Links: How Alonso helped Massa

Hamilton would be worthy winner – Alonso – “If Alonso has one gripe about the outcome of the Chinese Grand Prix, it is that Brazil will now not host a true showdown between the title protagonists, given Hamilton’s relatively easy task. ‘It is not good for the excitement of the championship, but honestly whoever wins doesn’t concern me too much.’

“He does, however, admit to staying true to his word of helping Massa, by declining to ‘get into a fight with Felipe’ at the start of Sunday’s 56-lap race. ‘That is when Kovalainen took the opportunity to pass me,’ Alonso explained.” If I were Alonso’s race engineer and I thought he’d lost a place to Kovalainen because he was trying to make life easier for Massa I wouldn’t be impressed. Good job he got it back at the end of the lap. More on this here: Lewis Hamilton is a greater danger to his title hopes than Fernando Alonso is

To be silly or sensible: Lewis Hamiltons dilemma – “In sport, changes are acted out before the world in the form of riveting and revealing action: Andrew Flintoff turning from a fat waster to a pared-down force of destruction; Andy Murray turning from sulky gap-year kid to potential champion; David Beckham turning from much-hated fop to beloved match-winning leader.

“Can you change your personality by sheer force of will? Or does your hard-wired personality have a number of different aspects that can be expressed? Or does sporting journalism – does the nature of sport – simply prefer one-dimensional personalities, finding subtleties too bewildering to cope with?” (In the newspaper itself this piece had the headline “Sensible Lewis overtakes silly Lewis” which in my view makes more sense.)

Brazilian GP: conspiracy theory – “So who do you reckon is going to give Lewis a race-ending bump? Kimi off the start line? Alonso on the squeeze into the first corner? The same Alonso, remember, who last week told a Spanish newspaper that if he could help Massa to win the championship, he would?”

Rosberg concerned at loss of value – “A certain danger exists, because the quality of the driver, in the eyes of others, is closely connected with the achievement of the car.”

Canadian GP bosses hit back at Ecclestone – “Canadian GP officials issued a press release late on Sunday night countering Ecclestone’s suggestions and insisting that payment terms had been accepted for 2006 and 2007. Paul Wilson, vice-president of marketing for the Canadian GP, said: ‘It is totally untrue to suggest that our organisation has defaulted on payments owed for the past three years.’”

Di Resta Is Given His Chance Of An F1 Seat – “Paul Di [Resta], Scotland’s rising motorsport star has been told that if he performs well during a two-day test with McLaren on Monday and Tuesday that he can book a place in next season’s Formula One championship with the Force India team.” – Force India’s Vijal Mallya has already said he will keep the same two drivers for 2009, but this article claims Paul di Resta could still make the switch. Read more on the 2009 F1 drivers and teams and the 2009 F1 season.

An unlikely scenario – “The latest speculation is in the Spanish newspaper AS, which says Alonso and Raikkonen could be the subject of a seat swap for 2009.” Wishful thinking? With Renault on the up and engine performance to be harmonised next year, Alonso might not need to join Ferrari anyway.

Ferrari to probe below par performance – Stefano Domenicali: “[McLaren] were simply much faster than us and this is the reason why I have to say that if you consider what we could achieve in these conditions we achieved the maximum, because honestly today Lewis was in another league, he was driving perfectly, fast, consistent and we couldn’t even think of attacking him.”

Tyre mix-up caused Kovys early struggle – “McLaren boss Ron Dennis explained the reason to retire Kovalainen, saying: ‘Heikki’s first stint was compromised by the fitting of a set of mismatched tyres, which caused his car to understeer,’?? said team boss Ron Dennis. ‘After his first stop, a punctured tyre then forced an unscheduled pit stop before an air pressure problem with his engine caused us to retire him in order to avoid risking an engine failure.’”

James Allen’s Chinese GP verdict – “Ferrari had a significant performance advantage over McLaren in Brazil last year, which it doesn’t look like they will have this year. And just to make sure McLaren have been developing a special ‘Interlagos pack’ for the car, to give Hamilton the best shot at doing well there.”

These are articles I’ve found and bookmarked using StumbleUpon. View my StumbleUpon profile to see what else I’m reading and recommend other links to me.

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16 comments on Links: How Alonso helped Massa

  1. the limit said on 21st October 2008, 3:45

    Alonso’s comments are interesting but not entirely unexpected. He is hardly the only person on the grid who is not ‘overly fond’ of Lewis Hamilton, yet took the time to shake his hand and congratulate him after his victory.
    The media loves any juicy story they can get their hands on concerning Hamilton and Alonso, so I am a little cautious in my believing too much which I read.
    If Alonso can take Hamilton off in Brazil, so could Raikkonen, Webber, Glock, Coulthard, Fisichella, the list is endless, oh, and Massa naturally. So to say Alonso is Hamilton’s only threat out there would be a big mistake.
    The problem for the Ferraris’ is that they need, in an ideal world, Massa on pole and Raikkonen second on the grid in Brazil, with Hamilton way down the field. Lewis and McLaren know that a fifth place finish will make them champions, but if they screw up qualifying, and are behind the BMW Saubers’ and Alonso, and need to pass them, then they are at risk.
    McLaren will want, obviously, a nice lights to flag victory like the one they have just had in China. They will also need more assistance from Heikki Kovalainen, in their efforts to win the constructors championship.
    This may well be a bridge too far for them, as Raikkonen would appear to be a better wing man than Kovalainen. I will not be at all surprised to see one last scandal in Brazil before this championship is through, one more stewards decision. I just have a bad feeling!

  2. So yet another McLaren tyre cock up in China? Given how far off the pace the Ferraris were, the possibility of having Heiki up there getting in amongst them would have been a major help to McLaren winning both titles.

    It doesn’t bode well for the finale!…

  3. Oliver said on 21st October 2008, 7:40

    It is almost impossible for Mclaren to win the constructors title. I believe they will need a win, and 2points more than what the 2 Ferraris combined, will score.
    Mclaren wont want to push the engine in Lewis’ car too hard, so it is assumed he’ll just drive a steady pace behind the Ferraris. We just have to hope now, that the FIA don’t time the SC entry to coincide with a need to pit.

  4. CarlitosF1 said on 21st October 2008, 8:26

    Keith, that ‘so who do you reckon’ bite is the kind of, ehem, information that I try to avoid by reading THIS very site…

    Get Rosberg in a competitive car, please! I’d love to see him and Kubica fighting for the WDC in the future.

    As for Alonso’s help to Massa, let’s all get real, please, I doubt he could have really fought him in the first China lap. And besides he’s always proven to be more sensible on track than on press conferences.

  5. Ron Dennis made it clear that he would settle for a boring race if it meant Hamilton would become world champion,what he actually is saying that he does’nt care all that much about the constructors championship,if he wanted the constructors championship too he would have said his drivers should go all out

  6. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st October 2008, 9:36

    Elli – looking at the constructors’ championship table, I think he’s just being realistic. Even if McLaren score a one-two in Interlagos, Ferrari would be champions with a three-four. Like Massa in the drivers’ championship, McLaren’s constructors’ championship hopes rest on the other guy making a mistake.

  7. diseased rat said on 21st October 2008, 9:51

    Obviously Alonso’s comment is more gamesmanship. If he thought a pass on Massa was possible then he would have gone for it. I don’t believe for one second that Alonso declined the race Massa to help him win the championship. Alonso has something of a subtle mischievous grin about him whenever he delivers quotes like this, he’s not serious. Sadly the needling is pretty unnecessary and highlight to me just how much Hamilton rattled him last season.

    I still think Alonso is the best all round driver on the grid though, let’s hope he’s competitive next season.

  8. Adrian said on 21st October 2008, 13:23

    Alonso has something of a subtle mischievous grin about him whenever he delivers quotes like this, he’s not serious. Sadly the needling is pretty unnecessary and highlight to me just how much Hamilton rattled him last season.

    He’s not stupid, he knows if he makes a quote like that it will get him (and his team and sponsors) media exposure…

    “So who do you reckon is going to give Lewis a race-ending bump? Kimi off the start line? Alonso on the squeeze into the first corner? The same Alonso, remember, who last week told a Spanish newspaper that if he could help Massa to win the championship, he would?”

    I wonder whether Vijay Mallya would instruct one of his drivers to accidentally run into the lapping Ferrari of Massa in order to grease the wheels of his rumoured Mclaren deal…?? (Given the stewards recent form I’m sure if Heikki took out Massa then Lewis would get a penalty!!)..:-)

  9. Alonso was used big time by McLaren , so when he gets a chance to display his dislike for them (which I think is far more intense then his dislike of Lewis) he will do it. That’s why he made it public he would “help Massa” , if he could. I’ve been waiting patiently for him to be back on form with Renault , which is looking imminent , hopefully the rule changes work a bit more in their favour , then we will see Alonso against Lewis , but this time without one hand tied behind his back.

  10. Have McLaren used their two ‘free’ engine changes yet? (I mean one for each car). If they haven’t then this is the perfect time to do it.
    Though I don’t think Ferrari have used their ‘free’ swaps either….

  11. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st October 2008, 14:08

    DG – You don’t get an engine change ‘for free’ if you do it before the final race. For the record, Kovalainen used his in Singapore, Hamilton hasn’t used his.

  12. Typical! The one time I was hoping McLaren could get a real advantage….oh well, on with the show

  13. What is the deal with Fernando Alonso,why has’nt he confirmed that he’ll be staying with Renault next year,his only options are Renault and Honda and looking at the performences this year of the two cars there’s no chance of him joining Honda and to go with that Renault has been performing pretty descent of late so why do’nt he just confirm that he’ll be staying with Renault or is there any truth in the rumuor that he might be joining Ferrari !!!

  14. roser said on 21st October 2008, 14:37

    Keith, Alonso also said
    “El Mundial normalmente siempre lo gana el mejor y si al final gana Hamilton será porque ha sumado más puntos que nadie y porque en fines de semana como éste ha hecho la pole y ha ganado la carrera. Es incontestable que se lo merecía.”
    Which means (if someone can translate it better, please go on):
    “Usually, always the best wins the WC, and if Hamilton wins in the end, it will be because it has added more points than anyone, because on weekends like this one, he has done the pole and won the race. It is incontestable that he deserved it”

  15. WOW… James Allen is a great blogger. I will miss his comments but I think we will gain a great blog.

    Thanks for this link, Keith!

    Another point: Lewis has answered Alonso:

    “When someone has been winning then another driver comes in and takes over then of course they are not going to be too happy about it,” he said. “There is nothing I can do about that except try to stay positive.

    “I’m not here to piss anyone off. I’m here to race, be competitive and push everyone to their limits whether that be people in my team or other drivers. That is what motor racing is all about. If I get a challenger that comes along and gives me the toughest time ever, I’m not going to hate him for it. I’m just going to try even harder to try to get past him.

    “I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to be successful, to win the world championship and enjoy my career in Formula One along the way.

    He added: “He (Alonso) was a double world champion. He came to a team and got beat by a rookie. I’m not here to be involved in any mind games. I’m here as strong as ever. I put my hands up and admitted I made a mistake at Fuji.

    “I have apologised to the team and now we move forward together. I have no need to play mind games with anyone. I’m here to do a good job and be competitive. The most important thing is to focus on my job. To be challenging for the world championship again is pretty cool in only my second year.”

    I have some mixed feelings about that. I think Lewis could let this word war by, and demonstrate some maturity been silent about it, but I think that Alonso has deserved this time. He opened his mouth first and has tasted the own poison…

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