Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Ferrari and Red Bull are fighting for second in the championship – Alonso

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso doesn’t see Ferrari or Red Bull putting up a season-long challenge to Mercedes.

What they say

Alonso was asked if he was disappointed by the gap between McLaren and Red Bull:

I think it’s all as predicted right now. Mercedes is the leading force. Red Bull and Ferrari are fighting together for second place in the championship.

And then Renault, Haas and McLaren are in the midfield maybe with hopes of getting closer to the top three teams. Hopefully McLaren is one of those teams that can make this step and jump from the middle to the top teams.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

Nick is disappointed Liberty Media has allowed Ferrari to keep a special bonus prize money payment:

When I read the ‘strategic initiatives’ this morning it was difficult to disagree with any of their aims and I wondered how much compromising there would be down the road.

But I didn’t think there would this much capitulation this soon. With this wimpish attitude in continuing unequal payments, I expect Ferrari to retain their veto as well.

I really do understand Liberty’s position; they could have played hard ball and lost key players in the sport, but this just looks weak.

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19 comments on “Ferrari and Red Bull are fighting for second in the championship – Alonso”

  1. Ferrari power within the sport is so great that remove it like a band aid would be imprudent. Maybe Liberty thinks the same and started with a small resuction on their bonus. At least it shows that they even if it looks timid are not afraid to face them, and later on they might look at further reduction until it ceases to exist or gets to an insignificant value. Like it or not Ferrari has been part of F1 for so long, losing them at this stage could be imprudent, so maybe if the sport recovers Liberty might show a stonger position.

    Nevertheless I agree with COTD, but I can see why they went down that route

    1. Ferrari and Formula 1 are clearly 2 separate things, this makes no sense, liberty. Whats the point, they just keep winning keep taking f1 to their core values. I sure remember Enzo saying Ferrari was not about the engine. it’s about the car and the engine comes for free. Ferrari is about aerodynamics and eletrification, 2 core values, Ferrari has, brains not passione.

      1. @peartree, Really, I remember Enzo famously stating “aerodynamics are for people who can’t make engines”.

        1. @hohum, by that I presume what you mean is that you’ve heard the apocryphal story that Enzo is supposed to have made that comment to Paul Frere during the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans, although the authenticity of the quote is questioned.

          1. ANON, true, it was hearsay, but I don’t remember Enzo ever denying it.

      2. @hohum you know the quote yet you didn’t get what I was trying to say. People blame ferrari for everything. It’s not like Ferrari and F1 have been together from day 1.

    2. I had to come back to this comment of mine because I wasn’t entirely sure that it made sense when I woke up today.

      But let me tell you people, drunk me makes some good points

      1. The thing is, Ferrari don’t keep winning, in spite of the bonus money. That money has been no guarantee of Championships, so I think this is much ado about nothing. As long as Liberty elevates the smaller teams somewhat, more money for teams that can already spend too much as it is, like Ferrari, hasn’t seemed to matter.

  2. Sorry Ross,

    Nothing said publicly suggests to me that other manufacturers will be lining up to enter F1.

    Perhaps some detail on how they expect to make engines cheaper, less complex and road relevant might convince me that they will.

    As for louder – They’re loud enough at the track, maybe just sort out the televised sound. They still sound unique, so who cares if they’re not as loud as they used to be.

    1. Sorry dbrabock,

      F1 Tickets are really expensive, racegoers expect an earth-shattering, bowel-emptying experience for the price. Sound is that one part that can be experienced easily, hence race promoter demand more sound.

      1. I agree about the cost but don’t really count sound as being high on my priorities when I’m at the track.
        I’m more interested in seeing glowing disks, hearing the tyres sucking on the road and watching cars do battle. Slightly less noise actually let’s you hear the trackside commentary, something I couldn’t do a few years back.

    2. @dbradock, I would agree that there seem to be very few new manufacturers who have offered any concrete evidence that they would be interested in entering F1 under the rules that Liberty Media are pushing – it’s all vague promises of possibly considering an entry.

      For all the talk that Andy Palmer likes to give, I strongly doubt that Aston Martin will actually try to enter F1, especially given that the last racing engine that they made was the one that featured in the AMR-One, an engine that Dr Ullrich (the head of Audi’s motorsport division at the time) called the worst design he’d ever seen at Le Mans, and said that the engineers at Aston Martin had to be idiots to produce such a bad design.

      He had a point too, since the engine could barely do more than a few laps around the Circuit de la Sarthe – I think that the four laps which one of their cars managed at the start of the race was the most consecutive number of laps that they managed to do in the entire event – not to mention the fuel consumption was terrible, yet also underpowered as well. It was a total disaster, and Aston Martin rather quickly dropped the project after that.

      Palmer comes across as somebody who is stirring the pot simply to try and publicise Aston Martin as much as possible ahead of their new models launching and the IPO that is due this year – it’s a cheap way for him to keep his name, and that of his company, in the headlines, but he comes across as a man who is more interested in talking than actually trying to do anything.

      As for Cosworth, which is the only other serious name that’s been mentioned, they’ve made it clear that they’re not coming into F1 unless somebody else pays them to design an engine. Mind you, that is not surprising given that, even though their finances have slightly improved, Cosworth is still losing money – unless Liberty Media made the engine spec extremely basic, I can’t see how Cosworth can do anything.

      Apart from them, no new external engine makers have been mentioned in connection with F1 – it’s not as if there really is a huge gaggle of manufacturers who have been lining up to enter the sport and making promises to enter if only Liberty Media were going to introduce this particular set of engine regulations. It feels more like a move aimed at appeasing those within the sport, and in particular Red Bull, rather than looking outside the sport.

      1. I would think it makes sense that we haven’t heard much concrete from other makers, because they themselves have only just now heard what the teams have heard in yesterday’s meeting, which was also more about floating the general proposals, with nothing written in stone.

        Liberty has started to portray their vision of a more balanced, less skewed, less expensive and complicated series to compete in, with cars racing closer. The whole package taken together should inspire other manufacturers, who understandably would have been leery in the last decade with BE’s money grab to even consider entering.

        Let’s give Liberty and the teams the chance to mould a new F1, and THEN let’s see who else might be interested in being in a new and improved and feasible and viable option such as F1, for their marketing dollars.

  3. I certainly would have liked to have seen Liberty play hard ball with Ferrari in regard to their special bonus. What’s the alternative for Ferrari if they throw their toys out of the pram and way away from F1? Set up their own championship with their own cars? That’s a huge challenge and a huge investment. They would also have to deal with the negative publicity that would be associated with them walking away from F1.
    Having said all that, we are not privy to the terms and conditions of this ‘special $40m bonus’ deal. For example, if it is the case that it is loyalty based and other teams can aspire to, then there is a degree of logic and fairness. If it isn’t (and I suspect that this is the case) then the ‘F’ might just as well stand for Ferrari rather than Formula.

    1. And what has the bonus money guaranteed them anyway? Certainly not Championships.

  4. Regarding the Tiff Needell’s tweet: If the lap time improvement didn’t come directly from the mini-sector (an approximately 200-meter long marshalling sector between any given two marshalling posts/light panels) where the off-track excursion took place then why shouldn’t Lando be allowed to keep pole position for the F2 feature race? It’s OK to set a green or purple sector and or lap time, i.e., improve in a sector and or lap time following an off-track excursion as long as the improvement isn’t achieved within the relevant local mini-sector where the off-track excursion took place. The same approach applies to time improvements achieved following a yellow-flag zone as well, which is why both Hulkenberg and Rosberg managed to escape a penalty after having achieved time improvements following double-waved yellow flag zones in Austria and Hungary respectively in 2016.

  5. I think the best excerpts of Horner respond of Liberty ‘plans’ is:

    How are they going to achieve that?

    1. I think they may not expect to achieve every objective, but it is a jumping off point, and my goodness somebody has to do something. They can achieve much with positive attitudes and compromises and cooperation by the teams. If the teams want to draw lines in the sand then nothing will change. And Horner himself has said that at some point Liberty will have to say ‘ok, here’s what F1 will be, and you’re either in or you’re out.’ I just don’t think the out option will need to be exercised by anyone.

  6. Ferrari are giving Merc a huge headache and Red Bull are right there on race pace. This plonkers predictions are laughable, look at Honda today, along with other things it shows his judgement on things is horrendous. Every think he expects never turns out in an F1 sporting sense.

Comments are closed.