Alonso: McLaren drivers “forgot I was there” at start

2012 Indian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says he was able to pass the two McLaren drivers early in the Indian Grand Prix because they were too busy fighting each other.

Speaking to reporters after the race Alonso said: “It was a difficult race I think for us extracting the maximum from the car.

“The start was good then it went as planned after turn three overtaking the two McLarens. Anyway they forgot that I was there.

“I think inside that team there is not a very good atmosphere at the moment so they were fighting each other and they forgot that I was in the middle.

“But we managed to escape without any incident and then overtake [Lewis] Hamilton in that manoeuvre and Jenson [Button] a couple of laps later.”

“After that we concentrated on Red Bull. Mark [Webber] was very strong but at the end with KERS problems etc… we managed to overtake him. Let’s say it’s damage limitation in this race but I am sure we will fight more and stronger next month.”

Asked if he still believed in his championship chances Alonso said: “I think more now”.

“I am more positive now because when we started we have ten points with fifth place. Now we have 18 with this second place so I think we gained eight points today, not lose seven points with Sebastian. I think today we will remember this race.”

Alonso added more updates for his car “will come”.

“Then we need to test it and see if they offer us some performance but we must close the gap with Red Bull,” he added.

2012 Indian Grand Prix

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Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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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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51 comments on “Alonso: McLaren drivers “forgot I was there” at start”

  1. Man of the race ,simple as that.

    1. Without a doubt. That was clear as soon as he disposed of the McLarens.

    2. I have to disagree @andone89 ; Vettel controlled they race beautifully. Alonso managed to take time out of him in the later stages but there was absolutely no way he was going to get anywhere near close enough to challenge for the win.

      He may have gotten past the McLarens early on but it was evident that in the early phases of the race they simply weren’t as fast as the Ferrari. He was also aided in passing Webber by a KERS failure, so that wasn’t too tricky a pass for him.

      Then there was a 10sec+ gap to Vettel; says it all.

      1. @vettel1 I agree Vettel did a good job from where he started.. but to make up 3 positions while battling cars equally fast or faster than you, is no easy feat.

        The 10 sec gap to Vettel was because of the first 5 laps of the race where Alonso lost time battling the Mclarens.. after that he matched the pace of both the Red Bulls.. and ended up beating one of them.

        I thought Vettel was good.. but no masterclass that as Alonso was this Sunday

        1. I again am not doubting the fact Alonso had great race pace, but Vettel was able to almost coast to the finish; he didn’t need to beat Alonso on lap times because he had already done so in building up his lead.

          1. What you fail to understand is Vettel had a very easy task in hand. Starting from P1 with what is the fastest car in the grid, he only had one task; make no mistake , that was it. Alonso was clearly the man of the race, he had to fight cars equal to his or faster and make sure he would not endanger his race, eventually finish second.

  2. He doesn’t know what being allowed to race your teammate is :)

    But imo he just wants to play a psychological war to destabilize McLaren.

    1. Now that’s professionally throwing water on a grease fire

    2. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
      28th October 2012, 14:48

      Remember that Ferrari are trying to hold on to 2nd in the constructors’. In this case, Alonso is trying to disrupt McLaren’s team cohesiveness, because a disunited, weakened McLaren in the closing stages of the season is just the thing Ferrari needs.

      1. Fernando does very well know why he says what he says.
        On the podium he was constantly talking about how good red bull was, in the end he did say red bull .. and vettel. But I had the feeling he was playing again :)
        I like Alonso, but he’s very sharp!

      2. Exactly. And history shows that Alonso is a world-class authority in disunited, broken teams…

        1. Hahahahahaha, exactly what I wanted to say.

  3. I like how he can find the positives in every situation. I mean, I’m sure is aware that there is probably more negatives all in all in his situation, but he always emphasises the positives and looks at everything from that perspective. I think this attitude helps him tremendously in maintaining his excellent form.

    On a more balanced view, I think it cannot be stressed enough how crucially important is it for him to at least match Vettel’s pace in qualifying for the remaining 3 races, while maintaining his current race pace at the same time.

  4. Its normal for teammates to fight with each other!!

    But i guess it wasnt for Alonso

    1. Team mates fighting eachother was their downfall.

      1. It depends on racing philosophy, I think. I don’t think the great intra-team battles were entirely ‘downfalls’ in that they had and have advantages as well.

        I also think he either overreacted the behaviour of the two McLarens on lap 1, or just wanted to throw a spike at them as a mean of phychological war or something.

  5. The only problem is Alonso that Ferrari’s updates don’t seem to be making much of an impression in Red Bull’s performance advantage. I think it will probably stay that way because the Milton Keynes boys will not slacken off; there will be more updates to come on that RB8.

    1. Yeah… you got a point there… It´s easy to keep the parts coming when you have another company to inject more money than what is allowed to spend according to the RRA….
      Everybody knows RBR is spending more than what they are supposed to….

  6. Slip streaming at the first lap was amazing. However, I expected more from Mclaren at the straight because they looked good in speed trap. It turned out that Mclaren didn’t catch up Red Bulls while Alonso could catch Mclarens.

  7. It’s funny how Alonso thinks that no team orders means bad atmosphere. Well, that was the case at McLaren in 2007.

    1. I dont recall him saying that?

      1. “I think inside that team there is not a very good atmosphere at the moment so they were fighting each other and they forgot that I was in the middle.”

        You can split hairs if you want (he didn’t say the word ‘team order’ etc), but it’s obvious Alonso think that team mates fighting each others on track means bad atmosphere. Ferrari has good atmosphere, so Massa doesn’t challenge him.

        1. he had a smile on his face when he said, you are all reading much more into something that was a jokey comment.

          But if you want to talk about mclaren and team orders the history is long.

          EVEN when it was banned in 05! oh no ive utter the forgotten team orders than no one cared about that helped Kimi fight for the title. Dont mentioned it again as it makes a mockery of anyone who has a dig at Germany 2010.

          some people have short or selective memories.

          and i dont know if mclaren have any inter team issues(dont care either) but jenson didnt call lewis by name just said the ‘other mclaren’

          1. I also understood that remark about the McLaren guys to be a bit tongue in cheek from Alonso.

            This year its just amazing to see where he takes the positives from off track and then see how he makes a lot from small opportunities to even be this close to the lead of the Championship.

        2. Button and Hamilton don’t talk to each other. You can see the hamilton’s tweet to understand…it’s obvius tha the atmosphere is not good …we all know this…what Alonso pointed out is that a mega incident may be produced adn they were to agresiv…that’s all

    2. Wasn’t he right? I’m not a team orders fan, at least not in any situation. But what’s doing JB? He will not get even a third place in WDC, why not let LH take the position?. JB had a bad performance thorough most of this year, now is he remembering to drive and fight?
      Mclaren still can’t manage his drivers, as always. I’m getting tired of this emotional ********, it’s just a championship, they’re a team, they must get over it and get the job done. Period.

  8. Ferrari’s strait line speed was superior to all of the frontrunners. Yet again Alonso has proven that he is the best driver out there despite the fact that his car is 5th fastest. By the way, could any one tell why DRS was available after the last corner. Supposedly, there’s only one DRS zone, right?

    1. No, there are two.

      1. Ok, my bad.

    2. 5th fastest??? you kidding right??

    3. Ferrari have arguably the second quickest car, after the Red Bull.

      1. Jenson Button set the fastest lap of the race which is really an indication

        1. So it seems McLaren was the fastest car cuz 2nd McLaren driver set the fastest lap, right?

        2. Fastest lap means nothing. Ferrari is a good car, as good as the McLaren, but behind Red Bull, especially in qualifying. In terms of race pace there isn’t much difference between RB and Ferrari.
          Alonso has never been the best in qualifying, so I think the difference between the cars is a bit overrated. It is an important difference, but not that big as some may say.

          1. Alonso has never been the best in qualifying

            Let’s suppose that’s true so he has been under performing in qualifying by how much margin a tenth or two lets say 3 tenths
            He will still behind the two bulls

          2. its the third quickest car. red bull clear then mclaren closely followed by ferrari.

          3. Clearly the second quickest car on race pace and very close to RBR, miles off in qualifying though

  9. You can’t blame Alonso for having this championship in his mind, trying to be positive about something he truly desires.

    But, realistically, it just seems far, far away…

    1. @fer-no65 I don’t think it is that far away judging by today performance. What Alonso needs is to qualify better, possibly right behind Vettel. Vettel is very good at doing those first amazing laps and pulling away, after that maintaining the gap. But if Alonso is right behind him, I think he can manage to not let Vettel escape away that fast.

      1. But if Alonso is right behind him, I think he can manage to not let Vettel escape away that fast

        The Bulls do have an incredible fast car but i still think that it has some reliability problems when they come under pressure (the problem that Mark faced today with Kers demonstrate that)their strategy to pull away at the beginning of the race & controlling the race give them the Luxury of preserving their tyres as well as their car so if Fernando could at least qualify 3rd & with his stunning 1st lap performance he will be able to put Vettel under some pressure & we will see how the RB8 will behave

      2. @caci99 I’m not so sure.

        When was the last time Vettel was under pressure while leading? With a car this strong, I’ll be even harder. Even if Alonso had closed the gap in the end, and be right behind Vettel, he’d not been able to overtake. Vettel was simply cruising.

        Plus they have a psicological advantage aswell. They are the strongest team, 4 wins in a row, 3 front row lock ups… it’s hard to climb that mountain.

  10. Is it me, or do the people who used to go hard on Schumacher for not having team mates race him, now give Alonso a hard time whenever possible?

    1. they are not very smart, cos they all forget about mclarens team orders in 2005. which was fine as kimi was fighting for title and Juan wasnt.

      but they either dont remember, werent watching, or not smart enough to put 2 and 2 together and remember its no different.

  11. In hindsight, what ALO said is right for McLaren’s failure in defending themselves from behind. But it’s very cheeky. Don’t need to refer to other team’s internal atmosphere, maybe Alonso got way excited after successfully overhauling so called the 2nd fastest – and to some Vettel fans, the fastest – cars? LOL.
    To me it seems Ferrari’s straight line speed was palpably faster than McLaren. In the end, Lewis and Jenson was not lingering on in the straight fighting each other.

  12. I thought Button was making a nuisance of himself. He was on the clean side just as Webber when he got on level with Vettel, but Webber wasn’t pushing Vettel into Hamiltons path or some where else.

    He achieved nothing in this race except having his teammate run half the race with a faulty steering wheel and still be more than ten seconds behind him. A disgraceful character.

    1. I think Jenson is trying to prove that he is a worthy successor to Lewis, and failing miserably to do so.

      Jenson made a good start and should have focused on getting in front of Mark, instead of cutting across Lewis and trying to stay ahead of him.

      Honestly, if I was Whitmarsh, I would be sweating right now. He jumped the gun on signing Perez.. who has put in some uncharacteristically bad performances recently. I think Hulkenberg an Di Resta have been as impressive as Perez this year, and neither Perez, Hulk or Di Resta were going anywhere. Martin could have taken his time in signing any of those three at the end of the season.

      It also looks like Jenson isn’t impressive enough. Other than the Monza retirement, Jenson has had very little bad luck and misfortune… yet he lies 6th in the WDC, in a potentially championship winning car. That definitely shows how worthy Jenson is of delivering titles for Mclaren.

      Martin should also be sweating about the fact that he has thrown away a championship winning season this year. Not only will they not win the WDC but look likely to finish 3rd in the WCC.

      I dont have anything against Martin.. infact he seems like a nice fella. But I do not see how someone can retain their job after making such bad decisions and underperforming so miserably.

      1. Don’t know whether he tried to prove himself or not but he does seem to have proved himself so far. Just looking over so far this season, quali position is Ham vs But 14-3 and race position 10-7.
        Noting that 3 cases where But out-qualified Ham was at Germany (wing update), SPA (twitter gate), and Japan (rear shock ab problem) says pretty much all.
        Similar applies to race pace where 7 GPs But finished ahead Ham was Aus, China, Europe, Germany, SPA, Singapore, and Japan all of which have its own stories. Guess it’s time to be more realistic to them.
        Interesting thing is same sort of eagerness to prove something is coming from Checko, and how both Button and Perez will prove themselves next season.

  13. It was a pretty good scrap to watch unfold for sure, one of the few highlights from the race.

    As ever with this sport, Ferrari could have some blinding few races now but RBR only need perform slightly better to seal this one. I can’t see them out developing RBR.

  14. Alonso don’t know what is a teammate fight otherwise he wouldn’t be in 2nd in the championship. I really hope(dont believe) that Massa will get back in shape in 2013 and will see the real Alonso back, just like in 2007

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