Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2014

Ferrari should be title favourites every year – Alonso

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2014In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says Ferrari should be favourites to win the championship every year

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Ferrari should always be favourites – Alonso (ESPN)

“They have talented people and resources, there’s motivation in the team and in time they will win. Next year they will be favourites because every year they must be, everyone expects them to win in Formula One.”

Sebastian Vettel ‘broke Red Bull contract terms’ by visiting Ferrari garage at Abu Dhabi test (The Mirror)

“Sebastian Vettel has broken his contract by visiting Ferrari’s garage during Tuesday testing in Abu Dhabi, according to his Red Bull boss Helmut Marko.”

Illegal Red Bull wings were a “silly mistake” says Marko (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“It was a silly mistake from our side. I would say it was a naïve interpretation of the regulations. We thought it was within the regulations.”

Jenson Button, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014McLaren: Points won’t decide drivers (Autosport)

Eric Boullier: “If it was all about statistics, it would be really easy. I could take my calculator and make this decision, but it is not like this.”

Kimi: “Working as a team” (Ferrari)

“I’ve known Maurizio Arrivabene for a long time I believe he is an extremely competent person and perfect for the role of team principal that he has been given.”

FIA Prize-Giving 2014 inaugurates new format in Doha (FIA)

“The FIA Prize-Giving will this year welcome for the first time in FIA history a new FIA Rookie of the Year award.”

Radio 1 Breakfast: Lewis Hamilton (BBC)

A laid-back interview with Lewis Hamilton on BBC Radio 1, starting at 1hr38.47, with a comic moment coming when he failed to recognise one of his girlfriend’s songs.

Fool’s Paradise (Darren Heath Photographer)

“Clutter, noise, a spaghetti-like spider’s web of tangled wires cascading from the roof and spilling all over the floor, a painful grating drilling sound echoing through the air, disorganised chaos all around. Fancy signing for this lot? Maybe not…”

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Comment of the day

The scrapping of standings restarts and double points is good news but the whole episode hardly inspires confidence in how the sport is being run:

I am happy to see double points and standing restarts go but these rule changes make the FIA look really silly. The organisation that claims to be governing motor sport seems to be ready to accept whatever FOM and the big teams propose when it comes to the sporting rules.

Let’s have double points and standing restarts! – Yeah, why not.
Double points make no sense and standing restarts are unsafe! – OK, we agree.

Charlie Whiting defended the standing starts from the grid following safety cars and called the people, who voiced safety concerns, “silly”. Now Autosport reports that “a deeper look at its implications over recent weeks prompted widespread safety concerns.” In my opinion, it raises serious questions over Whiting’s ability to fulfil his duties.

I still prefer Todt’s FIA to Mosley’s FIA but a toothless and apathetic governing body of F1 does not make me excited either.
@Girts

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Williams announced Valtteri Bottas would make their debut for them in 2013 on this day two years ago:

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  • 84 comments on “Ferrari should be title favourites every year – Alonso”

    1. maarten.f1 (@)
      28th November 2014, 0:07

      I love Kimi’s “quote” about Arrivabene, that’s just so *not* Kimi haha

      1. @maarten-f1 Makes me wonder who the quotes are for. Casual fans don’t read press releases. Serious fans who do read them know it’s not Kimi. So what’s the point? Hahaha. :)

        1. “I heartily endorse this event or product.”

      2. So funny that you thought this as well – that was going to be my post! As if he said that. XD

      3. LoL… Kimi would not have even known that such a statement was released which is “apparently” made by him. He must be reading it the first time himself.

        But on a serious note there is a very high chance that Kimi knows the new boss really well. He drove for Ferrari and he is the only WDC from the Ferrari stables in the last 10 years. Given that Phillip Morris bank rolls the Scuderia there is a good likelihood that they are well connected.

    2. The celebrations will start on 4 December with a thrilling Prize-Giving Challenge. FIA Champions and guests will take part for the first time in a fun and exciting competition held at a karting track designed by Herman Tilke

      A Tilke-designed kart track? I’m already imagining a series of twisty corners ending in a hairpin bringing them onto a long back straight…

      1. Correction; a series of 90 deg. corners, Tilke doesn’t do twistys.

        1. unless forced to do so (see CotA) @hohum

          1. And what is rather striking is that CotA was one of the circuits where Tilke was actually allowed to develop the circuit layout himself.

            By contrast, quite a few of his alternative venues were venues where the circuit layout was already more or less proscribed. For Abu Dhabi and Yeongam, Tilke was not allowed to develop in certain areas because that land was already allocated for other development projects.
            In Valencia, the layout of the circuit was effectively dictated by Valencia’s local government, who demanded that Tilke included certain roads in order to claim money from the government as “redevelopment” funding. As for Singapore, whilst that track is sometimes ascribed to Tilke, he actually didn’t develop the layout – that was actually undertaken by KBR.

          2. @bascb, and anon Tilke employee, this is false propaganda, I quite clearly remember seeing Tavo Hellmunds proposed track layout for the Austin TX circuit when it was 1st. proposed, before Tavo lost control and Tilke was announced as circuit designer, the track is exactly as Tavo proposed. Perhaps @keithcollantine can provide the link to the original story.

            1. As @hohum mentions mr. Anon, that track layout for CotA was in reality ready before Tilke even set foot in Texas, apart from a few minor details, its exactly what Tavo (and maybe Epstein/Schwanz who had discussed it with Hellmund to be fit for MotoGP as well) showed when the track design was first mentioned.

              I do not know exactly what Abu Dhabi was like, but I vaguely remember reading an interview with Tilke where he even mentioned that he had had to convince the investors to add at least a bit of elevation by putting in a 20 m hump in the middle somewhere.
              Valencia, yeah, its clear that there wasn’t much that could be done with the roads on offer.

            2. @bascb, thanks, it really annoys me to keep hearing that “Tilke designed Cota, the best new circuit ever”as a defence against criticism of all the other boring tracks he designed, even ex WDC Alan Jones keeps repeating it as part of his TV race commentary here in Oz. Mr. Anon has been very busy and highly effective, he is worth every penny he gets paid, Bernie should hire him.

        2. Tilke is President of the Boredom Corporation. He does boring
          like nobody else.

    3. Way to be discreet Ferrari LOL

      1. Really cool in my view. I know why Marko is all the sudden acknowledging RBR’s guilt on the flexi adjuster they had on the wings. RBR has been using them since Shanghai, I would be surprised that anyone wouldn’t have noticed them before, guess it was some teams trump card. Use once to gain advantage and then suffer the same fate as the car won’t get any slower without it.

        1. @peartree What source do you use to say they’ve been using it since China? Didn’t Horner say they brought them here as an update and just switched back to the Brazil ones for the actual race in Abu Dhabi which would already imply they were legal in Brazil itself?

          1. After seeing Marko mention it as if the whole thing was just an oversight by the team, and Horner saying this was about flexing parts of the bodywork last friday (before details came out showing that was clearly not true), I would hesitate to believe Horner on his word @xtwl.

            On the other hand, from the attempts by the likes of Craig Scarborough, @somersf1 etc, I think its something that hasn’t been on the car for long, quite possible it was brought just to this race or maybe in Brazil too.
            The adjuster has been changed bit by bit over the year, first changing material and colour gradually, but the parts that were flexing are probably relatively new @peartree (but it certainly looks like a move they had been planning to do, and were gradually preparing in hopes of no one noticing), and rather planned to be used for the next year though

            1. It was mentioned somewhere that leaf springs were involved in the illegal design. To me that seems unlikely to be an oversight or misinterpretation of the rules…

          2. @xtwl @bascb Scarbs spotted it in China, although also he mentioned that RBR has been playing around with front wings on several venues.

            1. I took from his analyses (and the one by Matt Somerfield) that they had been changing the adjuster gradually, first changing the colour of it, then moving its position, then bit by bit chaning it until it got the last version here or maybe in Brazil.
              But its not all that important really, its clear this was a process put in place a) because they knew they were doing something dodgy and b) carefully planned in the hope that maybe nobody would notice and they would get to make full use of it.

          3. yes, @clive-allen, that was exactly what I was trying to express – that we cannot take Horner nor Marko seriously when they try to make it look as if this was just some kind of mistake or mishap.

      2. What Ferrari should have done is dress her up as a member of another team, like Williams, and then send them over to take the photos.

        Unless another team already thought of this and sent someone over dressed in Ferrari gear…

    4. Just listened to the Radio 1 Lewis Hamilton interview – he says he trusts his father to drive his road cars… but remember this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2077344/Lewis-Hamiltons-father-crashes-Porsche.html

      1. Speaking of Hamilton, that “interview” with Rodolfo González is pure gold!

    5. Did Ferrari seriously thought they would get away with placing someone in Red uniform with a huge camera right above the Mercedes box? Even in something as simple as this they end up failing miserably.

      1. They should have put her in a Red Bull uniform instead, so if she’d get caught, they could just blame RBR instead.

        1. Maybe she is actually working for Red Bull and hence why she is wearing Ferrari…

        2. she went because red bull asked her to. So, in a way, it’s Red Bull fault for being the instigator. Of course, Ferrari will go free of any charge, because they were obviusly forced to do by the giant energy drink brand…

      2. She was a decoy. Their other one was across the way filming unperturbed while the decoy catches all the attention ;)

        1. was about to reply the same thing – typical red flag :)

      3. How did they not get away with that? That´s a public place, you can go there if you want.

      4. I doubt Ferrari can take any advantage or information doing this. Technical department is practically empty.

      5. I know right? How dare she go somewhere publicly accessible and film things in public display‽ Doesn’t she know that’s legal‽

        :)

    6. Eric Boullier’s comments are a little concerning for Button. I for one would prefer that Jenson keeps his seat since he has proven his worth. It would be a shame to see him go without a proper send off

      1. It woudl equally be a shame to see Kevin Magnussen left without a drive after only 1 season in which he did show some promise.

        As was said on the F1 midweek report on Sky last night, If they retain Button then there going to have the same problem this time next year or the year after.
        Do you throw Magnussen out for a year or 2 & then put him back in the car in 2016 or 2017? If so whats the point of taking him out the car for that period of time is just going to hurt him as by not racing & with no real F1 running to be done nowadays he’s not continuing to learn & he’s going to be race rusty if they put him back in the car down the road.

        With 1 year of experience behind him Magnussen will likely be better next year & continued experience will only help that. Look at Roman Grosjean, He wasn’t exactly looking that impressive in his 1st year but as he continued to gain experience he was the revelation of the tail end of 2013 & its unfortunate that he was left with a bad car this year.

        Throwing a rookie that showed promise & potential out after 1 season, Disrupting his performance growth & potentially putting him back in a year or more down the line does nothing but hurt Kevin & puts him on the back foot going forward if/when they put him back in.

        Do you just ignore the strong performances he had, Do you just ignore the potential & flashes of raw talent he showed through the year just because Jenson is more popular amongst the fans/media?
        Or do you look at how much another year with the experience he’s already gained & what he will continue to gain by been out there racing will allow Kevin to grow & continue to improve?

        1. For me it should be as simple as who will do the best job for the team next year.

          Next year if Jenson does retire they can look at any number of drivers to fill his shoes that have shown promise – Nico, Bottas, Grosjean etc.

          It reminds me of a soccer team that is always building for the future, instead of fielding the best team available and getting some winning culture going…

          1. But if they throw Magnussen out, what was the point of sacking Perez? What was the point of helping Magnussen during his early career? Soon they’d have two reserve drivers in Magnussen and Vandoorne, and Alonso isnt planning to go anywhere without that third title.

            1. Really, the issue should be which driver attracts the most advertising revenue, but that no longer seems important.

          2. I definitely agree. Mclaren could place Magnussen in a different race series (GP2), and continue to hone his skills outside of F1. They can also potentially give him multiple free practice sessions as well.

      2. I think after seeing Romain’s improvement from 2012 to 2013, Eric probably has high confidence in his ability to mentor rookie drivers. And hence, he is pushing for Kevin or Jenson. One key thing he hasn’t realised is that Romain always had the raw speed. Kevin is slower than Jenson in qualifying, who himself is one of the worst qualifiers.

        Hence choosing Kevin over Jenson will be a mistake from the logical perspective as well as emotional perspective.

        1. Worst qualifiers is a bit overstating the case. He gave up 3 tenths to Lewis usually which is not too shabby, and occasionally beat “the fastest man in F1” so not really sure about this… Lewis really doesn’t have that title anymore anyway after being out-quallied by NR this year, right?

          1. “Lewis really doesn’t have that title anymore anyway after being out-quallied by NR this year, right?”
            I have never understood this logic. Did Lewis earn the title of “fastest man in F1” over a single year or season?? So how can he he lose it over a single season’s result? And how can Rosberg now have earned after a single seasons result too?? Human logic always fails me.

        1. Yes, it seems Eric, that you should be using Ron’s calculator. His adds up £s rather than points.

      3. @dpod, we should be congratulating F1 for having such a depth of talent that a driver of JBs quality can be regarded as surplus to requirements, unfortunately the reality is that there are no longer teams like Minardi to nurture and train inexperienced young drivers bursting with raw talent only teams looking for young drivers with bursting money-bags.

        1. “there are no longer teams like Minardi to nurture and train inexperienced young drivers”
          It’s a rather sad statement, but it pretty much sums up the state of F1.

    7. Here’s a thought: forget Alonso and keep both Button and Magnussen. Seriously, Alonso’s performance this year left me far less impressed than Button’s. Everyone says Alonso is in like it’s a sure thing. If I was in charge, I’d look at Alonso’s failure to get championships and then failure to get results and wonder if it’s not entirely Ferrari’s fault that they’re in a drought.

      1. @joey-poey maybe we saw different races but I think Alonso drove the hell out of that car. Had he won Hungary this year, it’d have been the most spectacular win ever.

        I think Alonso, in any day, is able to perform to the capabilities of the car whereas Button sometimes seems to fade if the car is not close to his liking. He’s prone to those slumps like mid 2012. Alonso’s just relentless…

        I’d pick him over anyone, tbh…

        1. Of which two seasons ago was a prime example. ONe day he wins the race and the following three he gets doubled by his teammate…

      2. And Button failure to get a championship? People sure do forget Button performance in 2012 when McLaren had a very good car. Coincidently, that year, after wining the first race, Button said that Alonso was no threat for them :)

        1. Button wasn’t wrong. Alonso was so far ahead of him eventually in the championship that he indeed was never a threat to button :)

        2. LOL did he really say that?
          There must have been some gigantic humble pie waiting for him when he came back to Woking after the season was over. Not to mention his mid-season slump where he was going around 10th place while Alonso and Hamilton were winning races.

      3. Right on. Alonso is team poison.

        1. Well, not according to the people who actually worked with him.

          1. Worked with him at which team? He’s managed to have his contract ended early by two of the top teams in the last seven years.

            1. In both cases it was Alonso’s choice to leave

            2. @jerseyf1 no one intelligent enough would’ve stayed at Ferrari for longer with such a good prospect elsewhere… you can’t blame Alonso for that decision.

      4. How can anyone say Alonso’s performance this year was less than impressive? He outdrove his teammate who is pretty awesome in his own right and carried the team to a position where it really doesn’t deserve to be at. Unbelievable…

    8. To the COTD, what is Whiting supposed to say? He works for the FIA. He’s not going to call their decisions unsafe.

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        28th November 2014, 6:29

        @sward28 I don’t think the comment makes Whiting incompetent, however it does severely affect his credibility. He can’t be happy about being thrown under the bus like that.

        1. I’ve been concerned about Charlie Whiting’s credibility for years.

    9. McLaren problems seemed “dilemma” for me (as a big McLaren fan) if they pick Alonso-Button, it will effectively end Magnussen career, if they pick Alonso- Magnussen then McLaren PR will gone very bad (a lot people love Button) if they pick Button- Magnussen it might be the best option, but Alonso sadly will end up without a drive and possibly retire from f1. McLaren can pick Alonso-Button but when they passed over their prime (2016-) then McLaren will have to put inexperienced Vandoorne (although he showed a lot of promise) with Magnussen. i’m sure McLaren will pay alot for Button and Alonso, but It was a huge gamble especially looking at their performance this year, then McLaren may struggle to find decent line up in 2016 if they fail next year. Above all, McLaren should fix their car first because drivers are not their main problem, but the cars itself are pretty poor.

      1. “if they pick Button- Magnussen it might be the best option”

        Hahaha best option for whom actually? For Mercedes and Red Bull?

        1. Budget, Magnussen future, PR. For me its the best, but if you have diffrent opinion then go ahead and tell it :-)

      2. Alonso has cos the team bags of money in fines in the past and a sure WDC/WCC. Having said that, McLaren has never been a training ground until lately. Take the two seasoned vets and get Mag a drive in a back marker or another series with reserve status. He did not do better against Button than Perez IMO, but he was a rookie. Perez took it to Hulk this year, despite Hulk’s “legendary” status in some minds and the fact that he was established at FI. Next year will be interesting.

      3. I think it’s probably nailed on that Alonso will drive for McLaren. If you look at what was said in that interview, it was all about choosing between Button and Magnussen, so I think it is safe to assume they have already decided on Alonso.

        For the other seat, it is really tricky. Button is the better driver, has tons of experience, and is well liked. As you said, the PR angle is definitely against giving Button the boot. On the other hand, it will be unfair on Magnussen to let him go.

        For myself, I think the smart decision would be Button & Alonso. They are the better 2 drivers, and are more likely to bring home better results. I just doubt they will drop Magnussen: They have invested a lot in him, and he shows great potential. It’s a risky move for them, but he could improve a great deal next year.

        The fair thing to have done would be to keep Button and Magnussen, but they are not in this to be fair. They want to win.

    10. OK, not-so-serious idea first: 2015 is a 20 race calendar, with a two-car team that equals 40 races. 13 races for Button, 13 for Magnussen, 14 for Alonso, since he’s the big-money hot-shot coming in ;-)

      More seriously, I think Mclaren should do this: pick Alonso and Button. Make Magnussen third driver but on the proviso that he’s definitely back in the race seat in 2016 because Button’s got just one more year. I think they need all the experience they can get in the first year of the Honda partnership. Give Magnussen a bit more time to study things, learn from Button and Alonso, learn what he probably still needed to learn before this season, and put him in for some Friday free practices (taking Button’s car mostly, but occasionally Alonso’s just to annoy him). Maybe pay whatever remnants of Caterham/Marussia come along to do a few races, Ricciardo-at-HRT stylee. (Alternatively give him 4, maybe 5, maybe 6 races to keep his eye in, and let Jenson do the bulk of the season, a bit like that seat share thing Klien and Liuzzi did in the early days of RBR. It’s not optimal, but given 2015 is probably going to be a development year for Mclaren as opposed to a championship fighting year, possibly workable.)

      Button’s still got a lot to give. And it also gives him time to sort out alternative futures in F1, as opposed to not telling him until after all the other drives are sorted and the season’s over. Magnussen’s career should be a long one and it should be able to survive being “benched” for a year as a temporary measure much better than it would if they dropped him altogether, picked Button for a year, and then needed a new driver anyway, at which point they might go for Vandoorne if Magnussen had went his own way.

      They won’t do any of that, but it’s a thought.

      1. But who said that Button only has one more year ahead of him? It could be more. The guy is fit and is no younger than Alonso who was in talks with Ferrari till 2019!

        1. Perhaps some clause that says if you don’t beat Alonso in 2015, Kevin gets your seat in 2016. That’ll fire Jenson up.

    11. ColdFly F1 (@)
      28th November 2014, 7:43

      Great COTD and assessment of FIA and CW. @Girts

      1. @coldfly @KeithCollantine Thanks very much! A COTD always makes my day! :)

    12. Alonso has spent the last few years telling us all how rubbish the Ferrari is, how he is so great and gets more out of it than it deserves etc etc. Now he’s on the way out Ferrari are going to be title favourites every year and his team will no doubt be struggling despite his heroic efforts.

      In some ways I hope he’s right. I would dearly love it if next year turns into a two way title battle between Vettel in a Ferrari and Massa in a Williams.

      1. Can you give us some links of Alonso rubbishing Ferrari and saying at the same time he is great? Literal quotes please, not interpretations by others. If possible, try to find quotes for the same race of Massa or Kimi praising the Ferrari. That would be awesome.

      2. @jerseyf1, I have missed Alonso saying that.
        I know fans (including myself) and the media has made such assessments, but I do not recall Alonso doing so; and certainly not that he ‘spent the last few years’ doing so.

        Please look up the quotes by Alonso and you will see than is referring to ‘we’ more than most other drivers.

      3. Ferrari is everyone’s favourite for the championship every year? Not mine, I’m afraid…

        1. Well I’m not going to provide quotes but was there not tension last year between FA and LdM when FA criticized their efforts and LdM got defensive publicly about some things FA said? Also, wasn’t FA calling himself a Samarai over the last handful of years? Perhaps these are the things jersey is referring to?

          However, FA is not saying Ferrari ‘are going to’ be title favourites now that he is on his way out…he is saying they should always be and are always expected to be favourites, and he is right.

          As to a two way title battle between Vettel and Massa?…only one problem with that…two drivers at Merc.

          1. He said that everyday in the press. Dont know how people still doubt he said that. For god sake there is no more blind person that the ones that dont want see the reality. If u want quotes i can give u all the links u want… Its not very hard, he said all weeks in press.

            1. Yes, links please. But also of Massa and Kimi saying the opposite.

          2. Having the mindset of a samurai is no more a mark of arrogance than having the mindset of a potato. And the only reason there was any sort of conflict between LdM and Alonso was because of LdM and his inability to accept that the car his team had provided was garbage.

        2. I think what he is trying to say is that everyone always expects Ferrari to do well. Their one and only purpose in this world is to make fast cars, and talk about fast cars will inevitably involve Ferarris. Most people expect that they will be back on top sooner or later.

    13. Just a thought. I wonder how would Alonso feel if Kimi wins the 2015 title.

      1. Lol I think he would feel, along with the rest of us, that beating the two Mercs would be a feat deserving of huge accolades and respect akin to any of the great feats in the history of F1, especially given what a turnaround that would be from this season’s Ferrari. If this happened, I wonder how SV and his fans would feel.

      2. Disappointed he didn’t win it himself. Like every year since 2007 :P

    14. All the Button/Mag/Alonso arguments will disappear once (if) McLaren start to really perform next year regardless of who drives for them. However, the debate will be endless if McLaren Honda stutter in 2015.

      Personally, I hope McLaren do well regardless of who drives. If they do, they will bring some excitement back to the competition. Look what Williams did this year, not only did they overcome years of mediocrity, they spiced up the competition turning the season into an (almost) three horse race.

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