Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Suzuka, 2018

Alonso not interested in winning ‘class B’ championship

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says he’s not interested in finishing first among the six drivers not in the top three teams.

What they say

The contest for seventh in the championship is very close between Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg (all on 53 points), Alonso (50) and Esteban Ocon (49). Alonso was asked if winning this would mean anything to him:

No not really. It means nothing to finish seventh in the championship. There is no point to have any plan for that.

My only plan is to finish the constructors’ championship as high as possible with McLaren. We have now a strong position, we have maybe no hopes to catch Renault and Haas but the gap between us and Force India and Sauber is reducing every race because they are very strong now. And we will not let them catch us before Abu Dhabi. That’s my main focus.

The drivers’ championship really I’m not interested.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Are F1’s demands of Pirelli simply unworkable?

I feel like Pirelli are in a bit of a tough spot here. They’re asked to make tyres the drivers can push on, but also ones that create two-stop races. Because it’s so difficult to overtake, teams will always look to stretch tyres to a one stop, thereby making the drivers nurse them, as, with current F1, track position is key.
Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 57 comments on “Alonso not interested in winning ‘class B’ championship”

    1. Regarding COTD. At this point, if I would be the head of Pirelli, I would just build the best tires they could regardless of what F1 is “demanding”. What will F1 do? Kick them out half way through the season? I don’t think so. Yes, they might loose it later on but at least they will go in some glory rather than completely ruin their reputation. Personally I would never buy their tires just because of F1 mess. The only tires I buy are Bridgestones and it’s also because of F1.
      Having said all that… maybe this is why I am not the head of Pirelli.

      1. Toxic, to be frank, I recall one designer from a major tyre manufacturer who freely admitted that, in reality, the relative difference between most of the major tyre manufacturers is actually not really that significant for most consumer vehicles and that what you’re really buying is marketing.

        1. @anon I’m shocked*.

          Where “shocked”, read “not shocked”.

      2. Most people will see it as positive (or indifferent at worst) that Pirelli is linked to F1.
        I’m sure it’s a great investment, even without selling those four tyres to you :P

      3. Please define “the best tyres they can” because I remember everyone complaining in 2010 when Bridgestone brought 2 compounds of tyres to races, each of which could easily finish a full race distance. Despite this, people still hold “the Bridgestone era” in some mythically high regard.

        Also, Pirelli’s road car product and their F1 product are in no way linked. Not buying their road product because you don’t like what they have commercially agreed to supply to F1 is a bit silly.

        1. @geemac the fact that no specification of tyre pleases everyone (or even the majority) is probably an indication that the sport has other, bigger problems. I would argue that the grid is too small and hopelessly uncompetitive. that, and the dying free-to-air tv coverage are the biggest problems. the tyres are important of course, and could do with some changes, but it’s just fiddling while Rome burns, to my mind.

          1. I’d agree with that. I am longing for the day we have a truly competitive 26 car grid…

      4. Regarding COTD. At this point, if I would be the head of Pirelli, I would just build the best tires they could regardless of what F1 is “demanding”.

        Well your blatant disregard for business contracts probably goes a long way to explain why you are not head of a major tyre manufacturing company :)

      5. In WEC cars must stop after every x number of laps. Maybe F1 should do the same (on the same tyres as WEC too?)

    2. Mmm, weird he doesn’t care about winning the B championship, sure, it doesn’t depend totally on him considering how far off the pace sometimes mclaren is, but it’s absolutely impossible to beat anyone in the top 3 cars, so 7th place is a sort of championship in and of itself if you don’t drive one.

      Likewise, massa said brazil 2017 felt like he won the race, I’d say he did, he was best in the rest and kept alonso behind at less than a second for all race.

      So yes, in spite of what he said it’d be really important for alonso to finish 7th, a last satisfaction in his career.

      1. @esploratore I’m sure when you’ve won races and championships for real, a B-class win doesn’t feel like much. It’s akin to if someone like Lorenzo dropped down and won Moto2. Sure, he would have won a title, but will it really mean much? Everyone else that Alonso is fighting for 7th have a combined total of 9 podiums (and 8 of them are Perez), while he has 32 wins alone. I’m sure he believes himself to be a different level to those guys (justifiably perhaps), and beating them isn’t much of an achievement, compared to beating Schumacher, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel etc.

      2. I would go even further @esploratore, who cares about finishing 7th really? Sure for a midfield team to be best of the rest in some races it is reason to celebrate, especially if you are Sauber or STR that usually race a bit further back.

        But as a driver, I think they only care about finishing ahead of their teammates and that’s pretty much it. Alonso’s case is probably exacerbated by @mashiat‘s first sentence above

        1. Yes, probably, but I just meant it’s a battle you can win, a fight with this year’s haas, renault, force indias with that mclaren, might be an interesting thing to do before leaving since it doesn’t look like he will be back, since it’s not like he can fight for titles any more in f1.

      3. If I remember right, he did congrats himself as “qualpole” as best of the rest once this year? Why would he mention that if he didnt care? I meen, considering he is mentioning he is doing best race ever all the time, and why should he go over gras to ruin qual for mag if he does care…LOL. Why would he state the LeMans win as a historically best LeMans win not even considering how fast those 2 Toyotas were even making lost of errors during race still clear in front?
        Nope, you bet he cares ALOt.
        His EGO is so big, he evaluates everything that could be used to media on himself, even talking others down trying to raise himself or smoke poor result. ALsO, why blaming team (officially of course) not to have a go for fastest laptime, a 2xWDC who doesnt care? LOL. This is a big 5… NO from me.
        I understand he is frustrated with McL, but I dont understand how their data could be so much of that they thought they were good ? It seems ALO cannot develope a car at all, that is not good out of the box, nor can he create a performance mindset in a team, his EGO stands in his way and are maybee to busy burning bridges.

    3. That’s some headline Keith, first glance I was fearing he was referring to IndyCars.

    4. Why would a former world champion care about finishing 7th?
      As for Budchekov’s comment, Alonso may not be good enough to win the IndyCar Championship. But I would love to see him try.

      1. Alonso may not be good enough to win the IndyCar Championship

        JOTD.

        (Joke of the day).

        1. Its a yoke, a yoke.

    5. Having work indy support series, I just dont see Alonso in Indy cars. Is F1 really that bad? Jesh. I hope he had talked to Nigel Mansell before making the move.

    6. Pretty impressive considering the Mclaren definately isn’t the 4th fastest car and hasn’t been all year. Alonso is a points scoring machine

      1. Gasly and Leclerc are also doing a stellar job in that department, all 3 however have something in common, a teammate that does not give us a reference point, especially Vandoorne and Hartley that should have scored plenty more points than they have

    7. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      9th October 2018, 7:15

      I’m absolutely gobsmacked!! I’d not realised Alonso was only 3 points behind Hulkenberg, Perez and Magnussen. Let alone ahead of all those other far superior cars. What an achievement in that awful car. Ferrari hand him a blank cheque and beg! Unbelievable, achievement of the season.

      1. I know eh. Can you imagine Alonso / Ferrari vs Hamilton / Mercedes?! 2007 rivalry part 2 :)

    8. COTD is so bang on the money!

    9. For anyone interested, the Championship would look more like this with the top three removed.

      Hulk – 193
      Perez – 187
      Ocon – 186
      Sainz – 184
      Mag – 177
      Alonso – 155
      Grosjean – 120
      Gasly – 117
      Leclerc – 109
      Ericsson – 83
      Vandoorne – 78
      Stroll – 52
      Hartley – 39
      Sirotkin – 24

      1. @jamiefranklinf1 – that’s an interesting view & take on the WDC.

        What is striking is where Vandoorne, Hartley and Sirotkin are – their teammates have them beaten with over twice the points.

        1. This should become an official table after every race, and a trophy by racefans.net ;)
          @jamiefranklinf1, @phylyp

          1. with 4 races to go 9 drivers are still in it to win the F1B championship!

            1. Sainz hasn’t won a single race, and he’s still in contention :). @coldfly
              Damn, this has got me excited.

            2. @phylyp the new Keke Rosberg

            3. You’d have to back Perez or Ocon to take the unofficial “Jim Clark Cup”. RPFI have been in great form since the Stroll consortium took over the team.

      2. And the winners would have been:

        Australia: Alonso
        Bahrain: Gasly
        China: Hulkenberg
        Azerbaijan: Perez
        Spain: Magnussen
        Monaco: Ocon
        Canada: Hulkenberg
        France: Magnussen
        Austria: Grosjean
        Britain: Hulkenberg
        Germany: Hulkenberg
        Hungary: Gasly
        Belgium: Perez
        Italy: Ocon
        Singapore: Alonso
        Russia: Leclerc
        Japan: Perez

        Hulkenberg: 4 wins
        Perez: 3 wins
        Alonso: 2 wins
        Magnussen: 2 wins
        Ocon: 2 wins
        Gasly: 2 wins
        Grosjean: 1 win
        Leclerc: 1 win

        8 different winners from 6 different teams. F1 without the top 6 would be amazing. It would almost be a return to the days of 2012, when we coincidentally also had 8 different winners from 6 different teams.

        1. @coldfly – agreed, I can definitely get behind that idea.

          @mashiat – ha, nice one taking this a step further.

          It would definitely be interesting to see articles talking about this, and towards the end put in a para “Oh, and ahead of these guys, Hamilton beat Vettel, and Bottas came third”, or whatever.

          1. @phylyp @mfalcao I certainly agree. There would be races that might have been more dramatic as well. In Australia for example, there would be controversy as Alonso, starting fifth, wins the race after rejoining ahead of Hulkenberg due to pitting under a VSC (although this would be fairly similar to the real 2018 race). Gasly would have won in F1 in just his second race of his first full season, and seventh race overall. Or in Baku, where Alonso finishes on the podium with a badly damaged car and running last after the first lap. In France, Sainz would be leading the race comfortably, but an issue with his MGU-K in the final few laps meant that Magnussen overtook him with a few laps to go. Leclerc would have lost a win in Silverstone due to a pitstop error by his team, costing him the chance of a first F1 win. He gets his first win a few races later in Russia, after pulling off a brilliant overtaking manoeuvre on Magnussen for the lead of the race.

            1. somehow I feel that you just described one of the best F1 seasons @mashiat. The press should give more focus to the midfield

            2. @mashiat – bloody hell, that’s an amazing season!

            3. and we all recall that great podium by Vandoorne in Melbourne.

        2. A much more interesting championship then the Mercedes f1 we had for the last 5 years.
          More and more am of the opinion that liberty should go with the budget cap for 21, if Merc Ferrari and red bull what out, then show them the door. They are just out spending all the other teams to succeed and that’s not sport its just money talking.

      3. I’m voting for @jamiefranklinf1 & @mashiat ‘s comments to be the paired COTD for tomorrow. Brilliant illustration of the gulf between the top 3 and the rest.

        1. Yeah, maybe it could be a RaceFans feature. Seems to have a fair few folk interested.

      4. and the constructors championship:

        377 – Renault
        373 – Force India
        297 – Haas
        233 – McLaren
        192 – STR
        156 – Sauber
        76 – Williams

        What we can potentially take from these, apart from the fun of it of course, is a potentially good argument that a budget cap might work, because I believe these teams operaty more or less with the same budget for the season?

        1. @johnmilk – this is interesting… #1 and #2 are close, #3 not good enough to challenge at the front but not bad enough to be threatened from the rear, and Williamsis lagging. This one isn’t too different from the current situation.

          1. @phylyp consider Grosjean and Vandoorne should have plenty more points and you will notice that it is a closer affair. Plus if you marry this list with the drivers it was, in my opinion, a very compelling argument to enforce a budget cap

          2. With so many teams involved for the championship it would also seem more important for teams to get the two best drivers possible rather than an A and B driver

        2. This is of course before the Sahara vs Racing Point split of the Force India points, @johnmilk.
          But notwithstanding, a Formula 1B could be really interesting until the final checkered flag (or court of appeal review)

          1. @coldfly lets say that if Force India was fighting for wins they surely would be in a comfortable place, financially speaking

      5. @jamiefranklinf1
        Autosport (well Forix) started doing this last season (and again this season), with full info for all races, quali, fastest laps, etc – discounting the top 6. They call if “Fake F1”.

        Last year was way more clear cut in Perez’s favour, but this year is very interesting.

        http://forix.autosport.com/cp.php?l=0&d=1000&r=10002018&c=0

        Think you may have to subscribe in some way via motorsport.com / autosport.com to view tho.

        It would be nice if this site could do something similar, I doubt it would be plagiarism as its only results. They’re facts and Racefans already have all the raw data, just needs formatting appropriately.

    10. Weird tweet by Zak Brown. Especially since the original tweet seems to be a correct assessment of the current performance.
      I even doubted if it was Zak’s real account, but his main driver is following this account as well.

      1. For clarity, the original twit of the thread (translated, not shown in this article):

        Albert Fabrega @AlbertFabrega
        (6) Where’s McLaren? They haven’t hit rock bottom. No. And the worst part is I see tranquility. No rage, no chins down, no mea culpa. To get out of a hole you have to recognize you’re in one. Are we sure no other changes are needed? Alonso doesn’t deserve a goodbye like this.

        The twit Brown answers to:

        Ivan Roldan @ivanlda
        I strongly disagree with Albert. In my opinion, he couldn’t be more wrong. There’s rage, disappointment, ambition, energy, passion, hope, will, working capacity and self-criticism (a lot) in the team. I’m being fully honest.

        1. It’s that last sentence by Zak brown.
          That ruïnes the effect :)

          1. It’s the first one for me, and the last of Albert’s.

        2. A marketing man being “fully honest” is certainly one to savour !

        3. Rage, energy, and passion have never been words I’ve associated with McLaren over the last 27 years.

          1. because those are names of energy drinks and we all know McLaren has no sponsors?

    11. I couldn’t agree more with Vasseur. It indeed was ‘F’ dangerous and could’ve ended more severely than with merely a puncture and a front wing/nose damage, and one day it’s indeed going to end up that way if they keep allowing these type of moves.
      – Spot on COTD! I couldn’t agree more with it. Track-position is just too vital for a driver to risk getting stuck in traffic by pushing more, and thus, potentially forcing himself into an extra pit-stop. The cars’ aero-design is the real problem, not the tyres.

      1. If Mag could react this quick on purpose.., then Lec could easily have chosen the free route further right by similar reaction skill, but this was just poor bad luck for both. Its not a late move, they were several seconds full speed from braking point, look onboard from Mag.If you could blame MAG could anticipate Lec would soon propoply take the inner route, lec could have 400 quess for free where mag most likely would go when he makes his one allowed move….

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