Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Buddh International Circuit, 2012

Montezemolo says no to Vettel with Alonso

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Buddh International Circuit, 2012In the round-up: Any hopes of seeing Fernando Alonso partnered by Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari appear to have faded as the team’s president Luca di Montezemolo rules it out.

Red Bull RB9

Red Bull are holding an event at their factory to reveal their RB9 to the press for the first time today. This marks a break with recent seasons when they have preferred to wheel their car out in the pits at the first test.

I’ll be there to bring you coverage from the launch which begins at 1pm UK time today. The F1 Fanatic Calendar has been updated to show the times of all the forthcoming launches:

Hopefully Red Bull’s launch will go better than Mercedes’ attempt to give the world a sneak preview of its W04 yesterday. Their website went down for hours and at the time of writing the car still hasn’t been seen properly. See the discussion here for more.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

No Vettel at Ferrari during Alonso reign (BBC)

“Asked if he could envisage Vettel at Ferrari with Alonso, Di Montezemolo said: ‘No, I don’t think so.'”

Sauber not chasing new engine supplier (Autosport)

Monisha Kaltenborn: “It’s extremely challenging, and a fear we have as a private team is to make sure we don’t have any disadvantage compared to the manufacturer teams.”

Jenson Button channels No5 at McLaren with nod to F1’s Nigel Mansell (The Guardian)

“‘Mansell mania’ it was called, especially when he won at Silverstone. People were going crazy. It was a really good time for motor sport in general, but especially in the UK. “Those times do mean a lot and that’s what I grew up with as a kid. I was racing in karts at the time, 12 years old. A lot of very good memories. Maybe we should have asked Nigel about having a red No5 before we decided to do it.”

Exclusive footage of the MP4-28 (McLaren via YouTube)

Lewis Hamilton’s ??20m love plane (Daily Mail)

“He makes his living by driving super-fast cars, but now Lewis Hamilton has splashed out on an even speedier mode of transport ?ǣ a ??20??million private jet.”

F138, Chapter 1: Let the adventure begin (Ferrari)

“The first car to be built left Maranello this afternoon, setting off on the long trip to Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, scene of the first of just three test sessions this season.”

Vettel?s legacy (Keen on F1)

“Two of the greatest F1 drivers in history, Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark, both won their multiple world titles with the same team. This doesn?t seem to be an issue for these two, so it makes no sense for it to be deemed detrimental to Vettel?s championships. It?s not just that a driver wins the world title because he?s in the best car; the best drivers usually drive for the best teams.”


Comment of the day

@Giggsy11 on the Sauber C32:

Very smart, it’s different, I like it. I can see the comments about how it looks like the HRT in 2010 coming from a mile off.

The nose looks very interesting. Its nose looks much lower compared to the rest of the field so far, I wonder if they?ve missed a trick here or are very confident about getting enough air to the floor of the car. The sidpods also look very small and aggressive.

Not bad at all Sauber.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

A row about racism in Formula One was sparked off five years ago today when Lewis Hamilton was abused by fans during an F1 test in Spain:

Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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  • 65 comments on “Montezemolo says no to Vettel with Alonso”

    1. I think Ferrari have re-iterated the “no Vettel-Alonso pairing” enough! I expect to see Vettel driving a Ferrari at some point in his career though, after Alonso’s contact is up.

      I do feel though that Ferrari are hurting from having an uncompetitive no.2 and that they should employ the services of a stronger (but not as strong as Vettel) no.2 driver as Alonso’s rear gunner. If Massa had been more competitive at the start of last season Alonso could have been world champion.

      1. Ferrari’s problems are all self inflicted.

        To this day they still continue to retain an underperforming driver like Massa. They retain him, they deserve him.

        1. Massa retained his seat based on his performances late in 2012. Not only did he put in good drives, but he did it consistently.

          1. Well then Ferrari need to realise that Massa is the driver who will perform well and consistently only for a few races every season… and only to save his seat.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys Massa only started to perform AFTER he got a contract for another year.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys – yet at the start of the season (which is what I said) he was consistently much slower, frequently over half a second (sometimes a second) slower in qualifying.

            Even if we do talk of the season as a whole, Massa still performed much worse (as can been seen here) and scored a pathetic 43.88% of Alonso’s points.

            1. Everyone needs to get off Massa’s case – he’s had issues, but was WDC 2008 for all of 30 seconds at one time. Yes, he lost it, but he was up there. Where was Alonso that year (yes, in a dog of a car)..?

              If, when he turns a wheel in anger at Melbourne, he is once again 2 seconds off the pace, then slate him/mock him/ask for his blood. As it stands (and to quote Vettel) everyone is back to 0 at the moment.

    2. How many technical failures did Mercedes have last year? This is just another one. I fully expect lots more. What incompetence.

      1. thatscienceguy
        3rd February 2013, 1:21

        They are hardly the first F1 team (or website) to have their website crash. And the people running the website aren’t the same people running the car, so it’s a bit of a stretch to draw a link between problems on track and their website going down.

        1. It may not even be their fault. They would have bought a fixed amount of bandwidth to use, and I guess they just severely underestimated the amount of people who wanted to get onto the website.

          1. Cough, Cloud Services. Cough.
            I operate a large scale website, with cloud services and auto-scaling a well designed web application should be easily capable. They probably didn’t hire the right company to build it for them.

            1. Auto-scaling is easy, if you’ve invested in it – 99% of the year, the website is probably ticking over at a steady predictable rate. This is the one spike it’s likely to have and someone just cocked up.

              Disclaimer – I also work on two websites that leverages scaling.

    3. Not bad Lewis. That said, I can only think of three other drivers who have had private jets. Senna, Barrichello and Schumi. Did anyone else have the pleasure of owning their own jet?

      1. Okay, just to add to that list, Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger

      2. Niki Lauda became involved with commercial aviation after his friend Nelson Piquet instilled his interest in private jets in him. In fact, Piquet used to fly his jet plane to grands prix. Unsurprisingly, Nelsinho also has (or had) a private jet as well.

      3. thatscienceguy
        3rd February 2013, 1:22

        Button I believe owns at least one from his Honda days.

      4. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        3rd February 2013, 2:01

        mansell does. As for button i think he doesn’t since after his championship win in 2009 barrichello lent him his jet to fly home.

      5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        3rd February 2013, 2:27

        @scuderiavincero looks like after the embarrasement he got for the Mercedes presentation fail, he really wants to fly away from them.
        PS: Probably the garage lights will turn on when Lewis tweets #F1W04Reveal more times

        1. @omarr-pepper he may as well tweet the pic of the car himself!

        2. @portugoose Ironic though, that Niki Lauda was ultimately ousted from his namesake airline. How has Nelsinho been doing in NASCAR?

          @malleshmagdum You know, I’d love to see that. Lewis “accidentally” tweeting a picture of his new car! @omarr-pepper what do you think of that idea? :)

      6. David Coulthard once survived a crash in a private plane, although i’m not sure if it was his or not.

      7. Graham Hill died while flying his private plane.

      8. Drop Valencia!
        3rd February 2013, 9:31

        Like most things in F1, Jack Brabham started the trend of drivers owning their one planes, he flew the plane too.

      9. Prince B Bira famously took off from England for Monza without Fangio, leaving the Argentine to drive the distance overnight!

    4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      3rd February 2013, 1:52

      I don’t understand why Vettel would even want to move to Ferrari. I understand that Ferrari is the Mecca of F1, but his situation at Redbull is just too good to pass up… Surely?

      He’s the lead driver, in the best car, with the best brain behind it (Newey). He’s won 3 WDC’s in the trot, and RBR are 3 times WCC, and he’s in the position to win many many more.

      I know I wouldn’t give that up to go drive for (a somewhat struggling) Ferrari.

      1. @tophercheese21 I can think of a couple of reasons:

        1. He has nothing left to prove at Red Bull. He’s won everything there is to win there (except winning in Germany probably).
        2. Ferrari as a somewhat struggling team would be perfect for Vettel. If he went there and won a title, not only would be emulate his idol and mentor Schumi, he would also be hailed as Ferrari’s new savior, while not having to start as far back as Schumi did. And it’s entirely possible that Alonso wouldn’t have won a title with Ferrari if and when Vettel does, so that would be an edge to Vettel in the debate as this generation’s greatest F1 driver.

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          3rd February 2013, 4:26

          emulate his idol and mentor Schumi

          I think that the Vettel-Redbull combination is this generations version of Schumacher-Ferrari. He doesn’t need to move to Ferrari to emulate his hero. The right thing for him to do is to try and get as close to Schumachers records of 7 WDC’s, and maybe even surpass it. If he does that, it doesn’t matter which car he’s in.

          I see no reason to move. As long as he’s winning world championships, why should he care what people say about him. He has nothing to prove in terms of winning.

          The best drivers tend to drive the best cars. The cream rises to the top. (Even though I think Alonso is the best overall in F1) , so I think think with that in mind, a more interesting debate would be what could Alonso achieve if he went to Redbull.

          1. There was no “reason”, in your sense, for Schumacher (and Ross Brawn/Rory Byrne) to leave Benetton, either. He did, because rescuing the moribund Ferrari team was more impressive an achievement than anything he could have done had he stayed put.

            1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
              3rd February 2013, 13:13

              Well in that case, Alonso will most likely “rescue” Ferrari before seb does.

        2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          3rd February 2013, 4:27

          Also, if Vettel were to move to Ferrari it could prove to be a very costly mistake in terms of his overall legacy. Redbull is his best chance to emulate his hero.

      2. @tophercheese21 That’s the problem. I imagine he wants to winning a WDC and WCC elsewhere and take the risk. That’s about the only other thing he has left to prove to us.

      3. The Red Bull has been the best car in the last 3 years.
        Who will be the best car in the upcoming 5-6 years?.. we will see..we’ll see, for now we dont know.
        Ferrari has construct the best car from 2000 to 2008 (except 2005 for an unfair rules about the tyres).
        They fail to construct a winning car from 2009 to 2012(so things can change quickly in f1..and this is valid also for Red Bull).

        There is no guarantee that red bull will be the best car in the upcoming years…

        About Vettel in Ferrari… i think Vettel will never accept to come in Ferrari with Alonso. Considering that Alonso will stay in Ferrari till 2020 (as he said in a spanish tv) and by my personal opinion Vettel will never drive a Ferrari.
        Hamilton will be at Ferrari in 2015 and 2016, by the meantime Alonso would had won another 2 or 3 championships so he will fine to accept Hamilton in ferrari. They both had says several times that they like to drive again the same car. I believe and hope that this will happen again in Ferrari

    5. I think the reason more teams are having events to launch their cars compared to last year is because now they actually finished them in time, given the regulations are the same, also sponsors want to be shown in the best possible way, I’m not complaining though :)

    6. Welcome to No.1 status at Mclaren jenson and all the spoils that come with it.
      Nowhere to hide now

    7. Haven´t seem this article posted anywere
      Mercedes F1 team breaks record…for cash spent as it announces its 2013 F1 car

      Though the costs of the Mercedes team fell 0.2 per cent to £125.7 million, accounts show it spent £116.4 million on its engine division, a 54.2 per cent increase.

      Spending was driven by investment in F1 energy-recovery devices, new V6 engines that will be introduced to the sport next year and an electric supercar.
      Research and development costs on the engines alone jumped by £17.3 million to £52.4 million.

      Across both divisions 78 staff were hired, taking the head-count to 989 and giving Mercedes an overall wage bill of £60.1 million.

      1. Well Celeste, you have to R&D and invest heavily in any new product (V6). After that you may hope to recoup your investments back through sales. Now, why do you think all Teams are complaining about the cost of Engines for next seasons? Go figure!

      2. GBP.52million, on R & D for an entirely new engine AND electric power recovery systems, seems pretty affordable to me, I note that wages at GBP.60 million exceeded the engine R&D costs.

    8. One of the few consistencies that I’ve found in F1 is that you can’t believe anything anyone says, with very rare exceptions. It’s a sport so rife with ‘strategic’ liars that people who are actually earnest (ie – Raikkonen, Jacques Villeneuve) come off as a novelty. So…. I don’t think we should put too much stock in what Montezemolo’s said…

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        3rd February 2013, 5:55


    9. What time is the RB9 launch?

      1. 2:00 CET
        1:00 GMT

      2. @sigman1998 It does say in the article, and the calendar.

    10. Still haven’t got over from Hamliton-McLaren divorce, for a second a I thought it was lewis hamilton in MP4-28, mislead by Lewis headline preceded by that video.

    11. I came on this morning expecting the Mercedes W03 and W04 compared – I can’t believe it’s not here. I’ve even got the picture

    12. First Comment of the Day, thank you Keith :)

    13. I’m surprised more people haven’t mentioned this part of that BBC article:

      Ferrari’s plan was said to have been for Vettel to join in 2014 – even though the German’s Red Bull contract ran until the end of that season.
      But sources close to Ferrari now say the Spaniard and the team renegotiated their agreement towards the end of last season and that one of Alonso’s demands was that they not sign Vettel alongside him.

      Not that I necessarily put much stock in what Andrew Benson says are “sources close to Ferrari,” but it’s the one part of that article that actually says something new.

      1. Indeed interesting. Im supriced Alonso would go as far as requireing specific drivers not to be his teammate in his own contract. Im curious what’s behind this. Is he afraid of a competitive teammate? Does he simply don’t like Vettel as a person? Does he need Ferrari’s total commitment to be as good as he was in 2012?

        1. Obviously he wants to win the WDC again, and that would be impossible with a team-mate that takes points from him.

        2. Alonso has always tried to avoid having a competitive team mate. The only time he had a challenging team mate was in 2007 and no one expected Hamilton to perform so well in his rookie season. And we all know how Alonso managed that situation.

      2. That comment to me immediately reminded me of Prost having a clause in his Williams contract back in ’93 saying that Senna couldn’t drive for them. If that rumour holds true, does that mean Alonso fears having Vettel as a teammate? Very interesting…

        1. Drop Valencia!
          3rd February 2013, 12:39

          Max, Prost never feared having Senna as a teammate, atleast not from a skill point of view (as he had outscored Senna in both teamate seasons), he did not want to be teammates because of an obvious personality/rooster clash. I just dislike when people suggest Prost was afraid of Senna’s skills.

        2. Well I think Prost had good reasons for vetoing Senna, and it certainly wasn’t because he was afraid of him. I mean he was even the one who suggested to Ron Dennis in the first place that they should get Senna instead of Piquet because it would make the team stronger. Why would he do that if he was afraid of him?
          Given that he knew the Williams would be the best car for 93 and the huge animosity there had been between him and Senna before he probably didn’t fancy another 12 rounds with such a strong teammate at 38 years of age, and when he knew it would probably be his last season anyway. I don’t bedrudge him that.
          Afraid? No. Prost probably has the strongest selection of teammates of any driver in Formula One history, something that Alonso cannot claim with the exception of Hamilton who he obviously did not expect to be anywhere near as quick as he was. I mean he was teammates with Lauda, Rosberg, Senna, Mansell and Hill (albeit a rookie) who all were or went on to become world champions. There’s only Piquet from that era of great drivers who he didn’t compete against in the same car across a season. Not really the same as Alonso who threw his toys out the pram even on the rare occasions Fisichella got the better of him.

          1. @debaser91 – When did Alonso get upset about Fisichella?

            1. I agree with your points about Prost nevertheless.

        3. I was intending to put “fear” in inverted commas, so as to only imply that could be a possible explanation. Fear is perhaps misleading but I do think that Prost didn’t want Senna in the team because he wanted to win and he felt Senna may derail that and of course the team itself (as you have rightly pointed out).

      3. @aka_robyn it’s a personal opinion. Opinion are not facts, unless they are proven to be facts.
        I can say Narain Karthikeyan will replace Fernando Alonso and this has come from “sources close to Ferrari”…does it work? …:)

        1. Not that I don’t appreciate the epistemology lesson, Nomore, but this was in no way a “personal opinion.” It was reported as fact — a fact about a recent contract negotiation that someone close to Ferrari allegedly told Andrew Benson. You might not believe what’s being reported, but that doesn’t make it “personal opinion.”

          1. Yes it’s a personal opinion sell it as a fact.
            “sources close to Ferrari”–> what does this means? it has 0 value.
            If u go in front of a tribunal and says: “sources close to X” is the same as saying “by my opinion”.
            “sources close to Ferrari”–> which source and can the source confirm this?? …then it will have a value.
            Im not saying that he’s lying, but till now is an opinion if he is able to give us more about the source and the reliability of the source then it will be more than an opinion.

            A news without a source is not a news. Im not a journalist but i have learned this by a journalist. Thats why the good journalist gives the source before the news.

            My opinion (which i admit is an opinion and not a fact..:) ..) in this matter is:
            Not only i don’t believe this to be true, but also i believe that a drive can’t menace his own team. Then this team which is the most successful team in f1 and economically the strongest could the threatened by a person i just don’t believe to be true.

            If Ferrari want Vettel they will do everything to get him. Like or not like Alonso
            If Ferrari dont want Vettel they will not get him. Like or not like Alonso

            P.s notice that i can put “sources close to Ferrari” in my opinion to sell it as a fact…..:)

    14. Great work on those stats @andreypatsino, it’s very interesting to see how all the nations compare and I urge everyone to have a look at how your home country fares!

    15. Alonso vetoed Hamilton joining Ferrari, so nothing new there.

    16. Where’s today’s round up?
      I’m itching God damn it! Don’t leave me like this when I come for my fix! :)

      Gonna try sleep it out, tomorrow should be a dynamite!

    17. I can only see Vettel in a Ferrari if Alonso is not there, I really think also that Vettel is not foolish enough to leave Red Bull at this time coming off the back of winning three straight drivers’ titles. Reminds me of the now infamous ‘two roosters’ comments Montezemolo made last year, so all this is is a complete rehash of old news.
      Much was made last year of Felipe Massa’s struggles, its true Ferrari lost alot of points due to some sub par performances from him, especially at the beginning of the season. However, Ferrari have made it very clear that they will always support Alonso more than Massa or perhaps any other driver. Therein lies the problem in that most top line drivers will not relish being Fernando’s whipping boy, even if they drive well. Look what happened in Austin last year for example, so in many ways, Ferrari do have themselves to blame.
      With Felipe, I don’t believe its a lack of talent but a lack in confidence and I think he feels left out and unwanted in a team inwhich he was ‘once’ a main player. Some really need this, and Alonso has made Ferrari his. He is totally different from Kimi Raikkonen, who is about as unpolitical a person as one can find.

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