Lewis Hamilton is a greater danger to his title hopes than Fernando Alonso is

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso has said he wants to help Felipe Massa win the F1 title
Fernando Alonso has said he wants to help Felipe Massa win the F1 title

Fernando Alonso told his home press earlier this week: ??Yes, no doubt, if I can help, I will help Massa.??. He followed that up in the press conference ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend with:

When I said this in Fuji what I meant is that now we have a competitive car it seems that we are able to fight sometimes with Ferrari and McLaren and first of all we need to have a competitive, hard car here in Shanghai and Brazil to be fighting with Ferrari and McLaren. If we do that and Felipe wins the race and I can be second or third I will be happy to help Felipe to take as many points as possible and this is the only approach.

To me this looks like a psychological swipe that rather than a genuine threat to get in Hamilton?s way or take him out. How will Hamilton react in Shanghai?

Advantage Massa

Hamilton may have the championship lead but the impetus in the title battle rests with rival Felipe Massa: he has out-scored Hamilton in all but one of the last five races. And at Singapore, Massa was perfectly poised to win before that disastrous pit stop.

Massa won Interlagos, scene of the season finale, in 2006, and was set for victory last year when he obligingly yielded to team mate Kimi Raikkonen to guarantee a Ferrari champion. Hamilton needs to out-score Massa by a point or two this weekend to make the Brazilian?s chances of wrapping up the title at his home race extremely difficult.

The role of Alonso

This imperative and Alonso?s words of warning will be preying on Hamilton mind. But, realistically, what could Alonso do to disrupt Hamilton’s race?

Delay Hamilton in qualifying? Alonso would get a penalty. Hold up Hamilton in the race? He?ll have to out-qualify him first. Crash into Hamilton? Surely no-one seriously expects Alonso to take matters that far.

In the press conference, Alonso claimed the extent of his desire to ??help Massa? was simply to finish between the leading Ferrari and Hamilton. Later Hamilton spoke about his encounter with Alonso in the season finale at Interlagos last year, which might indicate a wariness about Alonso in Hamilton’s mind:

Firstly, in Brazil I didn’t try to overtake [Alonso] and make a mistake. Fernando was on the outside and he braked a little bit earlier than I anticipated and so I had to try to avoid him, so I went wide and that forced me to go off, so that wasn’t a manoeuvre trying to overtake.

But realistically, in order for Alonso to cause problems for Hamilton, the two will have to be disputing the same piece of track at some point. And even though the R28 has clearly improved in recent races, they haven?t seen much of each other all year.

They clashed at Bahrain – which proved to be entirely Hamilton?s misjudgement ?ǣ and the two wouldn?t even have been in that position had Hamilton not fluffed his start. Then at Monza Hamilton caught Alonso and passed him with a lack of drama, the McLaren several seconds quicker than the Renault at that point. Once again, it was an earlier error by McLaren that brought Hamilton and Alonso into each other?s races.

Conservatism is the key to the title

Hamilton should naturally exercise caution if he gets into a wheel-to-wheel battle with Alonso this weekend. But frankly, he needs to do a bit more exercising caution anyway ?ǣ he made two in the first few corners at Fuji, and they weren?t the first he?s made this year.

It pains me to see exciting drivers curb their racing instincts. I blame a points system that over-rewards minor finishes. But if Hamilton wants to win this championship, he needs to drive like he did at Singapore and not like he did at Fuji.

If he does that, Alonso should scarcely have the opportunity to influence the outcome of the championship.

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62 comments on “Lewis Hamilton is a greater danger to his title hopes than Fernando Alonso is”

  1. Lewis Hamilton may be a greater danger to his championship than Fernando Alonso is, but the FiA Stewards could be an even bigger threat to his or Massa’s hopes if they carry on the way they’ve been going this season…

    “Did you see that, that car defended his position…black flag him”

  2. Jonesracing82
    17th October 2008, 9:22

    lol, more like, “he looked at that car, give him a drive through!”
    sad i know, but thats how pathetic it’s getting!
    even more stupid, next years new rules are aimed at “creating overtaking”! yet they then go and make the drivers scared to have a go in case they get a stupid penalty for getting it wrong……….

  3. From another site:

    “Grand Prix Drivers’ Association chairman Webber and Jarno Trulli are to raise recent incidents involving Hamilton at Friday’s drivers’ briefing at the Shanghai International Circuit.”

    “Mark Webber fears Lewis Hamilton will cause an accident if he fails to temper his aggressive driving style.”

    And this comes five days after Hamilton himself was torpedoed by Massa?!? It feels like I’m on drugs, because every GP I see something and then wake up to find a totally different reality a few days later…

  4. you also missed that they clashed in fuji, lap 1 after the first corner before the 2nd, after lewis rejoined the track alonso closed the door on him and their wheels made contact.

  5. That’s the way it was. It was always this way, it always has been this way. Now move along comrade.

  6. The other drivers and their fans are Jealous of Lewis, it really is that simple.

    So they gang up on him, becasue they can’t do their talking on the track.

    They sound like sore losers, who want Lewis to slow down. Why? Becasue they can’t catch him.

    Lewis is the star of F1. He is the most exciting driver, and has put all other drivers in his shadow. And so the other drivers gang up on him like little school kids and blub and moan, as do their fans.

    What a bunch of corporate cry babies the other drivers are.

  7. Other drivers I guess are jealous of Lewis’s popularity; not his driving skills.

    Looking at this season; Lewis has bounced back brilliantly after poor performances. Baharin(poor)-Spain(ok)-Monaco(awesome)


    So; if has hit a trough at Fuji; May be he will do well at Shanghai.

    But 3 ferrari drivers have won here in 4 years. Its time for the fourth one to claim his name on the trophy :). GO MASSA ! ! 1

  8. how was monaco awesome? he hit the wall and blew his tire while in 2nd place, and only won from the safety car.

  9. I think Alonso is playing mind tricks with hamilton to put more pressure on hamilton to see if he cracks like last year.

    Alonso has commented that he wouldn´t like that hamilton brake his record for younger champion, and he likes that this year wins whoever it is, and when this record is broke that it would be made by someone else he would like more, like kubica or vettel to name two

  10. seems to me that alonso wants to show ferrari hq that he can act team player and support to impress.. why else get into the title fight and help any of the drivers from other teams?

  11. I will not be surprised if Hamilton win the championship and few days later FIA rip off his title.

  12. @duva – I agree wholeheartedly. Lewis’s driving may be ‘aggressive’, but how many other cars has he T-boned? He might not give people much space (he doesn’t have to). He might go for overtakes where other drivers do not (or cannot), and he does make mistakes (which he typically admits to, unlike other drivers, eg at Fuji turn 1).

    @Anonymouse – definitely. The problem is, we really don’t ever get to hear what other drivers actually think. We get the evasive comments they give to journalists that are then spun into sensational stories. Sometimes these stories are bang on, sometimes they are completely wrong, but it’s difficult to tell which. But the one thing that all drivers have in common is that they will criticise others’ driving until the cows come home, but will never ever say they themselves did anything remotely incorrect (eg Massa punting Hamilton at Fuji was in Massa’s opinion, Lewis’s fault).

    @Keith Collantine – while I agree with the tone of the article, I think there tends to be an erroneously automatic association between unusual events and ‘end of season championship pressure’. At any race where Lewis had a poor start from pole, I’m sure he would have gone for a late brake on Kimi into turn 1 as per Fuji. I never did figure out how he lost so many places after turn 1 (I didn’t see what todd mentioned above, was that it?), but following the Massa incident, there was not a whole lot he could do. His results in the past 3 races haven’t been as good as expected, but are better, say, than the Malaysia-Bahrain-Spain trio at the beginning of the season. So while you’re right that Alonso is no real threat – although he could start from near the front on light fuel, he wouldn’t risk his own prospects by doing anything more than running Lewis wide – I’m not sure that Lewis is driving any differently than before. Perhaps not as conservatively as he should (and managed to in Singapore), but I’m skeptical that there is anything wobbly about his mindset. Also, the pressure on Massa is underestimated. He knows that if Lewis finishes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd on Sunday, he must finish above 5th, 7th or 9th to keep alive his championship hopes, a prospect that must weigh heavily on his mind, given his results in the past four races.

  13. The drivers have being complaining about Lewis for sometime now. Glock was very angry after Monza, for example. GPDA is even more obsessed with safety than Max and Lewis GP2-style overtakes which are great for us certainly don’t look good for an organization that wants to avoid accidents. Compare Massa double overtake over Heikki and Rubens in Montreal and Lewis over Glock in Monza: both could have ended in an accident, but Massa’s was due for him attempt an impossible move while Lewis was a matter of style. I’m not saying GPDA is right as I really like seen Lewis overtake, but this is not they prrosecuting Lewis, but just doing what they often do which is trying to tame agressive drivers for safety reasons.

  14. @ Anonymouse: I respectfully disagree with you mate. I think you’re over-estimating the jealousy/envy aspect of of any of the given F1 drivers. Granted, I’m sure some of the drivers would like a LITTLE of the adulation and attention that Lewis receives but I would imagine a great many would hate it.

    I admire Hamilton for being able to handle that much attention and having to do all that corporate ass-kissing. But if you work for McLaren, that’s what you have to do. But if it was me, it would do my head in!!

    I think they don’t like Lewis, because they simply don’t like Lewis. Whether that be the way he drives or as a person, I don’t know…

    Maybe I’m over-estimating the belief that F1 drivers are more like normal blokes. I think they’re F1 drivers because they love driving the most sophisticated driving machines on earth and earning boatloads of money (plus the additional perks of women falling at their feet and jet-set living….etc). But I think most drivers would happily leave the media/corporation/paparazzi aspect alone if they had the choice.

  15. @Duva

    “Mark Webber fears Lewis Hamilton will cause an accident if he fails to temper his aggressive driving style.”

    And who was it that ran Massa almost into the pitwall and then over the pitlane exit? Yes, Webber. Or Massa if you will, but both were involved. At full speed on the straight they almost caused a major incident, but they whine about Hamilton.

    Or how about Kubica whining about Lewis unfairly defending his position against Glock at Monza. What does Kubica do to show how to drive fairly? He pushes Raikkonen off the track!

    People can be amazed at why Hamilton is taking these risks when he’s in the lead of the championship and he should just collect his points, but to whine about Hamilton driving dangerously is just ridiculous.

  16. Briatore: Hamilton will throw it away

    “In my opinion Hamilton will try again to throw away the title,” Briatore was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport. “He and McLaren were good last year already: to lose it with a 17-point advantage with two races to go is worthy of the Guinness World Records.
    “If someone gets in the Guinness like that, he can really repeat himself with just five points of advantage. In my opinion Massa will win the title.”


  17. I can’t help but wonder how the likes of Senna, Prost, Mansell that I grew up watching, hell even Schumacher or Villeneuve would go down with todays Stewards…

    As I see it, Hamilton is aggressive, that’s his style. But what the media seem to ignore is that there is a difference between agressive and dangerous.

    I think they’re too cautious given that the cars are so safe these days that they can hit a concrete wall at incredible speed and the driver is fine, at worst suffers a concussion (Kubica last year).

    I also wonder if there’s an element where Webber and Trulli are being vocal about Hamilton due to him not being a member of the GPDA…

  18. Absolutely agree with John Spencer’s comment. Championships can be won or lost by a single point and Hamilton’s mindset of wanting to fight for each one of them will in the long run win him more points than it will cost him.

  19. Oops, a little too much bold there….sorry!!

  20. I genuinely hope Alonso isn’t actually trying to impress Ferrari with these comments (for a 20XX drive etc). If i was the Ferrari bossman, I just might interpret these comments (and any subsequent action to this effect) as just plain vanilla appeasement, and possibly a sign of disrepect to Massa and Ferrari in general. While i agree that Ferrari may have backed the wrong horse in their 2009 driver line-up (I’ll leave it up to you to decide who is a wasted investment), I can’t see how this does Alonso any good.

    Imagine that…Massa waking up in the morning, forever waking up in the knowledge that Alonso (an outsider) granted him his first title. If i was Massa I’d feel quite embarrassed and disturbed about these remarks.

    While Alonso is still my favourite driver on the grid, I really wish he’d put a sock in it. He’s just made 2 amazing victories and then he ruins it for himself with this. I’m not so sure this gesture/comment was very wise for him to make.

    Alonso the kamikaze? I’ll drink to that…

  21. I stronlgy believe Alonso just wanted to put more pressure against Hamilton.

  22. I agree with you Apostolos. Alonso is the one (of the drivers) that knows better Hamilton’s mind. They have work at the same team for a year, and for sure knows how to make him to feel nervous.
    And don’t forget that Alonso is quite good with conjuring tricks, and this time not driving but with cards.
    Doing the magician with Lewis? I would bet on it :-)
    Cheers :-)

  23. Alonso is saying this because the British press asked him about.

  24. Roser – I don’t think that’s the whole story: The first of Alonso’s remarks along these lines I saw reported were in La Gazetta dello Sport.

  25. sure. What I mean is that he said once something (obviously) but then he is asked about the same again and again.

  26. Can’t help feeling this stuff comes from Briatore via Alonso. The guy is never off Hamilton’s back. Today he’s winding him (yet again), saying he’ll blow the championship. Last year too Renault leaked the ‘story’ about the Dennis-Hamilton radio spat at Hungary. What’s his problem? Seems a little more than normal team rivalry.

  27. One thing is for sure.

    The Rookie has REALLY got under Alonso’s skin eh?….The 2x WDC is obviously scared of Hamilton, and it shows.

    Alonso, bitter much? lol.

  28. I hope Lewis can take it or at least be a point or two away from the title this weekend.
    He is always at the epicentre of everything in F1 and that is the sign of a real championship contender.
    People may not like the comparisons with other recent greats, Senna, Schuey, Mansell etc. but he is there, up front getting in the thick of it sometimes falling foul sometimes going for glory – always trying to win.
    He’s the real racer that F1 is lacking – for me maybe only Alonso is of similar stuff – Alonso is the more complete driver but not always as quick as Lewis.
    If anything Ferrari are the team that have most thrown the championship this season. Occasional brilliance from Massa, lacklustre efforts from Kimi often farcical performance from the Team.
    Go on Lewis – you are the most exciting thing in F1 for years. Keep your head mate all else will follow!

  29. Ed Gorman provides a good insight into the pressure being stoked up against Hamilton by his rival drivers, rival team managers and FIA – and half of the media and blogging universe of course:


    I think this helps explain Lewis’s attitude on the track in Friday practice – and indeed his dominance of both sessions. It’s a hell of a lot of pressure for anyone. But if he does win the WDC, he’ll blow the lot of them away for the next decade. As Brazilians say, ‘tomara.’

  30. Keith, I prefer this one better than the one you choose:

    FA: We can be here forever and you cannot misunderstand what I say, you know. When we say all these things, my best relationship for example is with Robert. I would like to see him winning the championship but I know this is quite difficult because I think the performance of his car etc it will be difficult to recover 12 points. I will do my own race but after all, when you finish the race and see the results, you prefer some drivers to win or some teams to win compared to others but I don’t think that I will be a key part of the championship. Whatever driver wins will win because he won the last two races or did a better job than the other one, so that’s all. You can take whatever you can from my comment but it is very simple.

    I have taken this comment from the press conference, and I think it explains much better what Fernando Alonso thinks about it.

    I don’t see any mind-game. Just a new twist in what Fernando Alonso said to an “As” journalist half joking half serious that have became a “big issue” made by the journalists there were in this press conference. Well I must say not all of them, just Jonh McEvoy and Ian Parkes.

    What a disgracefull kind of questions they made not only to Fernando but also for the other drivers. The drivers have to be there as this is one of they duties, but I would liked to see all of them standing up and leaving just when that kind of nonsense (to put it mildly) started.

    In any case, you are absolutely wright, F Alonso is not any kind of danger for Lewis.

    The biggest enemy for Lewis is Lewis.

    In any case, I think he will be the next champion in China or Brazil.

    But the British press is just looking somebody to blame, just in case; they should show a little bit more respect for Lewis… and for the rest of the drivers, btw.

  31. Lewis just can’t take losing…he got passed again at the start in Fuji like in Hungary where he said it’d never happen again so he tried his sato move which he thought since he’s the best driver ever he’d pull off and prove to everyone how great he is…instead he pushes 3-4 cars off track, locks up terribly, flatsports and pits a lap later. He really is senna.

  32. The other drivers and their fans are Jealous of Lewis, it really is that simple.

    So they gang up on him, becasue they can’t do their talking on the track.

    They sound like sore losers, who want Lewis to slow down. Why? Becasue they can’t catch him.

    Lewis is the star of F1. He is the most exciting driver, and has put all other drivers in his shadow. And so the other drivers gang up on him like little school kids and blub and moan, as do their fans.

    What a bunch of corporate cry babies the other drivers are.

    I couldn’t agree more. When are these moaning drivers going to shut up and remember what F1 used to be all about.

  33. Fist of all…lets be honest, hamilton and alonso dont look like best friends. So all drivers have their preferences and that is perfect, except for british press at this point.
    Then theres the fact that Alonso would lose a record if Hamilton wins the champ…
    So yes, all that adds up to alonso voting for massa or kubica, it just makes sense to me…
    The rest, wether alonso might make and illegal maneuver or wether alonso wants to put pressure on hamilton or wether alonso is giving a message to ferrari, is just pure and cheap speculation that you probably wouldnt be certain even if you slept with alonso…
    And we can play this game, specially with some beers and a few friends, but press should be a little more serious about it..

  34. I think Alonso has made himself a potential target to the Stewards right now. They will not let him do any interference in the fight for the championship…

    I will not get surprised if they would give him any penalty in the next two races…

  35. I think the best ever pilots had to be aggressive, without the hunter instinct nobody could reach the top of such a competitive sport. But one thing is aggressiveness and another, very different one, sheer disdain for anything other than winning the current race, including risking the championship. This second trait can be exemplified by drivers (or should I say kamikazes) like Gilles Villeneuve or the early Senna, I remember Monaco ’88, the race that broke the streak of Ayrton’s wins at Montecarlo. He made a pole that was over two whole seconds better than the second place (Alain Prost with the same car), and drove faster and faster throughout the race… until he crashed into the barriers wasting a huge advantage and handing over the victory to rival Prost. Years later, a more mature Senna would denigrate Eddie Irvine for the same type of antics he used to do at the start of his career.
    Alain Prost is the only exception I can remember of an enormously successful driver not being truly aggressive. He was really fast, but rarely overtook a rival on the track, and was always gambling on his opponent’s driving errors or reliability problems.
    Prost was dubbed “the strategist”, but I do not deem him a real one. For me, the true top-class driver is the one that can risk it all when it’s needed and use a more conservative approach when he has the lead and must protect his title’s ambitions. Some examples could be Fangio, Lauda, Piquet. They did amazing sprints to grasp a win, and shameless promenades at the next race. There is a famous racing maxim (attributed to either Fangio or Lauda) that advises “to win going as slowly as possible”. http://www.clivejames.com/articles/clive/lauda

    I believe Ayrton had almost learned this in the end, Gilles perhaps was beginning to. I really hope Lewis can learn it with time to spare.

  36. @ qazuhb: That begs the question, who would you rather watch, Senna or Prost? Hamilton or Kubica? Similar question in about 4 years I think…

  37. Captain Caveman
    17th October 2008, 14:33

    I see this as no more than Alonso stating his opinion and preference for certain individuals to win the title over Lewis. And this in its own right is not really a problem.

    What I do see as a parallel activity is the mind games element. Senna, Prost and other champions have done the same in their day.

    Alonso has sown the seed of doubt in Lewis and if the two are on the track at the same place and same time.. Lewis is more inclined to think twice about making a move or protecting his place. This split second thought process buys Alonso an advantage simple as that.

    And I can imagine that with Alonso’s renewed pace in recent races ( and Piquets) that if he runs light in qualification and is alongside or just behind Lewis. His remarks last week will buy him a 10th or 2 into the first corner.

  38. Well said Patrick (No15) , Webber complains about Hamiltons dangerous aggressive style , but tries to push someone into the wall at 300 kph ? As for Alonso , I think the most he will do to “help” Massa is try to be ahead of Lewis , given the R28’s recent improvement , is still a tall order. I think he will fuel light to be as far up the grid as possible. And probably Kimi as well. Which means Hamilton obviously has to go for pole and the win , but even if he does not get pole or is passed at the start , needs to keep his head and let the race come back to him. Worse case scenario (for Lewis , not for me), Massa wins , he is 2nd , and still leading.

  39. I wish both Massa and Hamilton took each other out of this race. And then Kubica could win. THAT would make for an exciting end-of-championship showdown in Brazil.

  40. @pSynrg:
    I loved Senna (and hence hated Prost). I really like Hamilton, and that’s why he infuriates me when he can’t figure out the simplest of things, that he ruined his title last season and he’s going to do (perhaps has already done) the same again if he doesn’t play his cards wisely

  41. Michael Ignov
    17th October 2008, 15:39

    Lewis Hamilton, who talks about his admiration for the late Ayrton Senna said “Senna had that little extra edge, that’s why I admired him,” says Lewis. “I feel I have that extra edge too.” Let’s see what this EDGE makes of this little man in China. :-\

  42. Whether Alonso is joking again or not, from his perspective it would suck to have the pipsqueak win the title after he left McLaren in a huff. It must weigh on him that if he could have controlled the politics (and his ego) he could now easily be a 3 time champion. Lewis’ performance this year is not as strong as before and clearly Fred would have crushed him had he stayed in silver.

    Lewis is driving this year like a guy who never tested, who never drove in a backmarker, who never faced the possibility of just fading away from great promise like a Heidfeld or a Fisichella, i.e., without maturity. Last year he was afraid of mistakes given his unknown status, this year he is not afraid and is making plenty. The fact he is atop the tables points alone to his speed.

  43. @ IDR, post 30
    Thanx, mate. Thats exactly what I was looking for! Everybody here was talking the response of Fernando, not the stupid questions drivers have to answer! And all journalists are there to make a big issue out of nothing, even some comments said in joking mood.

    And I also do believe Fernando would not do anything silly like crashing into hamilton or blocking him in the quali. He will do his won race and possibly can finish 4th/5th if no one in top four crashes out.

  44. NIRUPAM and IDR,

    I agree with you, guys!

    The first journalist who has made a question to Fernando about help Felipe was a Brazilian.

    The guy has made a silly preamble:

    “Fernando, the Brazilians fans doesn´t have any confidence that Kimi will help Felipe, so now you have a good car and you dislike Lewis. Because that, do you will help Felipe?”

    So, Fernando answered him…

    I must confess that for his voice tone he looks a little annoyed to answer that. Anyway, he could do what Michael used to do when were answering silly questions: “no comments”

  45. Here’s how I interpret what Alonso said. If MAS is behind me, I would let him pass without a fight. If HAM is behind me, I won’t. As simple as that.

    That’s pretty much the best he can do where he gets very little harm (losing one place). If he does anything else like Hungaroring last year, he is in for a big trouble. I sincerely hope ALO would not do anything like that. I have high regard for him; and I don’t think he is a driver of cheap tactics.

  46. As a new fan of F1, am I right in assuming that the FIA blatantly support Ferrari? Races seem to be won or lost by the stewards, rather than the drivers.
    Bourdais’ underserved penalty in the last race is an example of FIA manipulation to gain Massa an extra Championship point. And where is Massa’s penalty for his second pit release into the path of an oncoming car?
    If the FIA continues this trend into 2009, I’m sure F1 will, sadly, lose many fans.

  47. I don’t understand why the FIA haven’t come down on Alonso like a ton of bricks. He said what he said in Fuji and his clarification restates “I will be happy to help Felipe to take as many points as possible”. It doesn’t matter whether he was joking or not or whether he was responding to a stupid question. The fact is many fans will have heard him or read about it and will believe that he means what he says.

    All sports work on the fundamental principle that the competitors taking part give 100% effort to try and win. In the end that may not be good enough but they try their best. However, to say at the outset that you are willing to put some of your effort into helping another particular competitor leaves them wide open to all sorts of accusations. A footballer playing against Chelsea says before the game he is happy to help Chelsea take as many points as possible and then gives away a penalty during the game and Chelsea win 1-0. Just imagine the uproar. Alonso and Hamilton have exactly the same incident in China or Brazil as Massa and Hamilton had at Fuji. All sorts of accusations will be made that it was premedited rather than a racing incident. It won’t matter whether it was or it wasn’t. Many people will think it and will feel aggrieved and cheated.

    Right now, F1 doesn’t need this. For right or wrong, there are enough allegations going around of bias and favouritism. We don’t need any more. The FIA should make a stand and say there is no way they are going to tolerate a situation where any driver makes any statement which implies that his focus is not concentrated solely on one thing – achieving the best result for himself and not on helping another driver. Otherwise, where do we draw the line. Other drivers saying the same thing as Alonso? Suddenly we have a race where some drivers are seen to be trying to ensure Massa maximises his points tally. Surely that can’t be right.

  48. Becken.(44)

    -It was a silly journalist question as you said. Besides that, Kimi had already helped Massa in Fuji, when he jumped in first place at the very start.

    -This kind of fortuitous help was all the thing that Alonso was talking about. But if something could be misunderstood, when you have a large media with polemic greed….it will be.

  49. Keith,

    I couldn’t agree more w/ you that the points system is ridiculous in rewarding finishes outside the top 3, and not rewarding enough for race wins. I sent a letter to the FIA last year, before the Japanese GP stating my discontent and proposing a new points system. Of course I did not receive a response, either by letter or e-mail.

  50. So Alonso yet again shows he´s still hurting from being shown up by the “rookie” last year. But when is he going to grow up, if he had acted with a bit more maturity last year he´d still be in a Mclaren now and quite possibly fighting for his fourth world title.

    Instead he´s been kicking around in the mid field for the majority of the season, now, after a couple of recent wins boosting his own confidence, shows that he´s not learnt a thing from last year and is still Alonso the kid with the big mouth.

    Alonso, when are you going to grow up?

  51. EGC – apparently not much became of those threats:

    Although brief references were made to issues raised by Hamilton’s driving in the Japanese Grand Prix during the regular briefing, the matters were dealt with in a typical and straightforward way by FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

  52. As ever the sensationalist media circus proves itself to be utterly worthless, at best a mild form of entertainment at worst a catalyst stoking peoples own prejudices.
    I don’t really care what Alonso, Hamilton, Webber etc. apparently had to say. The talking should really be done on the track – come what may.
    As many others on here I’ve been following F1 ‘fanatically’ for many years – about 1982 was when I realised. We have been here many times before with the supposed rivalries and bitching.
    There have been few notable genuine rivalries and we all know what they were and why, and we all know how they played out…
    At the end of it all, as long as you don’t REALLY take it seriously all this media kerfuffle can add to the entertainment value. Although I hasten to add by no more than ‘Heat Magazine’ possibly adds to your enjoyment of the latest movie or soap opera.

  53. following up comment #51. From the article he listed, here’s what Webber had to add. Read the last paragraph!

    When asked by autosport.com if there were similarities between how rivals viewed Hamilton and how they often focused on Michael Schumacher’s driving tactics, Webber said: “Yeah, could be.

    “I think he is always going to be under the spotlight, that is the problem with Lewis. He is always under this light, which he would not necessarily want – he just wants to win his first world title. Being under this spotlight for various other reasons – whether they are the politics of the sport, his skin, or whatever it is I don’t know.

    “I think there have been a few occasions where he has learned. Michael was doing this stuff when he had all this experience under his belt, Lewis is still in only his second year of F1. You go back to Fuji last year in terms of how he handled the safety car, it was ridiculous.”

    So, Webber is saying all this because HAM is only in his second year. He will tolerate all this if it was a 7-time world champion. Clearly, this stuff that Webber talks about does not have to do with the “driving style”, but “who exhibits the driving style.”

  54. @54 – Actually I think he meant it the other way round. I interpret it as Webber being critical of Schuey. That Lewis is still a relative rookie and some of his actions are acceptable and down to inexperience. Whereas Schuey (according to Webber at least) was still doing the same kind of stuff after 7 WDC’s.
    I guess Quali Monaco ’06 kind of stuff.
    If those are indeed actual quotes from Webber then I don’t think 2 podium visits warrant such a claim to wisdom…

  55. Kubica = 1 win. Benefactor from ridiculous points system that does not encourage race wins like the 10,6,4,3,2,1 good old days. My opinion, but please feel free to disagree. I want a WDC who looks like he wants to win it himself, not moan about other drivers. Alonso deserved it last season, Lewis does this season. I just wish, provoked or not, Alonso would grow up, be a man, and stop being best mates with other drivers. This is F1. You should have no friends on track – just a will and a passion to go out and win.

  56. jeb from philippines
    18th October 2008, 3:14

    If Hamilton starts from 1st pole. Either Massa, Raikonnen or Alonso should pressure him in the first corner or someone should gamble to overtake agressively or even for Alonso or Raikonnen to even push him out of position just to let Massa take the lead. Massa should avoid any collision and if he will be successful it would be a great advantage. Another option would be is for Massa to take the first pole, Raikonnen second or either Alonso then a greater advantage. And last for Lewis to not finish the race the greatest advantage.

  57. Now i can mix this mess a little bit. Heikki Kovalainen said yesterday to finnish F1 journalist that driving style of Lewis is aggressive but thats his style. He also said that even him had be a little bit carefully and let Lewis go because tat aggressive style. BUT Heikki also said that it has happened few times and he has warned Lewis that it would not happen so often anymore and that if Lewis continue there will be accident between them sooner or later. I think its not so good if even team mate are warning Lewis about his style. And not even first Lewis team mates. Heikki was not so happy either when he had to changed his driving style so he can drive Mclaren car which was made for Hamilton style by Heikkis own words.

    Intresting is that Heikki is really carefully what he says in english interviews but seems that he open his mouth when he is doing finnis ones. Even finnish F1 journalist has talked about that difference between english and finnish interviews..

    What i start think that maybe all what Alonso said last season was not so wrong and maybe…maybe…Mclaren are really playing all cards to Lewis hand.

  58. Thank you IDR, Captain Caveman, Becken and NIRUPAM.

    I have been blue in the face this week insisting that Alonso’s comments were taken out of context and sensationalised by the (British) media (mostly over on Clives blog, not so much here). Of course I note that some punters still elect to beleive that Alonso is stupid enough to try and take Hamilton out or other such nonsense. But hey, what can you do.

    Although I do think – as someone said earlier – that perhaps Alonso should just stick with a ‘no comment’ when he is asked these sorts of contentious questions.

    And MacadamiaNut – I too read Webbers remarks as more of a criticism of Schuey than Hamilton.

  59. If I were Hamilton and McLaren I would take this threat very seriously. You have to remember that Alonso is a proud man, who feels wronged for what happened last year, and who holds Hamilton partly responsible.
    Hamilton lost the race in Japan because he lost sight of the big picture. If he puts himself in a situation where he has to pass Alonso to get to Massa, then he may find himself in a world of hurt. We all saw the decision Massa made when an opportunity revealed itself in the chicane, and Alonso is everybit as aggressive.
    Also, on the first lap at Japan, Hamilton and Alonso tangled at turn two, which forced Hamilton onto the run off area, sending him down to sixth position. From the heli cam you can see it quite clearly.
    At the end of the day, deep down, Fernando would love to be the man to screw up McLaren’s year in the biggest possible way. Competitive people will always be competitive people.

  60. @qazuhb:
    thoughtful and welcome comments, placing things in perspective – to attempt to continue in same vein:
    Big difference between “different driving styles” and what’s going on with Hamilton. It’s been my impression that the “edge” is considered by drivers to be aggressive driving which is right up to but not over the fine line of competing vs. endangering others to no purpose – of course this could be formulated better/differently, but such a line IS there, however we as spectators disagree over it. Certainly other drivers were often concerned about Senna, Schumacher and others crossing that line too often. Even the worst cases (eg. Senna/Prost, speaking of competitive great drivers taking each other “out”) were kept within a small number of drivers (like 2). I certainly do not recall any of the worst offenders going out of their way to antagonize all the other drivers. In those cars, it might well have proved fatal.
    (As an aside, I do think spectators have become much too complacent over the safety of current cars – immensely greater, no doubt, but in Kubica’s case any human being was miraculously fortunate to escape as he did, and all this talk as if the danger has gone out of the sport is unnerving – worst of all the possiblity that some DRIVERS might have such bad ideas – one can still get killed in an F1 race, as two marshalls have SINCE Senna) –
    Would really like to hear more discussion from the knowledgeable folks here about how Gilles and Senna were viewed by their contemporaries –

    As to Hamilton, sure a lot of this is that he is loud-mouthed and arrogant, with the talent to back it up. At the same time, he does NOT have his head together, that’s evident in his (often amazing) driving over two years now, and if he didn’t make cracks elevating himself above his peers he wouldn’t be in this position. This season will tell the story: from here, if he wins the title, it’s his. If he loses it, HE blew it. He made it all more exciting for awhile, with growing concerns, but now he’s causing as much eye-rolling as he is applause. If the greatest talent to come along in quite some time turns himself into a joke or a might-have-been, he can look to himself, and not F. Alonso (who actually HAS two cups).

  61. keith;

    “nando” ( meaning short in spanish) has really stooped to the lowest possible level a human can go. I mean how can a double world champion make such irresponsible comments. He is a characterless champion, he never had a cordial relationship with massa ,just have a look for urselfhttp://in.youtube.com/watch?v=LU0d6xhaMPQ . After all this nando makes such statements. He’s not only short in his stature but also in character. Teams have to realise this fact. This “short” man is dangerous to the sport. He tried to blackmail a great team that existed since before he was born.He is just trying to appease stefano dommenicalli & ferrari thats all. He really doesn’t care who wins it. If i were in massa’s place i would be most embrassed & wouldn’t accept help. If “nando” really cared about massa winning the WDC ,why should he have gone public with it. He could have shown it in his driving. He always wants to be in the limelight. Wants to make the front page of every spanish news paper.The short man “nando” must understand that ferrari are going nowhere with KERS. I expect ferrari to slump back to the berger,alesi era .Nando is making a serious mistake. He is losing respect among the elders of the sport. Fer”nando” alonso is surely going the damon hill way.

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