Ferrari waiting on Alonso’s fitness for US Grand Prix as Raikkonen tries 2014 seat
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Nov 2013   |  9:19 am GMT  |  156 comments

Fernando Alonso and his Ferrari team will not know until Monday whether he will be able to race in the US Grand Prix at Austin next weekend.

The Spaniard has to undergo a medical check in order to be released to fly to the US on Tuesday, after his spine-jarring incident in Abu Dhabi, where he went off the track while exiting the pits alongside Jean Eric Vergne. He flew over several high kerbs and jarred his back, necessitating a visit to the hospital after the race.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport’s Pino Allievi, were Alonso to fail his medical check, Ferrari would draft in Jules Bianchi, who races with Marussia but is part of the Ferrari young driver programme. With Ferrari locked in a tight three way battle with Mercedes and Lotus for the lucrative second place in the constructors’ championship, that would be a high pressure assignment. The team also has Pedro de la Rosa, who has acted as a ‘super-sub’ in the past for McLaren, when Juan Pablo Montoya was injured.

The noises from Spain and Italy are that Alonso should be passed fit and everything should be normal.

Despite Alonso saying pointedly during the Thursday press conference in Abu Dhabi that his relationship with Ferrari “Was perfect, is perfect and will be perfect,” Allievi notes that Ferrari did not welcome the fact that the photo of Alonso in a neck brace en route to hospital was disseminated by Alonso’s manager Luis Garcia.


Despite Alonso’s protestations to the contrary, things are tense between team and driver, not helped by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo giving Alonso’s “ear a tweak” in July, after photos of his manager meeting with Red Bull boss Christian Horner were published. Montezemolo did not refer to that in his unprecedented attack on a senior Ferrari driver, reserving his ire for Alonso’s repeated criticisms of the Ferrari car.

Alonso had picked that moment to shake the tree, because it left time for the team to react and reorganise itself technically to ensure that it doesn’t suffer a repeat of this season where the team has failed to keep pace with development

Although there are some in the paddock who feel that Alonso will not race in 2014, informed sources close to the Spaniard say that he will certainly drive for the team next year and will be looking around for the best move for 2015. McLaren’s senior management and incoming engine supplier Honda are keen to explore the option of Alonso, but he wants to see what kind of car they produce next year after they fell even further behind this year than Ferrari.

Meanwhile Ferrari’s “insurance policy” driver for next season, Kimi Raikkonen, had his first visit yesterday to Maranello since he left the team at the end of 2009. He had a brief meeting with Montezemolo and team boss Stefano Domenicali and met some of the staff.

His other priority was to try the proposed seat for 2014. This is very important at this stage as the packaging of the new hybrid powertrains puts a real squeeze on hip space for the drivers and although Raikkonen is still under contract with Lotus (despite them not paying him) it was important for Ferrari to know that they don’t have any problems accommodating Raikkonen.

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1

I am so grateful for your blog article.Really thank you! Fantastic. aekcbfcdgbdf

2

I can’t believe how a F1 team can get away with not paying a driver. In my opinion any money earned from manufacturers championship should be withheld until payment made,or the drivers payment taken from it. Lotus,you disgust me,especially after the DIRTY way you took the name off of Caterham.

3

Did u guys read Alonso’s twitter:

“Packing the bag for Austin, with some pain, but eager and confident to help the team. I will try to give 100% as always,”

Very “Massa-ish”…. Looks like someone is trying to get Daddy Ferrari’s attention….

4

I’ll believe the Kimi-Alo pairing when we really see it on the track. I still think, somehow, Alo will find a way to not to face Kimi at all costs. He has way too much to lose after enjoying Santander’s #1 preference and Benson’s pumping him up as the most complete driver since the invention of the wheel. Kimi is not a driver he should test his luck with if Ferrari will no longer give him the #1 status. Probably Kimi has been thinking about this for several years and despite his quietness he will possibly enjoy beating the sh*t out of Alo in an equal car and status more so than winning another WDC.

5

So….

1. Both Alonso & Kimi look poised to sit out the rest of the season since the WDC is over… or maybe 1 not happy with the car & 1 with the team… so both have their own grievances, why bother??…

2. Ferrari will be having 2 drivers with back issues next year… ??

3. The 3 way fight for the WCC runner up… tough call because even Mercedes have Brawn issues… unless Mercedes can work out their problems, this is their chance to steal the runner up trophy from Ferrari & Lotus because Mercedes have 2 very good drivers with no personal grievances against the team…

Suddenly there’s so many dramas in F1…. huh..

6

Yep, go Marussia! 🙂

7

That picture tells me that Alonso was receiving the appropriate care and precautions given the situation. I’m not an Alonso fan but I hope he is well and not seriously injured.

8

Wait for the reason kimi’s doctor can’t do the op and as the lotus seat will be filled he will be in a Ferrari if not in the USA, he will be in Brazil.

9

Ferrari is riding a horse!! not a f1 car..Ferrari is a shame.

10

What’s wrong with Kimi’s back? Is it a Disc injury in the lower back L5/S1?

Hope recovery goes well for him and his back 100% for pre season testing.

12

Well, is it then that Fireman, Jocke and TomiPL are nicknames of the very same dude?

Besides, is or should be this a usual procedure in this site? Sometimes I suspect that the same hand is behind a group of anti’s names.

13

No, I can guarantee that I’m writing here only with this one nickname. Thank you for asking 🙂

14

Well that’s it for Kimi.

The backsurgery ends up Kimi’s season: http://www.ts.fi/moottoriurheilu/f1/558601/The+backsurgery+ends+up+Kimis+season

15

This is indeed very disappointing news. I was waiting to see what he can do in the battle of LWB and SWB Lotus cars in the last two races. I wish him well anyway. What a sad ending with Lotus F1 team.

Looks like there will be a field day for conspiracy theorists !

17

Hi James in a lighter vein take a look at this video

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20131108/f1/131109830

A F1 driver really needs a strong neck 🙂

18

I think injuries like 28g impact does hurt. I’ve noticed F1 drivers usually will say it’s not as bad as it looks, but sometimes its more serious than reported. They don’t wanna look like wussies for the fear of being looked down upon, it’s machismo thingy I’m sure.

I’ve never supported Alonso on his polemics and so on but enjoy and respect him for his racing skills, hard to deny that. Just hope Alonso recovers soon for the race but I don’t think he will be 100% and maybe some painkillers will help like what Kimi had in Singapore.

19

Statler and Waldorf.

Allison, Byrne, against Vettel/Newey.

20

Oh yeah what success was that? They never won the title with him there and the success actually only picked up when Schumacher joined. In all honesty Schuey would have blown Prost away to mars in 1996 if Prost accepted Ferrari’s offer to rejoin the team for that season. Prost drove in an era of slow drivers until Senna came along he is overrated just like Alonso, both would get destroyed by a fast driver in his prime ie Vettel, Senna, Schumacher.

21

what on earth have you been smoking?

Prost was one of the best drivers of his era, racking up 28 wins and breaking Jackie Stewart’s record of 27 wins in an era when we had fewer races than we do now, and much worse reliability. Prost also drove against, and beat, some of the accepted great names like Lauda, Senna, Piquet, Mansell to name a few…and by the way, if titles were won, as they are now, based on TOTAL points, then he beat Senna in ’88, winning 7 and finishing 2nd in 7…consistent AND fast…

That Ferrari didn’ win the title with him in ’90 is due thanks to Senna driving him off the road – which he admitted to afterwards. Methinks had Prost managed to get the lead, it would’ve been all over bar the shouting…also, look at how he performed against Mansell, whom was known as Il Leone by the tifosi for his fighting spirit…i recall Mansell sulking and wanting to retire after Silverstone where Prost started behind him and went on to win while he (Mansell) retired.

In fact, in the movie Senna, Prost clearly said had there been a #1 and #2 driver as we have now, he would have likely won the title…but he was racing not only Senna but his own teammate – as it should be. The situation of #1 and #2 is the enduring legacy of Herr Schumacher where teams think they must have one main driver and a clear number 2.

The ’91 car was handled poorly and did not like bumpy circuits – witness Prost’s drive in the French GP at Magny Cours when he went against the superior Williams Renault of Mansell as to how good he drove and how the car performed well on smooth asphalt.

Ferrari shot thier own foor off when they fired him as they went backwards from there…ironically Cesare Fiorio was fired not long after…

Tell me Prost is overrated…so 51 wins (record until Schuey broke it) and 4 titles not enough? Also, Prost had the record for fastest laps if i’m not mistaken, with 35 until Schuey broke that too…so, not so slow then?

22

So you’re saying Alonso and prost are both overrated, and schumie would’ve blown prost away to Mars.

Yet it was Alonso who stopped the schumie domination?

You sure contradict yourself there buddy.

23

Alonso didn’t stop Schumi domination the rules did Alonso lucked in as far as am concerned and the press needed a feel good story hence the shout about him.

07 showed the world what they needed to see about Alonso!

24

Yes, with everything against him he still lost the WDC by 1 point.

25

He out qualified Senna a few times and beat him on track even more in the same car . Prost is one of the greatest F1 drivers and certainly better than most out there now.. Just how much we will not know. Vettel has not been tested against a champion in the same machinery and some of those champions – Alonso/ Hamilton and Raikkonen have actually beaten him in lesser cars.

26

James, a bit off topic, but do you think Raikkonen’s form/motivation drop of could have something to do with the constructors championship?

There is a lot of money at stake and Ferrari is the team that WILL pay him for his services.

27

What is the reason for Alonso “…to undergo a medical check in order to be released to fly to the US on Tuesday…”?

Bruising of skin or muscles 10 days in the past would not prohibit a driver’s performance enough to require medical check.

Alonso’s injuries must be more significant, such as skeletal or nerve injuries, or concussion.

Are Alonso’s real injuries known?

28

Vortex, you are possibly onto something, as it’s being reported elsewhere by credible sources that Alonso IS more seriously injured and that the back is a secondary concern to a concussion/traumatic-brain-injury.

I have also seen reported that, while Ferrari scuderia team doc(s) may check-up Alonso on Monday, he actually will be evaluated on TUESDAY by FIA doctor(s) who are responsible for granting ultimate yes/no for him to participate in Austin, TX, USA race.

I DO wish Ferrari would be more straightforward about this. There is simply no reason to not be transparent, unless there is discord b/w the driver and team and driver’s mgmt and the athlete’s health is possibly in jeopardy if team has its way. Very distressing…

29

Apparently (per reporting at the TheJudge13) Alonso is recuperating from a concussion, and after the Ferrari medical check on Monday, then FIA docs will examine him on Tuesday to clear him for the race.

That would explain the weird hospital picture, (brain scan or whatever) to diagnose severity of concussion.

30

Isn’t it just FIA policy that a driver take certain tests and precautions after having an incident that results in a certain impact?

31

Well, if he really drove another 10 or however many laps there were left AFTER sustaining skeletal or nerve injuries, I’d be really impressed..!

32

I have fallen while skiing, separating my shoulder and getting a bad concussion, and skied back over 3 chairlifts and 4 peaks to get back to the mountain base for treatment – using only one arm and being very dizzy and in great pain. Because it had to be done.

So yes, even if he was rather badly injured he could well have made himself complete the last 10 laps…I am sure FA is a lot more fit and tougher than I am.

33
Scuderia McLaren

Omg! Does this Alfonzo Samuronzo ever stop playing games?! He’s fine for god sakes. I mean he only got a 25g hit through his spine. Big deal! 😉

Ih an before I forget, “Singapore 2008″… It’ll never go away. Even Machiavelli would be proud of how that win went down.

34

Only 25g …heh heh

35

[Omg! Does this Alfonzo Samuronzo ever stop playing games?! He’s fine for god sakes. I mean he only got a 25g hit through his spine. Big deal! ]

So I trust that you have been a professional F1 driver?

And have taken a 25g hit before on the kurbs similar to Alonso. Which year was your drive and for which team?

I don’t think you’re a true F1 fan, more like prejudice.

McLaren will be podium less this year so is it the car or the incompetent drivers or both?

36

Scuderia McLaren was consciously bashing Alonso, even insulting him, nevertheless.

37

Hint: a smiley with one eye closed usually means “I’m being sarcastic”…

38

Thanks Spyros… I wasn’t going to bother explaining.

39

+1 zillion!

40

Aw come on, that wasn’t too bad… plus it was never proved that he was involved.

However, his “make me No1 or I’ll tell FIA about those Ferrari designs”, that he told Ron Dennis when he was at McLaren, was a teeny bit more serious..! 😀

41

James, do you reckon that part of the agreement that Kimi came to with Lotus in regard to his salary payment included allowing him to start working with Ferrari so soon?

I recall that McLaren and Mercedes had to come to an understanding just to get Hamilton in December last year and I don’t recall ever seeing a driver who is switching teams to be doing meetings and seat fittings before the end of the season before.

42

Lotus are in breach of contract. Therefore, there is nothing compelling Kimi to turn up and drive for Lotus any further. There is also nothing preventing him from meeting with his new team. Being in breach of contract means that any clauses in that contract become null and void. Kimi is now free to do what is in the best interests of Kimi – if that is still towing the Lotus line in the belief that they WILL actually pay him then fine. However, if he either believes that the money is not going to be paid or that the sum is not significant to him, given his new Ferrari contract, then taking time off to have the operation and getting in early and on good terms with Ferrari would do his future prospects much good (and also remove some points from Lotus so that Ferrari might gain a few more in the constructors title in the last couple of races).

I obviously don’t know all the facts that Kimi is juggling with but I would have skipped town on Lotus months ago.

43

Wouldn’t you?

44

First, I hope Alonso’s condition is not as bad as the picture suggest. That said, I would be more than a little surprised not to see him race in Austin. I don’t know if it is all hype or what, but if it isn’t, all is not well between Ferrari and Alonso.

If Jules was to race though, I would enjoy the chance to follow how well or not he might do. Marc

45

The shunts over the kerbs were nearer the 15g loads and not the 24+g loads first suggested. But he will still be sore till a few days before the race. But reality is he didn’t need to do what he did on track to beat JeV and lately he’s been doing too many clumsy things on track that a driver of his calibre does not normally do.

He will definitely race and will definitely struggle with an uncompetitive car.

But if Ferrari have done a good job on their 2014 car- with Rory Byrne and James Allison working on it- I think next will be really exciting for Ferrari.Kimi knows how to make the best of a new product and first race of 2007 proved that, again first race 2013 he did it again.Bring on Melb 2014!

46

except he had to get ahead of JEV and Massa who was on his tail. P5 depended on it. He didn’t expect JEV would try to drive him offtrack. The way he launched that car was terrific.

When its time to act, you can count on FA!!

47

Many people are excited by Kimi.

Most of the worlds press believe him to have performed an amazing comeback -look at his return compared to others?.

Then there are his results for the past two seasons which speak for themselves.

Then there were the teams that approached him with a seat for 2014 – Red Bull, Lotus and Ferrari (all the top 3).

Ferrari are many things though stupid is not one of them. Those guys at Maranello resigned Kimi (with the attendant loss of face) because they know he is the most likely available driver to score points next year for their team.

48

NOPE!!!

They hire KIM because they thought they will loose ALO. That’s all.

49

Well said, JEZ. Ferrari wouldn’t have decided to employ Kimi if they didn’t think he still has ability to be very competitive, and Iceman wouldn’t have signed w/ ’em if he didn’t believe they have the capacity to produce a competitive car.

Yes of course he wants a good salary (and to actually have it paid), which necessitated leaving Lotus and going to a properly-wealthy team, but Kimi is motivated by the opportunity to win more than by the money, no? So surely he must evaluate Ferrari as a potential winner (that can also pay his salary, of course).

Frankly, I can’t wait! (though OF COURSE I empathize w/ Massa and am sad to see him go, as would any human w/ ability to empathize feel badly for a sportsman who is compelled to leave not by his own choice…)

50

Put the KING in his car. Then maybe we can see if Vettel is really that good or is it his car.

51

King Kimi will be in the car in 2014

52

YES. And the “King” will be defeated like he was against ***MASSA***.

But the excuses are ready:

1) Kimi’s back injury.

2) The car not suits his driving style.

53

I’d like to see that too, but it won’t happen.

54

James, I do remember and loved to hear your irony “Lucky you are” to Alonso’s “Was perfect, is perfect…”

It was a perfect fit)))

55

Ha yes that was brilliant !

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