Domenicali: Alonso & Vettel could “coexist” at Ferrari

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso could work as team mates at Ferrari.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Two generations compared (Ferrari)

Stefano Domenicali: “I think [Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel] are both intelligent guys and they could easily coexist together.”

Banker admits taking F1 sale bribe (FT, registration required)

“A German banker has for the first time told a court he accepted ‘bribes’ from Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief executive, when the motor sport was sold to a private equity group.”

Ecclestone faces new ??28m bribe claim (The Telegraph)

“Ecclestone remained defiant, telling The Daily Telegraph that Gerhard Gribkowsky, formerly the chief risk officer at state-owned bank BayernLB, was merely trying ‘to save himself’ and insisting once again that he has ‘nothing to hide’.”

Simon Roberts Q&A: McLaren may have cracked Button’s issues (F1)

“I think going into Valencia we are quite optimistic we have identified them. I think we can have a slightly different way of getting Jenson [Button’s] car under him for both qualifying and the race.”

Pirelli aims to stay in F1 after 2013 (Autosport)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “Our current contract runs until the end of 2013, but we always intended to be in F1 for the medium-to-long term. The deadline for the 2014 decision is next June.”

Jaime Alguersuari column: Valencia Grand Prix preview (BBC)

“The differences between the performances of the cars are still very small, both over one lap in qualifying and in various situations over a race distance. Some are cars are better in qualifying than races – and vice versa.”

The darker side (Grand Prix)

“We’ve seen some spectacular and terrifying shunts since then but the consequences have not been tragic. No one, however, would be daft enough to assume that the cars are perfectly safe. The quest to protect spectators, officials and drivers is relentless. And always will be because the nature of our business demands it.”

Ferrari online auction raises ??1.45m for victims of Italian earthquakes (James Allen on F1)

“Over ??1.4m of the overall total came from an [American] bidder alone who for that money will get his hands on the stunning Ferrari 599XX that was made available as one of the lots, the new owner to have the sportscar delivered to him by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa at the Italian GP in September.”

Driving standards and blocking – A Stateside view from James Hinchcliffe (The Buxton Blog)

“IndyCar used to race with a rule that didn’t allow ANY defending. You could not deviate from the racing line at all. This rule is asinine and in my mind ruined the racing in IndyCar for years. This year we have moved to a version of the rule that allows defending, creates racing, but is still safe.”

Comment of the day

Saturday’s Caption Competition produced loads of great entries including those from DomPrez, Dan Thorn, Cornflakes and an especially clever one from Prisoner Monkeys.

But my favourite was this from Bullfrog:

“If I ever break my leg falling down a lift shaft, I want crutches like these!”

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to JCost!

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

Ayrton Senna scored the last win for the original Lotus on this day in 1987 in the Detroit Grand Prix. He was at the wheel of a Honda turbo-powered Lotus 99T.

Fellow Brazilian Nelson Piquet was second ahead of Alain Prost.

Image © Red Bull/Getty images

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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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62 comments on “Domenicali: Alonso & Vettel could “coexist” at Ferrari”

  1. It’s everyone’s (sorta) non-McLaren F1F discussion y’all!

    Alonso and teammates!

    1. Favorite*

    2. They’ve already got four world titles between them, by the time Vettel can get in there (2014) that could be six. What’s not to like? Get ‘im signed, Stefano.

      1. I’m not sure Vettel would risk his reputation going against Alonso at his own team. Vettel is used to the best team with things clearly revolving around him, this year him and Webber have been pretty even too at Vettel’s team. If he goes to Ferrari he will be Alonso’s puppy. When Kimi went to Ferrari he found he couldn’t even match Massa, this is Alonso we are talking about here.

        1. @infi24r Actually, Vettel and Hamilton are considered to be the three best drivers in the sport along with Alonso. Vettel is a double world champion, and no “puppy”.

          1. Villeneuve was almost a double world champion too… anyone who is the team leader in a Newey car can easily be champion. And i’m not saying Vettel is a puppy, rather that Alonso would make him one.

            And no I don’t agree with the fact that Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso are the top 3. You may be right, but Vettel is in a different league to Hamilton and Alonso.

          2. @infi24r

            Villeneuve was almost a double world champion too… anyone who is the team leader in a Newey car can easily be champion. And i’m not saying Vettel is a puppy, rather that Alonso would make him one.

            Terms like “Almost” are neither here nor there. Villeneuve is a 1 time champion. Vettel, like Fernando Alonso is a double champion. And why are you so sure of this puppy talk? You claimed that Vettel would want to risk his reputation by moving to Alonso’s team, but some would feel that Alonso would feel the same about moving to Vettel’s team.

            And no I don’t agree with the fact that Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso are the top 3. You may be right, but Vettel is in a different league to Hamilton and Alonso.

            Who else is supposed to be in the top 3? Considering that the German has such an outstanding record in such a short space of time (even better than Hamilton, and without a season like LH in 2011), I think it’s fair to say he is in the same league as the other top 2 drivers.

        2. AJ (@ascar2000us)
          21st June 2012, 6:00

          @infi24r Kimi could not match Massa? Massa was nowhere in 2007 and Kimi was still good in 2008. Vettel made RB his team by delivering results and outperforming Webber, unlike Alonso who bought his team courtesy Santander.
          Honestly i hope Vettel goes to Ferrari and is pitted against Alonso so as to dispel all this rubbish talk.

          1. You can’t say Massa was nowhere in 2007. Actually, Ferrari was nowhere so Massa had to yield some points for Kimi’s success. It’s fair to say they were evenly matched but Kimi slightly better in 2007 while Massa in 2008.

          2. @eggry Kimi had to yield points in 2008 to aide Massa too…it’s all part of the game.

          3. @GeeMac that’s what I’m talking about although I didn’t say it :)

          4. Go back and watch 2007 it would be unfair to say that Massa was better overall, you would find that there was significant amounts of the season Massa was faster. Massa was faster in 2008 also and the first half of 2009, so I give it to him overall. It was very close between them.

          5. @eggry Understood!

      2. They’ve already got four world titles between them, by the time Vettel can get in there (2014) that could be six. What’s not to like? Get ‘im signed, Stefano.

        In that case, what happens to Ferrari’s development drivers?

        I suppose that if a vacancy came up at Ferrari and they didn’t offer it to one of their development drivers, then that driver would no longer be a part of the programme, since the point of the programme is to find talent for Ferrari, which they have then chosen not to use. Anything else would be anti-competitive.

        In that case, I could see Sergio Perez driving for McLaren (much to my excitement). If Ferrari took Vettel, Red Bull would want the best driver available to replace him, and would probably opt for Hamilton (though I can’t see Hamilton and Vettel at the team together). This would leave a vacancy at McLaren, and I think that could easily be filled by Perez.

      3. I found it a bit strange about what Dominicalo says, in that he first says they could do it, being intelligent and fast enough, but then goes on to say how Alonso is the best driver.

        Who knows, maybe if Alonso racks up the WDC this year, Vettel would have a serious look at it. Then again, given there’s another major rule overhaul in 2014, wouldn’t his best bet be on Newey to steal a march on the rivals again?

        1. Alonso would destroy Vettel if they become teammates at Ferrari. First mentally, then on track. Alonso plays mind games, he knows how to make an entire team back him. Massa was suppose to be one of the best drivers on the grid, that’s how we talked about him early 2010. Now what? No one rates him anymore.
          As for that, I can’t disagree with Thomas’s comment:

          And i’m not saying Vettel is a puppy, rather that Alonso would make him one.

          If Vettel was smart enough, he would not enter Alonso’s playground because he feels he has something to prove. Ferrari is Alonso’s playground now, it’s been since 2010. He loves to be at Ferrari and everyone at Maranello loves him back. Alonso would tarnish Vettel’s reputation, just like he’s done with almost all of his other teammates in the past (apart from Hamilton, but he had a secret love with Dennis).

          1. “Alonso would destroy Vettel” I guess you were one of the many people who said the same thing that Schumacher would destroy Rosberg, look how that turned out after 3 seasons together.

            Vettel might do to Alonso what Rosberg did to a 7 time world champion and make him look average. Do laugh at the thought though! That’s what the Schumacher fans once said when I said Rosberg would outdrive Schumacher.

            What was that comment Nico made last year? “Webber was a tougher team mate than Schumacher.” Makes you wonder how good vettel really is considering he is the only guy to actually beat Webber every year they have been together…

            The bigger they are, the harder they fall!

          2. While it is all well and good for SD to say FA and SV could co-exist together at Ferrari, as far as I’m concerned it’s just lip service. It has not seemed to be in Ferrari’s DNA for quite a while now to have two proven WDC gladiators going at it for the glory with truly equal treatment. Don’t get me wrong, I would love it if they would change their philosophy and give the fans what they deserve, the two gladiators on a top team, but I’m certainly not holding my breath.

          3. “Alonso would destroy Vettel” I guess you were one of the many people who said the same thing that Schumacher would destroy Rosberg, look how that turned out after 3 seasons together.

            If you actually bothered to read some of my past comments, you’ll realize that I’ve always been a big fan of Rosberg and I was expecting him to beat Schumacher.

            What was that comment Nico made last year? “Webber was a tougher team mate than Schumacher.” Makes you wonder how good vettel really is considering he is the only guy to actually beat Webber every year they have been together…

            You have a very short memory Heidfeld out-drove Webber in 2005 when they were teammates at Williams. Beating Webber makes you good, but nothing special.
            Remember how often Massa beat Raikkonen when they drove together at Ferrari in 2007-09? Massa was the only one to beat Raikkonen the way he did in 2008. Then Alonso comes along and makes Felipe his puppy. How often do we hear of Massa beating Alonso nowadays? Unheard of.

            Yes, that is why I believe Alonso would make Vettel his puppy.

  2. Of course they could co-exist. Their existence doesn’t depend on which team they compete in :P.

    1. It took me a moment to get that. Well done.

    2. @fer-no65 – previous to this discovery Stefano thought that one of them would evaporate.

  3. There’s no way that would work. The likes of them, the REALLY great drivers, do not need/want competition from their teammate. Alonso is often accused of trying to get the team behind him, but that’s part of why he’s so great. We’ve seen Hamilton and Alonso together, we’ve seen Prost and Senna together… It’s the fantastic driver plus little less fantastic driver pairings that work best. Look at Vettel and Webber, Schumacher and Barichello or even Hamilton and Button (yes I said it)… we’ve seen it all before, no reason to try to make us believe Alonso and Vettel would do great together, one of them would leave the team soon enough.

    1. @ Roald, careful You’ll anger the Button faithful that seem to pervade this site.

      1. @roald – you’ve angered me and my Jenson Button Merchandise!

        1. Personally I think of it totally the opposite way to Roald…I would have thought the truly great WDC’s are the ones who fear no-one and who should welcome anyone to take them on in the same car with the same treatment and opportunity, such should be their confidence in themselves and their desire to win under the toughest circumstances against the toughest opponents for the maximum reward upon success.

          Senna/Prost was about as tough a rivalry as one could ask for and it was thrilling…even when you knew a Mac was going to win on any given race weekend, you didn’t know which one. The mental and physical battles between them were monumental. Contrast that with MS/RB where RB was under contract to not compete, and the differences couldn’t be further apart…absolutely night and day…where’s the honour in defeating a teammate in the same car when the car is built with one driver in mind, the contracted number 1, with a contracted number 2 there to not compete? Sure that ‘worked’…for MS…for Ferrari’s share value…but it wasn’t honourable and the fans were robbed of true racing between two gladiators on a top team.

  4. I don’t see Vettel and Alonso coexisting, in the same way Alonso and Hamilton couldn’t coexist. The fact is that the champion mentality goes hand-in-hand with being an egoist, and there simply isn’t room for two champion egos in one team (with the possible exception of Button and Hamilton).

    Vettel at Ferrari? Even they can’t handle that!

    1. We should stop drawing comparison between Alonso vs Hamilton and Alonso vs The Rest of the Grid. The fact is, back in 07, Alonso was a very young man, a double World Champion at that, with an ego built to the hilts. This is natural, any 24 year old, at the top of their game would be arrogant. I wasnt a fan of Alonso then, I thought he was a bit of a *****, but he has completely changed since he left Mclaren in 07.

      Now, I see him as a model professional, he has been supporting every decision made by the team and he has yet to criticise Ferrari in any way what’s so ever. He is now one of the elder statesmen in F1, albeit only 31, and I get the feeling he realizes the responsibility he has on shoulders. I have no doubt he will be able to work with Vettel. If the deal is done for 2014, it will happen at a good time in both their careers.

      Fernando will have 2 years left on his Ferrari deal, and there will be nobody better than Vettel to hand the reigns off to. I just hope Alonso would have won at least another WDC by then.

    2. I`m sure Vettel will eventually drive for Ferrari. Multiple World Champions usually do at one stage of their career. I think Domenicali is right, Vetel and Alonso could coexist as both of them are hard determined workers focusing on their own thing.
      It`s more likely we will see Vettel in a Ferrari than Hamilton due to their different personalities. Hamilton should not go to Ferrari if he knows what`s good for him. That has nothing to do with his ability or talent, he`s got that in spades. But if he had driven for Ferrari and criticised the team the way he has done at McLaren he would have been in for a tough time i Italy. Ferrari is close to religion and the tifosi will not take it.

      I wouldn`t be too surprised to see both Alonso and Vettel at Ferrari in the future.

  5. It’s rare to see a video of Senna riding the Camel, love the cheeky wave near the start.

  6. Not going to jump on the vettel-alonso bandwagon. Instead I will laugh at Bernie. HAHA.

    1. No doubt @prisoner-monkeys will rush to Bernies defence and explain how he is the victim of a greedy banker.

      1. Anyone trying to make a case against Ecclestone would have to prove criminal intent against him. Which would be difficult because they would have to prove he perjured himself when he testified against Gribkowsky, and even though the judge presiding over the case said he thought the payments sounded like bribes, Ecclestone was never held in contempt of court or charged with perjury.

        This to me sounds like the prosecutor doesn’t feel like his case against Gribkowsky is strong enough, so he’s trying to cut a deal with Gribkowsky to go after Ecclestone and try to get a bigger conviction.

        1. Not too sure of that @prisoner-monkeys, after all now the prosecution have Gribowky testifying against Bernie, they might have enough to make a case against him.

          The perjury thing would only be a small addition to the big part of the bribing.

          1. @bascb – And any competent defence attorney is going to make the argument that the prosecutor couldn’t make the charges against Gribkowsky stick, and so convinced him to admit to bribery in order to build a case against Ecclestone. It would be very easy to poke holes in Gribkowsky’s testimony, since he would be testifying against the man who originally testified against him. At best, it would compliment any other evidence against Bernie, but if it’s the centrepiece of the case, the prosecutor is bluffing with a low pair.

          2. They will @prisoner-monkeys, but every halfway competent judge will fully understand that the reason Gribowsky chose to “sing” is because the evidence stacked against him made denial a non-option, and therefore cooperation in return for a less harsh sentence Gribowskys best option.

            Off course Bernie is right in saying Grib is doing this to try and save his own hide, but that does not mean that what information he gives the prosecution is void. After all he did not testify any time before, so he will not be changing testimony, just admitting things that he previously did not want to admit to.

            I think you seriously underestimate the judicial system there, as this will not be just about testimonies from Bernie and Gribowsky. With Gribowsky filling in some missing links, and enabling the prosecution to then bring up evidence of this, it might change a lot in this case.

  7. My favourite part of the round up is the fact that the table on Jaime’s BBC column lists:

    Kimi Raikkonen (Renault) 55
    Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 53

    1. Renaultus?

      1. Sounds like a skin condition.

  8. from the above video, david hobbs: “nelson pickett”

    from le mans 2012, david hobbs: “we need old steve matchette here. he’s got eyes like some sort of…rat.”

    hobbs is right up there with the best racing commentators. by now, he ought to be :P

    1. I Love the Pope
      21st June 2012, 4:21

      We LOVE listening to Hobbs on Speed!

  9. I was going to do that faces for charity thing today with my brother… Oops.

  10. Good column by Jaime Alguersuari. I was particularly interested in his opinion that Button is misreading the tyres, in the sense that he feels he can’t get heat into them when in fact he is overheating them. If true, it would be pretty astonishing that McLaren could go into the wrong setup direction for three races in a row.

    1. Its a cool theory but surely macca have data on the trye temps during the race so they would know if Button is overrating them.
      We hear teams comment on getting more heat or less heat into tyres all the time, especially in the wet races, so I would be dumbfounded if that was the problem.

      1. Sorr that should be over-heating not overrating.
        Autocorrect is a pain in the toosh sometimes.

        1. *sigh*
          I give up.

    2. @adriammorse Certainly an interesting theory which does seem to have the possibility of being correct, based on how the Simon Roberts Q & A is conducted in the round-up link. Nothing fundamental with the car, aero or set-up does leave a question over the tyres.

      What doesn’t add up though is that you would think McLaren would pick up this potential issue via the telemetry. Seems pretty basic to me. I know they can only measure the pressure, which in turn leads to temperate on the inside but I’m sure I’ve seen people sticking thermometers in the tyres before, using the little hole in the surface.

      1. @adrianmorse See above :)

    3. Agree @adrianmorse, its a lot more than the obvious talking. But when you compare it to the Roberts Q&A, it might be that is the “small thing” making the difference. It sure did look as though Button was doing the same he did mid 2009 when he just couldn’t find the right way to go with setup (only far more extreme results wise because of the field being that close together)

  11. Keith, the BBC is reporting that Vettel already has a ‘pre-contract’ with Ferrari for 2014, which allows either party to activate the contract if certain conditions are met.

    I notice that other F1 sites, including F1fanatic, are not reporting this. Is it because you have no reliable source?

    1. Similar rumours to this came up a month or two ago and it was mentioned here(I think). Could just be the Beeb recycling a story.

      1. It took me a second to realize that by The Beeb you meant BBC. I thought you were referring to Vettel as The Bieb, as in Justin Bieber. Silly me.

        1. Ahh, you’d get a shorter list asking who HASN’T got an alleged pre-contract with Ferrari!!

    2. I think the rumours started already some weeks ago. In the meantime, Vettel has denied them:

  12. By showing Detroit again, you’ve made the Valencia track look faster and more attractive!

  13. Reading Roberts Q&A, it seems Mclaren might have found something about tyres because of Button’s problem. but of course all the teams say this every weekend.

  14. Thanks for the Happy B’day.

  15. Sounds like in spite of Peter Windsor’s recent warning that criticism within F1 towards Pirelli should be squelched for fear of scaring them out of F1, Pirelli is in this for the medium to long term, so methinks Pirelli’s skin might be thicker than Windsor would give them credit for. Besides…it seems a no-brainer to me that criticism should be directed toward F1/FIA for they are the ones who have directed Pirelli to make the tires they have made. Pirelli could change them in a hearbeat, so it’s not like Pirelli has somehow failed as an F1 tire maker.

  16. Along with the round-up, I came across this article about the title of this thread.

    This is what struck me most of the article:

    “The ‘F1 supremo’ also mused about his sport’s rules, sympathising with those who are accused of skirting too close to the boundaries of legality.
    “If I were a team boss,” said the former Brabham owner, “I would definitely try as best as I could to exploit the rules as well as I could.”
    He also threw a barb at F1’s governing body.
    “I really understand hardly any of the FIA’s decisions,” said Ecclestone. “I think the technical rules should be written so that even someone like me can understand them.”
    Ferrari team boss Domenicali agreed: “The fans do not understand why a car is legal today and illegal the next, which for the sport is a problem for the credibility.”

    What do you think?

    1. I think that BE is being a bit disingenuine with his comments. I think that the rules and their enforcement are intentionally designed to stir up the story of F1, to create controversy, which is what makes for headlines and publicity. I think that if the rules were so cut and dry simple to understand, no room for doubt, there would be far less to talk about in F1. But I also think that it isn’t always a bad thing to have some shades of gray in the rules in order to allow teams to interpret them a little differently from each other. It’s the enforcement of the rules that I think is the most difficult for people to understand, or better said the inconsistancy of the enforcement, not the rules themselves. It’s that inconsistancy that may shadow the sport with credibility issues at times. Webber’s car had holes in the floor and he won Monaco and for the next race the holes are determined to be illegal. I don’t know if that is ‘exploiting the rules as well as they could,’ or blatantly doing something illegal, or genuinely unknowingly doing something illegal until it was pointed out to them, but I sure can see why it would leave some people scratching their heads as to how MW gets to keep the win with an illegality. Was it illegal but just not significant enough to say said illegality caused the win? Should that matter? Should it be about the spirit of the thing and if they were literally trying to cheat should they get to keep the win?

      Inconsistancies seem to dominate F1, but they also maximize the buzz. And BE knows it.

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