Alonso admits frustration at elusive third title

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says he feels it “will be a shame” if he finishes his Formula 1 career with only two world championships to his name.


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Fernando Alonso on frustration at Ferrari, Vettel and the future (BBC)

Alonso: "When one day [Vettel] has a car like the others and he is fourth, fifth, seventh, these four titles will be bad news for him because people will take these four titles even in a worse manner than they are doing now."

Nico Hulkenberg discusses his future and where he could be in 2014 (Sky)

Hulkenberg: "I have proved enough on the circuit that I deserve a chance of being here and to be fighting for wins hopefully one day. I love my job, I love Formula 1, obviously I want to be in Formula 1 in the future and I think there is a very realistic and good chance that I will be."

Mark Webber’s final F1 interview (BBC)

"Mark Webber says it is fitting for him to finish his Formula 1 career on the podium alongside Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, describing them as the “best drivers of the generation"

Maldonado’s Future To Be Clear Soon, Says Manager Todt (Speed)

Nicolas Todt: "We are very confident that we will make the right choice. Obviously it’s always nice to know your future before the end of the season. That’s not the case, but I’m sure a decision will be taken very soon."

Ross Brawn still coy on his Formula 1 future (Sky)

Ross Brawn: "Let’s see, we will advise people in good time. It’s a pretty exciting year next year so let’s see what happens."

Christian Horner Q&A: What we’ve achieved is remarkable (F1)

Horner: "Well, it is the quality of opposition that makes it so rewarding, and yes, what we’ve achieved is in the history books now. If Red Bull Racing doesn’t do anything else, what we’ve achieved is quite remarkable."

Honda’s F1 engine revealed (Racecar Engineering)

"Honda has revealed intimate details of its RA806E 2.4 litre V8 F1 engine to a group of publications including Racecar Engineering. The engine you see pictured here is V023 which finished 3rd in the 2008 British Grand Prix."

Nico Rosberg: 2nd in constructor???s and 5th place at Brazil 2013 (Nico Rosberg via YouTube)

Lewis Hamilton Does the School Run (Allianz via YouTube)


Comment of the day

With the curtain having closed on Mark Webber’s Formula 1 career yesterday, Fer no.65 reflects on a very personal sporting loss.

For me it’s been a very emotional weekend. I enjoyed this race, but it was more than just the season finale. It was the end of an era for me, personally, a driver I’ve supported since 2007/2008, during my final stages of secondary school and all my university stint (which is still going). It brings back all the memories you have of that period, those long lasting seasons, full of joy and dissapointment aswell. Specially 2010.

It’s fantastic how much your passion turns your mood on and off, and everytime Mark did well, it was all about mondays reading all the articles about it on the newspaper, reading it all, from the press conferences to the team’s press releases. Every timetable, your eyes switch right away to your driver: "Mark Webber". And now that’s gone. One doesn’t expect it to last forever, but it’ll be super weird for a while.

I know he wasn’t the best driver on planet, but it’s something you can’t explain. It ends on high, tho, and that’s good. Thank you so so much, Mark ! You were part of the reason why I woke up early every sunday for the race.
Fer no.65

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On this day in F1

Sebastian Vettel won the drivers’ championship for the third year in a row after a thrilling Brazilian Grand Prix on this day last year.

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98 comments on “Alonso admits frustration at elusive third title”

  1. On the topic of the exploding of the V8s, has there surfaced a video of that happening, yet?

    I’ll be nice to see them go out with a bang!
    (Pun so very much intended)

    1. There’s some pretty good footage of Romain Grosjean’s engine… HD even.

      1. And you can very clearly see the Coanda effect with all the smoke.
        Anyway it’s great that Honda and Cosworth are revealing pretty much all the details of their engines, let’s hope others follow suit like Toyota and BMW if they haven’t already.

    2. I saw one tweet from a Journo who mentioned that they couldn’t publish images of it due to rights reasons – i.e. no filming allowed at races by professionals apart from that sanctioned by FOM.

    3. Not exploding (yet?) – apart from Grosjeans that is – but here is a short video from Caterham – thanks @andae23 who posted this to twitter :-)

  2. How many drivers does Nicolas Todt actually manage?

    1. @infinitygc According to All Road Management’s website: Massa, Bianchi, Maldonado, James Colado and Charles Leclerc.

  3. I have to say I had a lump in my throat watching that Webber interview. He’s never been my favourite driver, but he’s a big personality in the paddock, always willing to speak out against the crowd on the way F1 is run.

    He’s also the only Red Bull driver with a distinctive helmet, so that’s going to get confusing next season.

  4. I hope Ferrari has a strong showing next year, but the team is far too tautological in how it thinks of itself. It was able to dominate for five years but before that it didn’t do anything for twenty. Williams used to dominate and lately they stink. McLaren was crap this year. Ferrari has a large budget, but high expectations won’t get them anywhere when there was is an undercurrent of destiny bringing them back to the top when it is more often the upstarts with something to prove who know they have to innovate to succeed. Nothing is fating any team to be good because they have been around a long time and had some success in the past. They sound, call it, culturally complacent in every interview when it gets to the team.

    1. Ferrari must build a good car in 2014 so they can stick to its fundamentals in the years to come just like Red Bull did with current generation of cars. Otherwise, they will need to go back to redesign it with a new philosophy after one year and play catch up again.

      IMHO, Red Bull has triumphed not only because they usually start well but mostly due to their superior effectiveness in developing their package and this capacity is strictly connected to their good understanding of the car. If your present car is a evolution of your previous car you’re knowledge of the package will certainly be bigger than your understanding of a new car, that makes the development process more effective because you can more easily identify what went wrong and what is working.

      However, if they fail in 2014 they still can win the year after it but I bet it will be more difficult.

  5. Wow, thanks for the COTD :)

    1. @fer-no65 I totally understand. It’s going to take a while to get used to his absence!

    2. he Aussie Grit was a good chap, too bad the last part of 2010 didn’t go well.

      I’ll miss his presence next year, let’s hope young Dan gives Seb a hard time and makes Australia proud.

    3. I know how you feel. Webber is the third of my guys to go after Damon Hill and David Coulthard. Though in the case of Webber, at least he was able to have good next day headlines up until the day he quit!

    4. @fer-no65 Great COTD. I’m right there with you. As a Webber fanatic, I feel such a sense of loss that he’s left F1. Fair play to him and I’m excited for his future, but it’ll never be the same. The history books may tell a different story but he’ll always be a champion to me.

      1. I too can totally relate. 3 drivers in my time of following F1 have held me literally on the edge of my seat, butterflies in my stomach at the start of the races. Gilles, Ayrton, Jacques.

  6. Keith I think the quote from Alonso is misleading.
    Here is what he said:

    “He is 26 years old, so when he will have a car like the others, if he wins, he will have a great recognition and be one of the legends in F1. When one day he has a car like the others and he is fourth, fifth, seventh, these four titles will be bad news for him because people will take these four titles even in a worse manner than they are doing now.”

    1. Alonso is saying winning is bad for Vettel. And then sees the future and reads people’s minds (from both present and future).
      Has Ferrari already bought an asylum?

      1. @crr917 not, they got the TARDIS ;)

        1. @celeste A police box in the back yard of the asylum as part of the therapy? :)

      2. Alonso’s Interviews are really irritating nowadays. In his desperation to win he plays these cheap games of words. He conveniently forgot that in 2010 he could not a champion because he could not overtake Petrov in the last race when it mattered. He believes that nobody deserves to be a world champ except him. He believes that others are winning WDC by accident.

        Once my most fav driver his impression has been in steady decline starting from the spat with Hamilton to Spygate to Crashgate et all. Yeah he is a very talented driver . but not the only talented driver ever.

        1. He couldn’t overtake Petrov because Alonso had a relatively short top gear compared to Petrov and the only overtaking opportunity was down that long straight, no other reason!

          1. @asanator I know! Alonso’s car only has an influence when he has bad performances, because when he has good ones is all due to his sheer driving alone, right? ;P

    2. Thanks @francorchamps17, it makes far more sense without the editing, it also is a lot less contentious.

      1. @hohum, only very slightly, I hope your not serious.

    3. Its called jornalism in these parts of the world. Alot of ink until then.

    4. Either way it’s a very confusing quote. I have no way what he’s saying.

      1. He seems to be saying that we can’t determine whether Vettel is really an all-time great until we see him in a car that’s not streets ahead of the opposition.

        1. @red-andy didn’t we see him in a Toro Rosso already?

          1. @hunocsi he’s been in a rocketship for 90% of his f1 races?

    5. Either way it looks like the frustration and bitterness is talking out of him. Would have been better if he didn’t say anything at all.

      1. That would of been a fun interview.

        He was asked a question and gave an honest answer. Also an answer many will agree with.

        1. Oh please, not that interview argument stuff again… He wasn’t asked about his opinion on the Red Bull RB6-9. He was asked a stupid question (obviously aimed at a controversial answer) and totally went into his ridicolous mind-trick mode again.

      2. “Either way it looks like the frustration and bitterness is talking out of him.”

        Or that is what you would like to believe it is.
        Logically there is nothing for him to be bitter about results-wise, given the limitations of the package he has been given, compared to that of the other top drivers. ALO has once again beaten one Redbull, both Mercs and both Lotuses – all of which are packages that have been ahead speedwise throughout the season.

    6. When he will have a car like the others…

      Imagine Red Bull Racing with two drivers like Webber. Most likely they would be among the front runners, but many people would think that their car was on par with Ferrari or Mercedes: “a car like the others”. Vettel already is “one of the legends in F1” and his four titles won’t be “bad news for him”.

      How will you tell, exactly, that Vettel’s car is “like the others”? Because to me it seems, that as long as he keeps winning, people will keep saying that he has superior machinery. And as soon as he stops winning, which will happen at some point, people will say that he can’t win in a “normal car”.

      1. Thing is, we will never know @maroonjack, because its well possible that Newey would have either developped a car that perfectly suited Webbers driving style, or (possibly more likely) would have looked for a driver that could better utilize the specifics of his cars.

        Sure enough without Vettel, its possible that Webber would have had an even better year in 2009 and in 2010 as well. But we will never know.

      2. @maroonjack

        Vettel is a smart guy, he knows his car is better but he just comes short of openly admit it, however, if you recall the last few races he usually tells his team “I love you. Live this moment. Save these days in your memories” almost like saying “it will not be roses forever folks”.

      3. @maroonjack time will put everyone in their place but vettel will still have at least 4 wdc

        1. +1, nobody can take his 4 titles away, which is still 2 more than Alonso …

      4. Sorry, but you’re off when it comes to REAL stuff. Imagine Ferrari with 2xMassa ! There’s a big gap between Massa and Webber in 2013. So, the result is the same: RBR is obviously the top car, and by far. It’s like the Ferrari of 2002 and 2004 ! I think some people just don’t realise how big a gap of ~0.7s is in F1 between P1 and P2 in Quali, for ex. Sometimes it was even bigger. I really don’t remember seeing such big gaps in the past. When a driver improved the provisional pole time by 0,4s… it seemed so much. In 2013, seeing Vettel improving by 1s in just 2 laps was the norm.

        Anyway, Webber (overall/mostly – whatever you like) was/is just a 2nd tier driver !!! So, he doesn’t count in the “what’s the best car ?” debate. In this debate only NO.1 drivers matter. Webber was just a no.2, like Massa, just that RBR did not recognized it officially. Yesterday, when rain was about to fall, Horner seemed worried about Vettel, not Webber. Go figure…..

      5. @corrado-dub @bascb My point wasn’t to bash Webber. Focus on the latter part of my post. Mainly: Vettel already is among the greatest drivers in history, but people will belittle his achievements whether he continues his winning ways, or whether he drops back. If Seb continues to win, his critics will say: “he has the best car”. If he drops back, they’ll say: “he can’t win without a great car”. Unfortunately Alonso’s comment contributes to this kind of thinking. I don’t think it’s constructive and I don’t think it’s fair.

        1. I think its just the kind of thing Alonso does really – mindgames @maroonjack.

          As for Vettel being amongst the greatest drivers in history – he might well be. On the other hand, he has perfected one thing in getting extraordinary performance out of a Newey car, but when he gets a bad newey car, or a different car, we can see how he adapts to a different situation. If he does so, that will make him check another couple of boxes in an imaginary checklist for greatness. Because now, he is in a sense a one trick pony, be it he is really special at it (that counter intuitive driving to make the car do wonders out of the corners).

          Arguably it was what Webber failed to manage as well as Vettel – adapt to the exhaust blowing, and where Vettel had him solidly beaten (and where Newey had the other designers beaten in the last couple of seasons).

        2. Yes, I understood you perfectly. Your last post confirms this. My response was about Vettel. He had the best car on the grid, quite by far, and the result is => records broken ! I don’t know, but the way you (and others) expose the situation, some might understand VET drove a car which wasn’t better than Mercedes/Lotus, and all these records broken are mainly down to his skills. Reality is he is a better driver than Webber, so better results were expected anyway indeed, but the car/team performance is the main factor behind his success. So, I’m not bashing VET, but today the competition is so stiff that the driver is not the most important part anymore.
          In my opinion, what ALO was trying to say about VET success, is that VET so far won almost entirely in superior machinery… and that’s not the greatest victory. He wanted to see VET racing someone of his level and in equal machinery too, something like the battle between him and MS in 2006, the battle between Massa and HAM.

          1. @corrado-dub
            Every championship and every record in F1 history was set with a great car. That’s the nature of the sport. But in modern F1 many rules are locked and the cars are technically closer to each other than they ever were. This makes the driver more important, not less. We know that Red Bull had a superior car only because of their driver.

            You acknowledge there was a huge gap between Mark and Seb, and in the same breath you say that the driver is not that important? Don’t you see the obvious contradiction there? And as for Vettel needing to prove himself in a lesser car: remember 2008?

            He’s a four time world champion. He’s not my favorite driver. Not by a long shot, but to me he doesn’t need to prove anything anymore.

        3. @maroonjack, and all the outraged Vettel fans, if you read the full quote provided by @francorchamps17, you will see that all Alonso does is provide both sides of this argument that has been running for 4 years now and observes that one day this argument will be resolved.

          Are any of you so cyclopian that you are sure that Vettel would still be a 4 X WDC if he had been driving a Ferarri and Alonso had been driving a Red Bull ?

          1. @hohum
            First of all, I’m not outraged at all. In fact I’m slightly amused :)

            Second of all, I’ve seen the whole quote. My first response in this thread was to his post. Maybe you should have checked that before posting. Both sides of Alonso’s comment are condescending and wrong. In the first part he says:

            when he will have a car like the others, if he wins, he will have a great recognition

            Wrong, he already has a great recognition, has achieved more than any other driver on the grid and some of his records will stand for many years. Later he says:

            when one day he has a car like the others and he is fourth, fifth, seventh, these four titles will be bad news for him

            Wrong again. Even if he has a dog of a car and finishes 4th and lower, like Alonso did for the most part of 2008, his four titles will still be there. They won’t be “bad news” in the slightest.

            Third of all, I’m not a Vettel fan, but he matured a lot over the years. I just don’t like when a double world champion belittles the success of his rival. Especially the rival who achieved more in a shorter time span.

            Finally, if you’re here to strawman people and call them “outraged cyclopians”, I think you’re probably at the wrong website.

            Have a wonderful day ;)

          2. @maroonjack, sorry, I didn’t mean to lump you in with all the outraged Vettel fans, I just wanted to include them in what I believe should be a reasonable discussion not an Alonso hatemail.

    7. Yes, the editing is indeed misleading, mostly because it implies Alonso did mean “when” when in reality, in light of the full parapgraph, he rather meant “if” – it sounds a lot less arrogant and bitter this way.

      Obviously, he surely has some work to do with his English still, but still…

      1. Well, he is saying that Vettel wins just for the car and that the 4 WDC are taking bad by people.

        I don’t know how this is less arrogant and bitter

        1. It’s sort of true, but it’s a truism in F1 universally. There’s a weird notion that the greats all win in cars which are otherwise miles off the pace. So when the time inevitably comes when Vettel is in a less competitive car, those who criticise him now will point to his lack of success and say that it means that Vettel only won because of the car. But that’s true. Alonso only won his titles because of the car. Same with Hamilton. Same with Button, and Raikkonen, and so on. Where are the titles being won by Alonso and Hamilton now they’re in uncompetitive cars? The answer of course is that they can’t win championships in bad cars. Nor can Vettel. Nor could Senna or Schumacher or Fangio, or Rosberg, or Jim Clark, or any of the greats from history. All had to be in a good car in order to let their talents flourish. That is simply the nature of F1.

          1. Schumacher won the first couple of world titles in a car that wasn’t as good as the Newey-designed Williams and never drove a car designed by him that’s why IMHO he’s still the greatest.

          2. Exactly right, @mazdachris The stats are overwhelming that the WDC winner needs the WCC car to do it. And then I find the discussion becomes about how much weight we put toward the driver’s input in developing the car, which I think is somewhat valid, or surrounding a team around himself, which I think is a vague notion, since drivers don’t hire staff that I am aware of, and they know why they are on the team as soon as they are hired and don’t need to be told their job is to help a driver try to win.

          3. To Bio…So the fact that MS’s 94 car was rife with illegalities and he needed to whack Hill for “victory” means nothing and it is just about whether or not he was in a Newey car? Wow, I find that amazing, and I also think you have asserted that in truth and in your opinion it is Newey who is greater than any driver.

          4. @ robbie, Illegal my ****, it’s like saying that today’s Red Bull is illegal. When the new kid (Schumi back then, Vettel now) spoil the party the losers will tell you everything to undermine the new status-quo. Fact is that he was disqualified twice after the British GP (not so strange given the fact that he was competing against a British driver) and again after his victory in Spa which caused the two races ban just to make the Championship interesting otherwise he’d have dominated that year and yes, in terms of competitive edge Newey is the greatest figure F1 has ever seen.

          5. +1.

            But what ALO was saying, in my opinion, is that VET benefited from superior machinery, and the competition had almost no chance to stop him. Also, mechanical problems weren’t something VET competition relied on either, as cars today are very reliable. So, Alonso expects VET to beat every body in a car like Mercedes/Lotus/Ferrari.

    8. @francorchamps17 @hohum @magillagorilla @peartree @atticus-2 The quote in the round-up is taken directly from the article (see paragraph 15), and has not been edited other than to substitute “he” with “Vettel” for clarity.

      1. I wonder if what FA is alluding to is a reflection of what has happened with him…he has 2 WDC’s in WCC cars and hasn’t won one in a while and some have suggested it is because he has passed his prime and ‘will never’ win another WDC as a result. And for those who agree with that they will not be convinced that it is just the car. They will be convinced the driver is the problem. And perhaps that effect is stronger when it is Newey cars that one has had. SV has had the luxury of great cars and can’t be faulted for that, and nobody is trying to take away his 4 WDCs, but the drivers are inevitably going to ponder that they themselves could have won too if only they had won the Newey-designed-car lottery.

      2. @bio It’s one thing to admire a driver, but to defend him to the point of claiming completely ridiculous things while ignoring well known and documented facts about illegalities and infractions that went at MS/Ben/94 tells me to not even bother going there with you on this, which rather strays from the topic anyway.

  7. Excellent COTD. There is a lot to look forward to next year, but it’s a shame that Mark will not be a part of it.

    He wasn’t the best driver on the grid, but he has a strong fanbase which can’t be said for every driver. There’s more to gaining fans than outright talent, otherwise we’d all support the big 4 of Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton and Raikonnen, and this year we’d all be Vettel fans. Having a personality to relate to is key and so is having some special moments.

    Jenson Button was the driver that got me into F1 for these reasons, I liked his personality and even though he hasn’t set the world on fire for a while, I still clearly remember his championship victory when only a few months before he would have left F1 altogether, his first win for McLaren in 2010 and his 3 wins in 2011 in particular. Perhaps they are more memorable because they are rarer and feel more special?

    It’s a shame that a driver like Mark has to leave the sport, but he leaves his memories with us

    1. Maybe not the best but very close in ability to the best, surely would have been a world champion had Seb been born 1 year later than he was.
      In his last race Mark was beaten only by a quadruple world champion, and still Mark set fastest lap of race, not bad for a number 2 driver.

      1. surely would have been a world champion had Seb been born 1 year later than he was.

        Would he? In all these years in a dominant RBR he didn’t manage a single second place in WDC. In fact, if Vettel wasn’t around, it is more likely that Alonso would’ve claimed 3 of the 4 last years’ titles, and Button one.

        1. You are not allowing for the winners bonus 7 points Webber would have gained for every race he would have won had Seb not been there to take them from him.

  8. I like these CotD. I so understand that curious attachment to a driver; how you project your thoughts and wishes to a certain person you’ve likely never even met, but still it just is what you do.

    Jimmy Clark was that guy for me.

    It just hit me – Mark leaving is a void. But not quite what happened to Our Jim.

    Be safe Mark.

    1. @kcrossle

      Jimmy Clark was that guy for me.

      It just hit me – Mark leaving is a void. But not quite what happened to Our Jim.

      Be safe Mark.

      I concur with all you said there. Glad Mark was able to leave on his own terms. For me, Clark was best. He was the reason I became a fan of F1.

  9. I was scrolling along a picture gallery of the 2003 Malaysian GP earlier tonight. It’s strange to see that Webber is retiring, he was one of my favorites early on but felt less strong about him after 2011. Still, I’m glad he got a good last race and it’s strange to think the youngsters from that 2003 race, Alonso, Raikkonen, Button and Webber are now the old boys and have had such remarkable careers. I still remember the excitement when Webber signed with Williams. A shame he went there, instead of Renault, but who knows how Flavio would have treated him. Still, seeing him winning races in 2009 and 2010 felt very good.

    Heck, I remember reading about him as a test driver for Benetton and a F3000 driver for Stoddart. This must be that ‘getting old’ thing I’ve been hearing about; I can’t remember what I did in school those days (2003 was high school) but I do remember what happened in F1.

    1. I can’t remember what I did in school those days (2003 was high school) but I do remember what happened in F1.

      Ha, me too! that’s how I begin to remember a specific year.

    2. @npf1
      Fisichella was a highly-rated driver but look what happened to him when he joined Renault… likewise for Massa when Alonso became his teammate. It’s probable that had he joined Renault instead of Williams back in 2005, it would be a mere mirror of the situation he’s experiencing at Red Bull: Getting utterly pulverized by his teammate (Alonso), to put it bluntly.

      1. by his would-be teammate*

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    25th November 2013, 1:11

    Who are taking the 4 titles wrongly? Vettel’s critics of course. I am perfectly fine with it, Mr. Alonso

  11. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    25th November 2013, 1:12

    Alonso has nothing to prove to anyone. He’s a phenomenal race driver. Another WDC would add little as fortune determines the number of WDCs.

    1. @freelittlebirds
      Well, by the logic of many people around here, Alonso has a lot to prove, as he won both his titles with the same team, where he was given preferential treatment over his teammate. Apparently a driver can only be considered a true great of the sport once he’s won a championship in a Caterham with broken suspension while wearing an eye patch.

      1. @ladym
        lol, please don’t get me started on the topic of preferential treatment and its importance in securing a WDC and WCC. I’ve never seen anyone on a forum be able to make a compelling argument for not giving preferential treatment to one driver other than for entertainment.

  12. Question: Do the FIA make a new Driver’s championship trophy every year, or does a single trophy get passed on? If it gets passed on, is the champion (or former champion) allowed to keep a replica of the trophy?

    1. Zantkiller (@)
      25th November 2013, 2:45

      In 2011 Vettel said

      >”It’s great to be here in India at the FIA Gala to collect my second drivers’ championship trophy,” said Vettel. “I have had the trophy in my house all year and didn’t want to give it back, so this means a great deal to me.

      So I guess that means the trophy is passed on. I’m sure drivers can get replicas made quite easily if they wish but won’t get the next winners signature on it.

      1. The Trophy is usually passed on.
        On German TV they said some races ago that Michael Schumacher made a bet with Eccelstone that he can keep the original trophy for winning his 6. or 7. championship.
        So actually the one that is passed on now is a replica.

  13. Have to say, it would be a shame if Alonso only retired with 2 WDC’s. IMO, he’s easily the best double champion since Clark.

    1. I feel both were very unlucky not to be 4x WDC, and in Clark’s case, 4 in a row: 62-65.

    2. Yep, maybe Ascari comes close – all three of them were in the top 10 of BBC’s greatest 20 drivers of F1 list, remember.

      Although in case of Clark, at least his outstanding driving was visible, because he’d have the speed in his machinery for it to show, and ‘only’ lacked reliability. Alonso has reliability, but no speed in his car.

    3. Considering the circumstances, he should be content with the two he got.

    4. Looking at the list of drivers that have only won two titles and they’re all fantastic. Ascari, Clark, Hill, Fittipaldi, Hakkinen and Alonso. You really couldn’t say that any of those drivers weren’t worth their two titles.

      I know a lot of people say that winning three cements your place as an all-time great in F1, but looking at the list of double WDC’s you could arguably put any of those names among the greats and make a strong case for them being there. I’d like to see Alonso get a third but I don’t think his legacy will suffer unduly if he doesn’t. He’s in great company as is!

  14. Commenting on the Honda engine article, I find it odd that Honda them self ran a (relatively) long stroke. Yes, I know despite the longer stroke they ended up having the same amount of power as the higher reving engines, but considering Sakurahara said “ During the early part of the season we focussed on reliability ,using slightly reduced revs “, I find it counterintuitive when those same engines would end up with reliability problems caused by that same long stroke. I guess in the end it was because of the torque curve and wanting to make up for their struggles with TC. Granted, that would end up giving Honda an advantage if they stuck along after 2008 (when TC was finally banned). Still, it’s kind of ironic that Honda, who’s known for their high reving but torqueless HO road car engines, would end up making their F1 engines the complete opposite of that. Hell even their Indycar engines are more torque reliant then Chevy’s!

    1. An interesting article indeed, especially the concept of an engine with a bore nearly 2.5 X stroke being regarded as a LONG stroke engine, I was also surprised to see that the fuel injection was not direct but above the butterfly valves, probably another regulation to stymie excellence.

  15. From the linked BBC article:

    “…When one day he has a car like the others and he is fourth, fifth, seventh, these four titles will be bad news for him because people will take these four titles even in a worse manner than they are doing now.”
    “So there are interesting times for Sebastian coming.”
    The barb – that Vettel has been able to dominate only because his car is on another level from the rest – is implied, but unmistakable.

    A bit of Samurai Psychology as a parting shot in preparation for 2014. Will it bother Vettel? Maybe, maybe not, we don’t really know. But, this isn’t a few rowdy booing fans, this is not the press saying this, it is one of his most respected peers. He has the winter to ponder, or not.

    1. One of his most respected peers — who is also known for his mind games. Of course it’s psychology! And I’d be disappointed if Alonso hadn’t said something like this to kick off the winter break.

      1. Alonso thinking ahead, eh!

    2. He’s only said something that a lot of f1 fans believe. That Vettel has 4 titles on him with 4 years in a dominant car. Once he has the 2nd or 3rd quickest car on the grid, like Alonso has over the past few seasons, then we will see what Vettel is made of.

      I dont see anything but he obvious in that

  16. Christian Horner looks like the exorcist (Patrick Wilson) in the movie The Conjuring :)

  17. I just realized, since 2007, all of Alonso’s teammates have not raced in the immediately previous race before partnering Alonso. Hamilton, Nelson Piquet Jr, Grosjean were all debutants. Massa didn’t race the 2nd half of 2009 due to his crash. Kimi didn’t race the last two races of 2013 before partnering Kimi in 2014.

  18. So today it seems that both Hulkenberg and Perez will be up against eachother in a Force India, Sutil if off to Sauber and Maldonado will have a lotus to wreck next year. I wonder whether this will still be true in the afternoon though, because the silly season is very volatile this year!

  19. I want to like Alonso… I really do… he just seems so full of sour grapes all the time.

    He needs a hug.

    1. hahaha +1!!!! great comment!

    2. Yep. Thinks too much, drags him down.

  20. My oh my, so much bitterness coming from Alonso. He hasn’t taken the defeat too well.

  21. I have to say that this term “greatness” is being inaccurately synchronised with wining the WDC. I agree that to win the WDC you need the best or equal best car, pretty much always have done. But in my view “greatness” is defied in what happens in none wdc years like Schumacher in 97 and 98 or alonso last year. The dogged determination to drag a none wdc car into contention. To be fair to Vettel he hasn’t had the opportunity to do that yet because he’s so dominant in the red bull. That’s not his fault but surely no on can say that alo or Hamilton, raikkonen or maybe even rosberg would have failed to win the title in the RBR. Time will tell how good Vettel is but what I think alonso was saying us that although no one can take away vettels titles, they will be contextualised by what happens in his later in his career . if he gets a nearly car and makes it fight for a title like alo last year then Vettel sceptics will reevaluate these four years and say ok he’s special. However if Vettel gets a nearly car and is average then people may conclude that he only won because he had the best car. Which is why alonso says the four titles would be bad news for him. The act is that at the end of the day Vettel is a four times wdc and that’s all history will record. But for those of us who have lived this era just like the Schumacher era before it,we will each have our own point of view

    1. Your statement “no on can say that alo or Hamilton, raikkonen or maybe even rosberg would have failed to win the title in the RBR.” is correct and I believe that any one of the mentioned drivers, and probably some more (Gro, Hulk…) would be able to win in RB. But there is a hypothetical question that no one seems to ask: Would’ve Vettel won the 2010 and 2012 championships if he drove for Ferrari?

    2. @BumbleBee

      Finally a brilliant post – lucid, rational and mature.

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