Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Singapore, 2013

Alonso ‘wanted veto over Ferrari team mate choice’

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Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Singapore, 2013In the round-up: Fernando Alonso wanted the power to veto Ferrari’s choice of second driver and have input into which technical staff the team hired.

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

F1 season review podcast (MotorSport)

At 8’50: “Certainly one of the things that Fernando [Alonso] was demanding in his negotiations with Ferrari to continue was veto over the second driver, choice of technical personnel, things like that.”

Hamilton and Rosberg ‘back to normal’ (BBC)

Lewis Hamilton: “We had a filming day the other day and all that tension disappears.”

Gutierrez: Time at Sauber doesn’t reflect my true ability (NBC)

“Many times I did really great laps in qualifying, also really good races, but from the outside it’s not something you can really realise.”

2014 “exceeded expectations” (Sky)

Daniel Ricciardo: “We knew how strong they [Mercedes] where heading into the season, so the plan was just to be there and if they were having some issues or some scraps then it was to be the next guy and make sure you capitalise.”

Marussia F1 Auction (Global Partners)

“Sale to include: Marussia Formula One race cars (no engines), complete test lab, race day trailer fleet, complete machine shop, corporate offices, large quantity of spare parts including race day replacement parts and tools, high-tech server equipment.”

Susie Wolff’s F1 rise is not tokenism – but a triumph over the odds (The Independent)

“There are no positive role models, no messaging that encourages girls to ask their parents for a crack in a kart, no cultural imperatives pointing them at speedos. Indeed casual sexism dealt the female of the species an enduring blow with all that cliched nonsense about ‘women drivers’.”

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Comment of the day

There was much scepticism over Christian Horner’s claim the new engine rules could lead Renault to quit F1:

Maybe Horner thinks we’ve all forgotten that a couple years ago, Renault were the ones who were threatening to quit if the sport didn’t adopt small displacement turbocharged engines. They were the only team threatening to quit over the V8s and if they’d had their way it would have been 1.6 litre four-cylinders. In the end they settled on six cylinders because Ferrari wouldn’t agree to four.

Both Ferrari and Mercedes preferred V8s, but were willing to settle on V6s. Cosworth didn’t care much about the architecture and just wanted a resolution.

Here’s a quote from Boulier back in his Renault days:

“Renault is pushing to supply maybe four teams. We’ve told the FIA that is our goal. Renault has decided to focus on being an engine supplier and as such we are pushing to bring new technology to F1. This is the only way for Renault to communicate their know-how and make sure they can use the opportunity of being in F1 to promote road car sales.

“The tendency of the road car market, especially for Renault, is to go to smaller engines with more hybrid technology to make fuel savings. F1 has to move forward. We need new regulations and new technical challenges for our engineers. Formula One can’t become just a show. We have to be seen as motor sport pioneers and technology is part of that. But we need to please our fans as well.”
Aldoid

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to former F1 driver Mika Salo who turns 48 today.

Salo made his debut with Lotus in the 1994 Japanese Grand Prix but his big break came five years later when he stood in for an injured Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.

Under instructions from Ferrari Salo gifted victory in the German Grand Prix that year to team mate Eddie Irvine to help his title bid. However Irvine failed to win the championship and Salo never came close to winning again.

He didn’t return to F1 after being dropped by Toyota in 2002, who he had spent a year testing with and a year racing for.

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  • 74 comments on “Alonso ‘wanted veto over Ferrari team mate choice’”

    1. First picture of Sebastian Vettel driving a Ferrari F2012 at Fiorano today

      I wonder what Sebastian was thinking when he drove that F2012.

      “Fernando nearly beat me in THIS thing?” :P

      In all seriousness, it’ll be pretty hard to get accustomed to Vettel driving anything other than a Red Bull. It’s like when Lewis left McLaren in 2012, the image of a driver in a particular car builds up in your head over time.

      1. @kingshark At least the relative team colours will mean we shouldn’t see Seb visiting the wrong garage next year…

        1. @optimaximal Button still managed to visit the Red Bull garage, even though he’s not driven for anything like them ;)

      2. Especially as the driver that took his car thought in his great wisdom to have the same coloured helmet as Lewis, The commentators were confused on more than one occasion.

      3. @kingshark same thought for me. Vettel is generally considered as more sensitive driver than Alonso, so I guess he would hate it.

      4. @kingshark I thought exactly the same thing…!

        I’m SURE Vettel wasn’t impressed with that car xD “I even liked this year’s Red Bull over this piece of…”

        Kinda like that scene from Rush. “All this facilities and all you can come up is this ****box?”

        1. I remember reading an interview with Gerhard Berger and he was thinking “what have I done?” the first time he drove a Ferrari after leaving McLaren. Probably Schumacher did as well. Down the years, a lot of drivers have been hired to save Ferrari!

          1. that is an interesting comment. Ferrari is a team every f1 driver wants to race for though – it is the epitome of f1, and all the greats want to race for the, a lot of the times the better drivers have pushed Ferrari as a team forward. the only thing holding back vettel from success at Ferrari is the engine homologation rules – he maybe be playing second fiddle to Mercedes for atleast 2015, but after that the rules can be changed with majority vote, and they no doubt will, and we will see the best car and driver win again instead of the best car with a Mercedes engine in it.

      5. I’m sure Vettel will have a big learning curve when it comes to adapting to the Ferrari’s. I always believed that different teams have a different spin on how they develop an F1 car, with Ferrari and Redbull being at two opposite ends of the spectrum. Vettel seems to like stable cars (who wouldnt?), but Ferrari tends to develop twitchy cars, so I could imagine that he was less than pleased with the F2012.

        Whatever the situation, I fully expect him to lace it up and drag the Ferrari to the best of his ability. After a rather disappointing season, I think he will be back with a vengeance.

      6. @kingshark Ah, the irony of it!

        1. He’s in for some serious pain next year. If he thought Red Bull 2014 was bad, he ain’t seen nothing yet.

          1. I guess he got a taste of it in that ugly 2012 Ferrari @jre_f1.

    2. I’m not glad to Gutierrez’s statement, but this is true.

      1. I don’t think so. There were 8 races this season where both Sut and Gut finished. H2H in those races is 4-4. Not that impressive.

        Qualification H2H is 8-8.

        Sutil is an average driver. If Gutierrez is as good as he thinks of himself, he should’ve beaten Sutil.

    3. Antoine Gondé (@)
      30th November 2014, 1:15

      The episode of the Motor Sport podcast is excellent and worth listening to in its entirety—especially their discussion on the state of Ferrari!

    4. Happy that Hamilton-Rosberg feud ended for a while, but i predict it will be more intense next year

    5. Surely the title, puts the final nail in any lingering hopes that JB will be on the grid next year… Pretty sure someone coming out of the McLaren driver programme won’t give him any trouble… ;-)

      1. Haha, if Vandoorne comes along and starts beating him (or Magnussen does) the nails will be going into Alonso… Apart from a couple of rainy days when JB’s unbeatable, Alonso would be faster than Button most of the time.

    6. COTD is spot on, these high profile members of staff are becoming more like politicians every day. They just sing what ever tune their current pay-masters demand of them.
      With regards Renault, the words ‘Cake’ and ‘eat it’ spring to mind!

    7. Well, I took a listen to that podcast. That claim about Alonso sounds as convincing as Raikkonen’s 2014 campaign. It seems much more like someone talking out of their back side about what they’ve heard in some rumors. Hardly what someone looking for credibility would take as the main line out of that whole podcast.

      1. My thoughts exactly. The statements about Alonso are obviously pure speculation.
        He’s got that going ever since his time at McLaren. So many people sharing so many insights about what he purportedly thinks and does that nobody even bothers to ask him or his colleagues if there’s any truth to that. The Alonso story has slipped out of his hands and has been told by others than him in the last years.

        1. Actually there was an interview with Rob Smedley who, as we know, worked with Alonso for 4 years, and everything he said was completely opposite from some of the shortcomings that people are attributing to Alonso. He said that he is a great for team and a very good motivation for the whole team because he always leads by example, by being the one who gets 100% out of himself, hence motivating the team to do the same. He also said that he gives a very good feedback and that is in general perfectly fine to work with.
          He also said that he is the best driver he ever saw, but that one might a bit too much for some people to swallow, even as just an educated opinion.

          1. I also remember an old interview from Alan Parmaine (I think it was Parmaine… its from an F1 racing magazine article) and he said that Alonso tends to come across as aloof or uninterested which some people mistake for arrogance but Parmaine and a few others were surprised that he’d been listening to all of it and when it comes to the technical side they said “he knows it all”. There’s an anecdote from his old engineer at Renault and that he had damaged his rear wing they calculated the loss of speed but he was nowhere near the figures, very minimal loss. The engineer said “its as if he refuses to believe it”.

          1. Thanks m8.

    8. Vettel in the Ferrari F2012? Ha, he’ll get a small preview of who he was racing with. The moment he stepped into the car, he was probably missing his Red Bull RB10 already! And the F2012 was always struggling for overall, and mostly rear, downforce and thus it is Vettel’s nightmare. Hope Ferrari too have seen after this test how stats don’t mean all that much in F1.

    9. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      30th November 2014, 2:55

      Andrew Benson: “The season featured two key turning points around controversial incidents at the races in Monaco and Belgium.”

      I disagree Mr. Benson.
      For me the biggest ‘momentum’ shifters were Belgium and then Singapore.

      1. I agree with Benson.

        Monaco visibly took the stride off Hamilton’s boat for the next race weekends, all the way up to Spa. He made all kinds of mistakes in qualis in the meantime, but was largely back to normal (apart from regular FP3 spins), after Spa.

        I completely agree with Benson, in fact, I thought so even before his statement came.

        1. no not really.canada lewis got a dnf,while leading.silverstone lewis won the race.and in germany and hungary lewis had issues with his car in quali,but he still beat nico in hungary,despite starting from the grid.so all these mistakes youre talking about,didnt really happen.

          1. the back of the grid^^

      2. He is talking about key turning points in their relationship during the season.

        Momentum shifts never happened. Only the mechanical failures held Hamilton back now and then.

    10. Vergne heading to Indy Car makes me happy. If they keep snapping up the talent that should have gotten a better chance in F1, I feel like the competition will just keep getting higher and higher and hopefully it’ll eventually reach it’s early 90’s days where it became a real threat to F1 in terms of popularity.

      1. I feel the same about it. I hope the IndyCar field can grow strong and give us a lot of pleasure watching it, especially if the “aero kit” packages take off a bit.

        1. especially if the “aero kit” packages take off a bit.

          I thought the point was to do the opposite. If they take off they are doing it wrong!

          I’ll get my coat…

    11. Alonso is a great driver but this is why I cant’ stand him sometimes. He wants the world (team) to revolve around him. He wants to be the clear no. 1 with everybody serving him and his needs only. If he’s as good as he really is, he shouldnt care who his teammate is.

      1. But thats what a lot of the best drivers do, They build the team around them & more often than not it brings success.

        Look what Michael Schumacher did at Ferrari, He ensured the team was built around him & they came away with 5 drivers & 6 constructors championships. He did the same at Benetton & they had 2 years of championship success.

        When Prost left McLaren the team was built around Senna & Prost did the same in the years before Senna joined.
        Nigel Mansell only went back to Williams for 1991 providing he got everything he asked for both technically & in terms of team personnel on his side of the garage. He’s said himself that he believed he was asking for the impossible & was amazed when he got everything he asked for.

      2. The whole thing in that podcast sounds like one of the speakers just wanted to make that point with zero evidence, while the other speakers just seemed miffed at his insistence on talking about it. Not very credible by any means.

        1. FA was known to have pretty clear number one status when he was at Benetton under Briatore. But that was at a time when MS/Ferrari was a trumped up team that the FIA and F1 wanted to see succeed. They ensured MS had more advantages hand over fist than any driver in the history of F1 before or since. This is just one of the fallout effects of weighing everything so heavily in one driver’s favour…the other teams had no choice but to either select a number one outright, or at least decide on a number one based on whose odds were greater, earlier in each season than ever, in order to compete against the elephant in the room.

          At Mac, post-MS/Ferrari, FA seemed not to be asking for number one status to LH, but feeling they were favouring LH, claimed he was asking simply for equal status but certainly wasn’t going to be treated secondarily. Especially not to a rookie. Something must have made him convinced he was not being treated equally. Maybe others know the details of this…I can’t recall at the moment what had him convinced.

          Fast forwarding to today…first off, having veto power does not mean he would have gotten to select the driver. The team would still do that and presumably FA would have a chance to say yes or no. But let’s face it…it’s not like they’d have 12 drivers lined up for FA to pick and choose….there’d only be a handful of viable candidates in terms of timing, availability, talent, money etc etc.

          Secondly, it is highly unlikely that FA is afraid of any driver on the grid. Veto power could simply mean he wanted the best driver available that could help move the car and the team forward. Simply saying he wanted veto power connotes he wanted exclusive number one status which can connote something as extreme as a designer car which is what MS enjoyed. So I do think it is taking a bit of license to say he wanted veto power and then move on without expanding on what that might entail. I do know this, or at least am pretty sure this is the case…no driver will ever have anywhere near all the advantages MS was afforded, and that’s a good thing. We’re still paying for that trumped up effort with bloated top teams that needed to get as costly as they are in order to compete against the elephant in the room, and still can’t/won’t get off their addiction to spending mega-millions while smaller teams are now edged out.

          FA may have wanted some sort of veto power, but it didn’t prevent them hiring a WDC as his teammate, nor did it guarantee him a designer car, nor a WDC, nor if that option was accepted or rejected in any negotiations, did it guarantee FA to remain at Ferrari. So whatever ‘veto power’ connotes, thank goodness it is not another MS/Ferrari.

    12. i have to question the alonso having veto over his team mate or whatever as alonso did not seem to have much of an issue with kimi raikkonen been brought in as his team mate for this year.

      i know that kimi didn’t turn out to be much of a challenge for fernando but nobody was expecting that when they signed him & going into this year everyone was talking about ferrari having the strongest driver line-up on the 2014 grid.

      with regards to having a say over technical personnel, isn’t that what all the top drivers tend to do? schumacher had ross brawn, rory byrne etc… brought into ferrari with him when he left benetton for instance & they always worked very closely with michael to build the car around him.

      1. alonso always wants number 1 status,this is well known.the only team he didnt get it in was mclaren.look what happened there.he knew kimi was no match for him.afterall massa beat kimi overall during there time together.

    13. Well, seems Ferrari knew Kimi would be horrible, so they gave him 18 million to score 1/3 of Alonso’s points. I mean, Alonso would never allow strong driver to be his teammate.
      (Note the sarcasm. It’s over 10!)

      1. Better deal for Ferrari than giving him 25M to sit out the year.

        *If* true, I think Fernando wanted the Veto to stop drivers he feared, and this appears to not
        include Kimi. Whether he feared speed or disruptive personality in another driver,
        and which Fernando thought Kimi lacked, are interesting questions.

        Personally I doubt the driver would ask for a Veto on technical staff, so I don’t believe the claim.

    14. SennaNmbr1 (@)
      30th November 2014, 6:57

      I didn’t really think about Vettel’s helmet design, but if he’s really severed all ties with Red Bull then I’m sure he will have a different design next season. Let’s just hope is doesn’t change every race.

    15. Carlos Sainz jr you have just gained a new fan with that excellent choice of race number .
      Go the fitty five!

      1. I’m all for unconventional numbers, i. e. those above 23-25, but it still starting to get a bit annoying that almost all of the high numbers are… like, ‘doubled single figures’ (I think I lack the knowledge of the proper English expression here…), such as 44, 55, 77, 99. (99 is out of the picture now, actually.)

        1. they should be able to on-sell the numbers like personalised number plates. That way Sutil can make some money!

          PS – @atticus-2, I find it weird that 88 (repetitive, endless, and stylish ‘clean’) has not been taken yet.

          1. Haha, yeah.

          2. 88 is used by Neonazis as an abbreviation for ‘Heil Hitler’ (with H being the 8th letter of the alphabet), so I wouldn’t count on it being used anytime soon.

            1. That’s probably reserved by Bernie.

            2. @biggsy LOL.. You made me laugh

            3. A lot people who don’t wear tin foil hats wouldn’t know about this and wouldn’t see it as an issue

    16. Not the first time motorsportmagazine accuses Alonso of something without providing any proof. It looks like is their opinion based on his own view of Alonso.

    17. Is Germany still living in the 1930’s or something? What kind of ignorant morons ask a question like that?

      1. Well, that was ironic!

        1. Like the guy in Austin Powers who says “I only hate two things… Xenphobes and the Dutch!”

      2. Not a lot of black people live in Germany (immigrants are mostly from Southern Europe, Turkey and Eastern Europe), and the reporter was probably not that comfortable in English. So I think it is a fair question to ask before the interview, although not one I would ask on air! I wonder what Hamilton answered.

        @bcracing

    18. Knowing how desperately Lewis is trying to be some Hollywood hip-hop poser, I can bet he told him to call him African American.

      1. im pretty sure the biggest hip hop audience are white,and many rappers are also white,so why would lewis ask to be called african american.your post is bodering on racist.

        1. You are one of those enforcers of oppressive political correctness then, because there’s nothing wrong with my joke on Lewis’ behalf. While you were busy looking for something wrong in what I’ve said, you’ve missed the joke, so here’s the explanation (note: you’ve already missed it so it won’t help find your sense of humor):
          Lewis is trying hard to appear American and his whole entourage is always American celebrities from hiphop circles. He is really trying hard to be one of them. If that wasn’t completely obvious to you by now, then I’m afraid, it won’t change just because I laid out some facts to you.

          1. Shut the hell up, no one cares.

            1. hahaha some Lewis fans are so defensive they can’t even take a joke about their precious idol. Most hip hop fans are white? Lol who’s callng who racist? Here let me help you @matt……

              Most hip hop fans are………. hip hop fans. :-)

              Your defensive replies where Lewis can do no wrong (yep read the earlier ones and had a giggle too) are quite entertaining, keep it up!
              They have me ‘bodering’ on spitting my coffee out laughing!

          2. Surely it’s obvious Lewis is being exactly what he wants to be, and having a great time with it. Lol @ the petty malice, I’d say the joke is on those who find his combination of subculture and success hard to cope with. Gonna get ‘worse’ too :)

    19. Re “Sale to include: Marussia Formula One race cars (no engines), complete test lab, race day trailer fleet, complete machine shop, corporate offices, large quantity of spare parts including race day replacement parts and tools, high-tech server equipment.”
      Sadly, this was totally avoidable.

    20. Alonso’s equation is very hard.

    21. I am tired of feminist articles lauding Suzie Wolff as a hero and lamenting the lack of female role models in motor racing! Getting into F1 is hard enough for anybody, but perhaps easier for her with the Toto Wolff connection….

      1. Please explain this connection, with diagrams please sir! :-)

    22. Any data about the source of your Head title about F Alonso? Or is just gossip between some people chatting about 2014 season?

      1. @idr

        It was Mark Hughes saying that, who is the guy Sky TV have in the commentary box along with Brundle and Crofty. He is well-connected, I believe, so despite what many people have said here, I suspect he has some actual basis for what he is saying, rather than just mindless gossip.
        They are HUGE fans on Alonso at Motorsport magazine, and hardly ever criticize him.

        1. So, the Head Title should be: “Very well connected journalist believes F Alonso have asked team mate veto rights for his renewal in Ferrari”

          1. Sounds about right………:)

          2. He’s well connected so why would he need to “believe”? That’s the point of being well connected, you “hear” things from people who “know”.

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