Montezemolo counting on Massa to help Alonso

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Luca di Montezemolo says Felipe Massa needs to take point off Fernando Alonso’s rivals.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ferrari chief coy over Massa future (CNN)

Luca di Montezemolo: “I’m pleased to see Felipe Massa did a very good race weekend in Monte Carlo. Because the more the car has improved, the less difficult it is to drive and good for Felipe. I count on him to take off points for Fernando’s competitors.”

Vettel to drive “preview lap” of New Jersey F1 course next week (Racer)

“Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel will drive a preview lap of the course at the Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial next Monday.”

A competitive Ferrari in memory of Gilles (Ferrari)

Fernando Alonso: “I think we have improved the [F2012’s traction and top speed] since the beginning of the season and Canada will be a good test in this respect.”

Nico on Montreal (Force India)

“Most of the races have been unpredictable, but I think our pace has been quite consistent so far. We were very close to making Q3 in Spain and Monaco, and we’ve been able to race well – in fact we are probably stronger in the races than qualifying.”

Monaco 2012 Free Practice 2 (F1 Pit Radio)

“During Di Resta’s debrief, he was reporting the inability to reach optimal brake temperature and said he, "Couldn’t get the light to turn out." That tells us that he has an LED indicator light on his dash that stays illuminated until the brake rotors reach optimum temperature, as measured by infrared sensors on the uprights.”

The Horse Whisperer – The same old story (Ferrari)

“Just arrived, but it’s surely not the last is something called ‘Business Book GP 2012.’ This august publication would have Fernando Alonso earning 30 million Euro per year, or almost the same as the two McLaren drivers put together. A shame then that it’s an other case of utter balderdash.”

Hungarian GP promoter Frank passes away (Adam Cooper)

“A close associate of Bernie Ecclestone, Frank was a familiar face in paddocks around the world. He also pushed the career of Hungarian F1 driver Zsolt Baumgartner.”

Young Female Karter Awarded Funded Drive (FIA)

“Fifteen-year-old Lina Von Schedvin has been selected by representatives of the CIK-FIA and Women in Motorsport Commission to receive a funded drive in the 2012 CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy. Lina, from Sweden, won this opportunity following a shoot-out against eight other young karters vying for a drive in this low-cost educational formula.”

Comment of the day

Was Monaco really such a bad race? Pelican disagrees:

Sure, it’s hard to pass at Monaco, but that means that the attempted passes are daring, and the few that succeed are brilliant.

Because of the fame and history of Monaco, the drivers risk a little more to get in front. This year, whether everyone was waiting for rain or just protecting their tires, no one tried very hard to pass, even though they were all running nose-to-tail, and that’s why the race was justly rated so low.

The race was a drag not because it’s too hard to pass, or because we’ve been duped by various gimmicks introduced in the last few years, but all because the teams and drivers settled and played it safe.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Detroit held its first F1 race in somewhat chaotic circumstances 30 years ago today. John Watson scored a remarkable win from 17th on the grid:

Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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64 comments on “Montezemolo counting on Massa to help Alonso”

  1. Gee, I wonder why the drivers played it safe at Monaco… oh wait, I remember. It’s because these damn “show” tires have ruined all the credibility F1 ever had. I’ve got money on Heikki in Montreal. I have a feeling that the tires will suit the Caterhams the best, and leave everyone else without a chance (that was sarcasm).

    1. the sad thing is if heikki had qualified on pole in monaco he would have won the race…

    2. Ah yes, of course, because it would have been so incredibly different before.

      It’s Monaco, a pitstop here costs more than virtually anywhere else. Even with the Bridgestones, hell, the Goodyears, you would have had people playing it cautious because of the conditions.

      People need to really get off their high horse and stop looking at tyres all the time. There is infinitely more to the sport than that.

      1. Hey, at least I’ve been consistent with my criticism of the Pirelli tires over the past season and a half. You want to know why there were no attempted overtakes? Because the drivers can’t push. At all. You know there’s a problem when a McLaren can’t overtake a Caterham. Remember when Fernando went from last to 6th in 2010?

        1. Or Hamilton from Last to 8th in 2012 ?

        2. Fernando came in on lap 1 to change to hards and stayed out till the end, that’s how

        3. The year he got stuck behind a Virgin for ages?

        4. I also recall 2001, when David Coulthard, driving a McLaren, spent most, if not all of the race behind Enrique Bernoldi, driving an Arrows car which seemed much slower on the face of it.

          There’s also the race in 1992, which many people, today, seem to regard as such a show of brilliance from Senna, the way he kept Mansell behind himself (obviously, F1 cars were still allowed to be wider in those days).

          Both examples suggest that it’s just generally harder to overtake at Monaco, because of the track layout, because of the fact that steel barriers, in most places, are right next to the road, so sometimes, even top drivers with, arguably, the best abilities, will choose to preserve the place they’re in, rather than risk something.

          The thing I find funny is how the tyres by the current supplier are being called arbitrary and just for show, whereas the assumption that the thought of staging a major motor race through the streets of Monte Carlo would be substantially different. If teams and drivers wanted a proper racetrack, they would use one. The fact that Monaco is one of the cases throughout the year where they don’t obviously means what happens there will be more of a compromise.

    3. @mpw1985 The tyres had little to do with it as far as wear was concerned, it was more to do with the threat of rain. It was a strategic race owing to looming clouds which would affect any tyres supplier to F1; a case of choosing between dry or wet and being able to extend the decision making as much as possible.

    4. @mpw1985

      It’s because these damn “show” tyres have ruined all the credibility F1 ever had.

      As @andrewtanner correctly points out, the Monaco procession was much more to do with the fact that all the teams’ strategists were telling the drivers to stay out and make their tyres last as long as possible because of the threat of rain. That much was clear from the endless chatter about the threat of rain on the team radio (see here, here, here, here, here and here…)

      There’s a legitimate discussion to be had about whether F1 has gone too far in using the tyres to create better racing (which we’ve had here and here most recently).

      But these kind of comments makes me wonder if most of the complaints about the tyres are just knee-jerk, reactionary whingeing, rather than reasoned criticism.

      1. As regards the McLaren being stuck behind the Caterham. I don’t think Pirelli can be blamed for Button’s inability to get past. I recall Coulthard getting stuck behind the Arrows of Bernoldi in very similar circumstances years ago. It’s simply the nature of Monaco that these things happen.

        1. @ronancAyrton Senna and Nigel Mansell in 1992 is a prime example; Mansell was clearly in a much quicker car, yet Senna managed to keep Mansell behind due to his positioning of the car, much like what Kovainen did to Button…

      2. F1 is sadly all about the show now days, not just the tyres, don’t forget the DRS which is a gimmick to manufacture overtaking and rewards the driver that’s behind, that’s just not F1.

        As the old cliche goes “theres no Bizz like show Bizz”.

  2. Such a shame that this is what a driver of the highest level of motorsport is employed to do.

      1. Massa.

        1. oh, you mean number 2 status?

        2. Massa can still win the championship. True, he’d need to win many of the remaining races, but for Alonso to win he’ll also need to finish on the podium consitently.
          It’s sad that when Massa has one of his best races of the last year his team boss comes out and gives him a boost of self-confidence: “now finish Alonso at every race”, rather than “now win some races and give us the constructors’ trophy”.

          1. are you serious? there’s nothing sad about it!

    1. disgruntled
      6th June 2012, 8:06


  3. Montezemolo counting on Massa to help Alonso “by taking out one or more of his competitors,or at least destroy their race,or a combo of this two,with multiple competitors affected for added effect”.

    1. Take points off, take them off, same thing.

      1. It’s not the same thing, because you can achieve one without resorting to doing the other.

        The more interesting aspect is how likely it is Ferrari will be able to improve the car so much that Alonso would be out front, and Massa in a situation where he could be ahead of the other drivers still in contention for the championship.

        At this point, I think no one should expect Ferrari to expect their number two to outperform number one consistently.

  4. Fernando deserves every penny of the 30 million per year. I remember Raikkonen was making 40, and Michael 50, and after his “retirement” they gave him 70-100 mil per year just to stay in Ferrari. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    1. MSC won 7 WSC’s – that might be the biggest difference. Even Kimi managed to snag a WSC by a point.

      1. And Fernando won something like 2 WDC, and ended the five year Ferrari domination. Yes he lost the championship in Dubai 2010, but no one can say that any driver including Vettel was better than him that year. And I’m going to take it further and say he is the best driver in the grid. Better than Hamilton, Vettel,…

        1. Sorry, ignore that comment. I was part way through a longer post and the power went out. Best driver on the grid, yep, probably. Pity that I had my money on him for wdc last year

        2. You’re right about Alonso being the best overall in 2010, but when it mattered at Dubai Vettel was super calm and ended up winning.

          As for Alonso being the best on the grid right now – well it could be, but I’m still not convinced as I believe having a total #1 status is pretty helpful (Coupled with LdM publicly telling Massa to take points off of rivals).

        3. I think Hamilton was best in 2010. As did Keith I think. There, I did say it :p

        4. I’d just like to point out there is no race in Dubai… It’s in Abu Dahbi. Easy enough to confuse i suppose.

          1. Haha, yup my mistake! And its Abu DHabi to be correct. Anyways, oil-rich sandy little country. :D
            One question, how come they don’t have sand traps on the Abu Dhabi circuit? :D

    2. I thought Fernando was on something closer to 40 million a year? Whatever the case, I agree with @valentino. He deserves every single penny he gets.

      I liked the comment Luca made about Fernando being able to work with the team like Schumi used to. Like Schumi, he is a hard competitor and work at it until he win, hence Im sure Ferrari will soon be back on top. It took Schumacher 4 years to win a WDC when he moved to Ferrari, he had to build a solid team around him. With the moves and shakes that happened at Maranello lately..looks like Fernando is doing the same. I really hope he will win the WDC this year, but I doubt it. My money is on Red Bull or Mercedes, its only a matter of time before Vettel and Newey find that sweet spot…also Nico Rosberg seems to have come of age this year.

      1. no one deserves that much money for anything. he is good though.

        1. Your worth what someone is willing to pay for you. Market forces! In terms of comparative worth or value for money, I think considering the equipment and considering his team mates performance, Ferrari may actually getting best value. Certainly more bang for their buck!!

    3. Aren’t you guys reading the story?? Ferrari are rejecting the claim that fernando earns that much : “This august publication would have Fernando Alonso earning 30 million Euro per year, or almost the same as the two McLaren drivers put together.A shame then that it’s an other case of utter balderdash”. I don’t know of course if it’s just a marketing strategy for the current economic climate.

  5. disgruntled
    6th June 2012, 1:29

    we are so spoiled these days…our attention spans getting shorter and shorter in the up & coming generations. I remember the best thing about the Schumacher/Bridgestone era was how it all would put me to sleep on a sunday night, Monaco or not. Sometimes i used to get lucky and wake up just when the drivers were receiving their trophies on the podium. Usually the order was the same as when i fell asleep around lap 7… when it wasnt my fear was i had missed a cracking race. And if Schumi wasnt on the to step i’d really be kicking myself of missing seeing someone else win

    I say Lewis for victory in Canada (or Schumi…for old times sake :))

    1. Agreed entirely. We’re in a golden era of F1 right now. We have such a number of highly competitive drivers, the teams are quite literally snapping at each others’ heels and it’s the closest it has been in years and years.

      I guess there is nothing quite like looking back on the past with rose-tinted glasses though.

      1. disgruntled
        6th June 2012, 8:15

        Monaco ’11 was dope …shame we were all robbed of a grandstand finish by the safety car

        1. Yep! And the reason why it could have been brilliant? Tyres!

  6. Interesting that Ferrari felt they needed to come out and address Fernando’s reputed earnings. On top of that they had a go at ‘Ferrari have the biggest budget’ stuff. The lady doth protest too much?

    1. as a fan of the horse whisperer, i have to say that was a weak one. HW come back when you’re good and angry

      1. @f1yankee Gets a point for using the word “balderdash”, though.

  7. Well, I don’t know how welcome spectators will be at Vettel’s “preview lap,” but my friend and I are going to be there whether we’re welcome or not. ;-)

    1. Hope you manage a few pics or even a short video? Let us know how it went, good luck with getting close to the action @aka_robyn!

      1. I don’t know how much there will be to see — whatever it is, though, we’ll be there to see it! And we’ll try to get some pictures, even if they end up being of an Infiniti driving around Weehawken…

        1. being of an Infiniti driving around Weehawken…

          – Better put a date and time stamp to prove it was Vettel then, as I would be suprised if that was the only Infiniti in Weehawken @aka_robyn!
          Whatever pics will do, hope you make it right to the action.

    2. @aka_robyn Have fun – and make sure you report back!

      1. Will do — hopefully I’ll have *something* to report!

    3. I want to go too! But dunno the time, I don’t want to waste half hours of driving and end up sunbathing for half day, haha.

      1. @afya Yeah, I know, it could end up being a bust. I don’t really mind, though, because I can just walk there from home, and taking an extra day off work isn’t exactly a hardship. ;-)

  8. I can’t handle another McClaren Canada victory! Anything but that!

  9. @keithcollantine It seems to me that @pelican agrees that Monaco was a bad race in the CotD, not disagrees.

    1. @necrodethmortem It’s a question of degrees, not either/or. “Such a bad race”, not “a bad race”.

      1. What I meant to say was that the track’s ok, but the race was bad.

  10. Great to see HWNSNBN mentioned in the round-up! :)

    1. took me a while to work out the acronym there @geemac :-)

      1. He who’s name shall not be named! Zsolt is famous for being HWNSNBN in the F1 rejects forums.

    2. @geemac What’s that, then?

      1. @keithcollantine – “He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned”. Zsolt Baumgartner’s abysmal performances made him legendary over at F1 Rejects, where he is now a running gag.

  11. Happy birthday for both Paradoxos and Jenny O’G, make it one to remember :-)

  12. I didn’t know where to write this, I think the round-up is the most appropriate place.

    11 of the 20 races in 2013 will be only available on Sky here in Italy. So most of the races won’t be free-to-air, which is a very bad move in my opinion.

    I’m quite upset, now I understand what you went through last year. If I think that I have to pay that much to watch races…Yeah, no, it’s better not to think about it.

  13. Jeff (@jtcolegrove)
    6th June 2012, 15:04

    No, monaco was a drag because it stinks as a race track to hold a race at. It’s great to look at, and I’m sure it’s thrilling for the drivers to bang laps around…but there’s no getting around the processional nature of the actual race. In a season where almost every other race has literally been thrilling to watch (I didn’t think Bore rain was very good), Monaco was really a dud of a race…

  14. 1982 Detroit GP , amazing driving from Watson!

  15. I liked the Monaco race, yes it was nothing compared to other races but good anyway.

Comments are closed.