Ferrari hit back at criticism of race strategy

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Ferrari faced criticism for their tactics as Fernando Alonso lost the world championship in the final race of 2010.

One Italian politician went so far as to demand Luca di Montezemolo’s resignation over the strategic mistake that dropped him from fourth to seventh in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

That prompted a strong reaction from the Ferrari president.

Felipe Massa Fernando Alonso
Qualifying position 6 3
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’40.202 (+0.41) 1’39.792
Race position 10 7
Laps 55/55 55/55
Pit stops 1 1

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Felipe Massa

Believed he had not crossed the line soon enough to start his final lap in qualifying and backed off. Unfortunately he was wrong – and missed the best opportunity to improve his grid position:

I reached the exit of the final corner, I saw the red light and, instinctively, I thought I had not got there in time to do the flying lap.

In fact, I had made it, but I did not push immediately as hard as I could have done, so I came back to the pits when I realised I would not have improved my time. It’s a real shame because I could definitely have done better and therefore started further up the grid.
Felipe Massa

The team pitted him early in the race in an attempt to get him out ahead of Mark Webber. It didn’t work – and he spent the rest of the race stuck behind Jaime Alguersuari, finishing tenth.

Compare Felipe Massa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Fernando Alonso

The strategic mistake that decided Alonso’s race has been picked apart in detail here:

While that tactical error was costly, just as big a part of Ferrari’s problem in Abu Dhabi was that their car was not as quick as the McLaren.

It was all Alonso could do to split Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in qualifying to start third on the grid – at that advantage was gone within a few seconds of the start.

Alonso’s frustration got the better of him on the way back to pits and he gesticulated at Vitaly Petrov, who had kept him behind for 39 laps.

Alonso had gone off on three occasions as he tried to pass Petrov, nearly hitting the Renault on lap 23.

After the race he said:

It’s a shame to get to the end of the season and then lose the title at the final moment, but that’s racing, that is sport. Everything went wrong today, from the start itself to the strategy.

With hindsight, it would have been better not to pit so soon, but it’s easy to say that when you have all the facts: however, it was definitely not an easy decision.
Fernando Alonso

Compare Fernando Alonso’s form against his team mate in 2010

Team principal Stefano Domenicali said that error in Abu Dhabi should not be singled out as the only reason for them losing the championship:

We must not forget that we were up against a car that was better than hours, there’s no doubt about that. Yesterday we simply gave Red Bull a present but we didn’t lose the championship here – or at least not just here. I could cite other races where we left important points on the track, without counting grands prix like Valencia and Silverstone where there were certainly unfortunate episodes.

It’s easy to curse those who miss their penalty on the last day of the championship but, perhaps, someone else let in a calamitous goal at the first match of the season. The points are always worth the same, whether it’s the beginning or the end of the season.
Stefano Domenicali

He apologised to Alonso for the team’s mistake:

I would like to thank Fernando again for all that he has done in his first year with us. We knew his talent but having had the chance to have him in our team has made us appreciate his qualities as a man and as a leader.

I can understand what he has gone through in these last few hours and I’m very sorry for the error that the team made. He’s believed in us to the end and he’s been exceptional about placing his faith in us. Yesterday we didn’t manage to win the title together that we’d chased until the end with great tenacity. But we will do everything to manage it next year because Ferrari has only one magnificent sentence to endure: to win.
Stefano Domenicali

The team have faced stinging criticism in Italy, not least from one politician, Roberto Calderoni, who demanded the resignation of Luca di Montezemolo. The Ferrari president responded saying:

When the statesman will achieve in his life 1% of what Ferrari has done for this country in terms of industry and sports, then he’ll deserve an answer.
Luca di Montezemolo

Enzo Ferrari’s son Piero Ferrari, who was present to watch the team in Abu Dhabi, added:

I’m astonished and saddened by certain statements some politicians and a minister of the Italian Republic made after yesterday’s race.

It has never happened in my entire life at Ferrari that politicians intervened during good and bad moments in our life in motorsport, and I want it to stay like this. But if we want to have a look at how much Ferrari has done for Italy’s image around the world, then I can only say that it is definitely much more than certain politics have done.
Piero Ferrari

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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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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    119 comments on “Ferrari hit back at criticism of race strategy”

    1. When was the last time David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair or John Major criticised Mclaren or Williams for making strategical errors?

      Answer (unless i’m very much mistaken): Never. Politicians in Italy should stick to what they (supposedly) do best: running the country of Italy.

      1. Montezemolo is actually partially involved in politics. he is at the head of the “cofindustria”, the Italian employers’ federation. and few month ago criticised Calderoni for his action in the government.

        anyway the answer of montezemolo is pretty clear!

      2. Ah, it seems that is the point. They are probably better at just blurting out something to the media to get attention that solve political issues everyone is worried about (Corruption – YES, the next Berlusconi flit – NO).

      3. as Jeremy Clarkson once said about the 8C Competizione: “They could’ve done this Alfa a lot faster, but that’d mean it’d be faster than a Ferrari. In Italy, that’d be the same as vomiting into the Pope”

        Not only Montezemolo is involved in politics, Ferrari, as a whole brand, along with their motorsport activity, it’s so ITALY that newspapers often talk JUST about F1.

        No wonder all this criticism in Italy.

        1. yeah but the papers are owned by burlesconi and he does this to distract the public from the fact he is an appalling prime minster

          1. surely…

            but that’s nothing new…

    2. All of the team were there, the Italian TV had cameras at Oviedo and Maranello, and look now.

    3. “We must not forget that we were up against a car that was better than hours,”

      It really only needed to be better by a few 10ths ;)

      1. Renault were apparently set up better for the race than for qualifying. Parc ferme’ rules mean if you choose an optimal one lap qualifying set up you apparently compromise speed on the straight, at least at Yas Marina.

        Maybe a modification of this rule to allow slight one-time rear wing modifications for the race (similar to the movement allowance for the front wing) would hep overtaking at similar circuits.

        I’d prefer that to a continuously mobile rear wing which would be probably expensive, potentially unreliable/unsafe and possibly ugly.

      2. Well played good sir. Timely comment.

    4. Luca likes to make outrageous, aggressive, and inflamatory statements about competitors in the sport and anything else he can think of. That is the tone he sets for his team and their fans. So, when you lead with the upheld fist you shouldn’t be surprised when you get a knuckle sandwich from those you so tutored when things go wrong.

      Nonetheless, of course, it is rank banana republic style grandstanding for a cabinet member to make such comments, and that guy should be ashamed, and I hope his constituents take this into account when they choose their leaders.

    5. I would like to thank Fernando again for all that he has done in his first year with us.

      Like not winning anything, steamrolling Felipe Massa into submission and thus losing constructor points, helping drag Ferrari’s image through the mud and losing huge support in Brazil (at least) over Hockenheim 2010, and completing the season with a solid display of how to lose badly, blaming another driver for his own inadequacies. Welcome to Alonso-world Ferrari, enjoy his stay!

      1. Oh come on! Nothing can change you people. You are here to criticize only.

      2. sigh, everything you said was spinned.

        1. er, which bit? Not winning the driver or constructor championships? Not relegating Massa to number two and undermining his confidence? Not damaging Ferrari’s image through the insistence on team orders mid season? Not losing badly at Abu Dhabit?

          1. Well pointed David.
            I hope they learn it all and do it better next year.
            That’s why mistakes are made for.

      3. Actually I think they are thanking him for winning 5 races with a car that was either the 2nd or 3rd fastest on the grid. He was the only Ferrari driver to show pace and determination this season. Lets not forget that he lost to a car thats taken 15 pole positions all season, and that too on a strategic error, by only 4 points.

        You can bash Alonso all you want, but at the end of the day, if it wasn’t for Alonso, this season would have been ridiculously boring.

        1. Spot on, Todfod. He’ll be back…

        2. You can bash Alonso all you want, but at the end of the day, if it wasn’t for Alonso, this season would have been ridiculously boring.

          I hesitate to jump into this comedy, but that comment made me seriously LOL. The guy was barely a fixture until the German Grand Prix. Well I say that, I mean, he was doing his best to be entertaining by jumping starts, ruining his race by crashing into a barrier in practice session, trying to pass a non-entity only to be passed first by his old nemesis and his supposedly inferior (to Alonso) team-mate, concentrating so much on his old team fluking escape from real punishment that he was pressurised into a mistake and passed by a rookie in a customer-engine car – not to mention his hilarious over-reaction coming back to slap him in the face 4 weeks later. His lovely sideways pirouettes in the rain got a full 10 from me too.

          1. After which he struck back with a grand slam in Singapore and winning 4 races the second half of the season. He was beyond any form of doubt the best driver of the field (as the other drivers will agree), no matter how much you dislike the guy. Also, the first half of the season he made some mistakes, but watching him making up for those mistakes (Australia, Monaco) was extremely entertaining to watch. You can say he didn’t follow the rules with that team order but hey, Hamilton passed a safety car and easily got away with that one as well, so..

          2. After which he struck back with a grand slam in Singapore and winning 4 races the second half of the season. He was beyond any form of doubt the best driver of the field (as the other drivers will agree), no matter how much you dislike the guy. Also, the first half of the season he made some mistakes, but watching him making up for those mistakes (Australia, Monaco) was extremely entertaining to watch. You can say he didn’t follow the rules with that team order but hey, Hamilton passed a safety car and easily got away with that one as well, so..

          3. @Ichtyes. WOW… talk about bias taking over logical reasoning. Just think about it this way.. if it wasn’t for Fernando, there would be only three title contenders going into the final race, and the leading driver would be a Red Bull driver. Whether he drove badly or made mistakes doesn’t matter, he still was up there fighting for the WDC, with a better chance than your british golden boy.
            For bad reasons as you mentioned, or good, he added entertainment and excitement to this season… and I cannot believe that you are biased enough to think otherwise.

          4. What happens is that everyone is afraid of him. That’s why everybody hates him. Like you that don’t value his talent and determination. He’s the one who will make it hard to Vettel and Hamilton to win more championships.

            He’ll be there allways with a better or worse car and you could speak bad about him for years. He’s the ono who will scare the rest.

            And he’ll give value the rest of championships until his retirement.

            1. What happens is that everyone is afraid of him. That’s why everybody hates him.

              That simply isn’t true. Whether you agree with Alonso’s critics or not you have to concede that what’s turned people against him has been episodes like Hungary in 2007, Singapore in 2008 and Hockenheim in 2010. It’s part of a growing perception that he won’t tolerate having another driver in the same team who’s allowed to beat him, which is fundamentally unsporting.

              I must add, the worst of these has to be Singapore. Whether he was involved in the conspiracy or not, insisting he still deserved credit for the win after it was taken in the most cynical fashion was, frankly, appalling (and I said so at the time).

            2. Well, it’s true that the reasons why people hates him are in the deep of the head of each one.

              You explained yours but I think the people ones are not so clear. Some of yours are not his fault. As you are allways talking about evidences and FIA decisions, I think it’s clear that Alonso hasn’t got anything to do with Singapore or spygate and of course with team decisions.

              But it’s true that he has the focus allways on him, and that’s because he’s dangerous to the rest (not to the sport), that was what we’re speaking about.

              You talk about him saying that he deserve the victories earnt is that way. I can say that after the clear driver priority deployed by RBR, Vettel and nobody here has doubt of Vettel deserved championship.

              Everything that happens to Alonso is multiplied by ten.

            3. He was aware of spygate, and tried to blackamil his team boss. He turned up his engine in Hockenheim against the team’s wishes and did urged them to let past Massa. Those two saw him clearly in the wrong, and that’s part of what Keith is getting at, and only a deluded person would deny.

      4. Ferrari need to treat Alonso like an employee, not like the boss who’s doing them all a favour. ‘Use all your talent Fernando, we know how immense it is!’ Eeewww. I mean, do we really have to hear that? Sometimes something along the lines of ‘Fernando, get your ass in gear and overtake!’ might be more productive. Much more fun over the radio too.

        1. Well, I can imagine that Andrea Stella, who talked on radio and had put Alonso in that horrible situation, didn’t have authority to say “get your ass in gear and overtake”.

          1. How about: ‘Put down the Ovaltine Fernando baby, it’s time to shuffle!’?

        2. Andy from Newport
          17th November 2010, 4:58

          David BR,
          It is called respect! Alonso has earned it from them. This dynamic is vital on any true team.
          Keep your posts coming, your opinions are hilarious.

      5. Not winning anything? did he not win races this year?

        1. Okay, before anyone else shouts at me: I meant ‘didn’t win the driver or constructor championships.’

          1. It was quite an easy task for him to win both the titles.. you know.. considering how much quicker the F10 was as compared to the RB6

          2. If he had won, then you’d say “didn’t win the driver or constructor championships as I would like” and maybe later you’d say “Didn’t win the driver I wanted to win

            1. David BR is mostly missing the point of Alonso coming so close in inferior machinery. He had a rather good season.

            2. Not really David A. Not that anyone would notice, but my real target was Ferrari over-praising Alonso, not Alonso himself (well not primarily). I just don’t see how all the fawning adulation helps and I find it a bit ‘icky’ when they’ve another excellent driver in their team, Felipe Massa, who probably would have won them the 2008 championship without some of their own pit mistakes (and Alonso’s Singapore win). Alonso had a fine second half of the season after the Ferrari lurched into a close second to RBR at Silverstone, but he was off-song in the race that counted – the final one. Hamilton had as many good races, as did Vettel, as did Webber, almost.

      6. David – don’t forget what Ron Dennis indicated something about Alonso “he doesn’t like if his team mate is faster than him” ….

        good one !!

        1. I didn’t realize the rest of the drivers loved having faster team mates! Yeah, that Alonso is a weird one, I tell ya….

          Good one indeed!

          1. Well at least we’ve established Hamilton was faster! :)

            1. Yeah, but at least “Alonso, is faster, than you”! :P

      7. Absolutely – and thus Ferrari, Montezemolo and Alonso fits perfectly and of course this life philosophy has fertile conditions in Italy. Not that Italy can’t produce great things and in many ways they have a great culture, history etc., but as with most countries they also have room for improvement.

    6. “Like not winning anything, steamrolling Felipe Massa into submission” are you serious??? so you think those 5 wins where handed down to him common man…and don’t blame Alonso for the **** in Hockenheim how about you blame Massa’s engineer Rob Smedley for giving those indirect orders. you need a better excuses to hate on Fernando Alonso than these ones.

      1. Who said I hate Alonso? I dislike some of the stuff he does, think he’s a corrosive influence on any team he’s in, but enjoy watching him drive and, for what it’s worth, think he’s the third best out there – a ranking I’m sure he’d agree with. Just pointing out the cost-benefit of adopting his at-all-costs attitude to sport.

        1. Third best? OK

          Not bad for the third best driver in the third best car to come in second place overall…

          Oh, I almost forgot: A group of people, who this year again voted Alonso as the best driver among them, would like to disagree with you…

          I think they like to be called Formula 1 Drivers.

          But, of course, you know better… I mean, you even know that Fernando would agree with your ranking!


          1. Alex, it was meant a little bit tongue in cheek! Alonso agreeing with me, I mean. I’m sure he’d actually place himself forth. And that’s not including Schumacher come to think of it…

        2. 3rd best? He almost won the championship in a slower car! Lewis could only manage 4th haha

        3. Would love to hear that conversation between David BR and Fernando Alonso

          David – “Fernando ..I think you deserve a rank of 3rd best on the grid. You drove the 3rd fastest car all year, and managed to lose the championship in the final race by 4 points. It might have been a strategic error in Abu Dhabi, but hey.. 3rd is the best I can rank you”

          Fernando – “I’m fine with whatever you say David… why dont you go blog about this on f1fanatic, and see what people say.”

          1. Well, to be honest third was a bit generous, but I know he can be a bit touchy.

            1. Good thing I reloaded the page before I submited my response, I had wrote a kind and politically correct answer, but now I see you are just trying to get attention. You did it, Bravo! YOU ARE WORLD CHAMPION! Now cry a little over the radio and go to a party somewhere and have a good time…

            2. It’s just banter Rodgrigo. The idea of ranking drivers always strikes me as fairly daft, actually, whoever does it. So what was the kind and PC answer?!

          2. It was the 2nd best car most of the year.

        4. Andy from Newport
          17th November 2010, 5:14

          David BR,
          Thank you for another one. You are hilarious.
          Come on, you do not believe the stuff your writing? Your just doing it to get people wound up? I think it’s working.

    7. 2 wins because of Vettel’s failures; Massa at Hockenheim; Monza was a pit crew gift, he did his best to lose that race.

      Singapore, that was a win.

      1. well, he was there to pick the victory when vettel retired…where were hamilton, webber and button?
        the ferrari was maybe the weakest of the 3 top team over the year, and tehy were still fighting for the title on sunday.

        what was wrong with monza win?

        1. I’m disputing Alonso’s contribute to his wins this year, not his reliability and his skill to get 110% out of a slower car. And i’m disputing that because of “oh, he won as many times as Vettel”.

          In Monza, he had to do just one thing: a good start. He didn’t deliver it. His garage had to fix it for him.

          1. Umm, he sorta had to put in some quick laps as well to jump Button, so that’s nonsense.

      2. Hmm i would consider Monza a proper win though, but definately agree that he didn’t deserve outright Bahrain, Germany and Korea.
        Also the 1st time he actually won in Singapore (*cough Singapore ’08) hehe.
        While it’s hard to forgive him for his machiavellian Mclaren season, there’s no doubt F1 is more interesting with such an anti-hero. Hope he stays with Ferrari but is actually pushed by his team mate (bring back Kimi anyone? :D)

    8. And the fur flies. If rumours are to be believed, Ferrari paid Kimi Raikkonen millions of euros not to race in F1 in 2010. I wondered to myself, as Vettel crossed the line yesterday to become the youngest champion in F1 history, if the 2007 champion was watching the spectacle and laughing to himself.
      Afterall, Ferrari had basically courted Fernando Alonso since the Spaniard’s messy divorce from McLaren in 2007. At the beginning of the season, Montezemolo stated that ‘if felt as if Alonso had been with the team for years’ such was the comfort between team and driver. Stark contrast then compared to the Raikkonen era inwhich for the majority of the time Felipe Massa had his card marked.
      All the criticism Raikkonen had, and here we were, watching the very man who had replaced him lose the championship, and in not a very dignified way.
      Speaking of dignified, I also wondered how Massa himself felt about yesterdays result. After being screwed to death at Hockenheim by his own team, a team he has stayed loyal to for years, he must have secretly had a chuckle to himself also.
      The McLaren drivers too, although also beaten by Vettel to the chase, did not look too distraught did they? Infact, I bet there were more than a few at McLaren yesterday who must have loved watching Alonso and Ferrari implode as they did.
      Lastly, there is Renault. The very team that made Alonso a double world champion, and the very team he ‘dumped’ to join Ferrari, playing a major part in his defeat. Even worse, at the hands of a rookie in the form of Vitaly Petrov who was my driver of the day yesterday.
      So, adding that fine brew up, I am not surprised that Ferrari have come under fire from some within their own land. They expected Alonso to become champion, I expected him to become champion, and we were all proven wrong!

      1. Wow, I’ve never read such utter nonsense.

        Alonso walked into Ferrari and destroyed Massa, a driver who lost to Lewis by 1 point in 2008. He drove a car which (according to Massa’s results) was dead slow, to 2nd in the WDC.

        On top of that, you cant blame Alonso for being angry. Almost anyone worth mentioning has done something similar. Michael has marched into other garages looking for fights. Some drivers have attacked eachother in the gravel traps, and all of them are still looked at as legends. Alonso pulled a first from his cockpit, and everyone says he is the devil? Oh come on, get real!

        1. Oh and btw, he is already two time champion. No need to prove anything.

          1. To me, he needs to.
            I think he won his championships too much in an accountant fashion.
            I can’t recall any other driver who took so many wins after a leader’s (and direct rival for WDC) failure/problem/external issues. I’m counting 7, that makes >25% of his overall wins.

            1. Was this Alonso’s fault that his rival’s car didnt finish the races ? Its their teams’ fault God dam it.
              He was fastest in 2005 and 2006 for most of the season and second fastest in the rest and when his rival’s car broke, he was there to take those extra points. Even u wud do the same or wud u also park ur car along with ur rival.
              U live in a funny world my dear brother.

            2. Hami-chump only won in Turkey becuase the two red bulls crashed in to each other.
              He only won in Canada because a backmarker held up his faster rival.
              Wow what a great season in the 2nd best car.
              3 wins out of 19 races.

            3. Wow what a great season in the 2nd best car

              Was it really the second best car? I know McLaren came second in the constructors championship, but did Ferrari not drop a driver half way through the season which kind of makes it unrepresentative?

        2. I thought it was amusing… he must have been really ****** off at how the situation turned out, and he had to vent out and release his anger. Petrov was the only one he could pick on. This doesn’t make the worst person to have ever walked the earth. I’m sure he apologised for the heat of the moment gesture.

          Alonso sure beats them diplomatic, PR personalities of F1. As a viewer, having Fernando up there fighting, has actually made this season what it is.

          1. This doesn’t make the worst person to have ever walked the earth.

            Third worst. After Adolf Hitler and Mariah Carey.

            1. Geez man, really? I mean obviously you think that’s funny – but it’s just really bad taste. I think we get it – Alonso eats puppies for breakfast and then burps fire while chanting satanic chants and beating up on defenseless Felipe for fun. You made your point, I think you can let it go now.

            2. Lighten up Maciek. Obviously adding Mariah Carey was meant to say I wasn’t taking it seriously, and, no, just to spell it out, I don’t think Alonso being a bad loser means he’s anywhere near being an evil, puppy-burping monster! I was just joking with Alex over the ‘third best driver’ issue. I’m off as you suggest: obviously the Ferrari/Alonso fans are all still a little too prickly!

            3. Alonso the evil puppy burping monster. This has got to be one of the best exchanges is. I have been laughing hysterically for about 30 minutes!!!

            4. I’m not sure if you’re mistaking me for a Ferrari/Alonso fan, but that’s kind of beside the point. As I said, I know you think that was funny, but it’s just really bad taste and you’re kind of flogging a dead horse (dead prancing horse, har har) by now.

        3. It is okay to be angry when other people ruins your race, but Alonso could never, ever, argue that Petrov drove overly defensive. It was for a track position, and Alonso never really had a look at him. Petrov just didn’t make any mistakes. Alonso can only be angry on himself and his team for ruining his race. I don’t mind if he is angry and overreacts. We are all just humans, but he could at least have apologized to Petrov after the race. But that didn’t happen.

          1. Yes, I agree. We must also remember the kind of person Alonso is – he would probably have expected the drivers of other teams to yield, as not to interfere in the Championship and I suppose this was what the hand-signal was about…

            1. Of course not, he didn’t expect anyone to yield, he thought he could overtake them and so did i… until i realised that you couldn’t overtake on this track, Hamilton had the same problem.

              As for the hand gesture, the guy lost the champioship, isn’t he allowed to be ****** off and yell at someone?

            2. Hamilton had the same problem.

              Not with Kobayashi he didn’t. And Kubica passed two people.

            3. I was tring to reply to Keith’s comment:

              Not with Kobayashi he didn’t. And Kubica passed two people.

              But for some reason there’s no reply button… anyway:

              Sorry Keith, but Hamilton did have the same problem. He could not pass another Renault, just like Alonso. Even on a faster car, as the McLaren proved to be much quicker than the Ferrari yesterday.

              In fact, Massa, on the other Ferrari, couldn’t even pass a Toro Rosso… which Webber had taken care of rather easily earlier…

            4. I was refuting the idea that you can’t pass at Abu Dhabi. Passing a Renault was clearly more difficult!

    9. The Italian political scenario – as a person who follows it quite nearly – is pathetic. Calderoli is a member of the ‘Northern League’, a xenophobic regional far-right party which is involved in the present government. Montezemolo heavily criticized this government for ‘doing nothing’ and has asked them to resign. Rumours also say that he’s interested to enter politics with a new political moderate coalition (i don’t hope so…). So, every whisper that comes out from Montezemolo’s mouth has been heavily attacked by those people. And when Ferrari lost, they’ve took the occasion to attack Monty.
      I have also to say that these people are absolutely anti-Italian, once they even wanted to secede. When Italy was kicked out of the FIFA World Cup they were having fun…

      1. Thanks for these useful details on subjects likely rarely reported outside Italy.

    10. oh alright David BR now I can say we on the same page…and Stefanauss stuff happens in F1 not everything can be perfect don’t come now try to say that because of Red Bulls mishaps he won those races…how bout you give Ferrari credit for maintaining those used up engines all 19 races and got getting a grid penalty. Oh and 1 more thing the pit crew practices countless of times to have that kind of performance in Monza, just like Red bulls, Mclaren’s pit crew

    11. I am not an alonso or Ferrari fan, but I have alot of respect for what they have done in recent months. Alonso has driven very well and ferrari have done very well with a car thats only finnished 3rd in the contructors. They are even gracefull in defeat.

    12. “It was all Alonso could do to split Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in qualifying to start third on the grid – at that advantage was gone within a few seconds of the start.”

      Shouldn’t it be ” – and that advantage…”? At least I’m having problems understanding that paragraph..

    13. Only “Flavor” Flav Briatore has the capacity to be at the head of Ferrari racing team.

    14. It’s a shame to get to the end of the season and then lose the title at the final moment.

      Massa lost it at the last moment. You had 40 laps to pass Petrov.

      I’m loving the vitriol against the comments criticising Ferrari. No-one was ever going to win this championship except Red Bull and Vettel. Any other victor would have been a loss on their part, not a win by anyone else. Any supposed brilliance by Fernando is irrelevant. I don’t remember him being so brilliant when he was trouncing Ferraris three years in a row.

      1. I think you are a bit hard with Alonso. Do you have any problem about his way of being, about team orders, or it’s just that you don’t give value to someone who couldn’t overtake in 40 laps?

        I think it’s very easy to say that, but almost noone could in the race.

        Ok, I laugh a lot in Brasil 2007 but it’s just during some days. At the end, the winner is allways deserved and the second is the best after the best. And despite the fastest RB6, if they had gave victory to Alonso then what you say is just rubish because the one behind then would be the champion and the absolut best.

    15. Ferrari is an excellent team as Alonso is an excellent driver. A very strong combination, they will come stronger next year. I have faith in Ferrari team.

      About those hypocrite politicians and some biased media buffoons, i think it is really not that much important what they are barking.

    16. Before the qualifying and race, Ferrari had to choose between two downforce setups : one that was faster in the straights, and another one that was better for the curves.
      They ended up choosing the “curves” setup, in the belief that it was the only way to qualify well. The problem then is that they had not enough speed to overtake in the straights.

    17. That some Italian politician uses the opportunity to launch a blow at Montezemolo is natural in Italy, I think. Most of them feel very strongly about F1 and Ferrari, and in a way it is an honourable thing for Ferrari, that their failure causes Italian Politicians to lose their temper – or try to become popular by demanding heads to roll at Ferrari for the failure. If Ferrari was much less important it would never be mentioned in this way.
      Personally I think that with this immense influence on the Italian public Ferrari should never never have cheated and used TO. Instead they could use the enormous attention and influence to set better standards for sporting conduct and fair play.

      1. Ferrari are quite right to reject politicians cashing in on either their success or failure. But I find all this defensiveness by Ferrari over their strategy at Abu Dhabi kind of strange. Why not just admit they got it wrong? As far as I can tell, they’ve been at pains to say it was a team decision (so not Alonso’s fault on track for being passed by Button and then failing to get past Petrov?) – but it wasn’t really a mistake (so not Ferrari’s fault off track for pitting Alonso when they should have just tracked Button?). Sounds like a team trying to keep a lid on some internal tensions…

        1. Why not just admit they got it wrong?

          They did, look at Domenicali’s comment, he apologised to Alonso and called it a “mistake”.

          1. It’s a fair cop! I was thinking back to some of the post-race remarks and forgot the Domenicali quotes at the top of the article. Anyhow, it’ll be interesting to see how this first year of Alonso ‘comes out in the wash’ at the start of next year’s season, particularly in relation to Felipe Massa.

    18. I was impressed with Ferrari’s quality and Alonso’s season after Spa – where I had the pleasure of seeing his crashed racer passing us sitting on a Lorry on the way back to the pits. After this he seemed unbeatable – he made no errors, used any good opportunity and maximized the points available with the car. But for the final race he went to defensive, he and Ferrari only wanted to control Webber, to keep him behind. Had he been aggressive, I’m sure he would have been champion again.
      I’m so happy that Vettel got it and that so many drivers and teams did all they could to support this, even if they probably just drove to maximize their outcome.
      Now we just need Kimi back next season and Schumi up for speed, then it will be yet another grand season, especially if FIA can decide for themselves if they want to Judge according to the rules they have, or change the rules to what they can judge against Ferrari;-)

      1. “Kimi back next season”

        Oh yeah, now that i would like :)

    19. I am an ALO supporter and I am recovered yet. I am sure that He and Ferrari are also recovered yet, analyzing all the mistakes and the right decisions from them and the other teams, and preparing the next seasson. There is no time for cry.

    20. In a sense the Italian politician was right.
      This was a strategic error from the Ferrari team.

      If Alonso had pitted in the right time, then he would’ve scored some more points in the race.

      1. But, I don’t believe it’s right to criticize what the team thinks its the best for them.

        It’s not like the politician is an expert on racing strategies.

        Politicians should focus on their acting.

        1. “Politicians should focus on their acting”.

          My vote for comment of the day !

    21. this may not be the correct place for these comments, but why isn’t anybody talking about the Yas Marina track? What a horrid place to race! Alo was catching Pet at 8 tenths per second, then was “stuck” behind hom for approx 38 laps. We saw similar episodes all over the place. Absolutely ridiculous! I hated every second of that race due to sheer frustration. Passing makes for a good race, and this was the worst race I’ve seen since last year’s race here. Even Monaco is more appealing. My opinion is that they should raze that ridiculous (POS) track and start over with somebody that has half a brain.
      Anybody else out there agree with me?

      1. I don’t really agree here, the track is perfectly fine.

        They shouldn’t raze it down

        1. I agree – the track is *****!! For F1 at least. Its appaling, the track showed up all the defeciencies with F1 as a formula. For starters they need to leave out the chicane at turn 5…

    22. Well, it’s boring to hear and hear again that Alonso has almost won the title despite in the 3rd best car, far inferior to McLaren and Red Bull sort of stuff. Interesting that when he fall bebind it’s due to his poor Ferrari or other stuff and when he put himself upfront, it’s his awesome skill?
      Better be objective. He may be one of the finest driver these days, but not more than that and less than that, prone to make mistake as anybody else. Only difference in this rank shall be probability of making mistake is relatively less than those other guys.
      Just wondering if LH, SV or FA are to race in Torro Rosso or HRT?
      What’s really annoying with FA is his lack of maturity. Well, he is still young fella and believe he will grow up as time goes. But it will fatally flawed if those despicable behaviors are hailed and tolerated only because he is commercially representing Spanish Italian market.
      Maybe too harsh for him, but guess he got to rethink the system as a whole outside of his small begotry ego.

    23. You can ruminate about it till the cows come home but essentially had Alonso pitted later in the race as did Vettel, he would have won the title because he would not have been stuck behind a driver that he could not pass. It is that simple. There was absolutely no good reason to pit early. That was the only reason Alonso did not win his third title and it was a major team error. Pity.

      1. “There was absolutely no good reason to pit early. That was the only reason Alonso did not win his third title”

        No, it was just the last of many reasons accumulated over the season.

    24. One should not forget that Ferrari has done a lot for Italy. Italy is also known as “Land of Prancing Horses” because of Ferrari. Ferrari may have lost the driver’s title but they always had the second best car this season and still they were in the hunt till the very last race. Alonso drove his heart out in the second part of championship, pushing the car to its limits. I am a die hard Ferrari fan and I truly support the team in its tough moments. Ferrari will be back as winner very soon…..

    25. Only 16 comments over on the McLaren page, but 86 here on the “We Hate Fernando Forum.” High praise for Fernando and Ferrari, indeed, when your rivals hate you more than they love their own team! Or maybe it’s just that none of you Butto . . . er, unbiased Brit fans want to talk about the failures of their own heroes this year! (Anyone care for a wager on how far Putt Putt Button falls down the time sheets next year?)
      See you all next season!

      1. Troutcor: Button seems to be a very nice guy, fair and honest. I’m not his fan, but I like his posture about it and he delivered some support for Hamilton even if the car wasn’t up to it for many races this autumn. The other top drivers all have something in their baggage which have caused criticism, but none of them have a baggage like Alonso – directly suggesting his Team to break the TO rule and they did.And Keith gave a spot on number of reason why many of of see Alonso as we do: The victory in Singapore: Alonso’s strategy in that race only made sense, if he knew the safety car would come out early. Otherwise it would have been directly stupid to pit as early as he did – far earlier than anyone else. I simply don’t believe he didn’t know. The TO thing in Germany sort of confirms a small suspicion that Alonso actually was the brain behind the Singapore stunt, back then. He also read and commented the documents from the spy scandal, instead of telling the team that it was illegal, unsporting and unworthy to obtain this kind of material in this way. In both cases he escaped punishment – how I still don’t understand.
        Alonso is a gifted driver, but maybe he lacks empathy – I have never seen any kind of evidence that he can be empathic, on the contrary…Reminds me of a boss I once had. Couldn’t feel a thing for other people, but felt very sorry for himself when it was his ass on the grindstone…

        1. Wait a second! McLaren steals documents and that’s Alonso’s fault because he did not tell McLaren that they shouldn’t steal documents?

    26. HounslowBusGarage
      16th November 2010, 12:30

      Tragic for Massa that he thought he’d missed the end of the session. I suppose there is no automatic way of reassuring a driver – green light on the dashboard if he starts the lap in time, that sort of thing. I can’t remember as he started that last lap, was there traffic in front of him on their slowing down laps already?

      1. I thought it was strange he didn’t just keep his foot in and hope for the best.

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          16th November 2010, 17:44

          I suspect he was already feeling a bit defeated and deflated, and thereby thought he’d missed the opportunity. Sort of ‘glass half empty’ effect.

          1. The trouble of most of his season it seems, especially after Germany. That is what ensured Ferrari couldn’t fight for 2nd in the WCC, and also meant Massa never was in a position to help Alonso after Germany. I sometimes wonder if that last bit was on purpose, although thinking seriously, I doubt it.

    27. The one important point about Alonso’s defeat in Abu Dhabi has been missed here. His, and indeed Ferrari’s strategy going into the grands prix was an over cautious one.
      With a lead in the points standings going into the race, it was obvious that Alonso and Ferrari were not going to take any unnecessary risks. At the start, Jenson Button passed Alonso without the Spaniard putting up too much of a fight. I am convinced Button realised this himself, he had nothing to lose if he made contact with the Ferrari trying to pass, but Alonso had everything to lose.
      Going back to Brazil 2008, ‘all’ Hamilton had to do was finish fifth or better. It sounded easy on paper, but Hamilton came desperately close to losing the championship that grands prix, from a result that most suggested would be ‘easy’ to attain.
      Ofcourse Ferrari’s decision to pit Fernando early played a huge and decisive factor in the loss, but it proves just how hard it can be for any racing driver to play a ‘defensive’ strategy. Hamilton, Button, and without doubt Sebastien Vettel had nothing to lose and went out fully to attack as hard as they could from the get go.
      By the time Ferrari, and especially Alonso realised their error, it was too late. I agree with Keith that the argument that overtaking in Abu Dhabi is ‘impossible’ is completely false and a lame excuse. Its just that some took bigger risks than others were willing to take.
      As for Alonso’s past, I also agree with Keith. There is a clear common thread in many of the major scandals of the last several years. They all involve, in some context, the same racing driver. I often think that Fernando has a firesuit made of teflon, as nothing bad seems to stick to him. Spygate, Crashgate, Hockenheim, all involved him but he was either looking the other way or not in the loop. Believe that if you will!
      Keith was bang on. After the furore of Singapore 2008 Fernando Alonso could, and should, have denouced the Renault team and his former superiors far more vigoriously than he did. That itself, spoke volumes.
      To me, he did not come across as a man ashamed of how his team had aquired victory, nor did he sound surprised.
      Now, can you say he is the dirtiest driver ever? No is the answer. We all remember Senna and Prost crashing into each other to both win world championships. Both men, when push came to shove, were ruthless when it came to stamping their authority on the racetrack.
      Michael Schumacher could have and handbook written about how to ‘achieve one’s aims at any price’, and is, like Senna and Prost, rightly considered a legend.
      So Alonso is in good company there isn’t he! I think what angers some is his ability to dodge bullets and still come out of it smiling. Mr Nice Guy, which to be honest, the others do too with varying degrees of success.
      I thought Martin Brundle summed it up best with his ‘get real son’ comment on Fernando’s petulance towards Petrov. I for one, remember Alonso in 2005 doing the very same to Michael Schumacher at Imola so what goes around comes around. He is though, despite his tantrum moments, still one of our sports best drivers and a big draw to many. Just don’t expect him to win Sports Personality Of The Year, and to be fair, thats not what hes being paid for is it?

      1. Speaking about F1, yes, he was in a defensive strategy, that was the right one at the begining, but the SC made it inutile. The wall mistake made the rest. And yes, it’s easy to overtake in Abu Dabi, but it isn’t when you have a car configured for curves and the only points to overtake are the straights, and the renault was configured for speed. Many things against the defensive strategy. A big mistake to remember as well as the great victories.

        About the rest you’re saying, and coming back to defend Alonso, I have to say that we have to believe in proofs, at least, being unbiased.

        Alonso could have been behind all the scandals, but he could be perfectly inocent of everything. Speaking about being sportive, remember that in the spygate Alonso gave the emails to the authorities. Yes, he was required, but, what about Hamilton, who almost win the championship with that copied car? wasn’t he around there?

        Why are you asking to him to return the singapore price because of that? Did anybody in the F1 history who made that after being discovered in a fraud?

        Why should we suspect about him being around and why don’t we think that hamilton movement in Valencia was deliverate? I speak about Hamilton but maybe because it’s because he is also in the focus.

        wouldn’t RBR swap positions in the last race if necesary? is it better in the last race? so can’t you disregard the rules if you are not in the last race? I think the point of the last race have the same value that the ones in the first race, haven’t they?

        It’s true that all this riot would finish and we’d remember the epic of his victories and not this things. Well, only if English/German Media doesn’t make with him an evil who eats children and we forget that he’s just like the great champions: selfish and arrogant.

        1. Did anybody in the F1 history who made that after being discovered in a fraud?

          Did anyone else in F1 history win a race because his team mate was ordered to crash?

          1. Maybe, but then the were clearly better at pulling it off so we haven’t found out yet :-p

          2. I’ll answer you when you tell me why don’t you link Hamilton with the spygate or when you ask/contribute for the same public lynching to McLaren team.

            And as the statements said in singapore gate… wasn’t the crash a Piquet idea? You give value only to the statements you like. Piquet father, what a person, Alonso is a saint next to him.

            Yes, Alonso is not Hill, a gentleman, but I think this is going too far. Don’t you think that life has been fair with this issue making Alonso lose the championship?

            What goes around comes around, Keith. One day you’ll have to talk about someone else about similar things and you won’t be so hard. Well, you’re not really hard, but insistent.

            1. What happened in Singapore was specifically engineered so Alonso could win. Both Hamilton and Alonso benefitted from ‘spygate’ – and only Alonso was directly implicated.

            2. When you say Hill, you must mean Graham or Phil. Damon rammed Schumacher off twice.

            3. Oh, yeah, and Damon still didn’t come close to the title that year.

    28. My view is that Ferrari got it wrong from the git go with their final gear ratio selection and wing set up was not the issue. I also speculate that Red Bull made the same error with Webber.
      The inability of either Alonzo to close on Petrov and Webber on Alonzo down the straights when they were both faster in qualifying suggests to me that in a one lap situation and their skill sets both these drivers were ahead of Petrov but over the race distance they just could not keep up on sheer speed because they topped out on revs at lower speeds. Petrov drove very well for him, made no mistakes and the Renault was well set up with the same engine as the race winner and Webber.
      Yaz Marina is a fine line between set up and final gear ratio and get the gearing wrong and you will do well in the twisty bits but give up top end speed and that is what happened to Alonzo, Massa and Webber. Renault did better.

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