Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monaco, 2018

Alonso “disappointed” by gap to Red Bull

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso admits he is disappointed McLaren aren’t closer to Red Bull.

What they say

On Saturday in Monaco RaceFans asked Alonso whether he was surprised to see Red Bull out-qualify them by 1.3 seconds.

We know more or less that the Red Bull was quite strong here and the favourites in a way. Also for Mercedes and Ferrari, Red Bull were the team to beat here. It was not a surprise.

Obviously we’ve been chasing that pace all year long. We know which area we need to work to be on that pace. I think the last sector in Barcelona we realised that Monaco could be quite strong for Red Bull and we are not in that pace.

[I#m] disappointed in a way because we have the same power unit and we should be at that level. But at the same time we knew from very early on in the year that we are not on that level. But we will try to be as soon as possible.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

@PinakGhosh is dismayed at the declining Indian involvement in F1, which look likely to continue with the latest developments at Force India:

It is a bit sad that when eventually Force India change its name, India will no longer have any visible connection in F1.

On reflection – India had a track to hold GP, drivers, and principal sponsors for a team. The only Indian link now being Tata Communications as the official connectivity partner. It goes to show there is definite interest in the subcontinent, but unfortunately, the losses are more than gains.

Singapore is now the best best for an Indian F1 fan.

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On this day in F1

  • 20 years ago today Juan Pablo Montoya lapped the entire field as he won the final F3000 Pau Grand Prix

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 31 comments on “Alonso “disappointed” by gap to Red Bull”

    1. Cheers Keith, much appreciated.

    2. Fans can only judge the race based upon the angles the producer chooses to air.

      And if we’re talking about Monaco, that was a particularly bad one, as it often is. They have their own director for that race, and he constantly sucks, every year. I seem to remember they showed Grosjean for a bit during the final stages of the race last weekend. Grosjean! he was struggling in 18th place, and we got to see him, cruising along completely alone.

      1. LeClerk, tick, hmm, Grosjean, tick, next??? oh right, chequered flag.

      2. One thing I had noticed is that every year, except this year, there was a camera placed so that it showed the inside of someone’s lounge, and every year, except this year, there was a man standing and holding a drink in his hand and facing away from the window. This year, thankfully, the camera was higher up and so we didn’t get to see the man at the window and yet not watching the race.

    3. Almost forgot, 3 cheers for Nico Rosberg, how many more drivers and fans have to voice the bleeding obvious before FOM take notice, after all FOM is no longer 1 silly old git who must be obeyed.

    4. My first Comment of the Day.
      Thanks @keithcollantine
      I only wish I had something positive to write.

      Many McLaren followers also had high expectations from Monaco and they were left disappointed. With performance upgrades and new engines for Canada from Honda, Renault and Mercedes, hoping that Ferrari would remain in the top three battle, even with FIA poking under the hood.

      1. Congratulations, @pinakghosh

        Yeah, it’s quite the shame that the F1 circus seems to be losing the little dash of Indianness it had. But given the massive Indian diaspora in Malaysia and Singapore, those were/are two circuits that felt/feel closest to home, as Chaitanya and you both said.

        I have a bit of a differing view specifically about Force India, however. To me, the name ‘India’ in Force India was a bit of a farce, it felt like an attempt at populism when Mallya acquired the team, and didn’t really change since then.

        Apart from its majority ownership being Indian (and the individuals were not someone to be proud of 🙂), there was nothing else to it. Most importantly, no Indian base. Haas F1 have better American credentials with one base in North Carolina, even given their strong Italian links via Dallara and Ferrari.

        I was asked years ago why I didn’t support FI, and my response was that it was easier to root for an Indian driver in any team, or a team with an Indian base (infeasible, I know), not a team with the name India in it, and using the tricolour’s … well … colours.

      2. Also – Haas ran a new spec PU in Monaco, so it’s likely that Ferrari will bring that spec of engine for themselves in Canada, given it is a power circuit.

      3. Contratulations @pinakghosh!

    5. Very nice article on F1 Broadcasting and Tele Monte Carlo (TMC), gives a fair amount of ‘behind the camera’ information.

      If anything, it underscores just how much an outlier Monaco is in the F1 calendar – the oft-quoted statement about Monaco and current safety standards, the race distance, FP on Thursday, and now this – the F1 feed is not directed by FOM.

      It just makes me realize that oft-criticized circuits that have bought/muscled their way onto the calendar (I’m looking at you, Abu Dhabi and Sochi) have actually played nice with the general F1 conventions. I never thought I’d be here saying something positive about either of these two circuits!

    6. I remember Zak brown saying during pre season that if they are 0.9s down on Red bull during the season, then they have no one but themselves to blame.

      I don’t think they even imagined the fact that they would be 1.3s down on Red bull at a circuit like Monaco. This must be quite a massive blow to them, especially considering that they have been the best of the rest in 2015 and 2016 at Monaco.

      As an Alonso fan, you know he’s going to hang up his gloves at the end of this season. It looks like Mclaren won’t even be in the hunt for podiums in this season, so I doubt there’s enough light at the end of the tunnel for him to endure another season.

      1. Mclaren needs a miracle to improve at least half of the gap to RBR, it’s the only way I see Alonso staying. It would be very cool to see Alonso alongside Verstapen in RBR with Riccardo to Ferrari. But that’s just a dream.

        1. If you going to dream, Alonso to Merc, Ves and Gasly at Redbull, Ric and Vet at Ferrari…

          Or maybe not Ric and Ves such a good combination for Red bull and fans… Maybe Ric stays and Lec to Ferrari…..

          In the three top teams you want Alonso, Vet, Ves, Ric, Ham – who’s the 6th driver???

          1. I still hope we can get a fourth team* – Renault – to join the top group.
            Maybe HAM/OCO, RIC/VER, VET/HUL (LEC needs another 2 years to mature), ALO/SAI

            * I’ve given up on McLaren, and Williams has been off the radar for ages.

            1. Considering Ferrari have passed over Hulk and stated they don’t want two Germans in the team and Kimi currently is driving as well as anyone you might as well hope Alonso goes for an encore season at Renault to cap his career. They’ll have podiums before McLaren will considering their pace of improvement over the past three seasons.

              HAM-BOT/OCO, RIC-SAI, VER-RAI/LEC, HUL-ALO and GAS-VER down at STR if VER is lucky enough to stay alive and employed for another year.

      2. I remember Zak brown saying during pre season that if they are 0.9s down on Red bull during the season, then they have no one but themselves to blame.

        It’s very disappointing that once more they are wrong with their predictions and so far off the pace, @todfod.
        Again, my feelings towards McLaren are very critical for having chosen a Marketing guy as CEO. And he has not even impressed us with covering the papaya paint with sponsor decals.

      3. Alonso’s disappoint means some form of surprise on the size of the gap to RedBull, but he’s been there for 3/4 years now? How come is he surprised? Honda’s problems were a blessing in disguise, it done wonders for Alonso’s reputation (and Kimoa’s) and it was the perfect place for McLaren to hide. Now they are in plain sight, RBR is trashing them and STR has a Honda engine that works, or at least there is no feeling of the engine costing them massive points (they have 36% of the points they scored last season, with roughly 30% of the season completed, so they are at least on course to reach the same numbers of points as in 2017, and they only have Gasly scoring them)

      4. Would he hang up his gloves? Or would he move to Indy Car?
        Especially if these rumours of a McLaren entry come to fruition.

        1. @eurobrun
          … and that “X2” up there is pretty close to what McLaren automotive is bringing to the table for the Indycar 2021 tender, obviously what’s the around the frontwheels is rubbish and the canopy is not going to be fully closed, but that’s pretty much whats going up against re-signing with Dallara and the possibly upgraded DW12, which will be 9 years old by then. The tender (well, still feelers at this point) sent out for the new chassis proposals have been quite specific, eg the engine mounts have to be exactly so that they take the current engines and the new 2.4 litre upgrade later on must also use the same mounting points

          1. @uneedafinn2win
            Thanks for the info, i didn’t know that they were going all in with a tender. Very interesting.

    7. Bad directing doesn’t help, but it wasnt primarily camara angels that made Monaco boring imho. It was a combinatie of the tires not allowing the drivers to go fast (hence 0 mistakes/crashes in the race apart from a Leclerc brake faillure) AND the crap track that is Monaco.

      Think about this:
      Melbourne – Classic track – Very boring Race
      Bahrain – Tilke drome – Good race
      China – Tilke drome – Best race of the season
      Baku – Tilke drome – Fun race
      Spain – Classic track – Boring race
      Monaco – Classic track – Extremely bad race

      I expect classics like Canada, Silverstone, Spa, Austria, Suzuka and Brazil to be better, but they are all prone to be boring as well, while Hungary and Monza are more often boring than not.

      The modern Tilke designed tracks have produced the best races so far this year and we know USA and to a lesser extend Singapore will too. Now, I know Tilke tracks like Abu Dhabi, Valencia, Sochi and Mexico are bad but equally there are some good Tilke tracks that are no longer on the F1 such as Istanbull, Malaysia, India and Korea.

    8. Couldn’t agree more with that quote from Motor Sport Press, that is exactly how I felt all through the race. I was pretty shocked to hear all the backlash over how dull the race was (particularly in the BBC’s post race podcast). I always feel like I’m fighting a losing battle when I comment on “dull” races, but there is always a lot going on through the field in a Grand Prix, you just have to go looking for it. Monaco was no different.

    9. @Phylyp @keithcollantine

      Just a quick note of thanks for that NASCAR article – I was lucky enough too live in the states for 10 years and got into NASCAR as a fan in a big way. That article would go a long way to remove the misconceptions of some of it being the “Good ‘ol boys” out for a drive. Also it loosely refers to the fact that they do some road courses too – its fun watching a car that heavy on a road course and if anyone hasn’t seen them at Watkins Glen (September I think), its worth the watch if you can.

      1. the misconceptions of some of it being the “Good ‘ol boys” out for a drive

        Very true, @ahxshades . I held a notion for far too long about it being ‘redneck racing’ (to put it crudely), shaped in some part due to Hollywood portrayals. Having read that article, I’m now eager to give Nascar a shot, if I can watch it (I don’t think we get a telecast in my country, though).

    10. I couldn’t agree more with Rosberg. I also agree with the respective paragraphs below the F1 Broadcasting and Motorsport press-article links.

      1. I’d love for ground effect return, been hoping it would for years. However, the FIA may be hesitant on grounds of safety. With the modern understanding on aero, the cornering speeds will go through the roof. Even if the amount of down force generated by wings are curtailed, F1 engineers will find a way to claw it back.

        If we do go down the route of ground effect, expect the wheels of the cars to enclosed to some degree. The issue with ground effect will be how the cars will be susceptible to launching.

        Although it might take some getting used to, I dont mind enclosed wheels if we get close racing.

    11. Disappointment or not, I think this is the closest McLaren has been to pole since 2014.

    12. It is sounding more and more like Fernando is going to walk away from F1. Martin Brundle intimated this a number of times over the Monaco weekend that based on his interview with Fernando. Racing drivers will probably be able to pick up on certain vibes perhaps?

      It will be a sad end to his racing career, hopefully he lucks into a podium somewhere before the season ends.

      If Fernando walks, Mclaren will be at a massive disadvantage. He gives the team some sort of credibility. From a commercial perspective, one of the only reasons that Mclaren have a relatively “healthy” list of sponsors can be attributed to Fernando. From a technical perspective, he sets the benchmark, where the team can be sure that maximum is being extracted from the car. There aren’t many obvious replacements. Dropping Lando Norris into the car alongside Stoff will be a very risky proposition.

      I’m sure Zak and Eric will be working hard to keep Fernando. They need him more than he needs them.

      1. The problem with Norris is that he isn’t very impressive yet. He needs to prove himself in F2 winning more races. The best he can have of a experienced driver is a Ferrari or Mercedes reject, Bottas or Raikonen. It’s possible that Haas drops Grojean or Magnussen, I think they’re in a point that they want to find any above average driver.

    13. Honda would have been blamed for their performance if Mclaren still had their engines in the back… I don’t think the Honda was as bad as it was made out to be last season (at least at the end of last season). There was always going to be a risk their chassis would be found out now that they have the same engine as Red Bull. The risk has now been realized.

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