Alonso “extremely happy” with Massa as team mate

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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Massa out-qualified Alonso at Suzuka but Alonso passed him

Fernando Alonso says he’s “extremely happy” with his current team mate Felipe Massa.

Asked during today’s press conference if he would welcome Sebastian Vettel as his team mate at Ferrari Alonso said: “I am extremely happy with any team-mate I have alongside me.

“I think now I am extremely happy with Felipe. I think we have a very strong team at the moment.”

Alonso has out-scored Massa by 202 points to 90 so far this season and finished ahead of his team mate in ten out of 12 races where both were classified.

“We are different drivers with different styles that we can help each other with a way of driving and a way of approaching the weekend. I am constantly learning from Felipe in these two years and I am extremely happy.

“In the future, nobody knows. I have a long-term contract with Ferrari for the next five or six years so I don’t know, if we can keep going with Felipe or if there will be a change in the future. If someone else is coming we will try to work as close as we work now as we do with him and try to help Ferrari in as many races as possible so it will be good.”

Alonso said his target for the final four races of the season is to “try to win one race if possible.”

“We know it will be difficult,” he said. “Red Bull will remain favourites for the remaining races. McLaren is very strong at this part of the championship as well, so we know it is going to be difficult.”

Contrary to what he said last week, Alonso said he is not interested in the runner-up place in the championship: “I think finishing, second, third or fifth in the drivers championship is not a big difference.

“Once you cannot be world champion it is not any more a big interest on that. And then in the constructors championship, which is maybe more important, McLaren are still quite a long way ahead of us, so we need to do the maximum, but we know it is also going to be difficult to catch them.

“As I said try and enjoy racing like we did at Suzuka last weekend, when you can be aggressive on the starts, you can play a little bit with the strategy. We can enjoy Sundays, try do good races, maximise the potential of the car and if we do that then we know a podium is very possible and as I said if there is one opportunity to win one of the remaining Grands Prix we try to take it.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    57 comments on “Alonso “extremely happy” with Massa as team mate”

    1. Ooo, bigger picture…like it.

      And yeh, I bet Alonso is happy with Massa as a team-mate. No-one to upset the balance and reasonably good at occupying the spot behind him, should Ferrari ever have the best car again.

      1. maybe, but i wonder if Ferrari are *really* happy with Massa as his team mate, his lack of results (inc those w/o Hamilton contact) has pratically has gifted Mclaren 2nd in the WCC for the last 2 years.

      2. @Icthyes – exactly what I was thinking. 202 points to 90 and beating him 10-2 in races, what’s not to be happy about?

        1. It’s the same situation within Red Bull really. Mark is the perfect number 2 really. He’s just good enough to help them take the Constructors’ title, but not good enough to disrupt his team mate’s dominance.

      3. I found this one nice @icthyes

        “We are different drivers with different styles that we can help each other with a way of driving and a way of approaching the weekend. I am constantly learning from Felipe in these two years and I am extremely happy.

        I bet Alonso must be really astonished to see what humiliation Massa can take without cracking, and still be supportive of the team. That must me an eye-opener to him :-)

    2. of course he would. However I’m sure he isn’t happy with car.

      1. I’m not an Alonso supporter but I’d love to see him fighting with proper equipment.

    3. In other news:

      “Dog happy with being scratched behind ear”
      “Cat pleased with regular distribution of food”
      “Duck savours rain shower”
      “Plant grateful for hydrogen fusion”

      Of course Alonso’s happy with Massa, he’s the best teammate he’s ever had. Guaranteed to back down, no natural self confidence, easily dominated, and not particularly talented. Exactly what he wanted at McLaren and didn’t get.

      1. Good one:)

      2. Indeed. If only he could score more points, though.

        The best #2 is a guy who can finish right behind you on good days and take the win on that rare bad day you’ll have. Massa is finishing way too far behind Alonso to be a truly effective #2. Rubens was much better in that respect.

      3. Best ever? I’m not sure, would he go as far as deliberately crashing to help Alonso?

        1. That was helpful but lead to a lot of heat. Massa’s quite capable of bringing out a safety car without any team instructions.

        2. Well, we all know a certain Nelson Piquet Jnr would do that.

      4. I love that comment @Hairs, but I disagree with you on one part.

        not particularly talented

        He’s an F1 driver. He’s not there because he’s a bad driver. He’s just had a bad run since around the middle of the 2009 season.

        1. “bad” and “not particularly talented” aren’t the same thing, though.

          Massa had about 12 calender months of good form in his whole career, when he was driving the fastest car, and driving against an apathetic team-mate. The rest of the time, he’s been poor to average at best.

    4. SennaNmbr1 (@)
      13th October 2011, 12:31

      What a joke. I’m surprised anyone wants to drive for Ferrari.

      1. … I would…

        1. Same here, but a Porsche F1 team would be better…

      2. Whilst I wouldn’t myself, I can understand why people would give anything to drive for them.

        They do some strange things but you can’t argue with their passion for motor-racing or their history.

      3. I would just not with Alonso as my team-mate

        1. sid_prasher (@)
          13th October 2011, 21:11

          I think almost all current drivers will be happy to switch to Ferrari.

          1. the only reason anyone would want to drive for ferrari these days is because they pay atleast twice as much as what the others do

            1. They were clearly fighting in spa. More than we have ever seen red bull fight. yet again its ferrari that get the team order tag thrown at them.

              even this weekend when alonso passed him with DRS, it was cried team orders. yet exactly same thing happened with williams a lap later no one cared. Lewis jumped out of buttons way…no one cared….

              notice a pattern

    5. I almost covered my desk in the coffee I was drinking when I read the headline! A subservient team mate who also keeps tripping over Hamilton and causing him problems too – I bet Felipe is getting a big Christmas hamper from Fernando after this season…

    6. Did massa really lift off to let alonso pass at the Japanese GP as brundle had said? cause then i guess it’s obvious he is “extremely happy” with massa. :P

      1. Japanese GP is not an exception this year:

        1. Doubt it. Massa was having big problems with the rear tyres irrc and at Hungary Massa was again right off the pace when that incident happened. He probably wasn’t going to fight much when he was so slow as most team mates wouldn’t but there’s no evidence of team orders I think and they’d be pretty pointless given Ferrari aren’t fighting for either title.

      2. I’m fairly sure he did, which is a good thing too.

        Alonso was faster, and it benefited the team as a whole.
        That, is being a good team mate.

    7. Thanks for this one. Was having a boring day at office. The article made me LOL

      1. I was sure I wouldn’t be the only one who had to laugh out loud reading that headline.

    8. of course. any teammate that plays second driver role to him he is extremely happy with.

      alonso with an equal teammate is average at best.

      1. Isn’t it great that Alonso is happy with Massa as a team mate ?? Too bad none of the rest of us are….

    9. Who else burst out laughing when they saw the headline? :P

      1. I chuckled :)

      2. Afraid to say, yes. I read the headline ‘translating’ Massa from Portuguese into English, which comes out as:
        Alonso “extremely happy” with Lump of Dough as team mate.

    10. I am not surprised Alonso is happy with Massa as his teammate, someone Alonso consistently beats, and on the rare occasion Massa is ahead of him on the track Massa will move over to let Alonso through.

      What more could he ask for from a teammate.

    11. Very laughable :D

      1. Would be, if it was a joke :)

        You cant blame Alonso.

    12. Surely Massa now needs to “disobey” team orders and not let Alonso through – start with Korea. And if Massa beats him fair and square – then resign and retire.

      But I suppose that will never happen as Ferrari might take too long to change tyres for Massa.

      1. The problem is Massa is just plain slower than Alonso. There’s no pull over button going on most of the time. Although Massa doesnt try take Alonso out (being team mates and all), he still trys to build a gap and keep Alonso behind. Once the overtake begins, there’s only so much you can do to stop a quicker car from overtaking you in the DRS zone.

        We saw many overtakes in the same corner in Japan, and they all looked exactly the same as Alonso’s on Massa. So you can throw your expectations of Ferrari out of the window on that one.

        So even if he tries to be a bad team player, Massa will still get overtaken and beaten by Alonso because Alonso is consistently about .5 seconds a lap quicker.

    13. Well I’d be delighted if Ferrari got another win. It’ll be very difficult thought. Maybe the unknown of India will throw up a suprise!

    14. Not really a big surprise. I don’t think Alonso would have a season like 07 if he had a stronger team mate but he’s quite happy when he’s ruling the roost and directing things. It’s not like other world champs haven’t done the same. Besides, I doubt he’s going to say anything negative about his current team mate. I think I remember Lewis saying he was perfectly happy with Heikki before he got the boot. Massa puts the team first so there’s no way Alonso’s going to stick the knife in and they seem to get on OK.

      1. I think you are right on that part about 07, Alonso seems to have got over it and would handle things differently now as he’s had the experience of that.
        As for other champs being much the same, we only have to look at Senna, Prost, Piquet and Schumacher pushing/asking/influencing their team to choose certain team mates to their liking.

    15. Dimitris 1395 (@)
      13th October 2011, 14:38

      For Alonso, Massa is the perfect team-mate, much as Fisichella was in 2006. Not equally competitive, always obedient to team orders, able to score some points for the team. I don’t blame Alonso

    16. It certainly is not a surprise that Alonso is happy with Felipe Massa as his team mate, but the Spaniard is probably more content at having Ferrari at his beck and call, as the team’s number one driver. Fernando knows that if he had a quicker guy in the sister Ferrari, beating him on a regular basis, his number one status within the team would come under threat.
      The bigger issue here is that it appears that the Ferrari top brass are happier with Alonso that they were with Kimi Raikkonen. Fernando looked at ease as soon as he donned the red overalls last year, and that counts for alot. However, with Luca De Montezemolo both praising Vettel and Hamilton’s talents in public, one must always remember that the buck always stops with Luca and no one else.
      I often wonder if Alonso secretly wants a topline driver in the sister car so that he can prove, once and for all, that he can beat a great team mate who has the same machinery as him. That would really lay the ghosts of 2007 forever in my eyes, as so many suggest that Alonso can only thrive in a team where he is the only ‘star’ driver.

    17. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      13th October 2011, 15:03

      Alonso is happy now, what about 2007? His clash with a good teammate (Lewis in his really good days) made him feel so uncomfortable that he preferred going to a taylormade but uneffective Renault team (where another servant crashed for him in Singapore to give him some “hapiness”) than staying in a competitive McLaren which won the championship a year later… he could have probably had his third WDC already if he wasn’t so picky with teammates. He wants to set his own legend as Prost, banning good teammates who scared him (Senna), or he wants to be consider a truly champion again? his 2 championships were well deserved, outclassing his teammates, now he needs a pawn to feel better… baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddddddddddd

    18. Why would he be unhappy? Ferrari has a “puppet” called Felipe Massa who would distract the media and critics by blaming others for his poor results whenever he gets involved in an incident (though not his fault with incidents).

      Alonso is a great driver. He is the most complete driver on the grid. He is a balanced driver and can easily outperform good drivers. The problem is that he gets insecure when a competitive driver comes into the team. He wants the team to be his “own”.

      Regarding Massa, he is not even a proper No. 2 driver. I mean Alonso 202 points and Massa only 90!! Only 44.5% of points what Alonso has. This explains why Ferrari has been 3rd in Championships in 2010 and 2011.

    19. Alonso’s quote is one of those things you would expect Captain Obvious to say.

    20. I am constantly learning from Felipe in these two years and I am extremely happy.

      I smiled reading this. I don’t know why but I feel it’s exaggerated abit ;)
      Learning how not to attack or defend from Lewis in the last few races, surely!

    21. Fernando may be happy with Massa but I’m not so sure about Ferrari being happy with Felipe. I can’t help thinking that they would do a lot better in the constructor’s championship if one of their drivers hadn’t somehow become a midfield racer.

    22. Ever the optimist, but not in a cheesy Hamilton kinda way.

      It can’t be a Formula 1 season without a win for Ferrari, surely?

      When was the last time that happened?

      1. @AndrewTanner Ferrari already won a race – at Silverstone!

        1. @Keith-Collantine You know what, the moment I posted that I was having my doubts about what I said but I thought no, I’ll let it stick. I didn’t have time to think about it properly and I thought on the off chance I may be right at the time.

          Severe moment of stupidity!

          I blame Ferrari.

    23. sid_prasher (@)
      13th October 2011, 21:13

      Massa has had a couple of really bad years..,I think he needs to win a race (somehow) to get his groove back.

    24. man, more senseless beating up on massa. alonso can’t say anything without inviting a flood of slams. it’s got to the point where brundle is hammering him during the show. if it’s so bad for him, why doesn’t he quit? why would 99% of drivers kill to be a ferrari grand prix driver?

      what people should be critical of is massa’s lack of speed, not the role he plays in the team, and not the way the team is run – which happens to be the smart way and with very few and sporadic exceptions, the way every team has always been.

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