Marc Marquez, Toro Rosso, Red Bull Ring, 2018

F1 “would always welcome a legend” like Marquez – Hamilton

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says F1 would welcome a “legend” like Marc Marquez following his recent Toro Rosso test.

What they say

To be honest I never even knew that [Marc Marquez] drove a car and that he had an interest.

It’s a lot easier for them to come here, that’s for sure. They can practice and practice. If I was to go and ride their bike most likely I’m going to break something pretty early on! At least one thing, and then it puts you out for a while.

But it’s exciting and we’d always welcome a legend like him.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Despite the lack of manufacturers this is going to be interesting. The intra-Toyota battle will be very interesting because the #7 and #8 crews are very closely matched. Seeing how close Rebellion and SMP in particular can get to Toyota will be fascinating too…particularly if one of the Toyotas hits trouble.

LMP2 is wide open…really can’t pick a winner there. Porsche seem to be the cream of the GTE Pro and Am fields, but I’m sure those battles will go the distance…

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 63 comments on “F1 “would always welcome a legend” like Marquez – Hamilton”

    1. RE: The ESPN Article

      How long are journos going to keeping pushing the same narrative?

      The one mistake that Alonso made in his career was what he did at Mclaren in 07. Should he have just accepted Status Quo at Mclaren? Would the likes of Senna or Michael Schumacher have accepted such a situation? At the end of the day, these guys are competitive animals and will do anything to gain every thousandth of a second. Ron’s behaviour certainly didn’t help either.

      1. Alonso is toxic. That’s why no top team will hire him. Articles like these are necessary to counter the over-the-top self-promotion that comes on a daily basis. It’s more than 2007; it’s Singapore 2008; it’s Germany 2010; it’s his association with Briatore; his entitlement moaning; even with teams built around him he somehow always seems to make them worse.

        1. Show me a serial F1 champion who doesn’t exude all those traits you’ve mentioned.

          1. certainly most of the f1 champion have a bit of that.. the problem with alonso is that he attack his own team… doesnt get along with the mechanics… have you seen how much the mechanics love vettel… even redbulls mechanics after he left.. alonso is too entitled.. like a birth right..and thats too toxic

          2. Hamilton

            1. Yup he attacked his own team too.

            2. @Robbie

              Care to tell me when he did that?…

              Wait, I bet you’re gonna say Malaysia 2016….. That was just you & the rest of the media interpreting the statement how you wanted to

            3. @kgn11 I’m sure you are well aware of the several times throughout the 2016 season that he implied the team was favouring NR. No need to go back through all that again, as you will only deny the very quotes from LH anyway.

          3. I don’t recall a Singapore ’08 or Germany ’10 in Lewis’ book. Seb also doesn’t seem to put people offside like Alonso does, although granted his Red Bull days with Webber were not (according to Webber) something to be proud of.

            Be that as it may, whatever response to your challenge can and probably will be shouted down in a rant of (blind?) fandom.

            Personally, I think that ESPN article makes some sound points.

            1. I don’t recall a Singapore ’08 or Germany ’10 in Lewis’ book

              Not justifying Fernando’s actions but I recall Hamilton lying to the stewards in Australia 2009 which is very bad since he was already WDC. Kovalainen gave up his position to Hamilton in Hockenheim 2008 in the exact same corner as Massa did to Alonso and I don’t remember anyone complaining about it like it was the case with Ferrari.

            2. Again, you need to revisit Australia 2009 as your statement is being made out of context.

              One thing a driver deciding himself to give up a position to his teammate, it’s another when a driver demands that he does. So your comparison of the two events is very misguided

          4. @jaymenon10 Jim Clark and Fangio are two that leap to mind.

            1. @geemac
              Their teams were far more respecable and did more for the sport than today’s are.

        2. If Alonso is toxic he must be made of a Russian nerve agent, because no team he drove for acheived more when he left. McLaren and Lewis got worse in the second half of 2008 as Alonso and Renault improved and beat them.
          This was well appreciated at the time by Martin Brundle Nigel Roebuck en Co. Alonso was the wrong move away from a totally different outcome. As was Lewis Hamilton who would still be a one hit wonder. McLaren’s downfall also coincides with Lewis’ toxic behaviour which continued well after 2007.
          IIt’s always easy to sl@g off the driver who took the wrong direction.

          Talk about burning bridges with teams, I for one dont’t regard the team bosses as better people than the drivers. Look at the way Ferrari and Mercedes treated Michael Schumacher in the end.
          You’ve got to be pretty bitter about Alonso to think they are holier than thou. I think many fans need a reality check.

          1. @Big Joe you do realize Hamilton won the title in 08 after Alonso left. Don’t let facts get in the way of your argument.

            1. He almost bottled 2008. His lucky title doesnt affect my point it backs it up. Next….

          2. Mclaren’s downfall coincides with Hamilton leaving the team.

        3. Did Alonso really know about Singapore ’08? It seems more likely that he had a variety of strategies to use, and given the likelihood of a safety car in Singapore, Briatore was able to convince him to take that strategy, so he didn’t know about it, so he had plausible deniability in the case that the plot was discovered.
          And Germany ’10 was more Ferrari than Alonso, and he was quicker anyway so would’ve probably got past in the end.
          Sure, Alonso does play a lot of politics, but I wouldn’t exactly say he’s toxic. That’s over the top. Every top driver has had their moments, Hamilton at Australia in ’09, Vettel with ‘Multi-21’. It happens because they’re competitive and want to win, branding just 1 driver toxic is a bit harsh.

      2. Senna had status quo with Prost.

        1. My reply “+1” is for Gabe entry.

          1. @jorge-lardone

            do you close your ears when Lewis moans and shows entitlement? he did it again last Sunday whilst being out raced by 2 slower cars and team mate. Not something that happens to Alonso, he just wants the best equipment and moans when he’s beating faster cars. How come Bottas doesn’t always question his team.

            1. @Big Joe Bottas isn’t good enough to question anything. He already miles behind Lewis in points and lost to Seb last year.

            2. Bottas was put in as a number 2 who wouldnt upset Lewis or the team. The journo fantasy that Merc would sign Alonso if he hadnt been mean is laugable. If Lewis leaves and Ferrari establish themselves as the better team Merc will be running to Indy Car to tempt Alonso back to F1. and as Renault did with Mansell, also envy the attention and viewing figures he will command.

            3. When did he moan on Sunday? He asked why Mercedes pitted him early, which was a reasonable question given the answer was because they had misconfigured the cooling on his car. Immediately after the race he said he was grateful and relieved to have finished, that he’d had a poor weekend and would try to figure out why that was, and that he was thankful the points loss wasn’t bigger.

        2. @miani

          Honda were said to have favoured Senna, as Renault later pulled strings at Williams for Prost. As did the French head of F1.
          But it’s always the drivers fault if one of them dares to say something political. Senna was always frustrated and furious with somone. In retrospect people have sympathy for him and would love to see him spice things up again. But Alonso can’t say anything on our watch. The manufacturers are selfish money grabbers. The Germans now under heavy scrutiny in the auto-industry for cheating two forms of pollution tests and now price fixing.
          Yet here ‘GP2 engine ‘ offends the fans.

      3. It is not just the media that portrays Alonso as ‘political’. For instance, Nico Rosberg said last Sunday that “noone wants him because of his team internal politics games”. So I agree with the view that Alonso can partly blame himself for being where he is at the moment.

        At the same time, I believe that Alonso’s story is more complex than it might often seem. I do not think you can claim that he makes his teams worse, nothing really suggests that and he actually won both his titles at Renault after growing up together. Many expected Alonso to rule the world with Ferrari – F1 Racing magazine called it “the partnership that everyone fears”. I think he was really unlucky to spend his best years at a team, which promised a lot and then just disappointed. Also, RBR’s ‘special’ situation has distorted the top driver market. As ESPN’s editor puts it, “Red Bull has no desire of wavering from its driver programme”.

        If Alonso was such a monster, then he obviously would be rejected by McLaren (who pay him a huge salary and have enough resources to at least be able to occasionally win races) and Toyota, too. That said, I think there are at least two great opportunities he has missed in his F1 career. The first one was to win the world championship with McLaren in 2007 and possibly 2008 as well. The second one was to get signed by Mercedes at some point. The fact that Mercedes were ready to continue with the toxic Hamilton-Rosberg line-up but still refused to hire Alonso is very telling.

        1. @girts

          One of the great things about Senna Prost and Mansell (please add others)
          is that they would fight their corners politically against the manufacturers who today’s fans laughably think are whiter than white.
          As motorsport magazine once described it, ‘they slammed fists on desks’
          Today’s fans would implode if scapegoat of the month behaved like this.

        2. @girts There a way more opportunities that Alonso missed. You do realize that Redbull wanted to sign Alonso before signing Vettel right? Alonso refused so sign the contract he was offered then when he saw that Redbul started winning he then wanted to come back and Horner ignored him. You know that right? That’s just another opportunity. I could state others

          1. @pking008 Not sure if it was “before signing Vettel”. Horner has said this about Alonso: “Helmut and I went to see his management at the end of 2008 for the ’09 and ’10 season, and we offered him a two-year contract.” Vettel’s deal with Red Bull was announced already in the middle of 2008.

            Nevertheless, you are right of course but no one could know in 2008 that Red Bull would be the car to beat over the upcoming years. So Alonso’s decision to sign for Ferrari seemed perfectly sensible back then. With the benefit of hindsight, many drivers would probably have made different career decisions. My two examples were rather about situations that could have been avoided with a little more dignity.

      4. @jaymenon10 though I can’t say I don’t see where you’re coming from Fangio managed to leave Moss asking if the latter’s win was gifted (insisting it wasn’t) so…..there’s that.

        Though iirc he did manage to anger Enzo by moving to Maserati when they had a faster car, so there’s that.

      5. Red bull, Mercedes and Ferrari have a open seat for next year… Alonso is not linked to one of them,. That’s all the proof you need….

    2. I agree with @jaymenon10. Are we still banging on about 2007? that was the only time Alonso truly played the political game, and with spygate right in between further complicating matters. Dennis hired two lions and couldn’t handle them.

      Besides, it’s all nice and funny with hindsight as your ally. But the career path Alonso took was logical. These guys take gambles when they move teams. But joining McLaren in 2007, Ferrari in 2010 and McLaren in 2015 were logical moves. And besides, the only bridge burned is between him and Ferrari, and truth be told, it was probably them who set that bridge on fire after endlessly failing to deliver.

      1. @fer-no65

        “Besides, it’s all nice and funny with hindsight as your ally. But the career path Alonso took was logical”

        This what I’ve always said. Secondly, Ferrari has not won a championship since he left, so it doesnt change a thing. If anything, Marchionne is the one that took the bridge with the wrecking ball. Fernando worked diligently through the hard times with Ferrari when Domeniciali and LdM were in charge, they were his confidants. When Marchionne came in, with Mattiaci to boot, it was pretty obvious it was going to be a hatchet job. Marchionne was looking to build his own legacy at Ferrari, and Vettel is it.

        1. Fernando probably could have won in last years Ferrari if he had a strong wingman. With hindsight leaving ferrari was a mistake.

        2. @jaymenon10
          One of the reasons Mattiaci was shown the door for is not succeeding to retain Fernando Alonso. The other reason I understand was his unnecessary “bras de fer” with Bernie Ecclestone. Vettel became a prospect only because Alonso activated his exit clause before September the 30th 2014 which gave him the right to leave without paying any compensation if Ferrari isn’t in the top 3 in the WCC.
          Alonso’s decision was of his own making and it was heavily influenced by the fact that his two godfathers at Ferrari were gone. Emilio Botin died in the Italian GP weekend and Luca Di Montezemolo was sacked by Marchionne a week later.

          1. @tifoso1989, from what I can recall, Motorsport Magazine suggested the polar opposite happened.

            According to them, Marchionne wanted Alonso out of the team because he viewed Alonso as being too closely aligned with Luca di Montezemolo and Domenicali and being part of the “old order” that he symbolically wanted to get rid of at Ferrari.

            Furthermore, in some senses he saw Alonso as a threat to him because of Alonso’s popularity and support within the team, which would give Alonso much more influence if he wanted to fight back against the changes that Marchionne wanted to force onto Ferrari. Vettel, however, would not be familiar with Ferrari’s former structures and therefore significantly less likely to resist any changes Marchionne might want Ferrari to make.

            They suggested that Ferrari already had Vettel lined up to take Alonso’s seat several months in advance, but wanted to provoke Alonso into quitting the team – not only because it would look better in the press, but also because they wouldn’t have to pay Alonso for terminating his contract prematurely. Mattiaci’s role was simply to goad and provoke Alonso until he snapped, at which point Mattiacci made it clear that they already had Vettel lined up and that they weren’t going to back down, pushing Alonso into quitting.

            After that point, Mattiacci became superfluous to requirements and could be sacked because Marchionne had got out of him what they wanted – to get Alonso out of the team and to keep the team ticking over whilst Marchionne got the man he really wanted for the job (Arrivabene).

            The irony is, that isn’t the first time that Ferrari have done exactly that – according to Forghieri, back in the 1960’s Ferrari used the same tactic – in that case, it was using Dragoni to pressurise and antagonise Surtees into leaving the team (in that case it was because Surtees had been wrongly accused of stealing information from Ferrari).

      2. I disagree with ‘logical’ moves. Alonso should have gone with either Newey or Brawn with their records. His mistake was thinking Ferrari would carry their momentum. Even Ferrari thought they could go back to hiring Italians again. Both of their teams wanted him. Eddie Irvine is on video a few years before saying something similar.

        1. @Big Joe rehashing Alonso’s woulda shoulda coulda is fun. No one made him leave but after Hamilton beat him in the standings as a rookie, he’s never truly been the same. As far as you non-points on Bottas they fall on deaf ears. Bottas was winless until last year and only a fool would think he would seriously challenge Hamilton.

          1. Which, of course, Bottas is doing this year

    3. Marquez? No thanks. He may be good at riding a motorcycle quickly but the incredible lack of respect he shows for his fellow riders on bikes makes me cringe to even think about what he’d be like in a car.

      1. You’re mistaking the guys competitive nature for disrespect. What about Rossi? You telling me has not disrespected riders too? Gibernau, Biaggi, Lorenzo, Marquez etc…

      2. @tflb Like Rossi was (is) any different.

        1. @flatsix

          I’ll be the first to point out that Rossi was a Karting champion and Ferrari were quite impressed with him.

        2. @flatsix he is no different. But that doesn’t make it okay does it?

          1. @tflb I agree, but I think it’s exaggerated in both cases. Of course Marquez has respect for the others, otherwise he wouldn’t regret his actions afterwards.

      3. I mean, Schumi 94/97…

        but yeah, Marquez is a dirty guy

    4. I agree with the ESPN article. It is really a series of mistakes and not just 2007 which has led to Alonso in Le Mans today.
      Even apart from 2007, in his 5 Ferrari years, he had an undue say in who got hired and fired from their technical positions. Granted that other drivers such as Senna and Schumacher had these privileges as well, but they exercised their power while giving their 100% as well as acknowledging the efforts of their team. Fernando on the other hand has never ever said good things about Ferrari while he was driving there. It was always, “this is the maximum”, “I gave it my all”, “this is my best qualifying / race”. You look at Seb after every qualifying lap and he will always say, “I missed an apex there”, “I could have gained few tenths in sector 1”.

      Fernando’s choice of words towards Honda has also been less than charitable and he saved his GP2 rant specifically for Honda’s home race also shows how political he has been.

      In an era where engine manufacturers are king, he has burnt bridges with 3 of the 4 manufacturers on the grid. That says it all really.

    5. “Pragmatic Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has had several opportunities to sign Alonso and turned them down, mindful of the reputation he has for creating a toxic environment wherever he goes.”
      I think Wolff knows something about formula 1 drivers …

      1. Wolff couldnt handle Lewis and Nico. They would’nt even sign a young driver incase he got Lewis to lose his cool. The Finish mentality is ideal alongside Lewis who was described by ex-mechanics as arrogant.

    6. Thanks for linking to the F1 Inbox article, some very interesting Q&A’s there. I particularly liked a part of Buxton’s response to a question about Bottas (the wider question was whether Bottas was outperforming Hamilton):

      …it is [Bottas’] reluctance to go for that move for the lead in Bahrain that is now seen as an example of what many argue is his only major weak point. Questions have and continue to persist as to his hunger and his ability to land the knockout punch.
      But I think that is to misunderstand Bottas’s approach. Sure, he could have gone for the move. But he could also have got it wrong and ended up with nothing. His hunger burns deep, but he’s a larger-picture guy. Of course he wants to win every race he starts. But a row of second places will suit him and his desires far more than a win here, a fifth there and a few DNFs sprinkled into the mix.

      1. Bahrain would have been a 30% move – 30% he got it right and made the pass (with Vettel’s help, like Ricciardo on Bottas in China), 30% he got it wrong and Vettel kept the lead but with Bottas damaging his tyres (like Ricciardo on Vettel in Spain in 2016), and 30% it ended in tears for both drivers (like Verstappen on Ricciardo anywhere, anytime). The other 10%? Who knows, but not good odds for Bottas maximising points.

    7. It looks highly unlikely — many in the paddock even go so far as to say impossible — McLaren can get back to competitive ways before the next set of regulations in 2021.

      I’m not even sure McLaren can get 2021 right under current leadership. Zak Brown has been a big disappointment at McLaren so far. Commercially he did not deliver, and I doubt he has the experience or skills to turn the fortunes around as CEO.

      Alonso has a better chance at Renault.
      I think he will return there next season to claim the most experienced F1 driver record.
      Of course it all depends as well if he wins Le Mans and which F1 team will build him the best bridge to a competitive Indy500 entrance.

    8. Winning ways… McLaren has nothing more than midfield teams have. Well williams have poor drivers aswell.

      No way can they be competitive enough for fight for championships.

      They also need 5-8 cars infront to DNF to compete for a random win.

      But that just does not happen.

      Best they can do is take their second tier by F1 standards expertise and win Indy or LM24. Or build awesome road cars. As it seems they understand that and are going for those goals. Indy success would be worth more at this point for their company then fighting for odd 5th place.

    9. What are Mercedes and Ferrari’s excuses for treating Michael Schumacher like dirt? He didn’t burn bridges. Fans think the big manufacturers are holier than thou. On the contrary!
      Williams/Renault gained nothing by getting shot of Mansell who took a massive audience with him to Indy Car. Williams last glory days were the Hill era . They let him and Senna down in 94. Newey said his biggest regret was not giving Senna a better car. Yet it’s always Alonso’s fault these days!
      How finicky have the fans and journalists become. Alonso should take his relentless driving skills elsewhere with a massive following and possibly new TV media channels.

    10. F1’s new weight limit being close to a light-heavy weight boxer (inc seat) is not very biker friendly. Marquez is 59 kilos!

    11. I agree with the ESPN-article in principle. It features many valid points.
      – Marc Marquez’s tumble in the pit lane, though, LOL.

    12. Alonso leaving Ferrari was the nail in the coffin career-wise. I cannot believe went back to Mclaren after seeing how horrible they’ve been post Hamilton.

      1. Anyone can foresee the past, thank you.

      2. What do you think Alonso thought of them whilst he was beating them and Lewis in his sometimes slower Ferrari? They had the quickest car at least one year, so maybe he thought if he could beat Lewis in it, he could do even better there himself?

    13. “Alonso is toxic”

      ‘Leupen believes Alonso’s contribution is even greater off-track, adding: “I believe Fernando has been able to add a lot to the team, partly because of his experience, but especially because of his personality.

      “He’s 100 percent professional, easy-going and open. It gives the engineers and the mechanics an extra boost, extra motivation. I think we can be very happy that he chose to race with us” ‘

    14. In regards to that ESPN article, if we are talking about Alonso burning bridges then the biggest burn would have been the McLaren bridge. He blackmailed the team and then still outed them anyway for the spying he himself was happily participating in.

      Yet low and behold he’s back racing there.

      Although in hindsight, that could have been the biggest prank/payback of all time. They pretty much dragged Alonso down with them for 3 seasons plus the current one. Probably ending Alonso’s career without an extra shot at a WDC.

    15. Marquez would be banned for a few races if he did in f1 what he did with Rossi a few years ago.

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