Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Montreal, 2012

Alonso: Red Bull have been ahead since Bahrain

2012 German Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Montreal, 2012Fernando Alonso reckons Red Bull are the team to beat at the moment and have been since the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“It?s true that Red Bull have perhaps been quicker than everybody not just in the last two or three races but ever since Bahrain,” he told reporters at the Hockenheimring.

“They missed pole position in Barcelona and Silverstone but the rest of the poles have all been Red Bull. So they are definitely a bit ahead in terms of performance and we need to catch up.”

Alonso, who has scored the most points of any driver in the last six races, added: “In Formula 1 you are probably a better driver every year because you improve and you constantly learn from mistakes so I?m sure next year will be better. But it?s true that this championship has been good for us so far.

“I remember a mistake in Q2 in Australia where I touched the grass in Turn 1 and I spun. But apart from that mistake I probably wouldn?t change too many things about what I?ve done so far. This is good news because there are always mistakes here and there so I?m quite pleased with my performance.”

Alonso also said he’s at his physical peak at the moment: “Physically it?s my best year so far. In previous years I?ve had to race with pain, whether it?s in my leg or my shoulder, but so far this year it has been 100 percent in every race. Hopefully it will stay like this.”

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Keith Collantine
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46 comments on “Alonso: Red Bull have been ahead since Bahrain”

  1. Easy for Alonso to say, just rubbing it in that he’s ahead of the Red Bull duo even with their so-called superior material…

    1. I don’t know. I think he is just being realistic and speaking the truth. I don’t think he expects to win the championship in the Ferrari at its current spec. It needs more upgrades. It’s quick as it is, for sure; but the RB8 is back at the top in similar 2011 fasion, evidenced in Valencia.

      As a side note, I’m keen to see the effects of the McLaren Hockenheim upgrade!

      Also, does anyone know much of Lotus’ upgrades? They seem to have been very quiet about them – that or they simply haven’t added many. I don’t want to see them drop away lick recent years.

      1. Talking about Lotus, I do think that this team have been pretty unbelievable in terms of their rate of development, and that they could keep pushing themselves forward as long as they don’t have some super trick stuff like the FEE that they could not fully understand. 2010 stands as a clear example I think. The R30 has not really got any trick stuff, yet their rate of development is very high, especially considering they just lost factory Renault backing, and most likely do not possess the kind of resources the top teams have. This year I think they have done quite a lot on the stuff they are experts on – Front wings

    2. Yes everyone knows Alonso is at least half a second faster than everyone else on the grid :) lolz

    3. The fact that we cant listen to the voice of the person being interviewed we cant really know what they were trying to say, at least from what can be read here, Alonso despite realistic keeps putting pressure in Ferraris and RedBulls shoulders.

    4. I think Ferrari will complain that they don’t have the fastest car even with Massa on podium ;)

  2. Red Bull certainly weren’t ahead in Spain and Mercedes were the quickest team in Monaco. And on race pace I don’t think they were quickest in Canada either.

  3. either I believe Red Bull is now the fastest(at least in many venues) but Ferrari is also in better shape than 2010.
    Hopefully no team dominate this season until the end….

  4. RBR had better cars than Ferrari almost in every race this year and Fernando is leading the championship. This is the cold fact.

    1. you don’t have to rubbed it though.

      1. My thought of Vettel being on the same level as Alonso last season has completely tarnished. He’s not, not even close.

        If Vettel were to join Ferrari next season Alonso would make him his puppy. There’s no question in my mind about it.

    2. It’s a fact yes. Another one is that having Massa as a teammate allows him to only compete against the other teams and not against his teammate. It’s a great strategy on Ferrari’s part so kudos to them. FA is brilliant – maybe the best – but fans need to take not having a competitive teammate into consideration imo. It’s a shame Webber didn’t go to Ferrari really – it would have shown how good he is or how vulnerable Alonso is with a competitive teammate or contrarily shown that Alonso can also dominate even a brilliant racer like MW. As it stands FA goes to every race knowing he’ll destroy his teammate or if he doesn’t that his team will ask Massa to eventually move over – surely that takes a certain amount of pressure off.

  5. This is just talking up others chances before the weekend, usual and routine thing from a championship leader. He is in a perfect position, in perfect condition, drives better than ever, if he wins this championship, he will have won it during the first four races – simply put, it’s phenomenal (a la Horner) what Alonso is doing.

    What I’m concerned about is three things:

    1) Nobody is perfect, bar gods, and everybody is human, including Alonso. He will make a mistake sooner or later. I just hope it won’t cost him many points.
    2) The car is not perfectly reliable either. If it has to fail at some point, be it when Alonso is running the lowest ever this year.
    3) The minor and not-so-minor strategic mistakes Ferrari keeps doing: Montreal and Silverstone. In Montreal, there was a lap after Hamilton’s second stop when Alonso could have pitted and he would come back ahead of the McLaren. In Silverstone, the first stint should have been longer. Of course, all two of them was a tough call, in hindsight it is easy to be smart: in Montreal, it was hard to spot that lap, and in Silverstone, there was limited information available on the durability of the soft compound.

    Nevertheless, team strategy went for the wrong choice in both cases. Alonso practically was within touching distance of victory in four of the last five GPs (Monaco being an exception) having led a substantive amount of laps during each of the four the races. He only won once.

    Anyway, his consistency continues to put him on top of the bunch and with many others sharing the spoils, he is able to manage the gap of 13 points to Webber and 29 (!) points to Vettel.

    1. Alonso practically was within touching distance of victory in four of the last five GPs (Monaco being an exception)

      Actually, if he had postponed his pit stop with 2 or 3 laps (and could have kept up the incredible pace he displayed when Hamilton pitted), he could have won there, too.

      1. There wasn’t much at the time to show that though. It’s easy to play hindsight expert

    2. if he wins this championship, he will have won it during the first four races – simply put, it’s phenomenal (a la Horner) what Alonso is doing.

      While Alonso is doing an incredible job at maximising his points each race, he has also benefitted from reliability and mistakes from the RB and Mclaren garages, that had they not occured Vettel, Hamilton and Webber would all lead him in points.

      If he wins the Championship it will probably be because of the RB’s taking too many points off each other and some reliability issues for them.

      Actually, if he had postponed his pit stop with 2 or 3 laps (and could have kept up the incredible pace he displayed when Hamilton pitted), he could have won there, too.

      He conserved his tyres specifically to jump Hamilton in the pits, while he could have won in theory, in reality 9/10 times the team would have pitted him in that situation with the data they had.

  6. This is what is great about Alonso, he’s always thinking, always working “the game.”

    He has every right to look back on the races thus far with pride, few could argue that he has been far and away the best driver of the season.

    But in saying it in the way that he has, he deals a blow to Red Bull: “You might have the best car, but you don’t have the best people, and we’re coming for you…”

    I love that. Red Bull have to be afraid.

  7. we know that the RB8 is the fastest car right now but with a small margin maybe 0.3s or 0.4s per lap but Ferrari are improving in every race Mclaren have some notable upgrades this weekend & lotus are always quick without ignoring the role that the Pirelli’s will play so many drivers have the chance of win in this weekend but i think that Alonso probably trying to put some pressure on the Red Bull drivers

    1. @tifoso1989
      0.3 – 0.4 ? How did you come up with that gap?

      1. the qualifying in Canada, Valencia & the race pace of Sebastian in Valencia

        1. So, absolutely random choice then.

        2. @tifoso1989
          But qualifying? In Canada the RB was fighting to stay close to both the McLaren and the Ferrari. They simply had less degradation and was in the race, quite a bit stronger. So yes, they were fast in qualifying, but in the race they certainly wasn’t.
          Valencia thats true, RB was miles ahead there, but it doesn’t seem to be the norm.
          In Silverstone as the most recent example the two cars were incredibly evenly matched. The Ferrari seemed right on the money, but their strategy probably wasn’t the best.

          1. Just want to add another thing..
            A timed gap between two cars with two different drivers is not the gap between the cars.
            Maybe Alonso is just 0.3s slower then the RB guys, maybe the RB is two seconds quicker but the drivers in the RB is just simply useless.
            There is no real way of telling an exact gap between the cars as it all depends on a million things, but if we were to speculate I don’t think the gap is anywhere near as wide as nearly half a second.

  8. In previous years I’ve had to race with pain, whether it’s in my leg or my shoulder, but so far this year it has been 100 percent in every race. Hopefully it will stay like this.”

    I’m a useless fan as I didn’t know about this but you could never tell from his racing that he was suffering!

    1. Yes, didn’t you know he broke a leg and two collar bones over the last few years… oh, hang on…. that was the other guy.
      Didn’t Alonso tweet something about being fully free of pain recently… can’t recall what?

    2. That’s something I’ve never heard before as well. Maybe he’s just been keeping quiet about it?

  9. Technically, we don’t actually know which car is the fastest, because no-one has driven every single car on the grid in dry conditions.

    1. Nick Jarvis (@)
      19th July 2012, 20:22

      but we certainly know which driver is the fastest :)

      it was definitely the Red Bull last year as someone as young as Vettel could never do that in anything other than that car, and i’m sure it is this year, too, by a smaller margin.

      1. I’m still not that sure the RB7 was as dominanyt last year; in melbourne, Hamilton outqualified Webber, and Webber was closely matched by hamilton pretty much all season.
        I still think that either Kovalainen or vettel are the fastest on the grid; i believe alonso to be overrated

        1. I’m still not that sure the RB7 was as dominanyt last year

          Christian Horner said that the RB7 is the fastest car on the grid

          I still think that either Kovalainen or vettel are the fastest on the grid

          Vettel maybe but Kovalainen ???? what does the word “fastest” mean in this case????

        2. @xjr15jaaag – Kovalainen was trounced by Hamilton

          @nickj95gb – Last year, Mclaren had a better car than people gave it credit for. Yet through Hamilton’s mistakes, and Button only just beating an underperforming driver by less than 2 wins worth of points, they finished miles off Vettel, and barely ahead of Alonso’s Ferrari. Vettel and Alonso in the MP4-26 would have given Red Bull’s RB7 a much closer run, no doubt about that.

          1. So?

            Two wins in points is twenty in old money and still a great deal.

            For a car that isn’t regularly winning, that’s at least in 2011 McLaren’s case like three or four rounds of wins of Button scoring max points to Hamilton’s nil.

          2. @alonsowdc

            Two wins in points is twenty in old money and still a great deal.

            My point was to illustrate how the Mclaren drivers did in comparison to Vettel and Alonso, i.e. Button finishing only just ahead of Alonso’s slower Ferrari (with Hamilton behind), and over 120 points off Vettel’s faster Red Bull. I reasoned that the RB7, while faster, didn’t posess quite the level of advantage the poster above me was suggesting.

            Nevertheless, 43 points certainly wasn’t as big a deal as what happened with Massa and Webber.

            For a car that isn’t regularly winning, that’s at least in 2011 McLaren’s case like three or four rounds of wins of Button scoring max points to Hamilton’s nil.

            The Mclaren won 6 races, which is fairly regular in my eyes- as many as they took in Hamilton’s WDC year. With the drivers separated by 43 points, I’m unsure of how you could arrive at a gap of 3-4 wins (75-100 points). Are you suggesting we double their points from last season to get that sort of a gap?

          3. Drivers performances fluctuate; I am a firm believer that Kovalainen underperformed at McLaren due to extreme pressure, but now I think hes a lot more confident, and therefore has got a lot faster as a driver.
            But he’s not the fastest ever; that title resides with Jim Clark, and keke Rosberg in my opinion

  10. This is the first thing that came into my mind:


  11. He’s probably right about the RB8.

    I imagine he will be in pain in Singapore!

  12. It’s becoming a bit of a self-fulfilling proficy, and Alonso loves the adoration: everyone left and right says the Ferrari is a bad car, so when Alonso does even remotely, he is this superduperuber-driver that is untouchable in people’s eyes. Regardless of the fact that nor he or the Ferrari has ever been an extraordinary qualifier, regardless of the fact the Ferrari always has race pace, regardless of the fact even Felipe Massa is picking up points left and right (finished just 9s behind in Silverstone). Even if Alonso won the rest of the races this year from pole, people would still insist the Ferrari is a bad (or at least not the fastest) car, never, at any point.

    1. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
      19th July 2012, 20:18

      Here some info for you.
      Look at lap-times in every race, qualifying, etc.
      In my opinion, it’s better to be better saying “We are not fastest” then to be worse saying “We are perfect” in these circumstances.

    2. Yes, because if there’s anything to say about Alonso, it’s that he’s super-adored by the masses outside of Spain.

      Come on now.

    3. @mnmracer that has to be the bitterest comment I have ever read. ‘Alonso loves the adoration’, yet after almost every race for Ferrari he has said that the focus was on the next race. For me, he has been stunning realistic and calm since then too. He is merely reflecting that RB may have the faster car. And based on results it is hardly an outlandish claim. Also, what about SV? When he wins and screams with his finger high for all to see do you slate him? Or Hamilton who has a near perfect replica of Senna’s helmet? If you do then you are missing the point of the sport. Respect between competitors is something the drivers can manage, I genuinely can’t see why the fans think mindlessly slating them will make anyone go any faster or any slower.

      ‘Massa ‘just’ 9 seconds behind’. Exactly. Behind. and on a strategy which was used by the race winner and widely regarded as the correct strategy to be on. Did I mention that Vettel separated the two?

      My point is, Formula 1 should be enjoyed with respect. All of the drivers who are there are better drivers than us. All are risking their lives for our enjoyment. And, most importantly, they share the same ambitions as all f1fanatics.

      1. @rbalonso

        This should be comment of the day. I agree with your points.

        I dont know why there is so much hatred for Alonso! Yes, his antics in the past may have been questionable, but as I have said before, he has been a model professional in the last few years. People need to give credit where its due. Ferrari have not had the quickest since the beginning of last season, he has ground those results out of sheer grit. He has brought the team together, played a part in restructuring the technical side of management and this season contributed immensely to the improvement of the car.

        The car is now on the sharp end of the grid, but perhaps not as sharp as the RBs. I think its perfectly normal to not get ahead of yourself, and this is what he has been saying. The team is also of that belief, feet firmly planted on the ground. They know their is good, but its not the best yet, especially on the tyres. If they get around that, and take the fight for the front row to RB, then Alonso has a chance. As things stand, its not quite Alonso’s title to lose yet.

      2. Great job on completely not reading what I said. I’m saying it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that everyone just keeps slating Ferrari for delivering a crap car, regardless of the results.

        Whenever Alonso performs well, it’s his ‘godlike skills’. Whenever he performs badly, it’s the car. That double standard is the idiocracy I’m getting a little tired of.

        1. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
          20th July 2012, 11:37

          I am a big fan of Nando, but I do clearly see his errors. He perfomed badly in China this year (odd mistake in overtaking manoeuvre), he perfomed badly in qualifying in Australia. Honestly, I believe that Alonso’s worst season was 2010, when he was too cautious in races. I hate his perfomance in Great Britain in 2010, I can’t appreciate his win in GB in 2011, Abu-Dhabi 2010 was a disaster! There are lots of races which weren’t as good as I expected them to be considering Alonso’s race pace. He is not god, but, as a racer he is nearly faultless this year.
          About car: you haven’t looked to the stats? Ferrari is far from perfect. Best laps in race:
          1:36.379 – Bahrain Vet
          1:38.203 – Bahrain Alo
          1:29.187 – Australia But
          1:30.277 – Aus Alo
          1:40.722 – Malaysia Rai
          1:41.680 – Malaisia Alo.
          1:40.422 – Button
          1:40.490 – Webber
          1:41.152 – Alonso
          And yet he is leading the WDC.
          From what I read here it is comprehensible that fans appreciate his skills, his faculties as a racer, but he wasn’t choosed as a Driver Of The Weekend after every race. Maybe “Great job on completely not reading what others saying“?

          1. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
            20th July 2012, 11:41

            chose” i meant)

  13. Mclaren have defenitly dropped the ball on this season, Red Bull are all guns blazing but they have the two driver problem. The rest off this year will be `Will Alonso capture defeat from the jaws off victory`

  14. Michael Brown (@)
    20th July 2012, 23:46

    I like how Alonso’s basically saying, “You thought a wounded Fernando was fast, wait until you see a healthy Fernando!”

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