The chase is on
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Local media still backing Fernando Alonso to gain in Spain
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Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  11 May 2014   |  11:00 am GMT  |  79 comments

It’s easy to imagine that this weekend Fernando Alonso is like the boy who innocently exclaims to a blinkered crowd that the king is not exactly fully clothed.

The double champion has spent all weekend gently pointing out to the ladies and gentleman of his homeland’s media the fact that his Ferrari F14T isn’t exactly the quickest car around the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend.

Yesterday, backed by Ferrari President Luca Di Montezemolo’s admissions that the car is uncompetitive, the message seemed to be getting through. This morning, then, Alonso might have been forgiving for imagining that his seventh place on the grid – behind team-mate Kimi Raikkonen – might have been the final piece of a convincing puzzle for the Spanish media.

Unfortunately none of those things have been enough to convince the papers that come the end of this afternoon’s race, Fernando will be doing anything other than once again marching towards the podium having staged another legendary fight back.

Sports newspapers As and El Mundo Deportivo are chief among this morning’s cheerleaders: “Time to dream for a possible podium,” says the former, while the latter is “Searching for another heroic act”.

They have seen it happen before, so they are not ruling it out today. “This is Alonso, you know, the same one that started 11th in Valencia and won.” It’s what they want to see and more importantly, what the fans want to hear. There’s plenty of precedent for such a recovery, so why not again today, they ask.

As says he must deliver another epic comeback and relegates Alonso’s realism quotes to the very end of its piece. “I’ve been realistic from day one,” it quotes the Ferrari driver. “The podium would be a dream, but nothing is impossible. We will need a good strategy but I don’t want to give false targets to anyone.”

Marca by contrast adopted a more sober tone this morning. They quote Fernando’s cautious “a podium is not possible” sentence, as well as adding that Ferrari is slower here than in China. Spain’s Car & Driver website also goes for facts instead of a plaintive desire for him to do well: “The worst isn’t that I start seventh, it’s being 1.7 seconds behind” is the headline.

Two very different interpretations to one same story, different levels of Spanish hope. We will see who got the measurements right in only a few hours, when Alonso starts his 222 Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Tabatha Valls Halling
at the Circuit de Catalunya

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Statics say only two line post are answered that’s why I stop here


What i do not realize is actually how you are no longer really much more well-liked than you may be

now. You are very intelligent. You understand therefore significantly when it comes to this topic,

made me personally consider it from so many various angles.

Its like men and women don’t seem to be involved until it is

something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your individual stuffs nice.

All the time handle it up!


Hi James, do you want to further comment on teammate battle of the Italian team in Spain?

A biased forum poster postulated the following post-race:

“1. Give more HP to Alonso by cheating with KERS: Check

2. Undercut Kimi despite having Alonso 2nd: Check

3. Give the superior strategy to Alonso: Check

4. Sabotage Kimi with used tires on a 22-lap stint : Check”

Did Ferrari top brass want Fernando come out on top in Spain? Did they act on it?




James, I respectfully ask you, how come my posts deserve special moderation? I write posts that are still awaiting moderation long after other people’s posts, which were written later than mine, are there for all to read.

This happens for months now, and that when they finally pass moderation, many do not. I am banned here? I would like to know so we do not take the trouble to write.


Maybe I can help you here:

I’ve noticed the same thing where I write a comment reasonable quickly but then it sometimes up to a day for it to appear while others that are only minutes old appear straight away.

So it’s not just you, or Jame and his minions targeting you.

The reason is that the most recent comments are moderated first – in programming terms it works more like a stack than a queue.

So if you have a comment awaiting moderation while others keep posting comments of their own their comments will effectively swamp yours, so until they’re cleared and the moderators basically reach the bottom of the comment jar you have to wait.

I admit it’s a bit annoying at times, but you just have to be patient.


I greatly appreciate your commentary, Random 79. I’ve noticed sometimes what you say and I understand it fully.

Yet this time I have two commentaries here waiting since May 11th, 2014 @ 5:38 pm (the first one). They still are “awaiting for moderation”.

They were not addressed to bash F1 figures (I never posted so) but to the way in which “Spanish hope” was presented in the main piece. I critizised that way, saying it was not correct, because the high distortion that favors local pilots is in common use in the media across borders even in well-appreciated sports newspapers and “serious” newspapers, not to say what happens in the popular ones. So I wrote that I could not understand why it should be noted as exceptional the exacerbated way in which some Spanish media predicted an unlikely victory of ALO in Barcelona. It would have perfectly understood a critical answer to my words; but the way in which they were silenced, in this blog that I appreciate, made me angry. And that’s all on my part.


No problem 🙂

As for the articles James has put up recently, it seems to me that it’s not so much that he’s making a special case of Ferrari and Alonso, more that he has a professional association with Tabatha and so is posting some of her work that most of us in the English speaking countries wouldn’t normally see.

As you rightly say for the most part the media of each country treats their own drivers as a special case, but it’s still interesting to see it from a slightly different perspective.


Some of them don’t fit in with the rules

This is a place for constructive argument

There are several other posters whose comments require careful inspection due to repeat disrespect of the rules, worse than yours

Criticism of F1 figures etc is allowed but only if it offers something beyond blind criticism

Some outliers slip through the net, but we try to keep the standard high

You are very welcome to participate as long as you contribute to the debate


I have never criticized any F1 figure here. No, Sir. I have criticized some posts here that not only criticize but insult F1 figures.

I am truly shocked. I would like this post be shown if you do not mind because I have never criticized any F1 figure here, certainly not beyond blind criticism.


It’s really funny to read that “self-addressed” sports media.

I also wonder when was the last time such an interest was taken over the home media of any particular driver when he/his gear was under-developing.

For instance

Hamilton’s during his dull years in McLaren/last in Merc.

Schumacher’s while in Mercedes.

Webber’s 2011-2013.

Vettel’s right now.


The top 4 drivers were on 2 stops strategy so wasnt a mondial conspiracy against Kimi in Ferrari garage. If you look at 1st stint you can understand that Alonso was a bit faster but not faster enought to pass Kimi on track. Those 0.1-0.3 that i saw looking at sector times on official application could count at the end of the race and put Alonso in front of Vettel. If Ferrari decided that Kimi stick on a strategy with 2 and Alonso go for one with 3 they should communicate that to drivers and that would be fair for both. Poor Ferrari decisions.


When someone writes an article he/she maintains the thought of a

user in his/her mind that how a user can know it. Thus that’s why this paragraph is

outstdanding. Thanks!


Totally agreed! So transparent.


As soon as I saw Alonso pitting the second time I was thinking, ok, Kimi will stop at the next lap. When he didn’t and when I started seeing Alonso gaining him 1-2 seconds per lap, I immediately understood that Ferrari is favoring Alonso. Sadly as a Finn, I have to admit that Kimi is considered as a driver #2 in Ferrari… I hope Kimi won’t approve this at all. Fight back Kimi! And if this happens next time as well, resign just like last year!


Why not resign even today? Not to mention he was asked to leave last time, not resigned


Are you sure, a half fit Kimi giving Alonso a tough time, is not affecting your equanimity?


Yeah that’s true, last Time Santander-Alonso brought out Kimi’s seat with $25 Million.

Asked to leave… why?? Alonso hasn’t won diddly squat for 5 years, why doesn’t he leave himself considering Kimi at least is a Ferrari World Champion.


Oh wow Vin thanks for exposing the big secret. Why don’t you write a strongly worded letter to Bernie, or the IMF, and explain about the crime of sports sponsorship? Maybe you can find some time in your letter to talk about the discovery of gravity? And how gravity also wronged Kimi?

Kimi has spent most of his career in Mclaren or Ferrari. He’s had all the time in the world, and inherited one title because Hamilton and Alonso lost it. That has to hurt.


I thought Kimi was stoping before Alonso. Normal thing when team mates positions are close. To my disbilief ALO went in first! One, two laps… Oh my God,I thought, there’s the call. And that was it. One have to consider ALO was racing VET. Kimi was racing Alonso, therefore I still don’t understand what was thinking the strategist at Ferrari. For sure ALO saved some fresh rubber since Saturday and a 3 stopper was obvious. But Ferrari must have read better what Vettel was trying. They decided to stop Kimi just twice, and from that moment they just thought about covering Grosjean. That is position range 6th to 8th or 9th. Ferrari isn’t just bad at designing good cars and power units, but also crappy at using strategy to overcome the very low potential of the F14 T. Bad day for the Tiffosis, but even worse for Kimi fans.


It’s the media, if they just reported on facts it would be pretty dull for them. So why not put in a bit of spin, exaggerate a tad, if it lightens up their day.

Of course due to this it gives false hopes, but oh well.


James is the media and I don’t find his reporting dull at all, plenty of facts and speculation that encourages healthy debate in these blogs. Unfortunately most media outlets are less about professional journalism and more about putting as much spin and sensationalism into their work as possible as their motivation is about inflating the bottom line and making shareholders/sponsors happy. It is interesting that the Spanish media whatever their agenda find it difficult to call a spade a spade.. Such contrast in their assessments of Ferrari and ALON.


Yes of course, James fulfils a very niche, specific area of media whose audience is well informed and doesn’t just speculate without reason; I was referring to tabloid media in general who, as you say, take a back seat in impartiality and reasoning and seek out the populist stance. In this case, they did what they sought out to do – inspire and galvanise Spanish fans, even without any realistic hope. I suppose that’s a good (if ultimately pointless) thing to do…


Those Spanish media reported here are some Spanish media, not all Spanish media. There are many Spanish media that call a spade a spade. Every one in Spain knows that those Spanish sports media reported here are just slightly above of the average tabloid level in Britain (The Sun) and Germany (Bild) when it comes to terms of exaggeration/distortion of news and headings. Also, famous European sports newspapers (i.e., L’Equipe, La Gazetta dello Sport) are also inflating and distorting when it comes to “inform” on the success and prospects of local heroes. Then, which is the point on focusing only on the Spanish sports media as if they were the epitome of news distortion? I’ve put above an example of a heading of The Independent of yesterday: “F1 Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton wins again after titanic duel with Nico Rosberg.” Should I say that this, and other headings of the same caliber in British newspapers over the years, is paradigmatic of the British media? Apply the example to any other country when it comes of fueling the national fervor to the locals.


This is it.


Puffing again.

FYI, please, have a look to this heading of The Independent of today.

“F1 Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton wins again after titanic “duel with Nico Rosberg.”

Let me add: Exiciting? Yes. Skillfull? Yes. Titanic? Noo! This is way too much hyperbolic to my (Spanish) cultural background (this last assertion is particularly dedicated to Gaz Boy).


If THIS was titanic, what was Bahrain then? There was no battle, only a prospect of one.



For myself I think I’ll class it as titanic when (if) Rosberg passes Hamilton and then Hamilton has to fight to get the lead back.

Spain: Okay finish, but nothing special.


Personally, it would be great to see Ferrari create a car that can take on the Mercs and Bulls………sadly, I doubt it – at least for this season.


Utterly pathetic of Ferrari artificially impeding Raikkonen’s race today.

Alonso strikes me as a boxer with a stage managed career. He tries to avoid like for like competition. When he does come up against someone of equal talent he throws his toys out of the pram (witness Hamilton/massa)

I hope this is the start of things to come for Raikkonen.


“We are not racing Kimi, we are racing Fernando”

Get over it.


Would like to hear more about those toys he has thrown away, especially with Massa.

I hope some day all pram users will understand why principals and others rate Alonso as their rival – not Raikkonen.


@ alex



I find it very worrying that all the “Spanish media” you read are Marça,Mundo Deportivo and As… Zero credibility when they talk about their “core business” (football), pure sh*t when it comes about F1.


Perhaps Spain bought Ferraris pit stop strategy with 45.5 Million newspapers compared to Finlands 5.5millon.

A sad day for true racers and the incomparable Iceman.


You are right, and there is another thing I don’t understand, why Kimi’s last stint was on used hard tyres? He just used one set in qualification, the same as Alonso which had a new set for his second stint. Did Kimi used all his hard ones in the FP? On the other side, the WDC is gone, so it doesn’t matter who goes in front, they should try to maximize their points for the WCC, but Ferrari hasn’t learnt the lesson, it keeps doing the same politics moves, the same mistakes done by the same people, they have to start from scratch this team.


Incomparable? If he was incomparable maybe he would not have lost his seat to Alonso and Massa. Yes, Massa. It seems your judgement has been bought… for far less than your newspaper theory. Apparently his employers have compared him a lot over the years. And he’s been found wanting.


Yawn , yawn & more yawn Snarfy Smurf..

– teams choose strategies NOT drivers. Drivers rely on info- & if Raikkonen knew what they had planned with fernando – dont you think he would do something about it!

– 2 races of technical problems and magnussen

Driving into Raikkonen count for 0 – is that right.

Regardless!- Most team principals will tell you

Drivers need about 6 months to get to terms to a new team. Yet people wont even allow Raikkonen 4 races!

Even Hamilton needed several races against Rosberg! & we’re not talking about Rosberg here are we..

– Sponsorship whilst necessary- had nothing to do with how a driver drives a car – does it– really pointless comment.

– results in F1 only count for being in right team / car at the right time!. Mclaren had a fast but most unreliable car in 2003/5. Otherwise Kimi beats Schumacher & Alonso in those years- quite easily I might add.

– raikkonen haas nothing to prove to anyone. He put Lotus back on the map – after everyone ( except me apparently) wrote him off.

-You can know all you like about politics it wont make you a better driver. Just ask Jenson. Unless your a political grub like FA and drive for Ferrari. All true fans want to see is a no bs racer. But unfortunately as you say its part of game.

-on the contrary Sunday made no diff to the Constructors- be it Alonso or Kimi. But it made diff to the drivers which is why Kimi was understandably angry. Ferrari more than every other team chases drivers championship- because it is guaranteed funds for being a historical team- and its big sponsors are driver/ region focused- Alonso/ Santander/ Spain. If it werent so important why do you think they resorted to such grubby tactics- its because FA is 4th & KR is 12.

– its crazy to resort to this now with 14 races left and so much has been said about allowing your wc’s to well as these cars being so raw and still in heavy development phase.

– any driver can get beaten by a team mate when your team build the car around you. & Michael Schumacher contracted to Ferrari feels compelled to repay Felipe for his years of loyalty. Besides 2008 Felipe was a much better driver than now.

– your right Fernando should leave Ferrari because 5 years & he still will have nothing & Raikkonen well in his first year got something.. Just a coincidence but then there was less politics with Jean Todt, Ross Brawn- this suited Kimi.

– despite his obvious speed FA comes with a rotten association with”Crashgate” and “Spygate”- many will say he had nothing to do with either and many more will say he is at the very core-


Teams choose strategies…? There have been many times when drivers make calls, you can’t be well read if you don’t know this. The rest of your responses are just hogwash. Oh Kimi won when Todt and Brawn were there so it was less political? You mean when they had a winning team?

Now your making excuses and trying to sideline things to just driving. Unfortunately the paddock, which ids much more knowledgeable than you, has voted many times.. and not for Kimi. I’ll enjoy your obvious upcoming bitter rants in future guised as well read educated commentary… while watching Kimi do absolutely nothing incomparable. Congrats on making hardly any legitimate factually valid points whatsoever. I guess you and Kimi have that in common. He wouldn’t waste his time ranting about Alonso for months here though…


maybe you should read this and understand little bit better how Kimi lost his seat to ALO and Massa


He lost his seat to Santander & many hundreds of millions of Euros. The whole world knows this now. Except for the few headline readers like you. Ferrari doesnt pay 51m to terminate someone and then rehire him because hes not amongst the very best. They had a choice of Hulkenberg and many others but Domeicali knew he was the only guy who could push/ challenge/ beat Fernando- other than maybe Lewis who wasnt available.

As far ad tour theory goes Fernando was left wanting on both Sat & Sund and when was the last time people said that??


He was found wanting on Saturday and Sunday? He just beat him, on track. Despite all your praise of Kimi, if he was so good, he’d choose his strategy and make it happen. If I’m just a headline reader, what seperates me from you? Years of bleating on posts about how great Kimi is despite the obvious? It’s obvious Ferrari and Alonso’s relationship is poor now, after last year’s public spat with Domenicali, but apparently even a demotivated Alonso can regularly beat a newly hired and…”incomparable” Kimi.

It must be nice having excuses like Santander and millions, to back your lopsided argument. Let’s see, so drivers, from young, already know this is a money game, they all pull sponsors as they try and make it to F1. Many great drivers don’t go on because of sponsorship. But the rules don’t apply to Kimi, is that right? If he’s so incomparable, why can’t his sponsors compete with others? This is the same Kimi that was given a seat in Mclaren very quickly in his F1 career, you think that was purely through talent? You think Hamilton would even have wanted to go to Ferrari? I assume you’ve read much farther past headlines on the sports stars with the biggest sponsorships, have you ever noticed they are usually the best in their sport? Or does that not apply because of big bad Santander?

The simple fact is if Kimi was so good, he’d never need to have worried about his seat. The reason why Ferrari went with Kimi is simply because he is a good driver, if you think they thought he’d regularly beat Alonso, think again. Or just look at the championship table. Or their performance against the same teammate. Or the number of years they had in leading cars versus results. Or at the amount they’ve been paid by similar employers. Or the comments from team bosses. Or the votes from the paddock on the best driver of the year.

Do you regard Kimi as a boy of a grown experienced racer? I ask because these guys have been in teams and racing for decades, they know about agreements, they know about teams, they know about politics. So you can make all the excuses regarding it, but no one forced Kimi to join Ferrari. He had all the prior knowledge. The only hope Kimi has of beating Alonso regularly is if Alonso gets tired of Ferrari, and I for one see that already happening. Its irrelevant in any case, because Kimi isn’t a threat to Alonso at all, even if he lost to Kimi in every race this year. No one expects someone to fight year in year out keeping title challenges alive in a predominantly slow car and a predominantly toothless team. And apparently you can get destroyed by your team mate one year and still come back to Ferrari years later, as you should know with Kimi.


Yes the same race in which vettel and grosjean retired in!


Yeah, Alonso is not fast enough to beat his own Teammate, that he creates” another rift within Ferrari over strategy preference.

Will Ferrari never learn that unhappy employees caused by one of their own employee is the worst corporate culture that has led to 5 years of failure for them.

Alonso has been useless as a Car development Feedback, team leader and only succeeded in bull and managed to so many employees fired in this 5 years.

It’s time Alonso takes some responsibility and fires himself

Spanish GP: Kimi Raikkonen wanted to ‘clear up’ Ferrari strategy-


@ vin s

Is this just a senseless rant or can you back up any of your claims with proof.


And I bet he killed the Kennedys.


Err not sure about that, he’s thrashing RAI in the championship and left him for dead him in every race so far apart from this one where they were more evenly matched!

Could easily have won 2 WDC’s in far inferior cars to the eventual champions as well.

Actually he’s overall the best driver out there, even the other drivers and team bosses say so!


Well, today he was favoured by strategy against Rai. Hometown luck.


Ferrari are obviously screwing kimi’s career again!


Really ? I think Alonso compromised his strategy just to get past Räikkönen. He was clearly faster than him but the point is, you need to be much faster here to be able to overtake.


Thanks God there is somebody with some common sense here. Thank you!


Well that’s the Spanish race ran and no real improvement infact further off Mercedes like i previously stated the return of Bran and a reshape under him is imminent!




He did beat Raikkonen at the end and not being lapped by the leaders.


That wasn’t beating. It was Ferrari favouring ALO over RAI plain and simple. They didn’t even bother disguising it.


ALO had to pass RAI on track. Not an easy task on Barcelona, and 2 stop (RAI strategy) was faster than 3 stop (ALO strategy) on paper so is hard to say that Ferrari favoured ALO IMHO.


I disagree 🙂


Yes. You’re right. Does Alonso bring more sponsors or what?


F1 is boring now


I would say F1 is interesting. It’s highly predictable this year as Mercedes will win it all! The engine does not make nice sound, even GP2 sounds better as mentioned in Teds notebook. So it is kind of boring in many ways.

As a fan, I have to dig deep to find interest out of it. The new engine system is interesting. I look forward to see Vettel and red bull making a comeback.

Honestly, I find Vettel really showed his honourable character. Despite having a flawed car that ruined his races including the Friday practices this race, he still keep his head down is perform his very best.

If it was Webber, he would have hint on conspiracy of unfair treatment and create a buzz of drama that drags everyone down.

Go Vettel! If he ends up ahead of everyone except the Mercedes team I would consider him the real driver champion of 2014.

Michael Prestia

My very point about F1 being boring is because it is past the point of predictable. Lewis will be Champion, Rosberg will be second and Merc will win the constructors. If anyone thinks differently I would love to take their money… I am not a bookie but I will definitely take your bet.

The last 3 years of competitive racing that I enjoyed was 2007 when Kimi won in Brazil, 2008 and Lewis won in Brazil and 2010 when Vettel won in the dessert. Down to the last race to determine the champion. We had multiple in season battles, various winners… as a racing fan I couldn’t wait for the next race to see who was going to win. Last year was a bore… this year an even bigger bore.


Don’t forget the 2012. Both Vettel and Alonso put up such great fights.


Haha! NORMAL service resumes. So, I’m happy.

That was a very exciting race. No way to call it boring.


you clearly have a long genital welded to your kneck! either that or your an avid Vettel fan after all hey michael is a German name is it not???


Really? Three tight battles in the closing laps, two of them (Vettel/Bottas and Alonso/Raikkonen) yielding position changes?

It was a slow burner but the end was terrific I thought


If all the battles we’re to watch this year will come in the form of drivers been overtaken by faster cars and/or ones fresher tires, with a little help from DRS, then I’m not to jump in the Terrific/Titanic/Epic wagon but in the ‘occasionally interesting’ one.


What was the third battle?!!! Rosberg couldn’t even (try to) pull a move on Hamilton! Or did I miss something? Ah, a Brit won,very exciting!


Do not agree with you, James. To be objective – there was a possibility of a battle between Ham and Ros, but there wasn’t. Alonso was on a better strategy and tires. Vettel was couple of sec per lap faster than Bottas. So it was just a couple of obvious things coming to realization during the last couple of laps, but it was a very dull race for 90% of laps.


I don’t agree. Maybe Bottas vs Vettel was a bit more clear, but not Alonso vs Kimi. Look at what Alonso had to do to overtake, a three turns overtake! I don’t know why people here is not talking about that, it was amazing, and the only overtake at that point of the track during the whole race. For sure it was something different ans special.


Quite frankly, i’m getting tired of the issues at Ferrari. They should be ashamed. They are going backwards. ALO must be hugely frustrated….


Today was better than most. For sure there are times during the races when it gets interesting, but for the past 5 years the race winner usually obvious within a few laps – hard for me to get interested so now I record and skip through later.


Hope springs eternal.

So does delusion and myopia!


Please, see post #8 and the proceedings.


I bet some days Fernando wishes he could swap places with Max 🙂

robert christian

fernando could have won this race with last year’s Marussia. how sad is that


True, but it’s not nearly as sad as Fernando not being able to win a race with this years Ferrari.

Harrison Vrbanjac

“This is Alonso, you know, the same one that started 11th in Valencia and won.” this is very unfortunate example of Alonso’s achievements.


Are you confusing Valencia for Singapore? The Valencia drive they are referring to was pretty impressive…

Harrison Vrbanjac

Yes I did, my bad!

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