Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2013

Alonso steps in to save cycling team

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2013In the round-up: The “important news” Fernando Alonso hinted about on Twitter on Sunday turned out to be a plan to buy Spanish cycling team Euskaltel Euskadi which was facing closure after losing its government backing.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Fernando Alonso fires up silly season by revealing ‘important news’ is imminent (Sky)

“Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has sparked a fresh wave of speculation about his future by revealing he will be announcing “important news” over the coming days.”

Fernando Alonso, one step away from acquiring Euskaltel Euskadi cycling team (Fernando Alonso)

“After various days of intense negotiations between both parties, carried out with maximum discretion, we are pleased to announce that the Spanish sportsman has reached an initial agreement to buy said cycling team and so avoid its demise.”

Michael expecting good McLaren form at Monza (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

McLaren sporting director Sam Michael: “People have run a bit more downforce at Monza since DRS started. The only reason why you ran really low was to give yourself overtaking capacity. Once you have DRS you can overtake anyway, so you don?t have that requirement any more.”

Circuit de Catalunya includes Barcelona in its name (Circuit de Catalunya)

“Circuit de Catalunya includes the city of Barcelona in its name and from now on will be called Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.”

Ricciardo’s road to Red Bull Racing (Red Bull)

“A year in the British Formula Three Championship saw Ricciardo dominate the formula with 13 podiums and seven wins on his way to becoming the 2009 series champion.”

Alan Henry on McLaren 50 (McLaren)

“In my role as a journalist I crossed swords with [Teddy Mayer] on several occasions, the first being when McLaren wanted to ditch its sponsorship deal with the Yardley cosmetics at the end of 1973 and grab the bigger fistful of dollars being waved in its direction by the Philip Morris Marlboro cigarette brand. Yardley put out a critical press statement ?ǣ and half an hour later Teddy was on the phone, bending my ear in an effort to persuade me that it would not be helpful if Motoring News (my then employer) were to publish the Yardley statement. Cravenly, I allowed myself to be intimidated, and agreed. I?m ashamed of that, even now. But Teddy got his way.”

I was there when… 1971 Italian GP (MotorSport)

“Over the line, Gethin ?ǣ who somehow found the time and confidence to give a victory salute ?ǣ was a couple of feet ahead of Peterson, with Cevert third and Hailwood fourth. Howden Ganley, fifth for BRM, was six-tenths behind Gethin.”

Lewis Hamilton explains his F1 helmet design (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)



Comment of the day

Does F1 need to be made into a film like Rush? JayfreeseKnight puts the case for it:

It promotes our sport. The one we love and live.

Rush will be a great asset for new /young F1 fans across the world. We need a larger community, lots of seats remain empty on lots of tracks. Cinema is the best way to give people emotions.

Just look at IndyCar with Turbo or NASCAR with Cars, it?s great and fun; Rush is a sporting-racing thriller, great.
JayfreeseKnight (@Jeff1s)

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On this day in F1

Giuseppe Farina became the first ever Formula One world’ drivers champion on this day in 1950 by winning the Italian Grand Prix.

Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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  • 68 comments on “Alonso steps in to save cycling team”

    1. Mark Gallagher’s tweet is a thoroughly depressing observation…

      1. Not to mention his £40,000 an HOUR wages (300000 a week… that’s a lot of zeros)

        1. Yes, Bale earns €300000 for kicking a ball about once or twice a week… Alonso earns €450000 a week for driving a car, on average, 3 days every 2 weeks.

          Also, £40,000 an hour is totally inaccurate. There are 168 hours in a week, €300,000/168 = €1,785.71 give or take a few decimal places. In contrast, Alonso would earn €2678.57 in that time.

          1. Wow, he trains and plays football in his sleep as well!? He really is worth it…

      2. Tends to illustrate the fact that F1 is not such a gross extravagance as we are constantly being told it is by the people who want to keep the revenue for themselves rather than distribute it to the teams.

        1. Football teams actually have that amount of money though, and they will recoup every last penny. F1 teams spend money they don’t have.

          It’s not a case of how much money is being spent, more a case of expenditure to profit ratio. A football team can take an egg out of their basket and then get two more eggs put in it’s place; F1 teams have to beg other people to give them an egg and their basket is always empty

          1. Is the above comment a joke?!

            You do know how much debt football teams run up dont you? Real madrid are also propped up by the local madrid government.

          2. Do you honestly think people would be in F1 if they did not make a profit? No one does anything to make a loss…

          3. Football teams will be calling IMF soon mate!

            I don’t think it’s either an F1 or football problem, but professional sports are becoming too expensive to run, most things are inflated, particularly athletes salaries. Like European in the last 2 decades, they rely too much on debt.

            1. Spanish football teams don’t need to call on the IMF since the EU bailout is already being used in part to prop up the Spanish football giants. Barcelona and Real Madrid are both supported by the government in the form of debts that never need to be repaid (the government tried to write-off the debts but that wasn’t possible as it would count as a state subsidy, so the debts simply remain theoretically but never actually repayable). The point is particularly pertinent in light of the fact that HRT was spanish based and if the Spanish authorities were willing to put a fraction of the hundreds of millions of Euros which have gone into Spanish football to save that team then that would have been more effective in helping their unemployment problem.

            2. Like European

              *Like European Governments

            3. Market forces people. We (the fans) provide the demand, large number of people spend a little bit and collectively it adds up. We can’t complain, we demand it, we agree to pay it, the most talented get it

        2. You’re right, at least F1 has an excuse for being expensive. Expensive machinery, operating factory, lots of technical staff, transporting said machinery around the world, maintaining wind tunnels, R&D, etc.

          The way the football money bubble is overgrown is nothing short of disgusting. The guy that kicks the ball around now had exactly the same job 60 years ago – yet with none of the same extravagance. Only ~40 yrs ago Maradona was transferred for 5m. I understand inflation and the like, but from 5m to 85m? Surely the F1 costs have not increased by 1700%.

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      3rd September 2013, 0:26

      Dull tweet from Mark Gallagher. I’ve been hearing that sort of short sighted nonsense all day.

      Over time Madrid expect the £85m they spend on to be recouped through shirt sales alone, they did so with the £80m spent on Cristiano Ronaldo within 2 years. They could let Ronaldo go on a free and would still be well in profit on the deal even taking wages into account. Could you expect similar returns from investing in a midfield F1 team?

      1. It has nothing to do with the business/profit behind it.
        I think the point behind that was the wages of one guy who can kick a ball could fund the wages of 300+ people and the ability to create and utilise one of the most sophisticated machines on the planet.
        And the fact that the former is more “profitable” is a little strange.

        1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          3rd September 2013, 2:08

          The point I’m making is that people seem to think that the £85m Real Madrid spent on Gareth Bale’s transfer is just throwing money down the drain when it isn’t.

          Although he is essentially just a bloke from Cardiff who kicks a ball around for a living, he is an asset with the potential to generate income far greater than the cost of his transfer fee and his wages.

          It’s just like the vast sums of money spent on car development in F1. All that is essentially achieved is slightly different shaped pieces of bodywork but the level car performance that those developments achieve, determines where the team finishes in the championship and therefore how much prize/TV money the receive, how attractive a proposition the team are to sponsors and how much branded merchandise the team can sell.

          A Formula One team’s car and drivers’ potential to achieve success, attract sponsorship and sell merchandise is no greater than that of a football club just because of the number of employees and the sophisticated technology involved as opposed to 11 men kicking a ball around a pitch of grass.

        2. Spot on! Kicking the ball over so much brain power… in sad world we live.

        3. The same thing can be said about F1 though. Take Schumacher’s Mercedes salary and you could fund a whole team of players.

          I don’t think it’s work getting upset about, it’s just how sport works.

          And you have to remember, he isn’t just kicking a ball. He’s doing it and making lots of people want to buy things from his team at the same time. Just like in F1.

      2. Football teams love to come up with this jerseys **** to calm down fans. The model of modern football will keep driving transfer fees up until something is done. Real Madrid’s debt is over 600 million Euros and growing. But again, we see similar situation within Formula 1, how much is Hamilton or Alonso salary? I’d say that Alonso has money to buy an F1 team and put Bale inside the cockpit…

      3. @jackisthestig bear in mind that Spanish La Liga is not better than F1 when it comes to balance, it’s basically a two-horses race where you have two billionaires, a few rich and lots of poor…

    3. So basically Alonso was just trolling all along with that “mysterious” tweet!

    4. After 1971, there were changes at Monza. When the teams went back, a year later, chicane blight had ravaged the place, fundamentally changing its character, breaking up the pack, cutting the lap speed by 20mph. Once again Amon and Ickx shared the front row, but neither finished, and the Lotus of Emerson Fittipaldi won comfortably from Hailwood’s Surtees.

      “A better result than last year,” Mike observed, “but no fun at all. They’ve ruined the track with these poxy chicanes…” Not sure what he would have made of Formula 1 in the 21st century.

      Mr Tilke should read about it…

      1. @hunocsi Adding chicanes to an existing track on safety grounds is one thing, but Tilke creates new-build tracks which are infested with them, which is worse.

        1. + he also adds 90 degree turns on permanent race tracks …

        2. @keithcollantine -Tilke has said that he never intended for the pit lane in Abu Dhabi to run under the circuit, and that it was added in by someone else, I have to wonder if he really is responsible for all of those chicanes.

        3. I think it’s not Tilke’s fault alone. Abu Dhabi, Valencia, Sochi, South Korea are meant to be street circuits (resp. have such sectors) and F1 cars aren’t meant to race on such tracks.
          Regular tracks he designed like COTA, Istanbul, Buddh, Sepang, A1 Ring are quite good with a few flaws but in general a good fit for F1. Bahrain isn’t too bad either if it weren’t for the empty grand stands.
          Also to demand new circuits similar to classic tracks like Suzuka, Spa, Monza or others is a bit far fetched. because demands of for multi-purpose tracks have changed .

          Not sure why I see the need to defend Tilke here – though:)

          1. Tilke didn’t design COTA, though he was the architect in charge of constructing the grandstands and other facilities. Tavo Hellmund designed the track layout with input from some other driver friends of his. That’s why it’s an awesome track. :)

    5. Alonso’s troll face in the picture totally suits this article.

    6. Lewis Hamilton explains his F1 helmet design

      I wannabe Senna

      1. He’s always echoed Senna’s…. sentiments? :p

      2. I don’t think you need to see Hamilton based his helmet on sennas helmet. Lewis never made that a secret either, Senna was his childhood hero, nothing wrong with that. Be glad he does not change his desigm every race like fingerboy.

        1. I think the inflationary use of yellow helmets these days is kind of boring. good that we have Vettel to mix things up :)

          1. Eh? ‘inflationary’ / ‘boring’? Other than Rosbergs, i cant think of one of other yellow helmet.

            1. HAM, ROS, MAS, PER, GUT and WEB’s yellow spot on top. Not saying that all are a tribute to Senna but those I recognize by their yellow helmets.

        2. @force-maikel even though many of his are rather generic, I actually think that distinguishes him better than any other modern F1 driver. A lot of the time his helmets gather a lot of attention before the races and as such it’s easy to click on to which helmet is his.

          Besides, I like the creativity in a lot of them and the fact he’s fairly unique! That can’t be said of Hamilton ;)

          1. @vettel1 I totally agree but I still think that Hamilton still made enough changes to make that design better suiting to himself. Especially now at Mercedes. You still see where the basic idea came from but that Helmet looks nothing like sennas anymore.

            Vettel seems to have a lot off creativity but I feel it has gotten a bit out of control but in the end it’s his choise. It is still easy to recongise him on track though because the other Red Bull has a lot of yellow in his desing, a colour vettel rarely uses, ass a matter in fact never.

            Not too sure about being able to spot him that easily in 2014 though ;-)

            1. @force-maikel don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the shall we say “traditional” approach Hamilton takes of having one general helmet design to suit himself, but I personally like Vettel’s creative side! Each to their own really ;)

              However, I don’t like all of Vettel’s designs: a few have just seemed like new helmets for the sake of having a new helmet. I have liked some from this year though, particularly the Baumgartner tribute helmet, his pin-up girl one for Monaco and the team commemoration one for I believe Silverstone?

              We’ll spot him next year though; simply look for the lead Red Bull :P

    7. Moving from Milton Keynes, where his new employers are based, to Monaco might not make much sense… until you take into account his new bumper pay deal and the difference in taxation between Monaco and the UK!!!

      Also, the weather is not too bad in Monaco either, so I hear. :D

      1. Yes, it’s obvious why F1 drivers change residence but what annoys me is that they don’t admit it and come up with some ridiculous excuse.

        1. Who wants to live close to their office, who?

    8. I wonder if Alonso could’ve done his announcement two days ago but did it now as some sort of feeble attempt to upstage the RBR driver announcement. Or maybe it’s more like sticking his fingers in ears and going, “la la la la la” — doesn’t want to know because it’s not him.

      1. Don’t think he had time for games when it came to pumping 6 million of his own money into a cycling team. Beside’s who even said Alonso wanted to join RBR.

        1. It’s not like he couldn’t afford 6m anyway…

          1. Every thing Alonso does or write is evil for some people :)

            1. True… Looks like alonso never knew that we wasn’t going to seat in a RB… and then spends 6m and buys a cycling team just for the frustration….

              Some people have a lot of imagination…haha

            2. Well I blame that mustache for that impression

      2. Just curious, how would Alonso know two days ago when RBR would make their driver announcement?

        1. The way of the Samurai innit.

          1. You jyst won the internet ;)

      3. Or on a more down to earth deal, he was not allowed to speak about it until the NDA expired.

    9. Agree with the COTD. When Grand Prix came out I was 11 years old and already into dirt tracks (my uncle raced) > stock cars > Indy 500 > Jim Clark, Lotus > F1. The movie reinforced the direction I was already headed. The realistic race scenes, especially the in car shots, the sound in the theater was awesome, I wanted to be in those race cars!

      When a film is well done it does have the potential to bring more attention to the subject. This cannot hurt F1 and the more successful the film, the better chance for new fans. I can see young people, particularly in the US, that find NASCAR to be somewhat lowbrow being more attracted to the international flavor and more high tech world of F1. If the movie gets them interested, they can start Googling the rest.

      1. Ya, but isn’t turbo and cars all silly, children-aimed cartoons? Rush is far from that.

        1. Ya, but isn’t turbo and cars all silly, children-aimed cartoons?

          Kind of like Tooned? ;-)

          Rush has a good chance to have broad appeal. We shall see if the movie going masses agree.

        2. I’m really pleased to be COTD, do you know @KeithCollantine how many COTD F1F ever had?

      2. I can see young people, particularly in the US, that find NASCAR to be somewhat lowbrow being more attracted to the international flavor and more high tech world of F1.

        While that sounds great in theory I don’t think that’s the way it works in practice. Generally there are 3 types of people in the USA #1 = Motorsports Fans, wherever whatever they are a fan of it, #2 = Specific Type Fans, some like NASCAR some Indycar, some F1, etc but they only like 1 branch of the motorsports tree and they think the rest are a waste of time, #3 = People that don’t care at all and never will.

        Generally the people that I know that may or maynot like NASCAR but don’t follow F1 (and even some feel this way about Indycar) don’t follow it because they think it’s “a bunch of overpaid sissy Europeans driving cars that you can’t even look at wrong or it’ll break”. As great of a movie as Rush may be I don’t see it changing that kind of attitude.

        1. I could be totally wrong, but I think there is another group of people that are not even aware of F1 at all and the only form of racing they are even aware of is NASCAR which they find boring as well as culturally unappealing. A good movie can be a point of discovery for a new interest. Many of the people I know are already old and jaded and have no interest in new things. Maybe some of the youth out there will find a new interest outside of Harry Potter, vampires and Facebook, who knows?

    10. I agree with the COTD because in my school I’m the only person who likes f1 pretty much, and now people r like come watch the movie or i’ll watch it with you. even if they just want to see it because Chris Hemsworth or because of the crashes its still rising the stock of f1 and letting it be known across the world

    11. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      3rd September 2013, 7:53

      Wonder how long it will be before Alonso’s new cycling team will be caught in a doping scandal? Doping-gate.

      1. As I understand euskatel is a small team, but well respected and loved by the fans. They said it will mantein a zero tolerance rule, I hope we never get to that point. It will be terrible sad for both sports.

      2. Tastless comment.

        1. @zoomracing Not really. Cycling has a dreadful reputation for drug abuse. To someone like me, who doesn’t follow the sport, all I really know about it is the huge problems they’ve had with riders cheating by taking performance-enhancing drugs. And not just because of Lance Armstrong, even I know there was quite a bit of it going on before then and other Tour de France winners had been stripped of their victories.

          1. A lot of what was going on was blood doping, rather than taking performance enhancing drugs. Much much harder to detect, and hence why it went undetected and was allowed to become so systematic. I do think that cycling is cleaning up its act though, but I think it’s too recent to be considered a thing of the past. I do like the transparency of the likes of Team Sky offering to show their telemetry to demonstrate that no suspiciously superhuman performances are contributing to their success.

            The problem comes when doping becomes so systematic that it becomes impossible to win without engaging in the activity. If cycling can show that that’s no longer the case (and I think the recent success of Team Sky should go some way towards that), then I think it will help to engender a culture of clean competition. You’ll always have some individuals who will try to slip through, of course; that’s the nature of competition and no different to some of the more ‘inventive’ rule interpretations we see in F1 all the time – but as long as the majority in the sport are trying to uphold basic sporting values, I don’t thin there’s any reason to devalue it on the basis of what went on before.

            As I say though, it’ll take a while before we’re at that point.

          2. @keithcollantine

            You are right that the cycling has in general a very dreadful reputation on performance enhancing drug usage…

            Though the original comment from @braketurnaccelerate seems to imply that the team could turn towards doping because Alonso has decided to invest in the team( that’s the feeling I got when I read the comment and it is pretty tasteless in my opinion )…

            1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
              3rd September 2013, 18:32

              @puneethvb @zoomracing – You can take my comment for whatever value you get out of it. If you think I was being a bit spurious with my comments, so be it. If you think I meant it as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the controversy that Alonso creates, that’s fine as well. I personally do not have a vendetta against Alonso, but to not point out the controversial “gates” he’s been linked to, and how easy it would be to apply that to a cycling team, would be daft.

      3. No, Alonso is so evil and hell-bent on destroying the world he will let a talented cyclist fall during a course so their best cyclist can win the course, tell any youngsters who look like winning ‘your team leader is faster than you’, threaten Shimano to expose their use of other manufacturers’ data and dress up the team like samurai men, while attending dressed as a Shogun.

        He might even drown a baby and step on a kitten along the way, just because he is so evil!

      4. I can understand some people dont like Alonso but what I dont understand is how people find ways to criticise him for something totally unrelated to F1 ..and in my opinion it is a very nice gesture from him to save an ailing cycling team…

    12. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
      3rd September 2013, 10:55

      @npf1 Sarcasm win ;)

    13. That tweet from Mark Gallagher is astounding!!

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