Alonso says he needs Vettel retirements to win title

2013 Italian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso admitted he needs Sebastian Vettel to post more retirements to bring him back into contention for the world championship.

The Ferrari driver is 53 points behind Vettel with seven races remaining, and 175 points still up for grabs.

“I think we need to be realistic about the championship now there’s a very big gap,” said Alonso. “We don’t have enough races and probably we don’t have the speed right now to win some consecutive races and hope to reduce the gap just by pace.”

“We need to be lucky and we need to have some DNFs from Sebastian or something to win the championship.”

Alonso likened the situation to last year when Vettel caught and overhauled him in the second half of the season:

“With the races left and the points disadvantage, it’s hard but in a way, it was exactly the same last year.

“We could only lose the championship, with 41 points advantage in front of Sebastian after the Monza race. It was difficult for him to catch up and so it was maybe up to us. We didn’t complete the job and we had a DNF in Suzuka and some other problems.

“There’s still a long way to go. We will try until the last race to be as good as we can and score as many points as possible and then in Brazil we will see how many points we have compared to him.”

Despite Vettel’s lead Alonso said the championship battle is “more tight this year than 2011” when the Red Bull driver clinched the championship with four races to spare.

“Also there are more teams in the battle,” Alonso added, “there is not only Red Bull who can be on pole position.”

“There is Mercedes who have done many pole positions this year etc… So many races are coming with many interesting combinations of performance so what we have to do is try to be close to the top in all track characteristics.”

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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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101 comments on “Alonso says he needs Vettel retirements to win title”

  1. A bad thing to wish for your rival. But as a Ferrari fan, I actually won’t mind a bit of misfortune like a back-to-back gearbox failure for the leading RB

    1. Well he said what we all had on our minds, so cant fault him without faulting ourselves.

    2. A bad thing to wish for your rival

      He’s not wishing anything on anyone.

      1. @raceprouk

        I was merely extrapolating from this statement above: “We need to be lucky and we need to have some DNFs from Sebastian or something to win the championship

        But either way it doesn’t matter. Let’s say VET does go through the double DNF scenario I mentioned above. Then what? He’ll still be ahead of Alonso by 3 points. We know Vettel doesn’t crack under pressure. Brazil 2012 would be a good example of that. He’ll still pull ahead of Alonso in the remaining events. That’s just how good he has been this season, I’m afraid :(

        1. ‘If’ Alonso doesn’t score? which is highly unlikely….

        2. and if Vettels keeps finishing ahead of Alonso, there is no way to catch up even then.

        3. @sankalp88 @slimboyfatpauly I think it would be more than 3 points.

          Seb and Fernando have one DNF each. I assume they will be able to keep the level of performance demonstrated so far in the season. Vettel averages 20 points per race, Alonso about 15. It’s a rough estimate. If they both finish all remaining races, Seb will increase his advantage, on average gaining 5 points per race over Fernando. Additionally I assume that:
          – Alonso’s retirement means that Vettel increases his advantage by about 20 points,
          – Vettel’s retirement means that Alonso increases his advantage by 20 points (why not 15? – without Vettel he’s in position to score more than his average).

          We have 7 races to go, so let’s play it out.
          – If they both finish every race, Vettel ends up with 362 points, Alonso with 274.
          – If Vettel has 3 DNF’s, he ends up with 302 points, Alonso with 289.
          – As it stands Ferrari need 4(!) DNF’s from Vettel, for Alonso to get ahead (A:294, V:282).

          I know, I know. It’s not over till it’s over. Mathematically it’s still possible, but probability theory is also part of mathematics and Lady Averages says that Vettel’s advantage is too great.

        4. @sankalp88 well, the gearboxes are a bit dodgy. He may need to take a penalty for the next event (since he’s only used his current one for 4 events).

    3. I don’t think he is wishing for that. He is saying that the championship is over, unless Vettel has a retirement which would bring the battle back.

  2. Vettel has already gifted a win to Alonso through a car failure.

    Alonso wasn’t good enough in qualifying getting beat by his normally uncompetitive teammate and a driver with a customer Ferrari engine.

    In the race he Massa maintained a 3-4 second gap for the entire race after Felipe gifted second place to Alonso.

    1. Andrew Simmons
      9th September 2013, 8:38

      Yeah, because he was able to keep Webber back and do his job, right?

      1. He actually did a good job because Alonso was a fair bit in front of them. He was bound to lose his place during the pitstops because Red Bulls were just a little bit quicker.

  3. Is it bad that I read the headline as: “Alonso says he needs Vettel’s retirement to win title” ?

    1. Nope, did the exact same thing!

    2. Haha, classic.

    3. No way he’s gonna retired in the age of
      Sorry for Teflonso.

      1. He meant retirement in terms of DNF, not career

    4. Same for me. And he might be right about it too!

  4. Sorry, but he’s not WISHING Vettel to retire. He only says that his package cannot win against RBR package and he can win only IF Vettel retires. It’s quite a big difference… Kindly read correctly!! :)

  5. A realistic assessment from Alonso.

  6. Carlos Furtado das Neves
    8th September 2013, 19:48

    Vettel = 6 wins
    the others = 6 wins…
    and Vettel DNF in Silverstone from leading and only 11 laps to go…
    I believe in miracles, but it´s not an easy task for Ferrari even with a couple of them.

  7. Very poor sportmanship.

    1. @celeste
      In no way did he say “I want Vettel to crash out on the first lap at Singapore”.

      He said that his only realistic chance of winning is if Vettel has a lot of bad luck.
      And that’s the truth. There’s no “poor sportsmanship” about it.

      1. If I said I hope, or that I need to get a raise is because I want to get raiseBut seem like Alonso can´t said whatever he want… even insult his own team…

        1. How is this related?

          “I want Vettel to get bad luck, so I can win.” =/= “Vettel needs back luck for me to win”
          The former has no factual basis, it’s just a case of “I want”.
          The latter is an observation based on fact or realism.

          1. He is hoping it´s the same principle…

          2. celeste get a grip dude

        2. Your own example works against you.

          If I say ‘I need to get a raise to be able to buy this car’, it means exactly the same as ‘But for a raise I won’t be able to buy this car’.

          That’s a neutral assessment, not a wish.

      2. Alonso has no chances of winning this championship unless Vettel fails to finish a few races… That’s the truth(Vettel has been massively impressive this season and Redbull now looks like to have a very strong car in all kinds of tracks) ….

        He was asked a question and he gave an answer which sounds to me more like an honest assessment of the situation.. I am actually happy that he is nt sugar coating what he is saying.. I guess there are a lot of Alonso haters just like there are a lot of Vettel haters and both in my opinion are equally wrong..

    2. @celeste
      Where were you last year when Chris Horner & Helmut Marko behaved worse than this (Alonso has made a realistic assessment in which he recognize Vettel/Red Bull strength) when they were saying that Alonso’s luck will run out and he will retire so Vettel will caught him.
      As always double standard when it comes to Alonso/Ferrari

      1. @tifoso1989 let´s talk when you find the interview and/ or radio message where Vettel, or any other driver, called his team like Alonso did, or wished for his oppenent for retire…

      2. PD. @tifoso1989 Don´t blame Vettel for Marko´s Horner´s sins… because then let´s talk about how Alonso´s team principal/ old manager Flavio Briatore did back in Sigapore 2009, and how much blame Alonso have in that

        1. Sorry, 2008

        2. @celeste
          You have missed completely the point, i was referring to the fact that you mentioned Alonso’s comment as “poor sportsmanship” and you didn’t mentioned the real “poor sportsmanship” of Marko and Horner
          What on earth Vettel has to do with this ?????????????? can you explain ???

          let´s talk when you find the interview and/ or radio message where Vettel, or any other driver, called his team like Alonso did

          I don’t want to enter this silly debate because you clearly want to make Vettel look like an angel and Alonso like a devil but i can ensure to you that during my time watching F1 i have heard many poor sportsmanship radio messages , remember Vettel in 2013 Malaysian Gp when Mark was leading “Mark is too slow get him out of the way !!!!” that’s fair play !!!

          1. @tifoso1989 not, is not silly, Alonso is the one driving the car, and even when is a team sport, he is the sportman . I don´t want RONALDO or MESSI wishing for each other to break a leg or have the flue so they can´t play a match. I spect at least the same for all the drivers, and will criticize Sebastian, Button, Massa and IS ALWAYS ALONSO MAKING THIS KIND OF MESSAGE.

            Is not the same saying Mark is slow, because Alonso did the same back in Germany 2010, before the “Alonso is faster than you” or you don´t remember?

            But I have never heard Sebastian calling Rocky like Alonso did to Andrea, nor did Massa to Rob, or any other driver… Alonso is a great driver but these actions are not good at least by my standard, if you want to respect him thats your call. For me saying this and what he said in the video posted by Omar below, wich is even worst, are poor sportmanship.

            And just to made it clear, Vettel is by no means an angel,and I don´t spect him to be

        3. Bottom point celeste is that you misread the statement. period. noone is wishing anything to anyone… and even if he wished it, big deal… every driver on the grid hopes that first his team mate doesn’t finish the race, second that his direct competitors finish behind him or have a tech failure. furthermore, every supporter of every race driver, when a championship is right at the finish line, hopes that the other guy has a problem… human nature, nothing else.

          1. @nuvolari71 yes he is… he did last race to the spanish media… se video below…

        4. Interestingly Flavio was spotted in the Ferrari Garage this weekend. Lots of speculations but on a lighter side is he called in to provide some strategies that he provided in 2008 in Singapore for Alonso ? LOL…

          But on a serious note. I don’t think there was anything wrong with Alonso’s assessment he is just saying the truth. All he is saying is that title is out of reach for him now and that unless some misfortune happens it isn’t a realistic to think of title.

          1. @tmax at the start of the race I was specting poor Massa to be used as a kamikaze samurai

          2. @celeste I understand that Ferrari is the greatest team in F1 with their legacy and history. I understand it is every driver’s dream to drive the prancing horses. But that at the price of basic self respect … not IMHO. I believe it is better for Massa to drive a Sauber and treated with self respect, than driving a Ferrari and treated like a door mat. Just because they have given him a seat Ferrari believes he should be ready to do whatever they throw at him. If he is treated like this publicaly, I cant dare to imagine how he is being treated inside the factory…

          3. @tmax Maybe Massa can go back to Sauber, :).

            I agree the way thry threat him sometimes is ust too much

          4. @celeste It looks increasingly that way.

            Kimi Moves from Lotus to Ferrari
            Massa Moves from Ferrari to Sauber
            Hulkenburg Moves from Sauber to Lotus

            A little bit of Merry Go Round !!!!

    3. Way out off line.

    4. I’m not an Alonso fan but to say this is poor sportsmanship is rubbish – he explains the situation like many think it is – Vettel is way too strong this year and without DNFs has it in the bag. He’s talking about technical defects and not crashes.
      And now I need to take a shower – I feel dirty for defending ALO.

      1. I think this getting a bit blown out of proportion. Firstly, he was just responding to question asked, and it was very much framed with DNFs for Seb in mind.

        Whatever the case, 53 points is a bridge too far. Thats more than 2 race wins. I dont care who wins (ok Alonso preferably), but I just want it to go down to the last race.

      2. Agree, we had the same questions put to Alonso during the last GP and the answers were the same. As things currently stand there really isn’t any other hope for Alonso apart of a couple DNF for Vettel.

        1. @celeste I’m glad I don’t view F1 through your eyes.

          FA is being realistic and says he/they need some luck and SV to have bad luck and you read into that that FA is ‘hoping’ for SV to DNF and ‘wishing’ for it. I’m sure FA as a proven WDC would rather drive his way past SV and win races and the Championship that way, but the package just doesn’t seem to be there for them this year. But surely you get that proven WDC FA knows that hoping and wishing is futile which is why he isn’t saying he ‘hopes for’ or ‘wishes for’ DNF’s from SV. You are deciding to read that into his comments all on your own.

          Your expectation/suspicion of FM being used as a ‘kamakaze samarai’ is equally sad when it comes to your view of F1.

          1. @robbie Likewise and I´m not suspiction the way Massa is used by Ferrari is the only thing missing.

            And as I have said to the spanish media is was clear was Alonso was wishing for. So let´s be glad we are not each other and give this subject a rest

          2. @celeste You don’t get to decide for me when this subject should be given a rest. If you are saying the only thing left for Ferrari to do with FM is to have him crash into someone, then all I can do is repeat that I am glad I don’t view F1 through your eyes.

            And again, the quote from FA seems to be about what the team ‘needs’ realistically if they are to surpass SV in the standings…as in, some bad luck on SV’s part, or even for someone to crash into him (no doubt he means accidentally) at the start (perhaps he’s saying that because he doesn’t expect SV’s car to have a problem). I still don’t see where he is saying he is hoping and wishing for these things. You are.

          3. @robbie well it wouldn´t the gfirst time someone crash “accidentally” in the benefit of Fernando, would be?

            And as long as you don´t see the interview below, or you speak and understand spanish we can´t continue to argue with out getting anyway… so good afternoon…

        2. @celeste

          well it wouldn´t the gfirst time someone crash “accidentally” in the benefit of Fernando, would be?

          So therefore that makes it right? And automatically means FA wishes and hopes for it?

          And as long as you don´t see the interview below, or you speak and understand spanish we can´t continue to argue with out getting anyway… so good afternoon…

          You are the one who below these posts uses the word ‘need’ as part of your interpretation of FA’s Spanish interview and OmarR-Pepper seems to concur with you. So the words ‘wish’ and ‘hope’ don’t seem to come into it according to you and he.

          1. So therefore that makes it right? And automatically means FA wishes and hopes for it?

            I was talking about Nelson Piquet Jr.

          2. Yes I know. And now you think FA thinks it would be ok for FM to do the same for him if he is to beat SV this year.

          3. @robbie well it wouldn´t be out of Alonso is character

          4. @celeste

            ” Well it wouldn’t be out of Alonso’s character”

            I wonder how would you feel if people were to comment on your character without actually knowing you… I find it really hard to digest when people start attacking the character of someone without ever knowing them personally.. I took the liberty to assume that you don’t know FA personally.. well ,if you do i will take my comments back…

          5. @puneethvb The difference is I´m not a public figure… and a look at all the controversies Alonso has been involve speak volumes

          6. @celeste – Unless you have proof of Alonso’s complicity, which I seriously doubt, then yes you are unjustly attacking someone without reason.

          7. @celeste

            All I am saying is whether public figure or not without knowing someone attacking their character is plain wrong at least in my humble opinion…

            BTW You don’t have to give me the link to a wiki page on Alonso.. I have read it many times and I suggest you read it more carefully (most of the controversies listed there bar the ones in 2007 season are actually nothing significant) and the regarding crashgate , no evidence was found against Alonso…

          8. @puneethvb They also never found evidence of mafia activities againts Alcapone.

            In the case of public figure they are out there in front of us so we see their actions. As such we made judgement of them. We do the same with politician.

          9. @raceprouk Not, attacking is violent. An since I´m not prosecuting I really not need evidence. As I said they never find proof againts Alcapone, still everybody knows what he did.

            Is called “guilty/ not guilty” in the eyes of the public. As is based in what the public (everyone) made his own judgement and has an opinion.

            But since it is a matter of opinon is common to disagree

          10. @celeste – ‘Attacking’ does not imply violence. For instance, to attack an apex is, by definition, a non-violent act.
            As for Capone, there was plenty enough evidence, but not enough to secure a conviction. That’s a world away from the zero evidence you claim’.

            To be honest, the fact you’re comparing an F1 driver to a violent mobster is enough to make your argument worth nothing whatsoever. The fact that you continue to maintain this ‘evil Alonso’ idea with nothing but circumstance to back it up makes it doubly so.

    5. @celeste I’m with you – he really didn’t need to say anything at all. If he was asked the question, he could simply return (as Vettel always does) with “I’m focused on my own performance and maximising the results”.

        1. @celeste

          That’s funny comparing Alonso and Alcapone… I am waiting for the day you say Sebastien Vettel is the next Jesus Christ.. :)

          On a more serious note I think we have to agree to disagree here ..

  8. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
    8th September 2013, 19:52

    That’s a very realistic statement. RBR has been in a class of its own this year.

  9. I don’t think Alonso is being unfair, he’s being realistic. He’s not wishing it upon him, he’s just saying that it is what really needs to happen.

  10. He’s right. And don’t forget that after commencing the second half of the season with four genuine contenders and two track ahead, which were theoretically poor for Red Bull, now Alonso is the only man remaining in the title hunt against Vettel (again) realistically. Two poor races for Hamilton and particulary for Raikkonen dropped them out of contention swiftly. Only Alonso hinges on somehow.

    And btw, it’s not poor sportsmanship. Refer to @nuvolari71.

  11. Didn’t Domenicalli say just before the weekend that if they didn’t win at Monza, the focus would shift to 2014?
    So surely, it makes perfect sense to abandon the further development of this year’s car, move on to next year’s and rely on your rival’s retirements in your attempt to win this year’s championship. Makes perfect sense to me. Agree with @Atticus, @PhilEReid and others.

    1. Spanish media quoted him giving Monza and Singapore as the deadline

  12. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    8th September 2013, 20:32

    “Also there are more teams in the battle,” Alonso added, “there is not only Red Bull who can be on pole position.”

    First Post: That, exactly, makes for Alonso harder to catch up Vettel, because if Vettel didn’t have a perfect weekend last year, there you had Alonso or Hamilton, and sometimes Button, to grab it for him. But if this year Vettel doesn’t have a perfect weekend, you have Alonso and Hamilton again, and Raikkonen, and probably Grosjean, and even Rosberg. And let’s not forget Webber who can save the day in the possible scenario of Vettel having a DNF
    I’ll put a second post, just let me find the link where Alonso literally wishes bad luck to Vettel. (video posted some days ago thanks to @celeste )

  13. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    8th September 2013, 20:36

    Alonso (in Spanish)

    and a report about the same in English

    Take your own conclussions (sorry Alonso fans, but your guy is saying “so honest” things lately (like that “ma siete sciemi” thing)

    1. The part start at 1:40, he said and @omarr-pepper can see if I´m translating in the correct way:

      “We need that at the star of the race someone crash in to him (Vettel)”

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        8th September 2013, 20:47

        “We need that at the star start of the race someone crash in to him (Vettel)”
        a typo @celeste :P , but yes, that is what he says, and anybody can get a Spanish-speaking friend to see we aren’t lying :P

        1. @omarr-pepper Yeah my computer likes to erase letters… don´t know why…

          1. Yes, you are both supporting the reality that FA is consistantly stating. He isn’t wishing or hoping for bad luck on SV’s part, he is saying that’s what he and Ferrari would ‘need’ in order to surpass SV in the standings at his point in the season.

            There’s a big difference between FA’s realistic statement, and the words you are erroneously putting in his mouth that he is ‘hoping’ and ‘wishing’ for these things.

            Ultimately FA knows he and Ferrari can never control the actions of others, and therefore their first and foremost approach in F1 will always be that it is up to themselves to do the better job over the season and win the Championships that way, not by expecting to win through the attrition of others.

  14. Vettel needs Alonso’s DNF(s) to get forth title four races before the season ends. It goes both ways ;)

  15. Unless God comes down from heaven and announces that he never really liked Red Bull that much and will see to it that they don’t score again this year, then I don’t think anyone has a chance of beating Vettel.

    1. Far too pessimistic :-).
      For instance, how about alien abduction, it happens to other people, why not Vettel? About four missed GP’s for him should make the last one very interesting.

  16. I’m certainly no fan of Alonso but I can’t understand why people want to make an issue out of this .

    When there is a penalty in football or rugby for the opposing team I hope they miss.
    In cricket I hope the opposing batsman plays a poor shot .

    Alonso will certainly be hoping the red bull hit reliability issue as he wants to win the title . Its not like him hoping or me hoping for them to happen makes it happen .

    For me bad sportsmanship is more like diving at football (cheating in essence)

    1. 100% with you

    2. Yeah I agree. Or booing when someone you don’t like/support wins.

    3. Except motor racing is life or death and putting it out there that you need a competitor to suffer a potentially lethal mechanical failure or to put the car in a wall is really classless.

      1. Vergne must have been absolutely terrified when he coasted to a halt after an engine failure. he might have got a stone in his shoe while walking back to the paddock.

        Not all failures are dangerous.

      2. You should tell that Newey in the first place because he puts his drivers in danger trying to exploit car as hard as possible.

  17. Its over, Vettel is capable of winning every single Grand Prix from here on in.

    What an absolutely dreadful season.


    1. thank FIA for bulking under pressure.

      At least ferrari can still race. Force india have lost a fortune due to lost points.

  18. Personally, I see Alonso’s comment as high praise to Vettel. I don’t see it as being disrespectful at all. What higher compliment can one sportsman make of another other than to say “I can’t possibly win while you are playing so well”, or “The only way I can beat this guy is if he does not finish the race”. Totally complimentary IMO.

  19. mark of a true samurai :/

  20. I am not an Alonso fan by any stretch of imagination and after Kimi, Seb and two Nicos are my favourite drivers. But I think Alonso was stating an obvious fact and if it sounded a little bit “ill-wishing” I would put it down to him speaking in a foreign language which is obvious he doesn’t master. None of us could read his mind, but I think as a race-driver to another, he doesn’t even wishes Seb to have a bad crash or something (most drivers are superstitious about this stuff), but I don’t think he wouldn’t pray for 1-2 engine/gearbox problem.
    Whether he would be able to capitalise, should such events happen is another matter though…

  21. I think Alonso has just stated the obvious. Nothing suggests that Ferrari will have the best car for the rest of the season. And even if Alonso wins all the remaining races and Vettel finishes 2nd, Alonso still won’t be champion. Moreover, Vettel and Red Bull have always been strong at the upcoming venues. Vettel actually won four races in a row after the Italian GP in 2012. So there is every reason to be pessimistic about Alonso’s title hopes. Even if Vettel doesn’t finish two races for whatever reason, it will still be a long shot.

  22. Too many people have assumed that because Alonso has said he needs this to happen he wants it to happen. They’re not the same thing: the former is a realistic view of the championship situation, the latter would be rather unsporting. I’m sure when it comes to a question of what Alonso wants his preference would be to win the title by regularly beating Vettel, not lucking into it through Red Bull unreliability.

    1. +1 … well said @keithcollantine

      I feel the same too. I am so surprised that such a Realistic Assessment has been taken as a Negative comment. Big Difference between Reality and Ill-Will.

  23. What Alonso is trying to imply here is, only misfortune can stop Vettel from winning. Apart from that, no one can go close to him.

    Vettel fan here, but we all have to learn to read in between the lines?

  24. Singapore is a completely different track to Monza and Spa. Mercedes was dominant in Hungary, Lotus fastest in Germany, Mercedes fastest at Silverstone.

  25. Just a statement of the painfully obvious from Alonso. He’s made some borderline remarks in the past about how it would be helpful if somebody would “run over” Vettel, but I don’t see how he can be faulted here. Barring a number of DNF’s for Vettel (it would probably take three in the last seven GP’s) this season is done.

  26. before monza i figured that if ALO and VET finish 1-2 (in that order) for every race till Interlagos (inclusive), ALO would nick the title. Now it has to be five 1-2s and two 1-3s… a tall order.

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