Fernando Alonso, IndyCar, McLaren Andretti, Indianapolis 500, 2017

Success at Indy 500 can be “very random” – Alonso

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso admits success in the Indianapolis 500, which he will race again next year, can be “random”.

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What they say

McLaren is entering a team for Alonso in next year’s race:

It’s going to be tough. I think that race by itself is already very tough and very random, let’s say, because you need a lot of things into your way: the strategy, the luck, the yellow flags at the end, the Safety Car. All these things need to play into your way.

But with a new team, I’m trying to learn from zero not only myself also the team behind is going to be a little bit challenging. But we should be OK. McLaren has enough experience and enough talented people to run competitively there and we will go for it.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Did last season show Vandoorne just isn’t an F1-grade talent?

We can all sit here and say “yeah but he had a bad car” or “He was up against one of the best of all time”, but the fact of the matter is that he was regularly mixing with Williams of Stroll and Toro Rosso of Hartley – two bad cars with two mediocre drivers – while Alonso was often on the tails of the Force Indias and Renaults.

Alonso, even by his own recently lofty evaluations, has always said he was never a qualifying supremo, so to not get it hooked up one single weekend is just inexcusable for Vandoorne.

Ultimately, I think Vandoorne’s biggest issue is that he just isn’t hungry enough for it… A bit like Bottas, he just doesn’t have that extra 5% in his DNA that makes him special like Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen etc…
Luke S (@Joeypropane)

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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 “Success at Indy 500 can be “very random” – Alonso”

    1. Impressive from Hamilton who has now won the Team Principle’s Best Driver of the Season vote for the 5th year running!

      1. But why only nine votes… ;-)

        1. Arivabene didn’t participate!

          Impressive that Vettel stilll come third.

          1. with eight of the nine team bosses who took part voting [Hamilton] as the top pick

            More than that, I’m curious to know who the stick in the mud was who voted against Hamilton, and which driver they picked. Maybe Zak was instructed by Alonso to vote for Alonso? ;-)

            1. Cyril. There was video where he said Verstappen was his driver of the season.

            2. Thank you, KGN11. Decent of Cyril to give an honest appraisal, after all the verbal bashing that Renault received from RBR and Max.

    2. I read that the Super Licence points allocations are due to change again for 2019 (expected to some degree with the changes to F3), but the significant change will be to only allow a driver to count points from a single series per year.
      I wonder if this is a knee jerk reaction to suggestions that Dan Ticktum might race some F4 this winter to try bag a few extra points?

      1. If that’s the case, now that STR closed its lineup, it a bit pointless for him to do those extra races.

        Or he needs the points to be 3rd driver? He doesn’t does he?

    3. Imagine the scenes if the former F1 driver to win the next indy 500 is Marcus Ericsson

      1. I’d like to see Alonso’s face that time.

        1. “I TOLD YOU IT WAS RANDOM”

          1. @kelvin38 – “The standards of randomness have dropped since the old days.”

        2. I would imagine it would look a lot like this

      2. That would be funny. I really want Alonso to achieve what he is going after but I would get a great laugh out of this happening first :)

    4. I say that not to belittle Vettel

      There is no other way to understand the comment. Everybody knows Vettel’s mental strength is his weak spot. Mind games started early for 2019….

      1. I can’t say I disagree with Luca… I’ve said the same thing here more than once. Not sure how Vettel will feel about it, but if statements like that don’t light a new fire underneath him for next season, nothing will. & I definitely agree that mental strength is where Vettel seems lacking. We’ve seen quite a few instances of him losing it under pressure throughout his F1 career. At this point though (and with his type of personality: prone to angry outbursts, slow to admit culpability… glacially slow…) I’m not sure that he can fix that part: it’s pretty well known that well established personality traits are generally the hardest for adults to change.

      2. Such a crazy comment to make from a Ferrari man, but I guess this is the blame culture that Lauda and Prost talked about.

        The irony is that working to get rid of this, Arrivabene and the team are almost going the other way and not dealing with their poor strategists.

        1. @balue, why exactly are you saying this comes “from a Ferrari man” when Luca di Montezemolo has had nothing to do with Ferrari for four years now? He’s an ex-Ferrari man, and has been for several years, but the way that you are phrasing your post makes it sound as if you think that he is part of the current structure of the team.

      3. Yes, astounding comments from di Montezemolo. Double-speak. He must feel very strongly that Vettel is not right for Ferrari anymore. In this article he belittles Vettel, says he needs propping up by the team, warns of the menace of Leclerc, and closes off by saying that although Schumi made some errors “in the first days”, it was “always important to speak clearly in the locker room and support the team in public”. Well, Vettel has now completed 4 seasons with Ferrari, so it definitely isn’t “first days” anymore, and di Montezemolo is very clearly doing the opposite of supporting him in public.

      4. This reminds of the people who say “No offences but..” . It’s generally an offensive statement with a slight warning given the other user before it’s made.

        Kind of like how Luca says that Hamilton would have done the job Vettel wasn’t capable of doing.. without belittling him of course.

        1. *given to the listener

          * no offense

          Ugh.. sorry .. should drink and get on racefans

    5. Alonso isn’t wrong. It is often said that the Indy 500 chooses its winner. Rossi’s win in his first visit there being a golden example. Multiple refueling issues sending him all the way to dead last. A gamble on an insane fuel strategy. Car crossed the line with the engine dead. In first.

    6. I didn’t know Grosjean reads a similar type of books that I do.
      – I agree with Montezemolo in principle.
      – I thoroughly agree with the COTD. That indeed seems to be the case. Alonso managed to get more out of the machinery than Vandoorne did. FA managed to finish as the ‘best-of-the-rest’ in a few races while SV for most of the time was fighting for the positions in the region of P13-P18.
      – Very interesting reading the BBC-article. Lots of interesting aspects brought up.

      1. I forgot to include regarding the BBC-article:
        ”This is why race lap times are so much further off qualifying pace than can be accounted for by fuel load or engine modes – by a number of seconds – and why drivers spend most races trying to make a one-stop strategy work.”
        – I’d argue it’s still primarily down to the fuel loads, though. Ever since 2010 (the first season after the ban on in-race refuelling), the lap times in the races have been significantly slower than in the qualifying session of the same GP weekend since the fuel loads are substantially higher in the races than in the QLFs.

        1. Regarding the BBC article, @jerejj, it reads like one of those arm chair journalists as discussed by Dieter yesterda.
          Benson seems to collect data from other sources without adding any new insights and without any clear conclusions.

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