Lauda: Alonso is “toughest and cleverest”

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: World champion Niki Lauda hails Fernando Alonso as the “toughest and cleverest” driver in F1 today.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lewis told to keep at it: Legend Niki Lauda backs Hamilton to succeed (The Mirror)

“[Alonso’s] the toughest guy out there and he is also the cleverest. He knows what to do and after years at Ferrari he has settled in, knows how to be consistent and has kept the team going forward step by step.”

Storms clouds over Formula 1 (Autosport, subscription required)

“The hosting fees suck every spare penny out of the circuit, in turn ensuring that CVC gets richer at every turn while severely jeopardising Silverstone’s facility development. Imagine how much hardcore could have been laid with just half the 16m; imagine how many car parks and bridges could be built over the full 17-year contract period.”

Ferrari back at the Kremlin (Ferrari)

“Driving an F60, the car Scuderia Ferrari used in the 2009 world championship, will be Giancarlo Fisichella, who works for the Maranello team, as well as flying the flag for the Prancing Horse in GT races.”

Comment of the day

Thanks to everyone who sent in their Caption Competition suggestions yesterday. Among my favourites were those from StephenH, Prisoner Monkeys, Kbcusa, Platanna, Richard Charles and MahavirShah.

But my favourite was this from Alex Brown:

Bernie: “I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times – Tamara is off the market!”

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to JV!

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

Emerson Fittipaldi extended his championship lead with victory in the 1972 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.

Pole sitter Jacky Ickx led the first half of the race for Ferrari before retiring with a broken oil cooler. Jackie Stewart was second for Tyrrell ahead of Peter Revson.

Here’s the start of the race:

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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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86 comments on “Lauda: Alonso is “toughest and cleverest””

  1. A lifetime ambition fulfilled!

    And good work today in the comms box @Keithcollantine!

    1. @splittimes Great job man!

  2. Is Lauda saying Alonso or Hamilton is the toughest and smartest?

    1. Hamilton is not at Ferrari.

    2. @oblong_cheese Read the article…

    3. Where did you get that from? Why you disn’t read the title instead of comparing Alonso to Hamilton. Alonso drove a minardi the worst car I have ever seen only comparable to the Hrt, Alonso’s family had to make a lot of sacrifices in order for him to be able to be where he is right now, Alonso spent a whole year as a test driver in Renault, he has two wdc’s, he lost one in 2007 and tied with ha
      Option even when the team, teammate, manager were English, moved to Ferrari, helped rebuilt the team, he almost won the wdc in his first season ,lost it because of Ferrari’s strategic blunder, and is leading the wdc this season. And you want to compare him with a immature, spoiled , irregular, mistake prone driver that blames the team, loses wdc by hi
      Self, uses the race card, didn’t took advantage of having the fastest car in at least 5 races, didin’t take advantage of having he best or second best car in all but one of his season and someone who Ron Dennis supported him for his entire racing career. Just give me a break.

      1. Toto – I don’t think he was making a point about Hamilton or Alonso, I think he was unsure about the difference between the headline and the quote and merely checking who Lauda was referring to.

        I’ve clarified the quotes to reduce the potential for confusion.

      2. I’m no Ham fan but are you serious Toto? Anthony Hamilton didn’t have to sacrifice anything? Alonso wasn’t supported by Briatore in his career?

        They are 2 great drivers, both with imperfections that everyone has, and can be compared.

        1. Alonsos career path was harder then hamiltons for sure in f1, but he drove so brilliantly at minardi which set him up – the briatore backing you cant correlate in the same way hamilton was backed by mclaren. i dont think anthony hamilton’s sacrifices (or to some extent alonso’s famililies) are anything compared to thousands of families each year in junior formulae who can not afford to make a sacrifice (And at times sacrifice and lose everything) for their child that shows potential in the same way hamilton, alonso and other f1 drivers did. there is a lot of disrespect to hamilton now because he is a symbolism of capitalism, he got sponsered by mclaren at 11 years of age, while so many other young kids do not get an opportunity – so while maybe anthony hamilton made some sacrifices – lewis still had an advantage against thousands of other kids through the whole process of getting to f1. and also because he got that simple route to f1, he is now an easy target when he does not succeed, as he is expeceted to. other teams are now starting to do young driver programs, but it is still for select individuals, and it is similar to the traditional route – of being in a rich family or having rich sponsors resulting in you having the best car at junior races.

      3. One thing I have noticed in this community is that you guys often read far too much into things without thinking too much about the logic of your arguements. Firstly, how does how Lewis Hamilton being funded by Mclaren have anything to do with his career or what kind of driver/person he is? The man showed potential and confidence to walk up to Ron Dennis and he got his reward. He is talented and I am sure there are thousands of guys out there that would not be a F1 champion even had they recieved that funding. And do you really think Alonso would have refused Mclarens backing because it’s easy and spoiled? Get real.

        Secondly, as a black man, I can understand if Hamilton would from time to time complain about racism but I have never heard actually heard him do so. In a sport dominated by male and pale people that travels to some regions notorious for their lack of racial integration I would say it makes sense that he would encounter racism. I recall watching some program where they said Lewis had to go through a lot of racism when he was a young kid out at the track. Regardless, give the man a break. Let’s enjoy his racing.

        1. Well said IMG.

      4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        16th July 2012, 16:19

        @toto Even when I dislike Hamilton as much (or more) than you, I guess Ron Dennis had to see some worthy talent in an 11-year-old boy to take the risk of backing him so early. Hamilton has ruined his own races and others’ (and especially Massa’s races :P) many times but when things go right he is a must-see racer. It’s like he never knows when to stop pushing hard (vs Webber in Singapore, vs Maldonado in Valencia, etc) and it’s like many many times stewards have been so lenient with him.

  3. At last, I am no longer a lone voice in the wilderness decrying the vast amounts of money being siphoned out of our sport by perfidious Ecclestone and his sell-out to CVC. Next time you shell out 350 quid to watch a race have a think about where that money is going. Might have to subscribe to Autosport !

    1. You do realise that the entire point of the article is to find a scapegoat for Silverstone’s drainage problems, right? Ironically enough, no amount of money would have fixed the drainage issue.

      Also, you are not the lone voice of reason. Go onto any Formula 1-related blog or website or forum, and you will find someone bemoaning Ecclestone and his business practices. The truth is that if it weren’t for the sale to CVC, the sport never would have been able to expand to Asia and the Americas, and would be stuck in Europe where it would be vulnerable to the fragile European economy.

      1. @prisoner=monkeys, Where do you get this idea you have that the money from the sale to CVC was used to promote F1 anywhere ? The money went straight into the Ecclestone family trust to protect it from the taxman . Bernie doesn’t have to promote F1, there are more countries wanting to stage a race than the calendar has room for, what Bernie does is screw the last dollar out of the track owners so as to keep the teams afloat and still provide a massive return to CVC and himself.
        Please quote your sources for this theory that the sale to CVC was good for F1 or stop spreading untruths.
        As for the USA, despite the tyre debacle the US Grand Prix could have continued to run at Indianapolis if the owners could have turned a profit from running it, they sacked F1 because the terms were to onerous.

        1. Thanks for pointing out that this

          the sale to CVC was used to promote F1 anywhere

          is just not true a tall @hohum

          The money indeed went to Bernie, and back to CVC as they had financed buying it with loans. And now have taken another loan to pay themselves even more. The only thing FOM “invested” into getting F1 out of Europe and into the world was the wish to make even more money, and the amazing ways of Bernie for making it work somehow.

    2. The Autosport subscription does indeed come in handy.

  4. yes alonso is the best f1 driver today. Ever since he was still at renault till he won both championship 05 06. Even he didnt win for 3rd title, he still consistent n eager to win it again n again. He is complete package.

  5. Check those guys trying to spin it so that CVC are blamed for Silverstones problems. Thats hilarious. What are they going to blame next? Taxes?!

    They signed the deal and agreed to the terms. They put themselves in that position.

  6. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    15th July 2012, 2:25

    Hamilton is the fastest driver currently in F1, but Alonso is the most complete. He rarely makes mistakes and has a aura of serenity about him, he’s definitely the king of the grid (for the moment).

    1. Hamilton is the fastest driver currently in F1

      Yeah, being thirty-seven points behind the championship leader certainly makes Hamilton the fastest driver.

      1. Since when has a driver’s points tally been the truest barometer of their raw pace? Senna was indisputably faster than Prost, yet the latter scored more points during their two years as team mates. Hamilton’s five and a half years in F1 haven’t been without mishap, but his pace in qualifying has been consistently brilliant throughout. When people like Mark Hughes and even Fernando Alonso himself consider Hamilton to be the out and out quickest, it probably says something. As an aside, were it not for factors beyond Hamilton’s control (pit problems, fuelling problems, Pastor Maldonado’s militant on-track alter ego), he would currently be leading the championship.

        1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
          15th July 2012, 13:59

          Alonso’s assessment of his F1 rivals: LINK

        2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          16th July 2012, 16:28

          @bwal87 I have 3 examples when fastest means nothing:

          Liuzzi was fastest at the start in Monza last year… but he couldn’t stop and crashed of course

          The HRT were the fastest in the speed trap in canada… they must be the slowest in ALL the other sectors

          And McLaren claimed the fastest pitstops in Valencia, but they just spoiled the other pitstop (probably the longest that day)

          The point is being fastest (as Hamilton probably is) must match consistency, or it would be mere nothing race-wise.

      2. The driver who has the the best raw pace of any driver isn’t necessarily related to championship position, as I’m sure you well know.

    2. Hamilton is the fastest driver

      I dunno…

      Maybe on his day he is, but it’s not uncommon for him to have a bad race, and it’s not always his teams fault either… I think there is a very good case for saying Vettel has that to brag about… And can we discount guys like Grosjean or Pastor?

      1. Vettel is better in qualifying, Hamilton a better racer. But ultimately, you don’t receive points for pole position; it is the Grand Prix itself which counts, and that’s where Lewis outshines Sebastian.

        1. My sentiments exactly

        2. I disagree that Hamilton is a better racer than Vettel. Or in any case, LH would need to really start beating Vettel on a much more consistent basis – which he hasn’t even with a car that was capable at the beginning of the season.

          So I’m a bit baffled as to when (as in what period) LH outshone Vettel come race day or qualifying. In fact, Button beat Hamilton last year, so am I to believe that Button was also better than Vettel last year? It’s my opinion of course, but I just see Vettel as much better and he proves it with results.

          Now if we’re talking Hamilton at peak form circa 2008, well that’s certainly another matter. But today it’s Vettel.

          1. I agree. You could put a bit of spin on it and say Hamilton is a better racer but Vettel is better at winning races.
            But currently I think Vettel is the better racer, he has that amazing ability to put the car on pole and then open up a hefty lead in the opening laps and maintain it throughout the race.

        3. @kingshark
          As 1 of the 3 and @julian say, Hamilton hasn’t shown himself to be better than Vettel for a long time. The last time I recall Hamilton dominating a race was Abu Dhabi last year, when Vettel had a car failure while leading. He also gets in far too many accidents while attempting to come through the field.
          That’s not to say he doesn’t have brilliant races, but he hasn’t been consistently quick like Vettel since 2007/8 (how much of that is due to the car is debatable).

          1. This is a really pointless argument, you cannot look at results as proof of speed unless you have identical cars, I could just as easily say Schui is the fastest and prove it by statistics if that were the case. You are welcome to state your opinion, just remember it is only an opinion not a fact.

        4. Sure, results can’t always be used to prove something, but his point still stands- how often has Hamilton shown himself to be better or faster than Vettel since mid-2010?

          1. @david-a, how many times have they driven the same car?

          2. @hohum – By that logic, how can anyone know that Alonso has been better than anyone other than Massa this season? People look at what is achieved relative to the capabilities of each car and come to reasoned conclusions about who has done better.

          3. @hohum After the first 7 races it was Vettel finishing better than Hamilton 4-3 (NB McLaren had the slight edge car-wise).

            @julian nicely put overall. Surely being better at “winning races” also takes on a whole different/important meaning when the WDC is at stake. Vettel being better/more calm under pressure (in 2010 making his mistakes in Turkey-Spa-Hungary, but being on top form where it mattered most in the tittle deciding race in Abu Dhabi).

  7. Thanks to everyone who sent in their Caption Competition suggestions yesterday. Among my favourites were those from StephenH, Prisoner Monkeys, Kbcusa, Platanna, Richard Charles and MahavirShah.

    How many times have I been among the favourites, but never won?

    1. Drop Valencia!
      15th July 2012, 11:54

      Change your Avatar name to Heidfeld!

    2. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      15th July 2012, 14:36

      Don’t let this ruin your day, just keep in mind that all of us F1F’s love you with all our hearts…even @hohum. :P

      1. @tmc88, don’t tell him but sometimes I actually agree with him.

    3. @prisoner-monkeys I guess it is not the consolation you want, but I liked yours more than the eventual winner. :)

  8. Lewis told to keep at it: Legend Niki Lauda backs Hamilton to succeed (The Mirror)

    “He’s the toughest guy out there and he is also the cleverest. He knows what to do and after years at Ferrari he has settled in, knows how to be consistent and has kept the team going forward step by step.”

    Although Hamilton is not in Ferrari, the way that the statement is placed after the heading concerning Hamilton … is a bit confusing.

  9. I don’t think for the moment. He has been the best from 2005 where he ended schumacher’s glory run, in 2006 he won the championship again , in 2007 he finish tied in point with Hamilton and lost the wdc. Y one point, racing a English driver, in a English team , managed by an English manager , do you remember the ” we are facing Alonso ” by Ron Dennis, in 2010 he lost the wdc having the third fastest car due to Ferrari’s strategic mistake, in 2011 he finished 4 in the third fastest car and had a dnf where button took him out , and in 2012 he has won two races and didn’t won at least two more due to mistake by Ferrari as in Canada and in silver tone and the cAr is probably the 4th fastest car behind red bull, mclaren, lotus. Just watch the silverston’s race, he set only the 8t fastest lap of the rAce and even by that he almost won it. He also set the pole in raining where some other drivers including Hamilton , when it rain the best drivers with the best skills really make a difference In the car like Alonso has done both in Malaysia and in silverstone. Last but not least Alonso is ahead of vettel and Hamilton by 29 and 37 points respectively in one of the most competitive seasons I have ever seen. That is more than one race in points. I would like someone to tell me how many times Alonso has crashed in a race or crashed while trying to pass another car or made a mistake in a race. Yes he has made mistake in practices but not in qualifying since Monaco last year. To me he is the most intelligent and completed driver I have ever seen. Vettel is just behind him but he needs to show that he can do want Alonso does when having a not competitive car and this year even having the fastest car he hasn’t done much and webber is in front of him just like was in front of him in 2010 just until the last two races when he crashed in the rain. Hamilton is fast but he is very irregular, sometimes immature and still makes rookie mIntakes even having the 1-2 fastest car in all but one season.

    1. Gagnon (@johnniewalker)
      15th July 2012, 20:28

      I agree with everyone you said, except yes, Alonso had made a mistake since monaco quali last year, he spin in Australia and cost him a good lap for Q3 possibly

    2. Now I’ll start off by saying that I’m not a Vettel fan, but people also forget that he was not always in a fast car. Ok so he didn’t win a championship in slow car but he certainly showed his worth and skill in my opinion when he pushed that toro rosso to win in Monza in the rain.

  10. The amount of praise Fernando is getting these days is just staggering. Everyone (team principals, ex-drivers, current drivers) unanimously agrees that Alonso is the most ‘complete’ driver.

    I wonder why this praise is only coming now though. Since mid-2010, Fernando has been on top form – similar to his 2005-2006 form. In recent memory, only Michael Schumacher has managed such a sustained top-form performance for such a long period.

    1. I wonder why this praise is only coming now though.

      Because Alonso was the first person to have won two races this year, he is the only driver to have scored points in every single race, and he leads the championship in a car that was practically undriveable at the start of the season.

      1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        15th July 2012, 14:27

        he leads the championship in a car that was practically undriveable at the start of the season.

        The car was definitely below Ferrari’s race winning spec but undriveable, no.

        1. I wouldn’t understate how horrible that Ferrari looked to drive in Australia. Especially during qualifying. It was absolutely hopeless in qualifying. Sure, it was not a HRT but if you look at Australia and China the Ferrari was clearly a dog!

      2. If car is hard to drive it does not mean it’s slow, by far this is the case. It is very rare to have car that fast and pleasure to push.

        Most of the champs on the grid would have pulled same speed out of that Ferrari, some might been faster. But you have to give credit to Alonso for capitalizing on every opportunity he had.

        1. I guess your suggesting Kimi “would have pulled same speed out of that Ferrari” but eventhough I admire Kimi, unfortunately, Kimi had not been able to pull “the speed” out of a faster Lotus. I hope he does from now on, though.

  11. For the first time ever, in the history of man.. NIKI LAUDA SAYS SOMETHING NICE ABOUT LEWIS HAMILTON!!!!!!!! I never thought I’d see the day.

    1. Haha. I was thinking the same thing.. :)

    2. Did you not follow F1 in 2007? According to most of the quotes Lauda rented out that year, Hamilton was the Second Coming.

  12. I also had a thought about Moscow Raceway. It is FiA approved, and it is in Russia; why go to all the fuss to make the Olympic Park Circuit in Sochi?

    1. I wonder the same thing about Valencia and Austin. People love the classic tracks, the ones they know, with history and memories. Indianapolis is a case in point: the holy grail of all ovals, but its still only four corners, just like the others. The history of a circuit is a valuable commodity that could be traded on, at the very least in domestic markets where the circuit is well known, if not internationally. All the effort required to build the Austin and New Jersey circuits still seems salty to me, when you’ve Watkins Glenn, Laguna Seca already there, waiting for the investment to make them into great international circuits.

      1. I think Bernie likes circuits that are built exclusively for Formula 1.

    2. It is FIA approved, and it is in Russia; why go to all the fuss to make the Olympic Park Circuit in Sochi?

      The Moscow Raceway was going to be the home of the Russian Grand Prix, but the deal fell through.

      Of all the countries Bernie has dealt with, nowhere has been harder to establish a race than Russian. His first plan was for a Moscow street circuit, way back in 1982. It was going to be called the Grand Prix of the Soviet Union, and it was even included on the draft calendar for the 1983 season, but the deal collapsed. And for the next thirty years, Russia eluded Bernie. Details are very sketchy, but there were plans for a race on Nagatino Island in the heart of Moscow, but the project was backed by Tom Walkinshaw and collapsed whrn Arrows fell apart (and there were rumours of the Russian mob being involved somehow; two businessmen involved in the project were found dead years later, and the crime remains unsolved to this day). Putin wanted to get a race at the Pulkovoring, which took cues from Silverstone as it was to be built on a disused Soviet airfield near St. Petersburg, but that one collapsed pretty quickly. Then there was Moscow Raceway, another street circuit in Moscow and finally Sochi; and that’s just counting the proposals from 2000 until today. I know he tried in the 1990s as soon as the Russian economy showed signs of recovery after the collapse following the fall of communism, but there are no details.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys, It is true that Russians like their consumption to be conspicuous but on the other hand they don’t like to be the loser in a deal, Bernies all or nothing style of negotiation is going to make it very difficult to get a deal with Russia.

        1. Or he didn’t wanted to get into another bribery scandal, hard to see how else that deal would have been completed in Russia :)

        2. @hohum – How many Russians do you actually know? Because I actually know quite a few, and it is my experience that they’re not so much concerned with coming out on top as you suggest.

          1. I’ve actually done business and worked for quite a few, all of them $billionaires, and I have friends who have similar first hand knowledge of Russian “biznismen”, it is a generalisation but there is usually more than a grain of truth in generalisations and cliches.

  13. If Lauda is talking about Fer he is right on. Totally agree. Alonso is more mature than ever, though but respectful to his fellow drivers.
    BTW, hey Seb ! Look at the picture…that is how you suppose to make the # 1 sign. Please change your version because it looks a little …awkward…
    Go Fer !

  14. I always knew that Alonso was good but this year, for me, he is proving he is brilliant. Lauda put it perfectly. He loves Ferrari and it shows when he speaks of the team, he’s a guy who has fulfilled one of his life ambitions and you can sense just how proud he is of his team. For me it’s a more natural fit than Hamilton at McLaren.

    1. Yeah, Lauda got it right this time but I’m surprised by Sir Stirling’s comment:

      “Alonso has the benefit of a team practically rebuilt from scratch by Michael Schumacher”.

      I mean where da hell is that benefit? When Alonso came to Ferrari the key people responsible for Ferrari’s succes (Todt, Brawn, Byrne) were gone, there were no longer unlimited testing and spending etc. The team was facing a tough period after a rather disastrous personnel reshuffling (Italianization) and it was up to Alonso and Domenicali to gather the right people around.
      About who is the fastest, cleverest, complete etc driver I think any debate is useless. Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel are drivers who can be better classified as “always there” – just give them a half-decent car and they’ll perform miracles.

      1. @klaas +1. I couldn’t agree more with you about Sir Stirling Moss. For everyone who has watched F1 for a long time it may not seem that long ago that Schumacher was with Ferrari but in reality it is an eternity in formula 1 standards. I’m sure if I asked moss if there were any changes in the sport between say, 1957 and 1965, he’d tell us the sport was completely different, which it was. 8 years is a long time, the cars, teams, rules etc have all changed dramatically in that time. But I believe that some think Ferrari would still be struggling if it wasn’t for Schumi and that every car from 1996 onwards is due to MS. This is, of course, nonsense.

      2. @klaas, everything negative you mention about Ferrari since Schumacher has happened regularly in Ferraris history, the Brawn/Schumacher years were their longest run of success and as such gave them a blueprint for success, I’m sure this is what Stirling was referring to and what Ferrari and Fernando are trying to get back to.

  15. Alonso in my opinion is now very close to the levels of Ayrton Senna. I think in the next few years, he’ll be breaking records left right and center

    1. I think he’s better than Senna. He strikes me as a more mature driver.

      1. As a die-hard supporter of both Alonso and Senna, I think this debate is best left until Fernando retires. I believe Fernando has the ability to be considered the best driver of this era of the sport and I believe Ayrton was the best in his era. I think comparisons should be left at that though as no-one can accurately determine how Clark or Fangio would have performed in different eras of the sport.

      2. you just never watched the 1993 season

  16. Alonso’s never really had the sheer pace as Senna characteristically had. It’s pretty rare for him to snare pole, either.

    I would say Alonso is nearer to Prost than Senna but I don’t really care for comparisons like that.

    1. Overall Alonso is a better driver than Senna.

      1. I think if you go race by race, title by title you will be surprised that Alonso lacks A LOT of speed compare to many current drivers not even mentioning Senna. But what he lacks in speed he makes up in other departments.

        1. Outside of the first third of the 2006 Championship, ^this is entirely correct.

          Alonso’s best attribute, and something I happen to consider to be the ultimate racing ability, is that much more often than not he will scrape and drag and steer every point or result available even (and especially) if the best achievable is only possible on paper.

  17. I always thought Nico Rosberg was one of the most intelligent drivers on the grid; he can speak 4 languages I think

  18. Lol, I saw Alonso compared to Senna… Look, I’m and hardcore Alonso fan, but I don’t think he compares. Senna developed into an almost invincibly complete driver by 1991-1994, much the same as Alonso did, but I think Senna would won their contest by virtue of his unique personality, in that he meant so much for many men in the sport… He won over practically everybody with his personality. That is why I think he was the best one ever, that one characteristics raises him from those few, who reached completion in almost every other respect during their career. Maybe Clark came closest to this charisma. Schumacher could be third.

    At the same time, it is somehow strange how the results of both of them paint an inappropriate picture of how they developed. I mean Senna was arguably a very dividing person with some hot-headed decisions and inexplicable mistakes (e. g. Monaco 1988, Spa 1987) during or around his title-winning years. And he found his rhythm to perform on 110-120% constantly from around 1991 – e. g. Monaco 1992, Donington 1993, Canada 1993, Brazil 1994 until he spun out, etc. Yet he won no silverware after 1991 and his heroics were arguably lost to a laic.

    I think this is the samw with Alonso. He won in 2005 practically by Kimi’s handy-cap; okay, okay, he had to be there, but still… The same handy-cap struck Schumacher in Suzuka 2006 in spectacular fashion. Once again, Alonso had to be there, yes. But then he was – once again, arguably – beaten by the newbie Hamilton psychologically, when Hamilton got the better out of him in Hungary and later on, when he succumed to the pressure in Fuji. Overall, I just did not see that faultless drives week in, week out back then, that I see since probably Germany 2010 barring Belgium 2010 and Malaysia 2011. I think Alonso is a much more complete driver nowadays, than he was during his title-winning years. He also altered his driving style substantially and became a perfect manipular driver from an essentially reactive driver.

    1. Actually, I can come up with a better argument in the case of Alonso: he simply did not outperformed his machinery around 2005-2007 by the margin he does nowadays. I think that’s a fair point if we draw teammate comparisons.

    2. Thank you for typing this out.

      Kimi is so getting that title back!

  19. The 2005 argument is a little inane because what Alonso did from much of post-Indianapolis is simply standard operating procedure in racing when you have that massive of a points margin to lose to a faster car.

    Once the limiters were taken off in Suzuka, we saw exactly why Alonso beat Kimi to that WDC in the last two rounds.
    As far as 2006 goes, with Ferrari and Bridgestone making the leap from best of the rest mid-season to having a package even better than the 2005 McLaren, it was flat out war. And it got ugly. You can bring up Suzuka but you failed to mention that Alonso at the time of Schumacher’s retirement had climbed from P5 on the grid to a few seconds behind P1. And you would have also neglected to bring up Monza 2006, same retirement as Schumacher, but utterly appalling before that with the way Whiting and race control handled themselves that weekend.

    1. I so can’t wait for next race!!!

      I love this season.

    2. I agree and also with @leotef in the following post. We cannot assess long-term trends with picking out races. Actually we could just as well scrap the whole 2005-2007 point and just focus on my note at the bottom, which states that Alonso probably did not outperformed his car by that big of a margin in that time. But then again, without races or periods revoked to illustrate the point, it stays a pure assumption with which it is easy to disagree with.

      I just feel this way, remembering those years.

  20. People are so easily herded to one opinion or the other so often. And they form their so called opinion based on the result, btw, which is the final outcome of so many dynamic factors in the making process for at least a given period of time. As somebody says, as far as the result is concerned, MSC is the best ever driver in the history. So may one argue.
    Now looking at the ROS in the same pit as MSC, I find it hard to believe so. Of course, everybody has his own good days followed by bad days. So MSC used to be dominant for a dull period of time in the past, and now what? ALO is acclaimed as frequently as never before as ‘the complete’, ‘the fastest’, and ‘the greatest’???
    Sure enough, he seems in the high form these days while in some sense others are suffering and lagging. Well that means esp in terms of completeness that he has succeeded in aligning and organised all the resources alongside with him minimizing the mistake risk in every aspect. That’s good and rewards handsomely just like these days. But jumping to ‘ALO the best whatever’ from there is just ridiculous.
    I tend to think ’cause so many praising on him then it might soon be the order that he comes down to wherever he usually supposed to belong… Talking about the abilities of a driver, there are so many aspects and personally I don’t think utilising sort of team order things and taking max advantage of them is within the applaudable features. This applies to MSC when he stopped the car at Monaco during qualifying… well done MSC btw.
    Only way to compare two drivers are putting them in the same car at the even level. So may hope someday ALO vs. VET and VET vs. HAM pair to become available to have better idea who is who even though that also depends on each drivers location along his own career and learning/development curve.

  21. Well, in a word, yes.But you cannot do that sort of comparison in F1. It is all very much relative.If you wish to make such a claim as Lauda has, and you can, it’s part of sport – you can only hope Lauda (or anyone) weighs things accordingly. No one would, or at least should, argue that Schumacher is the best on the grid, but that denial should at least be weighted down by the facts that Schumacher is with a new team and in very old age. For Lauda’s claim to have relevance, everyone should accept that he’s talking about the very current day.

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