Ferrari slowest of front-runners, says Alonso

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says Ferrari are still lagging behind their major rivals.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Championship leader Fernando Alonso says he’s not title favourite (BBC)

“The classification is a good advantage for us but in terms of performance, of the guys who are at the front, we are clearly the slowest. We have a points advantage and a performance disadvantage, so I don’t think we are favourites.”

Petrov’s F1 Career in Danger After Russia Pulls Funding (Ria Novosti)

Petrov’s manager Oksana Kosachenko: “We have now lost government support. There’s never been interest from sponsors. I’ve always said that it’s impossible to find sponsors in Russia for a project like Formula One. When there was support at the top level of government, this project worked commendably.”

No support role for Button (Sky)

“I’m forty points behind Lewis but Lewis is forty points behind Fernando and he still thinks he has a very good chance of winning this championship. So, no, we go racing as always. The last two races before the break were very good for us and we’re feeling very positive.”

Lewis Hamilton: “You have to be business minded…” (Adam Cooper)

“this is a business. I always wear my heart on my sleeve, but of course you have to be business minded as well.”

Schumacher knows his limits (Reuters)

“For the 400 (Grand Prix appearances)? We probably say no for that one.”

Belgian GP – Conference 1 (FIA)

“Q: (Gabor Joo – Indexonline) Michael, you have 299 races so far. Can you single out one which is your favourite?
MS: I keep talking about Suzuka in 2000, both for the quality of the race, for the end of the race and for the whole meaning of that result obviously, so it was a total package of many circumstances, why that race turned out to be a very special one for myself and then for so many others.”

Rosberg: Mercedes learned from slump (Autosport)

“We understand some of the reasons why others have managed to get away from us a little bit. Some of them are not totally unexpected.”

Pastor Maldonado Q&A: Williams want ‘more than points’ at Spa (F1)

On his Venezuela crash: “It is always tricky to run on tarmac that is not meant for racing – and yes, it was a bit embarrassing, but only a bit. It was at the end of the show run when everybody already had a good taste of Formula One, so it was no big deal. And I had the headlines…”

Cold will hurt Iceman (Sky)

“What might go against Lotus is that it is quite chilly here, it is anorak weather, and they like it hot. The second thing that might go against them is that they like the softer tyres and here we have two of the hardest tyres we bring to all the circuits. So they will have to overcome both of those to win here this weekend.”

The fight to be fastest (MotorSport)

“It couldn’t last, of course. Spa was given a chance to ‘redeem’ itself by a resurgent GPDA, but its extra Armco and unsatisfactory Malmedy chicane of 1970 could only ever be a stay of execution.”


Comment of the day

Sounds like @Carlitox is as excited about the possibility of Alessandro Zanardi racing again as I am:

Alex Zanardi is by far my most estimated driver of all time. An example of effort and consistence and a message for all that anyone can achieve anything with hard work. Just seeing him start, or do some demo laps, would bring tears to my eyes just like when he won in the WTCC. Respect.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Liedra and Fritz Oosthuizen!

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

Happy birthday to Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo who turns 65 today.

Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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55 comments on “Ferrari slowest of front-runners, says Alonso”

  1. While he probably is right about Ferrari not being the fastest of the front runners, he’s still the favourite to win the title. I know he’s just putting some of the pressure off his back, but that’s not going to make him less favourite than the guys that are 40 points behind who will take points of each other constantly in this last 9 races.

    1. In the end i think he is just exacerbating his feats with the Ferrari. Lewis sounds pretty happy, Button sounds delusional, and i’m not going to miss Petrov.

      1. Button sounds delusional

        LOL.. I was thinking the exact same thing. I think Perez is in with a shout of the title as well. Perez is 39 points behind Jenson who is 40 points behind Lewis, who is 40 points behind Alonso. So no reason why Perez shouldn’t be up there fighting for the title :P

        and i’m not going to miss Petrov


    2. i guess lets see what next few races brings and than maybe start talking about championship..its still long way to go..if alonso can grab two podiums in next two races in normal conditions than i will start to see him as favorite..for now its vettel for me(i so hope iam mistaken)

    3. I don’t think Ferrari are slowest of front-runners. They just like to downplay their strength, which makes them look even better when they achieve good results and it obviously elevates the driver.

      1. This is from the last article I wrote comparing car performance this year:

        Over the last five races they’ve been 0.454% off the pace on average, matching Lotus and only trailling Red Bull (0.352%) and McLaren (0.287%).

        Top teams remain close as McLaren peg back Red Bull

        So no, not the outright fastest, but less than 0.2% off the pace on average in recent races is very competitive.

        But with all of the teams so close this year it’s not simply a case of the quickest car being the best. You need a car that’s competitive in a mix of conditions – a good all-rounder – and that’s something Alonso has enjoyed since Spain. And you need a team which gets their tactics right and perform rapid, consistent pit stops – again, a Ferrari strength.

        There’s little to choose between the top teams on reliability, though Red Bull have had a few more problems than their rivals.

    4. Eventually it’s right now but it was not true in every race.

    5. @fer-no65 He’s managed to get clear at the top with a pretty terrible car at the start of the season. They’re by no means that bad now, they’re actually quite good, so their chances are high!

      He is the favourite, he’s leading the world championship, that’s how it works Fernando!

  2. “In shock news, Maldonado says crash was no big deal”.

    1. emm, it wasn’t

  3. Those sidepods look fantastically different.

  4. Nick Jarvis (@)
    31st August 2012, 0:44

    those sidepods… what are they for? I’d guess the air goes through the gap and comes out the back, really very very ugly, though.and I’m beginning to think the Ferrari is maybe the fastest car, we talk about how Massa is lagging behind, but isn’t button?

  5. My first COTD! Yay!

    And those sidepods really do interest me… maybe they are trying to canalize sidepod airflow all the way through the diffuser?

    1. Great, well done. But what does it mean for Zanardi to be your most estimated driver of all time.

      1. I’m sure he meant esteemed.

      2. That’s it. I kinda want to kill myself when I make those mistakes hahaha. Sorry. :)

  6. “Cold will hurt Iceman” :)))

  7. getting embarrasing this constant Alonso hype and spin.
    oh what a slow bad car the Ferrari is…..
    oh what a great brilliant driver that Alonso is in that bad slow car….
    oh please! Enough !!!

    1. Well, between him and his team, they have him 40 points up.

      Now, I suspect the if you look at the data, you will find that the Ferrari, is still generally behind the pace, and was way off early in the season.

      It’s obviously not just him, the team have gifted him some great opportunities with things like mega fast pit stops. However, you have to admit, his points total is higher than you’d expect.

    2. ferrari is so bad and alonso so good he would be in same position even with HRT.

  8. This was my personal favorite tweet of the day:

    I love how he’s ahead of Schumacher in the painting. :-D

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      31st August 2012, 2:06

      Those broccoli trees look delicious.

    2. Great pic indeed, those cars are actually pretty well done, considering that painting is not that easy.

  9. By Sunday night we will really know who is for real and who is not. A Ferrari win will become a back breaker for many teams. Time is running out and points leaders will have to collect some DNF’s for the balance to overturn what is already in place. Should be very interesting especially as this race is at the ABSOLUTE BEST GRAND PRIX VENUE BAR NONE

  10. Seriously ¿Is there someone who thinks F2012 is a winning car?
    Quote Ham : [“He’s just playing, just positioning himself in a nice way. I could say the same thing.”
    Hamilton added: “Fernando, I don’t know why he’d say his car is not as quick, unless he feels they’ve taken a step backwards.] I don’t even know what to say, no comment…
    Obviously Alonso is pulling out an historical achievement.

    1. “He’s just playing, just positioning himself in a nice way. I could say the same thing.”

      Yes.. you could say it Lewis.. but no one would believe that the Mclaren is way off the front runners pace

      1. Fortunately, that’s not what he is saying

    2. Not necessarily the best car, but close to it.

      1. There’re at least 6 teams close to each other this year ¿winning car? Rbr & Mclaren no doubt.
        Fernando needs some kind of punishment for stating the truth! C’mon!

        1. But with the teams so close, and Massa driving so poorly, it’s hard to tell whether Ferrari are slower than the other top teams. Alonso has definitely done the best job of all the drivers so far though.

  11. Aww Petrov, we will not miss you.


  12. Did everyone have a productive break? It’s passed quite quick witht the Olympics and the new football season – I even found some time to get down to the local track to see some motorsport: BTCC – my first touring car races at Knockhill last weekend, and I’ve been engrossed ever since, catching up with all the races online at ITV!

    Nothing beats the fact F1 is back in a few hours time though! :D

  13. I think it would be a shame if Vitaly Petrov lost his drive. He’s put in some of his most solid drives to date this year, and I think the Kovalainen-Petrov combination has worked well for Caterham. At the very least, he’s been better that Maldonado, Senna, Vergne, Riccardo and Massa, all of whom are in better cars than the CT-01.

    1. Its easy to say Petrov ‘would’ have done better than any of those drivers you mentioned.. but the fact is he got his chance with Renault and he did a really poor job. At that time Petrov was racing for Renault, several fans must have been saying that Massa, Senna, Maldonado, etc. would be putting in stronger performances than Petrov.

      1. He did a poor job in his first year – and improved dramatically in the second, though the car was atrocious at times. Compare that to Maldonado, who at least kept up with Barrichello in 2011, but has had a horror season this year.

        The way I see it, Petrov has gotten better over the past three years while other drivers have gotten worse.

        1. I wouldn’t say having a competitiv car and scoring a maiden win is a horror season.

          But he is trully underperforming and his intermittent bursts of speed and his win have proven to all that the package is great and the ability to drive it into good scoring points is lacking. 2 points scores is horrendous result with today’s relyability when you have a car with race winning pace.

          It’s quite interesting to see how Lotus and William fair in that they have a very decent package but one has gambled with great drivers at the risk of backfiring (and spending gigormous money on Kimi I’d guess) when the other has gone for the easy money.

          For now, it seems Boullier has been the wise man, it is a shame the Williams isn’t driven to where it should be on a regular basis. Food for thoughts for the years to come for all F1 teams.

          1. I wouldn’t say having a competitiv car and scoring a maiden win is a horror season.

            It is when you drive into anything that moves near you.

      2. He did put in a decent podium

    2. May be, the perception that he is a “pay driver” is somehow backfiring him? When he has to sign a new contract teams could be asking him for money, knowing that he could do anything to bring those in for a drive seat, although he does not need to.

      1. Only a handful of drivers have no personal sponsors that they bring to the team. The Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes are pretty much it – everyone else has brought sponsors along with them. So it’s a little misleading to call Vitaly Petrov a pay driver, because that implies he is one of the few to do it. The difference is that he openly admits he is a pay driver.

    3. @prisoner-monkeys So do I. I like the guy, always have. He’s had his share of rookie mistakes but he’s a pretty solid pair of hands these days.

  14. Is the F2012 the fastest car? No, I don’t think so. Maybe a case can be made for it in the wet, but in Hockenheim qualifying the Red Bull was at least competitive – Vettel was competitive on Alonso for pole before his mistake under braking into the hairpin, and a part of Alonso’s speed boost came from fresher tyres.

    But I think a case can be made for it being the “best” car since the start of Spain. Other than Hungary, the F2012 has been a factor for victory in each and every grand prix, no matter the ambient conditions, no matter what compounds of tyre are running.

    In a season when the McLarens, Red Bull or the Lotus are fastest one weekend, and suddenly nowhere the next weekend, the car is like Alonso’s twin brother. He might never be on top of the pecking order, but it’s always second or at least 3rd best, which is playing a part in helping Alonso’s consistency.

    1. That’s exactly what I think.

  15. I feel Ted Kravitz may be right about Lotus. The bad weather and the hard tyres may be just the ‘excuse’ Lotus need not to win again.

    As for Alonso not being the favourite for the title, if he manages to exploit this weekend’s changeable weather conditions and outscore his rivals, then he most certainly is; if he finishes behind all his rivals like he did in Hungary, then indeed we may have an interesting championship battle.

  16. This article from L’Equipe (it’s actually an image) claims that Robert Kubica was actually fastesr than Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solbertg at the Ford WRT test in France. Nobody knows exactly what Kubica’s plans are, but he is reportedly open to the idea of joining the WRC.

    1. Would be happy to see Kubica racing on such a level again, but it is a little concerning that this could mean even less available manufacturer seats for the likes of Novikov, Ostberg and Tanak.

      1. @journeyth – Kubica probably won’t step straight into a works Ford. He’d likely wind up at M-Sport or join another customer team. Maybe Adapta if Mads Ostberg were to be promoted to another team, or run in a second Adapta car alongside Ostberg if Ford supported the team; similarly, I could see him alongside Martin Prokop in a second Czech National car.

        The other alternative is for M-Sport to run a third car for Kubica at selected events. They ran Francois Delecour in Monte Carlo, Michal Solowow in Sweden, Ricardo Trivino in Mexico, Dennis Kuipers in Portugal, and they will put two additional entries – one for Matthew Wilson and one for Jannie Habig – together for Wales. This car would not be able to score points, but it would give Kubica valuable time in the car if he wanted to do a full-time programme in 2014.

        To make matters even more complicated, I have heard chatter suggesting that manufacturer teams (and possibly privateers) could be entitled to run a third points-scoring car full-time in 2013. Andreas Mikkelsen allegedly said that he and Kevin Abbring would share a third works Polo next year, and if Volkswagen do it, Ford and Citroen would be practically obligated to just to keep up with them in the points (particularly if Loeb retires; he has said that he knows what he wants to do, but the final decision rests with someone else, believed to be his wife).

        1. Oh, I heard the “third car” rumours, but they don’t sound mighty likely. Both Ford and Citroen seem fairly unreliable as manufacturer teams and said outright that they would get out of WRC if the “third car” rule was introduced. Obviously, Volkswagen said no such thing.

          Also, if Mikkelsen (and Abbring) get the third Volkswagen, who’d be in the second? Latvala?

  17. I won’t miss Petrov either, but with Guido van der Garde being one of his rumored replacements I hope he scrapes some money together to keep his seat.

  18. I really liked the answers to the last question in the press conference, about a possible future of electrical Formula 1 cars and Formula E.
    I am more and more interested to see how the whole thing will play out and whether it will be truly accepted by the fans.

    1. I am more and more interested to see how the whole thing will play out and whether it will be truly accepted by the fans.

      I think it will be, if only because the FIA will protect the series. If Formula 1 started introducing electic power, Formula E would not be able to compete for very long. So the FIA will limit the ability of any other open-wheel series to adopt electric power, and this means that the noise of a category like Formula 1 (of which the fans are strangely protective) will not be threatened.

  19. I think Alonso is (likely on purpose) underestimating his car. Sure there are always cars that are quicker then it, but its rarely the same people. Sometimes McLaren is a lot quicker, sometimes its Lotus. Sometimes its RB. But the key is that Alonso doesn’t have a team mate to compete with who takes points off him, and the others are lot less consistent in their pace. Also the car is quite reliable. McLaren haven’t really had car related problems, but their pistops have been horrible. RB has been pretty good in the pits, but they have had a fair share of mechanical issues with their car. Webber’s broken diff, Vettel’s Alternator and so on.
    Ferrari has just been up there every weekend. So they have reliability and consistency in how their car performs. In a season like this, that has really proven to be the key.
    Not taking anything away from Alonso, he has been masterful, but while the car might be the slowest, I don’t think its close to being the worst of the front running cars.

    1. The point is you DON’T need the faster car to win the WDC.

    2. @mads As Sun Tzu wrote, “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable… …Feign disorder, and crush him. Pretend to grow weak, that he may grow arrogant.”

      The way I see it, this is Alonso utilizing the principles of the Art of War against his opponents, the same way Red Bull did in 2010. I feel he’s telling everyone he’s not a title favorite, just to entice the competition into making mistakes.

      I feel as long as Alonso is consistent, and Ferrari takes the F2012 to its maximum potential, everyone else will be tripping over each other to catch him. That’s the key, I feel, to succeeding Ayrton Senna as the youngest triple world champion.

  20. William Brierty
    31st August 2012, 12:36

    Never has something managed to be very very ugly and so achingly beautiful at the same time…until McLaren designed those sidepods. They just look so wrong and yet so cool at the same time.

Comments are closed.