Scheckter’s top two are Vettel and Hamilton

2012 F1 season

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Jody Scheckter named Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton as his top two drivers in F1 at the moment.

The 1979 world champion was asked to name which drivers he’d pick if he were running an F1 team.

“I always put Vettel and Lewis together as the top two,” said Scheckter. “And I probably have to put Alonso into that but I would probably pick those two drivers, yeah, put two bulls in at one time and try and make them work together in a mature way.”

Speaking to MotorSport, Scheckter said he hadn’t supported his Ferrari successor during 2012: “No, not for Fernando, no. I think what he did when he was at McLaren [in 2007] has just put me off him for life, I suppose.

“I think he drove well this year, there’s no question about that, he’s doing a good job on that, but when somebody does something like that you lose respect for them.”

Scheckter praised Hamilton’s attacking style, saying: “When he came his first year and a half, two years, it was brilliant. I mean no one comes in and has that sort of performance with so little things going wrong. It was incredible.

“And last year he was not even making mistakes by being over-aggressive. He was just making mistakes that were completely stupid.

“I rate him as the best driver in heavy traffic. I used to rate Jenson as one of the worst but he’s become quite good in traffic now. But Lewis has been for me in the first years fantastic. He did some manoeuvres in traffic that were just… and got away with it most of the time except for last year. I’m definitely a fan of his.”

Scheckter also criticised the current F1 rules which impose grid penalties of drivers for engine and gearbox failures.

“The thing that I think is most unfair about Grand Prix at the moment is when they get these penalties for a gearbox that had to be changed and had to go back. And I just think that’s dreadful.

“I know there’s an opinion that they say ‘well you can’t separate the driver and the car’ and stuff like this. But I think on the track if a driver makes a mistake and crashes that’s the car and driver.

“But when it’s a gearbox rather take it off the constructors’ points and leave the drivers. I think that, for me, because it really spoils some races completely from a viewing point of view.”

2012 F1 season

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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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145 comments on “Scheckter’s top two are Vettel and Hamilton”

  1. I do wonder what Alonso would have to do to redeem himself in Scheckter’s eyes? Never mind that actually, Alonso only duty is to continue driving as he has been, nothing else. That said, Ferrari simply has to create a Ferrari worthy of Alonso’s talent.

    2 cent opinion tax paid.

    1. + 100

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        21st December 2012, 13:22

        you have to admit though that he does have a point though – Alonso was a real schmuck in 2007. We have forgotten and forgiven but others especially those in the sport probably have not.

        In Alonso’s defense, it’s hard to imagine how any champion would have reacted in the face of losing to a rookie. I’m sure he himself is not proud of 2007 and in retrospect should have treated Hamilton as a peer.

        But would anyone have done so at the time? I doubt it.

        1. He didnt react to losing to a rookie, he reacted to a team member (Lewis) going against agreements made between the team and the drivers. In Alonso’s eyes, Lewis broke the agreement and that is why he reacted the way he did. I don’t agree with the step he took (specifically saying he would expose Mclaren in the spygate saga if they didnt discipline Lewis).

          If I put myself in Alonso’s shoes I’d also be very, very angry.

          Saying he reacted like that due to losing is really over simplifying a very complex situation.

          1. @Infy — +1,000,000

          2. He was blown away!

        2. Klaas de Vries
          21st December 2012, 14:28

          It’s obvious that Alonso and McLaren have 2 opposite philosophies and I don’t think Alonso would have signed anything with Ron Dennis if he wasn’t granted No1 status but with Lewis proving to be so competitive McLaren broke the agreement. I think that’s exactly what Alonso meant when he repetedly stated that ‘Ron says one thing but does the other’. Most likely Alonso’s position with Ron was: ‘I know Hamilton is fast, but we had a deal and you should keep your word.’
          I think in 2007 Alonso found himself in a unique situation in the history of Formula 1 – the team (psychologically) favoured a rookie driver over a double-world champion. It’s hard to imagine how Vettel would react if all of the sudden Helmut Marko brings a rookie in Mark’s place and makes him the team’s darling.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            21st December 2012, 14:35

            I agree – no one can really know how they would react unless we were in their shoes. I’m not blaming Alonso for acting the way he did.

        3. Im not people are really concious of their forgiving him too. He’s not called ‘Teflonso’ for nothing.

    2. Don’t know how you ignore that what Alonso did in 2007 was despicable, and childish?
      Regardless of what he’s reasons were.

      1. 2007 is the reason why I cannot say that Alonso is amongst the best ever. He should have won that championship. If he wins with Ferrari(or anything) I’ll change my mind. If he doesn’t… that will only be his fault that he is “just” a 2-time champion with the same team.

    3. I pretty much agree with Scheckter here actually, but I would add being in the mix at Crashgate and having Massa move over for him do nothing to make that go away.

  2. I don’t have to say much about the article, since it is Scheckter’s personal opinion. But how perfect is that picture for the article? Kudos @keithcollantine!

  3. When Sheckter refers to “last year” I assume he means the 2011 season.

    Interesting opinion though, it’s so hard to pick two of the three. I think Alonso is by far the most complete driver, but not the fastest. Hmm..

    1. I dont think Alonso is the fastest on 1 lap, but on race pace hes a beast and I think thats where he gain the most.

      1. I don´t think he is the fastest on one lap or on race pace, but he is smart and not how to drive to maximize his oportunities

  4. Carlito's way
    21st December 2012, 9:44

    This guy is talking rubbish.

    1. Well, this was pretty short-sighted by Scheckter and I really don’t agree with his BS (as in: Belief System). Alonso has been clearly the most complete driver in the last few years… but of course not everyone can of want to see/acknowledge that.

    2. This guy is talking rubbish.

      I agree. Jerome d’Ambrosio and Charles Pic were clearly the best two drivers of 2012.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys

        Pic? Really? Surely Karthikayen was the greatest!

        It’s not his fault his team kept mucking up pit stops and gave him an unreliable car.

  5. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    21st December 2012, 10:06

    Scheckter has a point. Alonso may be a brilliant racer, arguably the most complete driver on the grid today, but I can’t help but feel that he’s not that good of a team player – hence the decision not to pair him up with another “rooster”.

    1. In F1 world there’s no such term as “team player”, be assured. This is a cruel world and only the mean people win. The nice guys don’t survive.

      As for JS – that’s his opinion and he is apparently welcome to share it, so do we. Personally I have always had hard times defining drivers, because large part of their performance is down to the car.

      1. Cough cough…. Felipe Massa..

      2. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
        21st December 2012, 11:10

        In F1 world there’s no such term as “team player”

        I beg to differ. Fundamentally, a driver is a part of a team, and must work well in that environment if he wants to excel – this is a necessity for drivers wishing to advance their careers.

        This could entail mutual respect among teammates, and cooperation – for instance, Massa’s defensive driving to assist Alonso, or Webber diving out of the way for Vettel. At the very least, being a “team player” means avoiding the sort of self-interest and confrontational attitude that creates potentially destructive intra-team rivalries like Senna/Prost or Hamilton/Alonso.

        As we saw in 2007, and again in 2010, Alonso will settle for nothing less than undisputed number one status. He doesn’t play well with others, so to speak, and that’s why Scheckter chose not to pair him up with another “top tier” driver.

    2. You can be a team player and be competitive I believe. In actual fact, competition between drivers drives the other forward: obviously you don’t want to come out second best. We’ve seen many times before what two really competitive teammates can do for a team – sometimes good (McLaren’s utter domination of the 1988 season for example), sometimes bad (Senna & Prost’s infamous collision in 1989 for the same team) – which can make great drivers even greater.

      Of course the team benefit from ultra-determined teammates in the constructors (as long as things are settled fairly on track, unlike with Alonso in Hungary 2007 for example) so in it’s essence I’d call that “team playing”.

      1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
        21st December 2012, 11:28

        Well said. However, the pre-requisite for having ultra-determined teammates spur each other on, is mutual respect between said drivers. Lose that mutual respect, and you create the highly antagonistic, poor working relationships that ultimately do more harm than good.

        1. @bobthevulcan – oh absolutely and that’s why I believe Alonso wouldn’t be a good team player in that sense whereas Vettel & Hamilton could co-exist in a team – although realistically that’s not going to happen unless Mercedes become ultra competitive with the rule changes or some other unlikely prospect.

          1. personally i would much rather watch Seb and Lewis than Seb and Fernando in the same team, qualy would be very entertaining

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            21st December 2012, 13:29

            Please don’t say that – if Mercedes becomes ultra-competitive, let’s hope Hamilton is the only WDC on that team. I hope Mercedes doesn’t also screw him like McLaren did in an effort to make its 2 drivers equal whether they are equal or not…

          3. @vettel1 Really? Yeah Vettel is such a team player, Turkey 2010, Algesuari in practice incident, Ricciardo in Abu Dhabi 2012.

          4. You can’t take either of those examples into account as he wasn’t driving for Toro Rosso then.

            The only time he’s had a major incident with a teammate is during the race in Turkey and he was a very young driver then and has learned from it; consequently he hasn’t collided with his teammate since.

            I think Vettel works very well with Webber: it is evident that they aren’t the best of friends off-track but hey respect each other on track – aggressive but don’t resort to “dirty tricks” like blocking each other in qualifying.

          5. @caci999 – I rewatched the practice session and it was Alguersuari that blocked SV on consecutive laps. Vettel only appeared frustrated after the second occasion (which is surely understandable).

            Helmut Marko was the one who overreacted with the argument afterwards.

        2. Ultimate team now – Kimi and Seb – great drivers and respected friends. Those two can do wonders if in the same team (or just ruin their friendship).

      2. Max, things were unfair with alonso in hungary. He got a penalty for something that wasnt in the rule book. That was unfair.

        And lewis didnt get a penalty for doing the same thing effectively to him earlier in Qualifying.

        Max do you think senna was a team player? id be interested in your views cos your views on certain others is odd to the extreme.

        1. things were unfair with alonso in hungary. He got a penalty for something that wasnt in the rule book

          Article 31.7 of the Sporting Regulations states:

          “any driver taking part in any practice session who, in the opinion of the stewards, stops unnecessarily on the circuit or who unnecessarily impedes another driver shall be subject to the penalties referred to in Article 31.6

          Article 31.6 states that a driver can be dropped as many number of grid positions as considered appropriate, or indeed any penalty they see fit can be imposed if necessary. So hardly unfair, is it, given Alonso denied Hamilton the chance to challenge for pole?

          As for Senna, I acknowledge whole-heartedly that he wasn’t exactly a saint to Prost (in fact the situation was similar to 2007 – Senna violated an agreement) but he never saw it fit to deliberately block his teammate, he just beat him. Had Alonso been able to do the same then he too might not have seen it fit to deliberately block his teammate.

          Also, what was acceptable in the 80’s isn’t acceptable now.

    3. ts, team player. What’s a team player? a guy that fight for the championship until the last lap of the season? or a guy that is nice with his team mate?

      Who’s more of a team player after all? Alonso or Massa? While Massa does everything for the team, he even takes penalties on purpose, Alonso is the guy that forces that situation because he’s a contender on the track and on the championship.

      It’s like Rubens and Schumacher. We all feel sad about Rubens but the fact of the matter was that Schumacher was always faster. Of course the team is gonna help him. I rather see Alonso doing that. He does it well enough… Scheckter is talking rubbish.

      1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
        21st December 2012, 13:56

        I think that a team player is a guy who works well with others, understanding the niceties of giving and taking, thereby forming good working relationships with those around him. For instance, we’ve seen how drivers like Button or Vettel have been able to rally team members to support them, and build solid working relationships with their teammates. Such a close-knit, loyal work environment is beneficial for the driver.

        1. I think it is safe to say that in 2012 Alonso has then by your definition a good team player. He gets along VERY well with Massa and he motivated his team to new levels at the same time.

          1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
            21st December 2012, 14:31

            To an extent, but I don’t believe Alonso has quite grasped the “giving and taking” portion of the equation. He and Massa may get along well on a personal level, but their working relationship is, for want of a better term, one-sided. Granted, part of that is down to Massa’s weak performance, but another factor is Alonso’s determination to assert himself as the team’s “number one”.

          2. @infy – true, he does get along well with Massa but I doubt the relationship would be quite as strong if we replace Massa with Vettel. I think what Scheckter was suggesting with his comments is that he thinks Alonso wouldn’t co-exist vey well with Vettel or Hamilton which would obviously cause serious problems for the team in question (like Senna & Prost’s relationship at McLaren in the later years).

            I’m not sure either Hamilton & Vettel would be a perfect partnership but those two appear on face value to be a bit more complacent – less likely to resort to “dirty tricks” to beat each other and settle their differences by seeing who’s fastest on track.

            If Alonso could however remain fair and not resort to “dirty tricks” him and one of the others in a team would probably be the strongest driver pairing we have seen since the days of Senna and Prost and would be a major force t be reckoned with in the quickest car.

          3. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) I think MAH has shown that he very quickly does and says stupid things when something doesn’t go his way.

          4. @infy – yes he does frequently speak without thinking first but I haven’t seen him do anything with clear intent to hinder someone else for his own benefit – he is a good sportsman but not a good man. I’m not saying Alonso perhaps hasn’t matured since 2007 of course though, so maybe he’d be mre co-operative than to deliberately prevent a teammate from competing for pole position.

    4. 100% wright! Period.

    5. The way alonso led that team through troubled times this year prove he is by far one of the best team players.

      Something lewis could not do. Something vettel didnt do by losing his temper at start of season.

      Jody should look closer to home, to perhaps his own son before taking judgements on the morals of others.

      1. I don’t think Alonso was the driving factor in spurring Ferrari’s development: he was mainly criticising the team and along with Luca never failing to remind everyone at Maranello how terrible the car was, when in actual fact until the most crucial stage they were doing rather well. He drove superbly well no doubt about it but he wasn’t exactly full of praise for his mechanics – which by the way I recognise may have acted to spur them on but I think it rather achieved the opposite.

        Vettel has been quick to remind Red Bull that they need to keep pushing in the past but I personally feel he is more motivating than critical, something which I can’t honestly say of Alonso.

        As for Hamilton, I think we’ll judge that at his time next year as really nobody needs to motivate McLaren, McLaren do that perfectly fine themselves.

        1. Wow… okay. I think it is clear now that you are only seeing what you want to see.

          Maybe its because he speaks Engrish and so you misinterpret the things he says as negative instead of positive. He says the car is not good enough and that the team need to keep pushing. He always had nothing but praise for the team and they all LOVE him. The team trust him and for good reason. He leads by example on and off the track. He gives it his all on the track and in the weeks between the races he spends all his time in the sim and with the engineers.

          I think you need to take a step back and look at what Alonso has said (all of it) about the car and team from both perspectives.

          1. @infy – maybe so, but from what I hear from the British media he seems overly critical of his team.

      2. Something lewis could not do. Something vettel didnt do by losing his temper at start of season.

        I fail to see how Vettel lost his temper at the beginning of the season, or how Hamilton didn’t lead the team well in 2009.

  6. Basing Alonso on one season (2007) and a couple of bad incidents isn’t really fair. How does anyone know Alonso is not a different driver now? You could say the same about most F1 Champions in the past like Senna and Prost, im sure most people would have one of those drivers in their dream/ideal driver line-up. No disrespect to Webber but I’m sure with a much more consistently competitive team mate, the odds on Vettel not having the same attitude would be extremely high. We all know what happened in Turkey 2010 and there’s glimpses of this same hostility in races where they are closely matched, however this doesn’t occur much as Webber cannot find the same consistency as Vettel.

    1. Agreed. Alonso is older now and not nearly as immature. If Massa beat Alonso in the points convincingly then I’m 100% sure Alonso would take the opportunity to show everyone that he can and will support Massa very well. TBH he would be stupid to do anything else, as it would ruin his relationship with the team and possibly remove him from the sport.

    2. He didn’t say Alonso hasn’t changed; because he probably has…
      He just finds it difficult to forgive him, which I totally understand.
      Lewis is a great human being for forgiving this guy…

      1. Klaas de Vries
        21st December 2012, 19:42

        Forgive him for what? What does Alonso owe Schekter or Hamilton?

    3. @giggsy11

      you say we shouldn’t judge Alonso by a bad year or some bad incidents, then you turn around and judge Vettel by Turkey 2010? Okay, got it.

      1. @uan I knew someone would try to call double standards on me. I not say Vettel is like Alonso I am just saying in the circumstance he could be. I am basing this on Scheckter’s Quota, thats why i was talking about not wanting either Senna or Prost in your team. I am not judging Vettel I am judging the way Scheckter bases his opinion.

        1. It takes years to build up a reputation, but only a few minutes to destroy it.
          2007 destroyed it and portrayed him as an incredibly sore loser.
          And, if I were a team principal, then I’d look at his most troubled year (2007) and it might make me decide not to employ him; past performance is all we have to go on.

  7. I agree with him.
    Nothing more to say

    1. well there is. cos its clearly not very accurate.

      Compare the car to the points and lewis and vettel do not come out above alonso.

      1. We don’t actually know how fast the Ferrari is in relation to the other cars; you can only speculate.
        (and anyway, i was referring to myself)

  8. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
    21st December 2012, 10:53

    So, it’s ‘okay’ for him to take Ham who’s misdemeanor in Spa this year was sooo unexpected? “Ham gives up on his team – sure, I take him. Alo doing the same – no, he is not compatible as a teamplayer”. To me this opinion is rubbish.

    1. I never heard Hamilton shout ‘this is ridiculous’ down the team radio when behind Button. Hamilton chooses to race him instead whereas Alonso expects Massa to pull over.

      Sure, tweeting telemetry is not being a team player at all, but neither is Alonso’s expectation of team mates to just move aside for him.

      1. What about giving a “F you” to his boss and protector when he asked Ham to respect what he agreed?

        What about denouncing your own team when they “force” you to respect the agreement?

        Ham is a damm good driver but saying he’s a team player is ridiculous (as well as for the rest of top drivers i.e.: Alo, Vet)

  9. I wonder if it would be an option in the future to replace all the gearbox and engine grid penalties with removal of constructors points for the race?

    1. Trouble is, it IS sometimes the drivers fault that their gearboxes fail. Being a bit eager on downshifting for example puts increased stress on the gearbox. So it’s a fine line on whether the failure was at the feet of the driver or ultimately the component.

      1. True. To a lesser extent than in the 90’s, but the possibility is still there.

    2. This solution is over-simplistic and actually creates more problems than it solves. This is the only thing that Scheckter said which I don’t actually agree with.

  10. He does have a very good point. Of course, Vettel has yet to be paired with Hamilton or Alonso so we don’t yet know he’d react in that environment but we know very well that Alonso doesn’t take equal treatment light-heartedly from his McLaren days.

    You never know though, a pairing with Alonso & Hamilton/Vettel may act like the Prost/Senna combination – a very sour persoanlly relationship but all but unbeatable on track.

    1. It was clear in 2007 that Alonso was not treated equally. HAM broke the agreement that was designed to enforce a fair and equal playing field.

      1. It was clear in 2007 that Alonso was not treated equally

        Really, new evidence emerged that I haven’t seen, can I have a link or is this more of the same old tripe?

        In this one thread there are comments about how both Alonso and Hamilton suffered from unequal treatment at McLaren – is that really plausible that the whim of the top manager changes so easily and as a result one of his own drivers is hindered? Why can’t people face the fact that McLaren actually give both drivers the same equipment and let them fight it out on track and have done for many years.

        Even back in the Coulthard/Hakkinen period the allocation of best engines/equipment etc wasn’t the determining factor between the drivers and with Senna/Prost any preference of Dennis’s wasn’t enough to determine the outcome of the championship (Balestre’s opinion would have had a greater impact). The team is paying both of their guys millions of dollars to win races and championships and whilst they might hope for domination and a preferred driver to get the title, the reality is that margins are so small and as Hamilton showed this year, if one driver has some bad luck you really need the other driver to be maximising what the team can achieve to keep you in the hunt for both titles.

      2. Well for one, Dennis said Alonso was the enemy, mid-way through the season. To me, that was a glaringly obvious admission who the team had decided to back.

        1. Trying to find quotes is harder than it seems. So far I’ve found Dennis saying “We weren’t racing Kimi, we were racing Fernando”.

    2. we know very well that Alonso doesn’t take equal treatment light-heartedly from his McLaren days

      Equal treatment in a British team with a British team principle and a British team mate
      I’m not justifying Fernando’s behavior at the time but it was very clear that he wasn’t treated equally in the McRon he has reacted badly to that situation but that’s part of his personality imagine drivers like Niki lauda or James Hunt or Ayrton Senna in that situation How do you expect them to behave ???

      1. Ayrton Senna would have burnt the garage down!

      2. It’s a matter of go to settle issues. I absolutely would not agree with Ayrton’s likely method of showing his distatse; crashing into someone to win a championship is absolutely unacceptable!

        I’ll amend my statement to “non-preferential” treatment, as they were given as equal treatment as is possible which reflected upon their finishing positions in the WDC: exactly even. No driver was favoured to the extent Alonso is favoured at Ferrari for example.

        1. Alonso is favoured at Ferrari for example.

          BTW Alonso is favored in Ferrari not by coincidence apart from his excellent qualities as a driver he is also an excellent team leader many Ferrari team member who also worked with Michael like Stefano said that no one works like him he’s a proper machine he spends more time in the factory than any other driver
          Ferrari are very happy with Alonso
          Alonso is very happy in Ferrari
          Massa is very happy with Alonso
          Ferrari’s fans are very happy with Alonso
          I still don’t get it why some people are still complaining with Alonso’s situation in Ferrari

          1. @tifoso1989 – you’ve got the wrong idea. I’m not suggesting Alonso isn’t deserved of his place at Ferrari, I’m suggesting that the team operates differently and is structured around 1 driver unlike say Red Bull or McLaren.

  11. Agree on penalties, disagree on Alonso.

    1. I agree on Alonso, but disagree on penalties!

  12. Klaas de Vries
    21st December 2012, 11:50

    “put two bulls in at one time and try and make them work together in a mature way” – imagine Hamilton’s twitter if he’d have to give his front wing to Vettel. Schekter doesn’t have a clue about what he’s talking.

    1. You can’t compare a twitter message to what Alonso did to the team and the championship.

      1. Klaas de Vries
        21st December 2012, 19:56

        I’m talking about something else in my message @jason12.
        What Alonso did to the team and the championship? – Agreed to tell FIA the truth about McLaren – nothing wrong here. The blackmailing part was only heard by Ron ‘Integrity’ Dennis, the same man who was assuring everyone that they don’t have Ferrari data, and that the drivers were treated equally while ‘racing Fernando’.

        1. LOL! Loved the bit about Ron “integrity” Dennis. Boy were they caught with their pants down. I also loved the bit in Bernie’s book where he quotes Max:
          “I fined macca $5 million and $95 million was for Ron being a ****!”

  13. I guess there’s nothing to say, everyone has the right to express their personal opinion based on their liking of certain individuals. There is no place for a debate or arguments in this case.

  14. Well that is Schekter’s personal opnion..
    And I do think those were actually absolutely rubbish (except for gearbox thing), and that is my opinion :)

  15. Alonso’s strategy is to break his teammates, which didn’t work in 2007 because McLaren did not want to see Hamilton playing understudy to Alonso, and actively worked against Alonso garnering a superior status for himself. That is just how it works. Alonso was never the fastest, but his raw guile and metronomic consistency and ability to work wonders in a poor-handling car are some of the qualities which has brought him this far. But true, barring a few laps(Spain 2011 and Singapore 2010) Alonso has rarely put in heart-stopping lap times, something that Vettel and Hamilton.
    Hamilton is one of the fastest out there, but the problem is with his head. He’s had a season like this year, and then he’s also had a season like 2011, where he seemed wholly out-of-depth. Hamilton also has a tendency to slip into a kind of trance when the car is not set-up according to his liking, and unlike Alonso, he outperforms his car physically, and not cerebrally. Human beings were meant to use their head, and Hamilton should be knowing that. Let us hope his Mercedes stint transforms him for the better.
    Vettel is an enigma, and for me, he too needs a change of scenery to prove his doubters wrong. I know that is not happening anytime soon, but if Vettel continues to win titles with the same team, people will hail him as a great, but maybe not great enough as Schumacher and the like. He is tremendously fast in conditions that suit him, has both pace and consistency to be deserving of what he’s achieved. But somehow, deep down, doubts about his ability-which disappeared in 2011- have returned, atleast for one-half of this year. Vettel was possibly helped by the EBDs and were hindered by lack thereof, but surely such a small aerodynamic detail can’t have caught him off the hook this much. However, he has proved his doubters wrong about his ability to fight in traffic, and that seems to be a positive sign.

  16. i’d pick Vettel & Hamilton too and for the same reasons McLaren 2007 Alonso showed how immature he can be. And that reflects poorly on him being a team player… it’s all about himself or the team can go to hell. Alonso is no doubt a great F1 driver or the greatest ever but as a team i would like both drivers getting good points fighting for the wins. You need both drivers working for the team, but with Alonso the case is you have the team & the other driver working strictly for Alonso only. Both Hamilton & Vettel have shown that they can deal with a Button / Webber win, they then look where they went wrong & try to better their team mates on track in the next race.

    1. Klaas de Vries
      21st December 2012, 14:36

      i’d pick Vettel & Hamilton too and for the same reasons McLaren 2007 Alonso showed how immature he can be.

      Oh, come on. You mean that Hamilton showed maturity when he posted McLaren’s telemetry on twitter? And that JUST to show the world that his teammate was faster than him only due to another car part.

      1. This! Lewis has taken a dump on team when it suited him, including in ’07.

    2. You can pick whoever you want when you have your own F1 team … LOL

  17. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    21st December 2012, 13:33

    He’s fundamentally saying that Hamilton, Vettel, AND Alonso are the 3 best F1 drivers. I think we all know that. We also know that Alonso can act badly when threatened. We also know that. I don’t think there was anything controversial to his opinion other than the fact that he still has not forgotten Alonso’s behavior in 2007.

  18. And one more thing, just for the fact, at least 8 out of the 10 team principals and 50% of F1F readers do not agree with Scheckter. He is judging based on a certain 2007 year, whereas the same could have been said for Hamilton and Vettel, his two pick. Turkey…I don’t need to say anything, lot of comments here already, Silverstone last year-Webber forced to sacrifice his front wing because Vettel broke his own. Now, had Christian Horner declined giving those front wings, what would have been Vettel’s reaction? And if JS was a team Principal, and Lewis had leaked the telemetry data to the whole world, how would have he reacted?
    I don’t find anything worth discussing about his personal opinion which in my view is nothing but some attention grabbing bytes.

    1. Every driver in the history of F1 has had bad reactions when something went against them. Some of them swear, some of them crash into others, some post their telemetry on twitter, but nobody has ever done what Alonso did in 2007.

      1. What did Alonso do?

      2. Klaas de Vries
        21st December 2012, 20:05

        what Alonso did in 2007

        What did he do? He’s not responsible for the team’s huge fine because the FIA based their case against McLaren on Stephney’s confession. Blackmail? – Nobody except Dennis ever confirmed it. Blocked his team-mate in qualifying? – Hammy lied to the FIA in 2009. Both infringed the rules at some point. But one is considered good other evil based on what?

        1. I was refering to the blackmail. Is just disgusting for someone to do something like that under any circumstances

          1. Macca asked Alonso to sign a non-disclosure upon his release. This is not howan innocent party behaves.

          2. Non-disclosure agreements are common legal tools in commercially sensitive lines of work. In Formula One, where enormous amounts of money are being spent and the potential value of information is huge (as Spygate showed), I expect they’re de rigueur.

          3. @Keith
            A reporter asked Alonso when he was at Renault about his thoughts on spygate. Alonso mentioned that he had a non disclosure agreement tied in with his release. I personally think it reflects rather poorly on McLaren, as logically speaking, one doesn’t expect innocent parties to behave as such. Ron was going on about blackmail and what not, then why silence Alonso? I smell a rat!

          4. As I just said, every F1 team wants to avoid rival teams learning their secrets: whether it’s how they operate, the details of the design of their car, budget, plans for the future, whatever. An NDA is probably one of several ways they do that. And top teams like McLaren will be especially sensitive about doing so.

          5. Given that McLaren has long had one of the best simulators and loads of other things they would like to keep secret, its perfectly normal to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
            And even if they did not have that, I have rarely seen ANY contract being signed without such clauses actually, and those are lots of contracts!

          6. @Keith
            So you see nothing wrong with them gagging Alonso on Spygate? NDA could have excluded spygate, or at the very least allowed him to answer allegations on blackmailing Ron etc. The comprehensive gag is definitely a hint at something amiss from what Ron sold the world.

          7. I’m not following you in jumping to the conclusion that there is specifically one about ‘spygate’. I suspect teams have a standard NDA for outgoing drivers or top team personnel, such as when Pat Fry joined Ferrari.

          8. @Keith
            Alonso mentioned he has a NDA that doesn’t let him speak about it. How much more specific does he have to be? Where am I jumping to conclusion here? While it doesn’t have to be an agreement specifically for that, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there as a clause/ subclause forbidding him to speak about it, especially when the man who signed the dotted line says as much. We have heard from FIA, WMSC, McLaren, Ron, but never from Alonso. you think this could be the reason why? I think McLaren silenced him by the way of a contract as too much dirt may ruin their image for sponsors. Which is ok by itself, but it means there’s more to the story than most know, and this is what Alonso may have been hinting at. Certainly Ron/ McLaren weren’t very forthright about the entire affair, be it for whatever reasons.

    2. Whilst I disagree with Scheckter, the fans and team principles’ rankings don’t mean anything. It’s all opinion and nothing more.

    3. Team principles pick the best driver, not the driver they most want in their teams…
      Besides, the TP vote doesn’t say ‘how much better’ they consider Alonso. If they believe Alonso is 0,001 second faster, he is still the best, but would you rather have 1/1000th of a second or someone who keeps your team together?

  19. Scheckter should go back to his organic farming and milk farm animals and suchlike… has clearly lost his marbles.

  20. vuelve kowalsky
    21st December 2012, 16:16

    some fans can’t forgive alonso for what he did, even tough the 100 millions penalty was not becase of what he could have said to the fia. It was more a political vendetta against Ron dennis.
    Scheckter seems to be one of them.

  21. I’d pick Hamilton and Vettel as well, simply because they’re both faster than Alonso over one lap. With those two on my team I’d be guaranteed (assuming an at least competitive car) of locking out the front row more often than not. Qualifying position has a direct impact on finishing position. I did the numbers once and the race winner starts on pole around 50% of the time, and on the front row 75% of the time.

    Vettel has started on the front row in 48% of his races, and Hamilton in 43%. They’re by far the two best qualifiers in F1 at present, in a completely different league from anybody else – including Alonso.

    1. They’re by far the two best qualifiers in F1 at present, in a completely different league from anybody else – including Alonso.

      BTW Vettel was beaten by Webber 9 times this season in qualifying

      Vettel has started on the front row in 48% of his races, and Hamilton in 43%

      They started there because they were always having one of the best car on the grid if it isn’t the best (except 2009 for Hamilton)
      Funny i don’t know from where some people got the idea of Alonso isn’t a good qualifier
      if he can squeeze the car in all the race distance so how about a single lap
      Jarno Trulli was also a master over one lap

      1. Are you saying that Vettel had a great car at Toro Rosso? And Webber is a better qualifyer than Alonso, in fact much better.

        Funny i don’t know from where some people got the idea of Alonso isn’t a good qualifier

        From his performances, I guess

        1. vuelve kowalsky
          22nd December 2012, 10:08

          the toro rosso was a good car. in fact, at monza when vettel won, given de right circumstances bourdais was on the pace, and could have been on the podium. Nobody wins in a bad car in f1, that’s a fact.

          1. Toro Rosso was a good car – so you think this year’s Ferrari was great?
            Anyway, what was I saying was that it was not just 2009 McLaren that wasn’t a one of the best cars on the grid.

          2. vuelve kowalsky – Except the telemetry showed Bourdais to be 43 seconds slower than Vettel in the race. Bourdais also started behind Webber, who wasn’t anywhere near the podium.

            Plus, if “Toro Rosso was a good car”, then how can anyone justify any of Hamilton’s cars, or any of Alonso’s cars as being bad cars?

      2. Notion that qualifying is his weak spot is ridiculous. It’s a matter of an impression one gets because Alonso didn’t have a real title challenger since 2007, and yet he always managed to make something out of every race, giving impression that he isn’t getting all out of the car in quali. Quite contrary, I think he is just as good in quali. Whenever car had the pace, he nailed it to the front. It’s just that Vettel’s car gives him quite a margin for error in quali. Alonso is quite good at delivering when it’s crunch time which is essential in quali.

        Each time this year, when it rained (when car had the pace), he got pole. In 2010, one mistake from Vettel in Singapore and Alonso was on pole. I think he’s actually better in quali then Vettel, but there’s too much difference in car’s pace between Ferrari and Red Bull. In 2006 and 2005 (before McLaren started dominating) he made sure to take pole at every race possible. I don’t remember from the top of my head, anyone else getting poles in 2005 except Alonso, Kimi and Montoya. Fisichella managed one in Australia when Alonso was caught by the rain in the old quali format. I still remember his lap in Monza in 2006, driving without much of the right rear bodywork, setting a 5th time, just over 3 tenths slower then pole position.

        1. Notion that qualifying is his weak spot is ridiculous.

          All the data says that qualifying is his weakness. Alonso says so himself, and some people won’t even take HIS word for it. Hamilton in his rookie year comprehensively beat Alonso in qualifying.

          In 2006 and 2005 (before McLaren started dominating) he made sure to take pole at every race possible.

          He took six poles in 2005 and six in 2006, which isn’t a lot in WDC winning years That was his high-water mark – since Hamilton and Vettel came on the scene he’s been pushed further down the grid.

          there’s too much difference in car’s pace between Ferrari and Red Bull.

          Do you have even the slightest shred of evidence for that claim? The way some people go on about how fast the Red Bull’s are one might think we were still living in the 1990’s and the cars were essentially unregulated.

      3. @tifoso1989

        Vettel was beaten by Webber 9 times this season in qualifying

        …which shows two things. 1) Webber is a very good qualifier (I’d as better than Alonso) and 2) Vettel is even better than Webber. I don’t think there’s much of a claim for stating anything other than Hamilton and Vettel are clearly the best two qualifiers on the current F1 grid, as I’m sure Hamilton will prove next year with Mercedes (not that he needs to) by likely beating Alonso regularly (unless of course the performance gap is too significant).

        1. If he was beaten 9 times by Webber this year so why Webber doesn’t figure in your list of the best qualifiers who are “clearly ahead” in qualifying

          1. Well, Webber is clearly ahead of Alonso in qualifying.
            Comparing him to Vettel, think of 2011 too.

          2. @tifoso1989 – what I said was Webber is a very good qualifier (I’d say better than Alonso as it is his “Achilles heel”) and the fact Vettel and Hamilton are better still makes them the best qualifiers. If I have a top 2 every time it will contain those two drivers.

  22. The two major problems Alonso had at Mclaren were, the Englkish press, and Briatore who wanted him back.
    In 2007, drivers qualified with race fuel, this meant one driver qualified with more fuel, and one driver had the optimal race strategy, which was Alonso.
    Alonso was rattled by Hamilton’s speed and he wasn’t used to a driver battling with him for position.
    Alonso was the lead driver. Hamilton was promised equality, the team just didn’t expect him to be that fast.

  23. “I think he drove well this year, there’s no question about that, he’s doing a good job on that, but when somebody does something like that you lose respect for them.”

    Yes sir, thats right! And remember also 2008 crash of Piquet on purpose in Singapore so the spaniard can win the race. And this year that unbeliable 5 grid penalty to Massa!
    You can not tespect a driver like Alonso anymore.

    1. You sound so offended.

      1. Of course! A driver like Alonso is a shame for motorsports.

        1. @jorgelardone I have only seen you post the exact same thing on all topics concerning Fernando Alonso. Never do you credit him, only bringing up the 2008 Singapore GP. As I pointed out to you three times before: Fernando Alonso was never prosecuted for his part in the crash, had no previous knowledge (Ruled by a judge and jury) and expressed his surprise in the press conference afterwards. The fact it was his team that were behind it has no reflection on him as a man.

          I can list negatives about almost every driver that raced in formula 1 in terms of why they are not the greatest etc but to hold this against Alonso is stupid. Provide me with one fact, any source you can find, that Alonso was responsible and knew about the crash beforehand.

          As for the tactics at Austin, they were pretty simple to follow. It made sense for the team and for the championship, if you can not understand that then you are better off not watching F1. To deprive yourself of watching an all-time great due to mis-inform is the only shameful thing i can see here.

        2. Did you lose respect for Lewis after liegate, or after Spa?

          1. Alonso wanted to post in India on twitter how he still drove with the same rear wing as in May because Pat Fry said that Alonso should have qualify better, so what is your point exactly and yes Alonso is bad for the sport period!

        3. @jorgelardone – Oh, come on. While Alonso is hardly an angel, there are hardly any champions that can be described as “angels”. Although I understand that the Singapore debacle can leave a bitter taste in the mouth, it wasn’t proven that Alonso knew about Flavio/Piquet Jr’s plan. Though Alonso’s behaviour in 2007 was fairly poor, I don’t see how that makes him a shame to motorsport in general.

  24. I would take Kimi and Hamilton.
    What Vettel sometimes seems to lack in emotional maturity, Hamilton makes up in driving. And Kimi is the best.

    As for Alonso, from braketests he gave Coulthart and Doornbos, the smell of treason out of being a sore loser at McLaren, not denouncing his Singapore win, not being able to pass petrov, needing teamorders, gearbox changes to win…
    But the man surely can drive anything! However, never in my dreamteam.

  25. To all offended moralists, I suppose no one remembers this.

    But it’s important to put an act for TV, not to be direct like Alonso, because no one likes straight talking people if they have a different point of view.

    1. @brace – that’s hardly a huge incident. I think perhaps that was mind games in combination with the fact that Vettel wanted to make sure he had position on track. It’s not as if he was intentionally blocking or anything.

  26. (first to say, I don’t think McLaren should have been punish even as half as they did for spygate, nor that Alonso should have received a penalty for Hungary quali)

    I can’t really figure out where all these moralists stand.

    If you go by what Ron said (only one who actually knows what happened besides Alonso), he also said that Alonso retracted what he said just moments after.

    And besides that, McLaren did have Ferrari documents, which Alonso had nothing to do with. He neither took them from Ferrari, nor brought them to McLaren.

    So I’m confused, how is Ron Dennis looking like a good guy in this and Alonso like a bad one?
    Also, Ron saying he didn’t know about those, is just **. Half a team knew about it, if not the whole Woking.

    Alonso never snitched on McLaren either. Ron Dennis came to Mosley himself and I don’t see how that was something bad caused by Alonso, if McLaren indeed had Ferrari documents.

    Alonso never really did anything in 2007 except holding stationary in the pits, waiting for a perfect time for final Q3 run, which incidentally prevented Hamilton from completing his final lap, since he broke an agreement, which sent him out of sync with Alonso. Hamilton then proceeded to swear at Ron Dennis, which is perfectly fine it seems.

    British media are masters of **** spinning and if you step back and look at the fact, it’s obvious that Alonso and Ron didn’t have a common goal anymore, since their argument practically put them on the opposite sides, which only harmed Alonso’s chances with McLaren, not much more than that.

    Vettel and Hamilton were basically driving in their daddy’s teams since they came to F1, which is completely different from Alonso’s position. He had to go to completely new environment each time and earn his position.
    But when your boss is like a daddy to your teammate, you know that there will be preferential treatment, even unintentionally.
    Supportive atmosphere is very important and both Hamilton and Vettel abused their position more then once, at expense of their teammates.

    McLaren knew how hard they screwed Alonso, that they went out of their way to make sure to show to public that both drivers will be treated equally when Button joined.

    Alonso is also much more sincere in his talk and perhaps more politically savvy, which is a good thing, since he could have handled 2007 better if he knew back then what he knows now.

    I never cared for the people I admire to bend over themselves to please the others. I do however, among other things, admire them because they are true to themselves even at the expense of being disliked by many.

    As the famous saying goes: “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.”
    I admire him because he’s refusing to put on an act just to satisfy hypocritical and shallow public who think they own him or something and who are “offended” by curse words on TV or nudity in art.

    We can all be better people then we are, but we need to be better because of the people close to us, who deserve it, people who wouldn’t be damning us for who we are in the first place.

    In other words, Alonso owes nothing to the haters, while on the other hand, it’s clear to see that every year, he is being a better man for his team.

    To close it with one more proverb, which shows why I admire Alonso as a man (as far as I can get to know him), and not Hamilton and Vettel:
    “If you didn’t try so hard to be liked by everyone, maybe you would have been truly liked by a few.”

    Go Fernando!

    1. @brace

      when your boss is like a daddy to your team mate, you know that there will be preferential treatment, even unintentionally.

      At the Monaco Grand Prix McLaren gave one of their drivers more fuel in qualifying than the other. The lighter car naturally qualified ahead.

      Then during the race the driver with the heavier car was not allowed to use his strategic advantage to run longer in an attempt to jump ahead of his team mate.

      Your lengthy discourse on the evils you imagine McLaren committed in 2007 would lead anyone unfamiliar with the situation to assume that the driver who got the lighter car in qualifying at Monaco – the “preferential treatment” – was Hamilton. It wasn’t: Alonso was given a lighter car in qualifying then Hamilton was prevented from beating him on strategy.

      Example such as this categorically disprove your vague, unsubstantiated and obviously nonsensical assertion that McLaren chose to hire a two-times world champion and then seize every opportunity to undermine him. (See this article from the time)

      The fact is Alonso wasn’t the only driver to be taken by surprise by how competitive Hamilton was in 2007. Even Ron Dennis told Hamilton before the year began to expect Alonso would be half a second quicker than him.

      1. You really managed to put words in my mouth that I never said.

        Ron Dennis didn’t expect it, and that’s where the problems started. He said one thing to Alonso, not expecting that it could turn out to be any other way, but then couldn’t stick to the plan coldheartedly, when he saw how good Hamilton is. I suppose, at the start he tried to give both of them what they wanted, but that inevitably meant he was telling them both what they wanted to hear, while it was impossible to make it in reality for both in the same time.

        I actually downplayed much that happened that year and I said that preferential treatment wasn’t even intentional in the beginning but Ron got carried away listening to his heart instead of his head at times.

        Alonso, not being sentimental about Hamilton, seen it differently, although he (as I also stated above) could have gone about it better too, which would have been much better for him in the first place.

        You can make case that they could have walked to championship any way they wanted if they did it properly, but Ron Dennis is the only one who did have it in his job description to know how to manage that situation. Neither Alonso nor Hamilton are supposed to be good managers. Dennis on the other hand IS supposed to be one.
        So you gotta lay blame at his feet for letting it all go to waste.

        They thought they hit the jackpot when they had Kimi + Juan, but that lineup hardly made any fireworks and fell short of most of expectations.
        It was actually Alonso + Hamilton that turned out to be the Senna + Prost combination that they craved. Sadly it turned out even worse for McLaren then the last one.

        Next year they will have Button and Perez and there’s no way one can look at it and think this isn’t a far cry from what Alonso and Hamilton paring could have been.

  27. astonished (@)
    21st December 2012, 23:54

    Perfectly respectable opinion by JS.
    As respectable would be “My preferred drivers are Hamilton and Alonso, Vettel not because I do not like blond people” or “Alonso and Vettel because I dislike British drivers” or anything along those lines.
    But those qualities are irrelevant to the drivers skills.
    What you like, what you dislike, what lo love, what you hate will always play a role in your choosing, but in your sub-concious self, that you might rationalise afterwards.
    Saying it loud is, well…… funny….

  28. Jody Scheckter just said my words,for sure Alonso,Vettel & Hamilton are the 3 best driver but like him Alonso doesn’t deserve my respect to what he did in 2007.

  29. Mr. Scheckter is judging Alonso for what he thinks he knows, but does he know all the truth, not only the McLaren truth?.
    Someday we will know what happen in 2007, maybe when Alonso retires.

  30. That is JS´s opinion and is entitled to it… but seriously… what is the point??? Why bring out 2007??? To me it seems that this is the begining of a campain to tarnish what Alonso did this season…
    I have a feeling that this is just somebody´s way of trying to make him look bad…. Nobody really knows what truly happened in McLaren in 2007…. Maybe one day we will find out but to come out and say something like this…. it is not only rubbish and superfluous….. but it shows a degree of ignorance and a desire of trying to make people bring out their “battle axes” out and start chopping at a really dead horse…. It just seems like a very LOW blow to take….
    I guess some people are upset that most fans are still talking about what a great season Alonso had and not so much about the “3 times wdc”… just saying.

    My Opinion and I know I´m entitled to it as well as many others that have expressed theirs here.

  31. Klaas de Vries
    23rd December 2012, 9:08

    Check your facts Keith, both Hamilton and Alonso were pitted earlier than planned before the race because the team feared another safety car period (during which they weren’t allowed to pit in 2007). The fact was stated at that time but I guess it wasn’t really taken into account by the media because it spoiled the ‘story’.

    See this article from the time

    Are you serious when you base your argument on a reference to YOURSELF?

    1. both Hamilton and Alonso were pitted earlier than planned before the race

      That does not make what I stated incorrect.

      And I am not “basing an argument on a reference from myself”, I am referring someone to an article where I have already outlined the argument I wish to make.

      1. Klaas de Vries
        23rd December 2012, 10:09

        That does not make what I stated incorrect.

        Yes, it does. You said that Hamilton wasn’t allowed to win on strategy – the only way to win on strategy at that time was to get in front of your teammate after the pit-stop. That would have been the case if they pitted Alonso by the original programme and only changed the plans with Hamilton. And McLaren’s actions actually made sense because they wanted to prevent – with both drivers – what happened at the next race with Alonso. But because it was the Evil Spaniard that won and the British media’s dream story about the Proud British rookie getting his first win at the glamourous Monaco GP was ruined, they decided to pour all the frustration with a lame McLaren team-order scandal (in which they totally distorted the facts).
        Both Alonso and Hamilton might have shared equal machinery but as a TP said: when Hamilton was getting a pole everyone at McLaren were jumping and screaming, when it was Alonso – there were only forced smiles – and that matters a lot. And that’s what I think @brace meant by ‘driving thair daddy’s teams advantage’.

        1. The only way your explanation makes sense is if McLaren did not put several laps more fuel in Hamilton’s car, which is not true, or if they only realised after qualifying that it was possible that the safety car might be deployed during the race, which is ridiculous.

          You don’t need to tell me some in the media went overboard with the spin because I said as much at the time. But it doesn’t change the facts of what happened.

          All the ‘evil Spaniard/McLaren didn’t celebrate when Alonso won’ stuff is just silly. The facts amply refute the patent nonsense that McLaren hired a two-times world champion and then endeavoured to undermine him at every opportunity.

          Everything else I have to say on this is covered here:

          Alonso is not the victim of a McLaren conspiracy

  32. Absolute agree, Alonso is mostly overhyped by the media and his fans, the fact is Alonso is simply bad for the sport, look how Ferrari had to handicap Massa just to make Alonso look good and look what he caused Renault and don’t tell me that Alonso did not knew about the plan because one lap before that crash happend Alonso came in the pits. I never bought the out perform the car nonsense, Alonso had been lucky the whole season

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