Alonso: I’m at my best and want to win

2014 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso says he is eager to deliver on what he believes is the best form of his career, amid growing speculation over his future.

“I am a very competitive person and I want to win,” he said, “which is something I have wanted since I was ten years old and starting karting at a professional level”.

“I want to win and am ready to maximise my performance at what I think is the best moment of my career,” he added.

“I hope I can get the benefit of this in the next few years, adding some titles, retiring with more than two. But you never know.”

Alonso has been linked with a move to a rival team such as McLaren as he is set to end his fifth season at Ferrari without a world title. He has gone eight years without winning a championship and 28 races without a victory.

“For five years, I have given my all on the track and the numbers show that,” said Alonso. “But off the track also my number one priority has been the team, doing the best for Ferrari.”

“I live in the real world, so I am aware of all the rumours. But my first priority is working for the team, to help in the fight with Williams in the championship.

“My second priority is my future, but there is nothing new on this subject since last year, since July and now even in October there is no news. So, as I said earlier, I always put the interests of the team and of the tifosi and of this brand that is Ferrari and is bigger than any one of us, before my own interests.”

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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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76 comments on “Alonso: I’m at my best and want to win”

  1. Eight years without a title happens if the car is not perfect for you, but 28 races without a win for someone of the caliber of Alonso, that shows how weak the Ferrari has been.

    1. It has not been weak at all. last year it was just because redbull were faster – and this year is because Mercedes have a better power unit – it is not like Ferrari is performing at mclarens level. they are always a top 3 team, it is just that fans have higher expectations of them then other teams. most f1 fans will recognise that Alonso has driven better overall then Hamilton and Rosberg in the past 28 races, but this is f1, not always the best driver has the best car – if it were a parity series, it would be better, we would have a true measure of who is the best driver in f1.

      1. I don’t know… I remember him being stuck behind the Hulk for what seemed like the entire second half of the season last year.

  2. He may want to win but I don’t think McLaren are able to help him with that.

    1. When LH left McLaren for Mercedes, people thought he was crazy. The reality is: the Honda Power Unit could be a blockbuster. Or just a bust. There is always a risk if he makes the move. But there is also risk if he stays.

      I have to say, though, if Alonso goes back to McLaren, I would be hugely surprised. After the spygate and the 100 Million USD McLaren was forced to pay because of Alonso’s snitching on them, I would think Ron Dennis would NEVER AGAIN have Alonso as an employee.

      1. But for two years Mclaren’s aero seems to be on Sauber’s level.

        1. what happened to Mclaren’s vaunted in season development prowess, oooh Lewis left and they don’t know how to draw a straight line anymore….

  3. Sounds like the deal is inked. This view, reinforcec by this curious quote:

    “You arrive wherever you can, and you move teams where you have the possibility, or we see many examples, also this year, of drivers who will probably not be here next year and they are doing a very good job.”

    To my mind, in the latter clauses, he is talking about one Jenson Button, whom he is about to make redundant, so to speak. Alonso always goes to great lengths to speak graciously about competitors, including Hamilton (to the fury of many), and this can be his “tell.”

    Also, Button has been furiously talking up his experience lately, as if he is competitng for a seat with a rookie.

    1. Hmm, more like Jean Eric I think

  4. If my between-the-lines reading is correct… He’s leaving Ferrari.

  5. The first time I’m starting to think he might really be leaving for McLaren.

    1. @roald first time? where you’ve been for the past few days :D

      1. It’s just so difficult to believe – and I’m still in the ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ category. I keep thinking of what he was saying just a few weeks ago, along the lines of wanting to stay at Ferrari for years to come, wanting to win a third title with them. And if leaving Ferrari wasn’t hard enough to fathom, could he really be heading back to the team he left after so much controversy seven years ago?!

    2. There have been rumours of him leaving the team for years. i still don’t buy this, he will be at Ferrari next year.

  6. I think at this moment all signs are pointing to him leaving. I think it will be Alonso and Kmag next year at McLaren Honda.

    1. I’ll second that

    2. The Blade Runner (@)
      2nd October 2014, 15:06

      Maybe all three of them?!

    3. If Alonso goes to McLaren his team mate will be Button. I’d bet on that.

      His experience and talent is worth more than his salary. Plus, the Japanese very much favor a person that embraces their culture. I lived in northern Honshu for a year and a half. I can tell you that it is much more important to them than most people realize.

      1. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
        2nd October 2014, 18:30

        It would be a joke if Magnussen loses his drive so Button can stick around and make Honda happy. Button would get smashed by Alonso and only has a few years left at best. As far as Button’s value as a veteran goes, Alonso brings just as much experience to the table and would allow McLaren to continue grooming Magnussen for the future.

        1. How exactly does keeping Buttton “make Honda happy”? I thought Honda wanted Alonso.

        2. Also, Button has out-raced, out-qualified, and out-scored Magnussen this year. Magnussen and Perez were supposed to pip Button both years, but the geezer is a better driver than most give him credit for. I think an Alonso / Button pairing would be really good, for both of them.

          1. Yes, but it would be amazingly stupid from Mclaren.

    4. I hope it is Alonso and Kobayashi next year.

      1. Unfortunately, a pipe dream..

  7. To be honest I’m not so much interested in him moving out, but who’s moving in!?

    1. Bianchi possibly? Especially after his comments today?

      At least they would still have a world champ and experienced driver in the team (albeit in a car not quite suited to him this year) in the form of Raikonnen.

      1. Is JEV to Marussia a possibility?

      2. @s-w-webb1 I think it will be Hulk next year and then after kimi is gone, BIA will step in, or vice versa…

    2. Here’s my assumption based on the rumors we have heard recently:
      Ferrari wants Vettel, but Red Bull won’t let him go easily. The backup plan is Bianchi and when Raikkonen leaves (at the end of 2015) Ferrari will replace him with Vettel or even Hamilton, maybe.

      1. Agreed (if Alonso leaves, of course). Raikkonen-Bianchi in 2015 in a sort of (another) transition year for Ferrari, where they bed the new management and Bianchi in. Then they get a star driver in 2016 in Vettel to partner Bianchi (which I predicted a while ago, mind I make a lot of predictions so it’s the law of averages I suppose ;) ).

      2. Well, if Alonso wants out, its reported pretty much universally now that Alonso has to pay off his standing contract at a rate of about 30 milliion, so that money could then be used to pay (part of) what Red Bull request as payoff for Vettel. That is just money issues which will be sorted. The question is more about what Alonso (and Vettel) want to do

        1. Question is, whether Ferrari want him out or Alonso wants out?

    3. I’d try to get Hamilton myself… and maybe Merc would let him go.

      1. If Lewis knows what’s good for him he will stay put at Merc for the next two years at least. If all goes according to plan he will have 3 titles by then.

        1. Haha, that could be very true, but I don’t see the current engine disparity continuing, once the engines all become more similar in power and delivery, the superior RB chassis will mean that Red Bull will once again become dominant… However, Adrian’s timely departure could mean that they don’t ever quite reach the heights of the last four years again. In my opinion I think Lewis should consider Ferrari, to perhaps take Kimi’s seat, then he will have raced for some of the great teams, and to finish his career, a short stint at McLaren to say goodbye to F1. (Then he can go and race in Le Mans for a few years).

  8. Ferrari won’t work, McLaren may work, and that should he go for it, its better to take a risk.

    1. Thing is, if he makes the move, 2015 is almost certainly not going to be great for him, at best the car will be as good as the Ferrari, but most likely it won’t be. I think he should go for it, seeing as he’s been at Ferrari for years and he knows McLaren, and 2016 could potentially be a good year once Honda and McLaren have become settled, however 2015 could potentially be a very long season.

  9. You cant make a driver drive for you if he doesn’t want to but I would do everything in my power to make sure Alonso stays with the team if I were in charge of Ferrari. He has basically dragged that team on his back for 5 years now. How many podiums and wins would have Ferrari gotten if they didn’t have Alonso in that team?

    1. Ferrari needs Alonso way more than Alonso needs Ferrari, Alonso. He should say :”what would you do without me??”

    2. It is clear that Ferrari has written off these next two year and are building for the future. Alonso (33) is not in those plans. Seems to me Alonso wanted guarantees beyond 2016 and was promptly told he can leave. Ferrari have to start building now for the future (ask Merc) and Alonso is ,unfortunately, not in those plans. Bottom line is Alonso had 5 years to deliver a championship and he failed.

      1. Agree, condition may not be favoring Alonso in Ferrari. It’s really sad and hurtful to this happens to him but he just got to find a new team, new home quickly.

      2. Clear that Ferrari has written off these two years? Doubt it. FA wanted guarantees beyond 2016? Guarantees of what? FA knows there are no guarantees. FA had 5 years and failed? Hmmm…he sure came close in an inferior car against SV/RBR in those 5 years, and now they all suffer against the mega-Mercs, so I wouldn’t be laying this all on FA. Far as I know, he has a contract with Ferrari for next year, while it is others who are no longer there.

        1. Ferrari are not expecting any championships in the near future, hence the restructuring and Mattiacci’s 3yr plan. There has been a realization that the ways of old are not working. The way I see it Alonso wanted guarantees that he will get an extension come end of 2016. Obviously he was turned down, hence the threat to leave.

      3. Alonso failed? Man, you must be watching F1 in a paralel universe…

        This guy gave everything he could to make this team win a championship.

        In those last years, we heard Montezemolo complaining that F1 was too focused in the aero field, so F1 changed towards his will, to make it more an engine Formula.

        So, what happened?

        Ferrari failed miserably to deliver a competent engine to fight Mercedes or even fight Renault and Red Bull.

        Bearing that in mind, I think we really know who failed on this relationship.

        1. The plan was to win a championship with Ferrari, was it not? So in that context he failed. I am sure he gave everything to win the championship but it wasn’t enough.

          1. Ferrari failed, not Alonso.
            “He failed to deliver a championship” sounds like Alonso could have delivered a better performance and would have won a title.
            Truth is: If Alonso didn’t manage to win a title in 5 years the car simply wasn’t good enough in any of those years.
            Ferrari had five years to deliver him a car that could win the title and they failed.

      4. Alonso failed, I’m sorry but do you really understand or have watched F1!

  10. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    2nd October 2014, 14:43

    Fernando Alonso and the unmitigated brilliance he has shown in recent years (2012 was, for me, one of F1’s all time greatest season long performances) has just two chances to improve on being for ever labelled as ordinarily as the feats of a “double F1 world champion”…

    2015 – Ferrari – James Allison and Dirk de Beer:

    In the near certainty that Alonso will remain at Ferrari in 2015, Fernando’s 2015 season may be improved by Lotus refugees Allison and de Beer, who made Lotus’ 2013 E21 unquestionably the best car, pound for British pound, on the grid. Now with nearly unlimited resources and with ground up influence on the 2015 car (Allison and de Beer only aided development of the F14 T, albeit it is still probably one of the strongest Ferrari chassis versus those of its rivals of recent years), could the 2015 Ferrari be a near chapter for the Scuderia? That said, Ferrari’s issues remain powerunit related, and are not aided by slightly older simulation and computation facilities than their rivals, and with structural issues like this, it seems highly unlikely that the work of two men can overhaul the very substantial gap to Mercedes.

    2016 – McLaren – Honda and Peter Prodromou:

    Make no mistake, when the inevitable realization comes that Alonso is staying put for 2015, McLaren and Honda will know they are auditioning for Alonso’s services the following season. It is a audition that not only puts pressure on Honda to hit the ground running, but on McLaren a) to seamlessly integrate the new powerunit into their chassis (which is in essence the secret of Mercedes’ success) and b) to get over their recent chassis issues that have left them scarcely more than a midfield team in the past two years. Prodromou, member of the Red Bull technical nucleus of brilliance during their championship years, appears to be the answer to the later; but has he arrived in time to help dictate the fundamental architecture of the 2015 car? The answer is almost certainly “no”, but the fact that he will be integral in the design of the 2016 car at a team De la Rosa described as having a much more advanced simulator than Ferrari is certainly a plus point for Alonso. Dennis’ commonly divisive presence and seat competition with Vettel aren’t.

    Either way it remains unlikely that Alonso will take a third world title, but although it is little consolation, the fact that most regard him worthy of many more titles and probably the best of his generation can offer some solace…

    1. @william-brierty – Funny thing is nobody is listening to logic right now. A few words from Alonso that could mean almost anything or nothing at all and now the fever pitch crescendo of he for sure is leaving Ferrari right now is deafening. The reasons cited for him leaving are the most illogical. He hasn’t won for 28 races, “so I now know he is going to McLaren”. What? He is jumping into what all logical signs indicate will be a car with less chance to win a race than Ferrari?

      This will be fun to watch and see what the next line of “reasoning” is when nothing happens this weekend with Alonso signing for another team. Now, I could be wrong, the world can be a crazy place sometimes, but I don’t think so. If anything, logic would dictate Alonso’s freshest words indicate he is staying with Ferrari for the time being and by this time next year we will be in a better position to see if his goals of more championships are closer to being met.

      Hello, Honda? Hello, McLaren? Any announcements yet? I don’t hear anything… Hello????????

      Looking forward to a good race weekend. Maybe Kimi is right and he will be more dialed in. Maybe Ferrari overall will a bit closer to the Mercs. That’s what I’m looking for this weekend.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        2nd October 2014, 17:56

        @bullmello – Great post. The world is indeed a crazy place, just look who is being chauffeured to Toro Rosso’s garage tomorrow morning, but fortunately Alonso is 100% rational and 100% logical as the best sportsmen tend to be. But with viewers apparently not satisfied with great race after great race and an enthralling title battle (?! – hardly) the media will always go routing around for headlines, and although it defies all logic that Alonso moves, they are stoic in their belief that there is a story to be broken above Alonso’s head. BBC F1 website journalist Andrew Benson is perhaps the worst culprit, in fact I think he claimed Alonso was “expected” to make the switch to McLaren in 2015 (I might be wrong, the rage from an article of his in 2012 has clouded my memory – Google “Vettel to join Ferrari in 2014″ and prepare for a shock).

        As regards this weekend, I think what is required to win the race is not downforce but rather a hull and some sails, but we can only hope…

        1. @william-brierty – “As regards this weekend, I think what is required to win the race is not downforce but rather a hull and some sails”

          Heh, that could be the story that blows everybody away.

        2. This is where the boat-ish characteristics of the Caterham’s handling come good…

    2. ‘…who made Lotus’ 2013 E21 unquestionably the best car, pound for British pound, on the grid.’

      @william-brierty You mean of Lotus their cars right?

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        2nd October 2014, 17:37

        @xtwl – That’s a reference to an AUTOSPORT article last year where Ed Straw stated that Lotus had created a car as good as Ferrari’s F138 and nearly as good as the W04 and the RB9 but for a fraction of the price because they have a much smaller budget, and therefore the E21 probably had the most performance per pound spent of any car on the grid. Sorry, I should have expanded on that.

        1. @william-brierty Well I try to read as much of their free articles as possible. Missed that one though but now in context I do understand.

  11. “I’m at my best” – Trying to sell yourself now? xD
    Jokes aside, I think Button would relish the challenge of having Alonso as his team mate and possibly surprise everyone by winning the ‘team mate battle’.

    1. Haha no way Buton beats Alo, he could not beat Hamilton either(que the he got more points over 3 years response).

    2. Funniest thing I have heard in the past 7 days, maybe more.

    3. Lol. You have jokes.

    4. You sir have made my day

    5. Alonso kind of has a record of making great drivers look like amateurs, you know.

  12. Don’t know what’s with all this talk, but unfortunately the better teams don’t need Alonso’ services. Of course, I’m talking about Mercedes and RBR. Leaving Ferrari now (at McLaren) looks like a big gamble for Alonso. Don’t know how big Alonso’s impact in building the car is, but who knows, he may get what he want at McLaren.

  13. ColdFly F1 (@)
    2nd October 2014, 17:12

    I know as little as all the other commenters.
    But if I were Alonso, I would (ask my manager to) agree a heavy optioned pre-contract with McLaren for 2016.
    Stay in red for now, commit in word and deed to support Ferrari, and decide early 2015 based on actual performance where to race in 2016.

    2015 will always be a long shot, but this way he he has at least a fighting chance for 2016.

  14. It seems that Alonso is really decided to go to McLaren. We don’t know yet how good Honda engine will be.
    Alonso has nothing to lose. Ferrari is pushing hard to change engine-freeze rules, so they do not believe they will be able to resolve all issues this year. That is why Alonso think McLaren-Honda is better option, there is still a chance.

  15. It seems from his words, that Ferrari doesn’t want him, not the opposite. Ferrari are turning next chapter in their history and try to refresh team. If they sacked they’re long-in-the-tooth president, they may want to sack their “beloved” driver. As brilliant as he is, Alonso may be brakes for Ferrari. The team is built around one driver a bit too much, and Alonso is quite a hard guy to work with, as some of Ferrari’s personell mentioned earlier this year.

    And there’s plenty of talent on the grid to replace him. Hulkenberg is a racing monster, but just when he does not demonstrate mega racing, he seems to be forgotten. But he could fill Alonso’s shoes brilliantly. Bianchi is a bit too young and Ferrari like more experienced drivers, so I don’t see him next to Raikkonen next year. Of course, getting Vettel or Ricciardo will be too hard for them. So if I was them, I’d take Hulk.

  16. The one thing I don’t get is why most of the drivers want to drive for Ferrari. Seems a great way to waste any talent you might have, if you ask me…

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      2nd October 2014, 17:59

      @clive-allen, maybe we should ask MSC!

      1. @coldfly, MSC is the exception that proves the rule. And, anyway, they all wanted to drive for Ferrari before he came along. It has never made any sense to me.

        1. How about Niki Lauda then?

  17. I seen people say the other day about Schumi doing well at 40, not everyone peak is the same. Look at Kimi brilliant driver yet he is done to me way past is best. Alo has been at a huge peak for years now. No one beats father time, he is going to be 34 when the grid is getting younger and younger.

    Who are you lot backing in 3 years, a 36 year old Alo or a 32 year old Hamilton?. I wish his peak would go forever but i doubt it i think the signs are already their he is sowing down, he is so great which is why he should be able to beat the sick RBull in Singapore. The Ferrari is not woeful guys Kimi who i think is past his peak was on Alo pace during Qually in Singapore. Just don’t think “oh Schumi faired well vs Nico it means Alo can do the same”. Alo could go downnhill next year same happen’d with Button around 34, Button was poor in 2012 for me.

    Eventually those reflexes will say enough is enough it is only so much he can do. If he wants to go for a WC he need to get some sponsors which he has and tell Merc to ditch Nico.

    1. Reflexes? According to teams tests Kovalanien had from the fastest reflexes ever. How much did that help him exactly?
      Shumacher was driving just fine and actually i don’t think he was driving any worse that 10 years before. It only seemed so because he had a mediocre car and a very competitive teammate instead of number 1 status and a dominant car.

  18. I agree that Alonso is on of the best drivers on the grid, if not the best. He’s relentless and a master of strategy, brings in a lot of points and is very consistent, even though I never felt that he was equally good developing a car. What I can’t stand anymore is his attitude, as if, because he is very good, he is entitled to be champion every year and win every race. Tough luck, mate, that’s what happens in sports, not always the best takes the girl. Enough with this. Or as if just because he is a very good driver we will forget that he won a race because his teammate was instructed to crash against the wall. And his constant whining about not winning more titles. Guess what, Alonso: you went to a team and the team gave a several mediocre cars. Sometimes shifts happens. Now just stop. If you want to get out of Ferrari just ask Honda to pay your ticket and that’s it. There’s much more to F1 than Alonso, really.
    Rant over.

  19. Trenthamfolk (@)
    2nd October 2014, 21:22

    I’m no Alonso fan but am mightily impressed by his form this year. There’s a lot to be said by being quiet and plugging away. No drama, no tantrums, no confrontations or disputes, just a continual solid performance. And I agree that compared to the best out there the Ferrari is far from good. Alonso is making Ferrari it what it is, which says more about him than it does the car.

    I never thought I would comment in praise of Mr Eyebrows, but there you go…

  20. Alonso is part of the problem, not the solution. Only really worried about his reputation and as long as he beats his teammate, everything is well for him. Enough is enough.
    Ferrari, give Raik. (or anyone else) a car that suits him and lets see…
    McLaren is on the only team that really wants a character like Alonso (an enigma, to use Aldo Costa’s words)

  21. Vettel is coming to Ferrari in 2015 i told this 1 month ago and all will be announced at the end of the season. Alonso out probably to Renault with Santander sponsorship. McLaren right now is behind Renault option. Vettel will promote Kvyat to Red Bull Sr. team, Sainz jr will enter Toro Rosso as partner of Verstappen. McLaren will continue with his pair most sure. Renault will drop Grosjean for Alonso. Grosjean will have to fit in Sauber… and may be more movements in small teams. Merhi can enter next year too if he gets a good sponsorship… Will be lot of changes in the teams… Hamilton will renew with Mercedes. Lot of changes. So will be fun to check newspapers in the next months.

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