Alonso and Senna criticise rivals’ moves

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Alonso and Senna say Vettel and Di Resta crossed the line with their moves in the Italian Grand Prix.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Vettel move ‘dangerous’ Alonso (BBC)

“It was dangerous for the nature of the circuit. It’s 300kph and we were jumping on gravel. Not nice.”

Senna slams di Resta for pushing him off the track (ESPN)

“I had the front wing of my car next to his car and then under braking he squeezed me off the track and we touched. Fortunately we didn’t launch each other. For me a driver has been banned for a race for doing something similar to that and even Sebastian Vettel got a drive-through penalty for doing something similar to that. It is the stewards’ decision and we respect it, but I don’t think what Paul did was right. Sometimes we make errors in judgement, but it’s up to the stewards to decide.”

Vettel and Red Bull hit out at penalty (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “It is irrelevant effectively after [not finishing], but judge it for yourself – it seemed a bit harsh. It didn’t seem to warrant a penalty but that is my opinion.”

Kubica still hoping to return to Formula One (Reuters)

“The aim remains to return to Formula One and the next few months will tell me whether I can do it next year already or will have to wait until 2014.”

3. Ronde Gomitolo di Lana 2012 (eWRC-Results)

Kubica won on his rallying return this weekend – here’s the classification.

We want Lewis Hamilton to stay, says McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh (The Guardian)

Ron Dennis: “Having two British drivers is nice but it is not essential. We always have the two best available drivers. Nationality is not that critical to us.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “We should have gone away from here with a one-two” (Adam Cooper’s F1 blog)

“We’re second in both championships, there’s a real championship fight on now, and that’s great. If we’d had the second place from Jenson [Button] then we’d be right up there, very, close to the lead of the constructors’. That’s disappointing, but on balance we’ll enjoy a win in the Italian [Grand Prix].”

Italian GP – Conference 4 (FIA)

“Here was a big surprise for us. I think the strategy made a very big difference for us, because we had the pace to be where we finished today. I think Singapore will definitely be a better one – I don’t think the best for us but if we come here and look better, I think we can be competitive if you consider we lose half a second on the straights here so I think we can be quite competitive in Singapore.”

Sky Sports Formula 1 2012 – Tooned – Episode 5: Lift Story (YouTube)


Comment of the day

@Dirgegirl’s thoughts on the Vettel/Alonso incident:

I’m no great fan of Vettel, and usually delight in Alonso’s driving and even his radio histrionics, but today his angry demand for a penalty over team radio was reminiscent of a dive in football plus haranguing the referee. I know this happens a lot, but for him to explicitly ask for a penalty rather than simply draw attention to the nature of the alleged transgression is gamesmanship, not sportsmanship.

I don’t think Vettel deserved a drive-through – it seemed too marginal judged against the written rule – and it seemed worryingly inconsistent that other incidents such as Senna-di Resta were not investigated, as many others have pointed out.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

The Italian Grand Prix held 40 years ago today marked the end of an era – it was the first time chicanes had been installed to slow the speeds at the Monza circuit.

Emerson Fittipaldi clinched the world championship when title rival Jackie Stewart’s clutch failed at the the start.

Fittipaldi went on to win followed by Mike Hailwood (Surtees) and Denny Hulme (McLaren).

Here’s some video from the race. Note the first chicane was bypassed at the start – you can see Stewart pulling his Tyrrell to a stop there.

Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

Author information

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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119 comments on “Alonso and Senna criticise rivals’ moves”

  1. Kubica didn’t just win the rally – he blitzed it! A minute ahead of 2nd place Bergo, and a lot faster than the rest of the field. I’d love to see him in F1 next year, but where would he go? Ferrari? Mercedes?

    1. I think he would go to Ferrari. I’m not expecting him to get a seat in Ferrari, but I just think that they are only one of a few teams with the proper finances and resources to give him a proper test day. With a track of their own, they would be able to give him the proper equipment to evaluate him.

      1. Yeah, there’s no way Ferrari would take him without being confident that he has full mobility in his arm and that he is as competitive as he was before the accident.

        If Kubica were to come back, then I would expect to see him in a Force India, Sauber or – as a very remote opportunity and wholly dependent on sponsorship – Williams depending on how certain driver moves play out.

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          10th September 2012, 22:17

          What about a reserve driver seat? he could go to any team in that place and start showing progress on FP1

      2. I really hope so either.

      3. Nope, Ferrari isn’t likely. They’d pick up Perez first I would think. Maybe Williams? I would so like to see him at Force India though :) !

    2. Back to Sauber?

      1. That might work.

      2. Yes please.

      3. I wonder if McLaren might consider him, should Lewis Hamilton leave. Ferrari won’t chance him without Kubica being untested, but McLaren have shown much more flexibility in their driver line-up and a willingness to take a risk on a driver in the past.

        1. Anything! (albeit a Caterham, HRT or Marussia), really hate seeing a good, intelligent driver hindered so much like this.

        2. They’re not as strict as Ferrari, but that doesn’t mean taking a risk on a driver who might not be competent. Which risks have they taken in the past? Ones that I’m aware of were calculated risks- drivers who weren’t necessarily proven to be world class, but had shown talent nonetheless, such as Hamilton, Kovalainen and Raikkonen. Taking Kubica untested wouldn’t be at all calculated unless it came in 2014 or after, following a full season in a similarly strenuous series.

          1. Which risks have they taken in the past? Ones that I’m aware of were calculated risks

            If McLaren were to take Kubica, it would certainly be a calculated risk. They’re not just going to offer him a contract irrespective of his condition. They’ll do their homework first.

        3. @prisoner-monkeys I wondered about McLaren, and I’d like to see him go there. Although I agree with @matt90 that its probably too much of a risk. Personally I think Ferrari will take the risk or he’ll take the place of Perez or Di Resta when they get promoted to Ferrari/Mercedes. Mclaren aren’t going to have a free seat – Hamilton will stay there, I just can’t see him going anywhere else.

    3. Let’s have a think about this. For a minute, let’s assume Kubica makes a return in 2014

      Ferrari, as has been mentioned above, have the facilities, experience and the money to hold a proper test where Kubica can be evaluated. That leaves one season (2013) for another driver to be in that seat. They either can hold Massa for another year, then try bringing him in – or see how Perez gets on with a one year contract and then they decide between him and Kubica for 2014 (after Kubica’s said test).

      Sauber has also been mentioned above. Given their connections with Ferrari, he could take Perez’s place here in 2014 if Perez does move to Ferrari – in a team Kubica is already familiar with. If they retain their current form, they’ll also be strong enough for him to be competitive.

      McLaren is an interesting one. With the change in engines in 2014, Hamilton may choose to jump ship then rather than now (which has been of much speculation lately). You could say the same about Mercedes with Schumacher, and by then even Lotus might have a seat free if Raikkonen moves up the ladder team-wise. And of course Red Bull with Mark Webber.

      But as all this goes on, you’ve got the Kovalainens, the Glocks, and the Di Restas waiting in the wings. And surely you could choose a safe road like that rather than gambling on Kubica. But I’ll continue to hope with all my heart he does come back one day – probably my favourite driver on the field before his accident.

  2. End of the day it was alot of vettels moans about others driving that caused some of these more heavier penalties. we all remember him questioning alonso driving last year, when fernando not only gave him more room, he didnt make his final move as late as seb today. You cant have it both ways.

    My only gripe would be where are the pens when others do it. and i also fear there will be a penalty every time now someone squeezes another driver, which in general is perfectly fine.

    as for alonso calls on the radio. he had just been shoved off the road at 200mph for no reason by a fellow world champion. would you be annoyed? if the answer is no your kimi in disguise.

    1. Yeah, I disagree with COTH…85q is correct.

      I dont ever want to be in a position where I’m shoved off anything while moving at 200 mph!! I think Alonso had every right to complain, it could have ended badly, but lucky he managed to get back on the road without any major damage to the underside of his car.

      The move was clear, Alonso was clearly along side him as they came into Curva Grande, and then he shut the door, and squeezed him out. At first I thought a drive through was harsh, but looking at it again, it seems fair.

      As for Alonso’s angry demand over the radio..come on..any person who is competing at this level would have done the same….possibly even Kimi!

    2. You couldn’t be more correct if you tried 85q!

    3. he had just been shoved off the road at 200mph for no reason by a fellow world champion.

      But Alonso did the same in 2011 defending Vettel.
      I understand the penalty after July clarification but maybe Alonso should be quiet and wait those entitled to judge drivers moves without any pressure particularly form the one who did a similar move one year back. If it was dangerous in 2012, it was dangerous in 2011.

      1. @jcost

        But Alonso did the same in 2011 defending Vettel.

        This video shows the two incidents side-by side. Last year, Vettel simply put two wheels on the grass, but last night, Alonso had all four wheels off the circuit.


          This onboard video shows vettel going flat out using the optimal line (minimal wear on tires).

          If this is “forcing a driver of the track” we just changed the rules of racing. In monza against a red car: totally possible.

          1. You know, if every day of my life when I drive to work I go from the second lane straight to the exit of the highway and its so early in the morning there is never someone in the way thats fine. But if one day there is a car next to me but there never was one before so I just pull over as usual and crash into the other car then tell me one thing: whose fault is it?

            What I’m trying to say is, you can not use the usual line if there already is a car on that line alongside you. At first I thought there would be no penalty but seeing it again and again and in comparison to last year I have to say it seems justified.

          2. When Vettel went into the corner, there wasn’t a car next to him, in the corner, Alonso found a lot more speed (Kers?) and got next to Vettel. Vettel had the line in the corner, Alonso pulled alongside and run out of road. If this would have happened at any other track with a random piece of tarmac on the outside, nobody would have even said anything, cause then a driver seems to be allowed to squeeze another driver.

          3. I agree Dirk. I don’t understand what Vettel did wrong. He had a consistent smooth line towards the outside to minimise slip angle. When he turned in the Ferrari was no where near him. He was using all of the available lateral grip so what would have been dangerous for him to do was to either add steering lock or lift off (or both), then he would have presumably spun, taking Alonso with him. Surely he had no option but continue to negociate the corner predictably as it’s up to Alonso to find a safe way around him.

        2. Thanks for the vid. But still, both 2011 and 2012 were dangerous.

          1. So we’re talking about risks in racing (what a surprise). “bananarama” is actually doing comparisons with a daily commute to work – priceless.

            Ok, if thats the new F1 i wont bother to watch in the future. We drive harder in the VLN, and thats without F1 safety measures.

          2. If there is an object next to you, you cannot be in the place where that object is. Period. Please go watch some other sport.

          3. I think it comes down to whether or not a car has some part beside the leading car, and if it does, then a car width of space should be left. To me, it shouldn’t matter where that is on the track. ie. entering a turn, leaving a turn, or on a straight. I believe it has been pointed out that last year FA left a car width for SV and it was SV that put himself on the grass. That’s just good fair racing. Yesterday, SV did not leave a car width while FA had some portion of his car beside SV’s. That’s cheap, dangerous, unfair racing.
            In general and imho, regardless of the rules, and appreciating the need to analyse whether a car had some portion of itself beside another car, it is only fair game that one should race it out on the track, while trying to avoid contact that could end one’s own day or even life, let alone that of a rival’s, in a manner that does not involve simply pushing someone off the track for the ‘win’ (even when it is just to ‘win’ that corner at that time).
            In other words, and it is the same for me as to why I garnish no respect for MS for many of his moves in his career, it doesn’t take a genius to push someone off the track…any bully can do that…use their car as a battering ram. Genius comes from winning battles on the track in an honourable fashion. If someone has you at one corner, leave them a car width and if they complete the pass then live to fight for the next corner and trust that you will be left a car width if you get some part of your car beside your opponent’s too. What SV did was imho MS-like, the cheap and brutish way to ‘succeed’. If you can’t hold them back fairly, then squeeze them off the track when they are beside you. Risk the other driver’s life and your own for the sake of temporary dishonourable gain. Why do some drivers want to ‘win’ that way? (asked knowing that is a complicated question with many debatable answers).

            NR’s now famous sweeping moves across the track on FA and SV differed in that at no point were FA or SV beside NR with any part of their car. ie. he couldn’t have forced them off the track…he may have forced them to decide to get off the gas or go off the track on their own without lifting, but he did not push anyone who was beside him off the track. Nor did he suddenly jump in front of them to block them.

          4. I think that what @robbie writes here makes sense

            Genius comes from winning battles on the track in an honourable fashion. If someone has you at one corner, leave them a car width and if they complete the pass then live to fight for the next corner and trust that you will be left a car width if you get some part of your car beside your opponent’s too.

            Its exactly what we saw happening beteen Kimi and Schumacher in Spa and between several other drivers in Monza too, including part of that Vettel-Alonso battle and a battle between Perez and Kimi, when they passed, got repassed and that went on for a couple of laps.

  3. Keith I have a question for your stats and facts article that will be coming up.
    Has there been a race this year where the driver placed second in the championship closed the gap to the leader? I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

    1. @julian The last race at Spa? Alonso’s lead dropped dramatically from 40 points to 24, though mainly thanks to that first corner shunt.

      1. Yeah and foday the gap to second place is 37 points!! So alonso two weeks after the summer break only lost 3 points to the second in the wdc standings

    2. Hamilton moved from 2nd to 1st at China.

    3. Sigh, I had a nice detailed reply typed up, but logging in to post seems to have lost it. Basically, at 1/2 – 3/4 of the races this happened, depending on if you mean the gap between P1 and P2, regardless of which actual drivers they are before/after a weekend, or if you mean between the P1 and P2 drivers going into a weekend (ie the P2 driver scores higher than the P1, even if they both get replaced).

      1. I’m thinking of when driver x is leading the championship and driver y is second. Then after the race driver y has closed the gap to x. I’ve just noticed in the past few races that we seem to have a different driver in 2nd place.

        Was vettel second in spa, I thought he was 3rd but I’m sure I’m probably wrong haha.

        So we definitely have china and possibly spa.
        Either way it shows the battle for the championship is really intense which is awesome and just what I and most of us like to see :)

        1. Webber was 2nd before Spa.

          1. He was 2nd for a few races, but the only one he actually closed the gap at was the British GP.

        2. Okay I just got access to a computer at uni and did some number crunching. It has happened 3 times this season by my calculations. In china when Hamilton who before the race was second overtook the lead from Alonso. In Valencia when Alonso who before the race was second took the lead from Hamilton. And in great Britan when Webber in second closed the lead from Alonso.
          There are other occasions where drivers not second in the championship closed in on the driver leading the championship, but I’m only interested in those circumstances where the driver in second closed the gap, or overtook the lead.
          So yeah, it’s been pretty turbulent up front in that regard.

          1. And Canada. Vettel gained 2 points on Alonso (albeit both overtaken by Hamilton)

  4. It’s every man for himself on the track, so while I feel the drive-through penalty was a little harsh (in the heat of the moment, I wouldn’t have seen Alonso coming round the outside), I wouldn’t berate Alonso for wanting a penalty for Vettel.

    Good though that Alonso managed to avoid a huge accident. Gives him a nice lead in the championship. :)

    1. yes, by now i would be fearing the return of the Mclarens they seem to be in Melbourne form, but i suspect that it’s all about these 2 harder compound races.

  5. Does anyone of you believe that Mclaren is still talking to Lewis’s management? I don’t think so. This seems to be a done deal with Mercedes and it could very well be Merc’s plea to Mclaren to drag this topic for one more month coz this will affect them in a different way. The German media is going to roast them for sure. What is their USP to Lewis’s management when they planned to sign him while they haven’t given a proper car to the 7 times world champion?

    1. I think you might chewing up the wrong tree there.

      1. A big thumbs up for the awesome beaver word play :)

        1. LOL @hohum is a sure winner

        2. Better not take the beaver word play any further, though.

    2. If Hamilton has already jumped ship and McLaren know it, then it makes no sense for them to try and keep him in the game. They will need to move quickly to secure a second driver, especially given the rumours linking half the grid to Massa’s seat. The last thing they want is a repeat of 2008, when Alonso’s departure forced them to take a driver who wasn’t up to the task of racing for a top-tier team. If Hamilton is going, they need to get Hulkenberg or Perez, and fast, or else risk getting stuck with a Senna or a Pic – someone who has no business being in a car that can win championships.

    3. Wait, this rumour is still alive?

      1. Do you honestly think one victory is going to make it all go away?

        It’s been discussed for some time, and it is believed that Mercedes has indeed made a serious offer for Hamilton.

      2. @jcost It’s only alive because it isn’t dead yet.. I’ll be surprised if any truth comes of it, not least of which because I can see Schumi sticking it out till the end of these V8’s next year…

        1. I’ve heard speculation that Schumacher already knows what he’s doing next year, and the team simply hasn’t made it public. They said they wanted to get a deal arranged over the summer break, but there hasn’t been so much as a word out of Brackely about it – and now they’re believed to have made Lewis Hamilton an offer and Ross Brawn is talking about how the team will find a management position for Schumacher if that’s what he wants if and when he retires, and you have to ask yourself how many of these idle, off-the-cuff remarks – that are almost meaningless when taken in isolation, but combined make for some very interesting reading – you need before a pattern starts to appear.

          1. You need to look at all of these comments, including the ones by Eddie Jordan and Bernie Ecclestone, as being aspects of Hamilton’s contract negotiations.

            There are certain things we can say for certain here:

            1 – Mercedes and McLaren would both be happy to have Hamilton driving for them. He’s a proven race winner and world champion. However, he has a number of negative points as well; he demands one of the highest salaries on the grid, and he’s prone to slight inconsistency and petulance.
            2 – McLaren can almost certainly give him a winning car in 2013 and beyond, but probably won’t want to pay him the money he’s after.
            3 – Mercedes are unlikely to give him a car he can challenge with in 2013, and their future in the sport remains slightly dubious. However, they are in the best position to offer Hamilton the best financial package over a long term contract. McLaren can make him a champion. Mercedes can make him a fortune.
            4 – Every public comment made by any side merely forms part of the negotiations, and depending on who they’re made by will have one of the following messages – Mercedes can eventually offer race winning machinery as well as the lucrative salary, Hamilton is a good driver who deserves lots of money and a good contract, and McLaren are a great team who are most likely to give him his second (or third) championship.
            5 – McLaren are suggesting that Hamilton needs them more than they need him; there are other fast drivers who would like his seat, and no other teams are going to give him the competitive machinery that they will. The implication being that he should accept the lower salary (and the media obligations, etc) because it’s his best (and potentially only) chance of another championship.
            6 – There are wider implications than merely one driver and two teams. There are at least three drivers whose contract negotiations will be influenced by this. Schumacher’s, certainly, and the theoretical third driver who may potentially fill Hamilton’s seat. In reality it is likely that there are at least five drivers concerned here, so the public messages from the three parties we know about should all be viewed in that context.
            7 – Nothing whatsoever can be concluded from any of the comments made by any of the concerned parties. The fact that these comments are being made simply tells us that nothing is signed, and they’re still in the stages of laying out their various proposals. While it’s tempting to try and draw bigger conclusions from these public statements, the fact is they’re not actually for our benefit, and they’re certainly not telling us anything.

            It’s likely that things will go quiet now, as the serious business of thrashing out contracts gets underway. Their respective positions have been stated fairly explicitly in public, and it’s likely that discussions are already fairly advanced in all directions and with all drivers concerned. While it’s tempting to try and prejudge the outcome, it’s only going to be a lucky guess if anyone does manage to successfully predict the way in which this will all unfold. And that’s without even considering the potentially vacant seat at Ferrari which will give another facet to this already very complex situation. We will really just have to wait and see how it all turns out. What does seem clear is that every driver and team involved will be trying to show off their potential to the very best they can which adds yet another dynamic to an already intriguing season and championship battle.

          2. You need to look at all of these comments, including the ones by Eddie Jordan and Bernie Ecclestone, as being aspects of Hamilton’s contract negotiations.

            Oh, it wouldn’t surprise me if this is Simon Fuller trying to get whatever leverage he can so that his client can get the best possible deal – but in order for it to work, there needs to have been an actual offer from Mercedes, because without that offer, Hamilton has no leverage over McLaren, and he will have something to fall back on if negotiations with McLaren collapse completely. That said, it makes no sense for Ross Brawn to be in on it all if Hamilton has no intention to drive for Mercedes and is simply using the threat of leaving to cut a better deal.

            Give me some credit, please – I’m perfectly aware of everything you just outlined. I’m simply trying to highlight that if this is a ploy on Hamilton’s part, then there has to be some substance to it or else McLaren can take him to the cleaners.

          3. I don’t really agree with that. I don’t believe that it would be necessary for there to be a solid offer from Mercedes as such. As long as it’s implied that there is an offer, and that Ross Brawn seems to be happy to support the notion, then that in itself is enough to raise Hamilton’s ‘stock’ when it comes to negotiation with McLaren. The nature of these sort of negotiations is that they are deliberately vague; even if there were a concrete offer on the table from Mercedes, the details of that offer wouldn’t necessarily be revealed during the negotiations with McLaren. And of course, even if Mercedes have no intention of actually making an offer to Hamilton (which I rather doubt, but let’s assume for a moment), it’s still very much in their interests to send out messages to the paddock that they are considering it.

            Contract negotiations are a very shadowy game, all cloak and daggers. Smoke and mirrors. There’s a lot of bluff involved and while McLaren could choose to call Hamilton on it, they will have to decide whether they want to run the risk of potentially losing one of the best drivers on the grid. While their mantra is to employ the two best drivers available, it’s hard to see who they could potentially replace him with that would be able to do what Hamilton does. Likewise for Hamilton, he could choose to try and wring what he can out of McLaren, but if he pushes too hard then he could lose out on one of the best seats on the grid. Spending 2013 having to watch his replacement at McLaren beat him in the championship would be a very bitter pill to swallow indeed.

            My feeling is that Hamilton probably won’t end up moving. While it’s not the best relationship in the world, both parties have to acknowledge that it’s a partnership which seems to work well. But there’s far more to the decision than mere logic.

          4. I do believe this…I think the relationship between Ross Brawn and MS is such that MS will not leave RB hanging to ponder what MS might want to do for his immediate future. I believe a discussion has probably already taken place between the two and that RB knows exactly what MS’s plans are for next year. If MS is/was unsure as to what to do next year… stay (for presumably one more year) or leave F1 as a driver, I think he and Brawn would have entered a discussion and decided together. ie. MS will not get in the way of Brawn’s decision making ability so if he knows he doesn’t want to drive next year then he will have told RB that so RB can go ahead and make plans accordingly. Or if RB has needed to ask MS for a decision, MS would provide that decision immediately so his friend could run with that decision and go after the best most suitable driver available.

          5. @mazdachris

            Well, I have to agree with PM on this one. I am now highly convinced that Hamilton will “not” stay with McLaren. The body language and the words from the three main parties: Ron Dennis, Whitmarsh, Hamilton suggests that their long lasting business relationship is coming to an end. Ron Dennis takes his job very seriously, he even got divorced as a result of it. He is a perfectionist and he does not like to be told what to do. Unless Hamilton turns around and bows on his hands and knees and accepts all proposals put through by Ron Dennis, there will be no deal. We will just have to wait and see what happens. Whatever the end result, there certainly seems to be plenty of tension between Ron Dennis and Hamilton. Whitmarsh is simply caught in between and he must do what he is told. There can only be one answer and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Ron might give Lewis one more chance to accept the contract and after that I think it will be over.

          6. As long as it’s implied that there is an offer, and that Ross Brawn seems to be happy to support the notion, then that in itself is enough to raise Hamilton’s ‘stock’ when it comes to negotiation with McLaren.

            Do you think McLaren are foolish enough not to do their due diligence? If they think Hamilton is playing them for fools, it won’t take long for the whole house of cards to come crashing down, and Hamilton will lose all his bargaining power.

            I am now highly convinced that Hamilton will “not” stay with McLaren. The body language and the words from the three main parties: Ron Dennis, Whitmarsh, Hamilton suggests that their long lasting business relationship is coming to an end.

            I wouldn’t go that far with it. I think everything is still really neutral, and it’s difficult to tell who will blink first.

          7. @prisoner-monkeys

            I wouldn’t go that far with it. I think everything is still really neutral, and it’s difficult to tell who will blink first.

            Yeah, you are probably right. Perhaps what i meant to say was that I am convinced that Ron Dennis will not change his position. So if things stay as they are, it will be Hamilton who blinks first.

  6. Lewis would better watch out. Since 1990, only four drivers who won the Italian Grand Prix have gone on to win the world championship-Senna(1990), Hakkinen(1999), Schumacher(2000, 2003) and Vettel(2011). No wonder Monza is considered to be a “jinx for champions”.

    1. And what would people have been saying in 2001? Or perhaps even 2004? “Three of the last five world champions have also won in Monza”?

      1. In 2001 2 of the last five champions had won at Monza-Hakkinen(1999) and Schumi(2000). And this is 2012, I’m saying it from this year’s point of view, I’m not retrospecting what was or had been. Anyway, Monza has generally always been considered to be thus, and the fact that some years ago, the scenario was that three out of the last five Monza winners became champions the very same year, is no big deal. And even Wikipedia states that Monza is a jinx for champions.

        1. @chicanef1 Hakkinen spun off at Monza ’99 while leading, and famously cried afterwards.

          1. My bad, it was Frentzen who won at Monza. So that makes it an even bigger jinx for champions.

  7. RE: Comment of the day

    I think you’re forgetting that Paul di Resta pushed Bruno Senna off the track. Certainly not a championship contender and certainly not the king, either.

    1. @damonsmedley – well, exactly! Who cares about applying rules to the lower orders!

      Wow, COTD. Great start to my holiday!

      1. Enjoy the holiday @dirgegirl, and thanks for the valid contribution to the discussion yesterday.

        1. @damonsmedley Except di Resta did not push Senna on the grass. Look at the onboard pictures and you’ll see that Senna did not have any significant part of his car alongside di Resta’s before he ran out of race track. The incident happened because Senna actually banged in to the back of di Resta’s rear right wheel with his front left!

          The situation with Alonso and Vettel is completely different: Alonso was almost completely side by side with Vettel — his front right was actually in front of Vettel’s sidepod — before Vettel ran him out of racetrack.

  8. Irrelevant to the topics above, but I liked the very clean start for a change. Wish Maldonado and Grosjean were more often at the back of the starting grid until we get bored with the clean starts.

  9. I it me, or does the argument the Ferrari is a rubbish car no longer stack up anymore?
    No-one gets pole after pole, and then win after win in an awful car, as it’s impossible to outdrive a car; one man cannot transcend a cars performance deficit, as it is physically impossible.

    1. Are you talking about Mclaren or Ferrari? ’cause Mclaren has scored a hat-trick lately and no signs of slowing down.

      1. the fezzas

    2. The car stopped being rubbish after Spain and the mugello tests.
      It’s turned into a pretty good all rounder. Good in qualifying and good in the race but certainly not the best.
      But it’s enough for Alonso at least.

    3. This was a very unusual track where the car used a configuration that cannot be used anywhere else. Effectively they had to remove downforce to go fast around Monza, which is the opposite of what they do elseware.

      Expect them to take a step forward in Singapore, as rumors suggest they will have a big upgrade and are even going to tilt the engine (for some odd reason).

    4. there are almost three things that the driver can do : in pure speed, there is certainly more than one second between the best and the worst driver, after that you have the ability to drive in the mix and finally the luck. Alonso had the three until 2 GP’s ago then we can fairly say that he outperformed his car. With less luck, he still beat easily his teammate. Finally, years and years ago, with no telemetry, no simulation, with cars far more dangerous, the driver skill was far more important ; nobody thinks now that the driver set his car. The driver tends to be a docile passenger (the penalties runs against the ability) of a brand and it remains the few tenths, sometimes hundredths that a driver can do better than an other. Before, nobody cared about the constructor championship, now it is quite more important than the driver and this trend will surely continue. We don’t need another hero :)

      1. You physically cannot outperform a car; by doing so, you are using more grip than there actually is; a driver can get more out of a car, but once you reach 100% of the cars potential, you can no longer go any faster; that is the limit of the cars capabilities.
        For example, if I turn into a corner 10kph faster than the car will allow, it’ll either understeer or oversteer wide, and more likely than not, it’ll spin.
        That’s physics; going faster than the car can is breaking the laws of physics, and is logically incorrect.

        1. @xjr15jaaag, it’s all in the “more likely than not” area that proves a driver can outperform the cars potential, ie using that understeer or oversteer or 4 wheel drift to advantage and restoring stability without losing momentum. So let’s not get to pedantic when refering to the limits of both cars and drivers.

    5. It’s not over. Alonso will say every single race that Ferrari is the worst of front runners because it transfers pressure to someone else’s yard and makes your WDC much more respectable [ :) ] . I think McLaren demonstrating more consistency as of late but like Ferrari or Red Bull they were not fast in some occasions (Valencia, Bahrain, GB) so overall they’re close to being paired.

    6. @xjr15jaaag The Ferrari hasn’t been “rubbish” for a while:

      I’d stop short of saying it’s the best, though at Monza they seemed second-best at worst.

  10. Wow, mixed messages coming out of McLaren:

    “Having two British drivers is nice but it is not essential. We always have the two best available drivers. Nationality is not that critical to us.”

    “We want Lewis to stay if he wants to stay. I haven’t given Plan B any thought.”

    “I’m winning at the moment, so it’s a good position to be in. I don’t really know what else to say. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to score victories with this great team.”

    You know something is up when he of the indecipherable rhetoric – Ron Dennis – is the most straight-forward on the subject. I suspect that both Whitmarsh and Hamilton have carefully chosen their comments to appease the other side without actually admitting anything and giving the other leverage, all while laying the groundwork for news that people don’t necessarily want to hear (ie Hamilton leaving McLaren – a lot of people expect him to stay) in the event that it happens and trying to push the power of making a decision onto the other party.

    I think a resolution to Hamilton’s future is close at hand. All the moves and counter-moves have played out, which means we’re right at the crux of the matter, so I think that everything is about to fall into place. Which way it falls is anybodys guess.

    1. In conclusion, even Godot would have made a decision by now.

    2. David Coulthard suggested that moving could turn out to be a good decision (I supect he believes McLaren would give Di Resta a chance) but Ted Kravitz says Hamilton will stay at Woking…

      It’s now a team BBC (move to Mercedes) vs. team Sky (stay at McLaren)?

      1. It’s more than just the media here. When asked about the possibility of Hamilton driving for Mercedes next year, Brawn said he believed that manufacturer teams will become “the place to be” once the 2014 engine regulations come into effect. And when asked if Hamilton would replace Schumacher, he said that there would be a team management role for him if he wanted it.

        If you look at some of the comments coming out of McLaren over the Italian Grand Prix weekend, you will see that everyone involved steadfastly avoids the issue. Ron Dennis gives the most straight-forward answer, and he’s notorious for his ability to talk a lot without really saying anything. Everybody is tight-lipped, and while the wall of silence isn’t proof of anything, they’ve gone to some extraordinary lengths to avoid answering the question and instead choose to duck and weave.

        It’s impossible to say anything with any degree of certainty until such time as someone confirms it, but I think you will find – and I believe most will agree – that there is certainly something going on, and Mercedes’ interest in Lewis Hamilton is more than mere rumour.

        1. That is what I got from the Italian GP. To me, Lewis was more revealing, sort of fishing out there for a racing seat; I even got a sense he was pitching at Ferrari at some points.

          1. By the way, I wouldn’t mind him going to Ferrari and get another WDC.

        2. Definitely something going on. I think the balance may be with Lewis and not the team. Is it possible he may want to get another one year contract for McLaren to then move to Mercedes in 2014 where it’s possible they will be mighty strong.
          That’s at least how I see the position, and that’s only if he’s weighing that up at all. Currently, there possibly has been an offer from Mercedes, but Hamilton wants to stay with McLaren for one more year, to possible win another WDC, and to then move on to Mercedes, but, Mercedes don’t want to wait around for 2014 and want him now. I think Hamilton is in a sticky situation. Does he stay at McLaren for another year, and risk not being picked up by Mercedes in 2014 and for them instead to choose Di-Resta, and then Hamilton be in a possibly uncompetitive car (or at least competitive, but not as good as a Ferrari or Mercedes could be), or, does he go to Mercedes, and the promise of the 2014 car never happens, with Mercedes future in the sport possibly wavering in the future, and Hamilton be drive-less.

          Personally, I don’t think he’ll ever be drive-less. Hamilton is by far and away my favourite driver, but he does do thinks and make comments and act in certain ways that he needs to clear up before being the driver everyone will want to fight to get.

          In conclusion, does Hamilton go to Mercedes earlier that what he possibly has planned at the risk of a WDC in 2013, or does he stay at McLaren, and possibly miss out on what could be a far better car from 2014 onwards, but get a second (or maybe third WDC, depending on this year).
          I want him to stay at McLaren personally, but if Mercedes do become the car to be in, then I want to see him there.

          1. Is it possible he may want to get another one year contract for McLaren to then move to Mercedes in 2014 where it’s possible they will be mighty strong.

            End of 2013 is the worst time to move teams. The best thing for Hamilton would be to get a 2 year contract with “a” team. This way, when new regulations go into effect, he has the experience and understanding from 2014 to make himself available for the best (or a better) seat for 2015.

          2. On the other hand, if he was to signs a 2 + year contract at the “end of 2013” then he is stuck for a while (especially if that team is struggling with new regulations).

    3. @prisoner-monkeys, even after @mazdachris took the time and effort to explain the gamesmanship used in contract negotiations , you still think this is worthwhile speculating on. Only one thing is for sure,, you have a pretty good chance of being right if you place an each way bet, which no doubt you will.

      1. @hohum – Do you deny that Hamilton’s bargaining power would be stronger if Mercedes made him a serious offer than if they didn’t, even if it is just gamesmanship on his part?

        Even if Hamilton has no intention of going elsewhere, having a serious offer from Mercedes will always put him in a stronger position than not having one. Because if he doesn’t have one and McLaren decide to call his bluff, he will lose all his bargaining power straight away. This is one of the most fundamental aspects of negotiating a new contract – don’t threaten to go to another team if you can’t make good on it.

        1. Hamilton may have an offer, or he may not. What I’m saying is there’s simply no way for us, as onlookers, to decipher what the actual situation is just by reading the comments from the various parties. Those comments are all meant for each other, and not for us. As @HoHum says, one person will say he’s going to Mercedes, another will say he’s staying with McLaren. One person will be right, because of course he has to go *somewhere*, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that the person who guessed correctly did so as a result of correctly reading the deliberately misleading comments which are being made in public. It’s all just a guess at the end of the day, and while it may be fun to speculate (of course I have my own opinions too!), there is simply no evidence upon which to make an informed judgement. Because none of these statements can be taken at face value.

          1. @mazdachris

            Hamilton may have an offer, or he may not. What I’m saying is there’s simply no way for us, as onlookers, to decipher what the actual situation is just by reading the comments from the various parties.

            I don’t disagree on any particular point – I just simply believe that there is enough circumstantial evidence to elevate this talk of Hamilton to Mercedes above the dime-a-dozen rumours that pop up, like talk of Sutil being considered as Massa’s repalcement at Ferrari.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys

            Even with my sensible hat on, it’s impossible not to get sucked into the speculation. Personally I am pretty convinced he will end up moving to Mercedes, but I don’t think that it would be the right move for him. Not if his goal is to win more championships. If you look at the history of that team, you’d have to say that the success of 2009 is a blip for an otherwise steady midfield team. The BGP-01 was the result of an enormous amount of investment from Honda at a time when it was still possible to plough huge resources into development. While I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of another team ‘pulling a Brawn’ in 2014 (and certainly Mercedes could well be that team) I’d say that the only teams you could count on for long term success would be Ferrari and McLaren.

            If Hamilton is not that fussed about success however, and simply want the financial and social rewards of being a global megastar, then certainly Mercedes is a far better place for him. It’ll be a lot more lucrative for him, but his name is unlikely to feature prominently in the history books if that’s the route he chooses to go down.

            James Allen has written a very compelling blog piece on the subject which is well worth a read –

            So yeah, I think he will go to Mercedes, but I think he’ll probably come to regret the decision. His slight immaturity could well surface next year if it’s another year spent looking at the back of Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren for Mercedes.

            What I think is a far more interesting discussion is who exactly McLaren can draft in to replace him who will get anywhere near his performance potential.

          3. @mazdachris

            I agree with your point that Hamilton may regret the move. Because statistically (regardless of regulations), McLaren has always been a one of the most competitive and professional teams in the sport. I have no doubt McLaren is the best place for him to stay, as far as winning is concerned. But I think there are other factors apart from wining.

            This is why (on several other articles) I wrote that I’m not really sure Hamilton knows what he wants. He says “I want to win”, but I don’t think that is all he wants. I think he is quite immature indeed, but perhaps he needs to do this in order to grow as a person and a driver. On the end of the day, I personally want him to move, so that he can: 1. Learn how to appreciate his opportunities, 2. Become more mature, 3. Prove to us that he really is one of the greatest (if not exceptional) driver in the world by making a slow team a winning team. If he wants to be remembered as one of the greatest, then he must do something exceptional.

        2. @prisoner-monkeys, no of course I don’t deny that, fortunately for me @mazdachris has far more patience than I do so I will refer to his excellent response.

        3. @prisoner-monkeys, no of course I don’t deny that, fortunately for me @mazdachris has far more patience than I do so I will youto his excellent response.

  11. So when Button demanded a penalty last year after Vettel’s swerve at Suzuka,there was no mention of it,but when someone doesnt like alonso’s protesting and calls it “gamesmanship”,Keith promptly declares it to be the COTD…and he keeps on denying that he is biased against alonso and ferrari…who is keith trying to fool here???

    1. @chicanef1

      when Button demanded a penalty last year after Vettel’s swerve at Suzuka,there was no mention of it

      Yes there was.

      Keith promptly declares it to be the COTD

      As I have pointed out several times in the past I do not select Comments of the Day purely on the grounds of which one I agree with. Sometimes I agree with them, sometimes I don’t, on a few occasions I’ve picked more than one Comment of the Day arguing different points of view.

      1. I fear you (@keithcollantine) need to publish a disclaimer along with COTD every single day ;)

        1. @jcost It’s getting that it feels like I need to put a disclaimer on everything these days. It is rather tiresome how desperate some people are to leap on the slightest thing as proof of a nefarious conspiracy against the driver/team they like.

          If you want to get ignored online, whinge about “bias”. If you want your point of view taken seriously, use facts and treat other people with respect.

          Disclaimer: The above comment is not intended as a criticism of Fernando Alonso or his beard. The editor considers Fernando Alonso to be a fine and upstanding individual who would never punch a kitten, be rude to a nun, or publish photographs of his team’s telemetry on Twitter.

          Disclaimer disclaimer: Other social networks are available.

          Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer: Lewis Hamilton is also a nice boy.

          1. Absolutely fantastic.

    2. Well @Keithcollantine does have every right to select COTD material, after all he owns the blog :)
      But what I fail to understand is there were roughly 300+ comments in different threads on the same topic, what makes the one from @Dirgegirl as the choosen one!

      1. Personally, I think it brings up an angle to the debate that I never would have considered otherwise. While I myself think the penalty was fair – there’s no excuse for forcing a driver beyond the confines of a circuit the way Vettel did – Dirgegirl does raise an interesting point about the way Alonso jumped on the radio and started lobbying for a penalty straight away. We know all the drivers will do it if put in Alonso’s position, but Alonso had to know that he stood to gain a lot from getting Vettel penalised. Even if Vettel had finished the race, the penalty shuffled him back down the order and now Alonso has a larger championship lead as a result.

        1. I think that in the heat of the moment FA’s reaction was understandable, and given that SV received a penalty, FA was right that SV did something penalty worthy. Yelling about it on the radio is no guarantee that justice will be served. It is just a heat of the moment reaction. It is even more understandable given that FA would gain from SV being penalized.

          Given dirgegirls opinion that SV didn’t deserve the drive-through, then her opinion that FA’s rant was unreasonable makes sense too.

  12. Der Spiegel is reporting that the problem between Hamilton and McLaren isn’t money or sponsorship or being able to keep his trophies – it’s the engineers. According to Der Spiegel, Hamilton isn’t getting along with them at all. They also point to Vodafone scaling back their involvement with the team next year, which means less income, which in turn means that Hamilton would have to take a pay cut. And they are also claiming that Simon Fuller has negotiated a deal with Mercedes for Hamilton that he – Fuller – would make money out of.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys, do you mean that Fuller would be paid money by Mercedes above and beyond the percentage of any deal he negotiates as LHs manager ? I doubt Mercedes would be party to such an agreement as that is normally illegal, eg. Ecclestone/Gribowsky.

      1. @hohum – It’s a little hard to tell because the link I supplied is a translated version, but my understanding is that Fuller would be paid a certain percentage of any deal involving a personal sponsor. Under the structure at McLaren, Hamilton cannot have personal sponsors, and the freedom to be able to do his own deals is believed to be one of the sticking points of a new contract. According to Der Spiegel, Fuller would receive a certain percentage of every personal sponsor deal he brokers. Kind of like a finders’ fee for each personal sponsor.

    2. @prisoner-monkeys I hadn’t heard about the feud with the engineers before although going off some of his radio messages during races it doesn’t sound unbelievable.

      It would also be kind of coincidental considering that this round’s episode of ‘Tooned’ is all about the importance of engineering and making the point that it’s not all about the driver. When I first saw it I thought McLaren might have been trying to make a point but they’d surely have sat the drivers down to do the voices for all the episodes in one go, probably a while ago. Then again, they could shuffle the order of the episodes…

      1. @davea86

        I hadn’t heard about the feud with the engineers before although going off some of his radio messages during races it doesn’t sound unbelievable.

        It’s the first I’ve heard of it, too, but it seems to be something that has only really come to a head recently. From the sounds of things, there was underlying tension for some time, but it all percolated up to the surface after qualifying in Belgium.

        I’m inclined to give this article more than a cursory once-over because Der Spiegel has a pretty good reputation, and even if their sources are unnamed, they are at least quoting someone, so I think it’s got a lot more credibility than the likes of, say, Blick.

  13. Why not that comment? If Keith wanted to he could post COTD of me claiming Mika Salo is the greatest driver to have ever lived

    1. I think that would be a perfectly good COTD.

      Anyone who thinks Massa got a raw deal at the 2010 German GP should watch the 1999 German GP – the man’s a legend.

  14. On balance I think we have to look at the incident between Alonso and Vettel as somewhat marginal. As Keith correctly stated in his article it is possible to look at it from the point of view of the new ‘clarified’ rules but even then there is the issue of what is a straight. The balance of opinion seems to be fairly well divided too (53% say penalty deserved).

    The important thing about any close-call decision is that each side is likely to be biased slightly to their own point of view. When a decision is clear cut then the effect of any bias on a fair minded individual won’t be enough to sway their opinion enough but when it’s much tighter to call the bias will get the deciding vote. Despite the headlines about Alonso saying the move was ‘dangerous’ and Vettel ‘hitting out’ if you watch the actual interviews in question both drivers were actually quite calm and reasonable about it and given how marginal the call was it is perfectly expected that they each see it with their own bias ruling (Alonso was more hot-headed over the radio, but in the heat of the moment and having just had a big scare that seems reasonable). I voted that it wasn’t deserved, but I’ll admit to preferring Vettel to Alonso so it’s hard to remove that bias even when I know it’s there – and in this case I accept that the stewards didn’t make an unreasonable decision since it was marginal and they have much more info and knowledge than me. I certainly don’t see any reason to start crying foul and shouting about the bias of the FIA or its stewarding in this case.

    The BBC, Autosport etc have really played up selected parts of the drivers comments to suit their own preference to gain readers, since the headline “Vettel didn’t think it was worth a penalty but accepts that it’s up to the stewards to decide” whilst considerably more accurate, doesn’t quite have the same excitement.

  15. Re COTD: Vettel was alongside Alonso and pushed him off track completely. Senna was not alongside di Resta, I’m not even sure his front wing was alongside the Force India. Di Resta was ahead and decided to go to the right, as did Senna, although he braked later and therefore, to avoid the collision, ran wide.

    1. Even so, according to the rules, Di Resta should have left space for Senna, but he hit him and forced him out to the run off area instead. He ruined Senna’s race and it is somewhat strange that incident was not even investigated. Senna was penalised in Valencia for less than that. Kobayashi was behind him there, more than Senna was behind Di Resta in Monza.

      1. You are correct. I rewatched the footage quite closely from the various incidents at Monza this year a few times, and it looks as though at the very least Senna’s front wing was alongside Di Resta, and possibly also as much as his entire front wheel (the camera angle into the corner they were approaching makes the latter more difficult to determine for certain).

  16. Everybody is talking about Hamilton and ‘what he wants to do’ almost as if he is in charge of McLaren, nobody has mentioned McLaren or indeed Jenson Button. I can only imagine how Jenson felt after he discovered that Hamilton had put ‘his’ car’s data on Twitter for the world to see, and I seriously doubt he found it funny. How can Button have any faith in a team mate that does something like that to you? How can you work or function as a team with someone who puts himself first at the expense of others?
    Yes Lewis Hamilton is one of the best drivers in the world, but so is Alonso yet McLaren let him go following the Spygate saga and all that went on there. Ofcourse these teams want the best drivers, but at the cost of the team itself, I doubt it?
    Back in 1990 Ferrari were quick to fire Alain Prost after the Frenchman badmouthed the team in public, and Prost went on to become the third most successfull driver in F1 history in terms of championships! It is this ruthlessness that makes me find it hard to believe that Hamilton can sustain one more year at McLaren. The body language is not there, the team did not exactly jump for joy when Lewis got pole nor when he won the Italian Grands Prix. Nor was Lewis that quick in celebrating with his crew in parc ferme, infact, he had to be directed to them by an official. When it gets that bad, there is only one good thing that can happen, and that is to part company!

  17. Vettel deserved the penalty , because you can’t mess with a Ferrari driver at an Italian GP.

    It’s like someone came to my home and slaped me for not making him dinner , of course the analogy is way off but the idea is the same.

    You have to remember that Ferrari is Formula 1.

    1. Or perhaps you just can’t break the rules which Vettel did?

      It’s quite tiring people trying to conjure up some sort of bias from absolutely nowhere. Stop trying to make a drama out of nothing.

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