Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Alonso “never once blamed the car or team” for early struggles at Alpine

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In the round-up: Alpine’s sporting director says the team has been inspired by Fernando Alonso’s positive approach to improving his form since the start of the season.

In brief

Alonso radio message motivating to team he is “still building”

Alpine sporting director Alan Permane praised Alonso’s response to his difficult start to his comeback with Alpine. “There were some struggles and instead of having any tantrums or hissy fits or anything he looked to himself, he never once blamed the car or the team,” said Permane.

“He said to me, I need to prove I need to do this, I need to be better. And he said in the office and he said in the press as well. And that’s what he does, what he’s done. So it’s not I don’t think he’s finished that process yet.

“He still is still there, still building his team with these guys around him and doing a great job with results like this, today.”

Permane was especially pleased to hear Alonso’s describing how pleased he was with his qualifying lap on the radio. “I said to him afterwards don’t underestimate that, that radio message will be broadcast and everyone in Enstone and everyone in Viry is hearing that, and that just makes their weeks of work, their hard work worthwhile, to hear a driver who’s done a good lap be really happy with it and hear how motivated he is and that sort of thing.”

AlphaTauri admit error over Tsunoda penalty

Yuki Tsunoda was given a three-place grid drop and a penalty point on his super license for impeding Valtteri Bottas in Q3. Jody Eggington, Alphatauri’s technical director, said it was down to an unusual flaw in the team’s communication.

“I think we might have missed a traffic call with Bottas,” said Eggington. “I think that’s what’s happened.

“We’re normally pretty robust, it’s pretty rare for our team to be brought up on these charges. But on this occasion it’s possible we’ve made a mistake.”

Chadwick has “mixed emotions” after W Series opener

Inaugural W Series champion Jamie Chadwick faced a tricky start to her title defence after finishing seventh in the season-opener. The Veloce driver collided with Jessica Hawkins on the second lap and fell to the rear of the field before recovering.

“I’m feeling mixed emotions after that race,” she said. “Firstly, I’m happy to get points on the board but massively disappointed at the same time, I had a really good start and first lap but then got spun around.

“We got a bit lucky with the carnage that unfolded after the safety car but I think it was damage limitation today given the circumstances we found ourselves in. Our potential was much more than that this weekend. Luckily there isn’t long to wait so we’re already looking ahead to the next race.”

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Comment of the day

Does Ferrari’s latest setback indicate they haven’t made the progress with their car it seemed they had earlier in the year?

That Ferrari isn’t competitive is somewhat understandable after their ‘shenanigans’ had to be rushed off their 2020 car and then a lot of that carried over into 2021 due to the postponed regulation change.

But in this third full season, Binotto still seems to run a confused team that can’t get on top of fundamental issues. Worse, they keep finding new problems that they then have no answer to.
@cashnotclass

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  • 30 years ago today Ferrari’s new 643 had its first run at Fiorano. It replaced the 642 which the team used for the first six races of the season.

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  • 16 comments on “Alonso “never once blamed the car or team” for early struggles at Alpine”

    1. MB (@muralibhats)
      27th June 2021, 1:03

      He has probably run out of all blames by now.

      1. Rodric Ewulf
        27th June 2021, 3:28

        Will Alonso’s love with Alpine last until the end of his new Formula 1 stint? To date the only F1 team he left on good terms was Enstone based.

        1. Rodric Ewulf
          27th June 2021, 3:30

          Probably except Minardi but that almost doesn’t count.

          1. Embassy Hill
            27th June 2021, 7:11

            Mclaren 2nd time wasn’t that bad. He went on to drive at indy for them twice after leaving F1 and one of those occasions the team was a mess so he had every opportunity to leave.

            Ferrari, yes he wanted out as they kept failing to improve but i wouldn’t call that leaving on bad terms. And 99% of the people that worked with him love him.

            Mclaren first time yes that was bad terms. And perhaps Honda for his silly comments on the radio, but his team repeated those comments.

            This ‘Alonso is toxic’ comes from people that haven’t worked with him. Rarely does it come from people that worked with him. You lot wouldn’t of liked Senna, Prost, Mansell or Piquet. Yet i bet those making these comments love them….

            1. Rodric Ewulf
              27th June 2021, 18:36

              I agree, people want to make Fernando look like a villain when in truth he is an old school competitive guy. For the ones taking him that way, not going to argue too much, but then they shouldn’t have the legends of F1 on high praise because they weren’t exactly nice guys either. And more: on racing abilities wise he has never faulted, and is clinging on to racecraft consistency and competitiveness again in his way back to the pinnacle of motorsport.

              Will Alonso’s love with Alpine last until the end of his new Formula 1 stint? To date the only F1 team he left on good terms was Enstone based.

              I admit that I posted this as a decoy to Alonso critics/haters and then build on that reasoning as it’s the only way some of them would listen. Those new guys coming to watch Formula 1 under Liberty Media era of marketing are used just to Hamilton as a measure of experienced driver who can win it all, and about Alonso all they know is team disputes and scandals from which he benefitted from (never proved he collaborated with any of those) which happened more than 10 years ago and the noobies were just fed with what media gave focus, buying all the narrative ‒ usually pro-Hamilton even outside Britain ‒ without questioning. For a combination of bad luck, lack of mutual understading and team swap decisions which ultimately proved to be really poor, Fernando kept his excelence but it became unnoticed, kinda of gradually entering underground territory relative to the big fuss around Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel and now Lewis Hamilton vs. Max Verstappen (Max is currently showing a striking similarity to Fernando’s typical race IQ, btw).
              So to clarify the latter statement he didn’t left McLaren in 2018 in bad terms, but that wasn’t on very good either, as he was dissatisfied and made it clear, and there was the resent from Honda also, but that was not an abnormal departure (nothing much different than Vettel being dumped by Ferrari in 2020 after finishing the season soundly beaten by Leclerc or even Hamilton lefting McLaren in 2012 when he said it was to “build on” a struggling team but in reality two more important factors were poor reliabiilty and a relationship with the team not working anymore, the so-called “good harmony” he says he enjoys with Bottas today at Mercedes ‒ which is actually starting to wear thin nowdays as well). As such the only team Fernando left with a smile on his face and good memories speaking louder than a final sour note was Renault indeed, even when they were struggling in 2008-09, a much similar fashion to how Alpine is today: seeming to take one step forward and two steps back on the sequence. But the shake up of regulations can play on their favour, and they may be able to score wins and maybe even have a shot at the championship. But it’s yet to be seen if Fernando will be more patient than he was previously for the time being. It does look like that, not only because he says he’s enjoying racing like few times before, and regardless of the result he is celebrating his performance now (even if it’s a matter of little things, a few points scored), but also as he has already realised that it may take some years to things fall right into place for Alpine in the development race even with new regulations coming, so the message he’s passing is that he’s not in a hurry, and imagining if Alpine ultimately failed I think he may retire definitively from Formula 1 still delivering excellent performances, extracting the most his car allow him to, and then it would not be too short of a nice finish for his F1 career given the circunstances, I’d say, even if his return does not ultimately yield his long-awaited third title.

            2. Rodric Ewulf
              27th June 2021, 18:45

              I agree, people want to make Fernando look like a villain when in truth he is an old school competitive guy. For the ones taking him that way, not going to argue too much, but then they shouldn’t have the legends of F1 on high praise because they weren’t exactly nice guys either. And more: on racing abilities wise he has never faulted, and is clinging on to racecraft consistency and competitiveness again in his way back to the pinnacle of motorsport.

              Will Alonso’s love with Alpine last until the end of his new Formula 1 stint? To date the only F1 team he left on good terms was Enstone based.

              I admit that I posted this as a decoy to Alonso critics and then build on that reasoning as it’s the only way some of them would listen. Those new guys coming to watch Formula 1 under Liberty Media era of marketing are used just to Hamilton as a measure of experienced driver who can win it all, and about Alonso all they know is team disputes and scandals from which he benefitted from (never proved he collaborated with any of those) which happened more than 10 years ago and the noobies were just fed with what media gave focus, buying all the narrative ‒ usually favourable to Sir-Still-I-Whine even outside Britain ‒ without questioning. For a combination of bad luck, lack of mutual understading and team swap decisions which ultimately proved to be really poor, Fernando kept his excelence but it became unnoticed, kinda of gradually entering underground territory relative to the big fuss around Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel and now Lewis Hamilton vs. Max Verstappen (Max is currently showing a striking similarity to Fernando’s typical race IQ, btw).
              So to clarify the latter statement he didn’t left McLaren in 2018 in bad terms, but that wasn’t on very good either, as he was dissatisfied and made it clear, and there was the resent from Honda also, but that was not an abnormal departure (nothing much different than Vettel being dumped by Ferrari in 2020 after finishing the season soundly beaten by Leclerc or even Hamilton lefting McLaren in 2012 when he said it was to “build on” a struggling team but in reality two more important factors were poor reliabiilty and a relationship with the team not working anymore, the so-called “good harmony” he says he enjoys with Bottas today at Mercedes ‒ which is actually starting to wear thin nowdays as well). As such the only team Fernando left with a smile on his face and good memories speaking louder than a final sour note was Renault indeed, even when they were struggling in 2008-09, a much similar fashion to how Alpine is today: seeming to take one step forward and two steps back on the sequence. But the shake up of regulations can play on their favour, and they may be able to score wins and maybe even have a shot at the championship. But it’s yet to be seen if Fernando will be more patient than he was previously for the time being. It does look like that, not only because he says he’s enjoying racing like few times before, and regardless of the result he is celebrating his performance now (even if it’s a matter of little things, a few points scored), but also as he has already realised that it may take some years to things fall right into place for Alpine in the development race even with new regulations coming, so the message he’s passing is that he’s not in a hurry, and imagining if Alpine ultimately failed I think he may retire definitively from Formula 1 still delivering excellent performances, extracting the most his car allow him to, and then it would not be too short of a nice finish for his F1 career given the circunstances, I’d say, even if his return does not ultimately yield his long-awaited third title.

      2. He does not care for your opinion. Alpine is happy with him and he is making 20 million so that’s all he cares about, LOL.

        Reply moderated
    2. Does Ferrari’s latest setback indicate they haven’t made the progress with their car it seemed they had earlier in the year?

      Ferrari were flattered by red flagged qualifying and fully admitted themselves that it was not indicative of their position. So no, there was no progress and whoever thought their was is either deaf or ignorant.

      1. @skipgamer so without the red flag in Monaco and Baku where would you think they’d have qualified?

      2. Ridiculous, they were on fight for pole regardless of the red flag, best car in both quali sessions, surely in baku imo.

        1. Good (actually too good) mechanical grip which is great for Monte-Carlo and Baku but completely destroys current Pirellis on “standard” tracks. All the other cars are much easier on tyres, but they were struggling with warm up on those tracks.

      3. I am pretty sure Sainz remarked that their excellent one lap pace both in Monaco and in Baku were in large part due to having gained a solid understanding about how to handle / warmup the C5 soft tyres @skipgamer, @wsrgo, @esploratore1.

        He has also mentioned even before the Baku race that they expected to be less on the pace in either races. So that would hint at having “got” this tyre helped them have to pace to be there to profit from the situations with the red flags in Baku, well and in Monaco too.

        I guess it will be interesting to see whether Ferrari are more on the pace again when we get that same C5 tyre at the same racetrack in Austria next week. Ferrari clearly has made progress – last year they were often struggling to get even out of Q1 with one car and only occasionally looked like having Q3 pace. This year they have had both cars in Q3 or on the edge of Q3 relatively regularly.

    3. I wonder how good chance? He (presumably) joined on a two-year deal – continuing as long as Ocon would mean another two. Anyway, time will tell.

    4. Of course he will be at his best behavior now. Question is if it will last if the new generation car is still hopeless.

      But very nice to see him getting up to speed and being his usual calculating self in races. He still seems to have it. I must admit I was doubtful. Especially after getting a smack in the mouth and losing teeth in a poor overtaking move in everyday traffic.

      1. Well, that was not an overtaking move. He was on his bike on the road shoulder, the lady driving her car by his left suddenly turned right without noticing him or signaling anything and there was nothing Alonso could do about it.

        That said, this oh-so-well-behaved Alonso is no fun, I miss the “F2 engine” one.

        1. Ocon should buy a gift to that lady driver, otherwise Alonso probably would have begin the season at full speed and I doubt Renault would have offered a contract extension.
          Esteban should buy a lot of vaseline with his signing bonus now that he’s going to be “Vandoorned” for the rest of the season.

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