astra

German media making fun of alonso ?

Come on I see not only spanish media however many media / countries around the world making fun of vettel. His antics last season at various grandprix was well noted.

Yes Alonso is right RBR are Favourites from the outset

Not sure how quick F138 will be. I will not be suprised to see the F138 trailing RBR, Mclaren and even Mercedes in Melbourne for pure speed

F10 was 3rd quickest throughout the season

F2012 was well beaten even by force India Williams and Lotus last season. F2012 was woeful car and Ferrari never really turned up for the season. Only 3 victories for the 2012 season (Due to Alonso's skill and brilliance Along with mixed weather) Does not make good car not even average car

You have mentionned so many best things here> In all fairness none of them is best. The car F2012 was a Red truck. There is no such thing called best launch control it's clutch settings and driver's skill assisted overtaking

What best team work you are talking about ? Ferrari have not read the grandprix and their tactics were wrong in Canda, Monaco, Silverstone. Best no 1 status ? not sure whether you know anything about felipe. Tyre saving car ? Ferrari never switch on the tyres when a hot or quali lap required notably in dry Gp's. Alonso never drove anybody out of the track

Alonso has delivered more stunning and awesome performances over the past 3 seasons for Ferrari with medicore cars time and time again

When did Ferrari took PP last time in a DRY race ? Singapore 2010. This says it all.

Unless and until Ferrari can match Mclaren and RBR PACE (Iam referring to the pivtol Quali pace) they cannot win WDC.

If it wasn't for Alonso Ferrari would have finished mid table not 2nd in the championship last season. Ferrari are a mid table team nothing more than that


Best reliability: Yes the Ferrari is slow but reliability
Best launch control: Ban from F1 for a few years now. He does make good starts like Vettle makes good starts(compared to Webber)
Best teamwork: Not sure what that means.. is there a problem with Reb Bull teamwork?
Best No 1 status: Just like Vettle but Massa is weaker than Webber.
Best tire saving car: lol I'm sure you meant Sauber.
No penalties for driving others off the road: You write that as if it was an advantage that was given to him!! He did not drive others off the road so he did get any penalties..

What you forgot to mention is he had a [mod] car.

Val from montreal

He cannot be taken seriously anymore ..200 times better than last year means Ferrari must have the mother of all rocket ships sitting in their garage. ... Its true what you say about germans thinking he's a nut ... It's all about Alonso first and Ferrari after ...

: " Thank you guys , I will never drive for those red cars "


Please!!! Don´t take it literally. Massa said the car is from another planet. They just mean they have a better car. That´s all


Are you serious? A car which was at the beginning of the season 1.6 second behind Mclaren and Red Bull. Germany and UK tabloids have written so much rubbish about him for a while now, I see it as a compliment for Fernando. Michael used to receive the same treatment by British tabloids, but can't you take them seriously. I don't.


The same media that overlooked all if Schumachers faults?

A media that no doubt wants to support Vettel?


I always cringe when I see stories like these.

Does anyone think that Alonso will tell us that he is weaker heading into any season?

It fills up some time in between the end of testing and the first free practice, nothing more.


Really hope Ferrari with Alonso and Massa get a good start of the season and put a stop on the RBR domination.

This season will be the last page before the "reset", since in 2014 the pecking order will be truly unknown.

Another week and a half! Really excited!

Thank you James for your continuous articles. They're like fresh breaths of air!


Slightly off message here, but what might the death of Chavez mean for sponsorship at Williams? I understand it was fairly 'personal' between Maldonado/Chavez and the team?


Wow how can this guy improve as a driver when he told the world many times over last year that he was driving 100% at every race. I think he is the perfect Ferrari driver that knows how to play politics better than anyone else in the field.

Don't get me wrong he is a great driver and I voted him the best last year. But at the rate he is going--he is becoming the most overrated driver that ever lived-by his own doing !. First his car was 1 sec slower last winter then it was 2 sec- now he is at 1.6 I think (but that might change again).

Ferrari will be there or thereabouts every race this year as the F138 looks solid and quick. I want this guy to be bought back a peg or two -because the true greats of the sport dont talk the way he does. There are drivers that will beat him in equal cars if they perform at their best and there is a very strong likelihood that more than 1 of them will be in a position to do just that this year without. Then I would like to see what Fernando has to say for himself.



There is always room for improvement. Even people like Messi or Federer can tell you that. They are elite.It´s a very demanding and competitive world out there. They always try to do better than before.


Ferrari was 1,6 sec can check it yourself.


I don't need to check- I know- the point is other teams don't keep harping on about how crap their car is and how exceptional a driver they are.. And hey one of those guys won the championship and their car was not great the first 6 races or so.


Yeah but how many times we have to hear it. We don't hear Lotus or Mercedes saying it every week and we don't need to... Or maybe some people do!


And where is the problem? Alonso is just a man that is trying to live his own life. He owns nothing to you, me or anybody else here. Who are the people that criticize him for what he says? Are the people that criticize him always perfect in everything they do, never say anything wrong, never do anything wrong?

He is free to say what he wants....if you do not like him, fine.

Humanity is funny. There are so many arm chair experts that know so much better what Alonso should say and do.

Try walking his shoes.....


I am no Alonso fan, but it is totaly possible to improve from last year even though last year he was driving at 100%. For example, his physical condition could improve and therefore his 100% effort this year would be better than his 100% effort last year.


therefore...haven't used that word since college while proving theorems..

totally agree


With all due respect, I can't see your point. This guy was the best last season with a car which according to Mark Weber shouldn't be in the podium. Then his colleagues and pundits see him not only as the most complete driver in the paddock but as the benchmark for the other drivers. Even Gary Anderson mentioned in his final review last year if Fernando woul have won the WDC could be seen as a driver championship while Vettel's victory was related to having the best car. I can see he is not the cup of tea for everyone, but discredit him without fact is not right either. In fact I believe in equal equipment he would win the WDC.


Mingojo - I have a problem with his comments not his driving..that's my point. If you are the best and most people believe that he was last year- why does he have to continually say it-- because it just takes away from how good he drove.


" I drive 100% at every race". " " Another perfect race". "!the car is 2 sec off the leaders and still we are on the podium". " we are racing Newey not Vettel".. " I can go on here but I wont waste my time- if you do not understand the meaning in the words then you are very simple person. When you say all these things you are telling the world you are much better than everyone- even if dont actually say those exact words- wakeup sunshine !


But Elie, he didn't say it. He said I was driving better than ever. Also everything he says is misquoted or writen out of context.


Ferrari's opponents would do right to be wary of a well prepared, highly motivated Alonso with a car that can compete. Much like Schumacher, who reached his peak in his early 30's, I believe that Alonso is there now as well, and provided the machinery matches his aspirations I can see him going on a run of titles much like Schumi did in the 00's. The really scary thought though is how good will Vettel be when he reaches that age? I think he's a better driver now than Alonso and Schumacher were when they won their first titles and despite the fact that they became far superior drivers as they got older/more experienced the potential is there for him to do the same. Indeed, I can see him preventing the other truly world class driver of his generation, Hamilton, from adding to his haul of Championships unless he ups his game considerably, much as Senna and Prost prevented Mansell from winning as many Championships as he 'deserved'. If we aren't already in a 'Golden Age' of F1, we're certainly not far away from it. Vettel v's Alonso v's Hamilton, all of them great and getting better? Yes please! It makes Kubica's abscence, who really should be in that group but will probably never race again in F1, all the more unfortunate.


Kubica was always feared by Hamilton and Alonso if he got into a front running car.


"We don’t ask to be half a second in front of everybody, but two tenths behind is OK.”

It would be interesting to see if Vettel or Hamilton would say the same thing. I'm sure they'd say but deep down inside would they really mean it. I believe Alonso truly means it. He just wants the car close, he will take it from there.


I feel Lewis can do that. To fight for a championship when the car is two tenths slower. I'm not sure Vettel can do that just yet. We have seen Vettel in a dominant car and last year his victories showed that.

Scuderia McLaren

well that so called dominant car came 6th overall in the WDC in Webber's hands. Webber aint exactly slow and it's not like it had scored handfulls of 1-2 gp positions.


Webber lost his way set-up wise many race weekends in the 2nd half of the year, like Button did in the 1st half.

RBR had the only 1-2 of the year, in Korea. But yeah, that's way down for them. They had four 1-2's in 2009 & 2010, and three in 2011.

The car was decent throughout the season; decent enough to lead the WCC from the 4th race onwards.


Weber struggled with blown air from exhausts. Gary Anderson has explained it several times. When Red Bull was not using it Weber was ahead of Vettel.


An authoritative technical F1 site (Auto Motor Und Sport) rates the Ferrari as the fastest (overall) from the last Barcelona tests. Merc comes second, Lotus seems to have fallen off, while Maca and RBR are troubled.

The great thing is that there is enough time left yet to Melbourne, for the top teams to turn deficits around. RBR and McLaren particularly, have shown ominous in pre and season development form.

Ferrari believe that RBR is not sandbagging, cos it makes no sense when no one knows the new tires:

So Fernando, its your lucky day!

On fuel loads when fastest laps were done, Auto Motor Und Sport gives these figures:

Rosberg - 6.3kg at least

Alonso - 8.4 kg at least

Lewis - 14.7 kg (paddock spies believe it was 20kg)

RBR only ever ran with 50 - 60 kg loads and had poor setup:


Are you serious?


Not sure why people read and believe these analysis when teams truly do not know where they are...

Testing was done in cold temperature that has no bearing to the higher temperatures that will be seen in the early season. Temperature is EVERYTHING when it comes to qualifying race day performance. What seemed like a bad car in the cold could be perfect in the warm... so why spend so much time pooring over meaningless analysis... bring on the race, and even then only judge after at least 3 races


The same sort of analysis rules out Caterham and Marussia. Do you believe it in those cases? If so, why?

Testing is accurate enough to give us the rough lay of the field. Melbourne will give us a more refined idea; the teams with the best test results always make up the top third of the field every year. The talk about temperature is nonsense, because it affects all, and none so much that it upsets the group that falls in the top third.


Actually everyone at the top teams looks stronger than last year... except for Web and Vet. All this chat is fun to read though until the first race.


I'm counting the seconds until Dr. Marko will react by saying that Vettel never feels the need to tell everyone how strong he'll be...

Scuderia McLaren



I think this year will come down the smallest of margins and will be won in the head of the drivers. From testing, it looks like there are 5 teams all capable of winning: Ferrari, Lotus, McClaren, Mercedes, Ferrari, RBR.

From those teams, I would say 8 drivers are capable of winning consistently under pressure. The 2 that can't, in my opinion, are Perez and Grosjean.

More importantly, I think you can narrow that list of 8 down to two or three drivers who can remain cool and collected, even when the results are not going quite their way and can extract the best out of their machine at the sharp end of the weekend: Alonso, Raikkonen and, I have got to say - Hamilton.

I think all the other contenders, too often, need everything going their way in order to win consistently.

I have got to put Vettel in that group. Abu Dhabi last year sticks in the mind - making silly mistakes and blaming others.

Its going to be a fascinating season - one where the entire team has to be on the game, every weekend. A bad strategy call, a bundled pitstop is going to loose a bag full of points. If the driver can't recover quickly from that, the season is going to be lost!

Bring it on.


I find it interesting that people would doubt Vettels mental strength. He has won 2 WDCs in the final race of the year. He is continually pulling out those amazing qualifying laps under pressure, when needed. I just don't get it. Under pressure, he has performed ... more so than anyone else.


Vettel wasn´t mentally strong in Abu Dhabi when he was behind Ricciardo while the SC was in the track, Neither in Brazil with a horrible start of the race, falling behind everybody and crashing with Senna. He wasn´t mentally strong in Germany when Hamilton was overlapping neither when he overtook Button with an illegal move.


I think you need to watch both races again and actually see what he did in the races before you comment in the same race Alonso went off twice at Senna S turn 1 but nobody talks about that because he is so called best driver, the silly thing is when people say Alonso is best what they forget is if you beat the best consistently irrespective of the circumstances you become the best.



Also, overtaking Grosjean off track in Abu Dhabi.


Surprising isn't it?

Add to that, Alonso lost 2 WDCs in the final race!! One more such finish, I think he will retire...

PS: I'm a F1 fan - i like Seb, Fernando, Lewis, Kimi, Nico (R&H) - & not necessarily in that order..


The Torro Rosso breaking hard on the straight was an amateur move and Vettel avoided it. Of course Ricioardo was to blame for that, who else does that in F1 in the middle of a straight?

And Maybe you should watch the race again. Vettel drove briliantly. If It had been Senna or Prost driving exactly like that from the back of the grid, it would have been hailed as a legendary drive.

But because there is this unreasonable hate towards Vettel from Hamilton and Alonso fans, we get this BS spread around.


"Nonsense, no one brakes until standing still on the straight. Ever."

They brake and go when behind the safety car. Simple.

"Japan was Hamilton braking hard in heavy rain, Webber narrowly missed him and Vettel was part of the domino effect."

I agree, that it was a domino effect, but it could have been avoided by Vettel more than anybody else

"Singapore was nothing wrong at all, it was a corner."

A corner - yes, but you don't do that at the restart. 2012 FIA regulation 40.13: "In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits,from the point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart."

Try again.

"2012 RBR was not dominant anyway"

It certainly was for a large part of the season. From Japan to Abu Dhabi it was by far the best car.

"And Ferrari’s race pace last year was on par with RBR in most races."

In the middle of the season - yes. Not at the beginning or end.



They were behind the SC and were warming up their tyres. Its the driver behind's responsability to maintain the gap. Drivers know that no matter if it's a turn, chicane, hairpin or straight, all drivers wave around to keep the heat in their tyres.

Why don't you watch the race reply again and see in the replay of the incident how many cars were waving left-right. On top of waving, they also accelarate hard and brake hard. All this is text book, which Vettel didn't pay attention to (most likely because he is used to be leading the pack and not in the middle of it).


+1. Exactly my point


@Tim ... haha, y'think? 😉



you are not allowed to brake until you stop ?

Please can you elucidate.


You are not allowed to brake until you stop. Ric. was the only one doing that. He was at fault and Vettel avoided it still, you keep forgetting that part.

The fact you end your post with the usual red herring argument proves my initial point 😉


You are quite correct.

I am beginning to suspect that . is a fan of SV and RBR and might be just a teeny weeny bit biased 🙂


What about when he broke his front wing in the first few laps? Is blaming him for that bias as well?


Who said anything about that? All drivers on the grid broke their wing like that, so why only whine when Vettel does it once in 2 seasons?


Vettel frequently has accidents when he isn't leading from the front. His decision making when overtaking other cars is often poor and completely inferior to the likes of Alonso and Raikkonen who rarely have accidents.

To name just a few :

Driving into Webber behind the safety car when at toro rosso.

Driving into Button at Spa.

Driving into Webber in Turkey

Driving into Karthikeyan in Malaysia.

Driving into Senna in Abu Dhabi

Nearly crashing in Abu Dhabi behind the safety car.

Crashing into Kubica in Melbourne.

That's just off the top of my head. If I wanted a guy to get a mid field car home regularly without incident he'd be one of the last people I'd choose.


+1. The majority of his wins have been from the front. Unlike Alonso, Raikonnen, and Hamilton


"...breaking hard on the straight ... who else does that in F1 in the middle of a straight?" Everybody when they are behind the safety car.

Ricciardo was minding his own business - it is Vettel's responsibility to ensure he does not hit the back.

It's not the first time - Japan 2007, although he's not entirely to blame for that, it is still 70% his fault. In Singapore he restarted then stopped when he wasn't allowed to do so, as it was at the restart.

And it's nothing to do with Vettel hate - people are not convinced because he was in a dominant car. If he did that in a Ferrari people would have thought it a great drive.


Nonsense, no one brakes until standing still on the straight. Ever. Japan was Hamilton braking hard in heavy rain, Webber narrowly missed him and Vettel was part of the domino effect. And Singapore was nothing wrong at all, it was a corner. Try again.

And Prost and Senna and Fangio were also in dominant cars (2012 RBR was not dominant anyway, McLaren car was fastest). You never saw this kind of hate towards a driver like Vettel. Fact is, most people who [mod] Vettel with these red herring arguments are jaded Hamilton or Alonso fans.

And Ferrari's race pace last year was on par with RBR in most races. You fell for the PR of Alonso.


"but two tenths behind is OK." Ominous


Not really.. he's going to be the same.. relentless and mistake free.. but the Ferrari seems to be in good shape..could be Fernando's year after all 🙂


Alonso might have had an inferior car to Red Bull and McLaren but if his team work and reliability was as bad as the other two he would not have been anywhere in the championship.

Still think Alonso is easily the best but reality is getting a bit stretched concerning last year.


Ferrari wasn't as bad as Alonso has made it out to be.... sure they were a zillion seconds behind in Melbourne but the qualifying was never their forte, it was their race-pace and their almost invincible reliability.

Alonso's ploy has always been to promote himself and take all credit, he did so at Renault (by complementing just how good Mclaren development was) to saying that he made the car half a second faster when at Mclaren and blamed em' for all the possible favoritism and to some extent justifiably so and at Ferrari he is been extremely critical about first their conservatism to their inferior car last year.

Yes, he was right in saying so, but when you weigh in the rate of development at Ferrari and their immediate corrective solutions, they have been an example, they by far have been the most aggressive team in terms of this.

It was not a bad car in terms of race pace. While other cars suffered reliability issues especially Hamilton's Mclaren throwing away sure wins at Singapore, Abu Dhabi etc. While Vettel had to content with an inferior car (atleast for the first half of the year) he was no way in contention till Hungary, but yet came back to win the WDC.

So, the only driver who we all should feel sorry for is Hamilton for being the fastest driver who didn't win the WDC and Vettel for coming out of no where to win the WDC, especially his drives in Abu Dhabi and Brazil were drives of the year.



I think the outcome of the world championship this year will depend on the first set of races. The more the teams will learn the more they will adapt to the new tires.

So, to every driver on the grid no matter how ready he is will ultimately depend on just how his car adapts to these new tires and just how quickly Ferrari would react their development towards making the car more tire-friendly.

So, its all down to the tires.

On a different note: James, could you kindly tell us just why every time Raikkonen stepped inside the car the Lotus encountered issues and never a single issue propped up when Romain stepped in? Is it cos' Kimi and Lotus are experimenting something rather more radical in terms of set up or gears or suspension setups or am I reading too much into it and it is what it is and was simply down to luck?

And who according to you are sandbagging the most?


i can tell you... you are reading too much into it.. he was probably sleeping in truck at the back of the garage and did not want to go out early... and lotus had to explain this one way or other and they found some nice explanations....


hahaha.... nice one.... but seriously what the hell was going on? All troubles for Kimi and no trouble for Romain?


Could it be Fernando's year? Lets hope so. It would be good for F1. I think most F1 fan have had enough of Adrian Newey/Vettle domination. Just like the Ferrari/Schumacher years, its never good for the sport.


I'm all for another Vettel title, especially if he wins it in close faught battle like he did in 2010 and 2012.


Well whatever happens - please not domination!!


The fellow should switch over to heavy weight boxing or Chess. The mind games begin even before the first round bell.

Upstate NY, USA

I have to admit, Alonso has grown on me over the years. Good luck to him and Ferrari this year. Please silence "the finger".

On another note, we in the States will be getting our 2013 F1 races via NBC Sports this year. I checked out their site this morning and found this:


Thanks for sharing! : )

Val from montreal

6 years and possibly going to 7 Fernando ...Dont be too hard on Felipe if hes faster than you ... Good luck !


While I expect Alonso to be in the hunt (when is he not?), I don't think he will have it as easy this year. The car will be more competitive, but the field will be even closer. Add to that the tire lotto from last year will be gone. There may be higher degredation this year, but I expect all teams to be able to work the tires properly with the larger operating window Pirelli designed in.


Now that's what I like to hear, an aggressive, positive attitude, way better than the normal let's wait and see or we hope to be with the front runners. What happened to the "need" to be the fastest? And the tires? Every tire company F1 ever used had the exact same issues, they heat up then fall off, the only difference with the Pirellis is they fall of faster than the Bridgestones or Michelins. Thank God Alonzo's positive because the way Fry and Domenicali talk we've (Ferrari)won't be competitive enough. Come on guys be positive.


Oh Alonso,you are like a Moon River the

heart breaker and I am flowing with you.

Any man who believe in himself like he does,

giving a champion team a 2 tens start per lap

and saying I will beat you, is either foolhardy

or bursting with confidence, either way perhaps

is the reason why the books put him odd on to

win 2013 WDC.

Saw the video of Ferrari at Geneva Motor Show.

Isn't the ( Horniest )car one can imagine,

perhaps to the point to say a car to die for.


I saw LaFerrari. Absolutely jaw dropping. Have you heard it online... Staggering noise.

I saw a picture of the launch with Ron Dennis standing nearby. As the cliche says, a picture speaks a 1000 words.

399, £1.2 million and over 700 letters with LdM to buy one


And Alonso and Massa helped to develope that car


Scuderia McLaren



Thanks Hero_was_sena, being a petrol head

from way back,I log to Ferrari Com and let

me tell you, I got goose pimple's reading

the specs of the thing.

I am from the land of oz,and video shown on

Ninemsm is specificly aim at the noise of it.

Just imagine 9000 rpm for V 12,man being

behind the steering of that thing would be

nothing short of orgasm of the highest order



It's got KERS and everything


Hi James,

If a driver is found to have taken performance enhancing drugs, what kind of punishment would a driver of today be facing.

Is there a president from the past that can be enforced?



I have been emailed by someone implying I'm an idiot for mistaking President with the word Precedence.

As a foreigner speaking English it goes to show how ignorant some English Speaking people are.

I thought my name was a hint, which would excuse me from this indiscretion. I expect this individual to write an apology in my native Arabic. Google by the way does not always translate correctly FYI.

I put the response below:

"Precedence! Not president! In the times of Google translate and browser built-in text-proofing, its not excusable, its pure laziness.


James - 'slightly-off-topic' but related to the variety of replies above.

Can you give us an idea of what percentage of your viewers are 'outsiders' like myself with a genuine thirst for knowledge and what percentage are actual F1 'insiders' anonymously taking the p*ss out of each other whilst they wait for the dyno-testing to finish or whatever?


Barrichello was surprised Alonso wasn't given priority o er Hamilton.


Lots of both! Not sure the F1 community leave many posts but the site is read by all teams, many sponsors and others


Interesting! I have always assumed that any reply containing the word 'sandbag' belongs to an 'insider' with time on his/her hands!


Oops! 'viewers' should, of course, be 'respondents'


I find it funny reading Alonso's statement so he's ready to leave 2/10ths on the table for redbull a team that develops the car faster and better than team Ferrari, and assuming 2013 would pan out like 2012.

Has he taught of something as simple as Redbull, Mclaren having a reliable car.

Deluded is the best word.

Really think Ferrari need to nip this in the butt poor Pat Fry as his car is seen as crap lets wait and see how he describes Bryne's car 2014.


This year's Ferrari responds predictably to upgrades unlike the F2012, so Ferrari will be on the pace with developments. They've already announced upgrade packages for Aus, Malaysia and China. I don't think they'll have to flog the same car for half a season like in 2012.

Liam in Sydney

You seem to be passing comment on the nuance of Fernando's language when it isn't even his native tongue. Give the guy a break.

If you read between the lines he is saying the car might not be #1 in speed but the team should be more than competitive enough in the races to battle RB and McL for race wins.

I do not detect any derogatory comment towards his team at all.


When he joined Ferrari for testing in Barecelona I thought he looked a bit pasty, and dark under the eyes so I wonder what the truth is about him missing Jerez. Of course he may have just been pushing himself hard to achieve a higher level of fitness. The problem they all face is that for the first third of the season it will be close at the front with a lot of potentially very quick cars vying for position. I think it is going to be harder for all front running drivers this year.


I think Alonso's words can be interpreted differently. The 2 tenths statement means simply that it would make it possible for Ferrari to stay close to the top teams in the development race, being fairly competitive from the first race, unlike last year, when they began 1,5 seconds behind.


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?


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" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">

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"" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">

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.


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!


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.

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.. 🙂

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.