Alonso said he was “much quicker” than Massa in Korea

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In the round-up: Alonso complained about being held up by Massa in Korea.


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Korean Grand Prix video edit (F1)

Previously unheard team radio from the Korean grand Prix reveals Fernando Alonso told Ferrari “I am much quicker than Felipe [Massa]” during the race.

That he said this is no great surprise, but it is interesting for two reasons. First, he used the exact same words when urging Ferrari to use team orders to make Massa pull over for him in Hockenheim last year.

Second, it flatly contradicts his remarks to the BBC’s Lee McKenzie immediately after the Korean race. Alonso said: “No, I was not much quicker at that time […] I was not much quicker at that time of the race. I was only quick in the last stint with the last set of tyres.”

Bernie Ecclestone calm after Indian GP builders put their foot down (The Guardian)

“I was pessimistic a fortnight ago. I was sent pictures of the track and I thought: ‘Christ, we’re not going to get it finished in time,’. But what they have done in the meantime – and I’ve been sent more recent pictures – is incredible. The people there are very anxious to be sure they’re doing a good job and they are very passionate about their sport.”

Hundreds attend Wheldon funeral (BBC)

Susie Wheldon: “Although the last few days have been unbearable for our family, the overwhelming love and support we have received are rays of sunshine during these dark days.”

Indian GP will put the country among elite (Deccan Herald)

“Perhaps it is only fitting that the pioneers of the sport in India are remembered in the run-up to the inaugural Formula One Indian Grand Prix. The first motorsport event of any type was held in 1904 by the Motor Union of Western India. The race began in Delhi and culminated in Bombay (Mumbai), covering 1,300 km.”

Thousands welcome F1 champion Vettel home (AP)

Sebastian Vettel said he was ‘overwhelmed’ Saturday when around 30,000 fans welcomed the Formula 1 world champion home.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Aka_robyn is excited about the potential New Jersey Grand Prix in 2013:

I’m ridiculously excited! A Grand Prix I can walk to is definitely something I can live with.

Now to get everyone else around here excited about it. For many people around here, motor racing equals NASCAR equals something they want nothing to do with, and few of them understand how different F1 is. I think a good first step would be a demo run.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Manatcna!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The 1966 season ended 45 years ago today in Mexico City. John Surtees won, driving a Cooper-Maserati, at the track where he had won the championship two years earlier.

Jack Brabham, who already had the 1966 title wrapped up, and team mate Denny Hulme, completed the podium.

Author information

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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87 comments on “Alonso said he was “much quicker” than Massa in Korea”

  1. His belief is that at all times he absolutely has the confidence in himself that he is better than anyone else. Which like it or not, that drive is why he’s where he is and ultimately why he’s a multiple world champion. Not a lot of drivers would have the balls to say that over the radio…on the other hand it was a bit silly of him to contradict himself after the race. Is suppose by then he had PR in mind but in the heat of the race it all came out.

    Thought I’d try and see this one outside the box and balance out the argument before it starts ;) And lets be honest, if you’re loads faster than your team mate in a situation like that, then there’s not one driver on the grid or any of us that wouldn’t be thinking the same thing in our heads.

    1. To all who are bashing Alonso:

      Everything you are saying is ultimately speculation. What is an objective FACT is that Alonso knocked out 20+ devastating laps once he had clear track. Those laps were no joke.

  2. I think Keith has missed a point about Alonso being quicker than Massa. Fernando said he was slow on his first stint. Watching the video, he says he is quicker than Massa at the end of the second stint, so I can’t see no contradiction on his remarks.

    But maybe I’m loosing something here…

    1. @architrion He referred to being “stuck behind Nico” in the second stint but adds he was “not much quicker” than Massa. Yet apparently at this time he was telling his team he was “much quicker” than Massa.

      Looking at the interview as a whole, he clearly rejects the premise of the question that he lost time being stuck behind Massa. I don’t think you can reasonably say that is consistent with what he told the team during the race.

      1. Remember, they don’t always play the audio at the same time it was said, so that could have been said later (or earlier for that matter) then the video showed. I’m still not seeing this as contradicting, and before we all jump on the (unprofessional) conspiracy theory boat here, lets ask a few questions.

        Why would he be in such a desperate rush to get past Massa? Last year he was a title contender, so team orders made sense, but this year, theres no such pressure.

        How do you know he wasn’t just stating that to tell the team that he’s quick? Sure, that might be a bit naive, but its another thing to consider.

        And since team orders obviously didn’t play into the situation here, is there really a need to make such an assumption on such a reputable site? Remember, journalists aren’t supposed to be conspiracy theorist (unless your Fox News….).

        Just some things to think about ;)

        1. Why would he be in such a desperate rush to get past Massa?

          Simple, he’s faster and his team mate is holding him up.

          I’m 100% sure that Alonso wanted Ferrari to move Massa over.

          1. @Mike You didn’t read the rest of what I said, did you?

            And my original post was aimed @Keith Collantine

          2. I did, and I disagree.

            I can’t see why he would have said it had he not been stuck behind Massa at the time of saying it.

            It’s fairly obvious that Alonso was faster, and using the same words as he did in Hockemheim can’t just be a coincidence.

            Ok, yes you are right. We don’t know that he said it when he did. But probability says otherwise.

            Which then brings the interesting issue of changing history at the interviews.

      2. Alonso said at the spanish tv that he wasn’t held by Massa because he could not get a real performance of the supersoft tyres. He was better on the softs, after the first pitstop and the safety car.

        I think this take on the video was moments before the second pitstop. I didn’t know what he said to BBC, but I would expect it would be quite similar to what he said to La Sexta, where he was clear than on the first stint he wasn’t fast enough to feel he was slowed down by Massa.

        Maybe the guy was trying to be polite…. he had a difficult time at the islands, and came back to school to grab some manners and pr abilities… McLaren should feel proud of it’s creation :-)

        1. or Ron Denis? :D

      3. Eh, hindsight is a wonderful thing is it not?

        1. Wow, I fail xD Why can’t we edit our posts on the main site?

    2. His character is quite hard to bear still I cant see anything wrong with his statements I agree with you.

  3. Oh I can see the Alonso bashing coming already, but thats life. Obviously he would tell his team he is faster, if there is one driver out there who doesn’t think or want to think he can go faster than the car he follows all along, there is something seriously wrong with that driver. And of course, if he was much faster then why didn’t he simply overtake Massa? I saw him trying but his car looked very unstable under acceleration so thats not ideal for getting alongside someone. Guess even if he had been able to follow Ham, Web, But it would have been almost impossible for him to overtake them.

    The Vettel thing was huge (I live nearby) but one thing struck me: in tv they said he used his car from the last race there but to me it didn’t look like the current car at all. Which would make sense since they wouldn’t send the car from Korea to Heppenheim to India but I found it a little weird that they lied about it.

    And about the F1 near NYC: I’d like it very much but I’ll believe it when I see it.

    1. @bananarama

      And of course, if he was much faster then why didn’t he simply overtake Massa?

      Yes, that thought did occur to me!

      1. Maybe he was trying to “overtake” Massa just like he did at Hockenheim last year…

      2. the flying finn
        23rd October 2011, 3:29

        like prost, this “competitive animal” uses everything in his hand to take an advantage, even if it’s an unfair advantage.
        He knows he has the upper hand withing the team, and he talks to see what he can get out of his words.
        I never liked prost, and i don’t specialy like alonso even if he is from my country.

        1. Webber was much faster than Hamilton, but he couldn’t overtake? And had Massa not held him up, he had a shot at the podium, clearly with the speed he had in clear air.
          Who really cares if Alonso said one thing to his team (the truth) and one thing to the media? Big deal!

          1. And of course, if he was much faster then why didn’t he simply overtake Massa?

            It’s just more evidence that Alonso feels entitled. Big news flash for him, 2005-2006 was a long time ago. The big argument of the past several seasons is that he is the “most complete driver” on the grid. But that argument is being torn to shreds by Vettel and even Button are of late. You can talk all you want about his car disadvantage, but until he wins another title it’s all a bunch of talk. I used to like him, I used to love seeing him drag a Renault to places where it should never have finished, but he’s become the biggest jerk in the field.

      3. Cars from the same stable would normally have similar characteristics in the various sectors of the race, which does away with any advantages making it very hard to pass. That’s why Hamilton was able to hold off a faster Webber, MSC was able to hold off a faster Hamilton for so long, and Massa holding off a faster Alonso. In almost all cases in todays ‘rig’, hold the guy off long enough for his tires to go south and you’re good to the next pit stop.

    2. Oh I can see the Alonso bashing coming already, but thats life.

      That’s not life, that’s one of F1F’s most beloved features: the CFABPOTW (compulsory Ferrari/Alonso bashing post of the week). Like I always say, never ever feed the tr*lls

    3. And of course, if he was much faster then why didn’t he simply overtake Massa?
      +1. Exactly. But then, without all the the whining and complains, he wouldn’t be Alonso. In this sense, Alonso reminds me of Pelé. The brazilian footballer Romário once said that Pelé “when is silent, is a poet”. IMO, so is Alonso.

  4. Lord, Surtees, Brabham and Hulme, what a great time that was.
    In regard to the Alonso point, it was painfully obvious that from the middle of the race on he was in fact faster than Massa, just not enough to get around him. Shame actually, would have made the end of the race quite interesting. Still and all, a good outcome.
    Wish F1 would go to places like Laguna Seca, my personal favorite, or fixup Watkins Glen for historical perspectives, racing the Jersey Shore doesn’t do much for me, even though I’m a few hours from there.

    1. If you live a few hours from the Jersey Shore, you should be smart enough to know that West New York is no where’s near the shore.

  5. If Alonso really was faster than Massa, he would have passed him easily.

    Why is it that Alonso complains that he is faster than other people when he clearly isn’t?

    1. Because he clearly is faster than Massa! Come on, we all know passing was tough unless you were much quicker, just ask Webber. For once I completely understand Alonso here. Cost them a podium perhaps. I don’t approve of team orders, but sometimes the other driver needs to work it out for themselves.

      1. Because he clearly is faster than Massa! Come on, we all know passing was tough unless you were much quicker, just ask Webber.

        If Alonso was as fast as you suggest he is, he would have had no trouble passing Massa on his own.

        1. Now hang on a minute, I just said he was faster, I didn’t specify how fast. I’m sure you’ve heard of dirty air before so I’m confused by your comment.

    2. Hamilton was faster than Schumacher at Monza and couldn’t pass easily.

      It is F1. Sometimes the faster car just can not overtake.

      1. Plus its usually harder to pass your team mate who has identical equipment with pretty similar performance for brakes, drs, kers, engine etc…

        something else which would have hurt alonso’s chances to pass massa was drs because massa also had drs avaliable due to been behind another car himself.

        1. Good point. I never realised it, but even Massa was trailing either Webber or Rosberg, and Alonso didn’t have the DRS advantage.

          Personally, I think Alonso should have tried more aggressively to overtake Massa. Alonso’s calculative and risk avoiding approach might be more sensible, but will not always be appreciated by the fans. I think Fernando has no one but himself to blame for being behind a significantly slower teammate in the first place.

  6. Hey, cool! Comment of the day! Now I’m excited about that, too! :-)

    A few weeks ago, I mentioned to a couple friends that this New Jersey GP might be in the works, and they looked at me like they thought I’d finally gone right off the deep end. I think they secretly thought it was just something I’d fantasized. I eagerly await the official announcement on Tuesday, when I can rub their faces in how not crazy I am! ;-)

    1. The best subject ever to have a COTD about @aka_robyn!

      Good thing this is now NASCAR, maybe you can convince the rest to have a look at how its different in F1 now!

  7. If you were “much quicker” than Felipe, why didn’t you just pass him, Fernando?

    1. you mean the way Hamilton, much quicker than Schumi, passed Schumi at Monza?

      Or the way Webber, much quicker than Hamilton the entire Grand Prix, passed Hamilton?

      1. I think that’s exactly what he had in mind;)

  8. keith can we have a COTD stats page? with a rankings table based on how many we have? :D i think i had a COTD a while ago.

  9. Another slow F1 news day then…

    Seriously, it isn’t that big a deal that Alonso tries to not cause a fuss in public. Of course behind closed doors he’ll say he’s faster.

    I’m pretty glad that he doesn’t run his mouth in public.

    It really grates on me that a week or so after a race, we have to be dragged through the ‘scandal’ of some new piece of team radio. Great, there’s some more info for people that like it. But let’s not dress it up to be anything that it isn’t.

    1. On the contrary
      23rd October 2011, 3:05

      Yup scandal lovers posing as F1 fans are us….

    2. How come we all get only Ferrari’s team radio? I tend to think that there are people who listen only to Massa and Alonso’s radio transmissions to suck ‘scandals’ out of the finger later. Now every word Alonso says to his team is to be interpreted in 100 of ways. It looks more and more like a witchhunt.

      1. Just read the horrible news – MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli dies from injuries sustained in a crash at Sepang Circuit. R.I.P Marco. That’s 2 deaths in 1 week in motorsport. Now that’s something worth thinking about and not the BS we’re commenting.

        1. I agree with you about Alonso radio communication.
          But anyway, I am posting here just about Marco Simoncelli. A very very tragic accident. RIP Marco.

        2. That is , geez. R.I.P

          I do not have the vocabulary to describe my feelings.
          I feel for the families.

    3. spot on,,,when nothing much is happening,,the default position is to start alonso bashing,,,i suppose it helps divert attention from hamiltons recent sulking…

  10. On the contrary
    23rd October 2011, 3:01

    Excellent Reporting, and stirring pot, let the slanderfest begin :) Spaniard demon, we simply love making monster out of you.

    1. Please tell me your kidding….

  11. We all know Teflonso but I must say that he was quite polite Its “forgivable”.

  12. Hearing Alonsos complaint ” I am faster” adds subject to his later transmission “I give up” eg.” see what I could have done if you had told Massa to let me by, but you didn’t so this is the result.

    1. @hohum exactly what Brundle was making of it during the race commentary, and that was without hearing the radio messages.

      Good job from FOM they confirmed this to be true, especially as Ferrari were talking about how it was all fine to Alonso for having been stuck behind Massa.

      One thing really positive about this is, that Massa is allowed to give it his all and keep results if he can do it on track now that the WDC is over and done with. Lets hope he can take courage from that for the rest of his career next year.

  13. I’m not quite sure what grounds Alonso has to complain here. If you really are faster, you should maybe try to overtake someone instead of expecting the team to do your job for you.

    For as good a driver as Alonso is, I’ve noticed he’s spent a lot of time this year behind clearly slower cars and hasn’t been able to get past them. He’s also the one you see being overtaken a lot of the time too.

    1. @magnificent-geoffrey I’ve made that point quite recently, just after Korea in fact. It doesn’t fill me with much confidence that I can consider him a championship contender again in years to come.

    2. Passing Massa can be a dangerous exercise as several other drivers have already discovered this year, if I was Alonso I would want to use the magic (mic.) button first.

      1. @HoHum Well Alonso didn’t mind, or have trouble, passing Massa at many other tracks this year, so why not again at Korea?

  14. if Alonso was much faster as he said he should have got ahead of Massa at the start , or should have qualified ahead or should have showed that on track. he would have not got ahead of Massa had they stopped for the similar time in the pits while changing tires. BTW it would a good thing to compare pit times of all drivers compared to their team mates. i’m sure we will find a pattern.

  15. Exact same thing he said at Hockenheim last year. Massa is driving for the team as well Fernando, he isn’t your bottlefeeder, he won’t give anything up as easy.

  16. Not really surprising to hear what Fernando said, but if he was faster, why could Massa pull a 2 second gap after they cleared Rosberg?

    1. Exactly! Alonso would be wise to just be quiet and do his talking on the track. Nobody likes a whiner, even if they already have 2 WDCs. Most everyone thinks he’s a shoe in for atleast one more, but I think it is anything but guaranteed.

  17. sid_prasher (@)
    23rd October 2011, 9:53

    Hard to really know the context in which it was said…but I am glad Ferrari didn’t pay any heed to it.

  18. It is my unfortunate duty to report that there has been another death in motorsport: MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli died of injuries sustained in a crash with Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi at Sepang.

    1. I was flicking between the RWC & the MotoGP. The crash was horrible, it was clear something wasn’t right when his helmet came off.

      A terribly tragic accident.

      1. I was flicking between the RWC & the MotoGP. The crash was horrible, it was clear something wasn’t right when his helmet came off.


        I read somewhere that Marco wore one size bigger helmet than what he should have been waring because of his afro. Hence, I’m led to believe the helmet came off easier than it should have. Nevertheless, helmet or no helmet, the impact of the collision and the area where he was hit would’ve left very little chance of survival.

        RIP Marco… I hope that this is the last we hear of motor racing incidents for quite a long time.

    2. @prisoner-monkeys I honestly admit I barely knew who Dan Wheldon was.
      On the other hand, I know very well who Marco Simoncelli was.
      I feel sorry for both, as both died in motorsport, where they shouldn’t have, both left me wondering if motorsport was worth existing, both left me wondering what I’m going to do with my life.
      I feel a little bit more sorry for Sic because I knew him better, he was more of a “friend” to me, this is a tragic day and week for the whole world of motorsport.
      R.I.P. Marco, 1987 – 2011.

      1. I know you you feel, @fixy – when Dan Wheldon died, I said that everyone should race on because Wheldon was a man whose life was dedicated to the pursuit of speed, and slowing everyone down seemed like a poor way of remembering him. But when I saw Simoncelli’s accident, and the way he was lying prone on the tarmac, I just wanted time to stand still so that the marshals could get to him and get him out of there.

      2. I don’t follow MotoGP hardly at all, so I only knew Simoncelli’s name, but I feel very sad to hear about his death. It’s weird how sometimes these things come in a short span, very sad.

      3. It was a horrible scene, his body lying there… Then I though on the other two riders that were involve in the accident and how they must feel…his poor family, his father looked so disturbe after the announce…

        RIP Marco Simoncelli

  19. @keithcollantine In the first line, it’s Alonso not Alonos.

    1. Fixed, thanks.

  20. Fernando Alonso told Ferrari “I am much quicker than Felipe [Massa]” during the race.

    Not again!

  21. R.I.P Marco Simoncelli, another passionate lover of motor racing who was tragically killed doing what he loved to do. Yet another bright and prosperous future cut short. Unfortunately, tragedy in motorsport will always be a topic that just won’t go away.

  22. Fun, Alonso trying the overtake Massa via radio again – much faster and safer than even via pits, I guess, and interesting how that plays with his last lap “give up” comment. Clearly some “teambuilding” going on there.

    More remarkable, in a way, was the way the edit failed to show the nicest bit of the HAM-WEB fight where they went side by side through S2. I did like the HAM: “… much quicker than me” followed by “lewis, you are doing great, still 16 laps to go”; great fight that was (I just finished re-watching the race).

  23. Emanuele Pirro was at the Gold Coast this weekend and guest commentated the Touring Car Masters support race. He talked about his experience as a F1 guest steward.

    He mentioned how some drivers act like immature kids in the stewards room, making up excuses and the like. He said that one of the worst was a ‘multi world champion’.

    Now the race he was stewarding was Sepang 2011. I know Schumacher wasn’t in the stewards room after the race, and Vettel wasn’t a double world champion then, that leaves…

    1. @ed24f1 Very interesting! Can you give any more details on what channel he was commentating on? Would like to have a listen…

      1. @keithcollantine – He was a guest commentator for Channel 7 and 7mate (yes, we Australians have a channel called “mate”), calling the Touring Car Masters support event. I’m not sure if the support events will be re-broadcast when the races are shown on international channels. But @ed24f1 summed it up nicely – Pirro didn’t really say anything more, and he certainly didn’t name names.

        1. @keithcollantine You can find the race here.

          From 3:00 onwards, Pirro starts talking about the on-track incident, which leads into talking about his stewarding experiences.

    2. I wish we had some comments from the Monaco GP stewards too.

  24. Team orders weren’t allowed when Rob Smedley issued the original “Fernando is faster than you” instruction, but they are now…so I wonder why Alonso felt the need to use the same words? He could have just said “Let me past you fools”…

    F1 needs to sort out its team radio broadcasting, and release more of it at the time during the race. A week on, I’m thinking “who cares”, particularly with the awful accidents we’ve had since then in top-level motorsport.

  25. Marco Simoncelli dies from injuries after crash

  26. After another shock death in motorsport it is about time that the matter of safety is really looked into as if these tragic events can happen is such a short amount of time is could be anybody next at any time with all motorsport seeming as dangerous. Even though Formula 1 takes a look on safety it would be better if they really went into depth to pretect their drivers as at this time it could be a Formula 1 driver next. If a tribute was made to safety in motorsport as well as these drivers it may make some of the Formula 1 drivers as well as drivers in other forms of motorsport will be more catious when racing and doing experimental moves, obviously we don’t want racing to be boring but a stricter response taken by drivers to ensure their safety and not putting off potential future talents and still show that motorsport is a safe environment.

  27. RIP Marco Simoncelli. Keith why is there no article on Simoncelli’s crash.

    1. @mike-the-bike-schumacher A completely fair question and one I’m happy to address.

      First, of course I was saddened to hear about the death of Marco Simoncelli this morning. And coming so soon after last week’s terrible events, it’s all the more tragic.

      While this site is predominantly focussed on Formula 1 its scope has always included some other forms of racing. This has broadened this year and F1 Fanatic Live has included IndyCar, Le Mans and British Touring Car races.

      But I have to be realistic about the breadth of motor racing I can cover on the site and I have not previously included motorcycle racing among them.

      So while today’s events are deeply saddening and I do genuinely sympathise, I do not think it would be appropriate to run a separate article on it. This is the same decision I took last year after Moto2 rider Shoya Tomizawa lost his life.

      Having never previously covered Moto GP racing on the site, I think to do so now would be seen as a cynical attempt to hijack people’s grief to generate site traffic.

      I know several readers also follow Moto GP and I see a forum thread has already been set up on about it – indeed, this is where I first heard about the crash.

      I hope you understand and respect the reasons for this decision.

      1. I respect the decision – you’ve never written anything about MotoGP and I guess you have to draw the line somewhere. As long as it was mentioned in the round-up I think it’s okay.

      2. Makes sense and I understand completely. It is still motor racing, but you have to draw the line somewhere on what you cover, even in the event of something so tragic. I was wondering if there would be an article but wasn’t surprised.

      3. Ok Keith, that’s a good response, I understand.

      4. While I understand and respect your decision, as this is your site, I personally would not have seen a problem with a simple link in the round-up on the accident. In fact, I first read about the incident from some twitter posts on another F1 site this morning.

        I’m of the mindset that all racing is linked, and that when tragedy strikes, the entire community should take notice. Again, its your decision, but I personally wouldn’t have minded a simple acknowledgement.

        1. Never mind my comment, I see you did post at least Button’s twitter in which he mentions Marco in the latest round-up.

  28. I don’t think Alonso did anything wrong in the interview. But nowadays the Race edits do reveal a lot and Singapore 2011 was a great example.

    “I am much quicker than Felipe”. Don’t think that statement is wrong or Alonso is a whiner. Any driver would do that. eg. Button in Spain 2009

    I think its normal and Alonso proved it by beating Massa by approximately 10 secs to the flag.

  29. I think that I have spotted a couple of things that almost nobody else has noticed this year. One is that I *think* that Massa had no KERS during this last race in Korea, based on one or possibly two shots of his KERS graphic. I never got round to checking this, but it would make me think that Alonso was just sulking and probably could have taken him with a 6 second KERS blast with DRS assist.

    The other thing I spotted was from the in-car footage of Hamilton’s crash in Belgium. He clearly was knocked unconcious for about 10-15 seconds in either the initial impact with the barrier or with the near-simultaneous impact with the advertising hoarding. His head and arms were slumped, he did not try to steer or brake before hitting the 2nd barrier. I very much doubt that this knock to the head could explain his behaviour in the latter part of the year, but I’m surprised nobody has made the suggestion. For me, he’s still got his fantastic skill intact, so will bounce back no doubt, as we began to see at the last race.

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