Alonso: Rosberg cost us shot at victory

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Istanbul, 2011

Fernando Alonso said he might have been able to challenge Sebastian Vettel for victory had he not got stuck behind Nico Rosberg at the start of the race.

Alonso said: “We lost a little bit of time behind Rosberg at the beginning of the race. So we [didn’t] thought any more the possibility to fight with Sebastian for P1, we concentrate on P2.

“I had a little bit of advantage, in terms of tyre degradation, in that part of the race compared to Mark. As Mark said we used the DRS and I was able to overtake him.

“And then in the last part of the race it was more or less the opposite. We had maybe a little bit of a disadvantage with tyre age, we lost the position again.”

However he said he was pleased with his car’s pace after taking Ferrari’s first podium finish of the year:

“I think we did a good weekend overall. The car performed a bit better than what we did in the first three race of the championship.

“So finally we enjoy racing again and we enjoy a race fighting for the podium positions, changing second and third positions through the race.”

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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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    91 comments on “Alonso: Rosberg cost us shot at victory”

    1. Great drive from Alonso,…driver of the day,…

      1. Surely, he was faster than Vettel at times, with a car miles away from his.

        1. Exactly, he was doing it at the end of last year. If they can eek more performance out that Ferrari for Spain then I reckon we could see an Alonso win.

          1. Based on today’s performance I have no doubt we will see him on the top step very soon.

            1. I hate to rain on the party but vettel took an extra pit stop when he didn’t need to and was using an old aero pack that was ‘slower’ than webber’s car. Sure alonso had good pace, but the only way i see him winning is if RBR screw up

    2. agree with you on that!

    3. Rosberg was pretty slow all sunday. If it wasn’t for Rosberg holding Mark and Fernando up for the first 5-6 laps, there would have been a battle for the lead either amongst the 2 RB drivers or Alonso and Vettel at some point of time during the race. Vettel formed a comfortable cushion of around 6 seconds after the first 5 laps, and just played with that margin to keep Mark and Fernando behind.

      1. There would never have been a fight for the lead today, Vettel had enough in his pocket all race long!

        1. Did he tell you that himself?

          1. We will never know either way. Woul have been entertaining to see Vettel vs Alonso.

        2. @Preekel

          Totally agree, it wasn’t or was never going to be close. If anyone behind went faster than so would of Vettel, he was just pacing himself to those behind him and looking after the tyres, gone in this era are people streaking off to a 50 second lead because you can’t risk burning the tyres out.

          It is good the Ferrari are more on the pace but that only helps Vettel as the others now take points of each other but rarely off Vettel. Mclaren and Ferrari have to find another 0.5s, to realistically,consistently be able to fight for the win

      2. ‘If’ is the biggest word in the dictionary…solution for MW…don’t qualify ahead of NR and then lose the spot and end up behind him…solution for FA…don’t qualify 2 spots behind NR…

        Bottom line…awesome job, NR…extracting the most you can from a car that is obviously not at race winning calibre…outshining a 7 time WDC that everyone has always claimed can wrestle a pig to the podium…obviously incorrectly so…

    4. Ferrari’s race pace wasn’t really any better today, relative to Red Bull, than any of the other races so far this year.

      They could have got a podium at all of the races so far if it wasn’t for driver or team errors. Today, they were just lucky that the McLarens shot themselves in the foot.

      1. Not really, Hamilton was 30 seconds behind Alonso so I don’t see how barring mistakes he could’ve got 3rd.

        1. Hamilton being that far behind had a lot to do with losing some 15 seconds in that horrible pitstop though.

          But I must say Alonso did a great job to make the most of the car today.

          1. More like 10 seconds I think but still that didn’t really change anything apart from that he had to get past Jenson.

            1. 35-20=?

            2. It was about 30 – 35 from what I saw on live timing, but even if it was a little less it cost him much more due to track position.

              However, I don’t think he would of ever got in front of Alonso but it would of been much closer.

        2. Using the same logic that Alonso does to claim that if Rosberg didn’t hold him up he’d have been challenging for the lead, it could also be said that if Hamilton hadn’t lost several seconds behind Button in his 1st stint, 12 – 15 seconds in that pit stop and we assume he slowed down a bit when he got past button near the end he could have been challenging for the lead too.

      2. Mclaren wasnt fast today. They hardly had any fastest laps and Hamilton was losing time to Alonso in 2nd stint. And even Massa was able to pass Ham.

        1. It looked as if Hamilton’s McLaren was eating tyres again. McLaren lacked speed, good pitstops, tyre-friendliness (Hamilton) and a good tyre-strategy (Button). So after all, 4th and 6th is not bad. Nothing gained and nothing lost compared to their qualifying-positions.

          1. It called being in traffic, the car slides more = more tyre problems.
            No problem as such.

      3. Ed, Lewis didnt lose 30 seconds during his bad stop. Even without the bad pitstop, he still would only have finished 4th (an entire pitstop was +- 17 seconds only).

    5. I think Alonso should have done a bit better while defending his P2 at the end. He lost it too easily to Mark. But overall, a good race for Fernando. Keep up the good work.

      1. Mark had tyres advantage at the end, exactly the same Alonso enjoyed in previous stint. The key here was Rosberg and the time Alonso spent behind him. Anyway, Alonso showing again whenever the cars better, he will be up there fighting for victory. He was matching Bulls pace for a long time, and that was unexpected for sure.

        We need to stop the Bulls from winning at any cost, shame :) Eagerly waiting for Barcelona.


        1. Was Webber on Soft in the last stint ? I know that Alonso was on hard. But if Webber was also on Hards then I am getting a hard time finding out what tyre advantage Mark had over Alonso ?

          1. Last stint Webber=soft Alonso=Hard

            1. i thought alonso was on softs too, i thought they both got their hards out of the way before that.

              pirelli need to make it more clear. when watching of tv u rarely see the sidewall colour.

            2. I thought they were both on hards, but webbers set was brand new; where alonso’s set was used.

              4 pitstops is 5 sets of tyres – I thought they only had 3 sets of softs during the race, so that leave 2 runs on hards!

          2. Red Bulls are stronger on the hard tyre than Ferrari. Which is also a reason why Ferrari struggle with the hard tyres during quali..

            1. But I guess they use softs in Q3?

            2. Yes they do.. but Ferrari are forced to use softs in Q1 very often because their pace on the hards is poor.

            3. But if they use the softs more often, then their hard tyres should be better preserved for the race?

      2. The answer is… DRS…

        1. To be able to use DRS, driver needs to be in between 1 sec of the car ahead and that too in DRS zone. Webber gained on Alonso due to him being on soft and that too up to the temperature and then used his DRS. Soft are almost a second quicker than hards.

        2. Both were on Hards.

          The reason for Mark’s superior pace on the last was that he had a fresh set of spares as compared to Fernando’s used ones.

          If Ferrari can get their Qualifying pace up to scratch, they can push Red Bull. If it wasnt for Fernando’s used primes, he would have finished 2nd.

          Funny how nobody has brought up the Massa v Alonso debate from the last race..

    6. Well, I don’t know about that. If Rosberg hadn’t been there, Hamilton might have been third, and perhaps would have gotten Vettel at the start; Alonso would possibly have been behind Webber, and figthing with him and Button in the first stint.

      So yes, in a way, Rosberg being there stopped the firght for thed lead, but I don’t know for sure that Alonso would then have been in it, because he thanked his place in a large part thanks to getting ahead of Hamilton, and staying ahead of Button (who initially had passed Alonso at the start).

      But at the same time, yes Alonso had the pace to fight here. But I think Ferrari had the race pace, for most stints, already for most of the year, just that, their qualifying and start didn;’t allow them to use it. A bit like McLaren in this race, perhaps.

      1. Yes, Ferrari are maybe a tad quicker, but the biggest difference was Alonso not losing 2 or more places at the start, but gaining some in the first corners.

        1. His initial get away was actually quite poor, i was again swearing at him for it. He ended up in a very good position between turn 1 and 2 and benefited from the squabble lewis was having before he made his mistake.

    7. Did anyone ask Alonso about the Italian / Spanish radio message?

      We know that it meant “We now follow the others’ strategy”, but still, why was a non-English language used?

      1. Is this a rule that only English should be used ???

        1. There isn’t a rule (and there need not be one either), but there should be a gentleman’s agreement to use only English as that is the language understood by most F1 viewers.

          1. The rule was to make the radio communication public so that the viewers can understand /make out that there is some communicatiob going on between driver and engg,but which rule/”UNDERSTANDING” says that all the viewers understand English ?

          2. The pitwall-driver dialogue isn’t actually the viewer’s business so if a team decides that sending a message in another language is more convinient they should stick to it.

            1. The pitwall-driver dialogue isn’t actually the viewer’s business

              Yes it is.

            2. tho being english i am happy for them to be in english what happens if your driver cant speak it?

            3. Keith if that were true, the FOM would release all team communications, either live during the race or after.

              The way the system currently works allows for the broadcaster to paint the picture they chose by excluding details as they please.

              After all the bad press Alonso gets due to what is said over coms in English to the English, it would make sense that they begin targeting their supporters market instead (Italians and the Spanish – I guess?). The end result is that the broadcaster will chose not to broadcast their communications, which suites them very well.

            4. Keith if that were true, the FOM would release all team communications, either live during the race or after.

              That’s a non sequitur. If people weren’t supposed to hear the radio communications none of them would be broadcast.

              In fact there are plans to make team radio communications available to broadcasters next year:


            5. Yeah sorry, i don’t really see how it is the viewers business, and you Keith you haven’t exactly done very much to argue your case?

              “Yes it is” doesn’t really cut it for me, especially from a “sports journalist”

              Those conversations are nice to hear, and give us some good information / a good laugh at times during races but we do not have an absolute right to hear them.

              The teams can use which ever language they want to give messages across, especially when they know there is a chance the FIA may decide to broadcast one or two of them for the other teams to hear. If Fernando and his engineer wanted to disguise a message from red bull or the mclarens by giving it in spannish at least there would be more time before the other teams understood it. Clever if you ask me.

            6. Yeah I gotta agree with Lee on this one. The primary purpose of pit to driver radio is for them to communicate amongst themselves and to exchange information. Just because we now have the technology to put it on air, doesn’t give the viewer any right to decide on the language/content of that message.

            7. we do not have an absolute right to hear them.

              That’s not the same thing as it ‘not being the viewers’ business’, which is what he said.

            8. “dont have the right”, “none of our business” youre splitting hairs a little here.

              in my opinion both apply, the conversations as stated above are between the teams to speak to their drivers so what is said in them is none of our business, therefore the teams can communicate in whatever, language or ‘code’ that they so wish.

              Just because we are privileged to hearing the information, thanks to the generosity of the teams agreeing to it, and the FIA for making it available as part of their coverage does not mean that we have an automatic right to it, neither do we have the right to dictate to them the language in which they communicate these messages.

          3. Time for subtitled pit-car radio messages then? Some of them are incomprehensible in English as it is already..

            1. I agree with “codesurge”, the radio messages should be subtitled. But when it comes to message language I thing they should be in any language the teams chooses.
              Every time a radio message comes out, the Italian viewers have to translate it in Italian, but this time the English viewers had to do vice-versa – to translate from Italian to English,… And BBC should have a commentator that knows more than one language,..
              If Brundle knew German or Italian he wouldn’t have to be such a “pain in the microphone” during a grid walk, he is so rude,..

          4. Yeah, right. So if the majority of the public would understand Mandarin, we ask them to speak mandarin?

            I think it was nice to see them go for Italian although Alonso answered in English anyway.

            1. Who cares anyway, there are some Italians out there that don’t understand English that probably enjoyed that.

              Give them a break.

            2. RIISE, actually I was trying to say it would be strange to force them to speak english just for the fans.

              As you say some people might have got exited to finally understand the pit radio.

            3. So if the majority of the public would understand Mandarin, we ask them to speak mandarin?

              Of course.

              It’s pretty simple: They broadcast the messages because it is part of following the sport. The public following the sport is the sole reason for its existence as more than an expensive hobby.

              Just like a lot of regulations are aimed at making the sport more enjoyable for the public, of course only English (or the prevalent International language at the time) should be allowed for pit communication.

    8. With the DRS and KERS I can’t see how Alonso can claim he was delayed by Rosberg; If he was indeed faster there is no more excuse for not getting around a “slower” car.

      Look at the differences between Schumy and Rosberg’s times; it’s the driver, not the car.

      1. DRS does not get activated right at the start. The race control activates the DRS after 3-4 laps and thats the reason Alonso and Webber could not pass Rosberg right at the start and that gave Vettel that gap. (Ofcourse he drove very well). And KERS is same for everyone provided its working. And when DRS got activated, Rosberg was duly passed by Webber and Alonso.

        1. I thought it was only the first lap where DRS was not used. Thanks for the insight Gill.

        2. Ehm…3 to 4 laps? really? it’s first two lap, you even get a on screen graphic message when they can start using it.

          1. I thought it was the first 2 laps?

    9. slowly but surely

    10. Great Drive Alonso great drive…lets try to get a podium or a Victory next race.

    11. don’t see what more Alonso is doing more than Kimi, honestly was all that talk about Alonso being a better developing type of driver was a load of BS. Maybe Ferrari need to do what williams are doing… let go of non-performers. Alonso did very well today, hope ferrari keep giving him the car to fight for the wins…

      1. alonso 3rd massa 11th says it. okay was unlucky but he wasnt on the same race as alonso.

        thats the difference. kimi would not of finished 3rd in that car. and if he had it would of been a distant one. not battling with bulls.

        Kimi won his ferrari title with a car left over to him from the michael, ross, rory era. He didnt develop on on his own-and neither did he at mclaren.

        Kimi was a amazing guy, but the complete package sad to say.

        Alonso never said rosberg cost me victory, so title is misleading really. what did cost him was everyone of his pit stops were 4.5 seconds plus, which is over a second slower than red bull. and when you add up all that time lost its alot of free seconds to be giving away to your already quicker opponents Mclaren are suffering here too. And i dont get why not one website or tv coverage has covered this. In the new F1 with 2-4 pit stops per race the time lost in the pit lane is massively magnified cos its free time. red bulls were 3 seconds! amazing performances by them. but the rest need catch up or they wont have a chance to outsmart them

        1. Alonso never said rosberg cost me victory, so title is misleading really.

          The title does not say “rosberg cost me victory”.

          1. The Last Pope
            8th May 2011, 22:48

            No, but I agree with him that it is misleading. The headline makes it sound like Alonso is blaming Rosberg for ruining his chances of a win, as if Rosberg did something wrong.

            1. If a headline explained every nuance of a story it wouldn’t be a headline, it would be a paragraph.

              The headline is not misleading. It introduces the essential point of the story. Having read the entire piece no-one would think Alonso is saying “that git Rosberg cost me a win”.

            2. The Last Pope
              8th May 2011, 23:57

              [ Having read the entire piece no-one would think Alonso is saying “that git Rosberg cost me a win”.]

              lol no. But the headline did mislead me into thinking “Whats Alonso whinging about this time”. of course upon reading further I found this not true.

              Its a negative headline where Alonso was actually very positive.

            3. That is what makes a good headline, it gets you to read the article (what’s going on here then), what the reader assumes is not Keiths fault.

            4. I agree with you The Last Pope, but this isn’t anything new…headlines are meant to grab attention and it is only once one reads the body of the article that one sees the actual quotes…unfortunately there are a percentage of folk that will just scan the headlines and will think that FA is whining about something he claims NR did wrong…the use of the colon makes it seem like it is a quote from FA, and even though there are actual quotes from FA and the headline contains no quotation marks, it is still designed to make it seem like FA said this, and nothing in the article says he DIDN’T say ‘Rosberg cost us shot at victory’…

              Anyway, it’s buyer beware…read and believe just the headlines at your peril…understand that headlines are meant to be provocative to get people to read further…but I’m preaching to the choir…those of us who went beyond the headline are here commenting…those who did not and are going by false assumptions aren’t here reading these comments either…

        2. It’s not that misleading. The title may look as a citation but it’s not. The colon sign can also be used for a syntactical-deductive purpose – it introduces a logical consequence, or effect.

      2. And you know this because you work for Ferrari?

        How do you know that Alonso and Massa for that matter has not been pivotal in developing the car?

        Its never down to the driver alone, the team has to be up to scratch, and Ferrari’s team isnt the best if you ask me. Its nowhere when compared to the dominant Byrne-Brawn days.

        Why is Red Bull always ahead of the curve? Simple, they’ve got Adrian Newey and Sebastien Vettel, plus a ton of cash.

        Drawing parallels with Ferrari, theyve got more money, a more than equal driver, the only thing they dont have is…a equivalent to Adrian Newey.

    12. good drive from alonso

      but beat either red bull ? he cannot be serious

      1. He almost did.

    13. Do spectators bet on F1? like Legally or illegally?

      1. Both probalby

        1. Illegally in most countries.

    14. Alonso did a brilliant drive but Vettel was just cruising today. Vettel should get satellite radio put in his car so he doesn’t get too bored.

    15. To be fair with Alonso he never suggested he could have won the race straight away, he said “I think Sebastian was 99 per cent favourite, but this one per cent chance that we had we lost in the first five laps behind Nico, because the more or less five, seven second distance to Sebastian was consistent all through the race. Without those five seconds, maybe we can’t risk stopping two or three laps early and to force something or to push the Red Bull cars to the limit which we haven’t been able to do at the moment.”
      Clearly this means that as anything can happen so being close enough might give him -or Mark- this 1% chance… Nothing more, nothing less.

    16. Seems as though Alonso is always making excuses being held up by another driver…

      If he’s so good and can run with Vettel then win a pole and it shouldn’t be an issue!

    17. It seems to me it doesn’t matter what language they use if they want to pass info in code. Would you rather hear “the blue dog has a shiny collar” in Italian or English? Good race.

      1. That, and I bet most teams, being quite internationally oriented might as a collective have people understanding most languages, certainly Italian. But it was a bit of fun, and I could try out my very rudimentary bit of Italian :)

        I guess Magic paddle, and plan B don’t have more or less meaning in one language over the other, as you say.

    18. At the end of the day he should be happy as Ferrari have found some pace in the car & this time their strategy worked well.

    19. Unless there is more to the quote it comes across more like an explaination than an excuse. He drove a good race, and gives us hope for a possibility of future challenges. I’m rooting for any team that can give a challenge up front otherwise we’re just watching for 3rd thru 10th.

      1. Agreed SubF1…it is a racing/F1 fact that one can get held up by another…he’s not saying NR did anything wrong, just stating a fact…they can’t use DRS in the first few laps, which means for those laps we suffer with the usual aero dependancy problem that F1 has…cars in dirty air suck compared to cars in clean air, or cars who now have a DRS system to alter the dirty air scenario…

        I suspect FA himself would admit that if he doesn’t want to get held up by NR again, he shouldn’t qualify two spots behind him…

    20. OMG, Alonso again blaming someone else for something. How unexpected!!!!!

      1. Hewis Lamilton
        9th May 2011, 17:00


          And yes, Alonso sounds like a sad old lady. The only thing worse than a bad looser is a bad winner. Alonso is both.

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