Alonso: I’m proud of second, without the second best car
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Nov 2013   |  1:30 pm GMT  |  250 comments

Fernando Alonso has given a stark appraisal of his season, saying that he is proud to have finished second in the championship, given that he certainly does’t have the second fastest car.

In an edgy finish to the season, on the same Interlagos soil where last year he fought for the world championship in a car which was also not one of the fastest, Alonso and his president are once again making barbs via the media.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo in an interview with CNN this week gave Alonso “8 out of 10” for his season, to which Alonso responded yesterday by saying he would do his talking “on the track”.

Speaking to Italian media Alonso said, “We started out the season with title ambitions; I find myself second in the classification and I’m proud, because I have got this result without having the second fastest car.

“I had a good day in Barcelona, winning in front of my fans.

“July was the critical month; in which we fell behind Red Bull (NB- it was during July that Alonso made the criticisms of the car which led Montezemolo to ‘tweak his ear’). At Silverstone we didn’t get the development package we expected, then we had tough races in Germany and Hungary. At a certain point we realised that the situation had become a concern.

“Why? Ask Domenicali, because it certainly hurt us not being able to use our wind tunnel, one more handicap when trying to beat Red Bull.”

According to a Spanish press agency, he is reported to have said similar things to the Spanish, adding that he had the “seventh or eighth fastest car” this year, but this site has not been able to verify those quotes yet.

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1

I think Alonso just gave his everything in 2012 and yet had to fill his’ stomach with a second place …just three points short off vettel which i think would have not happened if the ferraris would have had made a car which would have been par with the red bull and the mclaren …but still alonso won three races in the season just making sure that he is worth every penny that the italian manufracturers pay him…he is a man who can get the best out of any car and he is the man who deserved to be the youngest 3 time world champion

2

I think it’s a no brainer that VET, ALO and HAM are the top 3 drivers in F1 at this time. RAI is great but had a very good car, especially this year (arguably 2nd best). Although he did good, I think VET and ALO would have done better in the same car. I’d say HAM also but he slipped this year making too many mistakes and under achieved by his own admission.

It will be interesting at Ferrari next year. The only way ALO can quiet the naysayers is take RAI to beat him soundly which I think will happen.

All this stuff about him complaining too much etc. means nothing in my opinion. HAM was very critical while at McLaren and as competitive as VET is who is to say he wouldn’t be also, especially after winning numerous WDCs as ALO did?

Anyone who thinks ALO didn’t get the absolute most out of the Ferrari in the last 4 years tells me they don’t like him. I think his antics at McLaren leaves many followers bitter.

3

I think it is too unfair to say Alonso is too egoistic or that Massa has to let him through too many times.

Recall interlagos 2012,half the grid dare not contest Vettel, like the 2 torro rossos,schumi,webber even lotus….kimi almost killed his tyres rather than touch vettel…In those cicumstances the least you can have as the main competitor is compliance from ur team mate….and the poor bloke gets crucified in endless comment sections and media…Also it is quite evident that Massa is not as good at conserving tyres because of his attacking style,nobody factors in that his pit strategies have a lot more to do with is own tyre hungry driving style..

James, now that the season is over, can you please touch on the subject of ‘drs only in the zone’ rule hurting Ferrari a bit in qualifying, as they depend mostly on their top speed than corner one….I am surprised no expert has dwelled into it more.Not saying that is the only reason but certainly must have taken a couple tenths off the pace or even more on high speed circuits…Wud be very interesting to read your opinion…

Thanks for you awesome articles, love ’em.

4

The only thing I can say to this is qualy pace and race pace are two totally different things. In race trim I would say the Ferrari was second to Red Bull on average, with Lotus just behind and then the Mercs.

5

Man, this gets more boring every year. Maybe he’s just not that great at setting a car up. Since he’s been there, they’ve slowly slipped down the order. Add Vettel at Red Bull, or Hamilton at Mercedes, and their results started improving. Even at their low points, Schumacher at Ferrari never really bitched about the team. Alonso never stops. He’s great, but more trouble than he’s worth.

6

Unfortunately these comments show that he doesn’t understand that you win as a team and lose as a team. A better and more Schumacher-esque attitude would serve him well, especially given the similarities between their careers.

7

Two words for Alonso ‘VERY FRUSTRATED’.

8

You need a vision first before you work like crazy. We have an expression for that in Belgium: Head in the air, feet on the ground.

This is why Red Bull and Vettel are so good. Vettel and the crew are doing the legwork, while Newey is keeping the overview.

This is what is going wrong at Ferrari. They have the best driver in his prime at their disposal and they are undoubtedly working like crazy. Yet they have to contend themselves with being the follower. It is a great recipe for always being second best. What they need is a visionary. They have one now. Let’s hope James Allison gets his way of doing things.

The problem is how long it will take to turn Ferrari into a Championship winning force again. They will probably be ready when Vettel hits his prime in a few years time. But what about Alonso?

9

After following F1 for 20 + years, actually watching the top drivers at the real drivers circuits (Spa, Silverstone, Monza, Monaco etc) in action, it is clear that Alonso is up with the best, of any era. We had a conversation with the Renault race crew at Monaco 2008, the year Kovalinen took number one status, and they stated they had lost three tenths of a second per lap, and without Alonso wringing 100% out of the car, lost direction with development. In the paddock, he is consistently acknowledged as the best complete driver. Take note of Martin Whitmarsh’ comment, and targeting him for 2015. With a front running competitve car he would be chasing Schumacher’s seven titles. In a nut shell what Alonso stated is the Ferrari overall was the 4th fastest car this year. Analyse the whole year and that is correct.

10

“After following F1 for 20 + years, actually watching the top drivers at the real drivers circuits (Spa, Silverstone, Monza, Monaco etc) in action, it is clear that Alonso is up with the best, of any era. We had a conversation with the Renault race crew at Monaco 2008, the year Kovalinen took number one status, and they stated they had lost three tenths of a second per lap, and without Alonso wringing 100% out of the car, lost direction with development.”

What? Kovalainen was at McLaren.

I think we all know Kovalainen isn’t on the level of the top drivers. His record at McLaren was terrible.

Alonso is not in the class of Vettel or Hamilton, with Vettel being on an even higher level to Hamilton. He had the best car at the start of the year and did nothing with the advantage.

11

Okay – my mistake, Kovalainen was lead driver at Mclaren 2007, not 2008.

Fact – the Red Bull is dominant this season, and has been the last three seasons also. Yes, Vettel is a great driver, but flattered by a dominant car.

If you talk to the people that know – Hamilton, Webber, Massa (read their comments)you get a clear picture of who they acknowledge as the strongest competitor – Alonso.

Most of the team principles up and down the pit lane would take Alonso in a heartbeat. There is a reason for that.

No, i am not Spanish, but i recognize stand out talent.

The mark of an elite driver is what they do with machinery that is not the class of the field.

Alonso – second in the drivers championship this year. He consistently wrings the absolute maximum from the Ferrari that only a couple of current drivers are able to do.

Remember who also was a match for Schumacher in 2005/06. Suzuka – 130R. Remember ?.

Next year will be interesting. If the top teams are reasonably close on pace, then we will see the cream rising to the top

12

I agree. Basically Alonso ruined his season with his shunt in Malaysia.

13

That didn’t help, but the lack of development is what really did him in and then the change of tyre specs after Silverstone

14

Once 2014 kicks in:

1) If Vettel wins his 5th championship (though I doubt it), we will all say it’s all about the car and feel irritated about it.

2) If Alonso wins next year, we will (and Alonso) will say how he deserved to win it for outdriving his 3rd/4th best car (regardless if it’s true) and feel glad about it

Personally I prefer Vettel if this is the case.. at least he admits his car is good. I don’t think ALO will even admit his car is the best if he wins just to get the Senna mystique.

15

You obviously didn’t watch f1 in 2005 and 2006. Where the man from Oviedo repeatedly praised the race winning Renault. Heres what he said after a race win… “perfect….the car was perfect…perfect weekend, qualifying and race…pit stops. Big thank you to the team, here and back at the factory. I’m very happy. Good result for both championships, obviously with Michael finishing out of the points. We will continue to do the maximum and hopefully the results continue”.

16

We don’t like the tone or language of most of your posts. Please observe the rules or all posts will be deleted – Mod

17

My bad James, sorry. Didnt know was breaking any rules! Real sorry.

18

I was wondering when Roflonso would come out with a self-congratulatory, self-aggrandising statement.

Fact is that up until Spa, Vettel only had the best car in two races — Bahrain and Montreal. Some say Sepang, but Massa was only 15 seconds off the lead in that race. RB and Mercedes had to nurse their tyres to the finish. Alonso would have won if he didn’t make two mistakes in that race. Even in Bahrain and Montreal it would have been close if Alonso didn’t have the DRS problem (that he exacerbated by using DRS a second time) and didn’t butcher his Montreal qualifying.

From the summer break on the RB has been in a class of its own, but up until that point it had no such edge. I remember after Hamilton winning in Hungary many experts were predicting Hamilton to make a charge and win the title!

On balance, Alonso had the best car up until Spa. He could have had four wins in the first five races if he managed to extract the maximum from the car. Instead, Vettel pulled away in the championship despite Roflonso having the best equipment.

Alonso has had a bad year. Massa has no business in an F1 car yet has nearly matched Alonso in qualifying, Alonso has made many mistakes at the death in qualifying, mistakes in races, has found himself in duels with Hulkenberg despite Hulkenberg having a customer Ferrari engine and far inferior chassis.

Monaco was probably his worst race of the year and it came at such a bad time right after dominating in Spain. Got muscled out of the way by a Force India, by a McLaren.

19

F.A. may not have the fastest car, but he certainly has amongst the prettiest of girlfriends.

20

Ferrari’s policy of favouring #1 driver is compromising the result of the 2nd driver and robbing them of strong points finish…It was evident from Abudhabi where Massa shud have finished higher, but team instead chose to fit medium tyres instead of softs for the final stint so that Alonso could finish higher…I don’t understand why Ferrari has to do that when Alonso is no longer contending for the championship…Alonso may be a talented driver..but he’s too political that he could demoralize and destroy the team…LUCA, PLEASE FIRE HIM AND BRING IN HULKENBERG…Strong result guaranteed at much cheaper prices

21

Alonso is at his self-promotion as usual…Ferrari had a good car for larger part of the first half of the season…Even now Ferrari’s race pace isnt that bad…U can’t just put down a car because it lacks qualifying pace ( or maybe Fernando is too slow for that matter having been out qualified by Massa )..can’t believe anyone will support this guy after his tantrums in McLaren,Crashgate row and Germany 2010…His PR is doing one hell of a job, I must say

22

My take on Fernando Alonso:-

#Very good determined consistent fast driver one of the best but def not a great- Abu Dhabi 2010, Monaco 2013 proved that.

– biggest show boater in F1 history.

– biggest mouth in F1 history

– worst attitude of any driver in F1.

– like Hamilton is too emotional under pressure.

Cant stand the guy even if hes driving well- he’s the biggest wanker on the grid.

23

Do Ferrari even have a right 2 be critical of Alonso!!

They claim that they want to beat Red Bull next year but they struggling to even beat a Sauber currently!

They need to face the facts that they currently have a slower car then a half bankrupt team “Sauber” that couldnt manage to pay their electricity bill last month!

They pathetic!

I find it hard to believe the wind tunnels to blame for everything!

They cant develope the car because ppl their dont know what the hell they doing there!!

Alonso has every right too complain!

24

Don’t really blame him for his comments. Think about it from his perspective.

You’re at the top of your game, thrash your team mate, and despite your team having the best budget, have to watch some young upstart in a clearly superior car, come and take the top prize every year.

That would have to frustrate you and it’s been coming out this year.

25

Alonso is a wonderful driver but this year has shown that he doesn’t have the temperament or the ultimate speed to be regarded in the same light as Michael Schumacher or Sebastian Vettel.

26

the man is crying the obvious for 4 months… and very loud too. give me a reason other than provoking contract breaching clauses. this story goes beyond egos. Gi it is getting really annoying. if he continuous like this and Kimi rocks, I foresee Alonso next year, or the year after next @whatever team; around Monza to be the recipient of booing… for real!

27

Alonso is the most complete driver in F1 today, in my opinion. Uncompetitive car, runner up!

Luca, well, low opinion. Would be better to keep his opinions to himself, but . . . we know where he comes from . . . himself.

All F1 drivers have egos so large it’s amazing they get their heads through a door. But what can I say, I love the sport and everything that goes with it.

Hope 2014 creates a more competitive season, 2013 was boring, boring, boring. USA’s Indy Car Season was much more exciting racing.

F1 will always be the pentacle of motor racing, but the show needs sprucing up. Would love to see it a real Driver’s Championship, and not so much a Constructor’s Championship.

28

If there is one aspect of being an F1 driver which Alonso is unmatched in, it’s self-promotion.

29

Interesting.He somehow reminds me of Ayrton Senna in that regard. I never remember Lauda, Prost, Hakkinen or Vettel self promoting themselves in such a way.

PS: Webber also seems to be doing a lot of self promotion, and to a lesser degree Hamilton as well, but apart from those guys the rest of the field appears rather humble in regards of self promotion.

30

He’s 10/10 this year, not sure what more the team could ask of him. Ferrari on the other hand, 6/10?

31

Surely Luca would know better than You? Certainly he has more insider information, don’t You think?

32

No to me not 10/10 because there were a few little mistakes or unlucky moments.

Fighting with inferior machinery for most of the season though makes it very hard to be faultless so 9/10 would be it for me.

33

Great News for Vettel. Once again Alonso put 100% of the blame on the car which means that Alonso is perfect which in turn means he is not looking to learn or improve his own craft. That’s not how future champions deal with defeat. Alonso will forever remain only a double world champion which is a shame because he had talent – but he got lazy and won’t learn anymore .

34

I think the biggest difference between Schumacher and Alonso is, apart from 5 titles, 59 wins and 46 poles, that Schumacher never spoke out against his team.

James, why is Alonso always complaining about his car, this is not exactly the right way to motivate the people that work really hard for him?

35

Not the second best car?? Alonso, what is the second best car? Lotus? Maybe…

But is a close battle between Lotus and Ferrari.

Alonso, you have problems with a flying lap, but you had the second or third best car of the season, period. That’s why Kimi and you were fighting for the second place, and now RG is having good results too.

Mercedes? They have two of the fastest man on the grid for a flying lap, and a quick car (not even close to be the second “best”). But a really bad car all year regarding tyre degradation. If they have sorted out that problem, so is, they would have the second best car or even the best at the beginning of the season.

36

Luca, is correct – albeit a bit generous in his rating of ALO. ALO has had a solidly average season – On a scale of 1-10 I’d actually put him at a 6 or 7. As others pointed out Ferrari was very strong to start the season, but did not capitalize. There were driver errors by ALO in Malaysia and Bahrain. In Monaco it was as if he was just going through the motions and was passed on track by several cars. He chewed up his prime tires in Germany only getting them to last as long as other getting their options to last. He has been missing in action on Saturday for a long time now. Massa, who doesn’t make anyone’s list as a strong qualifier has beaten him several times this season. This sets up a difficult Sunday for him. There are other examples. This list goes on and on. Luca is right to call it out.

This will end in tears. ALO will not be at Ferrari in 2015. I’m surprised it took so long for him to wear out his welcome. He has trashed Ferrari for several years now – even in years where he has come within a hair of winning the championship. It’s always about how he doesn’t have the best car and that it’s only through his effort that Ferrari has a chance of winning titles. There was a line that was crossed. What that was we may never know, but there is no turning back now.

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