Alonso has no regrets over decision not to pit for new wing in Malaysian GP
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Apr 2013   |  5:01 pm GMT  |  124 comments

Double world champion Fernando Alonso says he does not regret the decision not to pit for a new front wing which ultimately caused his retirement in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver, 31, broke his front wing when he made contact with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel at turn two at Sepang.

With the track drying out after a rain shower, the team took the decision not to pit after the first lap in the hope they could keep going and change the wing when they changed tyres.

However, the wing gave way and became trapped underneath the car on the start-finish straight on lap two, sending Alonso flying off into the gravel and out of the race.

The Spaniard is now 22 points behind leader Vettel in the drivers’ championship ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix but he remains positive about his title chances.

He said: “There are two or three DNFs for everyone in every championship in the last 10 years of F1. It happened to [Nico] Rosberg in Australia, to me in Malaysia.

“I hope not, but I guess it will happen to me again because the average is two or three DNFs so we need to be prepared for that and, when it comes to the others, try to take the opportunity to score the maximum points.

“Obviously we regret having the contact in the second corner. Stopping or not stopping the damage was already done, so we will try to be a bit more careful, take a little bit more margin and hopefully it will not happen again.”

Alonso has been outpaced by team-mate Felipe Massa in both qualifying sessions this season, as well as the last two sessions of last season.

The Spaniard played down those results, but admitted his Brazilian team-mate is in very good form at the moment and it will take an “extraordinary” lap to beat him.

Alonso said: “He is doing a fantastic job, he is driving 100%. The calculations you are doing are strange calculations because it’s races from last year and races from this year.

“In Australia we were on dry tyres on a wet track and in Malaysia when we were on intermediate tyres on a nearly dry track. I don’t think they were completely normal qualifying session, but it’s good he’s doing a good job.

“Hopefully I can finish ahead of him in some qualifying sessions this year and if I do so it will be an extraordinary lap.”

Alonso said while he needs improve his pace in qualifying, he is confident he will have a car that is capable of achieving a podium finish on Sunday.

“I think we have to improve our qualifying, which is a weak point compared to our race pace, but overall here, our target is to fight to finish on the podium,” he said.

“With a gap of five weeks since Australia we, and I guess most teams, have had the time to produce some updates and I am reasonably optimistic that what we have brought here will deliver the results we expect. That’s why we are aiming for the podium.”

Don’t forget you have just 24 hours to enter the first major JA on F1 competition of 2013 where winners will get the chance to do some driving in high performance cars in London with Ferrari test driver Giancarlo Fisichella. Click here to find out how to enter. 

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1

Looks to me that F1 is evolving. What once was a sport where the designer and driver were the prime participants, it’s now more a team effort headed by the strategy decision makers.

1990s – We made the fastest car, we want the fastest drivers to drive for us. That equated to wins and world champion drivers. Plus the Constructors Championship.

2013 – It’s all about the Constructor’s Championship. THAT is where the money is. Drivers Championships is secondary now.

We designed a car which is good on tyres. We want the gentlest consistent drivers to drive for us. Drive to a plan, drive to a lap time, have throttle control and when the strategy is right we will win.

Formula 1 is now a game of Chess, it’s no longer the pinnicle of go fast, lay it on the line motor sport “racing”.

2

“There are two or three DNFs for everyone in every championship in the last 10 years of F1. It happened to [Nico] Rosberg in Australia, to me in Malaysia.”

What about KR’s 2012 season?

3

surely alonso didn’t want the statistics for james allens first lap places won/lost to be affected . . .

4

It seems we have a few people here with some issues re: Alonso. However, when you ask these ‘experts’ to back up their claims… There’re not straight answers or evidence. Regarding the article as far as I know you don’t get points on Saturday. It’s Sunday race where drivers prove themselves.

5

“No regrets over the decision”

.. And Im a prime candidate for Mr Universe.. Please !

6
Pete_from_Nepal

Alonso is hilarious. He said this regarding his 0-4 qualifying to Massa:

“I haven’t slept since Australia. I’m only eating white rice. I’m losing my hair. A huge drama.”

hihi, what a funny guy 😀

7
Scuderia McLaren

Actually throughout that joking speech, I think the stat is getting to him. Read the whole thing. It’s quite unique that he even answers such things. He is desperate to diminish the importance.

5 times coming up Alfonso… Deal with it.

8

Uh? Are you asking him to be concerned about Massa? He sould be worried about Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen.

9
Pete_from_Nepal

Yes, he was joking 🙂 You are right he didnt have to answer the questions, but in reality I doubt this kind of thing bothers him though. Massa just finished 2nd practice on top (Alonso 6th) but no doubt come the qualifying Alonso will be right up there with him…

10
Tornillo Amarillo

Alonso has 18 points in 2 races, it means equivalent to have finished for example P5 and P6, it’s not too bad, he’s near the consistency of been top 5 average, what I think it’s important.

I think only Rosberg and Grosjean has lost that target.

But things can change quickly.

11

Yeah, I’d like to see a cat on the podium as well.

12

Year in year out racers have their points of views, fans too. This year could be the best season of all time and I bet ya James will be having the most postings.

Look at it this way, Vettle vs Mark, Lewis vs Nico, Alonso vs Massa will have many close fought race I’m sure. Then we have Bianchi surprising us, and if he can keep racing like Australia and Sepang he’ll be in a big team next year.

I won’t bother too much about quail as Nando has mentioned because it’s simply true about Pirelli and we have not complained about processions anymore, but tyres falling off too fast too soon is a bit irritating for me though.

Nico for the win China? It’s in his report card.

13

You wouldn’t expect Alonso to say anything else about an own goal

14

Maybe it is a good thing for Alonso to be feeling a bit of pressure. It seems when his back is against the wall, he is capable of some very fast driving.

In other words, don’t make him angry… you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry!

15

Alonso is so clever,he knows very well he is faster than in massa in qualy also, so sayin it would be “extraordinary” and doing it would be portraying himself as supremely fast. which he may not be……he is damn damn good though.

16

Big deal about Massa out qualifying Alonso. We all know what happens on race day. Lol

Last year everyone said give that man a competitive car. This year he’s got it. He will deliver the goods 🙂

17

Dear Fernando

Let me give you a piece of advice my chief, same as the one you would get from the guy selling hotdogs next to the road; “Safety first my chief, every championship point count”.

I may have not won any championship but this even I know.

Good luck from a Mercedes Fan

Sikhumbuzo

18

Alonso has raced 200 GPs and has two F1 championships, but I guess he’ll work it out eventually eh..?

19

“tells it like it is” -Rubbish..When he lost his front wing.He said it was extremely unfortunate racing incident..Not I made a small mistake and crashed into the back of Sebs car..straight after the race..After millions of people said he f$%^d up. Then weeks later he changed his tone.

Last year he said he drove 100% at every race extracting more out of the car than possible (and whilst he did at most events). He was out qualified and “let past” at the last few races of 2012 by a better driving Felipe. At Suzuka he immediately blamed Kimi for his fault then retracted his statement days later after he saw what happened and everyone told him.

The problem when you have two drivers championships and 200 races is sometimes you think your infallible and the whole world has to believe everything you say ..Reality is only some stupid people will do that. Others Know better.

20

Tomato, potato….. Error implies he should have foreseen vettel almost stopping dead in the middle of the turn, racing incident implies he took a decision based on the most likely scenario unfolding, ie Vettel would push the accelerator. With hindsight I dare say another decision could have been made.

21

Yeh but he can still never be honest in front of the camera

22

He tells it like he sees it. It may differ from your opinion…

23

Well he would wouldn’t he !!

Vettel is being ripped to shreds tonight for being very forthright and honest and then there are guys like Alonso who can’t even admit an understandable error in the heat of battle.

I know which one I have more respect for.

24

I think he said he regretted the contact, and I hope if he was asked if he could do it over, that they would’ve come in (otherwise, that really would be stupid). But I read the ‘no regrets’ as not crying over spilled milk, only looking forward.

25

Vettel honest.. lol good one. Nobody speaks more plainly than Alonso. You just don’t agree with what he’s saying. That doesn’t make him dishonest.

26

Ha ha! Alonso is the nearest we’ve got to Senna in terms of saying exactly what he wants the opposition to hear, regardless of the honesty of it.

27

Yes, this season has got off to a bad start for Alonso.

If you recall the way he won his first two titles i.e. by having a huge advantage, points-wise, in the first half of the season then through consistency and clever driving, maintaining that gap in the second half.

Yes, Alonso hasn’t been successful at playing the catch up game and now to make matters embarrassing, he has a good car.

Regards the point of 3-4 DNFs for each driver every season >>> Not necessarily.

Some drivers like the new Kimi can go through an entire season without a single DNF then you will have the likes of Grosjean, Maldonado and Lewis just praying to make it through the first lap.

In other words, if it isn’t your season (luck-wise) things can disintegrate pretty quickly.

As for the qualifying battle with Massa, it seems like Massa’s good run will come to an end this weekend.

Apparently no teammate has ever out-qualified Alonso at 5 back to back races. Currently it’s only Trulli, Lewis and now Massa that have had the good fortune to out-qualify Alonso 4 back to back races.

Anyway, the Massa-Alonso partnership is another interesting battle to keep an eye on for I believe Massa is another driver on the grid dying to get some payback.

28

Don’t know how useful the 5-in-a-row stat is. I mean in 2007 with Hamilton, Hamilton sometimes would’ve been competing with him in Q3 with a lap more fuel onboard.

29

Funny really how statistics can be made to mean any story you want

Let’s see, driver x finishes Melbourne in 2nd place.

At the next race, driver x finishes in 11th (out of the points) after running into a cucumber.

Move forward a year, driver y finishes 2nd in Melbourne.

At the next race, driver y finishes out of the points after running into a cucum… I meant a slow Vettel.

So in both 2012 and 2013, driver x and y have gone to China with a single second place and points finish.

Like I say, stats can back up any story you want to give.

30
Scuderia McLaren

Hiya HWS, you are soooo right about stats, data sets and the manipulation of them. Let’s just say I am familiar with big blocks of data and stats and can see how conclusions can be erroneously drawn with worrying ease. Data gathering is easy, interpretation is hard.

I see a lot of “1 + 1 = 11” analysis in F1 sport in particular. This is due to the fact that almost everything is quantifiable. But this can overwhelm a picture as there is so much a fan can draw from to data mine in order to justify a pre ordained view.

Also another thing to consider the cultural difference in us fans / data interpreters, as our perceptions and the value we place upon various stats will vary. We see different things and ignore different things.

31

@ hero was Senna

But you see, the difference between driver x and y is driver x has ever come from behind and won the title i.e. In 2010 and 2012 whereas driver y has never done this.

32

You might be regretting it come Interlagos Fernando?

33

He might not…

34

Sorry, but this seems silly to me now. The fact that Alonso is saying this is odd and pointless, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t see how you cannot be regretful of wasting this opportunity like that.

Alonso is feeling the pressure now.

35

I completely agree. He is putting a brave face on it, no use crying over spilt milk etc.

But the bottom line is, Ferrari wasted an opportunity to score points because of a poor strategy call. I could foretell the outcome when he didn’t pit, so could the commentary team on tv – it was inevitable.

It’s all the more strange as Ferrari and FA, in particular, always make a big show of keeping the score board ticking over.

36

“Putting on a brave face” more like not being completely honest !

37

Yeah well sometimes I tend to “over compensate” for people who have been brain washed by his/ Ferraris political rhetoric. Most of whom have all gone quite for some reason this year..:) still a few out there I gotta set straight

38

I have been glancing through your posts and I am starting to think you don’t much care for Alonso 🙂

39

Alonso is pragmatic; It happened, can’t change it, learn amd move on.

The only people still worrying about it are the armchair experts.

40

You guys don´t be too judgmental. I´d like to know everyone´s grade in your English classes. Maybe Alonso has a cat that is his inspiration and motivation at every race.After all Hamilton has a dog as his motivation for winning.

🙂

41

A cat and a dog in the pitlane…..no, I think there’s enough drama with Webber & Vettel 😉

42

That he doesn’t regret the decision doesn’t make it any less stupid. If the stewards had been able to see the condition of the front wing, they’d have black flagged hum.

43

If the stewards couldn’t see it, how could Ferrari from the pit wall?

44

You don’t think they have the TV feed and can see what everybody else clearly saw?

45

Yeah I see a load of guys sat in front of a 64″ Sony flat screen with a few beers within easy reach.

46

Ironically, what happened at Malaysia might be the best thing to increase Alonso’s chances of winning WDC.

47

Frankly I believe Ferrari in not calling Alonso into the pits for a nose change is a disgrace and negligent, both by the team (Ferarri) and the FIA for not instructing the team to bring their driver in as it was seriously dangerous and could easily have caused a serious accident to either their driver (Alonso) any other driver or marshal or maybe even a spectator – it was only luck this wasn’t the case!

Seems to me that simple common sense sometimes is overlooked or more likely not even considered in the heat of F1 – Safety should always come first!

49

GV was awesome, with huge “attachments”.

And yes, times have changed. Tobacco advertising, even advertising for Penthouse back then. Haha.

50

Complete madness – in today’s world if the same thing happened and the wing fell off and someone was killed (especially a spectator) the FIA would never live it down and would be sued (rightly so) for huge amounts – after all they are the governing body and they have above all else a duty to act on their duty of care requirements.

Other will, I’m sure have noted how silent all the F1 pundits and those within F1 have been on this – including James Allen

51
Val from montreal

Well he never really had quick teammates besides that 1 year stint at McLaren with the rookie and we know how that panned out … He’s lucky he wasn’t partnered with Raikkonen at McLaren in 2007 , he’d be blown to dust ..

And Trulli was faster than him at Renault, look how fast Trulli was taken out of the equation !

Massa is a confidence driver ,that’s why Massa was at his best in 2006 alongside the Schu and the years following with Raikkonen 07 and 08 …He was treated FAIR before Santander came along with their Billion dollar checkbook ..

I never heard Schumacher or Raikkonen complain over the radio while Massa was in front of them ! But what goes around comes around in life …

52

Yep- he’s the biggest whinger and most dishonest bloke in the paddock.. Works perfectly with those spaghetti munchers

53

I’m fascinated where you choose to go on holiday…

55

Hey Val, your kid not softened you out yet…

Trulli was faster than him in qualifying, but other than Monaco, where he was truly on it, when you watched races, one Renault would progress up the field, the other down. I don’t need to mention which one, right?

One question which I wonder if anyone knows answer to, when did FOM start to broadcast team/ driver radio? I certainly don’t remember it during the time MSC raced at Ferrari.

I think radio has changed the dynamics massively for the viewer, and you have to be careful because alot of it isn’t transmitted.

56
Val from montreal

Buongiorno Eroe era Senna ! ( yes he has been a bundle of joy and because of that im actually making progress with my anti-alonso remarks .. Im restraining myself more and more )

Even if radio Transmissions would have been made public back in the “old days” , I doupt very much Schumacher would have shown frustation like Mr. Alonso has done …

Call him what you will but MSC has been more supportive towards Barrichello and Massa than Alonso has ever been towards any of his teamates …. Lets see what happens in China on sunday …

Will Massa outqualify Alonso for a 5th straight time ??

Have a good one !

57

I think Alonso and Ferrari are extremely lucky not to have been fined a substantial amount for not pitting. Their actions could have caused a very serious accident. I can’t help but think other teams would have been punished very badly for such a decision. That he didn’t cause an accident as bad as the one caused by Grosjean last year was pure luck and Grosjean was forced to sit out a race.

58

Grosjean wasn’t forced to sit out a race because of the accident at the start of the Belgian GP.

The FIA had had enough of him having first lap incidents and seemingly not learning from them.

Lest you forget, Lotus were not sure that they would retain him, but have given him a second chance.

Slightly different to a 2 times world champion, with 30 odd wins under his belt.

59

WHAT ( expletives excluded )does being a “2 times WC” have to do with not copping a penalty. That’s just garbage Hero Is Senna..

If you said he didn’t touch anyone and was no danger ( albeit close to a webber) would be completely acceptable.

What your saying is like saying Michael Schumacher driving Rubens into the wall at Monaco in 2010 is perfectly fine because he’s a 7 time champ

60

I’m addressing the “suggestion” that just because he is a 2 time WC, he cannot be judged the same way. Nothing else.! I really get annoyed when guys like this go round show boating claiming they are perfect whether they double or 7 times world champions- never admitting mistakes when anyone with half a brain can see what they did was just wrong. Vettel had just joined this group.

The incident of the wing itself is nothing to me ( albeit slightly risky as he nearly clipped Webber). I agree there have been many situations & ridiculous sanctions like Hamilton in 2011 & Massa at Monaco.

Fernando annoys me because he does not deal with truth he just deals with expectation. He is very good at shifting blame, that many fans like you dont see through it.He too was quick to blame Raikkonen for Suzuka for the incident then only weeks later he had to retract his comments & looked like an idiot.

A man that wins on equal terms honestly, openly is a man- that will never change- and one who lies or cheats is a coward in any sport regardless of the outcome.

61

If you really feel a need to make everything dramatic, go ahead , jeez!

Alonso/Ferrari took a risk, didn’t work out. Did Webber or Rosberg get penalties when they took off over other drivers. No, even though getting airborne could be exceptionally dangerous!

Grosjean had many first lap incidents before Spa. Spa was the point that something had to be done. Maldonado was also mentioned needing a penalty but hasn’t happened

I could go on, but I think you actually know where I’m going with all this, I won’t insult you.

Side note, has F1 become so safe now that every little incident becomes national news. Provoking outrage and demonisation.

I remember when men were men. I cannot wait for Rush to be released.

62

He also said that if they had pitted for the front wing he probably would have only got 9th/10th place, so it wasn’t a big lost, however, over a championship those one or two points can prove vital, only time will tell

63

That’s a rubbish he would have finished 7th or better. Think about 21.5 sec for the extra pit. Lotus finished 40 seconds behind in 6th

64

It takes a bit more time to change the nose than a normal pit stop, then factor in that he would be at the back having to pass everybody costing him even more time and 9th/10th looks like a good estimate. However there was always the chance of a safety car helping him catch up to the leaders and the chance of a higher finish. Not pitting was a costly error that Ferrari may come to regret at the end of the season.

65

It doesn’t another 20 sec to change the nose ( maybe less than 12) JA has noted elsewhere on this subject that some experts in the field think 8th was possible.i think that is even conservative. This is just Ferrari and Fernando trying to “save face”. Rather than dealing with the Truth

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