Piquet’s scathing attack on Briatore

Nelson Piquet Jnr has hit out at Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatoret

Nelson Piquet Jnr has hit out at Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore

As first reported here on Saturday, Nelson Piquet Jnr has been dropped by Renault.

And a statement from the Brazilian today gives insight into the simmering resentment between him and team boss Flavio Briatore.

We discussed the Renault situation last week and there was some disagreement over whether Briatore had compromised Piquet in trying to keep Alonso happy. Has Piquet got a point or, as Briatore alleged, is this just him reciting from the drivers’ book of excuses?

I have received notice from the Renault F1 team of its intention to stop me from driving for them in the current F1 season. I want to say thanks to the small group who supported me and that I worked together at Renault F1, although it is obviously with great disappointment that I receive such news. But, at the same time, I feel a sense of relief for the end of the worst period of my career, and the possibility that I can now move on and put my career back on the right track and try to recover my reputation of a fast, winning driver. I am a team player and there are dozens of people I have worked with in my career who would vouch for my character and talent, except unfortunately the person that has had the most influence on my career in Formula 1.

I started racing at the age of eight and have broken record after record. I won every championship I raced in go-karts. I was South American F3 champion, winning 14 races and getting 17 pole positions. In 2003 I went to England, with my own team, to compete in the British F3 championship. I was champion there as well, winning 12 races and getting 13 pole positions. In fact I was the youngest ever champion. I raced GP2 in 2005 and 2006, winning five races and scoring six pole positions. I had a great season in my second year, only missing out on the championship to Lewis Hamilton due to technical mistakes of our team, which I take as my own as well, including running out of fuel during a race. I set the record in GP2 for the first driver to have a perfect weekend, scoring the maximum points available, in Hungary 2006. No-one matched that until July 2009 when Nico Hulkenberg did in at Nurburgring.

The path to F1 was always going to be tricky, and my father and I therefore signed a management contract with Flavio Briatore, who we believed was an excellent option with all the necessary contacts and management skills. Unfortunately, that was when the black period of my career started. I spent one year as a test driver, where I only did a handful of tests, and the next year started as a race driver with Renault. After the opening part of the season, some strange situations began to happen. As a beginner in F1, I could only expect from my team a lot of support and preparation to help me in getting up to the task. Instead, I was relegated as “someone who drives the other car” with no attention at all. In addition, on numerous occasions, fifteen minutes before qualifying and races, my manager and team boss (Briatore) would threaten me, telling me if I didn’t get a good result, he had another driver ready to put in my place. I have never needed threats before to get results. In 2008 I scored 19 points, finished once on the podium in second place, having the best debut year of a Brazilian driver in F1.

For the 2009 season Briatore, again acting both as my manager and team boss of Renault F1, promised me everything would be different, that I would get the attention I deserved but had never received, and that I would get “at least equal treatment” inside the team. He made me sign a performance-based contract, requiring me to score 40% of Fernando Alonso’s points by mid-way through the season. Despite driving with Fernando, two-time world champion and a really excellent driver, I was confident that, if I had the same conditions, I would easily attain the 40% of points required by the contract.

Unfortunately, the promises didn’t turn into reality again. With the new car I completed 2002km of testing compared to Fernando’s 3839km. Only three days of my testing was in dry weather – only one of Fernando’s was wet. I was only testing with a heavy car, hard tyres, mostly on the first day (when the track is slow and reliability is poor), or when the weather was bad. Fernando was driving a light car with soft tyres in the dry, fine conditions. I never had a chance to be prepared for the qualifying system we use. In Formula 1 today, the difference between 1st and 15th position is sometimes less than a second. It means that 0.2 or 0.3s can make you gain eight positions.

In addition to that, car development is now happening on a race-to-race basis due to the in season testing ban. Of the first nine races that I ran this year, in four of them Fernando had a significant car upgrade that I did not have. I was informed by the engineers at Renault that in those races I had a car that was between 0.5 and 0.8s a lap slower than my teammate. If I look at Germany (where I out-qualified my teammate despite that), if I had that advantage in qualifying I would be fifth and not tenth. If we had that difference in the race, I would have finished ahead of my teammate, which I did in Silverstone, despite him having upgrades that I did not have.

I believe without doubt in my talent and my performance. I didn’t get this far by getting bad results. Anyone who knows my history knows that the results I am having in F1 do not match my CV and my ability. The conditions I have had to deal with during the last two years have been very strange to say the least ?ǣ there are incidents that I can hardly believe occurred myself. If I now need to give explanations, I am certain it is because of the unfair situation I have been in the past two years. I always believed that having a manager was being a part of a team and having a partner. A manager is supposed to encourage you, support you, and provide you with opportunities. In my case it was the opposite. Flavio Briatore was my executioner.

Being under pressure is not new to me. I have had criticism throughout my career, and have also had a lot of expectations put on me due to my name. Up until now I always met those expectations ?ǣ surpassed them even. I have never before felt the need to defend myself or fight back from rumours and criticism because I knew the truth and I just wanted to concentrate on racing ?ǣ I didn’t ever let it affect me. Fortunately, I can now say to those people who supported me through my career that I’m back on the good tracks and considering the options for a new start in my F1 career in a fair and positive way.

I’m on Sky News tonight (Monday) at 7pm talking about Felipe Massa and his replacement Michael Schumacher.

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155 comments on Piquet’s scathing attack on Briatore

  1. matt said on 3rd August 2009, 19:43

    They do seem like relatively good excuses. Especially that in 4 races he had a car 0.5-0.8 seconds slower. If true that is significant enough to be a valid excuse.

    However, the ‘best brazilian debut’ was a bit annoying. Sure he scored more points than Senna, but largely due to the number of rounds, and he still only came 12th last year when Senna was =9th.

    • Patrickl said on 3rd August 2009, 20:56

      If it was true it would be a good excuse, but obviously it’s not true.

      Just look at the time differences between Alonso and Piquet. If it was true then there should have been a 0.5 to 0.8 gap that was opened and closed when Piquet lacked and received the updates.

      If you look at the time difference to Alonso, at best those updates where good for 2 or 3 tenths.

      Worse still in the races where they were supposed to have the same material, Alonso was on average 8 tenths faster in qualifying.

      • matt said on 4th August 2009, 2:17

        Could put that partly down to what he said about not doing any pre-season qualifying testing though I suppose. I agree that he is clearly slow compared to Alonso, but I’m not so sure now that he is too slow for F1. And even if they are irrelevent excuses, they do not in turn excuse Briatore’s threats.

        • Patrickl said on 4th August 2009, 9:08

          So far he has done over 8000 kilometers in the car this year. Lack of pre season testing could be an argument for the first or maybe first two races. Not in the 8 that followed.

          And even if they are irrelevent excuses, they do not in turn excuse Briatore’s threats.

          You act like you never heard of this before?

          Even so, Briatores threats don’t explain either why he was so much too slow.

          Another irrelevant excuse.

      • IDR said on 4th August 2009, 9:12

        If it was true it would be a good excuse, but obviously it’s not true.

        What is funny is the lack of memory Nelso has. He’s just talking about “differences” in this year’s races.

        What about his performance last year?

        He has been so lucky for renewing his contract for 2009, maybe because as he said, “Briatore is always thinking about money”.

  2. Grosjean should read this carefully. Whatever one thinks of Nelshinho’s actual ability, his former team is clearly disfunctional. One only has to recall Alonso whinging about the lack of support by his team in his last championship year.

    I very much doubt the sum of Piquet’s presentation here: that he is the second coming of Fangio based on lower formula results. But I have no doubt that Alonso, after being shown Hamilton’s heels on the track in 07, and complaining about the lack of respect he received as a world champion, had made it clear to Flavio that he would have his respect—in the form of newest parts, more testing time, and more timely technical assistance. In fact, at the time, respect and support were seen as the main reasons to flee a winning team to return to struggling Renault. It would be odd to think he returned to Renault to be an “equal” to anyone.

    I’m interested to see whether Alsono will deny the charges of favoritism Piquet lays out—he rarely misses an opportuinty to opine on the merits of other drivers.

  3. Boston F1 Fan said on 3rd August 2009, 19:51

    - I know that these statements are put through a PR person, but nevertheless it’s nice to see a Formula 1 driver with a personality and a soul.

  4. S Hughes said on 3rd August 2009, 20:12

    We will never know, will we Keith, if Piquet could have rivalled Alonso as he was never given the chance with the same support and equipment? To think of the hoo ha that went on in 2007 over “equal treatment” at McLaren between Alonso and Lewis, and yet this sort of treatment by that beastly Briatore goes on without a murmur. If Heikki was treated like that, there would be internet meltdown. I remember the one weekend that Heikki didn’t have the same car as Lewis because they couldn’t get two sets of updates through in time for the German GP, I saw loads of comments on the BBC website asking if Heikki had the same car as Lewis, and the same thing happened in Hungary. Why were there no similar questions regarding Piquet and Alonso? It seems the F1 community is happy to see unequal treatment at teams as long as Lewis doesn’t get the advantage. I don’t think Alonso is blameless in this. It appears that the only way that he is happy in a team is if he soundly beats his teammate and the only real way to guarantee that is to handicap the teammate, as was the case with Piquet. What a disgraceful man Briatore seems. Alonso is just trouble, and I don’t know how anyone can partner him as they would be always in a lose lose situation – if they beat Alonso, Alonso would throw his toys out of the pram; if he is worse than Alonso, he gets the sack. No wonder Lewis keeps his dad as his manager. Maybe Piquet should have done the same. I hope, as the rumours are going, Piquet’s dad buys the Sauber team and Nelson can show what he is made of. And God help Alonso’s next teammate. What a poisoned chalice that position is!

    • Oliver said on 3rd August 2009, 20:32

      What most people don’t realise is that when a new part is brought to the race weekend, especially a big part as a floor, the cost involved ensures that only one has to be built first and then tested on the friday. If it doesn’t work, 2 fully built floors would be double the waste of money and time. :-)

      Apart from the last but one race, very often Heikki had got updates same time as Lewis and sometimes choses not to run with them.

    • Williams 4ever said on 3rd August 2009, 22:11

      If Heikki was treated like that, there would be internet meltdown.

      Well The facts are that Heikki has been treated like that and there hasn’t been any internet melt-down.
      a) Every race in 2008 in Q3 Heikki was carrying more fuel, which effectively wiped out his chances of fighting for pole and the race wins.
      b) In name of 2009 regulations and lack of in-season testing,its not just one race in 2009 that the Finn has been driving a “Old spec” car and Hamilton driving car with latest upgrades.

      I hope “New Culture” McLaren Management remain honest about a) and b) when Heikki’s Contract is up for renewal.

      Three weeks ago Whitmarsh was honest about Heikki’s situation and renewal of contract was making rounds, somehow German(Nico) Driver to Mercedes Powered team is gathering momentum as well and I hope Heikki doesn’t become casuality in that one.

      And God help Alonso’s next teammate. What a poisoned chalice that position is!

      Ditto for Hamilton’s next team-mate at McLaren. No driver with World title aspirations will be ready to drive for McLaren as long as Hamilton is with the team

      • Oliver said on 3rd August 2009, 23:14

        He carries more fuel in P2? come on whenever both cars get into P3 the difference in fuel is usually 0.5kg between the 2cars. When outside the top 10 it pays for Heikki to have more fuel.
        A team like Mclaren might use fuel to disguise the fact that Heikki isn’t really performing well. Not saying he is a bad driver, I just feel he hasn’t hit the same form he was at in the latter stages of his Renualt foray.

        Mclaren wanted Rosberg in the team the previous season. And I bet you it was not as a second driver. With Ron, he likes his drivers fighting. Because it brings out the best in both and the team can reap the rewards.

      • Oliver said on 3rd August 2009, 23:16

        I meant Q2 and Q3.

        • Williams 4ever said on 4th August 2009, 1:42

          Please check the 1st pit-stop windows for entire 2008 season and it will be clear that the fuel difference was not mere 0.5 kgs!!!

          This year of course both of them struggled with the inferior cars, but whenever it has come to upgrades the team favorite has got them earlier than the Finnish driver.

          This year they have more sophisticated excuse, that with in-season testing ban and limited resources the woking based team working 36 hour shift could only manufacture upgrades for one car.

          A Honest McLaren would have been one that would have given winning race strategy alternate races to both drivers, till the point that one clearly is out of contention to beat his team mate in points race. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be case at McLaren/most of the teams on the grid.

          RedBull has so far maintained parity between Vettel/Webber if anyone has noticed their switching of fuel loads alternate race, to give Webber & Vettel both a fair chance to go for pole.

        • Williams 4ever said on 4th August 2009, 2:01

          Have I ever mentioned Q2 :-? I was referencing 2008 season when both McLaren made to Q3 but Kovy was handicapped with extra fuel-load right from race 1

      • S Hughes said on 4th August 2009, 0:00

        Williams4ever, you are talking rubbish. To say that Heikki is treated as unfairly as Piquet is just barmy. I actually think Heikki is quick, but he is not consistent over a race distance and is rubbish at overtaking, two things that Lewis is supreme at. That is why Heikki isn’t the driver Lewis is. I think he is good for the team because as long as he gets solid points for the team when Lewis wins, he would be doing his job towards winning the constructors title. I think there are many drivers who would love to drive for McLaren but a few whose egos might not like being whipped by Lewis like Alonso was by a rookie!

      • PJA said on 4th August 2009, 9:59

        I have seen people mention about Kovalainen qualifying with heavier fuel than Hamilton in 2008 a few times, but I seem to remember that Raikkonen, the then reigning World Champion, usually qualified with more fuel than Massa in 2008. Unless we know the details of team meetings with regards to strategy and what the drivers think they can make work we don’t know the reasons behind each driver’s strategy.

        With regards to the issue of only one driver getting the updates we have seen this happen at both ends of the pit lane this season with Sutil getting the updates first at Silverstone with Force India and Massa getting them first at Ferrari in Germany. Sometimes even big teams only have the time and resources to have enough ready for one driver.

        • Williams 4ever said on 4th August 2009, 12:05

          Sometimes even big teams only have the time and resources to have enough ready for one driver.

          Nothing wrong in doing that.. as long as they are honest with themselves the drivers and the fans…

    • I don’t know this all sounds a bit over dramatic to me, I mean don’t get me wrong I think Briatore is a disgrace but mainly because he went out with Naomi Campbell.

      By his own admission Piquet had the same (or insignificantly different) equipment for half of the races this season and what did he do?

      In two of the races where he felt he had significantly inferior equipment he finished ahead of Alonso, so I don’t think the issue of equipment is that important.

      Morale and how he was treated on an interpersonal level is something else. I seem to remember Renault’s radio transmissions to him last season were shall we say rather curt which I never imagined to be that encouraging half way through a Grand Prix. I can also imagine being threatened with the sack before a qualifying session wouldn’t be that helpful.

      A lot of his statement seems to boil down to his belief that he is natural born champion and a sense that he never got the attention he deserved.

      I still reckon fundamentally he’s just not been fast enough to warrant his place.

    • toma said on 4th August 2009, 18:10

      No. Let’s just be realistic. You don’t walk into a team with a double world champion, run by a guy who’s a legend in F1, and by some act of God expect to be treated like Senna. You have to prove yourself against the odds. You have to show that you have something special. You have to motivate those 72-hour non stop engineering teams efforts, that they won’t be wasted on some spoiled rich kid, who won’t deliver to the max. Piquet was not a terrible driver. He was merely 5/10. Mediocre. If you were a Renault Engineer, with limited time, money, and concentration-on-innovation resources, would you have felt motivated to pull it all out for this kid? The answer is a sad no. At F1 level, when you have literally dozens of super talented kids waiting in the wings, you have to shoot the lights out within 6 months. Nelsinho has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Now he’s doing his spoilt-richkid-priviliged name PR dance. Sad that he doesn’t realise (yet) that inherited fame is pure curse.

  5. Oliver said on 3rd August 2009, 20:23

    Spot on Keith, you were the first to report this.

    Nelsinho didn’t say anything out of the ordinary. He has a very valid point. Right back to the Bennetton days, the second driver in that team was often always forgotten about, but expected to perform wonders. Vesteppen suffered a similar fate as Piquet, virtually anonymous inside the team.

    Looking back to a not so distant past, Trulli was out performing Alonso until he fell out of favour with Flavio. Suddenly his car was unable to perform and even had a freak suspension failure at Silverstone.

    There might be gentle pressure on Flavio to have a french man in one of the race sits.

    Not saying Piquet is/was going to set F1 on fire, it is however very possible for a team to help a driver under perform, or even manipulate the situation to make it appear that he does. Perhaps Flavio’s style is designed to bring out the fighting spirit in his drivers.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd August 2009, 22:04

      Thanks Oliver.

      Think it’s interesting Renault haven’t had a French driver so far – it’s not as if they haven’t had opportunities (Bourdais, Montagny).

      Funny when you think of the criticism Bourdais got for not taking up Briatore’s offer all those years ago (of a Renault drive providing he let Briatore manage him). The way things worked out perhaps it wouldn’t have made any difference whether he took it or not…

      • Oliver said on 3rd August 2009, 22:26

        I think Bourdais did well not to go to Renault. :-) Flav would have kicked him out after hearing sing sad songs every race.

  6. piquet needs to hire PR people because his tweets and messages like this will not win him many friends in the tight-knit world of F1

    • further to that, these types of retrospectives are better written by a third-party, so they aren’t as self-serving. he should have had a team feed it to a journalist (as a writer myself i know how this scheit works)

      • Oliver said on 3rd August 2009, 22:37

        He did well to quote himself. Some journalists are able to arrive at a different conclusion from a driver’s statement. PlanetF1 might report it as, **Piquet threatens Flavio’s family**, then after reading it you’ll find that piquet is maybe quoated as saying **I’ll like to thank Flavio and the Renualt team for the opportunity they gave me**, and reading deeper you might find a report saying all their families met to have a pleasant dinner together.

        As for news of the world, their article might be like, **Piquet straps Flavio to a chair and pees on him.**

      • Oliver said on 3rd August 2009, 22:53

        I forgot to ask what team you want to feed it to the press.

    • “In addition, on numerous occasions, fifteen minutes before qualifying and races, my manager and team boss (Briatore) would threaten me, telling me if I didn’t get a good result, he had another driver ready to put in my place.”

      Briatore rocks. thats my takeaway from that.

      can’t handle pressure little nelson? its what the rest of us deal with every day of our lives

    • S Hughes said on 3rd August 2009, 20:40

      I would rather have someone who spoke out on injustices than just kept schtum. Why should he just walk away with his tail between his legs than give his side of the story? Whether you side with him or not, he is entitled to tell his story.

      • fair enough, but it is entirely self-serving

        think about this: if piquet never raced in F1 again, will we be talking about in him 20 years as the driver who would have been the next Senna but never got the opportunity?

        that is how he is presenting it..

      • Yet when Alonso spoke out at McLaren he was “throwing his toys out of the pram.” Explain.

        • Williams 4ever said on 5th August 2009, 3:48

          Yet when Alonso spoke out at McLaren he was “throwing his toys out of the pram.” Explain.

          Well Said Red :D. When Alonso at McLaren expected to be treated like Double WDC, Everyone wanted McLaren to Let their drivers race freely with each other. On the other hand when McLaren compromises Heikki’s races on equipment and strategy. British Crowd justify that as “Its obvious for McLaren to put their bets on WDC”. Do we need any more proof of Double Standards by the team and fans

  7. djdaveyp said on 3rd August 2009, 20:36

    I fell sorry for nelsinho. I agree that he hasn’t had chance to perform to the best of his ability. In GP2 he was nearly as awesome as hamilton. I think he needed to find his feet without being under pressure, under pressure under-experienced drivers push to hard and make mistakes. He needs to find his feet without the pressure and then he will be able to take it.

    The precision and skill required to drive a f1 car is beyond my imagination. Doing that for the first time with all the pressure in the world on you and trying to concentrate at the same time has got to be near-impossible.

    When Lewis Hamilton joined McLaren there was absolutely no pressure on him, he took it easy and then started matching and beating alonso, because he was allowed to do so. This in turn created a massive boost of confidence for him. Nelsinho, on the other hand, has not had an oppurtunity ti gain any confidence. The little falsh of confidence he had last season after getting his lucky podium in germany made him beat Alonso twice in a row in the following races before the pressure came back again.

    I, for one, would like to see him in F1 again, with a fair chance. I hope Mr Piquet Snr manages to buy BMW because it will kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

    My opinion may be slightly biased, but Fernando Alonso ruined my opinion of him when he went to McLaren. Brilliant driver that he is, he is a terrible person.

    • S Hughes said on 3rd August 2009, 20:44

      Totally agree. I hope to see Piquet in a team that gives him support and equal equipment, then and only then will we see how he is compared to his teammate.

      All those who are saying good riddance and that he never proved himself, etc, did you not read how he was given equipment up to .8 second slower than Alonso and nasty treatment by Briatore. How the hell could he prove himself with such comtemptuous behaviour showed to him?

      He always seemed so sad and now we know why.

      • djdaveyp said on 3rd August 2009, 20:58

        Also I never listen to a word that comes of of Flavio Briatore’s mouth, he is the most full of s*** person I ever heard in my life!

    • Patrickl said on 3rd August 2009, 20:58

      There was no pressure on Piquet when he started either. The presure started after he failed for 15 races in a row.

      It’s amazing that he kept going for 27 failures before Briatore finally had enough.

    • Oliver said on 4th August 2009, 0:09

      @djdavep,
      Contrary to your opinion, I believe Hamilton was even under more pressure than Piquet. There was great expectations from the team, there were millions of eyes trained on him from all over the world, waiting to spot the smallest of mistakes. I even recall one post here, where are guy mentioned the fact Hamilton had 2wheels on the grass/sand at a single corner on a single lap out of the odd 60 or so laps he did in Melbourne, as if it was some monumental error worthy of him losing his race sit. Oddly that individual failed to notice that Kimi, who was leading the race and later went on to win it, under no pressure whatsoever missed his braking point, and had to brake awkwardly to avoid running into the gravel trap, yet Kimi had years of experience in F1, but he was the one making the rookie error.

      The fact Flavio always tried to rattle him gives me the impression that he wasn’t their original pick, but was more a marriage of convenience, when you consider how swiftly Heikki was bundled out of that team.

      Fact is, Flavio had his reasons for giving him that drive. Perhaps maybe if Romain is driving the car, Renult might think less of quiting the sport.

      • Williams 4ever said on 5th August 2009, 4:08

        I believe Hamilton was even under more pressure than Piquet. There was great expectations from the team, there were millions of eyes trained on him from all over the world, waiting to spot the smallest of mistakes.

        If indeed there was pressure from the team, the team that is known to be ruthless with Some of its Pilots always covered for Hamilton – Remember Brazil’07, Fuji’08 and latest was German GP’09, where team gave him upgrades and he binned it after qualifying high, leave his team-mate with old spec car to save face for the team.

        I don’t see Press Lambasting Hamilton for wasting teams “Massive effort to upgrade one car” and don’t see Martin Whitmarsh/Haug going Sour about the Driver error that screwed their race. I don’t remember McLaren defending their earlier drivers for errors half as cardinal as these.

        I remember how conveniently Ron cribbed about qualifying performances of Kimi and JPM in early part of 2005 . He event went public stating “That was the reason they might have lost constructors championship in 2005″ . When the fact was that for the away races in season start , McLaren had problems getting tyres upto heat over single lap and that was troubling both JPM and Kimi.

  8. pSynrg said on 3rd August 2009, 20:47

    Come on, lets face it. Flav has got to be one of the biggest ******** in the business. For that alone I believe every word that Piquet Jr. has said.

    His record does indeed make a fine CV for any driver. Let’s just hope Flav hasn’t totally destroyed the kid’s F1 career. As Brundle was saying the other day, it’s insane that a driver’s career could effectively be over at an age when most of them used to start theirs in his day…

  9. 159Tom said on 3rd August 2009, 21:19

    He’ll be back – with a couple of decent F1 results he deserves another crack in a different team. With 24 or 26 cars there won’t be enough experienced F1 racers to go round.

    If Grosjean keeps his nose clean in the street races and shows some talent on the drivers’ circuits to come, then given a couple of big ifs (Alonso off to Ferrari and Renault carrying on, looking good now the Concorde Agreement’s signed) he’ll be in a strong position.

  10. Wesley said on 3rd August 2009, 21:47

    Good….Piquet is gone and he gave Flavio hell on the way out….both of these make me smile!

  11. Lazarus said on 3rd August 2009, 21:50

    @ S Hughes:

    Your obvious hatred for Alonso is inversely proportional to your quite frankly frightening love for Hamilton.

    Hamilton is NOT the best driver in F1 today. He is an excellent driver and he is the current world champion no doubt but few experts would disagree that Alonso is still the best. Maybe one day when Hamilton overcomes his weaknesses then he’ll be better than Alonso but he sure isn’t now.

    • S Hughes said on 4th August 2009, 0:12

      You are entirely wrong. Last year a large panel of international F1 journalists in the ‘F1 Review Book of the Year’ rated Lewis as the best driver, as they did in 2007 as well. Alonso was rated 3rd as he was in 2007. Are you saying that Tony Dodgins and Jonathan Noble of ‘Autosport’ and all the other journalists in this panel are wrong?

      I don’t hate Alonso, but I recognise that his ego and hatred of being beaten make him a nightmare of a teammate and detracts considerably from his character. Lewis likes to win too, frighteningly so, but being beaten only spurs him on to do better, not throw his toys out of his pram and have a tantrum. Alonso has done nothing special this year, whereas Lewis has wrestled amazingly with a poor car all year, and came good eventually when he was given the equipment in Hungary.

      • Williams 4ever said on 5th August 2009, 13:58

        large panel of international F1 journalists

        By International F1 journalists are we referring to bunch of Brits/Europeans who always favor british/European drivers in that order of preference, while running down drivers from other parts of the world ??

  12. Whoever said on 3rd August 2009, 21:51

    I hope Piquet will be back. It’s very easy to believe that Flavio has been a bit of an arse to him, and Piquet has certainly shown some flashes of quality in a car that has more often than not been quite unstable, barring end of ’08. Also be sure to remember that Flavio has poo-pooed Jenson (and others) who have turned out to be very capable. I accept it’s unlikely for Piquet Jr. to go on to be an Alonso/Hamilton/Schumacher but he appears capable of being a Rubens/Heidfeld and that’s worth giving him the environment he says he needs to do his job in.

  13. Andy said on 3rd August 2009, 21:58

    I second that. Not who’s better HAM or ALO but definitely the weird man-love thing….he he he

    • pSynrg said on 3rd August 2009, 22:45

      So Andy, just what is your problem with a “man-love thing….he he he”?

      Anyway, multiple choice just in case the question is a bit tough:

      1 – Childishly Immature?
      2 – Sexually Insecure?
      3 – Bigoted Tw*t?

      Any or all please…

    • S Hughes is a girl. It is clear…

  14. Andy said on 3rd August 2009, 22:55

    @ pSynrg

    Bigot….wow……original. Nahhhh….no problem with man-love at all, or man/woman love or woman/woman love for that matter: my problem is people whos emotional attachment/fixation to a given person (S Hughes and quite clearly yourself) blinds them to fact or fiction, right or wrong, truth or rumour. Resorting to calling someone a bigot because of an off-the-cuff remark means that I think you take life a little too seriously but then again I suppose your reaction is understandable given that the remark was directed at a Hamilton fan…..hmmmmmm

    • pSynrg said on 3rd August 2009, 23:07

      Well, you’ve done nothing to dispel my impressions. A couple of further questions – one similar to your earlier objection.

      Just what is your problem with “a Hamilton fan…..hmmmmmm”?

      And what are you a fan of? (So I can at least fire off a load of baseless ridicule.)

  15. Wesley said on 3rd August 2009, 22:58

    There is not a more well rounded racer on the track than Fernando Alonso.Some people just seem to get a bit overly-giddy when you bring up anyone being better than Hamilton or Kimi.Not saying that they both aren’t excellent racers(the are both world champions after all)but Alonso is a TWO times world champion that had to beat Schumacher to do it.

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