Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012

Alonso feels he has “whole new level of respect”

2012 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012Fernando Alonso believes he has gained “a whole new level of respect” in Formula One this year after narrowly missing out on the drivers’ championship.

“Ever since I?ve been at Ferrari, I think I have grown a lot, especially this last year,” said Alonso at the Ferrari World Final event in Valencia.

“Before, the people had a more or less good opinion of me, but now I notice a whole different level of respect. And then, to be one of the greats of Formula 1, it?s not enough to win titles, you must also tackle seasons like the one just ended.”

He added: “I think in terms of strategy, pit stops, starts, reliability, this has been a perfect year. We all agree the one thing lacking was the car, which meant we could not match the best teams for most of the year.

“It?s the only thing we need to improve, but it?s also true that it?s the hardest thing to do. With all the difficulties we had, I?m thinking for example of how far behind we were in winter testing, to be able to fight right to the very end for the title means we are a great team.”

Alonso said he supported Ferrari’s decision to query Sebastian Vettel’s overtake on Jean-Eric Vergne during the final race in Brazil with the FIA:

“There were a lot of video clips on the Internet and we knew our fans were asking for an explanation and so it was right for Ferrari to turn to the Federation for a clarification,” he said.

“We got a reply and I think everything has now calmed down. I did not pay much attention to all the uproar this incident caused, but I felt we owed our fans an answer.

“Frankly, I?m not that interested in what the opinion is of me in Germany or elsewhere. What I know is that people who see me in the streets hug me and call me gladiator or samurai. What matters to me are the 1200 people in the Ferrari family, who gave me a standing ovation at a dinner.”

Asked about his target for next year, Alonso said: “I hope to score three or four points more.”

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Keith Collantine
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148 comments on “Alonso feels he has “whole new level of respect””

  1. I still find it impossible for him to justify that the Ferrari was as bad a package as he, and Ferrari, said it was… Because it really was not that bad of a car, and as I’ve said many times, has had the best reliability of the top 5 teams this season, and was not far off the pace of the Red Bull this season from Spain onwards. It was also a superior package in the rain, which some people tend to forget. The McLaren was the fastest car this season and they finished 3rd in the WCC and 4th and 5th in the WDC. How quick your car is, is just one ingredient required to win a Championship.

    1. Klaas de Vries
      2nd December 2012, 17:38

      When you can’t qualify in the 2 front rows for most of the season, you know you need a faster car.

      1. Hi, …may be, he needs to be a “better qualifier” like Hamilton or Vettel.

    2. You are joking right? Kimi’s car had the best reliability. He finished every race and yet still he was not in a fight for the championship. While reasonable reliability is a requirement, you need speed most of all to win the WDC.

      1. Ferrari had no technical failures during a race.

      2. Kimi’s car had the best reliability

        The E20 retired due to technical faults only once: in Valencia due to alternator failure. So yes it was pretty much bullet-proof in reliability (a shame then that Grosjean crashed his so many times!) but the F2012 went one better and didn’t have a single mechanical failure. So in actual fact the Ferrari was indeed the most reliable car this year – its only mechanical issue being the anti-roll bar failure on Alonso’s car during qualifying at Monza.

        Sure, Alonso retired more times than Kimi (2-0) but that doesn’t mean his car was less reliable: in actual fact both times he retired it was due to crash damage sustained by a collision with a Lotus (which in my opinion only one of which he was completly balmeless for).

    3. @craig-o. I think that it has a lot to do with 2012 being a very unique season. Normally there are only 2 teams able to fight for the title and they are the taking the front two rows in almost every GP. The start of the season was obviously very mixed but overall, I think Ferrari had the best package in the early summer in Silverstone and Germany but lost the advantage over the break. I think Ferrari perhaps overplayed the deficit but to be competing for podiums in races where the car is 3rd, 4th or 5th fastest on raw one lap pace is astonishing. Vettel was champion because he was the only driver capable of stretching an advantage on consecutive weekends and winning back-to-back races. Without the summer break we may have seen a different championship outcome due to Ferrari only having a couple of races where their car was best. Overall, the Ferrari was no dog but its lack of development from spa onwards is frankly embarrassing for a team like Ferrari.

      1. @RBAlonso I agree with some of the comments, but a lot of his podiums came when poor reliability hit other teams. His poor performance post-spa was not just because the development race went Red Bull’s way because that’s also not strictly true. They had the best package at Japan, India and Korea but were still behind McLaren generally. Massa was also on par, if not, better from that point also.

        1. I think its entirely unfair to call his performance poor. My point with Red Bull is that there were 4 races in 5 weeks when they were undisputedly top of the pile. Therefore their peak in the season had more opportunity to gain points. I also strongly disagree with reliability benefiting him. Reliability is part of the sport, the only time it is irrelevant is when comparing team-mates on performance, if your car retires its because an engineer has designed it with that risk in mind. Normally the fastest cars are the ones with the worst reliability.

          1. @RBAlonso Well given how many points Vettel lost due to poor reliability (At least 40) and how many points that gifted Alonso as a result, I don’t really see how you can claim reliability didn’t help him? Also, the Red Bull was not miles ahead of the rest of the field in those 4 races Vettel won, like to 2010/2011 levels, the McLaren was just as, if not, quicker at times, except for Korea, which was the only 1-2 victory for any team this season.

          2. @craig-o I think Red Bull were also definitely quicker in Suzuka also but as you’ve said nowhere near to the extent of 2010/11. Probably only Grosjean prevented a one-two there.

          3. @craig-o Losing points due to reliability is a team fault. Its a characteristic of the car like handling, tyres, one lap pace. If we negate reliability then the whole championship is invalidated and probably LH would have won. So, of course Alonso gained points from reliability but so did everyone else in the race.

            Red Bull was leaps ahead of all teams for the Asian leg. Vettel dominated every practice session and Webber was 2nd in qualifying in Japan and had a KERS problem in India.

          4. @RBAlonso Practice sessions are relatively irrelevant due to fuel/tyres/whatever. That makes the Red Bull the quickest (not by miles as you claim, .4s in Japan, .2s in Korea, .3s in India and slower in Singapore and Abu Dhabi) in 3 races?

          5. @craig-o Yes but they were only slower to McLaren and its debatable whether Vettel would have been able to fight for victory in Abu Dhabi. RB was the fastest car and won the races completely unchallenged. No-one matched their speed in Jap, Kor or Ind and they were the easiest victories of the season. In a season which produced only 1 one-two, RB could have had 3 in 3 races.

          6. Just so everybody knows, Alonso and Seb had the same number of DNFs. That number is 3.

            The reason for DNFs does not matter (crash, or part failure) when your talking about points totals. The only time it matters is when a team tries to think of ways to fix it. In actuality, the 3 DNFs for FA are worse then those for Vettle. At least RBR can DO something about it; ie redesign the troublesome part. FA’s have very limited remedy except to call for the ban of all drivers who crash into them (yes, the idea is intended to sound stupid to dont flame me)

            So, FA, and SV are on an even playing field in the “luck” department. This is F1, there are no “gifts” there is no “luck”, there is only the results of hard work, and the random factors that will ALWAYS be in play and should be expected.

            Alsono would have won if he had no DNFs, and SV would have won by a greater margin if HE had no DNFs. But that is not reality, and therefore IT DOES NOT MATTER

      2. @rbalonso – sure, the Ferrari was obviously at a deficit to the RB8 / MP4/27 in qualifying but during the races it was equal, if not better on occasions, than those cars. Also, it’s uncanny ability to make fast stars helped to recover some of the lost ground almost immediately.

        1. @vettel1 Ferrari had good race pace certainly. But it is a lot easier to win a race from the front, especially considering Alonso’s no scores came from first corner collisions. If the Ferrari was able to fight for pole and have the same race pace then I think the championship would have been won very early by Alonso but that was not the case.

          1. @rbalonso – absolutely it is easier to win from pole (as I’m sure Vettel will testify!) but of course qualifying is only half the weekend so there is the oppurtunity to make up ground. I think the ban of DRS will aid Ferrari in qualifying (along with a wind tunnel they can hopefully understand!) so I expect them to be mre competitive in that area next year, as the DRS may be the root of their lack of qualifying pace.

        2. @vettel1 Hopefully! But I think towards the end of the season Ferrari were lucky to fall into 3rd place undisputedly. They could compromise qualifying and know they would only really end up 5th or 6th. That changed at the very end of the season but in India the car was clearly set-up for the race with no intention of going for pole. Next season, I fancy Lotus and certainly Mercedes wil make it alot more difficult and the tactics will change again.

        3. I cant think of many occasions when it was the fastest during the race.

          1. @infy – what I actually said was “it was equal, if not better” – which is completely accurate. Here is some evidence of that from Abu Dhabi; Alonso didn’t set fastest lap but he was very close to doing so even though Vettel was on a newish set of option tyres.

          2. Well at Abu Dhabi he was 1 second off the pace while Lewis was leading. Vettel and Button had to fight their way up the field. In the first and second stints Alonso was on average slower than the fastest RBR and Mclaren (and even the Reno!). It was only in the final few laps while Vettel and Button were dicing that Alonso was quicker than them. We could assume he had turned his engine up to try catch kimi in the dieing stages.

          3. Ferrari had no fastest laps in any race in 2012. Seb had 6.
            Even KK had one, and his Williams is powered by a Ferrari engine.

            It is an embarrasing idea to think that Williams is able to put together a better package than Ferrari, and (on that day at least) was able to have a higher level of performance than the people who design and build their engines.

          4. @javlinsharp – KK drives a Sauber! Fastest laps aren’t very meaningful these days anyway: it is more respective of who has the most life left in their tyres, be it due to a change of strategy (which quite frequently was the reason Vettel obtained fastest lap – along with of course his obsession with statistics!) or whoever is in clear air towards the end. As I have said, fastest laps aren’t all that meaningful.

          5. @vettel1

            Ah yes, I admit my mental error on the reference to Williams, thank you for the correction. Please note, my comments are not intended to denegrate SV’s WDC, I feel his was the superior driver/car combination, and we have yet to see the best from him as a driver. I do not attribute his success to the car alone, he truly is the real deal imho.

            I do not, however agree with the idea that fastest lap is not important, nor an irrelevant measure of the abilities of a car/driver combination. It is certinally true that tire deg, fuel load, clean/dirty air, DRS, and KERS are all factors in the maximum speed a car can achieve, but these factors are the same for every driver. Further, I feel that it is most telling that Ferrari were not able to get even a single fastest lap in any race this year, even when leading, even with fresh tires, even with light fuel load, NEVER, not one time were they faster than all other competitors over a single race lap distance. Does this not indicates some deficiency in that car? The speed factors listed above are the same for everyone, yet the Sauber-Ferrari team were able to achieve 2 fastest laps this seaon, at China and Monaco, but the Factory team was capable on none. How can this be in the 20 races, and +/-1190 race laps that Ferrari could not best all comers?

            In contrast, Mercedes, Williams, Sauber, and even Force India (for heaven sake) were able to achieve a fastest race lap. In fact, the only teams that did not have a Fast Lap were Marrusia, Caterham, HRT, STR, and Scuderia Ferrari.

            If not car capability Please explain the combination of factors that conspired against Ferrari that denied them of this achievement in the 20 chances they had this season.

          6. @javlinsharp – I was just referring to the example you had set with Vettel & RBR! For sure Ferrari didn’t have all-out one-lap pace, but they were consistently there abouts in the races during mid-end of season. The only occasions in which genuinely the fastest car actually obtained fastest lap was probably Australia, Bahrain (although that is debateable with the pace of the Lotus), Japan & Brazil (but again that is debateable given Hulkenberg’s pace pre-collision). So all in all I don’t look into the fatest lap too much as it can be skewed. I don’t think it has no relevance, as in the case of Vettel’s pole to flag victories he usually attempts a fastest lap but there have been many occasions this year where a team has just been in the operating window at just the right time to set fastest lap, precisely why Force India managed one.

            Sure Ferrari haven’t had one and I do think that does give an indication as to the F2012’s Achilles heel but they have been thereabouts a few times with ultimate lap time (India & Abu Dhabi for example) and usually have a very good consistent pace during the races, often very close to the McLaren’s & Red Bull’s.

    4. @craig-o I agree.

      Also the Ferrari race pace seemed better than their qualifying pace, which would explain why Alonso was able to do better come race day. And didn’t Pat Fry blame Alonso in India for his sub-standard qualifying performance?

      Ferrari’s superior reliability greatly helped Alonso to fight till the end. They also benefited from the bad luck of their rivals (Vettel’s and Hamilton’s retirements due to reliability).

      It’s hard to imagine that the team that finished 2nd in the championship had a car as bad as most people seem to think. Also Massa’s improved form during the last few races (where he sometimes looked like he could do better than Alonso) seems to point out that the Ferrari upgrades were working, though Massa seems to have benefited more from them than Alonso.

    5. @craig-o
      RBR & McLaren had 7 wins each this season, against Ferrari’s only 3 wins!!!
      So, if you think Ferrari was not too far off RBR’s & McM’s pace, think again, beacuse the statistics don’t agree with you.

      What Alonso did this season was nothing short of a miracle, and in most F1 fans’ eyes he is the moral champion of 2012, just as Massa was in 2008.

      1. But Ferrari finished 2nd in the constructors. Surely that means they had a better package overall than McLaren, Mercedes & Lotus? Alonso’s not my moral champion of 2012 because I don’t believe he was the best driver of 2012, same as in 2008 I don’t believe Massa was the best driver.

        1. @craig-o
          Exatly my point, they finished 2nd NOT because of their speed (as you tend to say it wasn’t that bad), but because of:
          1. Ferrari impressive reliability (upon which we agree).
          2. Alonso’s most impressive driving abilities. Not to forget that Massa earned less than half points of what Alonso earned this year for Ferrari, which says just how much Alonso contribuited to that Ferrari’s 2nd constructor place.
          3. Vettel on the other hand had a more consistend second driver – Webber, who stole points regulary from Vettel’s rivals. His team RBR had the 4 cars on track (Torro Rosso being the other 2) to gather data for preseason and inseason car development. Ferrari had of course only Massa and Alonso. But without Alonso’s teammate’s help, the Spaniard came within 3 points of Vettel’s title, which even further justifies Alonso as the moral champion this season.

          It’s undeniable who was the best and most complete driver this season.

          As for 2008, it’s sad to know that you consider Hamilton’s title honest and fair in the year in which McLaren had based the construction of his car using the 780 pages Ferrari’s technical dossier which they illegaly acquired in 2007, in what was known as the Stepney-Gate scandal.

          1. But without Alonso’s teammates help

            I’m sorry, but taking a “gearbox penalty” and being obliged to give up position almost immediately isn’t helping your teammate? Webber is famous for his reluctancy to embrace team orders, which I suspect has an influence in Red Bull’s “allowing their drivers to race”.

            I also doubt Toro Rosso’s usefulness in aiding with Red Bull’s data gathering as the STR7 was noticeably slower than the Red Bull and so would have little benefit. The only thing Toro Rosso can actually help RBR with is using alternative strategies during races and if one of the RBR drivers happens to fall behind they can let him through.

            So basically, Massa has been a much greater ally to Alonso than Webber has to Vettel and so suggesting that “further justifies Alonso as the moral champion” is quite an inaccurate claim @commendatore .

          2. @vettel1 “Webber is famous for his reluctancy to embrace team orders, which I suspect has an influence in Red Bull’s “allowing their drivers to race””

            Thats a laugh. We saw numerous times in the latter half of the season that Webber moved over for Vettel. Actions do speak stronger than words. What RBR say often conflicts with their actions on track.

          3. @infy – I can only ever remember Webber letting Vettel through once, which was in Brazil. He then however proceeded to make an audacious move upon the safety car restart which could’ve quite easily wiped both drivers out had he misjudged it and hence the championship. To suggest Webber isn’t reluctant to embrace team orders is even more ridiculous. He has said numerous times he is out to fight for himself, unlike Massa who took a gearbox penalty without any sort of complaint with the sole intention of aiding Alonso’s race even though he was clearly faster.

          4. @vettel1 pretty much hit the nail on the head @commendatore. If I remember correctly, McLaren required confirmation from the FIA that the MP4-23 was legal in their books, and as for STR, their telemetry data is useless to RBR because the RB8 and the STR7 are completely different cars as they are no longer allowed to run the same chassis, not to mention different engines. As for Massa, yes he scored 156 less than Alonso whereas Webber was only 102 behind Vettel, but you have to take into account the amount of points he gave Alonso, as a result of outperforming him on numerous occasions towards the end of the season, in both race and quali situations.

      2. Moral Champion..halooo, i cant respect a driver, whos having everything by oppressing Massa

    6. @craig-o

      Let’s count up to Spain and from Singapore onward Ferrari was not on the pace, sometimes loosing as much as 1,5 in Q, being at times slower than Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus and Sauber or Force India, Mercedes, Williams. At the beggining of the season back end of Q1 was the best they could do. They were significantly off the pace in 9-11 races (depends whether you consider the last two as Ferrari being competitive or just having luck). Would you not call a car which is considerably slower than its main competitors for half of the season as bad? Now their main rivals – RBR had the fastest car (for the sake of the argument let’s say PP = fastest car) on 7 occasions, McLaren on 8, Ferrari on 2. Please don’t tell me you can’t see the significant speed deficit throughout the season. Ferrari did not make a championship-class car in 2012. Red Bull and McLaren did.

      I don’t agree with you, neither do the statistics.

      1. *correction, meant “back end of Q3 was the best they could do”

      2. @cyclops_pl How can you justify that though? You don’t just finish 2nd in the WCC by luck and a few good drives, a great package throughout the season is required. McLaren clearly failed to build a championship-class car because they failed to win any.

      3. @cyclops_pl @craig-o For that kind of argument you also have to take into account first and second part of the season which were very different (and not really equal in length) … Indeed Ferrari was a bit sub-par at the early stages but it didn’t matter that much as the tyres were unknown for most teams and the race completly unpredictable thus big teams were not scoring as heavily as they use to and that avoided Ferrari (and Alonso) to lose too much ground on others. Then he took full advantage of reliability issues from others.
        But the main point is, by the time the “unpredicable period” was over, Ferrari was no longer a dog. Pirelli have allowed Ferrari and Alonso to have a shot at the championship (which was not meant to be by pirelli)

        1. @jeanrien , @craig-o

          Ferrari was able to end as the runner up in both classifications and fight for WDC to the very end for the reasons @jeanrien mentioned: unpredictable tire behavior, failures of other – faster cars. Not by virtue of their own machine. In a “normal” conditions, when the fastest cars reach the flag, Ferrari didn’t have a place in the top 5 for half of the season. The argument is not about why Ferrari ended where it ended, but about whether their car was as bad as they are telling us. I think it indeed was, only the unpredictable circumstances, failures of the competitors and brilliance of Alonso made it not so important in the final outcome. But still, it was a fact.

  2. Perfect strategy? Bad strategy cost Ferrari points in Spain, Monaco, Canada and Silverstone.

    Also not buying this bad car business. Alonso seems so intent on drumming this home, as he has done all season, in search of praise for himself.

    1. Klaas de Vries
      2nd December 2012, 17:55

      Yeah, Ferrari had the the fastest car but Alonso qualified on 3rd-4th for most of the season on purpose, just to make himself look good.

      1. Nah he didn’t qualify so low on purpose, he’s just not as quick as Vettel or Hamilton over one lap

      2. ferrari in no way had the fastest car, have a look at the speed trap results, it was mclaren hands down, by upto 20kph in alot of races.

        1. @bsnaylor – I don’t think we’ve seen the same speed traps! Undeniably McLaren were slower than Ferrari often, especially under DRS. Red Bull as per usual were firmly rooted at the bottom on most weekends (even with the DDRS) due to their tactics during the race weekend and Ferrari were right up there at the top because they had calibrated the car for overtaking during the races. Fernando was a good 2 km/h faster than Lewis in Brazil (and the gaps have been larger before).

      3. Since when Alonso was a qualifier type? Have you seen the margins this season in qualifying? If you not at your best you out.

    2. I don’t think he lost out significantly in Spain: Maldonado managed to hold him off anyway. Otherwise yes you could make cases for him losing points due to strategic errors but they cost him nowhere near as much as McLaren’s many pit-stop blunders cost Hamilton. Vettel also probably lost a likely win (after Hamilton’s retirement) in Abu Dhabi – that would only be 10 points though so altogether not a huge loss.

      1. @matthewf1 Strategy is incredibly easy in hindsight. The reality is that at that stage if the season, no-one had a real idea of how the tyres were going to fare later in the race.

        Bad car is very loosely thrown around atm. Ferrari never claimed the car was last, they just expressed that its one-lap performance needed improving. If Alonso started Japan and Belgium from the front row the perhaps he would not have retired from those races. In comparison to the other teams, on one lap pace the car was bad. But in the race, normally it was 3rd fastest. To be fighting for a championship in the 3rd fastest car is pretty special and few examples bar Schumacher in 1997 come to mind.

  3. ‘Fernando Alonso believes he has gained “a whole new level of respect” in Formula One this year’


    I always thought that FA was not given enough praise for his consistency but now it is undeniable. In 2007, Alonso did a good solid job given the circumstances regardless of whether they were self-inflicted), his wins were memorable as classic examples of his talent. Similarly in the second half of 2008 he scored the most points due to Ferrari and Mclaren trying to let the other win the title. And once he had settled into the demands of the Maranello, he has been almost faultless for 2 and a half seasons now. I’ve noticed a serious change of attitude towards him from rival fans and this can only be from him improving on expectations in every race. Alonso 2012 will be seen as the most complete driver performance without winning the title since Lauda in 1976, imo.

    1. Hopefully next year it’s Vettel’s turn!

  4. What I know is that people who see me in the streets hug me and call me gladiator or samurai.

    It’s possible that has something to do with the fact that he calls himself such things on Twitter on a regular basis…

    1. I am a fan who chooses not to be embroiled in trivial matters like this. Is calling himself a gladiator more pretentious than than Vettel’s finger? Or Hamilton’s Senna tribute helmet? Or Schumi’s leap? All the drivers use little mind games with other drivers and the media, criticising them on it is entirely pointless because they are aware of what they are doing and why they do it.

      1. I think that, objectively speaking, it is more pretentious than Vettel’s finger. However, it’s not like either thing bothers me. I just thought it was odd that he’d bring it up as though his fans were saying it as some sort of spontaneous outpouring of samurai appreciation!

    2. @aka_robyn I wouldn´t call him samurai or gladiator, but I will tell gim to stop watching that much anime and starz… I think is getting up to his head ;)

  5. Alonso has a very high opinion of himself and is not afraid to say it.

    Let others judge your greatness Fernando. Only boast when negotiating your salary.

    1. Let others judge your greatness Fernando.

      He is letting others judge him, he just said what others think of him.

      1. Which ones? He’s a talented driver. Nothing else. I have no respect for his attitude, his boring endless whining, his arrogance, etc. etc. Add to this the fact that his last achievements couldn’t be done without Ferrari using Massa as Fernando’s personal servant.

        1. @andrei
          the alonso you’re describing was like that maybe in 2006-2007.
          but wake up, that was 5-6 years ago, time to move on.

        2. Kimi+Massa=1+2 Championship tittles, Alonso+Massa=0+0

      2. No, he’s saying it himself. Yes he puts it in the context of others but it’s still him. Comments like “To be one of the greats you have to do what I just did”. “Everyone knows I was the best” and claiming variously that he never makes any mistakes.

    2. +1 Agree. Sometimes I feel Alonso is creating a super hero figure for himself saying that people call him Samurai ,Matador et all . He seems bit if a narcissist to me sometimes.

      The article by Dave Jorgensen sums it very nicely. Look at Alonso’s response in 2007 when in a similar situation a post race penalty to Williams would make Lewis the 2007 World Champion… Amazing

      1. Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait. Except in the sense of primary narcissism or healthy self-love, “narcissism” usually is used to describe some kind of problem in a person or group’s relationships with self and others. In everyday speech, “narcissism” often means egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others. In psychology, the term is used to describe both normal self-love and unhealthy self-absorption due to a disturbance in the sense of self.

  6. “Frankly, I’m not that interested in what the opinion is of me in Germany or elsewhere. What I know is that people who see me in the streets hug me and call me gladiator or samurai. What matters to me are the 1200 people in the Ferrari family, who gave me a standing ovation at a dinner.”

    He’s only interested in the opinions of those who bow down and worship him. How much further up his own **** get this guy get.

    1. Presumably he’s referring to something specific in the remark about Germany. Anyone know what? I suspect the coverage of Ferrari’s “clarification” was not very positive.

        1. @girts Yeah that is a bit much!

  7. Fernando Alonso is the best driver i ever see in my life.

    1. Have you not seen that guy called Vettel? He has thrashed Alonso for the past 3 seasons.

      1. Really? Because I’m pretty sure that was Adrian Newey.

        1. Don’t be naive.

    2. You clearly haven’t seen Ayrton or Clark or Fangio or Schumacher then…

      1. Have you not seen that guy called Vettel? He has thrashed Alonso for the past 3 seasons.

        He did? :/

    3. Alonso THE Great
      3rd December 2012, 10:44

      Yes stirper. Your are spot on mate

      Yes fernando alonso is the gretaest driver in the history of formula 1

      Last few years were simply a testament as well

  8. To those who do not buy the ‘car was bad’ slogans. I don’t agree, you have points, but I think overall, it would be strange to disagree with Alonso and claim that Ferrari actually had a competitive package. I notice your generally cautios terms: ‘the car was not as bad as Alonso says it was’.

    Yes, it was not ‘bad’, in that it was reliable, it was prepared and handled well by the trackside operations, and it had more or less competitive race pace for the large part of the year. But then again, Alonso does not say either that it was bad, he only implies it was worse than the Red Bull. And I think one cannot argue with that.

    I think Alonso mainly refers to the general lack of pace early season and the awful one-lap pace. Both, but later on the latter in particular, made him unable to beat Vettel. Yes, Vettel had reliability issues, but that arguably cost him fewer points than the slow one-lap pace cost Alonso. The latter meant that Alonso was unable to fight for the win constantly, whereas Vettel ‘only’ suffered from unreliability here or there.

    Even good race pace is relative, because he clearly has not had it early season and as good as it was later on, it was not the outright best bar Spain, Canada and Italy, frankly.

    So while Alonso did have the better reliability, Vettel had the better race and, in particular, one-lap pace.

    Falling only 3 points shy from the best with this clear disadvantage overall, I think deserves as much emphasis as Alonso gives to it every now and then.

    1. OK, maybe it was competitive, that was unfortunate from me to argue against that.

      But the point is, to sum it up: a lot of you claim the F2012 was not as bad as Alonso claims. Why, Alonso claimed it was very bad? No, he said it was ‘lacking’, presumably compared to Vettel’s car. Did it from a reliability viewpoint? No. From race pace viewpoint? Not sure. From one-lap pace viewpoint? Definitely. Which of the latter two was more important when it came to scoring more points? One-lap pace definitely.

      So better in reliability, but worse in pace overall? Yes. Which mattered more? Vettel arguably lost less points to Alonso due to unreliability than Alonso did to Vettel due to worse pace.

      All in all, was Alonso right that he had a worse car compared to Vettel? In one word: yes.

      1. I agree, that is true.

        But the reason some of us are saying so is that some people seem to be misinterpreting Alonso’s comments, and are under the impression that Alonso’s still driving the same ‘crap’ F2012 that could barely make Q3 in Australia to title contention.

        The F2012 has been greatly improved, enough to allow Alonso to keep himself fighting in contention for the title to the very end. But alas, the F2012 was still not strong enough to allow Alonso to claim a 3rd title.

  9. Respecto for Alonso? Perhaps he think that way because people have short memories, and has forgotten that he conspired with other Renault´s team members to smash his teammate Piquet against a wall, seriously endangering their own lives and the lives of bystanders, Singapore in 2008. One of the most serious unsportsmanlike acts in the history of Formula 1, the most serious child.
    After that, Alonso should have been penalized for life by the FIA. Unfortunately money can more than honor….

    1. Look into the race again. You’ll see Fernando before the podium point out that there was an element of luck with Briatore. Then check the verdict of the court case where a judge and jury found that he had no prior knowledge of Piquet’s accident. There are many reasons to hate Alonso but pick one that is valid.

      1. It wasn’t strange at all to Alonso that he was put on a ultra-light fuel load even though he was starting in 15th?

        He did ask Massa if he had a problem after Hockenheim 2010. He probably didn’t know it was teamorders.

        1. Alosno was fully expected to fight for the win in Signapore and the car broke down in Qualifying. If you qualify lower then expected you have to break the strategy from the norm and, ironically, hope for a SC. I don’t see why you want to tarnish Alonso’s reputation for something he was proven not guilty of.

          Team orders were always in use by every driver when they were banned. To think they weren’t is incredibly naive.

          1. That oesn´t deny the fact thatwhat he adn the team did… his reputation is already tarnish y his own action, nobody here made him did what he did at Mclarean and Renault…

    2. Alonso: This is ridiculoius

  10. It’s funny how people get it somewhere that Alonso is not that good in qualifying. That’s just ridiculous. It’s just that race has so much more to it, that more of driver skill can come into play in this formula we are having today (no refueling, mysterious tires). You can’t make that much difference in quali the way it is now. If you look at 2005 and 2006 when he had a fast car, he was regularly on front row, even for few races in a row. In quali you have what you have. You can’t chose fewer or more pitstops, play the long game or sprint. It’s just what it is.

    At the beginning of 2005 McLaren had probably the best race pace, but was pathetic in getting the tires working for quali and Kimi was always 3rd at best. When they fixed it, all of a sudden he started getting P1. But even after all of that Alonso had 6 P1 compared to Kimi’s 5 P1 positions in quali.
    This year, he had a good car in rain, and he nailed it on pole both times, so I really don’t think he has a problem with quali, although any driver worth his salt will know that you can always be better and so Alonso can too.

  11. What I know is that people who see me in the streets hug me and call me gladiator or samurai

    Seriously, people actually call him a samurai?! All over a novelty taken too far which frankly made him look a bit silly aft a while! That’s surprised me!

    1. Well, he made harakiri in Suzuka! Didn’t he? :)

    2. If you have followed the seasson, specially the end of it, you will have noticed that he constantly quoted Samurai sayings (a few taken form the Samurai creed) on tweeter messages and in front of mics and mostly referring to fight until the end. No surprise here

  12. I more or less get the feeling that Ferrari are just blaiming the car: in this way, they don’t need to take responsibilty for any mistakes they have made this year. The ‘easy’ way. Well for sure the season hasn’t been perfect for them. Canada springs to mind, which basically was a strategic disaster for them

    Also, I said this before on the forum: the F2012 was NOT a bad car. And claims like this make people think this year’s Ferrari was a piece of garbage:

    We all agree the one thing lacking was the car, which meant we could not match the best teams for most of the year. […] With all the difficulties we had, I’m thinking for example of how far behind we were in winter testing, to be able to fight right to the very end for the title means we are a great team.

    And now that people already started acknowleding Alonso as the man that almost won the championship with ‘a dog of a car’, he takes it one step further by claiming people “who see me in the streets hug me and call me gladiator or samurai.”

    I’m not claiming that the Ferrari was not slower than the McLaren and Red Bull on most circuits, nor am I saying Alonso or Ferrari had a bad season. I just think that many people exaggerate Ferrari’s lack of performance this year. Ferrari does this purposely (Alonso has had time to think about the words he was going to say today) and I find that disgusting. It’s basically lying to your fans: ‘we really have been doing our best, but yeah, if the car isn’t good, what could we do about that?’. sigh

    1. I couldn’t agree more: the Ferrari was on average the 3rd best car (I don’t think there can be much dispute about that except from maybe the Lotus) but it has been much more reliable than the Red Bull & McLaren (which suffered 3 retirements and 5 retirements respectively due to reliability issues – 3 of which were from the lead [1 RBR & 2 McLaren]) so really the F2012 was actually rather good after Spain. Sure, Alonso “outperformed” the car but it’s not as if he was driving a canal boat!

    2. @andae23 I think that, operationally, Ferrari were the best team maximising the potential at every race. I also think Alonso did the closest to a faultless season ever. But, we must remember that it has been 30 years since someone competed to the championship in the last round with a car that was behind its rivals at almost all the races. The car from the outset was poor because Ferrari decided to selotape all the good ideas from up and down the pitlane into one car. But, I don’t see how anyone lied as I don’t see the alternative? The car was technically poor and the team maximised the package at every turn.

      1. What I define as ‘lying’: claiming that everything Ferrari has done this season was ‘perfect’, but the only thing holding them back was an underperforming car.

        Ferrari has to stop making excuses and start taking some responsibility for what exactly has gone wrong this season and learn from the mistakes that they have made while designing this car.

        1. I would suggest they are more guilty of exaggerating than lying. It’s not as if they are making up facts that are not true. Likewise no-one has ever done anything perfectly so any comment with the word perfect should not be taken at 100% face value. I think they over-egged the pudding on occasion but where we agree is that Ferrari should not see it as track-side team versus technical team because that is how they come across. The reason the Ferrari was poor was down to Ferrari and Ferrari solely.

          1. The reason the Ferrari was poor was down to Ferrari and Ferrari solely.


      2. I think that, operationally, Ferrari were the best team maximising the potential at every race.

        This is exactly why Dominicalli was asked to stay, when he was trying to leave Ferrari.

  13. Alonso seems to be singing his own praises a lot lately, directly and indirectly.

    Yes he had a great season. But somehow I get the feeling that the car has been made to seem worse than it really is, in order to make his performances seem better than they really are.

    This season has most likely been his best, and he has been really good, but has he been THAT good?

    1. Alonso seems desperate for praise this year. He has been very good and he wants everyone to acknowledge it. It’s like he feels that he has had his best year, and he wants to win back the supporters he has lost throughout the years for one reason or another.

      Whatever he has done this year has worked. Many British who disliked him after the incidents of 2007, seem to be now among his supporters (Hamilton included!)

  14. Yes Fernando, we know you did not have the best car. However, neither did Vettel. McLaren had the best car most often this season, yet Vettel did not feel the need to fish for praise by saying that he was in an inferior car fighting like a hero every time he spoke to the media.

    1. I agree entirely! Why Ferrari made such comments confused me majorly – they built the car!

    2. Yeah but Vettel wasn’t fighting McLaren at the end of the Championship, they were fighting Ferrari, a car that most agree was slower then the Red Bull. Wouldn’t really be fishing for praise if he goes on about beating a rival who’s driving a slower car.

      Also yes, Ferrari built the car but most people have agreed that it was the 3rd fastest on the grid. Not only are you agreeing with Ferrari but you’re criticising them for telling the truth. Imaging if they’d talked up the car and said it was the best. They’d get slammed for being so harsh on Alonso.

  15. Reliability is not enough – look at Kimi who never retired but his chance for the title was hypothetical

  16. @RBAlonso You can not deny that Jorge Lardone makes a very valid point about Alonso’s somewhat questionable past. He may believe he has gained respect in the Formula 1 community this season, but maybe he has just gained respect in the so called “Ferrari Family”. There is no doubt that his performance this year was incredible however I feel that from the casual fans right up to the people working on the racetracks week in week out the man who gained a “whole new level” of respect was in fact Vettel.

    1. I think you are wrong. All past and present drivers were praising Alonso’s performances whole year. One (I think it was Lauda or Stewart) who said that if Alonso drove Red Bull there would be no point in anyone else showing up.

      1. @brace – I’m not so sure about that. Vettel had shown us what he can do when he has a car he likes (his four wins on the trot and 200+ laps lead are a testimony to this). Alonso does best when everyone else is faultering: for example at the season’s beginning when the Ferrari was a tricky beast to tame. That’s where he thrives and Vettel likewise thrives when he has faith in his car – when that is the case he is all but unbeatable, even by Alonso I’d say.

        1. You mean, Vettel is unbeatable when he has to floor it, but when driver’s skill, adaptability and versatility come to play, Alonso is better.

          If you want to see how Alonso can dominate, take a look at 2005 and especially 2006.
          Out of first 9 races (before removal of mass dampers) he had 6 wins and 3 2nd places. For the rest of the season, when they controversially had to remove the mass dampers, he had two 5th places and all other were 1st or 2nd when he didn’t retire.

          It’s pretty much like Vettel’s 2011 campaign but with a much tougher opposition and less dominant car.

          1. @brace – 2006 wasn’t quite the level of dominance that Vettel achieved in 2011. Alonso did face some stren competition from Schumacher and he managed to take the title down to the wire, whereas with Vettel in 2011 he never lost the championship lead and wrapped it up with 4 rounds left in a car which as you said enjoyed a greater performance advantage than Alonso’s R26 but he used it to greater effect.

            I think we have differing opinions on what defines “dominance”: I call it when a driver wraps up the championship with time to spare and is comfortably the best throughout the season, for example 2011 or 2002.

          2. And what I was saying is that Alonso is indeed a more adaptable driver and is more able to handle a fighting car but when Vettel has a good car I doubt even Alonso could beat him. In out and out pace I genuinely think Vettel is faster (which by the way doesn’t mean I think he is better as of course adaptability is a key skill – Ayrton in Donnington ’93 for example where he blitzed the Williams in a much slower car).

  17. And that’s the kind of comments that made me to support Vettel in the championship battle this year. Alonso is a fantastic driver. But a bit more arrogant than I want a champion to be…

  18. I am no Ferrari fan but I really respect Alonso’s abilities and I generally see him as the most complete driver on the grid. However, the lack of a WDC trophy on Alonso’s shelf this year seems to have necessitated an ugly and unrelenting ego-boosting campaign from Alonso and Ferrari. Patting yourself on the back for a failed 2012 is not going to make you any faster in March.

  19. Jackie Stewart,Emerson Fittipaldi,Niki Lauda, Ross Brawn ,Helmut Marko, Christian Horner,Bernie Ecclestone ,Jean Todt ,Martin Brundle,Mark Webber ,Lewis Hamilton,Jenson Button……..all these people recognize Alonso as the reference driver on the grid and this didn’t come from nothing but there is still people on this forum criticizing him on every occasion and with no reason they just forgot that he is human and he has also his defects i mean what they want him to say that his car was 1s per lap faster ??? This year Alonso has been always realistic when he says that he will finish on a certain position before the race he rarely fails to finish in that position
    It was clear that Alonso has matured in those three years i don’t know if he has matured as a man or a driver but that’s normal for a top driver like him when he is the leader in a team like Ferrari , i expect the same for Hamilton and Vettel (if he will be the leader of another top team)

    1. @tifoso1989 – very few of us are criticising Alonso’s driving – we are criticising Ferrari and his persistence in exaggerating the F2012’s lack of pace when clearly it is not as bad a car as they’d like us to believe. I don’t want him to say “the car was 1s per lap faster”, I want him to tell it as it is – which is that the car was arguably the 3rd fastest on the grid this year (and for sure the most reliable which aided his championship effort considerably).

      I’m not sure what you mean as “reference driver” but I doubt Christian & Helmut would willingly say Alonso is better than Vettel, likewise Bernie and Mark. There is also a common theme with all but one of them (Stewart) that Vettel is a great of the modern age, which is hardly deniable, as well as Alonso for sure.

    2. Niki Lauda also acknownledges Vettel as the best driver this year… He got the championship so he is the best driver…

  20. Brazil sums up Alonso and Ferrari the entire year, along with their strengths and weaknesses.

    So so qualifying (but solidly into Q3), then a car in front of Alonso is penalized and FA gains a spot. At the start he (along with Massa) have brilliant starts compared to everyone else.

    Alonso then makes one good pass based on the Ferrari having excellent top end speed compared to the RB8 (in Brazil getting a tow then passing Massa and Webber into T1).

    Now Fernando’s in 3rd. His “no mistakes” ends on lap 3 when he bakes it into Turn 1 under a yellow flag and allows Hulkenberg to move up to P3 and Alonso slips to P4 and needs does some good defending to keep Webber off of him.

    That’s where Alonso should have finished – P4. But he has come to expect that other drivers in front of him will make mistakes. And why not, it seems to happen more often than not – Hulkenberg takes out Hamilton and then is given a drive through. Moving Alonso back up. He stays out on slicks a lap too long (another mistake) and almost loses it before coming in for Intermediates.

    But Massa is P2 and concedes the position to Alonso.

    P7 to P2. A great result, but objectively not great driving driving.

    Then he and Ferrari sang the praises to themselves about how great they did and how great they are and how Fernando never gave up (like the races where Vettel gave up or Lewis gave up … er, no, they didn’t give up on any of their races). And because they finished P2 they should be the deserved champions.

    Then after the race, and with video they already knew would show that Vettel passed Vergne under a green flag, they went into spin mode to call into question the results to leave doubts as to who really should be the champion.

    That’s 2012 in a nutshell.

    Fernando was very consistent with a car that didn’t fail. He looked good this year not so much because he drove great, but that McLaren and RB both under performed with reliability issues and poor team performances, either with pit stops or fueling. Personally I think either Vettel or Hamilton would have done the same with that Ferrari, possibly better as both are a little better qualifiers than Alonso. And Vettel and Alonso should be thanking their lucky stars because really that McLaren should have dominated 2012 the same way the RB7 did in 2011.

    Hat’s off to Alonso for sure, but at a certain point, when he leads the choir in singing his own praises, after a bit, it just wears thin.

    1. Thank you.

    2. I agree that story..thanks

    3. I mirror the +100!

  21. At least from me he has. Maybe not as a person (the person he portrays let it be said) however as a driver for me he outclassed Vettel (imho). Alonso may have lost the championship, but to still be in contention considering the how Ferrari was at Australia and all the way till Barcelona is a testament of how good he drove. For me it feels like Senna in 93,memorable drives, remembered today even if he didn’t win.
    And considering how Vettel drove in Brazil, his words on Ayrton after….

    1. And considering how Vettel drove in Brazil, his words on Ayrton after….

      Vettel drove a champion’s race to go from last on the circuit after turn 4 (and if you want to blame him for the collision with Senna, fair enough, though Alonso made his share of mistakes in the race, including running wide in T1 under yellow and getting passed by Hulkenberg) to finish where he did-with a severely damaged car and no radio.

      As for his words on Ayrton Senna:

      “To win that third title here, where one of my greatest idols Ayrton Senna was from, is unreal,” Vettel said. “It’s very difficult to imagine I join him and other great names in winning three titles.”

      Perhaps we are coming from different cultural perspectives but I cannot for the life of me see where Vettel said anything negative or untrue about Senna or that being on the level with him in terms of titles won (an objective fact) is anything but mind blowing, nor is he saying that he is as great as Senna was.

      Of course today we have Alonso saying he’s one of the greats — “to be one of the greats of Formula 1, it’s not enough to win titles, you must also tackle seasons like the one just ended.”

      Vettel is humbled (not just humble) and only noting how he accomplished something the greats of the sports have, whereas Alonso proclaims greatness for himself. Forgive me if I refrain from joining in.

      Though I do wonder if Alonso may feel, perhaps subconsciously, that his opportunities to achieve another title or titles are slipping away and this may have been his last shot. It does sound like he’s trying to shape his legacy.

      1. He’s referring to a comment Vettel made on his collision with Bruno, where Seb brought up Ayrton. I just found it to be a bad joke, nothing harmful. But others have taken offense.

      2. Oops, forgot to tag @uan.

      3. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A8qToRfCQAEDKde.jpg

        I meant this.
        I believe what he did in Monza in 2008 shows he has a natural talent perhaps greater than Alonso, and in a sense i believe he is the person most like Ayrton in terms of raw talent nowadays. But he is just a kid and sometimes that shows , compare Alonso’s drive this year and Buttons drive to be WDC , to the mess , imho, vettel’s race was.

  22. RB8 has been much faster than Ferrari most of the season. Alonso is the driver of the year like many pole shows.

    1. What about Kimi..beeing third with slow car

      1. Kimi was slower then Grosjean on more then few occasions. It’s just that he is better overall package and made more of the good car then Grosjean who was at times a complete joke.

  23. Asked about his target for next year, Alonso said: “I hope to score three or four points more.”


  24. Asked about his target for next year, Alonso said: “I hope to score three or four points more.”

    A bit of a pessimistic approach to 2013. Or is it realistic? Either way, I doubt 280-odd points will be enough to win the 2013 championship, considering that it will be the most static year in terms of rule changes since 2007(w.r.t. 2006).

    1. @chicanef1 He’s having a bit of a joke…considering he lost the championship by 3 points this year :P

  25. Man… I’m not an English native speaker. But as I have understand it, Ferrari has praised any other aspect of the car/team except its speed. So yes, they agree with you about its reliability.

    They haven’t exaggerated anything. They haven’t said that their car was the last of the grid. They have just said that “it wasn’t the best” (which with everybody agree for what I’ve read here), and they are praising themselves to fight for the tittle without the best car. That’s all!

    Seriously, it’s just the fact that they are constantly saying it that you people have made it bigger in your heads. Statements are not accumulative xD. If I repeat 1000 times “x = 1”. At the 1001 time, x is still 1, not 1001. You can check it yourself ;-)

  26. He is full of praise with the ferrari team yet keeps bagging the “car” the team built… Blaming the tools as always. If he wins its because of him, everytime he loses its always the car.

  27. I was the best, but my car was bad. I win the championship for 100%, but how it happened, when My car was not good enough. Insignificant talking and emphasizing own ego…wake up Miss and start to give us more reasonable comments to earn our respect. When something goes well, I did the job fine, but as something goes bad the team has not done the job good enough.

  28. At the end of the day, no one will remember who finished second.

  29. Kimi+Massa 1+2 Championship titles, Alonso+Massa 0+0

  30. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    3rd December 2012, 13:16

    Does anyone know how many positions on average Alonso jumped in race because I would imagine it’s a F1 record of some sort?

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      3rd December 2012, 13:55

      Actually, I calculated it and excluding SPA and Suzuka where he retired, Alonso moved up an average 3.22 positions per race. In all honesty, I expected that number to be 4 or 5 but he had pole twice and started 2nd another time which brought down that statistic.

      Still do we know of other seasons where a car gain 3+ positions on average?

      1. Is that race positions gained though or start positions? I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d gained 3 places on average at the start of the races…

  31. Come on guys … The picture is so clear …. The ferrari jus benefitted heavily from the unrealiability of mclaren (largely) &redbull … In such a scenario having had the best reliable car on the grid &still sayin the car was bad is jus ridiculous. Jus look at kimi . Had a reliable &fast car … Finished 3rd above both mclarens . Alonso had a more reliable & faster car .. Finished 2nd … Reliability especially when other top teams are so unreliable is a major factor for success. This & a foolishly teamplayin & nervously underperforming teammate is what many call the greatness of alonso this season imho.

    1. Kimi+Massa = 1+2 Championship tittles, Alonso+Massa = 0+0

  32. Respect you in the mornng, heck, I don’t respect you now. points gained by taking from Massa and the gearbox scandal made it way closer than it really was.

  33. I think in terms of strategy, pit stops, starts, reliability, this has been a perfect year.

    While I understand where he is coming from, I still find it hard to believe that he actually believes that him self. He doesn’t seem like a “that’ll do” kind of chap. None of the champions seems like that.
    I don’t know if I am just reading too much into the exact wording, but calling a season perfect seems like a stretch. It has indeed been very, very good, but if they aren’t looking into the situations where they could have done something differently then they aren’t going to learn anything from this year, and then they will go home with nothing but bitterness.
    They did make mistakes. Both strategical, and in terms of driving. There were points left on the table. Although probably the least of any team, it wasn’t perfect.
    Had this come from someone in an amateur league, then I wouldn’t be surprised, but they are F1 drivers. They earn their massive salaries for hunting hundreds of a second here and there.
    Nothing is ever going to be perfect, and not admitting that feels wrong. I have grown to really respect him over the past couple of years because he seems honest and cool headed. But recently.. it has just gone the wrong way I think. He seems bitter. Hurt. Angry. Frustrated. Feelings that he previously seemed very capable of kicking out the window and got on with the job. That was what really made me admire him. And while I certainly understand those feelings, he is after all, still a human being. It just feels like a very different Alonso then the one we saw in 2011, or most of 2012. Until things started to go wrong for him.
    I loved Massa on the podium in Brazil at the end of 2008. He took the defeat with honesty. And despite the tears, in a very gracious, and beautiful manner.
    Alonso feels exactly the opposite (and Luca certainly doesn’t help that picture). He tries to play down the defeat, and wash his hands of any blame. But he does it in a way that makes me believe that it is eating him up inside.

    1. after booting Kimi out (who won the driver’s title for ferrari on his first year) in favour of Alonso, with everyone there expecting that he would be winning it for Ferrari — this must have taken its toll after a fruitless few years with them.

  34. I think this is a fair assessment from him to be honest. Nice final words as well ;)

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