Kubica is the best F1 driver, says Alonso

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso calls Robert Kubica F1’s best driver and praises the standard of competition in F1.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Alonso backs Kubica return (Daily Telegraph)

“For me the best driver is Robert Kubica. I spoke with him yesterday after his accident. When he returns, which will surely be soon, I’m sure he will continue to be the best driver.”

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is excited by F1 golden era (BBC)

“It is great years we are having. We just need to enjoy [them] because we don’t know how long we can be racing for these championships and how many times we will see this number of champions there.”

Ferrari has own reactive height system (Autosport)

“High-level sources at Ferrari have confirmed that the Italian outfit has already been working on developing its own reactive ride height system for 2012 – and has submitted its plans to the FIA to ensure that it fully complies with the regulations.”

Fry has freshened up Ferrari, says Alonso (Reuters)

“Already last year, we began to see improvements in all areas compared to the past, but then we stepped up a gear again in the second half of the 2011 season, with a more efficient way of working.”

Fernando Alonso calls for more Formula One testing (Herald Sun)

“It would be like forcing [Lionel] Messi to train with a racket rather than a ball or Rafael Nadal with a table tennis bat.”

Alonso and privacy (Ferrari)

“It’s the first time that I find myself the subject of rumour and gossip at this level and I find it very disappointing. [Ex-wife] Raquel [del Rosario] and I had asked for our private life to be respected, but just a few hours after the announcement of our separation, we began to read so many sad things and some of them were almost funny they were so absurd.”

I’m Feeling Strong And Motivated, Says Massa (Speed)

“The design of the new car is very different to those of the past, and also the fact that we should have softer compound tires should work in favour of my driving style.”

Best wishes Robert (Renault)

Eric Boullier: “It is sad to hear that he has suffered this setback. On behalf of everyone at Lotus Renault GP, I would like to wish Robert a quick recovery.”

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Comment of the day

Electrolite on F1 car design in 2012:

I’ve been looking into (and trying to get my head around) some of the rule changes for next year regarding car design. It somehow makes me more confident in Mercedes, as the W02 nose seems to be closer to what a 2012 nose might look like than the other 2011 cars. They also seem to have less to lose at the back end of the car regarding the exhaust-blown diffuser and indeed their rear suspension was meant to be pretty advanced.

It’s also possible the cars could get really ugly, if they end with noses as extreme as Craig Scarborough seems to be predicting.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ace and Kei!

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

Nelson Piquet officially announced his retirement from Formula 1 on this day in 1992.

The three-times champion had ended the previous season as team mate to an up-and-coming young driver named Michael Schumacher.

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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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68 comments on “Kubica is the best F1 driver, says Alonso”

  1. Whoa, loads about Ferrari lately. And cheers Keith!

    1. It’s the Wrooom! event, Ferrari’s big pre-season party. It usually happens around this time every year. They generally make all of their big announcements for the upcoming season here, except for unveiling their car and announcing their chassis designation, which I believe is coming on February 3rd.

      1. Did ALO just insult Kubica, Vettel, Schumi, Hamilton, Button Kimi all in one hit? Either way, I think they would all have a decent sense of humour and don’t take thing’s personally.

        1. how did he do that?

          1. You could work for a tabloid if you keep that way, Matty.

        2. i think he was just honest.

  2. Regarding COTD, I thought the noses are getting lower in terms of regulations. Now the cars already with low noses are McLaren, Marussia and Caterham. Mercedes’ nose is one of the highest.

    1. http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/2012-nose-height-regulations/

      @JT19 indeed, they are getting lower – but teams could well exploit the nose tip height to it’s maximum to ultimately recover the rear downforce they’re expecting to lose in 2012. When he talks about Mercedes I think he means the flat top, and the way the bottom is sculpted. It’s all terribly interesting although the complexities confuse the hell out of me :P I can’t remember who said it, or where they got the information from, but I remember someone on here a while back that the W02 was built with ideas in mind for the 2012 car (help me out someone?). Considering the whole Schumacher comeback is a ‘3 year project’, It’d be nice if that was the case!

      1. @electrolite Funnily enough, I just read that piece shortly after reading your COTD. The way he interprets the 2012 nose, it looks hideous! Sloping down and when it gets to the actual nose, it straightens out. I don’t like that, but if it works, it works.

        1. Honestly, we could see some absolute howlers this season. If they’re going to look anything like this ;)

          1. They’re not going to look like that. That slope between the wheels would be aerodynamically inefficient; it would push air up over the car, air that could be used elsewhere to create downforce. Most of the complaints about the lowered bulkhead was just the teams stirring things up. A raised nose is good because it allows more air over the splitter, generating more downforce. The teams fought the lowered noses because it means less air would go over the splitter, meaning they had less downforce. I’m expecting a lot of this year’s cars to have noses modelled on the McLaren MP4-26. They were the only ones who made noticeable progress towards Red Bull – especially in the second half of the year – so they had to be doing something right.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys to be fair it wasn’t just air to the splitter – the clearer path also helped feed air into the diffuser.

          3. True, but the teams were simply stirring up trouble with claims that the cars would look horrendous in order to try and preserve their downforce levels.

          4. @prisoner-monkeys we cant assume the teams were just talking nonsense until we see the cars. I sure hope you will not be one of those that calls the new cars ugly this year.

  3. Ferrari heavy Roundup, but well, if they’re the ones bringing the news, i’ts ok :P

  4. Sorry Fernando, you are wrong about Kubica. You are the current best driver in Formula One. If the 2012 car is good, the others will suffer.

    1. Hate to say it but I agree with you mate. Kubica is 4th in my estimation, behind the promising 3 (I think you all know who these 3 are).

      1. and that would be who? surely alonso and kubica are in top 3 if we take past 3 years when they drove f1 car (2 in kubica’s case)
        cant see there hamilton for sure, or vettel who had only last season good as he grew up from crash-kid to real f1 driver.

        1. @steco – clearly and correctly, @jt19 is referring to Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton. Kubica did well in 2008 and 2010, but it’s no guarantee he can win a championship (or two) like the other three.

          1. Hamilton? Surely not, if he performed at his best all the time, like Alonso does and Kubica did, then yes. But he doesn’t.

          2. @Mike – I agree somewhat on Hamilton (if he has more seasons like 2011), but still, I wouldn’t have said Kubica did that well in 2007 and 2009 either.

    2. Fernando, you are wrong about Kubica. You are the current best driver in Formula One.

      Alonso can’t exactly say “I’m the best driver in Formula 1”, can he? Remember when Ralf Schumacher said “I’m the third-best driver in Formula 1” despite being useless in a Toyota? The fallout from that wasn’t exactly pretty (for him).

    3. @prisoner-monkeys Actually; I believe Fernando rates Kubica higher than himself. I don’t remember where/when I saw/read that, but I remember that distinctly. Having said that he was once mighty scared of Pantano, so…

    4. Fernando is not my fave driver, but I think he deseves another shot driving a decent car. By decent, I mean a car that can fight for pole position and is a top contender in every race track. I’d say the same for Schumacher and Hamilton.

      So for 2012, I want to see big dogs driving cars closer to Red Bull (or on pair) from race one til the last race day.

      1. @jcost sounds like the hype of 2010. I was so excited to see Vettel-Red Bull vs Hamilton-McLaren vs Alonso-Ferrari vs Schumacher-Mercedes

    5. I am certain Alonso thinks he’s the best but so do probably 50% of the rest of the grid think they are the best. None is going to say it though.

      I think Alonso will say anyone else is the best apart from Vettel who it seems particularly Alonso and Hamilton think his success as come to easy because of the car advantages.

  5. Alonso’s statement regarding R.K. is called grace. Being gracious is what many here would be well advised to learn about. Far too many are the most viscous critics, yet have no great accomplishments of which to speak. Bravo F.A. for the sincere seniment.

    1. It sounded to me like a bit of a mistranslation/not what he meant (if in english).

      I imagine he meant one of the best drivers (and most people seem to think there’s a group of 4-5 drivers at the very top), rather than the actual best F1 driver.

    2. I agreed completely until you criticized others for being critical.

  6. We need more Alonso info (j/k)

  7. Here is some Lewis and Sutil

    The German allegedly assaulted Lotus co-owner Eric Lux in a Shanghai nightclub after the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix, which was won by Hamilton.

    Legal proceedings against Sutil began in Munich on Thursday. Sutil’s manager, Manfred Zimmermann, believes they will find his client not guilty.

    “We are convinced that the court will come to the conclusion that there was no intentional attack,” he said. “We feel good. So the truth will come out.”

    Sutil has not been retained by Force India for 2012. It is believed the charges pending against him have ended any chance he had of taking the one available seat at Williams.

    And here is the report o Sutil:

    F1: Sutil to face German Court at the end of this month

    Adrian Sutil has to face a German court for his alleged assault on Eric Lux, co-owner of Luxembourg Investment Company Genii and co-owner of the current Lotus Formula One team led by Eric Boullier.

    The German Formula One driver has to face court after he, according to Lux, wounded him with a glass in the M1NT discotheque in Shanghai, China, the night after the Chinese Grand Prix on April 17 last year.

    Lux sustained injuries on the left side of his neck, was brought to hospital by a taxi where the severe cut was closed with 24 stitches. A surgeon told him the cut was just millimetres away from an important facial nerve.

    Lux reported at the time to German newspaper FAZ he had been brought to the elevator by the security personnel of the discotheque and only then understood the severity of his injuries.

    1. I was only thinking about this last week, and if there was going to be a court case or not. Sutil seems confident it was an accident. I guess the security footage (if any) will decide the outcome

      1. I don’t think there is any security footage. The prosecution, rather than the defence, seems to be the one to have subpoena-ed Lewis Hamilton.

        There are no real details on what happened, but I suspect that Sutil’s story about it being an accident will hold some degree of truth. He probably went to throw the contents of his drink at Lux and either misjudged the distance, or Lux unexpectedly moved towards him at the last minute and the glass broke in Sutil’s hand. It takes less than a pound of pressure to break human skin (in certain places), but it takes more than a pound of pressure to break a glass, so I can’t see Sutil as having thrown his glass at Lux and somehow cutting him deeply enough to require twenty-four stitches. The glass had to be in Sutil’s hand when he cut Lux. So I think a lot of this case will boil down to Sutil’s intentions at the time. I don’t think this was premeditated – ie I don’t think Sutil broke the glass and advanced on Lux with the intention of killing or injuring him – but I think the case will look at whether this was just a joke that went horribly wrong, or whether Sutil felt he was provoked and acted rashly. Eric Lux saw fit to file a criminal complaint, so there’s obviously something going on here.

        Whatever the outcome, Sutil could be well and truly screwed. When Lewis Hamilton was caught doing burnouts in Melbourne, Jean Todt brought in new legislation that gave the FIA the power to strip a driver of his racing licence if he brought the sport into disrepute. Most of it was intended for traffic offences, but if Sutil is prosecuted for GBH, it certainly fits the bill of disrepute.

        1. Now that would be a really sad way do end a career in F1!

          I would hope it does not come to that.

          1. If it does turn out that he his guilty of these charges then I sincerely hope it DOES come to that. Violence is deplorable and has no space in sport.

          2. Now that would be a really sad way do end a career in F1!

            His career wouldn’t necessarily be over. The FIA would simply hold their own tribunal, and suspend Sutil from driving for some time. Probably a few months, or a year at the most. Now, if Sutil nicked Lux’s artery, it would be a completely different story … but then, Sutil probably wouldn’t have to worry about his licence being suspended because he would sure face jail time.

        2. The original article in German saids exactly what you are saying, that Sutil was trying to spill the content on Luc´s face.

          Even so, 24 stiches injure sounds really big to me… sadly I don´t think this won´t help Sutil´s chnaces to get a seat….

          1. *I mean: “sadly I don´t this will help”

          2. If he is found not guilty or acquitted of charges because it was an accident, then I doubt it will hurt his chances much.

            The possible ban on missing China might be a bit more ofa worry, but even then, it might work in his favour – if Williams wanted to give Valtterri Bottas a shot, they’ve got a readymade excuse to run him.

          3. I still think whatever happened it shows you don’t want Sutil in your car. An F1 driver should have more control then to react physically. Even with only intention to spill content in Lux’ face it shows lack of control.
            On tha other hand Sutil showed mental power last season.
            But to me that seems to be tha exception in à career marked with inconsistency. Lack of control.

          4. “should have more control then to react physically. ” – well that would have disqualified many a world champion from driving, pit-lane punch ups were once common-place, and entirely deliberate.

          5. An F1 driver should have more control then to react physically.

            Sutil was likely intoxicated at the time of the incident. If his reaction times were as slow as you make them out to be while sober, he never would have made it to Formula 1.

          6. Intoxicated

            There you have it: it takes lack of control to become Intoxicated.
            And while even Senna had his moments of physical attacks, He always was in full control when driving. And if you look at more than last half year, Sutil always had those Moments throughout his career. So I’m looking at that incident and see an example of exactly why he’s not à top driver.

          7. Tying an incident in a night club to there actual driving ability?

            Are you sure you want to go there? :D

    2. I’m not sure he will do time for this. I hope not as I can’t believe that he would deliberately attempt to stab a guy in the neck. He seems so timid in interviews. Certainly doesn’t remind me of a typical thug.

      However, with this sort of thing on the horizon its understandable why teams would be reluctant to sign him if there’s a chance he could be off to the Stadelheim mid season.

      I have never been convinced by Sutil anyway. He has shown flashes of speed but he has also shown a proclivity for clumsiness. He is also guilty of a tendency to pootle around all season and then turns it on towards the end of the year when his drive is under threat.

      I would like to see Senna given a fair crack of the whip as a year in HRT didn’t really give him valuable F1 experience as the car was barely quicker than a GP2 car at times and half a season in an ultra political Renault with no testing was a big ask of anyone.

      I hope we see him at Williams. Barrichello, whilst still excellent and a lovely man should not stand in the way of his young countryman who has a career ahead of him and it would be a fairytale story if the Williams turned out to be quick after the design team reshuffle.

  8. I don’t know for how long can one perform at Fernando’s level. He’s constantly getting 110% out of his package since mid-2010 and his personal performance inevitably has to drop sooner or later. I just hope he do bags a another championship though one way or another. It would be great for him to do so after his hard year of 2007 personally. He came out of it as a better driver in terms of technic. He drives better than he did when he won the WDCs.

    As for Robert, I am realistic. He also made 110% out of his car every race, or 15 times out of 17 probably. Similarly high standards. This is something only the few best could do, and I think an accident this bad can kill off that little spark in one which is necessary for these kind of performances.

    I seriously eager to see if Vettel, or paricularly Hamilton can do what Alonso and Kubica did it their last years in terms of personal performance.

    I think Vettel can do it. He got on fantastically well with the outlier Toro Rosso in the second half of 2008 and he only bettered his performance since then.

    Lewis Hamilton is the big mystery then. Talent is there – just have let it shine.

    1. Alonso is a superracer.

      1. @Nixon but as @Atticus points out; not the only one.

  9. I reckon this is a “youre welcome here, whenever youre ready” type message :) I totally called this a year ago. Unfortunately right now things dont look to be going in that direction. All we can do is hope the best for robert, regardless of what his long term injury outcome might be.

    1. Yeah, I think so as well. They talk about his injuries and not about currently having two fine drivers.

  10. Personally, I think the testing ban is a little silly, but as long as Ferrari won’t shut up about it, it should stay. I wish they’d just leave and start Formula Ferrari where they can test and spend to their hearts’ content and have as many cars as they want.

    1. @jonchuckle This is a bit harsh but I have to admit that sometimes I feel the same way. Ferrari need F1 and they need the other teams so that there is at least someone they can beat. And they understand that very well. All this constant bragging, talking themselves up, repeated whining about how the rules need to be changed so that they fit them better can get boring. For sure, it’s just a pose but it’s sometimes annoying. It’s as if Fernandes would talk again and again about the need of budget caps and getting rid of blue flags.

  11. Cynically I think Alonso is just trying to be nice and give his pal a boost. It’s hard to dismiss his comments when he’s inside F1, in my opinion is the best F1 driver out there and knows Kubica so well but given Kubica’s performances when he was racing I just couldn’t agree.

    On another Alonso note, I know the press helps get these guys so far but I do sympathise with him. I can’t imagine how horrendous it is to go through a divorce and on the day the news broke I found stories all over F1 sites that Alonso was seeing another woman just because he was pictured with her. It was a big jump and incredibly disrespectful to the pair. I still believe in the freedom of the press but I wish it had better taste and more respect sometimes.

    1. On another Alonso note, I know the press helps get these guys so far but I do sympathise with him. I can’t imagine how horrendous it is to go through a divorce and on the day the news broke I found stories all over F1 sites that Alonso was seeing another woman just because he was pictured with her. It was a big jump and incredibly disrespectful to the pair. I still believe in the freedom of the press but I wish it had better taste and more respect sometimes.

      Brilliantly said, @Steph – couldn’t agree more.

        1. @Steph…I also agree with both of your paragraphs…regarding RK, I personally don’t see what he has done that is so earth shattering, and although I feel for his situation I wonder if he will ever be the same if he gets behind an F1 wheel again, and to me never did prove if he had that ingredient that goes beyond just driving well and quickly, that being the psychological ability to handle pressure when it is at it’s greatest.

          As to the media and outlandish headlines for the sake of selling ‘newspapers’…it is a shame that going back to whenever it began people started eating up the phony tabloid issues at the grocery store newstands and it has come to the point where people still buy into any garbage that creates a bit of shock value….I don’t blame the media as much as I blame consumers for buying this stuff…without an audience the tabloid media wouldn’t be able to sell this useless fluff and it would end.

  12. I didn’t have a clue Alonso was separated or even too much about his wife. Spanish press will have a few months on his back but i would think as soon as the season starts it will be forgotten (unless he has a Hamilton year)

    Sad for Robert, i think his chances of an F1 return just went from 50/50 to 0%, hope i’m wrong but F1 moves on very quickly.

    As for Sutil, the rumour i heard was he got angry and smashed a glass of which a piece off hit Lux. It wasn’t an attack as such and i would think the worst to happen would be a public order offence. Of course its just a rumour, if it turns out he actually stuck him the neck with a glass he should be locked up in my opinion.

  13. Does the Wroom event mean that Ferrari & Ducati are together as motor companies?

  14. Steph Farnsworth Katy Tommy
    13th January 2012, 19:36

    I think Alonso is the best troll ever!

    1. Because he is short, because he is good, or because he is trying to be a bully?

  15. Has anyone ever noticed how frequently Stefano and Felipe say “for sure”? I understand english isn’t their first language, but it’s been going on for a couple of year now and I’m wondering if I’m the only one who notices. I dont mean this to be offensive.

    1. In any leguage and for every person there is a “frase” or word that they use… In spanish this is called a ” muleta” I´m not sure how do you called in english.

      By example Vettel use “obviously”, Alonso use “I think”, there is a joke that all football players use “yo creo” or ” I believe” a lot… Once in a tv program a player used “I believe” 23 times in 5 minutes interview…

    2. @leroy I think that they may be trying to over compensate as English isn’t their first language.

      I should start saying it.

    3. I think most people have non-phrases/verbal tics of some sort. It’s mostly noticeable with Felipe and Stefano because that particular phrase/tic is relatively common in the paddock. There was even an unofficial “for sure” championship in 2009 (if I remember rightly, Button won with Felipe a close second when proportion of “for sures” to appearances was calculated).

  16. In my opinion Vettel overuses the phrase”I mean”. But thats only my opinion and I am polish and for that reason I also agree with Alonso’s statement on Kubica:). However I must say that RK just doesn’t seem to have the luck he had for examble in Canada 2007 or Melbourne 2009. Referring to Melbourne 2009 I am not sure you recall that the moment RK collided with the wall his front wheel missed his helmet by milimeters.

  17. Most OVERUSED phrase in f1….. “i think all in all……” vettel, and a couple time horner, SO annoying!

    1. Good point I forgot about that one. Now imagine a RB race weekend meeting:D “All in all Mark you will never be faster than Sebastian”

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