F1 Winter Break
Vettel and Red Bull Dominate Monza Qualifying As Hulkenberg stars
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By:   |  07 Sep 2013   |  4:36 pm GMT  |  269 comments

Sebastian Vettel has continued his momentum of a perfect weekend in Monza by taking a pole position for the Italian Grand Prix, by almost two tenths of a second ahead of Red Bull Racing team-mate, Mark Webber.

It is Vettel’s fourth pole of 2013, and the 40th of his career.

Vettel has shown great pace all weekend and after topping both Q1 and Q2, the German went on to set two laps quick enough for pole position. It will feel all the more sweeter for Red Bull, who also saw Webber take a career best starting position at Monza, as their closest Championship rivals were unable to touch the Milton Keynes squad.

The shock result was Lewis Hamilton in 12th. He made a mistake, running wide at Parabolica and had to abort his first lap in Q2 and then when it really mattered he was held up at Parabolica by Adrian Sutil. After coming under investigation from the race-stewards, Sutil has been given a three place grid-penalty for tomorrow’s race.

Hamilton took the blame for a poor qualifying session, saying that he ‘drove like an idiot’. He is eluding to a mistake in Q2 where he ran wide at the Parabolica and ruined a set of medium tyres. After returning to the pits for new tyres he was unable to improve and make his way in to the final phase of qualifying.

Hamilton will begin the race in between the Lotus pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, with the Finn taking eleventh place. It was a very disappointing result for the team, after a strong showing in practice. Meanwhile, the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg could only manage sixth place, behind the Ferrari pair – headed by Felipe Massa.

But today there were two Germans that will grab the headlines for exceptional performances.

Nico Hulkenberg showed strong pace throughout the hour-long session and a spot in the top ten shoot-out illustrated why he is being linked with a seat further up the grid from Sauber.

Although, his performance hit new heights when he clinched third position on the grid with an excellent final lap late in the session. The young German has impressed at many points during his Formula One career, namely a 2010 pole position at a drying Brazilian GP and leading the race at Interlagos in 2012.

Today’s showing in neutral conditions will bode well for him given this point in the season and the fact that he has out-qualified both Ferraris at their home race; Hulkenberg’s name has come back strongly into the frame for Massa’s Ferrari seat this week and today’s performance – in front of president Luca di Montezemolo – may be what swings it for him.

“This was a nice surprise for all of us,” said Hulkenberg. “I didn’t expect that after a very difficult Friday. Yesterday we struggled a lot with the car and the guys have done a fantastic job turning it around to give me such a competitive car today.”

The Ferrari pair had a positive session relative to the Lotus and Mercedes pairings. Once again they attempted a slip-streaming tactic, but they were unable to threaten Red Bull – with Alonso complaining that Massa was ‘going too fast’, and therefore he could not get a adequate tow.

Massa ended the day 1/100th of a second faster than Alonso, and did himself no harm in impressing his employers.

There was also impressive displays from Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez, who took seventh and eighth places for Toro Rosso and McLaren respectively. Ricciardo and team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne both made it in to Q3 after sitting in the top six during the previous sessions. Vergne eventually qualified in tenth after an excursion through the gravel trap at the the exit of the Parabolica.

Perez got the better of his more experienced team-mate by a small margin, with Button taking ninth place alongside Vergne.

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX, Monza, Qualifying

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m23.755s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m23.968s +0.213s
3. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m24.065s +0.310s
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m24.132s +0.377s
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m24.142s +0.387s
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.192s +0.437s
7. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m24.209s +0.454s
8. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m24.502s +0.747s
9. Jenson Button McLaren 1m24.515s +0.760s
10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m28.050s +4.295s
11. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m24.610s +0.633s
12. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.803s +0.826s
13. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m24.848s +0.871s
14. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m24.932s +0.955s
15. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m25.011s +1.034s
16. Paul di Resta Force India 1m25.077s +1.100s
17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m25.226s +0.907s
18. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m25.291s +0.972s
19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m26.406s +2.087s
20. Charles Pic Caterham 1m26.563s +2.244s
21. Jules Bianchi Marussia- 1m27.085s +2.766s
22. Max Chilton Marussia 1m27.480s +3.161s

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I was going to make funny, but today Massa did it for us and Alonso supplied the punch line.  

No need to discuss it, Massa already knows he's moving over at lights out tomorrow.  But it would be even more funny than today's quali if Massa was the one on the third step tomorrow. 


I am convinced that but for Sutil, Lewis Hamilton would have been on pole.

Also, instead of blaming himself for running wide on parabolica earlier in Q2, he should call for investigation to see if Merc were doing something remotely to ruin his qualifying. Mark Webber knows that Red Bull does it during race starts whenever he is too close to Vettel.

Without all these conspiracies, we all know in our hearts that Hamilton would have won all championships he has competed in.


Great comment! The sarcasm often goes underappreciated on the forum 😉


Haha. You're spouting a lot of BS.


Meanwhile, back on planet Earth ......


Haha its just funny how Webber always have these bad starts when the pressure is on for a result he even went backwards when he was on the front row with awful cars like the Jaguar and in the uncompetitive Redbull RB4 at silverstone 2008, I'm sure Vettel was to blame for them as well...


If Luca 'tweaked' Alonso's ear previously I wonder what he will do to Massa.

I sometimes think of Luca as the Godfather in which case Massa has...betrayed the family?


He wasn't going fast. What...Alonso couldn't keep up?



Does anyone have any insights why this track suited Sauber? I'm blown away by their remarkable P3!

Very happy for a struggling team.


I like Hulk and think he's potentially a top driver.

If P3 were just Hulk dragging the Sauber up where it doesn't belong, then we should see the occasional Top5 from him.

But there's something about Monza that allowed Hulk to over perform.

I recall it had the narrow side pods. Perhaps less frontal area and hence lower Coefficient of Drag?

Something not quite right with their regular wings - and hence when wings are minimized, Sauber is less disadvantaged?

No medium speed corners? . . .



A few thoughts come to mind. So starting with the basic premise that casrs with strong underbody aerodynamics will do relatively well at Monza as this normally doesn't change for Monza beyond normal developments, we can assume the Sauber has a good floor, unlike Lotus were Kimi admitted today his car is a bit weak with low wing levels.

The Sauber has uniquely narrow sidepods that should reduce the frontal area of the car, reducing the total drag a bit. Spa and Monza are the two tracks that are going to most benefit from this characteristic.

The reduced downforce level and the slightly lighter fuel load required for Monza - the car spends longer in higher gears here so for the same race distance the engine revs fewer times - means that the working range of the ride height is reduced. The Sauber might share the McLaren problem of ride height sensitivity, with the downforce generated by the front wing and the floor being affected by the ride height, especially during pitch under braking. This last point is difficult to test in a wind tunnel and is more an area where the correlation between CFD and the track is critical. Based on Christian Horner's comments about how little Red Bull uses its wind tunnel I suspect this is a strong Red Bull capability.

Finally, as the engines are so close and with the downforce differences minimised, the driver at Monza can make a big difference in terms of grid places, if not alwaus time. The was probably the potential for Ricciardo to better Hulkenberg's time if he run a single lap run. The Ferrari drivers may have found a bit more with perfect laps. Rosberg had set up issues and a lack of P3 running. Hamilton made a mess of Q2. So there are potentially six cars that should have pushed Nico back a little bit.




Yes right, tricky to know. But there are evidences on the performance of the Toro Rossos, Saubers and Ferraris over last years. It could in part have to do with two related facts you pointed out: "the slightly lighter fuel load required for Monza" and "the car spends longer in higher gears".


Fantastic post. I learnt alot Thank you.

I noticed on one of the race charts that Hulk's lap times during the Monza race became stronger relative to the field, towards the end of the race.

Not sure what conclusions there. Just noting an observation.


A thing to consider is that the first four were not flat out at the end. Vettel had his gearbox issue and Alonso was struggling a bit with the hard tyres. Nico had the other Nico pushing him on all the way. That reduced some of the gap that would have been there.

There are some technical possibilities with the aerodynamics becoming more stable with a slight increase in ride height. The McLaren has a problem with the front wing getting closer to the ground, which generates even more downforce and then one of the wing elements stalls and the front rises a little again. Gary Anderson raises this quite often.

As the fuel comes out of the car the roll will reduce a little as the height between the centre of gravity and the roll centre (a geometric property of the suspension that will be near ground level) reduces. Less roll might make the suspension work better for Sauber more so than some other cars.




I think the Ferrari engine is quite a big factor at Monza also.


Finding anything to back that feeling up though is tricky. Adrian Newey has stopped suggesting the Renaults are significantly down on power (could be a lump of Infinity marketing money doing the trick). Autosport when assessing team packages at the start of the year gave the Renault and Mercedes engines five stars and the Ferrari four or three and the Cosworth two. No data to back any of this up.


Yes, remarkable. Although I think a fair amount of it was down to a man named 'Nico' 😉


No idea, but glad to see The Hulk post a good result, he's been wasted this year and he's the driver I most want to see promoted to one of the top 5 teams. Hopefully if he goes to Ferrari it wont be as Alonso's outright no. 2 (although I may just be kidding myself).


I hear often some smaller teams put more money into developing a low downforce monza package, it being such a unique event gives some lower teams the chance to shine


Monza's unique nature reduces the advantage of cars with superior aerodynamics, so you have a more balanced playing field.


Actually Monza is a track which rewards superior aerodynamics simply because the average speed here is higher than any other track. However, we're talking about a low drag, low downforce, aero package unique to Monza; i.e. completely different from any other F-1 track. Some teams hit it right and some don't. Most other tracks require medium to high downforce and the teams who optimize high downforce with low drag spend a LOT of money and effort to do so; consequently, these are the top (read "winning") teams, for obvious reasons. But Monza gives the less well funded teams a chance to break through to the front of the grid. Bottom line: Aerodynamics is very important at Monza but it's of a different sort and that produces surprises, sometimes pleasant and sometimes not.


Same here. I don't know who I am more pleased for the Hulk or the team.

The incredible Hulk indeed. This guy has clearly been the best young driver since Vettel.

The Hulk like Vettel has shown his talent in lower order cars in very eye catching ways. I am really surprised that the Hulk has not yet been offered a better drive yet. Several teams have had openings and chosen drivers not nearly as good as the Hulk appears to be.


Yes when he turns it on and performs its almost as if he's unstoppable like last year at Brazil where he was clearly faster than both the Mclarens and was unfortunate to be caught up in that accident or that spin a few laps earlier, the win was on the cards there, absolutely blew Di Resta away when he sorted the car out in the 2nd half of the season.


He took Hamilton out and spoiled his own chances- he's quick and got a bit of mongrel in him- but where is he all the other races..??A diamond in the rough - maybe a top team is what he needs


Unfortunate? He caused the accident! Geezus people. Hulk did well in patches of that race, but was only fastest when it was wet. Also remember him sliding off while under pressure to cede the lead.

Full disclosure, I rate Hulk highly, want to see him at Ferrari, but Brazil '13 was for him a flashes-of-brilliance race, rather than a he's-the-complete-article race.

Valentino from montreal

Fernando's days driving the Ferrari are numbered ..

He called his team : Stupid , in Italian ! All on team radio for the world to listen ....

He's a cancer to Ferrari , plain and simple ...

Never liked him and never will ....

Meanwhile , a Sauber car that qualifies in front of a Ferrari at Monza , is , well, embarrassing to say the least ...

People can talk bad about Todt and Schumacher all day long , but Ferrari of today is far from what it was 7 years ago .... Montezemelo ruined everything ....

Forza Michele !! Sempre il número uno !!


Geez for once I agree with you Val ( might even be twice) Alonso is not an honest bloke and doesn't appear to have changed his spots- despite being treated like royalty.. Maybe Ferrari told him who they want and he's not happy.

Despite all the nasty press for Kimi since 2009- he never once and still never says a bad word about anyone there..and he had every reason to!. Something Ross Brawn said he respected in Kimi. They should get rid of both Fernando and Felipe and put Kimi back with Hulk- that would be a formidable team. Then maybe Monte can retire and hand the reins to someone else ! ( he very much the problem at Ferrari)


Right on the nail, Valentino.


To be fair they did all act a bit idiotic.


Hi AuraF1

Massas's time was so good because he got the tow of Webber which gave him near two tenths. On the other hand, he was too far for his tow being that benefitial to alonso. The tow if done correctly is worth it at Monza.


Explain? Alonso couldn't keep up with Massa? Some thought he was so slow.


OK. I can't say your point doesn't make sense. They focused on a 10th and lost more as a result of chasing it. But perhaps the blanket statement that strategy was bad for 3 years is a bit off. They have had success thanjs to good calls.

They know their car is slow in quali and figured the 10th was worth chasing. I think had Lewis and perhaps Kimi made it into the 10, even with the tow the positions for Ferrari wouldn't look much different. So really, the main event was that color red got to the bull, and he may have shown his own true colors once again.


Because the chances of getting the tow right in traffic are pretty negligible - the definition of insanity is making the same mistakes again and expecting a different result. Each time they try it, massa ends up racing away and Alonso looks foolish. Alonso is as much to blame - I meant they all came off as idiots. Massa showed its possible to go faster by just focusing on a fast run. The team has had increasingly poor strategic placement - ever since 2010 they've been losing strategy calls. Ferrari should just accept that the tow isn't feasible, let both drivers try to focus on one solid great lap and go from there. They spent so much effort slowing one down and rushing the other it was like a slapstick comedy dance.

The only irony is that Alonso forgot to add in he looked like an idiot as well scraping through the lap like a rally driver, losing out to his teammate and hulkenberg.


sad to read but maybe it's time to move on from year 2006? Alonso is bad, Massa is bad, Domenicalli is bad, Montezemolo is bad. I guess it's only you, who's not a cancer to Ferrari?


"... Montezemelo ruined everything"

Now now, let's not blow this out of proportion. Luca takes a lot of stick for no reason at all. It was Luca who resurrected Ferrari and their sportscar business after Enzo's death. He brought Todt and Schumacher to the team, which lead to an era of Ferrari's domination. It is under him that Ferrari became a huge commercial success. So calm down. Success in Formula 1 is a process. It may take some time, but eventually it does come.

I don't like Alonso particularly as well. What you heard on the radio today was nothing more than combined frustration of Vettel being so good and some strategic errors from the team. It happens. Alonso needs Ferrari and Ferrari need him!


Well said, more balanced view than any of the Hamilton fan brigade vultures can come up with, yes you're in that Ferrari and Alonso need each other, overall in the last few years Ferrari couldn't have driven for a stronger team than Ferrari apart from Redbull and their door is firmly shut, also Ferrari recently couldn't have hired a better driver than Alonso apart from Vettel, who is only just coming into his prime now, Alonso and Luca needs to fix this or they'll suffer next year.

Valentino from montreal

Michael Schumacher interview with Lee McKenzie prior to Monza GP , on Alonso's recent comments ;


"If you're part of the team, then you're partially responsible for the results. I don't think in the last three years I ever complained against the team. Because those guys, they work off their nuts to make the best possible. It does take time, and sometimes it takes a bit longer, and sometimes, it maybe doesn't happen. But still, your of this family and you do it together. You win and you lose together."


Class -


LoL, you see what you want to see at the end, don't you.

" I don’t think in the last three years I ever complained against the team"

Before SCH can start complaining about his own team, I think he is supposed to beat his team mate to start with! He was destroyed by ROS - three years in a row - and ought to be SILENT. His last year, he managed only HALF the points of ROS! A totally different situation to that of ALO, a driver that over-achieved 2010-2012...and defeated SCH to the title two consecutive years before his first retirement, if you like that comparison.

Besides, what comments is McKenzie talking about exactly? A demand from a world class driver to have a car capable of better than 6-7th on the grid?

Not surprised though that BBC will try to put a negative spin on that as well - we are after all talking about Ferrari and Alonso and BBC historically has not been the most objective media channel in describing those.


"Oh, and of course if you can't win fairly as a team, just drive your opponents off the road in title deciders or park your car on an apex to sabotage your main rival's pole lap"



LOL And just by making this comments now he is showing it is not exactly class what he has. Also ending his carrer with mercedes was a class move...

This guy should watch Alonsos behaviour on track to learn how a champion has to conduct himself on track, and understand his approach to racing was far from "class".



Schumi is a great champion. Respect!




Agree. Shu never criticized the team. Not in public. Alonso needs to learn that. Vettel knows it, Hamilton is getting it now. Alonso should be better



I always remember Schumacher "we win together we lose together? mantra.

Not a peep of discontent around 2005 or 2006 when his championship literally went up in smoke at Suzuka.

Although Ill concede Schumacher already had a living room full of championships before he really embraced this "Hakuna Matata" attitude. If you remember Schumacher was on edge after failed attempts trying to clinch title number 3.

I would never describe Schumacher as petulant though, Alonso yes.


Agreed, Ferrari are a shadow of what they were. I belive the Alonso rant in Italian was along the lines of "idiots, your all stupid idiots, you ruined my qualifying" that has gotta be instant dismissal for a Ferrari driver surely.

It would not surprise me if Ferrari do get rid of Alonso, that they make him it out a year as they did with Kimi. If that was the cars, he would miss getting up to speed with the new engine in 2014, therefore in 2015 it would take half a season to catch up (hurting which ever teams constructors points) so 2016 would be the next title contending year and that's pretty much the end of his F1 career at the age he will be. Plus there isn't a lot of choice for teams that are competative for him to join. I could see Williams or Sauber taking him but only if Santander are still backing him.

FA does FA for Ferrari, he always claims a good performance is all him and a poor performance is blamed on the team. I think LdM is going to have to sort this out very quickly to stop him and the rest of the team looking like they serve Alonso not Alonso serving the team.


Couldn't agree less tbh. I'm not an FA fan by any stretch, quite the opposit but I think it's fair to say that without him driving the mediocre cars that Ferrari have produced then Ferrari wouldn't have been close to the title hunt. FA has massively out performed his car on a regular basis. As a staunch (but objective) ani Alonsite I think it's fair to say that he didn't get a look in at RB be a use a certain superstar wouldn't want to fight in equal machinery. However I strongly agree with you that he is the first to take credit and pass the buck! I also agree with your point that LdM needs manage the situation before it turns sceptic.


It would be funny if Ferrari start giving Alonso Massa's car. I wonder if the Santander money is dependant on Alonso always finishing ahead of Massa and thus forces Ferrari's hand?

As for dismissing...little chance if that. First they would give up the sponsor money and possibly have to pay Alonso off too. Only if mutual terms to Ferrari's satisfaction are possible wikk Alonso leave. Otherwise they will grind it out. But it would be nice if suddenly Massa starts podiuming.


Here's a more balanced view on Alonso's outcry: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/09/07/alonso-insists-tactics-were-perfect-after-radio-complaints/

Apparently Ferrari was planning to "tow" Alonso's car but Massa got too far ahead in order to get the slipstream benefits. Hence Alonso's frustration.

On a side note: Well impressive team play by Massa. I wonder if the iceman or the Hulk would be prepared to do the same … unless Ferrari decides to change strategy and focus solely on the Constructor's Championship.


I reckon the Hulk might. Kimi on the other hand???


He called them idiots, not just stupid.


Surely better than a Sauber finishing on the podium ahead of a Ferrari, like last year.


So any chance of Massa suddenly needing a gearbox change overnight to get Alonso on the second row, or will it be Massa's job to brake too late at the start and get in Vettel's way? 🙂


As MAS anyway very seldom manages to do any good in races, him starting 4th or 9th probably will not make any difference for the end result - while same could not be said of ALO (as even you should probably have the ability to derive given history).

Lets leave the "late breaking" for ALO plz, he manages it good me thinks.


Earlier in the week Alonso said he needed a good race and someone to "run into Vettle". I see crashgate all over again, a small mistake by Massa into turn 1 and oops! He hits te back of vettle after getting his braking point wrong on cold tyres and brakes. That is not an impossible sinario if Alonso gets his way. After the yellow flag saga after Brazil last year I don't put anything past the red team as they are looking very stupid after Alonso was hailed as the next Ferrari champion, 4 years ago lol


I reckon Felipe would rather walk away right now than deliberately hit Vettel. He has way too much class to do that. My opinion only.


Not only class but experience. The crash gate affair ruined his chances of a WDC (at least in his eyes). And he's experienced what it can feel like to be in a freak accident. I may think Massa has lost his ultimate pace and/or confidence after the disappointment of 2008/the horrific accident of 2009 - but I think he's one of the few genuinely honorable drivers left.

He'll pull over for Alonso - but crash into a competitor? No way. Besides Rob Smedley would beat the first person to suggest it to death!


Wasnt Scumi hailed the same too when he signed for Ferrari? Took him 5yrs to win his fist title with them.


Why? Alonso's on the clean side, with Hulk ahead. When Hulk was on pole in Brazil '10, he flubbed the start, while Alonso always launches.


I have a feeling Hulk will fight hard for that position.


Well played Massa, Alonso was behind, so it was Alonso's job to stick with Massa for the slipstream, not the other way around!

Hulkenberg, that was cool, where did get that lap from?

Lotus don't know why they screw up things at this point of the year. They did the same last year and are repeating it this year!


£££ I reckon. V sad to see though!


Not exactly the kind of qualifying we were expecting, Ferrari not up there - Fernando has had the balls to offend them then fastly backtracking... 'scemi' and 'geni' is the same thing: the way you use them in a sentence like he did over the team radio meant he was calling them 'stupid' and Lotus under performing -poor Kimi! Also what a disgrace that an F1 driver is taking evey give opportunity to attack his fellow driver, allowing his personal issues to bring the worst out of himself! That's the second time that Sutil blocked Lewis! who's the coward then? Who goes to media to offend all the time, reminding us of that old story and his sentencing? What are FIA doing to stop him, because now I'd be afraid for my Life if i was Lewis! Why did Bernie Ecclestone allow Sutil to come back? Tomorrow should be better, let it rains and mixes the field!

2014 please don't kill my hopes!


I'll be generous to Sutil and believe it was a genuine error and not a deliberate screwjob. Either way his punishment doesn't at all fit the crime - he cost Hamilton a (probable) place in the top 10 and got dropped 3 places for it. I'd make it a standard 10 place penalty to stop people in their tracks from lifting off and gaining space like this.


He didn't cost Hamilton a top ten. Hamilton admitted it was a poor performance by himself, period.


I agree it was a poor performance and Hamilton is certainly to blame for letting himself get into this position by not not nailing his first flying lap. But in blocking Hamilton at the Parabolica Sutil wrecked two flying laps that would probably have seen him into the top 10.


I cant believe sutil blocked Lewis on purpose, at 200mph you cant tell who's in your rear view and if the team had told him on radio the fia would have had recordings leading to a bigger punishment than 3 places, fia say it was not on purpose

Lewis had a damaged floor also according to autosport i guess due to the off track moment earlier

Lewis can do well tomo, everyone other than kimi above will start on soft giving him option of hard tyre


Yes Sutil blocked Hamilton twice now and its probably out of hate but what's that got to do with him being a coward? He has confronted Hamilton by phone, mail, through the media, tried to face to face, Sutil is not a coward. Why should Hamilton fear for his life? You're blowing it out of proportion, and yes you will probably get your wish for rain tomorrow and so far from what I've seen Mercedes has been probably the strongest in the wet so enjoy the race, as for 2014 Ferrari wil be strong so expect to be dissapointed.


Where else did Sutil block Lewis in quali? Or are you referencing him holding him up during the race in Canada?


Very wary of Webber at this time. He's a man who has fallen out of favour with F1 (or perhaps it is the other way round) and more particularly so with his teammate.

Expect a nervous start! And, if so, it just might well prove to be his last race in F1.


Only thing to be wary of his running into the back of his parked car 2 seconds after lights go out!

How many spots will MW lose of the line? I'll go with 3


I think RB management understand this and I am sure they will take "proper measures" at the start, as we have seen on several occasions in the past.


Red Bull were 'sabotaging' Webber's starts as far back as his Jaguar days?! Shameful.


A very quick check at the qualy stats for 2010, 2012 compared to 2013, VET vs WEB:

2010: WEB 6 times outqualy VET

2012: WEB 8 times outqualy VET

2013: WEB 0 times outqualy VET

Add to that the number of times WEB have had start-related-issues this last year, that have slowed him down every time he has been close to VET.

What would be really shameful IMHO is if you do just accept this as "normal" and not raise the question WHY. Cheers


Want a bet on webbers clutch packing up off the line?


Webber's clutch doesn't "pack" up, he just sometimes make poor starts when pressure is on its always been like that even before the was teamed with Vettel, whats more concerning is at Mercedes and all the technical problems for Rosberg, more conspiracy worthy than anything thing else.


Well you best tell the team that back in Spa...


It's not his clutch.

He's simply not clutch.

I don't think he's a good starter. It can't be the car all the time, every time.


I highly doubt that. Webber will finish off this season then retire. I don't see why he is to stop right now.


Expect Webber to lose three places with a bad start and never trouble Vettel as his race goes backwards.

It would be great if Webber could sort out his starts before he retires - just to leave on a high!


Yea vet and web take each other out at start - heres hoping


Yes I'm sure the majority of the english speaking fans and Hamilton fans in general will want to see Webber take Vettel out at turn 1 but it's unlikely, however rsin could spoil Seb's race and his dry setup.


Why has he fallen out off favor with F1, he had a party at the energy station last night with the F1 usual suspects and long term media acquaintances. Only Vettle didn't go, unsurprisingly.

So why would this be his last GP?


I will say, really, I think Fernando Alonso is a joke!

He can not do a flying lap, and I think his fans will admit that at this stage, and in monza he was beaten by Hulk? That' crazy, Ferrari was the second fast car all practice, and in conditions like this Hamilton would beat Sebastian! Alonso was crazy when Hamilton did beat him in his rookie year, and I just think what Fernando could be asking for the team: "See, I´m Fernando Alonso, make this rookie work for me in the races... blah blah blah".

But Hamilton is not Felipe Massa, and his rookie year is well written in the history of F1!

Well, about Massa I have no words... being Brazilian, with many legends of the sport, do what he is doing is killing our history on the sport! Please Ferrari, do not sign him for the next year! Let another driver be Alonso´s toy, we are the home of Senna, we do not deserve that! And think, you did the same with Rubens, so... don´t need to do it twice!

Again, Fernando Alonso is a joke! Maybe some day he will ask a queue of cars to be able to pick the tow and maybe be on Q3.



As a Ferrari fan, it is sad to admit it, but no, he doesn't do great flying qualifying laps. But his race pace is still brilliant.

I think that, should nothing overly dramatic happen, we will see him finish 2nd this race easily (this comment was written before the race just to clarify, in case it is published after).


"As a Ferrari fan, it is sad to admit it, but no, he doesn’t do great flying qualifying laps"

Hmm, and you base this "observation" on what? The total destruction (in both qualy and race trim) of the other guy that drives the same car, over a four years sample?


Joke with 2 times WDC, more than 20 poles and more than 30 wins. Made my day. For sure Ferrari was the second after Red Bull - any other genius insights?


Thats an outrageous claim, you're basically saying Hamilton would beat Vettel whilst driving a slower car, thats wishful thinking they are close on ultimate lap speed but Vettel has much beyter consistency, race control and intelligence, and Alonso was angry and says things out of the heat of the moment but if anyone's a joke its Hamilton for not patching things up with Sutil, certainly paying for it on a couple of occasions this season.


Let Hamilton first beat Nico, then we can talk about beating Seb. He didn't qualify for Q3, the last time I saw.


I think Hulkenberg might well be wearing red next season if he has a good result tomorrow. Where as Kimi will probably still be dragging a Lotus around . Performances like today won't help Lotus in persuading Kimi to stay at the team. 11th for Kimi and 13th for Romain is a shocking result for the Lotus team . They better hope that both drivers can get in the points or there will be a lot of questions asked.


Well it looks quite simple now with Ricciardo's Redbull move, if Ferrari decides to drop Massa then either Raikkonen or Hulkenberg will take his seat, if Raikkonen gets the nod Hulkenberg joins Lotus of Hulk gets the Ferrari seat Kimi stays at Lotus.


How about Kimi to retire?


I wonder if Lotus would have stuck with the long wheelbase car, had they not been lulled into thinking that their car was the 2nd quickest at Friday's session.


It could well be Kimi an Hulkenberg both in Red next year, at the rate at which the relationship between Alonso and Ferrari is deteriorating.


Where would Alonso go? Lotus? Mclaren? Out of options I'm afraid so staying put and apologising to Di Montazemalo would be wise.


Fantastic qualifying. Seb and Hulk were fantastic today.

The self proclaimed fastest driver failed at the fastest track on the calendar as he succumbed to pressure. Hamilton should have known that he should keep his eyes on the track when driving. It is a pity Sutil was penalised.

Ferrari made a complete fool of themselves. Don't know why they went for the tested and failed slip-streaming tactic. Some journalists and media personnel were blaming Massa for the farce which is silly. But the better driver came on top. I am happy for Massa and hope he will be on the podium ahead of his team mate.

Alonso was locking his tyres, going wide and made silly mistakes and then was saying he was happy with the results (without mentioning he was shouting at the team for spoiling his qualifying). Should have admitted he couldn't handled the pressure.

Looks like there is too much going inside Ferrari that we don't know. Too many unhappy people.


Your right without doubt, after making his 1st mistake of the season Hamilton is a complete imbecile who should be sacked on the spot by Mercedes, james after hulkenburgs great 3rd place, one of the papers had a story on the pressure witmarsh is under at McLaren, and part of the story was there was a lot of support within McLaren to pick hulkenberg as hams replacement, but whitmarsh was adamant in his choice of peres and got his way, any truth there..


There was a lot of support at McLarens accountants for the massive sponsorship package Perez would bring. If you think Whitmarsh doesn't listen to Ron and the finance team you're not looking into the insane money required to keep this circus afloat...


Sutil deserved his penalty, did you not see the on-board footage, Sutil was cruising on out side of parabolica and moved across the apex when he didn't need to blocking Hamilton who was on a flying lap. Did you see the closing speed at which Hamilton came up on Sutil at, Sutil was 100% going much slower for a while before he pulled across the track, there is a ling straight before that turn so Sutil would have seen Hamilton barreling up behind in his mirrors.
I don't have a favorite driver or team, I just love F1 so I can't be accused of being a "lewis fan"


Sutil didn't do it on purpose. Hamilton was at the wrong place at the wrong time.


When did Lewis make that proclamation? Others might've made it (myself, McNish yesterday during FP2, Coulthard, Gary Anderson, our host even), but I don't recall Lewis saying it.

Check yer shoulder for a chip, or two.


It was people like you, the media, the journalists (the Brits) who started this because there was nothing to boast about a British driver on the grid and then it went to Hamilton's head.



Hamilton always claims that he gets more than the maximum out of cars, whilst dismissing Vettel's poles and race wins as "he has had the best car for years".

One fact that disputes Hamiltons assumptions, if Red Bull is the outright fastest car, why haven't they finished 1st and 2nd in majority of races? They haven't even finished 1 & 2 in any championship!


It's actually the exception rather than the norm for the fastest car in a season to finish 1-2 in the DWC. In the Italian GP race result post on this site, I highlight how other fastest cars have fared in their seasons.

The last 1-2 in the DWC was 2004, with the supremely dominant Ferrari, which won 15 of 18 races.


Well maybe McNish, Brundle have called Hamilton the fastest. If I recall correctly Stirling Moss, Coulthard, Anthony Davidson and Gary Anderson have said Vettel is the fastest driver. Gary Anderson even said he might be faster than Senna


I don't belive you're recalling those correctly. Definitely Davidson would never say that, and the Senna quote from Anderson is made up, I'm sure. But please, provide links if you can.

Here's Anderson from his column after Belgium:

"Lewis Hamilton put his Mercedes on pole for the fourth straight race, but that was more down to the Englishman's skill at driving in wet conditions than the car's outright pace."


Here's Gary's article from after the Indian GP last year: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/20118852

In it, Gary says:

"So the strategy is only guaranteed to work if they qualify at the front and then break free in the opening two laps before DRS use is allowed.

"In a car *that good*, and with Vettel at the wheel, that can be taken pretty much as a given.

"But if it does not qualify at the front - or if Vettel makes an error in the first two laps and drops back - he would have a problem.

"The way he and Red Bull are operating at the moment, however, the problem is all their rivals'."

Hmm, wonder why he would mention the car first, then Vettel?

It's not like Gary is a "homer Brit", even though that notion in general is silly (I see more Brit journo's doing the build-up-then-tear-down job on the Brit drivers, than anything else). He's Irish. But for any F1 journo, there's more risk than reward (to one's credibility thru the paddock) to being seen as some sort of home-country-booster.

Tornillo Amarillo

YES, YES, YES, HULK did what I was waiting for now in the silly season, hope he goes to Ferrari.

Go Checo, vamos!


Well done James for not jumping on the slipstream gate affair with alonso and Massa. Sky were jumping all over it desperate to find some acrimony. I would like to know how much time was lost by Alonso at the last corner. As he was .005 off Vettel's time at the 2nd sector. Surely Vergne's crash can't have helped any of the drivers.


Agree w everything.

Yea I also saw the S2 time and hoped for better until I saw the "Cloud" at the end of the lap.

I read on other places that ALO at the end of the lap actually went on the radio and thanked BOTH the team and MAS for trying (at the end of the day MAS failed with even that simple matter) to help him. I do not recall hearing that message in the live feed. So some "intelligent" person obv decided that the two previous messages from ALO were enough and excluded the thanks message.


Don't you think there is something odd between what Alonso said during qualy and post qualy PR comments?


Its alright for Raikkonen and Hamilton to talk to the team in a rude manner and everyone shrugs it off as banter or personality or whatever but the moment Alonso does it this happens, get over it sometimes drivers get heated just the way F1 works, I remember Di Resta saying bad things about his team this season nothing more was said about it.


Hulkenberg deserves a better team next year. I feel bad for Lewis. I don´t know what happened. Sutil wasn´t the only problem Lewis had.

Hilarious and yet pathetic Ferrari messed up and Alonso should go to some anger management group.


Hamilton broke his floor in q2, don't think he would have troubled the front row but top six was a definite.


Lewis made a mistake and went on the gravel, meaning he had to pit again for new boots, missing out on doing an extra two timed laps.

DC said it was the first time since Malaysia 2010 that Lewis has missed out on Q3 ... I don't think that's right, but not enough time right now to do the research.


Sky said it was the first time in 67 races that LH missed Q3 - that makes Malaysia 2010 about right I would say.


So red bull dominates spa, monza....i guess....we can switch to 2014. There will be no fight after the race in singapore. If they will come on top in 2014 again, which I think they will....it will me a decade to forget for ferrari fans:-)


Don't switch! Too long a wait and you are watching first time ever 4th in a row championship winner. History!

Schnell! schnell!

Um, Fangio?


Red my reply just above yours.


Schumacher won 5 in a row. Beat that.


No. Schumacher won 2, then large pause, then 5.

Vettel is about to win 4th straight. Never been done where 1st time champion goes to 3WDCs without pause. Now he's about to go from 0 to 4 - first time ever.


Schumi won 5 in a row.


I assume youve forgotten about Schumi's run: 2000-2001-2002-2003-2004 😉


First ever? 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003?


Japan & US GPs are well worth watching if just for the tracks. Singapore, Korea and where else? India? Snoozfests...and Brazil is a great little track & seems to produce drama.


Is Alonso trying to get himself sacked by Ferrari???


As Bernie said, ALO is trying to get into Sauber or Caterham or Maurissia.



I really wouldn't make too much of his comments on the radio during the race. Alonso was clearly frustrated, and although he should not have said it this way, if the tactic planned by the team did not work because it was mistimed, he may have had a point. 5th is still a good starting position - judging from past races, it may even be better to start behind Vettel and Hulkenberg than behind Webber. Alonso will have no trouble passing Massa and Webber on the first lap, the only question is how long Hulkenberg will hold him up.


Rumors tell he's the one to brake the deal if he wants - just because the car is not good enough for 4th year in a row (something in agreement related to wins or WMC/WDC)


I have said it before, but now it looks even weirder, that Alonso is the “joker” in the pack, regarding this silly season of drivers merry go round.

If the alleged talk is true, and his management people pushed hard for him to have the Red Bull seat, then it does look like he is engineering a exit strategy out of Ferrari, but to where?

Why would Kimi want to go to Ferrari if Alonso can’t sort them out? Well I think been paid is one option, but a small one. The key here is the team that Ferrari is putting together, in Rory Byrne, James Allison and Pat Fry. It is starting to look like they may have the chassis well and truly sorted, just a small worry on the power plant.

For Alonso, there is a return to Enstone, with a Spanish Bank, and most likely Renault in some form or shape, either as title sponsors or shareholder or even owners of the team again. Given where they have finished the last couple of years, Bernie money will come in handy. I wouldn’t count too much on this Emarr money, as they like to talk, and that is about it.

So maybe Kimi at Ferrari and Hulkenberg as his wingman, now that would be a fast pair. They just could challenge the Mercedes pair in 2014.

Of course, Hulkenberg needs to get to the end of this race, and not run out of fuel part way through, or told to slow down to save fuel. He has pull them out of the bag, these fast laps, but can he do it on a regular occurrence, and not be a one lap specialises?


If I was a betting man I'd say Hulkenberg is faster than Raikkonen.


It certainly looks that way!


Possibly. I thought that about the "I'd like to extend my contract" story ... that he hoped Ferrari would say something like it wasn't time now to discuss that, then Alonso would label it some sort of humiliation, etc., etc.


Well, that's one way to get out of a binding contract.


The way Sutil continues to bring his personal feelings towards Lewis on track makes me questions his professionalism. For someone who's being given a second chance in F1 and have "no problem with Lewis" he's surely going about it wisely. I wonder when are the journalists gonna ask Malya etc about this?

It's clear to me every time he does this the team suffers. They are fighting McLaren for position and he goes and does this. I personally would like to see Malya charge him as per football clubs cause surely he's costing the team constructors points with his personal vendetta.

The worst thing is the fans have missed out on a good show at the front this afters.


1. How RebBull could be so quick on one off track Monza?? This guy Newey made everything to get new rules in 2014. His cars are tooooo good on all circuits.

2. Massa did better than Alonso! Small step to sign 2014 contract.

3. May teams except RedBull do not understand their cars. Experienced does no match expected. Due to the lack of testing. It must be resolved somehow, because it is common sense.


Fantastic drive Nico Hulkenberg. But looks like the party is over Red Bull have found something and its shut the gates. Its like Schumacher / Ferrari all over again- double check the cars please -- just putting it out there..


Double check your grapes please they maybe sour


I smell double DRS & flexi wings again???


Yeah maybe.. But then we can't forget the illegal holes in the floor either. Good luck luck to them if its fair- but not much in the sport of f1 is fair is it


Can't help but laugh at the irony of Massa being too far ahead of Alonso to give him a good tow, whilst at the same time being the perfect distance behind Webber to get one off him!

Amazing lap from Hulkenburg...sign him up Ferrari!


Well now, I didn't expect a jumbled grid in what was a dry qualifying session.

Yes that was a pretty amusing qualifying with a number of drivers out of position.

But without a question, the star of the day is the Hulk after he planted his Sauber right smack in the middle of the big teams and not only this, was a mere 3/10th away from pole >>> Amazing.

Job well done to Red Bull for having finally got back to the top of the grid, they looked in the league of their own all weekend and the fans know what happens when Vettel starts from pole.

Pretty funny scenes at Ferrari when the team got their slipstreaming wrong but it was unfair to try to sacrifice Massa again.

Shocking performance by Lotus as their car struggled on a low downforce tracks again and I doubt it will be any better during the race.

Likewise, it was strange to see Mercedes that much off the pace unless the team has decided to lean more towards the race setup than qualifying.

Decent performances from the Torro Rossos and Mclarens, they have set up a promising midfield battle.

As for Force India, not sure whether it's the tyres because the team used to go well at Spa and Monza.

Anyway lets see what fun and games tomorrow holds in store for the fans.


Astonishingly Webber hasn't been able to out qualify Vettel this season so far.

I suspect the area were Vettel beats Webber is in the mind.


Dont think merc have gone for race pace, lewis admitted mistakes / damaged his floor / was held up, nico did not run in the morning p3 and looked not so comfortable from q1 - just a bad day in the office


He is 10 years older...


10yrs older, 10cm taller, 10kilos heavier.



And a fair bit smaller.


That .2/.3 gap has been there all along. The thing people seem to miss is the team concept at RB. There has been a lot of stuff about Vet and Web, but through all that the team has been very stable - design, management and drivers. The RB story is two strong drivers who can develop and race a car - this is where the .2 gap is critical. This, I think is the key to multi world titles. In 2014, the change of one of these key elements will be more critical than specification changes.


And not to mention considerably heavier...weight-adjusted, he is generally about as quick as Vettel -- but, of course, all sports favor certain body types.


"About as quick as Vettel"!?@? Maybe I've been watching something different in the last 4 years at Redbull.


James yourself and Allan McNish made a great commentary team. Really enjoyed listening to the 2 of you.

Off topic can we have an 'AGREE' 'DISAGREE' button on each comment so we don't always have to type something. Just a thought, love your work m8.




You are right about Webber passing his best not and Vettel has reached his prime its just normal progression but in overall talent and results over their 4 years together there's no question Seb has destroyed Mark, beaten him every year regardless of luck, its comprehensive. Webber was one of the most feared drivers on the grid before teaming up with Seb, he destroyed all teamates including Rosberg, Heidfeld and Coulthard and out performed his cars with front row starts in the Jaguar and pre 2009 Redbull, also solid performances in the Williams but time is right to retire from F1 I'm sure if Porsche is competitive he will put the car on pole at La Sarthe next year.


@ James Allen

For sure Webber is older but the Webber of today isn't the same bloke of 2010 when he had a chance to win the title and thus was brimming with confidence.

Also, if you look at some great drivers like Schumi, he had a much younger teammate in Massa but was still performing well because of his strong mind control.


Hi James,

Slightly off topic but there is chatter from alot of forums about people switching off now that F1 is perceived as the Sebastian Vettel/Red Bull show.

If this does happen can you see any problems given that there is now a Pay Per View wall for full coverage of the season? Could falling viewing figures affect sponsorship and, ultimately, TV Coverage rights?

Thanks for the great site. Always the first I log on to for F1 news and discussion!


Bernie should freeze the WDC and WCC results once one of the championships is decided. The prize money will be determined based on a proportion of the races run. The remaining prize money will be allocated to each race.

The remaining races the teams are free to run rookies or invite drivers like Sebastian Loeb, Valentino Rossi etc Sponsored per race drivers welcomed.

Each race will still carry prize money. This also gives weaker teams the chance to have a good race and win good prize money - as opposed to a season long competition where they stand no chance.


This would make too much sense, hence it will not happen.


Valentino Rossi? Hahaha he's not even cutting it in his own sport anymore...


So you think teams are going to run rookies when there's prize money to play for at all the remaining races?


Don't blame Vettel: Blame the other teams for not getting there stuff togther. FIA spent years between 2003-2008 changing the rules repeatly to try to cripple Schumacher and Ferrari. Don't want to see that again with Vettel and Red Bull. Good racing is what we want, the best will win. Don't manipulate to cripple the best.


Spot on.


Yes definitely. Even free to air channels are really worried about it.

Vettel wins tomorrow, he could wrap it up in Abu Dhabi maybe.

And he has always been very strong at the Asian tracks in September/October


Why are we having this problem only in F1? I don't see this issue in other sports. Is anyone moaning when Jorge Lorenzo, Rossi, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Husain Bolt wins? Is this because Vettel is not a British driver?

Vettel is doing a fine job. He is the most successful driver in F1 currently. He is worthy of a 4th title and we need to accept that whether we like it or not.


True ratings can drop but it's hardly SV's fault ... No more than its Usain Bolts fault that he destroies his peers in sprinting.


Their worry is irrelevant. If the team and driver is able to win within the same rules the others are competing in, then it's the rival's problem. The onus is on the rivals to improve. It's not like Webber is also up there with Vettel all the time. Lots of jealous biased press reporting going on in the UK.


I think you are missing the point. I completely agree with you when you say the RBR rivals need to up their game etc. However, if viewing figures are falling then how is that not a worry for the sport as a whole? The viewing public, ultimately, is where the money comes from to fund the teams.

Btw did you know that only just over 50,000 turned up at the German GP on race day? Their own countryman, current 3x WDC, in with a good chance of the win on home soil, and only 50k turn out to watch. Still sure it's biased UK reporting 🙂


"* more than 3 times the budget"


You mean it's the same fair rules that allow a team to field two teams and spend an unlimited budget...twice data, back to back comparisons with a midfield team and more than times the budget- extraordinarily fair isn't it..

I just marvel at the likes of Force India, Sauber and Lotus that do an incredible job with the resources they have - or should I say don't have ( all borrowed)


I think Vettel may well win all the remaining races. With every team switching their attention to the next year car and RB being the fastest by quite a margin no wonder pepole will switch off their TVs.

People want drama and drama is when there's a fight for the win. Take 2007 for ex., I still feel the thrill when I think about it - 3 drivers fighting until the very last race. Not even Hollywood could have written a better scenario. Were the figures good that year?

Cheers, Bart


Wasn't there a concern about viewers switching off during Mansell's championship season? I recall some references being made to broadcasters being unhappy... The stories built up just before the Monaco race then seemed to disappear afterwards - no doubt as a result of the dramatic finale on the streets of Monte Carlo.

That came out of the blue so there's always hope!


This does my head in...What has Seb wrapping the championship got to do with coverage??? Nothing...

True F1 fans will watch come what may.. it is these fans Bernie and the teams want not the casual fans who know nothing... well it serves Bernie right.. he alienates the good fans by making them pay for full coverage lured by the fragile big buck of casual fans.. Teams and journalists need to respect who really cares for their sport and support them rather than day trippers...


Funny that in athletics, it's the event with the most dominant athletes that attract the greatest viewing figures. But then again, only aficionados watch athletics, and they usually enjoy a great performance as much as a close race.

Defeatist statements like those we frequently hear from Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button probably don't help in creating excitement...


Viewing trends over past years don't match with your view


Oh boy I'm so glad I tuned in for another exciting weekend... I wonder which car will be fastest this weekend. Oh, the same one over the last four years. How exciting.


Yes as you've said James Vettel is super strong at India, Korea and Suzuka almost invincible on them tracks especially Suzuka so if Alonso and Hamilton keep up imploding the title could easily be wrapped up by Abu Dhabi and maybe even Japan, this race was the chance for the challengers to close up and now only the rain can stop Seb, I'm sure next year Ferrari and Mercedes will bring engines that will negate Newey's aero advantage, but yes we don't need those Schuey years 2000-2004.


This is why F1 should introduce the Gold, Silver and Bronze medal ceremony at the final race. Bronze and Silver are still all to play for. It is how I keep this year's Championship exciting.

I hereby promise not to drag on the medal system anymore 🙂


Will Massa get an ‘in-house’ grid penalty and gearbox-change for defying team orders to give his ‘superior’ team-mate a tow in qualifying?


No...alonso on theclean side


Just looked how the diverers took the racing line at qualifying. Actually the line was between the grid slots up until the pole meaning no real clean side at start.

Am I right here?


Pretty much the front row that most were expecting from friday/saturday morning.

Now if Mark only gets one good race start a year I hope it's this race. Please let it be this race 😉

I was as surprised as everyone to see Lewis fail in Q2. Totally unexpected but hey, it happens. A little surprised with Kimi & Romain's efforts but not shocked. Good to see McLaren there or thereabouts. They seem to be progressing much to their credit.

Quali of the Day to Hulk and the Sauber team. I really hope he can keep his head and not get carried away with the moment. Great to see the smile on his face during the post-qual interviews and great to hear Webber make a positive comment towards him. A good result here could go a long way for Nico with the strange goings on within certain teams at the moment. Great to see another new, young face starting at the serious end of the grid.

Well done to Webber for making up so much ground (nearly 1/2 sec) on Vettel over the weekend too.

James, you say:

"Massa ended the day 1/100th of a second faster than Alonso, and did himself no harm in impressing his employers."

In any other team I would agree but it all depends what your employers 'expect' of you. I guess you cant help it if you out qualify your team mate though.

Felipe's starts have been legendary this year so this will make it interesting in more ways than one.

Really looking forward to this race. I rarely get too excited but this one is really shaping up. Hope it's dry but wet will work too 😉

Good luck to all your fav' drivers / teams.


F1 Fan

Antonio Palmiotto

I was expecting you to comment on the infamous radio message by Alonso in front of all his top brass...


I have lost all respect for alonso. I have been a Tifosi (despite not sure how to spell it) for decades but his presence in the team has put me off. He is good to be sure, but not as good as he thinks he is.


"He is good to be sure, but not as good as he thinks he is."

I disagree.

If Alonso was in the same car Vettel has been driving this

year he would have been untouchable.

Vettel is, like Schumacher during the Ferrari / Brawn years, the tip of a large iceberg which is a very well run racing organization. Put Vettel in the Lotus KImi drives and you'd see the truth, which is that Vettel is a good driver but not a driver who can win with any car like Senna did.

Regarding Alonso's criticism of Ferrari, I cannot blame Alonso one bit. It is painfully obvious that Ferrari have

been deliberately going down the wrong path for car development for quite some time. A driver who knows he

is among the best in the world will have a limited amount of patience for this. And people who think Ferrari should be treated only with respect like they are an arm of the Vatican or something have the minds of children. Incompetence is incompetence regardless of name brand.

And frankly if Enzo were alive I am certain he would agree and many heads at Ferrari would already have rolled, Alonso's not among them.


Will do when it's clear what he said and what it meant


I have lost all respect for you Mr Allen. Since when does a journalist seek the truth before reporting on it?

Have a great weekend mate;)


Still fancy Alonso for the win James?

Tornillo Amarillo

If Vettel has a crash he would be "touchable"...


Less so!!

Vettel looks untouchable


Not sure how that ever will be clear.. he is not going to say ' I hate you all for giving me a rubbish car'...

Antonio Palmiotto

I can see. I am italian and it's all too clear to me. Shame on him for saying it in Italian, in Monza.


Lewis had a bit of a bad luck session but could it turn out being a blessing in disguise.

Last season we saw Perez come from P13 to finish 2nd so yes, tomorrow could be very interesting.


Its come out now that lewis had damaged floor too

Lewis defo wears his heart on his sleeve, too often he says the wrong thing during interview, like u say he can do a perez hopefully tomo, all the q3 runners went out on the soft so he's gotta go for hard


Lewis' self deprecating comments on his performance appear to be very mature, compared to Alonso's apparent radio tirade. Possibly some silly-season stuff going on in the background between Fernando and Luca?

Lewis was unfortunate running into Adrian, who apparently still has some issues that he needs to resolve, though with the faulty car, he may not have made Q1 anyway.

Presumably the damaged floor will be allowed to be repaired / replaced overnight, so he'll have a chance to push up towards the front tomorrow. Hoping for rain.


At the end of the second sector, Lewis was four tenths up and then encountered Adrian in the final sector. Then he was stuck behind him from the first sector of the next (final) lap. You could even see Lewis trying to overtake him.

So the damage to the floor had nothing to do with him not making Q3. It is the lack of professionalism of Adrian. His team is fighting McLaren and has a slim chance of beating them yet instead of focusing on his job he prefers to settle personal scores.

Lewis is only blaming himself as he is his fiercest critic. Even his dad said so in 2011.


Please enlighten me as to what he has said wrong?


I am lewis's biggest fan, but when things dont go well he seems not to perform so well in front of media, he needs to take a step back sometimes, yesterday after race was a prime example declaring title hopes over then backtracking 5 min later


If its dry that won't happen, there was a special way Perez and Sauber used them tyres last year that gave them an advantage,if anything Mercedes destroy their tyres if pushed hard, if it doesn't rain Mercedes will have work cut out for themselves, but who's to bet Hulkenberg out dragging the slow starting Webber into turn 1?


Well I was saying just yesterday all is not well at Ferrari you could just sense someone brewing up between Di Montezemelo and Alonso, maybe with the imminent signing of Raikkonen has really rattled Alonso's cage and sent him over the edge especially after Redbull closed the door on him, I doubt Luca will be trying to get rid of Alonso because of his talent and Santander's money but the situation is fast becoming untenable, it seems like Massa is driving for himself now.


Indeed. Luca says a 2014 driver line up announcement is now imminent. The shocker would be if its Kimi-Hulkenberg. A complete clean up of house. With Alonso's hilarious backtracking of late it seems anything but peaceful over at Ferrari.


Then again look what happened to Prost.

Thread the Needle

Yeah, Christian Horner said in Friday he believed Kimi had something in his pocket for next year already, is it a Ferrari contract

Can't see Kimi helping tow Alonso down the Monza Straights


Jon Noble has just tweeted: "Caught up in an amusing press scrum with Luca di Montezemolo just now. He shouted at Alonso to ask if he was driving for Marussia next year".

Adfter Alonso allegedly calling his team stupid or sarcastically geniuses.


“Caught up in an amusing press scrum with Luca di Montezemolo just now. He shouted at Alonso to ask if he was driving for Marussia next year”.

I have no respect for Montezemolo. He IS the commander and under his leadership the team has failed. His refusal

to take responsibility and instead attack his employees reveals what I can only call a very large character flaw.

Frankly, Montezemolo probably has a good future in politics, because politicians specialize in behavior similar to his recent behavior.

I'll be interested to see if this comment is published. I do not believe I have infringed on any of the blog rules so in theory it should be published.


It's published but we are checking out the email address to see if it's genuine. We don't publish comments from anonymous websites


Probably senor Montezemolo now realizes that the true strength of Michael Schumacher was not just his speed, but his undying loyalty towards his team, and his tireless ability to work towards results. Even during the tough days of 1996-2000 i never remember Schumacher criticizing Ferrari or having a spat with his teammates.

Did Alonso throw Renault under the bus ? - Check.

Did Alonso throw Mclaren under the bus ? - Check.

Is Alonso throwing Ferrari under the bus ? -


Alonso is a great driver,maybe the most complete of his generation, but he is one lousy teamplayer when the chips are down.


Maybe Ferrari should know that not all fingers are the same.

If they don't get 2014 right with the regulation changes and stuff, they might as well quit racing.

They were vocal about engine freezes, lets see what they come up with a complete new design for next year.

It is all in their hands now and if it is messed up, there is only one that can be blamed and it is themselves at Ferrari.


I was there. He did. He wanted to show that there were no hard feelings between them, clearly.

He also asked him if he called the team stupid on the radio!


Pretending to be a samurai isn't an easy job.


Are you being sarcastic JA? Was it "oh yeah we're good with each other", or was it said with some menace?

Seeing as the on-track action is fizzling out, this stuff arrives right on time to pick up the baton.


Alsonso and Hamilton seem to be fuming after quali and rightly so, in Hamilton's case Sutil knew exactly what he was doing and with Massa it not only didn't give Alonso the draft he needed but probably compromised Alonso's lap especially with the dirty air in the middle sector, oh well Alonso will have to get use to it as Raikkonen next year will not listen tocteam orders. But congratulations to Vettel on his 40th pole, it was almost inevitable this time with Hamilton out im Q2, a wet race and Webber and Hulkenberg will have their chance to strike.


Hamilton is fuming correctly. Alonso....I would can him ASAP if I could. Ferrari doesn't need the baggage unless they have extra horsepower next year.


Alonso just throwing his toys out of the pram. 2007 all over again. But this is Ferrari, you can get sacked for much less. Ask Prost.


Sutil does seem to be making it personal so hopefully his team will make it personal and get rid of him .


Red Bull one two at Monza, their least suited track...Championship is done.

Insane lap by Hulkenberg.


Wow, Hulkenberg's tall, isn't he? Great quali by him, considering his teammate couldn't get past Q1.

Pretty obvious from FP2 that Vettel and RBR were going to be favourites for pole. Second front-row lockout for them this year. Congrats to Seb on his 40th pole, wow.

Bad mistake from Hamilton to go into the gravel. Though it might not be so bad ... think 3rd was the best that he could've scored today, likely 4th.

Starting from 12th he should start with the hards, then hope for rain after the leaders pit! I think a top 5 result would be a good recovery, but it will take some doing.

Hilarious radio from Alonso, if the translations are correct!

Race prediction: VET, ALO, WEB, ROS, MAS


Hulk - is he too big for the 2014 Ferrari?

He is tall for an F1 driver isn't he!


Stunning lap from Hulk, never saw that coming.


It seems a shame that since Malaysia, Webber hasn't even been able to put himself in a position to disobey team orders or hinder Vettel. Well you never know, Webber may may a sensational start tomorrow...


Vettel again demonstrates why he is the best driver since Senna. His pole lap was magnificient. Hamilton, Alonso and Riakkonnen are vastly overrated and if Vettel had their cars, I've no doubt he would still be leading. Vettel would destroy all three of these drivers would ease if they were teammates, leaving their fanboys crying in their beers. Vettel will soon become 4xWDC and will go on to break Schumacher's record. Glory to the great Sebastian Vettel!


Well I never...


Because the first time Daniel Ricciardo drove an RB9 he was 2/10 off Sebastian's pace!!- you don't have a clue mate..


0.2s off? He was 0.2s ahead, fuel-corrected ... that came out from RBR themselves. And that was on the day before Vettel, so less rubber on track.

I pegged OJ as a particularly deluded Button lover. I guess it's more anti-LH than pro-anyone. Typical.


Elie, yeah I first heard that info from the BBC's Tom Clarkson during the Hungarian GP FP2 broadcast.

Benson mentioned it too in his piece after Ricciardo was confirmed for RBR:


The article is quite illuminating.


I just remember the raw time differential of.279 think KRB..

I never saw fuel corrected times..etc.. I didn't think they would disclose that!.

OJ is another one of the very many score board experts who can't/won't separate driver from team/car


James please ask Sutil what the hell is his problem! Hope Calado will replace him next year.


Very impressed with SV I have to say. Yes he has the car, but he surely get most out of its potential. 40 poles and only 26 years of age. 28 away from MS record, is it? 25 from Senna's of that I am sure. Impressive.

Does not augurs well for tomorrow as far as a fight for first is concern. Can the Ferraris keep the Red Bulls honest? Lets hope so.

Mercs & Lotus surprised many if not most, for alas the wrong reason.

The Hulk. He seems to have stood out in all the categories he entered in prior to F1. That seems not to have change. I hope that he gets a good seat next year. Ferrari should get him if they let go of Massa.

Vettel for the win is as safe a bet as one could get for tomorrow. Hope it will be a good race still. Marc


In the article you state of Hamilton: "He is eluding to a mistake in Q2 where he ran wide at the Parabolica and ruined a set of medium tyres."

I think you really mean he is alluding. Eluding refers to hiding.


So much is being said about Alonso recently. And I do feel for him. I am not so sure how this will be handled by our president but we do need to be honest with each other in that our car isn't that competitive. This has been going on for a couple of seasons now. We need to assemble a winning car. That is very important. Without a winning car, frustrations will surely happen. And this (in my opinion)is what we are witnessing. Most organizations have annual performance agreements (PA) for every employee. Perhaps it is time that we take full advantage of PA and reward accordingly...



So, you work for Ferrari do you?

Thread the Needle

Sutil showing his true colours, what a shame he has to do things like that


Not a normal quali session with much dramas. But race will be very interesting, just hope it doesn't feel like Spa after a couple of laps. High chances it will be I guess.


"Hamilton took the blame for a poor qualifying session, saying that he ‘drove like an idiot’. He is eluding to a mistake in Q2 where he ran wide at the Parabolica and ruined a set of medium tyres."

No. Hamilton is *alluding* to, not *eluding* to. Matt Meadows mixes those two up quite often. 🙂


If Perez started on the hard tires from the same position as lewis (last year), am I right to say that lewis may even challenge for the lead near the end if he gets a good start? Lewis will definitely have the soft tire advantage towards the end of the race. Your thoughts James?


Some thoughts:

1) That was very impressive of Hamilton to take responsibility of for his mistake and failure to get the car into Q3. Yeah, Sutil blocked him, but Hamilton should not have driven into the kitty litter on the previous hot lap, and he owned up to it. He's really growing into a man before our eyes, and it's making him a better driver, because he knows that he's not just going to get magical results all the time because of his talent and has short-comings he needs to work through.

2) Nico Hulkenberg just secured a move up the grid today. Simply put, if you don't have a finalized driver lineup for next year, you have to try to hire him. If I'm Ferrari and I can't get Kimi, I hire him. If I'm Lotus, I hire even- either to replace Kimi, or to dump Grosjean and take him. If I'm McLaren, I dump Perez in a heartbeat and take him. The top teams who don't hire him will regret it years later. He is the best talent to come in since Hamilton and Vettel.

3) This Alonso-Ferrari thing clearly runs deeper than has been revealed, all while it's become clear that Ferrari are trying very hard to bring Kimi back. You really have to wonder how much longer this rift is going to go on before there is a split. Ferrari don't tolerate their drivers acting up for very long, and if Alonso isn't careful and doesn't adjust his attitude soon, he could well find himself dumped off and with a scarlet letter on his forehead that not many teams would be willing to overlook.

4) Strategy is going to be incredibly fascinating tomorrow. I think it's clear that Vettel is going to run and hide from the lights to the finish. But the rest of the podium and grid is unbelievably fluid. You've got Hamilton and the two Lotuses who have quick cars and will be able to invert the tire strategy and very safely do one stop.I think we'll see at least one of them on the podium tomorrow, as they will have a superior strategy and will be able to "Perez" their way up the grid. We may even see two. And if it rains... all bets are off.


Great observations.

Tyre strategy by the Lotuses and Hamilton is going to be very interesting. Can't wait for the warming blankets to come off.


Holding your hand up when you make a mistake is not impressive, it is what you should do normally.

He drove into the gravel and Sutil was wrong eventually and he deserved the penalty, how ever Hamilton could have done that smarter.

Sutil was about to start his hot lap so Hamilton should have braked way before and created space before the corner and let Sutil fly away instead of getting into his gearbox mid corner. How was he going to pass Sutil in the corner with both of them starting a hot lap?


He tried to overtake Sutil cause being in the faster car he would have caught him anyway. Remember he crossed the finish line with less than 20 Sec to go.


Surprise of the day was definitely Hulkenberg, closely followed by Hamilton. I was convinced the Mercs were sandbagging.

Also James, on the BBC, Eddie Jordan mentioned rumours about Alonso taking a sabbatical...... Is this just tabloid gossip or is there any meat to it? It would be a risky time to take a break, wouldn't it? Who knows who's going to be at the top next year?


It's been discussed in Italy

He said no on Thursday, he brought inject up to deny it


So James, is ALO/RAI likely then for 2014?

What does your source says?


It's quite fluid - I think Massa may be out, but whether it's Raikkonen or Hulkenberg, who will get the drive in the next couple of weeks, seems quite fluid.


A couple of comments;

1) I liked the tactic Ferrari tried with the drafting. Why not? Drivers will try to take advantage of it anyway, to do it as a tactic is fine by me.

2) Alonso's remarks should be taken with a grain of salt. There is an enormous amount of pressure on him ad combine that with is equally large ego and standard he sets, he is bound to erupt sometimes. He is Spanish!

3) Glad to see Lewis own his mistakes. I thought earlier in the year when Nico was out performing him, he sounded as though it was anyones fault but his own.

4) Superb job by Hulkenberg. I hope he gets a podium.

5) We are in for a good race. Given Alonso's magic at starts and opening laps, the superb skill of Vettel, and Hulk and Webber in the mix, I expect a race to remember.


Good comments David but I should point out that Massa has gained more places off the start than Alonso this year.

Massa +14

Alonso +6

Compared to,

Webber -15

Just saying.


Take it with a grain of salt because Alonso is Spanish?

So if Vettel had said to his team "you are all idiots/stupid/geniuses (sarcastically)" he is not allowed because he is German?

10 bucks says you (I think an Alonso fan) would rip Vettel apart for being arrogant, primadonna and so forth if he ahd done the same. In fact, Vettel has been ripped apart by media and F1 fans for way less things he said.

Colombia Concalvez

''3) Glad to see Lewis own his mistakes. I thought earlier in the year when Nico was out performing him, he sounded as though it was anyones fault but his own.'' BS. Where did Lewis sounded like that ?, don't make things up, seriouslt don't!.


RedBull did exactly as I hoped for. lower downforce and higher gearing. make Seb drive the wheels off the thing, hang on, and prove he is worthy of his 4'th championship in a row.

of course, that is ALL speculation at this point.

Kudos to Mark for being so close. Sky coverage is good, but not perfect, but I never saw Mark being anything short of near perfection in the chicane at the end of the front straight...

sure wish I had seen a replay of Hulk's run. had to be monumental! good for him - hope it is enough to get a good drive next year!

argh. Kimi and Lotus are toast this year...

good for Filipe'. Ferdie and Ferrari seem to be self-imploding. not a hater, but I just fail to get the whole supposed "greatness" of Ferrari - the Chinese fire drill pitstops and poor chassis's and total lack of any innovation in the '60's along with that was the last damned thing ya wanted to have a real accident in because u would certainly be dead...

2 Toro Rosso's in the final Q3?? very kewl! NOT a fan of Marko, Tost, or formerly, Berger by any means, but I think they got it right with Daniel. good luck to him...

pretty obvious Gutierez just ain't got it. and Bottas ain't the wunderkid he was proclaimed to be either.

Kovy is an old has-been who cannot get the sponsorship he claims he will not even try for, Guido is showing some form at times, and Max finally almost had the better of his highly rated teammate (even tho Max had an extra FP1 session).

Merc and Force India were like nearly backmarkers and Jens in particular, failed to impress when it mattered.

regardless of possible rain, this could be an epic race. I cannot wait...


As an Italian speaker, I can confirm with 100% certainty that Alonso stated "Siete dei geni" ("You are geniuses"), in an extremely sarcastic/malicious manner.

The 'idiot' jibe arises from the phrase "idioti" ("idiots"), which does sound similar to "dei geni" ("geniuses") on the radio feed.

For all the uncertainty over Alonso's choice of words, one thing is certain - as soon as those lights go out Massa is sure to give way to his team mate. "Genius."


Actually he said "Siete proprio dei scemi". Scemi means idiot.


I've listened to it several times and it sounds more like geni to me- geniuses


Big Girl's Blouse said "schemi" (idiots).


He was told he may have to let Rosberg past as he was on a hot lap albeit 12s behind

He basically said are you thick? Of course not

He ended that out lap 5s ahead of Rosberg no drama

That is it, as far a I can tell but I remain open to alternative interpretations


All in all, whatever it was that transpired, it should make for a fascinating start to the race. A fired-up Fernando is sure to make for a fascinating afternoon.


Thanks James - for putting Alonso's comments and media speculation in perspective.

It's quite a rude way of making the point, unless it's in the context of banter amongst good friends.

But I guess in an F1 one can't always phrase messages politely.


Hi James,

Which drivers outside the top 10 have a higher downforce setting? And of these, Is there anyone who stands out in your opinion who could cause and upset tomorrow if the predicted thunderstorms arrive?

Do you know the latest forecast? Is the rain still likely to hit in or for the race?

Fingers crossed for something to mix it up.

If it stays dry, Do you expect Hamilton or the Lotus pair to be able to make a challenge if they start on hard tyres?


A wet race, is all we need...

The race Vettel won for Toro Rosso, Hamilton was overtaking everyone, and more two or tree laps, he would catch the German..

What we dont need is RG doing his crazy starts and taking out the stars of the race, Monza has a very difficult start with a chicane right away... just let the drivers, drive!

This year we are not having many incidents at the starts...


This race needs one Mark Webber to have a blindingly fast start. Oh wait.....


MW had a great start in Monaco.

We can live in hope!


Off topic, but James what's happening with Kimi to Ferrari rumours? Eddie Jordan again today said Kimi will go to Ferrari


It's in the balance.

Kimi still taking to Lotus, Montezemolo is saying there are other drivers besides Kimi. Hulkenberg is definitely back in the frame. But they'd like to keep Massa. Meanwhile they are worried in case Alonso decides to take a sabbatical - in spite of his claim on Thursday that he won't


Recently I read an alledged Ferarri policy: "should always be a champion in the car."

If this is true, then despite the comments that Ferarri drivers have often been sacked for less, the only reason Fernando is still in the team, must be that they are working on bringing Kimi back. After they got rid of him before, I could not see that happening, but he is the only champion on the grid to be potentially available.

I think for the team, this has come out of the blue; they were considering a change for the second seat, but a first seat issue has arisen too.

For Alonso, this has been building, in hindsight. The look he had when he lost the championship in Brazil last year (I mentioned it in another thread), and comments he shared in a joint interview with Webber in a restaurant earlier in the season - dissatisfaction with having to drive to cope with tyres, having to remember there were other, more enjoyable categories beyond F1.

Mark has sorted his exit strategy, to Porsche. I get the feeling that Fernando won't be completely gutted if there are no more F1 opportunities if/once this one crashes and burns.

He has already bought a cycle team...


Not surprised at all by Nico Hulkenberg's pace. Sauber was quick here last year. with Nico on the wheel you know you have a driver that is good in Quali too, Perez lacks that single lap pace. Nico is a lot like Vettel I must say.

Good thing Danile Ricciardo is getting his chance... now give Hulkenberg and Bianchi the chances they deserve


Oops. I meant Daniel Ricciardo. Sorry, typo.... 😛

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