Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monte-Carlo, 2015

Alonso’s better off at McLaren than Ferrari – Briatore

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Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monte-Carlo, 2015In the round-up: Flavio Briatore says McLaren is a better team for his former driver Fernando Alonso to be in than Ferrari was.

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Alonso better off at McLaren - Briatore (Reuters)

"Between Ferrari and Mercedes it is the same distance. The problem is three or four teams are not there any more. With Honda and McLaren, we have a better future."

The essential... Fernando Alonso (F1)

"What are the essential qualities of an F1 driver? FA: You need to be a bit of an actor - sometimes. There will always be situations that come up where you have to be a bit of a fake.So you definitely need some acting qualities to make your day. You also need a good quantity of selfishness - not arrogance, but something to get you the respect of your surroundings."

Crimewatch (BBC)

Four men have been arrested in connection with the theft of trophies from the Red Bull F1 team's headquarters.

FIA toughens up front wing deflection tests (Motorsport)

"A 60N point load will be applied to any part of the trailing edge of any front wing flap."

Pirelli admits surprise at Mercedes call (F1i)

"I was as surprised as everyone else to see the final pit stop that decided the outcome of the race."

Red Bull considers taking penalties (Autosport)

"We've now got to evaluate what happens in Montreal, whether we take a penalty there or not."

To Live and Die in Monaco in 24 Hours or More (Kinja)

"Pieces include drawings from Picasso, Matisse, etc., various experience items and framed signatures from the Moon-landing Apollo 11 team, Wimblendon Legends, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, the members of the Beatles, Senna, Mansell, Prost and Piquet; James Hunt, Michael Schumacher, a short signed by both Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, shoes by Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo and one of the centrepiece, a signed helmet visor by Senna and Damon Hill at the 11th March, 1994 F1 test at Imola - among many others."

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Comment of the day

Is Massa’s criticism of Verstappen fair?

Massa was in an identical position as Max during the Canadian Grand Prix last year. He was attacking a slower driver and was about to dive down on the inside to make the move stick. There was a train of cars just ahead all following each other very closely in damp conditions. Perez had to take slight evasive action to avoid hitting the car in front and Massa, lacking situational awareness, ran into the back of Perez.

It was the same level of ‘dangerous’ driving that he is accusing Verstappen of now. Massa needs a reality check.
@Todfod

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On this day in F1

Besides being hopelessly off the pace, Taki Inoue developed a reputation for being involved in unfortunate incidents during his brief F1 career. One such drama happened on this day 20 years ago, when Inoue was being towed back to the pits at Monaco. Jean Ragnotti, driving a course car at considerable speed, smashed into Inoue’s Arrows causing substantial damage.

Fortunately Inoue was unharmed, but it was not the last bizarre incident he was to be involved in during the 1995 season:

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  • 97 comments on “Alonso’s better off at McLaren than Ferrari – Briatore”

    1. Disagree with COTD. There is a difference between Canada and Monaco. Massa was in position to attack, Verstappen wasn’t. I do think though that both Massa and Verstappen were to blame in these incidents as they both misjudged the situations.

      1. I concur, the COTD is utter nonsense.

        Perez did not move to take evasive action, he diverged ever so slightly to the left of the racing line (which, given that there’s a slight kink in the road there, actually meant, he went straight on) to defend his position from Massa. Massa just didn’t expect it, he stuck to his one-car width-to-the-left-of-the-racing line route and – following the arc of the kink – simply met the car that actually changed its line in racing terms. (Although he should have certainly left the other car more room.)

        In Monaco, it was the following car that moved and moved too late, when he should have already been braking instead. Grosjean actually – contrary to what Verstappen claimed – braked later than Hamilton did on his pole lap, despite being on older tyres and in a heavier car (although on a more rubbered-up track).

        In a nutshell, the two situations share nothing significant in common: in Canada, it was the leading car which moved (in racing terms, compared to the ideal line, I can’t stress it enough), in Monaco, it was the following car. In Canada, at least both drivers were to blame, although I tend to blame the leading driver a bit more, in Monaco it was entirely the following driver’s fault.

        1. +1 Max should admit his mistake and learn from this, he shouldn’t keep blaming Grosjean. Or we are gonna keep seeing similar mistakes from him…
          That’s the maturity he should show now.
          Also, the fans might have been having a good time watching him, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was his fault. Both Max and the fans should stop accusing Grosjean causing a near fatal incident. Some of those people don’t distinguish the optical illusion of watching Monaco on-board with Verstappen along with the unusual racing line because of bumps on the track.

      2. i still think that Max was left with no place to go because Romain braked unexpectedly early. Is he guilty? maybe, because he should left more space between him and Romain. But, is it “dangerous” or “reckless driving” ok, i’m not so sure about that.

        1. Grosjean states that the data shows he actually broke 5 meters later than he had the lap before. I guess it comes down to whether people believe him or not.

          1. On the onboard of Grosjean you can hear him stop throttling earlier which is more or less braking in F1 cars. But anyway, Verstappen was to close to him without a good overtake position, so I can understand that the blame is on him. Though it’s more a race incident. I can’t stand that so many penalty’s are given these days. And Massa, please stop making a fool of yourself…

        2. No throttle = almost like braking.

        3. It it is so clear for us the viewers on TV why did the the stewards, with access to the telemetry data provided by the teams ruled against Verstappen?
          If indeed there was evidence that Grosjean lifted or braked (lifting throttle does brake the car more now because of the the Kinetic and Heat MGUs) earlier it would be at least a racing incident.

          Also I hear all this comments about Grosjean brake testing or braking earlier and even though this is used in some turns to “unbalance” the driver attacking, I cannot find any advantage that Grosjean would gain (braking much earlier than usual) with a driver ready to attack him on a possible overtaking point (people do overtake at times in Sainte Devote).

          But my second statement is an opinion. The stewards dealt with facts and they didn’t seem to have no doubts about it.

      3. Was last year’s Canadian race damp?

        1. That’s what I was wondering. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t.

        2. No. Not even slightly.

        3. Sorry.. I wasn’t sure about that. Got it confused with another canadian gp I guess

      4. Massa was in position to attack, Verstappen wasn’t.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1ap51Gu390

        I thought Massa was in much of a position to attack as Verstappen was. The nature of Monaco makes it harder, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want drivers attack. Or else, we might as well award points on Saturday

        The point was the lack of situational awareness on the part of Massa. Perez was following Vettel closely, and would have made a move himself. There was no need to for Massa to get so dangerously close to Perez in the 1st place. If you see the video, you will see Massa had plenty of room on the left, but still chose to stay as close to Perez’s left rear wheel.

        Massa was talking all about dangerous driving, and his attack on Perez could have been a whole lot less reckless as well.

        1. I feel last year Canada was Perez’ fault.

          But then again, so what. First, I regularly see similar crashes and incidents like this one and secondly, I doubt anyone ever became world champion without ever having crashed.

        2. Just because you want to see overtake in Monaco it doesn’t mean Max Verstappen should be dive bombing at St Devote when he said he wasn’t even trying to overtake.

      5. @toxic – As you say, the situations are very different. Max made a rookie mistake at a track that is almost impossible to pass at. It was a bad judgement call by him but I’d expect him to learn from it. This sort of crash is exactly what we would have expected from Grosjean back in the day.

        Massa’s issue was fairly simple – he can’t drive in the rain!

      6. To put things in perspective, some Grosjean facts:
        – Spa 2009 : hits Button on the first lap
        – Melbourne 2012 : his Maldonado
        – Kwala Lumpur 2012 : hits Schumacher on the first lap
        – Monaco 2012 : hits Alonso, Schumacher and Kobayashi
        – Hockenheim 2012 : hits Senna on the first lap
        – Spa 2012 : hits Alonso, Hamilton and Perez on the first lap
        – Suzuka 2012 : hits Webber on the first lap

        1. Half of that didn’t even have anything to do with him putting a wheel wrong.
          If you want to put things into perspective, take David Coulthard’s 2008 season. There was hardly any race without him knocking another car off the track or crashing by his own fault. Or Hamilton’s 2011 season – he may have had more incidents with Massa alone than Grosjean with everyone else in these two seasons.

        2. Grosjean having those accidents doesn’t make him the culprit in this case. Moreover, RG is now a much better driver who still brings excitement to races with his interesting overtakes. MV should learn from those and from what he did at St Devote. He shouldn’t be blaming Grosjean.

      7. The biggest similarity is that in both cases the driver following has a lot to learn about racing in formula 1….

        I’m sure Max will learn from mistakes he makes along the way. But Massa is always the first to criticize and one of the last to admit any mistake on his part.

        1. Massa has a problem with rookies. Last year his favourite target was Magnussen.

      8. Yeah, that CotD contains a lot of nonsense. Aside from the fact that Massa and Pérez collided in Canada, almost every single bit of information in the comment is plain wrong.
        The track wasn’t damp, Pérez didn’t take evasive action, as Vettel was too far ahead, and, like a million videos out there show, it was Pérez who suddenly left his line, blocking Massa.

        Massa doesn’t need a reality check, he’s doing fine. @Todfod, on the other hand, should swipe his glasses from time to time.

      9. I’m sorry, but COTD is just nonsense. What happened in Canada was discussed to exhaustion, so we don´t need history rewritten just to adjust it to last sunday’s facts.
        It’s truly shocking that nobody is discussing anymore if Max’s maneuver was wildly out of place or not, but the fact that it was Massa who said something about it. This is ridiculous. Maybe Massa’s opinion is valuable and needs to be taken into account *precisely* because it comes from Massa. All these arguments about Massa’s right to have an opinion about a car crash are depressing, really.

      10. Hey I said the same as @todfod and I agree completely. Massa has been saying “strange” things for a decade now.
        The only thing I said different in my comment is that I believe Massa should have been penalized whilst Max shouldn’t. Thankfully Mika Hakkinen has pointed out the same fact as I had done in my comment “Romain changed trajectory and speed”, he did so Romain defended the position awfully late and this is the reason for the crash, that said I would be happy with no penalty but honestly what Romain did is dangerous because he changed his line because Max moved to the right and that shadowing movement is what Max means with “Romain brake tested me”. In my honest opinion some journalists the FIA etc are having a go at Max because they are jealous that he is 17 and in F1 and son of Jos as well, nepotism creeps to mind. If the FIA wanted to be strict, penalizing Romain would have sufficed, not the much more matured opponent who’s was doing exactly what people want of racing.

    2. Only if Mclaren makes great car near future.

      1. Did you mean if only McLaren had a better PU? Renault PU would be more than good enough i guess.

        1. ? Renault is in exactly the same position as Honda right now..

          1. @fastiesty, in some ways Renault are in a worse situation than Honda given their worse reliability record, along with the fact that some of their modifications to the engine have not worked as planned (they have had to go back to their 2014 specification pistons due to the modified versions being the cause of a number of engine failures).

            1. In lots of ways Honda are in a worse position! If Honda are in this position next year, then they’ll be doing as badly as Renault…

        2. Honda are in a far better place than Renault, there is absolutely no argument about that. Honda have got so much room to grow with their power unit, where as Renault have a bog standard power unit with very little innovation. It is a very poor power unit, they won’t be able to make a major enough update to the engine to bring it up to parity because of the development path of the power units (because to integrate ideas from the other manufacturers they would have to change a vast amount of the engine). Whereas Honda have already integrated those other ideas, and have introduced some massively innovative ideas of their own. The Honda PU only looks bad now because they still have to tune it down and as far as anyone knows the MP4-30 chassis isn’t as good as we expected.

          1. I would agree that Honda are in a better place than Renault, although currently, they still are a little behind them in performance and reliability.

            There is still much more to come from Honda once they get a few teething issues solved, and I agree with the fact that they have taken a more innovative approach to their PU design. Renault, haven’t created performance, reliability or innovation, so by this time next year I either expect Renault to be missing from the sport or a decent amount behind Honda

            Mclaren’s size zero chassis doesn’t seem to be that spectacular. For all you know a major chunk of the deficit to the leaders might be coming from the chassis side. Personally I believe Mclaren is 3 seconds a lap on average slower than Mercedes. 1.5 seconds down on the PU side and 1.5 seconds down on the chassis side

      2. Yes, you are right. His happiness of course is subject to how long it takes Mclaren to present him with a car he can drive to the front. But I do think he is not too bothered about Ferrari’s performance this year, as Briatore said in the report, F1 has only one team now – MercedesAmgF1. And Alonso has come second a couple of times with Ferrari, so it’s no big deal to him if Seb finishes second this year or next. The man simply wants to win and he needed, in my opinion of course, to make the move.

        I find it particulary interesting though with Alonso’s comment, in light of the difficulties of Mclaren, that being ‘an actor’ is an ‘essential’ part of being a F1 driver.

    3. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      27th May 2015, 0:56

      That was a lot of effort to find out who Liam Payne was, a lot of time wasted…

      1. And his answer should be interpreted as “No I’m here to get my face on the telly and sell my junk to your audience but I’ll appear enthusiastic and into whatever this event is so you put me on your broadcast”. NBC has too many non-racing insets into its programming. Commercials are the worst, then we come back to the broadcast to show some B-roll of some nearby city or beach or a shot of a minor celebrity in civvies. Sigh.

        1. @scalextric its a shame really. When you compare the amount of time Sky has for F1 to NBC is nothing yet Hobbs and Machett are way better commentators than most of the Sky F1 team (excluding Brundle, Hill, Eddie and why not…Kravitz as well)

          1. Eddie is BBC. Hill is not a great commentator… Ant Davidson is the best of Sky F1 in terms of analysis.

            1. Yup, Anthony’s lap analyses are always very insightful. And I like Martin Brundle. He’s been out of the business for quite a while now, but he’s remarkably smart for an ex-F1 driver and good at distinguishing relevant from not-so-relevant information.

          2. @f1freek Brundle was pretty unprofessional on the monaco podium though, but as a journalist he is possibly the only good one at Sky F1. Hill is insightful and sometimes funny yet many time inappropriate because he gets dragged along by Johnnie and Ted’s discriminating rants and bullying moments when they target only who they don’t like or what is not British. I think if you spend some more time with SKY you would get fed up. Davidson is more reserved more polite and has relevant knowledge although it is very hard for him not to end up repeating himself on 1 and a 1/2 hour practice sessions.

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          27th May 2015, 9:20

          @scalextric, that’s why I voted in the GDPA poll that I don’t want celebs during the grid walk.

          1. agree — who cares about some starlet or actor or somesuch (the low point being the Gangnam Style singer in Korea a few years back). I’d rather see SJS or Stirling Moss or any former driver instead.

          2. @coldfly
            Oh boy, the German translation of the poll is so awkward …

      2. @come-on-kubica Really? I clicked on the tweet and it said ‘One Direction’.

        That was pretty much it…

        1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
          27th May 2015, 18:37

          And that is way too much time wasted finding out about some celeb.

    4. Briatore is delirious. Simple…if what he says is correct, the best scenario would have been staying with Ferrari this year, and then moving to Mc Laren. Mc Laren would have waited with BUT-MAG, saving millions. But Briatore comparisons are doubtful and misguiding. Ferrari has become better. Just look at Sauber. Kimi is driving better, VET is spot on….and the engine gained a couple of HP. Is true…RedBull is not there yet and Williams seems to have fallen a step….but Ferrari is a better team. Hey…lucky or strategically they won a race this year…So…what Briatore does is cheating (as he is used to). He shows a couple of true facts and then throw a lie into the air. ALO hasn’t even outdrived BUT. It’s hard to let go…but seems that RAI, ALO, and BUT time in this F1 is done.

      1. @mumito Briatore is heavily involved in the Bernie/LdM/Mosley crowd, meaning the second LdM left Ferrari, he started making all sort of noise about how bad it was for FA to be there.

        He’s not directly involved in FA’s management any more, but he no doubt has some money tied up in Fernando’s stock somewhere…

        1. I didn’t know Briatore is no longer involved in FA’s career management. It makes sense, after the blunder he made last year, but as far as I know (and I don’t presume to know much) he is still Alonso’s manager.

          How do you know he is not involved anymore? I would like to share on that if you don’t mind.

      2. @mumito – Alonso simply wants to win another Championship. That’s his goal. Would he be in contention if he stayed at Ferrari this year? Probably not.

        I think this resembles Lewis’ move to Mercedes quite a lot in that he saw the potential and gambled on it. If things go badly, Alonso will do worse than he would have at Ferrari but would he win a title if he stayed with Ferrari? I’m not convinced.

        1. That’s exactly my thoughts on this subject. We won’t really know if it was a “right” or “wrong” decision until the next few years have played out. If Vettel (or even Raikkonen) wins a championship with Ferrari and McLaren are still nowhere, then you could say it was a huge mistake, but only in hindsight.

        2. In order to win another WDC ALO must be driving a dominating car. How long does RedBull needed to get to the top? 4/5 years? Mercedes? Another 4/5 years? What makes you thing McLaren will be winning and with championship chances next year? ALO? Again misleading.
          Be that as it may…..When Lewis did his “risky move” he won a race in 2013 (hungary). ALO is fighting Merhi, Stevens and Maldonado.

          1. In order to win another WDC ALO must be driving a dominating car. How long does RedBull needed to get to the top? 4/5 years? Mercedes? Another 4/5 years?

            I agree. At the earliest, I could see Mclaren winning in 2018. At least 3 seasons and one more rule shakedown COULD help them close the gap to the front. It’s questionable whether Alonso would stick around for that long, or still be in his prime.

            The mess that Mclaren find themselves in right now is far worse than predicted, and that is probably what is eating at Alonso. But when it comes to Ferrari, it’s hard to say whether they will make a championship winning car. They are a safe bet for 2nd best on the grid, but do they still have the ability to jump the competition? It’s hard to say. Alonso thought Mclaren at least has the mindset and the resources to pull one out of the bag, and I would have to agree with his decision despite their current situation.

          2. Hamilton won a race in Hungary. Let’s see were Mclaren will be by Hungary.

      3. “but seems that RAI, ALO, and BUT time in this F1 is done”

        Agree. You just forgot to add MAS to that list.

    5. Love Verstappens tweet – I really do hope he doesn’t let it influence his style and continues to attack and brake insanely late

      1. Completely agree, I am loving his attitude on and off the track. Watching him stick to Vettel’s bumper and follow thru under blue flags was great fun (all with a broken front wing no less).

        1. I fully agree as well. One of the most exiting drivers to watch so far.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        27th May 2015, 9:23

        @fletchuk, agree except for those childish (!) emojicons.

      3. I don’t agree. It is apparent he doesn’t think there was anything wrong with what he did, since he is still blaming Romain Grosjean (on instagram).
        He’s been bomb diving a lot, last time after a race he said that he wasn’t planning to overtake the car in front but he had to otw he would have crashed into him. That’s exactly what happened this time. And it could have happened with Vettel too. I am not saying he shouldn’t do similar things as he brings excitement to races, but he should know when he did wrong and he should accept his mistakes to learn and do better next time. That is exactly where he should show his maturity.

        1. digitalrurouni
          27th May 2015, 20:21

          With modern cars being so safe, I would have thought that sort of an attitude would be appreciated! I mean the only one pulling any overtaking moves this year despite aero making it more difficult is a 17 year old! Sometimes we just need to be shaken out of the drunken stupor that F1 induces. This incident with Hamilton comical as it is, MV’s overtaking moves at China etc are must haves! Sure it went a bit wrong this time around but you really think that will happen again? Kid’s got talent. Period. I for one welcome his attitude as a breath of fresh air. One incident does not make him a dangerous driver. Massa is just wishing he had as much talent as this teenager is all. And add to his frustration that Williams is way behind Ferrari this year.

    6. I think Briatore is right, McLaren are certainly a better fit for Alonso than Ferrari at this moment in time. Ferrari needed significant change following 2014 as it seemed that tried and tested Maranello procedures were no longer cutting edge. But they should be successful in an engine formula as they construct both their car and their PU in house. That is a huge benefit that no other team has or will ever have. So it comes as no surprise to me that they are second to the clearly dominant package of the Mercedes. Having a strong engine that is built directly for your car is clearly a reason to team up with a manufacturer intending on giving you number 1 status. So McLaren Honda should, when at top speed, be able to challenge the top 3. Their pace in Monaco was obviously exaggerated by the nature of the circuit but I was happy to see there were no drivability issues with the PU. The testing restrictions really go against a new supplier coming in and that can never be good for the sport. Whilst most teams were tuning engine setting and able to get important data for future development, McLaren were in the garage and that means they are probably 4 months behind on aerodynamics. A team of McLaren and Honda should be able to reach their potential next season but I think, until the rules change in 2017, that this will be Formula Mercedes until then.

      1. Disagree. McLaren better fit? VET won a race this year. 5 podiums. Best case for ALO was staying at Ferrari, then move. But he got the boot. THe only team available was McLaren. Ron Dennis, sooner or later, will make ALO pay for 2007.

        1. @mumito. For starters, I don’t believe Alonso was booted out of Ferrari. I think it was a mutual decision given Ferrari’s performance in his time there. The 2011 car was a mess, the 2012 car started as a disaster and ultimately lost the championship because it couldn’t be developed at the crucial part of the championship where Vettel had as much domination as he did in 2011 and 2013. The 2013 car began well but when focus swayed to the 2014 car, their season died before half distance. Then, at the end of 2013, Alonso was rumoured to be in talks with McLaren. I doubt Ferrari were all that impressed by that, and with another terrible car I think Alonso’s motivation swayed. He was eager to leave and Ferrari decided it was time for an overhaul. Alonso’s biggest supporters, Dominicali and De Montezemolo both left too so he would not have his previous influence. His choice was between the turmoil and uncertainty of Ferrari and the new project of McLaren. With McLaren wanting a top driver and Alonso needing a new challenge, they appear to have a pretty good fit working towards one goal.

          Alonso joined McLaren knowing that this year would be a development year so to compare it to Ferrari in terms of better fit proves nothing. Ferrari should be a top team every season but very frequently recently, they have failed to keep up in a development race and are still a long distance from Mercedes. Alonso went to McLaren because he collected podiums and the odd win for five seasons and wants to fight for the championship. McLaren offer as realistic a chance of that in 2016 as Ferrari do.

          1. So you basically agree with me. ALO could have stayed in Ferrari for 2015, win 2 or 3 races, collect several podiums, and then move to McLaren in 2016 or 2017.

            It is known that ALO got the boot from Ferrari. Key aspect….when did Ferrari contacted VET. It was Marchionne Masterpiece. THey let ALO believe they needed him. He requested 50 MM a year. They stalled negotiations….until VET let everybody know he will be wearing red in 2015. Can you believe VET 2014? I guess there was some “retaliation” from Red Bull.
            Whatismore…ALO supporters had the very same boot from Scuderia.
            It is hard to be an ALO fan.
            And let me tell you this…..Ron never forgets. ALO will not win with Mc Laren.
            If Mc Laren manages to build a good car by 2018…it will be ALO partner who gets the champagne

    7. The Journos should stop trying to fish for an ‘Alonso made a mistake moving to Mclaren’ from either Alonso himself or one of his cohorts.

      The facts are there and it’s pretty simple. Sometimes you have to take a couple steps back to move forward and that’s exactly what he’s done. What would staying at Ferrari resulted in? More podiums and the odd victory?

      Journos need to stop trying to get cheap thrills via headlines that get blown out of proportion… Do some real journalistic work for change!

      1. Indeed. It seems like a big part of the F1 world, including fans, journalists and I dare say other drivers, want to hear Alonso say he’s made yet another poor career choice and how unhappy he is. Fortunately that’s not going to happen; even if it was true he wouldn’t give into it. As you say, sometimes you need to step back before you can move forward. He needed the change, and he is taking on a massive challenge to end his career. It can turn out to be epic if it does pay off and he gets one final shot at the title before leaving the sport.

    8. Briatore is a Italian Godfather. Remember Crashgate with Piquet Jr.? He together with Alonso was the brain of that.
      So…we will see a new kind of Crashgate with McLaren in the near future?

      1. no chance of that, because it only worked because no one was ready to accept the fact that someone would deliberately crash @jorge-lardone. Repeating that trick would be immediately get investigated nowadays.

        1. @bascb The safety car rules allowed for crash gates to happen between 2007 and 2008, as these rules after the Piquet debacle, crashgates were rendered impossible, although it remains to see whether the VSC allows for some advantage to be gained, Hamilton’s side of the garage thought so and was then surprised when the FIA switched the VSC period for an actual safety car.
          You’ve mentioned Mclaren and I bet that Mclaren was involved in several crashgates in 2008 that we know nothing about.

          1. wait, you mean you seriously think McLaren had several of their drivers (or one several times) crash ON PURPOSE @peartree?

            I am not sure why you think that something like crash gate would be impossible with regards to the SC/VSC rules. Sure enough without refuelling we are talking about a completely different dynamic, and the rules on whether you can or can not stop during the SC were changed several times. But I wouldn’t say that made it impossible to bring out a SC and profit from already having stopped by crashing a car, just maybe less of an “advantage”. The real deterrent is being found out.

            1. @bascb I’m saying that McLaren won many races back in 07-08 because of early pit-stops just 1 or 2 laps before a safety car period. I’m not saying that Alonso or Ham or Kova crashed on purpose. Back in 08 if you stopped a lap before the safety car you would get effectively a free pit-stop, on the tight grid (once 1.5sec covered the entire field) of the virtually impossible to overtake 08 cars it could spell victory. Meanwhile, the FIA introduced something that’s part of the current system the “timed delta” which force the driver to lap above a certain time. Timed delta ruled out the free pit-stop scenario nevertheless you could gain a chunk of time and so the FIA introduced the LeMans system of VSC and this as shown in Malaysia can annihilate any advantage to be taken from the Safety car period.

            2. Ah, yes. That makes sense then @peartree. Now I remember about the discussions over allowing/not allowing fuel stops during SC as well as the introduction of the delta time. And the time a large part of the drivers all received a minimal penalty for infractions of it (was that in 2010, not sure).

      2. He together with Alonso was the brain of that

        I can see the benefits of that for Briatore, keeping in mind they was spending much money and Renault was not quite happy with this situation.

        I cannot see why Fernando Alonso, with nothing to demonstrate to anybody would agree to do this. Fernando Alonso has always been quite polemic but always in “off-track” issues (mainly with press issues). During races, he has always been very clean and sporty driver.

        That said, I’m pretty sure Fernando have thought about that possibility once the game was done, but I ever meet any (intelligent) person who has bring to light a scandal of that dimension based on a suspect and not having any fact to demonstrate his theory (and without anything to gain doing this).

        1. I agree 100% a driver of Alonso’s talent and intelligence would instantly recognize that accident as fake, maybe he couldn’t prove it as you say but he would have seen the data. We can however judge Alonso by the fact he hasn’t asked that win to be removed from his record. Seems a bit slimy.

          1. Why should he? From his point of view he still drove the whole race, still came first. The setup to get him there was fixed, but he couldn’t help that.

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          27th May 2015, 10:00

          @idr, don’t take anything serious @jorge-lardone writes on this site.
          Always about conspiracy theories trying to stir the pot or maybe struggling with personal issues.

          Let’s do like Toto: “Criticism is OK but we have no respect for dumb comments”

          1. Briatore was proven guilty of throwing an F1 race. No theory there.

            1. He’s certainly referring to the bit about Alonso being the brain behind that, too. That’s almost as far from proven as Mercedes pitting Hamilton to make the championship closer.

      3. Fikri Harish (@)
        27th May 2015, 8:14

        I find it incredibly insane that some people honestly think that a driver would willingly let, or worse, suggested, another driver to deliberately crash himself (risking their life in the process) so that he could win a race.

        It may not seem like it but F1 drivers have a pretty strong camaraderie with each other and I seriously doubt that they’d be willing to what Briatore did to each other.

        1. But Alonso had a strategy in that race that he would never had agreed to, surely, unless he knew of the ‘plan’ ahead of time?

          1. @paulguitar There was no way of Alonso knowing a plan. He was interrogated by a senior police officer who specialises in determining if someone is lying and was cleared. As for race strategy, both Kubica and Rosberg took penalties for pitting under the safety car meaning they must have been out of fuel too. Webber and Coulthard both gained places too as they pitted pre-SC. Alonso’s pace before his fuel flow problem is qualifying was expected to be within the front 2 rows and so running light in the first stint makes a lot of sense given he was also the only driver on the soft tyre too.

            Alonso no doubt saw it as a incredible piece of luck, and admitted as much to Briatore pre-podium, but that does not mean that he needed to know prior to the race. I can not see any logic to Alonso agreeing to it as others have said above. The decision of the team to fix a GP is obviously terrible but there were still 44 laps to go in the race and he was only at the front of the queue, so it was still a great drive to win imo.

            1. @rbalonso

              Thanks for the info. I have always been a bit confused about this incident.

            2. Just because it couldn’t be proved @rbalonso doesn’t mean we have certainty. In all likelihood PK was supposed to spin not crash, but he bottled it with a lift part way through, as you can hear on the onboard. That was why Flav was so unimpressed.

              As for @fihar‘s idea that a racing driver wouldn’t be ruthless enough – dream on :)) It was the drivers who most easily accepted Mirabeaugate, because they are all there to arrange the downfall of their peers.

              It was a great drive by Nando, totally agree, but whether he was in on the plot or not we just don’t know. If we take it as supposed to be a spin it’s more likely, but sometimes you have to embrace uncertainty.

              As for Flav, well he’s dodgy with other episodes too. Alonso is very fair on track; if he cleverly sacrificed his teammate’s race, given that PK was struggling to keep his seat and it could well have been a deal that kept his F1 career going into 2009, I don’t judge it too harshly.

            3. @lockup I presume you mean uncertainty regarding Alonso’s knowledge of the ‘plan’. If an official enquiry clears you of knowledge of something, then those who speculate to the contrary are making a defamatory allegation. Surely, innocent until proven guilty? In this case Alonso is guilty until proven innocent, then not believed, so branded guilty again. I simply can not see a reason why Alonso HAD to know beforehand.

            4. Well I am not a court of law @rbalonso so I am free of the either/or choice. It was impossible to know one way or the other whether Fernando was part of it, so FIA had to clear him; whereas the plot obviously required the involvement of Flav and Symonds so there was no doubt about them.

              Anyway I don’t mean this as a put-down for Alonso. I like him, I admire his awesome intensity and drive to win. And he is clever. Very fair on track and in interesting person. I always pay attention to what he has to say. And as I said I feel pretty sure PK wasn’t supposed to end up in the wall. So I don’t rule anything out, and I’m comfortable with just not knowing. I don’t see him as guilty.

              And even if he was in on it, I can see how in his mind it would be just making up for the car failure in qualy. Somehow a cheat against the whole field seems less evil than a cheat against one other driver in particular, so it’s not huge either way, for me.

    9. Why do people try to give a definitive answer on things when they are still in progress and the outcome unknown. Do you decide the result if a football match after 2 minutes or a race after a few laps?

      If you take a snapshot in time of Alonso at McLaren right now it seems wrong as they are much further back from challenging Merc than Ferrari but everyone will have to be patient and when Alonso finishes at McLaren only then will you have an answer and if he does not even come 2nd or once challenge then it is a failed gamble, if he challenges and comes 2nd it is the same unless it is Ferrari he loses to and if he wins a title it is a success.

    10. And Ferrari is better off without Alonso.

      1. everybody is better of without ALO.

        1. Actually, F1 would be better without Alonso. =D

    11. What is the essential Grand Prix every fan should attend at least once in their lifetime?

      FA: From the lifestyle experience: Monaco. For an enthusiastic fan experience: Monza.

      That truly resonates with my thoughts that i wrote a couple of days ago !!!!!

    12. I seem to recall Verstappen saying he wasn’t going for the move, while Massa on Perez was. Perez moved to the left, Grosjean apparently braked early. Both racing incidents, but Verstappen had every reason to be cautious if he was going to wait, and he had time to try again later.

    13. Apex Assassin
      27th May 2015, 17:23

      I used to really like Will Buxton but he’s become yet another NBC stooge script reader, so I’ll stick with Ted.

      1. He’s not as bad as Leigh Diffy. Diffy is like the guy in the theater laughing at the wrong parts of the movie way too loud. I miss Varsha. But I count my blessings—it could be like the ABC IndyCar coverage which cannot wean itself from the WAG-cam, extended interviews with D-list celebrities, overdrawn rags-to-riches stories, and general over-doses of treacle. If Hamilton were racing in the United States the words “working-class suburb of Stevenage” would be out of the broadcasters’ mouths every 10 seconds.

    14. Nobody knows how long Honda are going to bother staying in F1, it is going to take them far longer to be challenging for a race win let alone a championship, by the time McLaren/Honda are in that position Alonso will have finished his contract & moved on.

      How is a move from Ferrari to McLaren a step forward, a step forward would have been to Mercedes, any team other than Manor Marussia is a step up from McLaren at the moment & for the rest of this season no doubt.

      Racing car drivers want to win & they usually put themselves in the best position they can to win races & trophies.

    15. The COTD is inaccurate. Last year Perez moved into Massa, this year Grosjean simply slowed down on his line and young Max had allowed himself to be too close.

      But their are plenty of other examples of Massa making clumsy mistakes throughout his career that diminish his criticism of Max.

      Plenty of drivers with lots of experience have smashed into the car in front whilst chasing them down. As much as people will make an issue of his age it has nothing to do with it.

    16. I think Massa’s comment about Verstappen has been taken out of context.
      His concern was that F1 could have a 17 year old seriously injured in an accident; a person who in many countries would not be considered to be an adult – in other words, the “think of the children” line taken by much of the “gutter” press. This would inevitably tarnish the reputation of F1 at a time when it is already facing significant problems.
      It’s an insightful comment, not a bit of Massa-esque whining.

    17. “Alonso’s better off at McLaren than Ferrari – Briatore”

      Flavio’ Even Ferrari is better off with Alonso at McLaren.

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