Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

McLaren ‘lacking ambition’ complains Alonso after missing fastest lap

2018 Russian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso said McLaren were “lacking ambition” after he again pushed for a chance to set the fastest lap of the race at the end of the Russian Grand Prix.

Alonso tried to set the fastest lap during the previous race in Singapore but lost it after Kevin Magnussen put on a fresh set of tyres at the end of the race.

The McLaren driver was out of contention for the points in Sochi and told his team “I don’t care” when told he had a chance to gain a position while running in 15th.

He later asked the team “What is the fastest lap?” and was told “it’s a 36.3.” Alonso, who made his sole pit stop early in the race, did not make a second pit stop and his best lap was over three seconds off that time.

After the race Alonso indicated he was disappointed not to have had the chance to set the fastest lap. “When you are P14, P15, I think it’s good for the team, it’s good for the guys that they are working flat out every day. Good for the sponsors, good for the partners.

“But we were lacking ambition I think today.”

Alonso pitted early because he had a spare set of soft tyres and was trying to prompt other drivers into pitting early as well and use their rubber more quickly.

“It was quite a lonely race,” he said. “We stopped in lap four, lap five, tried to undercut some people and force to pit early for everyone. All of them, they have only one yellow tyres, we have two. But today the yellow tyres performed the whole race with no issues.

“That didn’t came out as we expected. Overall I think we didn’t have the pace as we said before the race.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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25 comments on “McLaren ‘lacking ambition’ complains Alonso after missing fastest lap”

  1. I’m sorry, but who was it who said “I don’t care”?

    1. Aaand the first one took the bait.

  2. The McLaren driver was out of contention for the points in Sochi and told his team “I don’t care” when told he had a chance to gain a position while running in 15th.

    While it’s pretty obvious why this quote stands in this article (‘Alonso complains about McLaren’s lack of ambition, and here’s him saying he doesn’t care about his result, haha, what a hypocrite’ – continuing this site’s recent sad trend of hitting below the belt of certain drivers), there’s not only a stylistic problem with the contextual embedding given here:

    It’s incorrect.

    How so? Well, this radio conversation

    “OK Fernando as a heads-up Stroll has been told he’s OK to the end on his dash and he has one dash of quali left.”
    Alonso: “Yes mate we are P15, I don’t care.”

    happened sometime between lap 35 and 40. At that stage, Stroll had already spent 30 laps in Alonso’s mirrors. And ahead of them both, there was only Ericsson, who made a second pit stop because he had enough of a gap to do so while easily staying ahead and then driving off into the distance again.
    So, no: There was never a chance for Alonso to gain a position. If anything, the team were telling him there’s a risk he might lose his position. Which he didn’t.

    But yeah, I have the nagging feeling that this article was written with a clear awareness of the real implications of this radio message, and that it was quite deliberately ‘spiced up’ by pretending to put things into context while carefully omitting those parts of the context that didn’t fit the narrative.

    1. Same difference. He didn’t care about the risk of losing his position. But complains about missing out on the FLAP, which we all know is representative of nothing.

      1. Apart from the fact that the Fastest lap is recorded in the results history for each race. By getting the Fastest Lap you get your name and the teams name highlighted positively.

    2. ds1455@yahoo.com
      30th September 2018, 21:09

      I agree….deceiving – trying to stir up all the ALO bashers.
      The media will be lost next year without Alonso to beat on.
      How pathetic F1 in has become.

    3. Totally agree..

    4. Thanks for a sound and valid comment. Its the usual rubbish clickbait from some sites. I’m not sure if it’s just repeated here rather than researched. And of course it allows a bunch of arm chair slobs to take a pot shot of Alonso, who earns more than them in a day of radio message than they’ll make in a year.

  3. Says something about today’s race that this is a headline:(

  4. No way he would have been able to set the fastest lap of the race. The car was really slow and the softer tires were really bad. He just needs to accept there was nothing he could have done differently in his situation.

  5. ‘Embarrassing! Really embarrassing!’
    ‘GP2 team! GP2 team!’

    Sorry I know it’s juvenile but I just can’t help it. McLaren is such an embarrassment this year.

  6. Now that his F1 career is coming to an inglorious end, Nando is looking to make small improvements to his personal stats.

    1. Or have some fun.

  7. I’ve never seen McLaren as a team with any inner fire – quite straight-laced and as-you-do. I think this reservedness is what led to the downfall in communication and their relationship with Honda.

    They were formidable rivals back in the day and I’d like to see the cyborgs back.

  8. Agree with nase. This site sucks balls. Crappy journalists out to stir things up.

  9. one can only imagine what the Mclaren story would have been had they been running the Honda engines still.
    The team has been on the decline since late last decade or really this decade. To much arrogance, too little substance.
    I still believe the Withmarsh years set the stage for their present disarray.
    Withmarsh seemed more interested in scoring points continuously than winning races. Chasing useless records that don’t add to income. Acquiring yes men and reading falls data. The end result, their drivers got lost, the engineers got lost and the whole team went into limbo.
    By the time gonna was rushed in, a juvenile engine couldn’t mask deficient chassis. But busting Mclaren, they didn’t believe they were the problem. And they made Honda also get lost in corrupt data. Even gonna was saying the didn’t believe their engine was the only short coming with the entire package.
    They need to start from scratch with a new car. Any data collected over the past few years are probably useless.
    Very sad for such a great team.

  10. Alonso could be onto something here, if the rules were changed to give drivers a couple points for fastest lap, drivers outside the top 10 would be pitting, sticking on the fastest tyres and having an attempt. Would have made the last few laps of the Russian grand prix more intersting,

    1. It would be like Q4 (a fourth qualifying session) 🙂 @emu55

  11. I still believe mclaren should have dumped alonso and kept honda engines. The amount of pressure to please alonso was and is ridiculous. They shoukd hav played the long game. Make long term goals not think as far as their nose. Its a misconception and a fallacy that a driver can drive beyond a cars capabilties.they should hav concentrated on building a faster more effecient car.

    1. Alonso, with the Mclaren car’s lack of performance, is just sitting 3 points behind Magnussen in the Haas. That is not a reflection of what you call a misconception and why he is always in the discussion by experts of the top F1 drivers today.

    2. The game would have been a lot longer without Alonso.

      1. Marcio Alvarez
        2nd October 2018, 0:11

        No morron!

    3. Marcio Alvarez
      2nd October 2018, 0:13

      Wrong you fool, Alonso is all thats quality at McLaren.

  12. Please reveal to me the quality alonso is being and bringing to mclaren. No need for name calling. Lets be mature and share our views. You obviosly miss my point.marcia. I agree alonso is a great driver but alonso cannot drive that car into any championship if its a horribly designed weak slow car. They should hav concentrated on building a better car and let alonso go. Get another driver with some experience but without the alonso pressure he brings. Mclaren are not even a midfield team. Very very sad.

  13. So Allnonsenso sold the team out again…. OMG they must hate him

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