Alonso continues attacks on McLaren & Hamilton

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Fernando Alonso can still win the 2007 championship – but he’s preparing for defeat by seizing every opportunity to take swipes at Lewis Hamilton and McLaren.

So far this weekend he’s alleged that the stewards handed Hamilton the championship by not punishing him after the Japanese Grand Prix, angered McLaren boss Ron Dennis by refusing to deny that McLaren would purposefully hinder his title bid, and later launched into a scathing denunciation of how Dennis runs McLaren.

Here’s what he said:

In Thursday’s press conference Alonso was asked, “Do you think you have been treated in a fair way by the team or could maybe the team favour Lewis by making subtle changes to your car, like tyre pressures or wing settings?”

Alonso’s reply was:

Difficult question… I will not answer.

Nothing could be guaranteed to anger Ron Dennis more and his reaction was predictably furious:

There are numerous equality clauses in our contracts, they are reciprocal. We never have, never will and certainly are not favouring either driver at the moment.

This is a straight fight and I’m obviously disappointed that someone who really has all the knowledge should not be more direct and open with the response.”

It strikes a raw nerve with Dennis who remembers the acrimonious world championship of 1989, fought out between bitter rivals Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in McLaren. Prost, like Alonso today, fell out with the team and arranged to leave.

Dennis was furious when FIA President Jean-Marie Balestre (Prost’s fellow Frenchman) instructed Dennis in a public letter to ensure both drivers received fair treatment. Dennis insisted that his drivers would be treated equally.

Asked to defend his ‘no comment’ Alonso later responded:

It’s better to be silent than to lie, that’s for sure. And that’s something he [Dennis] should do more often and I think the team would do better. Many of the scandals McLaren have been involved in off the track this year have been created by his things.

Each one has his own philosophy, he has his, and we all understand it. I have spoken a lot with Coulthard, with Montoya, with Kimi, and they have all left the team and found a lot of happiness. There must be a reason.

Alonso’s remarks are confusing and even contradictory. Sometimes he appears to be insinuating that Hamilton gets preferential treatment from the team. Other times he seems annoyed that he is given exactly the same treatment as Hamilton, or unhappy that, in giving drivers fair treatment over the long term, it means certain drivers are compromised at different times:

[Dennis] didn’t promise me anything. You are always hearing about that so called equality in the team, but tell me what you brag about and I’ll tell you what you are lacking.

It’s impossible to have equality in a Formula One team, there’s always a better engine, a better lap to stop in, there’s always a better option.

I’m not saying it’s not equality, because sometimes it’s one driver’s turn and other times it’s the other’s, but you always hear him talk about that or promising things, and it’s not like that.

Alonso’s gripe appears to be that he assumed he would be given primacy in the team over Hamilton, which hasn’t happened, and he now feels that the team are given Hamilton more favourable treatment than he is.

But his endless sniping at the team, which has noticeably escalated since their very public fall-out at the Hungarian Grand Prix, comes across as though he is seizing every single stick to beat them with.

I don’t believe his claim McLaren are favouring Hamilton for one second – it just doesn’t add up. Why hire a double champion in the first place and then favour the rookie?

Before the season began many of McLaren’s race mechanics wanted to be on Alonso’s side of the garage because they expected the double world champion to lead the way. Does that sound like an team where one driver is given preference over another? Because it sounds like a meritocracy to me, which is exactly what an F1 team should be.

Alonso clearly has been used to a different kind of environment at Renault. Giancarlo Fisichella was never a threat to him and his predecessor, Jarno Trulli, was dumped from the team before the end of 2004 after giving Alonso a hard time all year. The Spaniard even crashed out at Monte-Carlo trying to beat his team mate.

If we’ve learned one thing about Alonso this year it’s that he cannot stand to be beaten by the guy in the same car as him. Further evidence of that also came this weekend.

After a difficult qualifying session today Alonso went on the attack once more, claiming that the stewards were wrong not to punish Hamilton over the incident behind the safety car at the Japanese Grand Prix:

I’m not thinking of this championship anymore, it’s been decided off the track.

The drivers’ briefing has no purpose. You go there to hear what Charlie Whiting and the other officials say. Twenty one drivers have an opinion, Charlie and the officials another, and so it’s like talking to a wall. It’s better not to waste time and try to have fun in the car.

Alonso’s words remind me of his anger after being punished in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix last year. Alonso was adjudged to have impeded Felipe Massa despite the Ferrari driver being 100m behind him at the time.

Afterwards he famously said, “I don’t consider F1 a sport anymore.”

Hearing him criticise Hamilton in the same way now, those words have a hollow ring.

Alonso had a lot of paddock sympathy on his side for his punishment at Monza last year. But complaining in this way about a stewards ruling on an incident he wasn’t involved in, and which is far less clear-cut than the Monza incident last year, makes him seem desperate and bitter.

He also said of McLaren:

I’m ready to do the best I can, to help the team, to have a good car and try to win races. But… things like what they say or do, or days like at Spa, or all the lies that they leak to the press, both British and German, to go against me. That, inside my own team… they have to do something to improve the situation.

But he did, at least, have one positive thing to say about Hamilton:

I think so, I think he deserves it if he wins it in the end. I think you have to know how to win and how to lose, and if I don’t win this year it’s because someone has scored more points than me, and if that’s the case it’s because he has done a better job.

“You have to know how to win and how to lose.” On the evidence of this, Alonso hasn’t yet mastered the art of being a graceful loser. Perhaps he hasn’t had much practice.

Twelve months ago I was glad to see him win his second title – he hadn’t made a mistake all year or employed the kind of cynical tactics that Michael Schumacher resorted to in Monte-Carlo.

But this year his inability to accept equal status with Hamilton and his string of attacks on a team that have given a car that allows him to fight for the championship, make him seem an entirely different person.

Photo: Daimler

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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53 comments on “Alonso continues attacks on McLaren & Hamilton”

  1. Equal conditions?
    Alonso makes 2 laps without errors, and Lewis takes 1/2 seconds ahead him. Has Fernando forgotten driving?

  2. It’s about expectations I guess, Alonso handled the role as underdog and newcomer flawlessly in his fights against Schumacher. This year he has a completely different oulook, hence the seemingly 180 degree turn of personality. Maybe Hamilton will experience that in the future as well.

    It’s a shame that right now Alonso is like poison for his own team, as he has been for a few months now. It doesn’t help that drivers inflated egos make them extremely biased in any argument, it’s all about blaming everyone else but oneself.

  3. There has been just too much said and done this year. Frankly after the whole thing I actually dont blame Alonso for what he has said and done… The reason for that is there is just far too little information that steps out of the “Hear-Say” barrier.

    And the fact that I dont believe that “Beaten by team mate so sour” thing either… People just jumped on the theory very early and now its almost an accepted fact.

    A lot has happened both legal and illegal in the Mc Laren garages this season and we have not been exposed to even the tip of the ice berg.

    One thing I do agree with you is that the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix was clearly the breaking point. Every body sees it as the time Alonso lost the plot but in my view that weekend was important simply coz 2 drivers made errors that evening and only one was punished(and severely too)

    I am not defending Alonso, I dont think he needs defence but I dont think we have the amount of information to make a judgment.

  4. It’s quite possible Lewis would had win without McLaren an FIA’s favours, but we will not ever know. It’s a pitty, it would had been a great championship end.

  5. Yes, both drivers behaved badly in Hungary, the difference was that Hamiltons behaviour was inside the team, Alonso’s behaviour became an FIA matter because it was done on track. Granted it was a within the team and i think the FIA was wrong to penalize him not withstanding he left the FIA with little choice. And if Maclaren where not on his side, i dont believe they would have been panalized also, they tried it vain to defend his actions, but it was always goin to be a very difficult task.

    Its easier to speak with hindsight, the best he could have done was make the team punish Hamilton by denying him choice of qualifying slot.

    I really feel sad for Alonso, cause its bad enough to be beaten by a team mate, but imagine being beaten by a rookie whose first real drive in an F1 car was only 2 months before the season began.

  6. Ali AydoÄŸan
    6th October 2007, 18:11

    Most people speak about Alonso not accepting equal treatment with Hamilton and wanting preferential treatment. Did anybody hear something about it from the team or from Alonso? A link please?

    Was not the driver who did not allow his teammate get his extra lap (because it was teammate’s turn for that race in terms of equality) Hamilton?

    I think Alonso is silent about spying scandal because he needed a car to race for the WDC till the end of the season and I am looking forward to hearing his version of the story, which is missing currently. Then we may discover that Ron is a liar that saying Ferrari data were not known to the team but only to Alonso, De La Rosa and Coughlan. And maybe we can discover that there are many more lies being told by McLaren.

    Todays q3 was interesting anyway, I hope Alonso does not pit when the team tells so and keeps going, then we can see how many laps an F1 car can go without fuel :) He already lost the WDC and I think this conspiracy theory deserves a check? :)

  7. If he is an average driver, then perhaps your two time world champion is what? I guess you, Varun can probably drive these cars with one hand. Dont forget, Sutil and Lewis were team mates last year in GP2. I guess its now the competition between two average drivers and who is better.

    When it comes to team strategy, the best a driver can do is not to keep attacking the team he is driving for, and Alonso has done a lot of that this year.

    I cant understand why people get so emotional, and start hauling insults at drivers who they have never even met.

    Formula1 is not a national sport, its a team sport with drivers doin their thing for themselves. Support a driver based on merit and not nationality.

  8. I have never driven an F1 car and cannot pass comment on the situation a driver is in when it is raining. However, if the safety car has been deployed, the drivers will be aware of poor conditions.

    Lewis Hamilton is not a champion yet. I don’t believe that a four way battle for most of the season would result in a championship being achieved by luck.

    I belive the word you are looking for, Varun, is not lucky but worthy.

  9. It was the same Ecclestone saying earlier this year he thought Massa was going to win the championship. He does have a point about Kimi, you never see him anywhere else but the race track, once the race is over, he just vanishes.

    By the way Victor, who are u quoting in your first post?

  10. I am amaized how the English press and therefore English people only talk bad about Fernando Alonso words when he critized Hamilton or Dennis or the team, but as I can read and wacht in Spain Hamilton does the same, even worst sometimes!

    What about Fia doing nothing about Hamilton behaviour in the last race, have you not watched the video?.

    It is so clear! I am sure that if it was Fernando instead another thing totaly diferent would have happend. Dont you remember that was Hamilton the first one to go against Dennis at the beginning of the season?

    Fernando Alonso had every thing against him, when the are no roles, Fia create it to go against him (Hungary), and when Hamilton goes against the roles Fia see nothing (Japon)

    It is really a shame that we can not see a good championship because Fia is not doing its job. Both are good, but they are not treated in the same way.

    (Sorry for my English…)

  11. What does happen in F1? The bad things seems happen to everybody but not to Hamilton. More, bad things seems happen to everybody that seems obstruct the way of Hamilton. Lucky is not the word, i would say a less beautiful word. Hamilton has enough conditions to win on his own, I dislike to see all this favoritism.
    Collantine, do you know what means impartial?, or do you write just only for readers with british passport?

  12. I for one take an impartial view on the whole affair, nevertheless, i find it strange arm chair F1 drivers would point to a video and say hamilton was to blame without specifically saying why.

    As someone who watched the race and have seen many videos, I cant understand how Hamilton will slow down, keep very far away to the right of the track, then some time passed, then some more time, then later, Webber is speaking Drag queen English;)

    Jokes apart, Webber and Vettel had themselves to blame, they were just too close, and Vettel in particular, if u want to gawk, park ur car by the side of the road then look to your hearts content, when u’ve seen enough get back in your car and drive. He really should be punished for his statement alone.

    If the race was about to restart u can understand the accident, but they were still under saftey car conditions, and they would have been informed by their respective teams if the safety car was coming in leaving them with enough time to catch up with any driver ahead.

  13. Oliver: He was quoting what Keith wrote in the article.

  14. Oliver, I have heard, please tell me if I am wrong, that it is forbiden to accelerate and to restrain, when safety car situation to avoid what did happend. Yes there were too close but I insist I doubt Fernando would have been treated in the same way as I have seen this season…

    I personaly thing that a race in this conditions are to be postpone, too many laps with safety car in my opinion anyway. There are too many things that goes first and not a clean and good competition.

  15. Anyway what I wacht in this video it is not what you are telling in your messege…

  16. I think there is no way that you can win a Formula 1 Championship by luck alone. You have to capitalise on the luck you are given.

    I’ll say it again, Alonso and Lewis are in the same car. What more does Alonso need?

  17. He needs no tricks from his team.
    He runs for them, not for Ferrari!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Hamilton slow and Webber and Vettel crash, there is no reason for Hamilton to go right and slow, it seems deliberated, maybe he did not wanted they crashed, just play with them, but it was potentially dangerous and, above all, deliberated.
    1, there is a punish for Vettel for serious fault.
    2, Hamilton is accused for a more serious fault.
    3, the fault of Hamilton is unpunished, what we do with Vettel? A reprimend.
    This is a shameless decision.

  19. Christopher: He was quoting quote:

    Christina: The conditions under which they drove was unbelievable, and i can assure you that you got a better view of the race track than the drivers. It wasnt just that it was raining, because we’ve had rain on other tracks for years, the difference was that, the water just hangs in the air, mist like no visibility coupled with standing water on the race track itself. Most drivers make it seem like Lewis had it easy because he was in front, but have u stopped to consider, if the pace car itself was making his driving really erratic.

    On a dry track it is far easier to maintain pace behind the safety car, and the safety car itself couldnt maintain a steady pace.

    Speaking about a good championship, that is determined on the track, in times past, most drivers would receive fines for certain behaviour. But for Alonso to claim that a driver wasnt punished thats why his championship is over, is what i cannot understand. What are u suggesting? that Lewis should be stripped of his win? for an incident that didnt take place under racing conditions, and while certain other drivers refused to behave responsibly? We should stop getting emotional here. I’m a big fan of Alonso, but this year really I just cant understand him much.

    And as for the FIA, they know the 5 car length rule is bull in those conditions. They just couldnt postpone the race becuase a lot of viewers would end up missing it cause of allocated time slots expiring especially if u watch on ITV. We dont also know yet if Alonso would have been penalised if he did the same thing, but there is one way to find out, there is a great chance of rain this chinese grandprix, Alonso can try similar actions although the visibility would be better, lets see if the FIA bite.

  20. We need some consistency, here. I’ve been hearing all year that the FIA wants Ferrari to win and of course that means the world drivers championship, now im hearing all of a sudden they want Hamilton to win it.
    Which is to be believed? Do u really think old Max wants to see Mclaren win anything?

    Dennis knows Max for years, thats why he ensures his cars are always in correct order. Thats also why Max is leaving hanging a clause threatening to ban Mclaren if they find Ferrari intellectual property in their cars, which to me is just another way of punishing the team twice for the same alleged offence. I am also of the view, it would really ensure the Mclaren is not competitive cause, they cant even try out any Ferrari inspired part they have acquired legitimately such as when watching the car drive past the pitlane.

  21. With all that Hamilton-Alonso stuff going on, most of you must have forgotten how the spaniard is acting against other drivers this season, and his behaviour would help understanding how good and untouchable he thinks he is…

    Twice this year he got angry when Massa shut the door, even when he ended up passing…

    First, at the Spanish Grand Prix, the first corner clash… Massa, the polesitter, kept the racing line and Alonso went out of the track, and ended up fourth.

    Second, at the European Grand Prix, when it started raining, he was clearly faster than Massa, and tried to pass corner after corner during one and a half lap, they made slight contact, and he passed. Before the podium ceremony, he argued with Massa, saying the brazilian was responsible for their collision, but he was only defending, perhaps aggressively, his position…

    The point is… Alonso is a fantastic driver, wants to beat everyone out of his way, is really aggressive when he needs to, but he doesn’t accept when another driver races him hard…

    He should take care with his words, otherwise he’ll be remembered as a whinner, not as a winner…

  22. MacademiaNut
    7th October 2007, 3:38


    Look.. Spanish media favors Alonso; British media favors Hamilton. Now, don’t ask all these hypothetical questions.

    What if Alonso did the same thing, he would have been treated differently. Because these things can never have an answer. You will always feel that Alonso would have been treated differently from Hamilton. That’s never going to change.

  23. I’m hearing only one side of the story with the English press. Hamilton can do no wrong and Alonso is the devil. As Cristina said, it’s the opposite if you listen to Spanish media. The F1 television commentators I watch do nothing but drool over Hamilton for 2 hours while constantly bashing Alonso. It’s easy to get tired of after a while.

  24. Oliver: I just heard that the decision of the Fia it is that for this time they will not punish Hamilton but they will do if this occurs again!! Funny eh? Why did the Fia punish Fernando when the were no rules to do it!

    I wish the Championship is determined on the track after all what happend this year.

    Why if I defend Alonso I am talking emotionaly and when you are talking you do it only by the facts. Could you answer my first question on this messege?

    I found this so unbeliveble that is why I am here in this blog, I look for some answers, and till now I have none. I do not want to believe everything Spaniard media says but the English media is not telling any thing differently they simply omit many things.

    Fernando also claim that in this classification race his car has different pressure on the last two laps…

  25. morning – still griping are we about hamilton? – I think it was a team owner who said the cars are everything the drivers are nothing – probably miquoted that – but if you are the best driver even in a non competitive car you get results – ooh sorry – that was a long time ago when drivers drove – alonso is a whinger – shame – but when he moves back too renault next year – he will – see what happens then

  26. Christina, its easy for Alonso to make claims that cant be verified, and its not right for u to support him when u cant tell what tyre pressure he has by looking the tyres. Tyre pressure changes through out a race, and in a cold race like that, if he comes out with a fresh set of tyres, he would have instantly met a cold track and the tyres will drop, and lets not forget it was his accident with Vettel that made him lose time, the commentators didnt know that at the time they were suspecting its probably his tires.

    Another incident worthy of note, Alonso claims all the drivers where unanimously agains Hamilton, but Trulli just said recently, that never happened, they just spoke of the conditions and didnt attact anyone. I guess Trulli is lying aswell.

  27. Oliver,
    I am not a big fan of Alonso, but i am becoming when i see the way he is attacked and ridiculed, and seeing that the rules seem not to be equaal for everybody.
    Quoting quotes, you say we do need consistency, but the FIA seems the first to lack of it. It does seem they are applying the rules in a way more mild for ones and more severe for others.
    OK about you say about the conditions under wich they drove, but still Hamilton did something not right, to accelerate and to slow down behind a safety car,and he was not punished, in the future the next driver to do it will be punished, but not now, not for Hamilton.
    Still I like Hamilton, but I dislike to see the way the things are happening.

  28. Bizkai, the only way to move out of a corner is to accelerate, then when u get to a corner u slow down, everybody does that if u havent noticed from previous races. I make no excuses for anyone, but if Lewis had slowed down in the racing line, right in front of Webber, then i’d say he was nuts. However, Hamilton was way to the right side of the track, Webber slammed on the brakes, Vettel was not looking in front of his car.

    You speak of FIA, and if u dont read sensational reports from the press, would you even have an idea what the FIA do.

    If Alonso claims Hamilton was not punished thats why he cant win the championship, even Senna would laugh in his grave if word got to him.

  29. what is this, seems like post race show where commentators are going on about, with the hamilton praising and alonso bashing. almost every one here seems to baised towards hamilton. keith i must say, a disappointly baised post.

  30. Why? I’ve quoted him at length, I’ve offered my interpretations, I think I’ve been quite fair. If you don’t agree, fine, but at least explain why.

  31. to answer, first i think i’l ask one question, if you were alonso, you thougth that , a british a british would be pleased to have a british champion than spainish champion. later you infered that the team is actually favouring him[just for now assume, that it is like that]. what would you do? would you rather let everything go by ineffect let you chanmpionship chances go by or would you stand up and fight.

  32. I don’t see how that makes what I wrote ‘biased’?

    And if Alonso had a shred of proof McLaren were favouring Hamilton over him he’d go straight to the FIA with it, because they warned Ron Dennis after the second espionage hearing that they’d be on the lookout for any unequal treatment. But he hasn’t, presumably because there is none.

  33. true he doesn’t have any proof. because the way i see it is, he is standing up to what he belives and he is fighting for what he thinks is his. in your whole writing never do take this(teams biased nature) as an possibility.

    to indicate little more elaborately why i thought it(your post) was biased,

    “Alonso’s remarks are confusing and even contradictory. Sometimes he appears to be insinuating that Hamilton gets preferential treatment from the team. Other times he seems annoyed that he is given exactly the same treatment as Hamilton, or unhappy that, in giving drivers fair treatment over the long term, it means certain drivers are compromised at different times:”

    except for may be rumours we don’t have a case where we know for sure alonso did ask for preferencial treatment.
    ofcourse, barring for lewis’s statements which indicate in that direction. to be honest i don’t belive those, as i dont belive the “im a more team player than alonso” remarks or “i feel more attached to team and than alonso” remarks. we just have to look alonso days at renault.
    whose say that alonso may have asked the team to stop favouring hamilton as much. which could be twisted to say “he wants hamilton to be less favoured, hence favouring him more”.
    one thing that stands out in the whole thing is that he doesn’t feel the backing of the team as much as he thinks the team is backing hamilton. which he thinks team owes him.

    as proof for this you don’t need to look beyond this weekend, just ron’s comment that they racing alonso and not kimi say it all if you ask me.

    Ron Dennis defended their decision to delay Hamilton’s stop by saying: “We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando.”

    somehow the use of word “we” here for me reckon that alonso is not part of the it. more info here

    points alonso made are,
    1. ron prefers lying to being queit. no comments here.
    2. you can’t have optimal stratergy for two drivers, no point arguing over this as it true most of the times.
    3. you take turns for optimal strategy.

    form here how did you arrive this,

    “Alonso’s gripe appears to be that he assumed he would be given primacy in the team over Hamilton, which hasn’t happened, and he now feels that the team are given Hamilton more favourable treatment than he is.”

    besides its a repetative point, answer will be same as above so will not answer it again.

    But his endless sniping at the team, which has noticeably escalated since their very public fall-out at the Hungarian Grand Prix, comes across as though he is seizing every single stick to beat them with.

    two thinks that strike here is,

    1. hamilton was the one who started, it seems no one wants remember that part. and i remember correctly mcclaren didn’t take any action against him. surely he broke understanding that was withing the team.
    2. exactly since that incident i seem haven’t seen that agreement being employed, so i far alonso hasn’t got that additional lap in Q3 since then.

    so is he wrong in doing so?

    “I don’t believe his claim McLaren are favouring Hamilton for one second – it just doesn’t add up. Why hire a double champion in the first place and then favour the rookie?”

    from what i understand the favourism (atleast the claims of it) were not there until he was in a almost position to be one(champ) himself. if looked from that point you are right it doesn’t add up, but can’t base your points from that point.

    “If we’ve learned one thing about Alonso this year it’s that he cannot stand to be beaten by the guy in the same car as him. Further evidence of that also came this weekend.”

    if your referring to post qualifying incident, he was not wrong to belive that given same setup and approximately same fuel load hamilton suddenly couldn’t have been so much faster!!, which brings me to a big question why was he not aware of fuel load of his teammate?

    “Alonso’s words remind me of his anger after being punished in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix last year. Alonso was adjudged to have impeded Felipe Massa despite the Ferrari driver being 100m behind him at the time.

    Afterwards he famously said, “I don’t consider F1 a sport anymore.”

    Hearing him criticize Hamilton in the same way now, those words have a hollow ring.”

    this is by afar the most stretched comparison, i my opinion, there we knew that no way on earth he would have effected massa. all f1 drivers also knew. where as here,

    it seems that he was was bit erratic behind the safety car, where 21 formula one drivers agree that it was a bit erratic, there should some reason for that. so he felt so in which there is nothing wrong. so you most definitely can’t compare both. whether he should penalized or not is different.

    so all in all i think you have taken everything one from one side, without considering the other possibilities. also a bit biased on a lot that is already been said over and over and over again.

    like yourself pointing out that alonso would rather have preferencial treatment twice in post!!.

    finally i ain’t no alonso fan, i just felt like i should stand up for him, as i have immense respect for him as a driver. that again doesn’t mean i have none to lewis.

    who ever wins the championship deserves it, as all drivers have a great a job(alonso a little more as he is been under a lot psyhcological pressure), i would really loved it kimi wins it.

  34. That must be one of the longest comments I’ve ever had!

    I don’t think our points of view are reconcilable. But I don’t think that any of what I wrote in the first place can reasonably be described as bias, and I think some of the other pieces I’ve written on the subject further demonstrate my attempts to be as impartial as possible:

    British tabloids blame Alonso
    Another PR disaster for McLaren
    Alonso under attack over leak threat

  35. I think the original article is clearly biased against alonso because of expressions used like

    “but he’s preparing for defeat by seizing every opportunity to take swipes at Lewis Hamilton and McLaren.”

    “But his endless sniping at the team,…”

    Alonso is not pretending to attack MClaren in any way and i can demonstrate it using the same line of reasoning as in your article:

    “Why hire a double champion in the first place and then favour the rookie?”

    Why attack a team you depend on to win the champion you still have options to win?

    Ok so we should just leave alonso’s comments (some unfortunate) as a result of mixed feelings, lot of pressure, some wierd things happenning, etc. just as hamiltons unfortunate comments as well.

    Now, nevertheless, let me state two opnions I have i would like someone to rebate me:

    1) Clearly, Mclaren sentiments are with Lewis. No driver would be confortable in any way knowing his team is with the teammate. This is not good feeling. And i really think this was not started as alonso against the team, but as the team being pro hamilton.
    2) Hamilton has had the benefit of the doubt from FIA. Alonso has not had it.

    So its easy to say Alonso its losing it against a rookie and thats all, but i dont think thats all the story.

    Anyway, we have an interesting last race!

  36. The way you know the number one driver in a team, is when you see the team principal on the podium ceremony whenever he wins.

    Ron has been up there with Alonso
    Todt no longer does it because he now occupies a much more senior position in Ferrari, and besides, Massa would just die.

    Alonso demoted himself from that position of number one.
    Same time last year, Alonso was saying Renault did not want him to win the championship, that he gets no support, he has to win on his own. Fisichela got a drive through penalty in Belguim for slowing Kimi down in the pits so Alonso could win.

    Hamilton is getting all the press attention in Mclaren, no fault of his. Alonso thought the press would see him as the saviour of Mclaren.

    I am a fan of Alonso, I still want him to win, but he is not often in touch with reality.

  37. in the what im trying to say is, in your post your view comes as hard bashing of alonso, appears to be just going along wtih opinion out there. @jamie has mentioned a couple things, the most difficult to understand was the comparsion with massa incident.

  38. Musavir, the reason I now come to this site and comment on it, is because Its the only english site i believe, where there is no sensationalism, matter of fact, the reporting here is just like reading a log of events, and the analysis are based on fact and not personal feelings. The fact you can also leave your opinion for everyone else to read implies a level fairness you dont get from most other racing sites.

    The fact Ron Dennis has not said not made any comment concerning Alonso’s allegations, speaks a lot of his maturity.

    If Alonso doesnt win the championship in his mind it will always be because, he was not getting any help.

    Alonso said Dennis was the first to say he wasnt talking to him. But before Belgium, in Hungary after the qualifying incident, Ron Dennis went to Alonso, and he just ignored him completely. His own boss. Mclaren even got into trouble trying to defend Alonso’s action.

    Alonso said he talked to Kimi and Montoya and Coulthard.

    If Kimi had a problem with Mclaren its because of his hard partying. There is no way Kimi can claim he didnt get the best attention in that team.

    Montoya needed some time to adjust in a new team, but he would make a mistake and say it was the car, even when the telemetry was saying another thing. Only him can claim he didnt get equal attention.

    Coulthard was in that team for 9 seasons. Apart from M Schumacher at Ferrari, what other driver can claim a longer stay in any team. Coulthard demoted himself to second position because he couldnt qaulify well despite doing well in race conditions. He definitely cant have anyting bad to say cause he got equal equipment.

    The FIA cannot force a disgruntled employee on any team, especially one who seems to destroy the morale in the team. Hamilton even said, Alonso doesnt talk to anyone in the team. I wish somehow we can get Pedro’s honest opinion, without the spanish press crucifying him.

  39. Oliver,
    Do you know really to read spanish? or just you presuppose what spanish press do.
    I read some press from your country, some of my country and some from another countries, and I find the uk press seems go in a different way than the rest of the world, about Hamilton and Alonso (being honest the german press seems agree with uk press, but not the rest of the world).
    Does it mean something?

  40. Bizkai, you only assume I am english, and your assumption is clearly indicative of the problems with most peoples perception and response to issues of Formula1, for which they have no first hand knowledge.

    I will be the first to admit that the British press are way offline and I have stated that on several occasions. The issues now are not really the press. Alonso is behaving badly, and its his fault if he listens to the press, be it English, German or Spanish.

    This site on which you are so joyfully rendering your comments in, can pass for the English press, but you only get nothing but fair reporting and assessments on F1fanatic.

    If u watch Formula1 on any tv station alligned with ITV, I can list out numerous sins from Allen and Brundle, and not just even about Hamilton, but Button and Coulthard aswell.

    Most people dislike Hamilton because of the press aswell. He didnt force the press to report his activites, he didnt beg for it. They just do it. The same too in spain.

    About the German press. Do you think the Germans dont want to see one of their drivers in that car? do you think they are crazy about a British driver? But when Alonso accuses Mclaren and Mercedes of conspiring against him, I’m surprised a Unimorg didnt accidentaly run him over last race at the Nurburgring (first attempt at spelling that in my life by the way).

    Bizkai…At the end of the day, most of our perceptions of events are shaped up by the media, if not for the media you would have no idea who Alonso was, despite he is from spain. Taking that into consideration, It is now left for you as an individual to either remain gaullible and consume entirely all information you are fed, or to have an open mind in order to filter out information that is only meant to inflame passions.

    I recall a post race press conference a few races back, when i believe Alonso had a few problems, an English journalist asked, Hamilton “do you even care what happened to Alonso today?” Even Hamilton had to say “thats a very silly question”, “of course i care, he is my team mate……”

    Many individuals have formed their opinions based on that of someone else, what they have been fed. People even accuse R. Dennis of being a cheat, and and a liar, what do they know about the man to question his intergrity, or that of anyone else.
    We never know peoples motive for writing, but never allow someones hatred for an individual to be passed on to you.

    My final advice, form ur decisions and make ur comments or judgements based on verifiable facts and not someones hear say or worse of all, taking a persons opinion as fact.

  41. although being objective is nearly imposible I can help but thinking Lewis is getting Ron’s favours. These are Ron’s words after China:

    “The problem was rain and his (Hamilton’s) tyres were in the worst condition. But we weren’t at all fazed about Kimi. We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando.
    “Kimi winning and Lewis coming second was adequate. It just didn’t quite work out that way.”
    Taken from British press…
    Who is still thinking they get equal treatment?

  42. Any good team, will always use the term “We”, in response to their drivers, and Ron always talks like that, especially when like in this case the team was basically responsible for his pit stop fiasco. Everything is not always black and white. It may surprise you to find, the team may just want him, Alonso, to win it so he can pack his things and go elsewhere.

    But then, I am still of the belief Alonso has insulted his race engineers and mechanics, for implying that he gets no support in the team.

  43. Oliver,
    I can not accept that the meaning of the words of Dennis may be just reduced to semantic terms.I try to understand your reasoning, but for me it does make non sense. I think simply all of them are exposing clearly their likes and dislikes, Dennis, Alonso, Hamilton, Ecclestone…
    About the mechanics, may be Alonso is not an easy going person, I am not his biggest fan, but I think he is not stupid. Nobody would accuse his own team, his own mechanics, if there is not a previous reasonably shadow of doubt about your team is doing.
    The mechanics did feel insulted…well, maybe Alonso did feel something like that.

  44. Hi Olover,
    As you said, lets judge on verifiable facts:
    -Barhein: Alonso’s car is damaged during the night.
    -Canada: Alonso complains about car behaviour, Lewis car was OK
    -France: Problems in Q3 for Alonso (gear box was damaged, not Lewis one)
    -Belgium: A lid from the oil tank was missing in Fernando’s car.
    -Japan: Tire pressure incorrect in Fernando’s car (just for Q3)
    -China: Alonso was the fastest during tests but slower again in Q3 plus Ron’s words
    -Bad pit strategy for Alonso in Australia and USA

    -Germany: Lewis car on track by the tow track
    -Hungary incident (changing rules??!?!?!?!)
    -Italy: Illegal start from Lewis, no punishment at all.

    Obviously these are facts that refer to Alonso, other drivers could complain for other reasons but I never heard something like that at any other sport.

  45. David:

    I assume you are directing this at me “As you said, lets judge on verifiable facts”

    -Barhein: Alonso’s car is damaged during the night.
    ->The team said a lighting pod fell on his car, perhaps they were working late into the night. There are enough spares to replace any faulty parts and if they wanted to impede him in anyway, it would have been much easier to give his car a misfire.

    -Canada: Alonso complains about car behaviour, Lewis car was OK
    ->Alonso has never really done well in Canada, even when he was at Renault. Lets not forget the Canadian circuit requires lower down force levels than most other track apart from Monza, and also they set up the car with very hard springs to promote fast response of the cars handling, he may not like the feel of the car based on that.

    -France: Problems in Q3 for Alonso (gear box was damaged, not Lewis one)
    -> Gearbox problems can affect anyone without warning, even though the cars are made to such high levels of precision, the occasional parts failure does occur, you can ask the RBR team about such matters and even BMW. It can happen to anyone, and besides it didnt affect him much, even Lewis has been beset by his own car issues.

    -Belgium: A lid from the oil tank was missing in Fernando’s car.
    ->Perhaps they needed to work on the car in a hurry and forgot to place it back properly, by the way you dont say if it was during practice, qualifying or race and it didnt affect him.

    -Japan: Tire pressure incorrect in Fernando’s car (just for Q3)
    -> How do u know the tire pressures where incorrect?, Bridgestone keeps all records of tire pressures and temperatures so its easily verifiable

    -China: Alonso was the fastest during tests but slower again in Q3 plus Ron’s words
    -> Rons words didnt affect Alonso’s qualifying. By the way, you also forgot to mention that Alonso carried 3 or 4 laps greater quantity of fuel in his car, that on its own should amount for some of the time difference. Also Kimi had being faster all weekend, But Lewis set a faster time than Kimi even. And I followed qualifying keenly and I noticed at the begining of Alonso’s qualifying run, after the first timed sector, his status was green, meaning he was faster than before in that sector, then he lost some time in the other sectors, perhaps he made a mistake. Even Massa was fueled lighter than Kimi and should have been on pole but he admitted he made a mistake on that run.

    -Bad pit strategy for Alonso in Australia and USA
    ->Alonso got the better pit strategy in Australia thats how he was able to jump Lewis after his second pits stop. You forgot to mention also, that Alonso got the better pit strategy in Barcelona and Monaco and several other tracks.

    -Germany: Lewis car on track by the tow track
    ->The regulations previously allowed for the cars to be retrievable, and if repairable, the ability to continue with the race. All other cars had stoped or too damaged, his car was still running. Blame the regulations and not the driver.

    -Hungary incident (changing rules??!?!?!?!)
    -> Lewis was somehow responsible, but Alonso should have waited for the team to punish Lewis, because Lewis’ actions were solely a team affair. Alonso blocking him in the pits, put it in the category of impeding another competitor during qualifying. The FIA mishandled it in my opinion, but they were left with very little options.

    -Italy: Illegal start from Lewis, no punishment at all.
    -> I must have missed somethng, please clarify

  46. David:

    I forgot to add also, the numerous occassions, the previos two seasons Alonso was at Renault, when Fisichella’s car was always the one coming up with problems.
    By the way, It may also interest you to note that the first complaint Alonso made about the his team, was that some of the engineers cheered more for Lewis’s qualifying than they dis his.

    Anyway, keith has thankfully provided the link to the article on the retrieving of vehicles from the track, i hope u read it very well it may better help you understand the crane incident.

  47. Oliver,

    You say in Hungary incident Alonso should have waited for the team to punish Lewis,well Lewis was not punished anyway. Before in Monaco, they had team instructions to slow down, Alonso did it, Hamilton did not it, the team did not punish Hamilton. This is a clear precedent about what Alonso could wait from his team to punish Hamilton in Hungary.
    Fia was not right applying an unknown rule to punish Alonso, while in Japan they do not apply a sanction to Hamilton for the irregularities behind a safety car. It is not easy to judge but I think there is inconsistency in the way that Fia determines to apply the rules. The conduct of Alonso was not worst than Hamilton’s.

  48. Bizkai:

    Thats so funny. If Hamilton didnt slow down, then surely he would have run out of room and straight into the back of Alonso. Why should the team then punish the driver for doing what he was asked to do, which was to finish second behind Alonso. Also, you are just assuming that he did not get a reprimand from the team. Perhaps your idea of punishment is for him to be tied and horsewhipped at the pit entry. Maybe that was done in Roman times but unlikely today.

    And by your own statement, you are confirming that Alonso was favoured by the team to win that race, irrespective of what fuel strategy each driver may have started the race with. If then Alonso had favours from the top of the team to win the race, how then does he then complain that he is alone in the team and gets no help.

    At the Fuji race, Hamilton was way to the right of the track when he slowed, if other drivers could not use their discretion when driving behind the safety car in such conditions, then they have themselves to blame. If he had slowed down in front of Webber, why didnt Webber hit him? Vettel by his own admission, has stated that he was not looking in front of him, but looking at Hamiltons car to his side, perhaps if he wasnt strapped to his car maybe he would have stood up to look behind aswell.

    I have supported Alonso all these years, but that doesnt necessarily mean he is always correct. As for the FIA, they dont always get it right. But at the same time, they dont always have to punish just to make some people happy.

  49. Oliver,

    You present the things as if a fact would be a well done thing. About Japan you blame webber and vettel,and being true I do find it is not all the truth, Webber did find hamilton going left right,accelerating and deccelerating, as if he had an wasp inside his car, Wettel did find the same thing. Many other drivers did talk about this and they ,being there, have a very different opinion than yours about who has the biggest blame of it.

    Respect to another subjects that you respond to David, the crane in Germany, you introduce this as a fact already solved correctly, but this is very far to be true. Still there is many doubts about how they did interpret the rules about the use of the crane. And we have seen previously that not all the drivers have enjoyed the same mild interpretation in similar circunstances.

  50. Bizkai

    To some extent we share a similar opinion, however, and like I’ve said repeatedly, those conditions where horrible, and I will be the last to say Hamiltons drive under the SC was superb, but in his defense, he did call his pit, to warn Webber not to get too close. Perhaps he had a wasp in the car afterall. And I will also draw your attention to the fact that most of the drivers who talked about Hamiltons drive under the safety car, could only make their comments after watching some recording, and not actually from directly viewing the car on the track. The first statement Vettel made was that he saw Hamilton’s car on the ride side of the track and was looking if he had a problem. At no point did he talk about Hamiltons driving, until perhaps, the Redbull team had brought that up at a point. So his accusation of Hamilton was probably in hindsight.

    About the crane incident, Its not often you see drivers getting embedded in the gravel trap, maintaing their engines running for a long time, and most of the regulations concerning the retrieval of cars are obscure and not often considered, mainly because on a dry track, the time involved in retrieving a stuck vehicle would be so long compared to the relative lap times of the cars and as such, a retrieved car would probably be a lap or 2 down. I might also want to add, that, until the change of the regulations, reducing the size of the engines, most engines ran very very hot, and if they stay too long in a static position, they soon overheat and stop running. If you now couple that with the supposed ability of the Mclaren Mercedes engine to run only on 4 cylingers and the associated lower operating tempertures, it is no surprise then, that he was able to keep his engine running for such a long time.

    Hamilton had the will to continue racing, one of his mantra’s is “I never give up” that may have come to his aid in the situation, and gave the team time to read through the regulations.

    Because of the uproar created by that incident, the regulations were then ammended to deny such possibilities, just like how the regulations were also changed to elliminate the possibility of some teams making use of flexible floors.

    Bizkai, please try read that link properly it will make things quite clear, or rather it would create a doubt in your mind, if you are right or wrong.

    Do not allow your desire to see a driver punished. to then create some level of equality, cloud your level of reasoning. And if you so desire that he be punished, what in your own estimation will be the right amount of punishment for his alleged transgressions.

  51. Oliver,

    Well, I am very ok about all you say, still not happy, but ok.

    You do manage a great quantity of information, thank you for share it, I do appreciate it very much.

    Right amount of punishment? Shylock said one pound, good for me.

    Still, good luck, Hamilton.

  52. Bizkai:

    After the tumult, that is this 2007 season, I can no longer take sides or make judgements. And honestly, I’ve been left somewhat numb by the whole affair, that come the last race, I would simply just watch without emotion, cheering for no driver, for all the drivers have driven well, and have shown great skill, that is what I want to consign to memory. I hope that in the end, in its own way, fate would contrive to produce a worthy champion.

  53. Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

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