Do F1 drivers help decide strategies? Alonso doesn’t, Hamilton does

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton said he wanted a one-stop strategy at Monza
Lewis Hamilton said he wanted a one-stop strategy at Monza

Did Fernando Alonso know about Renault’s conspiracy to cause a crash in last year’s Singapore Grand Prix?

That question has provoked a huge amount of discussion here at F1 Fanatic and on other F1 sites.

A crucial part of the debate hinges on whether drivers like Alonso are handed their strategies by the team, or whether they play a role in deciding them. Alonso told the FIA on Monday that he did not challenge the team about his unusually aggressive Singapore strategy because he trusts them:

Normally I completely believe, I trust, the engineers. They normally have a lot of simulations which give you the optimal lap to stop. Sometimes it’s short fuel, sometimes it’s long fuel. I completely trust them, and that particular case was no difference. I completely trusted the lap they told me to stop on and I just drove at the maximum.
Fernando Alonso

(You can hear this quote in the FIA WMSC recording at around the 17 minute mark).

Naturally this got me wondering whether all F1 drivers simply take the strategies they’re given without asking. This morning I had a chance to put the question to Lewis Hamilton in the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes media phone-in.

Hamilton was not willing to talk about the Singapore case, and told one journalist he hasn’t been following the affair. So instead I asked him about whether he was happy with his Italian Grand Prix strategy (a two-stopper which left him behind the one-stopping Brawns) and whether he challenged the team about it.

While Alonso said he was happy to rely on the answer that (he thought) had come out of Renault’s computers, Hamilton told McLaren he wanted a different strategy at Monza.

Here’s Hamilton’s reply and my questions in full (the questions were not asked in the context of the Singapore scandal):

F1 Fanatic: At Monza we saw you on a very different strategy to Brawn who obviously then went and won the race. I’m wondering what kind of input you have into decisions that are made about your strategy. Is it something that the team decide entirely on their own or do you have input?

Lewis Hamilton: Generally we do discuss it together. But in actual fact it is decided by the team. Sometimes I might not even be at the meeting and I’m just told that I’m going to lap 15 or whatever lap it is. We’ve got a great group of guys who are very, very intelligent, who understand all the statistics and so I have to rely on them. They may not always get it right, but who does? Generally they’ve always done a great job so I trust them. I don’t think, in Monza, I was on the right strategy, but it was how it was, and we’ll try and learn from that.

F1F: Did you question the strategy before Monza?

LH: Honestly, I wanted to be on a one-stop strategy, but I was on a two-stop. That enabled me to be on pole position and I was able to push, out in clear air. I think, potentially, things would have been slightly different if the Brawns hadn’t been so quick, we could have been in a great position. But they were dominant that weekend, they were very, very quick.

F1F: I understand, I’m just trying to get an impression of the discussion that goes on. So, you said to the team you’d rather be on a one-stop, they said they thought a two-stop was better and you came to an agreement that a two-stop was the way to go?

LH: Yeah, we did. It was my personal feeling that, if other people were going for a one-stop and that was the fastest route, perhaps we should be on that, but we have to take a lot of things into account. The guys are the smart ones, they have all the information and they explained to me why I was on a two-stop and it seemed reasonable so that’s why we stuck with it.

I find it hard to believe that a driver of Alonso’s experience – with two world championships to his name – would not have a role to play in deciding something as important as race strategy. What do you think?

You can read the rest of the interview (on Auto Trader) here.

Renault Singapore crash controversy

151 comments on “Do F1 drivers help decide strategies? Alonso doesn’t, Hamilton does”

  1. A very cunning way of posing the question Keith!

    I too share your scepticism about Alonso not playing a part in his strategy. Surely the best drivers are the ones who are most involved in everything to do with their drive?

    I had heard a rumour that Alonso was blasting his engineers over the radio for the strategy during the race in Singapore last year, which I guess would back up his version of events…

    1. My understanding is unlike the other teams, where strategy is a team effort, at Renault Flavio and Pat were the strategists and other opinions were generally unwelcome. In hindsight they should have been even more hard nosed about this than they were.
      Anyway, on grounds of both “driver equality” and Piquet’s performance at that time it would have been very wise for him to avoid any involvement with Piquet’s strategy. It would have been far more profitable from a team perspective for Alonso, as the most experienced driver, to have been helping Piquet to get the most from his car.
      It is also interesting that both Piquet and Grosjean said Alonso is very helpful.

    2. In light of how the sport is now, I can see the input of the driver in strategy being less and less. Teams invest a great deal in technology and people to come up with a strategy before and during a race. (I can see Eddie Jordan shaking his head even as I write this.)

      Therefore, I can see Renault turning round and saying to Alonso, this is what we’re going to do. It’s whether Alonso questioned them on the strategy or not. There are many views that I’ve read that the Renault strategy was not that strange, which was reiterated by Alonso at the hearing. So it comes down to who you want to believe.

      Personally I don’t think that Alonso was involved in the strategy but I struggle with the idea that the first time he had heard about this was when NPJ went to the FIA. There were rumours about this flying around the paddock after the race. And regardless of what he has said to the press and at the hearing, he must have had his suspicions.

      But could Alonso be the mysterious Mr X and knew about it all along. OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHH :-)

  2. I find it hard to believe Alonso too.

    Think of it in your day to day work. If you’ve been at the same job for a while and doing it well, and an expert tells you one day to do something that seems very different, of course you are going to question it, and try to come to an agreement.

    1. Alonso is a great dramatist. He says things that are convenient to him. Alonso doesn’t even trust his barber, let alone his race engineer. Alonso motto in life:-


      If he were to be a trusting man, he wouldn’t have done what he did in 2007 at Interlagos. Had a third party involved to oversee the “equipment” given to him.

      I dunno why the WMSC let go of him so easily??!! He was just asked to explain what he made of it, all he did was to confuse the room with his usual broken spanish-english. No even bothered to ask him strong questions & I was astonished to hear mosley granting him permission to leave midway!! If I were to be in that meeting, I would have bombarded him with questions until he spat out the truth! I’m really furious that he was let away so easily.

      1. I dunno why the WMSC let go of him so easily??!!

        If they don’t have evidence of Alonso doing any wrong, then they can’t jump up and down and made accusations. Unlike a lot of people on here.

        Perhaps Alonso will turn out to be Witness X. Maybe he orchestrated the whole schebang. But until we know for sure, you can’t keep wittering on “he must have known something!!1!1!!”

        1. Why can’t we?

      2. I’m so glad the internet conspiracy theorist such as yourself MP4 aren’t in the FIA.

        Max Mosley is the lesser evil to your constant ramblings.

        Could you please make a constructive statement next time.

      3. As I said in a post the other day…Planet F1….

        How LH has anything to do with this is beyond me…………

      4. I didn’t realise that you knew Alonso so well, mp4-19b. You must be really close to be able to much such comments about him. Can you introduce me to him, please? I know you and I have had our differences on this blog, but I am not above using my connections with you to worm my way into Alonso’s social circle ;)

    2. If you’ve been at the same job for a while and doing it well, and an expert tells you one day to do something that seems very different, of course you are going to question it

      Alonso wasn’t asked to do something different. Earlier this season Hamilton started from a poor grid position and did a short first stint (it was mentioned in another F1F article I think). If Renault had asked him to come in on lap 5 then obviously something looks odd. But lap 14 doesn’t sound too bizarre.

      1. That was because Hamilton had KERS and would actually be able to overtake cars and thus could make that strategy work.

        Besides in that race year the tyres really worked only for 8 to 10 laps or so. So yeah then it made sense.

        Hamilton tried it Monaco too hoping he could overtake cars there as well, but obviously he couldn’t. That’s more how it would have worked for Alonso. No hopes of overtaking cars and being stuck behind heavier cars. It was utterly stupid and Hamilton was laughed at even before the race started.

        This “Hamilton did it too” argument was mentioned by Symonds as a defense why this bizarre strategy might not have been so bizarre. In fact he was wrong and his defense is completely unbelievable

  3. I think when it is on track a driver can simply say ‘no I’m not coming in yet’. But outside it is simply looking at simulation and maybe coming to a compromise, depeing upon the relationship between the team and driver. They can alwasy question strategies though.
    With regards to Singapore, maybe Alonso didn’t question or wanted to go along with strategy because he needed a gamble to get ahead of the drivers in front.
    Great questions with Lewis Keith, nice way to look at it, to see how a driver will help make strategic decisions.

    1. True, we saw from the radio transcripts that as the race develops the teams depend on the simulations.
      It’s far to technical and dynamic for a driver to insist he “feels” that a different strategy would be better. There are so many variables and possible scenarios that really you are at the peril of the simulation. The only decisions that would be made otherwise are “gambles” which Flavio supposedly told Alonso before the race last year.
      The Alonso strategy was with hindsight very unusual, but before the race Alonso may well have been convinced it was better to gamble and go short by the team.
      I suspect Keith that Lewis may have a little smile to himself if he sees the context in which his interview have been used.

      Great Great work Keith.

    2. I think when it is on track a driver can simply say ‘no I’m not coming in yet’.

      Does he create a tank of fuel out of thin air? If the driver has been put on a short stint, he’s coming in when the stint is over. Race strategies (at least the first stint) are decided before the race begins, so nothing is known about who gets punted off or who gets blocked during the run to the first corner. Simulation and theory is all that’s available.

  4. I think a double world champion of Alonso’s Dominating mindset definitely has a say in what the team does. Whether it’s along the lines of Hamilton where the team get the final word or not I don’t know. The real question is did he know about the PK crash? Considering his grid position along with the light fuel load, he had to know something was up!!

  5. Good job getting that much information out of Hamilton ! :D

    That said, it might boil down to how confident a driver is in the car setup and his ability to set flying laps. The engineers might have enough data (fuel loads, tyre wear, etc.) from past races and practice sessions to show that a 2-stop is quicker, or have faith in the driver’s ability to set qualifying pace laptimes over short runs for a 3 or 4 stop strategy (Michael Schumacher at Magny-Cours, 2004)

    Perhaps Alonso had enough faith in Pat Symonds based on his 2005 and 2006 campaigns not to question the early stop…

  6. Great Job Keith!! Really nice that a world Champion recognizes F1Fanatic. You have a very bright future in this field. I keep a count of all the nice guys you’ve interviewed, Ari was the first & now Lewis. But I’m sure you’ll have a tough time interviewing Kimi :D. Poor pity! 2 comedians (Jay Leno & Rowan Atkinson) own a F1, but none of the former mclaren champs own it! I also read somewhere had Ron Dennis managed to crash his F1!! And the sultan of Brunei had five F1’s I believe!!

    1. The Black Adder owns a formula 1 car?!

      1. He used to own a McLaren F1 supercar; doesn’t any more as I understand it.

        If our friend MP4 slacked off the Red Bull and the Alonso allegations, maybe he could check his facts ;)

      2. Didn’t Rowan Atkinson crash his? Or am I confusing him with someone else.

  7. But in actual fact it is decided by the team. Sometimes I might not even be at the meeting and I’m just told that I’m going to lap 15 or whatever lap it is.

    I’d say that’s pretty much the same as what Alonso said.

    I have to agree that it’s probably impossible for the driver to make a strategy decision. There is just too much data to consider. That’s what the guys with the computers are for.

    1. I agree, I couldn’t see much difference between Hamilton’s approach and Alonso’s. Lewis wanted a one stop at Monza but was happy to go along with McLaren’s preference for a two stopper.

      There are so many factors in play that it’s virtually impossible for the driver to arrive at a well reasoned strategy decision on their own.

      If memory serves, Alonso did get involved in strategy during last year’s Japanese GP – he made the call that was fairly instrumental in jumping Kubica at the first stops. But that was more to do with Renault asking whether Alonso could maintain the necessary pace to make that call work, which is not the same as determing a fuel strategy before the race.

      1. I have to agree with Patrick and Tim, in that I don’t see any difference between Alonso’s and Hamilton’s approach.

        They can question the strategy, and both have on occasion, but ultimately they trust the guys with all the data and the computers to process it.

    2. And what happens when the strategy server is down? :)

      1. that was @ Dougie

      2. Hi inc0mmunicado,

        Have you an example of when that has ever happened?

        I would imagine that the fault tolerance and resiliance of their systems, both on track and back at base, is second to none.

  8. Wow!! That was some questioning Keith.

    You well and truly cornered him into giving you the information you (and well all fanatics) wanted.

    Pardon the comparison, but it seemed similar to how Lord Voldemort used to inveigle information out of his victims in the 6th Harry Potter book.

    I think what Fernando means is, he probably tells his views regarding strategy to his engineers beforehand, and they come to a decision either by taking his views into account or discarding them completely. Fernando never finds out whether his input made any difference or not.

    1. If I had Alonso in my grasp, I would force open his mouth & fill it with 500ml Veritaserum. That way he would have spilled the beans :) Or even better is to subject Alonso to Legilimency! I’m sure he doesn’t know Occlumency to close his mind. But I wouldn’t mind to subject him to a few Cruciatus Curses ;) Just to double confirm that he’s telling the truth.

      1. you would serve perfectly in the Spanish inquisition in the old days… just torture someone until he says what you want to hear.

        I do not understand why Keith allows this here

        1. Hey!! It was meant to be a joke FFS!!! Why do you take everything so seriously?? I understand your take on this issue, but it doesn’t mean that we should stop ridiculing Alonso’s lie of the decade.

          1. mp4-19b, thou must not question the God Alonso. Repeat 10 times.

            To think some want this debate to be stifled!

        2. you would serve perfectly in the Spanish inquisition in the old days… just torture someone until he says what you want to hear.

          lol, what do you mean old days?

          It happens today, go ask Dick Cheney how its done ;)

          1. Lets get something straight, if Dick Cheney wants to get you or your information he will just take you dove hunting and shoot you with his shotgun by accident.

        3. This is just what i was thinking, he (mp4-19b should change his nickname to Torquemada…
          Amd i would like to listen his “broken spanish” with english accent…
          This mp4-19b guy is a cancer………..

          1. Tomás de Torquemada
            24th September 2009, 4:39

            If you are a Spanish heretic, you need to watch your step EGC fella!

      2. If I had Alonso in my grasp, I would force open his mouth & fill it with 500ml Veritaserum.

        By the way, when does that restraining order expire?

        1. Nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition…

          Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!! :D

          1. Among our cheif weapons, we have mp4-19b & S Hughes !

  9. Wasn’t alonso actually going to lap 16 originally, according to the radio transcript from the FIA dossier?

    That doesn’t sound as hard to sell to Alonso.

    Symonds took the decision to bring him early to avoid traffic, or at least that’s how he explained it to Alonso…

    1. Singapore being a 61 lap race, a straightforward 2-stop strategy would see pit stops at lap 20 and lap 40. So stopping on lap 16 or 14 doesn’t sound immediately suspicious.

      1. According to the transcripts, they started Alonso on an aggressive 3-stop strategy stopping at lap 14, which Symonds changed to 2-stop when they pitted him.

  10. First of all, hats off on your questioning skills Keith!

    Secondly, I don’t think this shows Alonso “should” have been suspicious of his strategy. All it shows is that he and Lewis have a different approach to strategy. Notice Hamilton said he sometimes just accepts it without question as well.

  11. I don’t think we need to look to deep into this.
    It wasn’t a strange strategie even if you didn’t do the crash scenario.
    On a street circuit it’s always a possibility a safety car will have to come out.
    This was Alonso’s only shot at a podium, going for that low fuel and hoping for a sc.
    In the end they fixed the sc but even if they didn’t it could have worked!

    1. It would not have worked without the safety car.

      Alonso was stuck in p20 behind Fisichella, Sutil and Bourdais. He would have been stuck there for another 15 laps or so.

      Strategies like this don’t work when you don’t have free track.

      1. That’s the point SoLiD is trying to make.

        Renault did fix the safety car but on a street circuit where no one as raced before a safety car was always likely.

        It was worth the gamble for Alonso as this was his only way of getting a good result in that race.

        1. Yeah, but it has to come out at a really beneficial time. Otherwise it could work against you too.

  12. I can’t believe that Alonso who in 2007 so spectacularly fell out with McLaren because he couldn’t get his way would let others decide his fate. Nor would I expect any professional at that level to let others completely decide what was best for them.

    Alonso must have been aware of the position he was fighting for and therefore knowledge of the basis of the strategy and therefore involved with that strategy.

    What needs to be asked is whether that strategy was a fair reasonable one to get them to the position they expected to be in at the end of the race. However if it is shown that the short fill strategy was no way near what they claim then questions need to be asked about the whole teams knowledge of the crash strategy.

  13. Great job Keith, good reporting!

    I find it hard to believe Alonso also, especially given into account his two-world titles and his behavior at McLaren in 2007.

    Having said that, doesn’t the driver input into strategy differ between the each one’s own characteristics and style? Usually there are two types of drivers, one who just wants a fast car and th other who is extremley methodical in his race planning. The Piquet camp is a great example: While Nelson was involved in every part of the strategy (which probably helped him beat Mansell in 87), Piquet Jr. was known to be very lax about this.

    I’m not saying there is a right and wrong, but isnt’t this discussuion rather relative?

  14. Ferrari to choose Massa’s 2010 teammate soon

    Meaning Kimi’s heading back to woking?

    1. You posted wrong link.

    2. Ferrari cast doubt over Kimi’s Future

      There’s a proper link. I like the picture they’ve used, looks funny the way Kimi is looking at Alonso while he drinks that champagne, almost like “don’t drink all of it!”

      1. haha, yea good pic

  15. Seems they haven’t made any decisions yet. Spose it depends on what contract Fernando has signed and if they can pay off Kimi

  16. More which hunt! Lewis is the greatest (forget about Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Fangio…) and obviously Alonso is rubbish.

    1. Why not a poll asking readers if they belive that
      Alonso wave a whip together with Mr.Mosley on his bizarre nights?

      Agree with Carl… witch hunt (and visits to the blog)

    2. Lewis is great, but he will be the greatest when he beats all of the other drivers records.

      1. I am extremelly happy for you

        1. and I for you

          1. fantastic

  17. Woohoo well done Keith for making this point. It is obvious that the drivers, especially the top ones, would be involved in their strategies, even if in the end they go by the one that the engineers decide. They would certainly give their input, not just, as Alonso alluded (!!!!), accept any old strategy without question. I am even more convinced that, say Alonso wasn’t part of the plot, he would have questioned the ludicrous strategy and been given the wink about why he was on that strategy.

    And please don’t tell me that strategy was explainable. Quote:

    “Looking at it from a purely statistical point-of-view,” said a rival team strategist, “on a track like Singapore, stopping on lap 12 is not aggressive, it’s stupid, it’s something that cannot work. Your grandmother wouldn’t do it… Then, it’s true that stopping on lap 12 is the only way to open up a two-lap gap when the safety car will benefit only one car – the one that has stopped. And then, when you create this two-lap window and in it your team-mate crashes… If you add up the probability, you end up with a figure that is very close to zero.”

    As for Alonso’s “interrogation”, this is how it went in a nutshell:

    WMSC panel: Mr Alonso (bow, scrape, genuflect), did you know anything about crashgate?
    Mr Alonso: No.
    WMSC panel: Well that’s alright then, you may go.

    Lastly, I am fed up with McLaren and their stupid strategies and cock ups. Lewis can’t say it, but he must be so frustrated with them. Why on Earth did they put the snail Heikki on a one stop, and Lewis on a 2 stop in Monza? Lewis was almost as quick fuel corrected as Heikki in qualifying, and would have done a lot more with a one stop strategy. Then they dithered with pit stops in Valencia when I believe Lewis had a chance of winning despite the pace of Rubens. You could see Lewis thought so too. What a bunch of comedians!

    1. Alonso may have discussed and even challenged the strategy, but that doesn’t mean that they told him Piquet was going to crash. If they were smart (and they probably were as the evidence shows), they protected Alonso from the truth and just said ‘trust us’…

      Actually, the Lewis interview backs this up…Lewis said ‘I want a one-stop’ and the engineers said ‘trust us, two-stop’. He didn’t throw his hands up and say ‘blasphemy’, he trusted them, just like Alonso did.

      Plus, there’s a chance FA wouldn’t have gone along with the crash and it would have made Flabbio look stupid(er).

  18. Well, given Alonso’s statement, I still believe that he knew that his team was up to something. He did not want to take part in it, but he did not want to blow the whistle on them.

    Let’s say the team says that you pit on lap 12. You want him to argue with the team why this strategy and not pit in lap 12? I agree that he would have at least asked why – if in fact he knew about this lap 12 pitstop only during the race. If not, he knew about it before the race and chose not to involve in the scandal. I think it is the latter that happened.

    Alonso knows that he did not need that win, but Renault did as they had to justify their existence for the next year. So, Flavio wanted a win!

  19. Alonso was once quoted as saying he no longer considers “F1 a sport”. Maybe his opinion also has something to do with how race strategies are for the most part determined by computers and race simulators.

    My guess is Alonso, like Hamilton, does ask for explanations about race strategy, but after years of the explanation boiling down to “the computer says so and that’s the way it is”, would you continue asking when you know the answer ahead of time?

    1. Race stratergies are just like other things in F1, like aerodynamics for example. They are a technical challenge and if computers can help then so be it.

      It is the engineers that write the software. Computers haven’t passed the turing test just yet!

      F1 is both a ‘sport’ and an engineering contest. That’s the unique beauty of it.

      Well done today Keith by the way – very good questions answered pretty honestly by Hamilton I reckon.

      1. There was a quote from Eddie Irvine where he too said F1 wasn’t a sport, he felt F1 was a war instead.

        On the evidence of all the scandals that have taken place over the past few years you can only agree with what he says.

  20. Actually just thinking, Keith would have been much better on the WMSC panel than the ones that were there. He might have got the full truth out of them.

  21. As I stated previously, I’m not a MS fan and was not with Ferrari until Kimi joined them.
    But I never disputed MS’s great talent and abilities in F1.
    Now, does anyone really doubt that Michael had a huge input in his race strategy (pre-race as well as during)? I think not.
    I think it all comes down to the individual driver’s other abilities (not just the driving ones) but the ones needed to assess his own performance on the specific track during practice and qualifying, as well as the developing circumstances or even the POTENTIALLY developing circumstances.
    The strategy is most likely formulated by a combination of two variables, the driver’s feeling, based on ALL his abilities, and the engineers’ raw data. At the end, it’s the caliber of the driver that influences the weight percentage his input gets over the engineers’ raw data in the final strategy. The higher the caliber, the higher his percentage.

  22. Stop pretending like any of you know anything about the inner workings of F1… oh wait… every one is an expert.

    1. The clue is in the name of the web-site!

  23. Guys, you know some people are biased in here. Some are even zealots. You need to always read those statements as somebody letting off steam.
    I have been watching this sport for a long time and have watched some truly great drivers, and at no time have I seen a driver come out of the junior formulas and do as good as Hamilton he has always had top shelf equipment which never hurts, but he went toe to toe with a defending 2 time world champ and damn near beat him his rookie year. Not even Senna accomplished what Hamilton has in that short a period. Schumacher is probably the only driver that had similar talents young in his career.
    Hamilton has struggled some this year because of several reasons but the team has started putting better equipment together and he is back in the mix.
    Some of the things I have seeen in this sport about our champs are interesting to me, Prost didnt always have the speed or the car of his rivals but he extracted every point out the car that was possible, hence the professor. Senna was smooth and great as long as he had equipment that no one else could challenge in and he was a horrible teamate. Alonso is also like this he is great when his equipment is better, but put him in equal or lesser and he has issues,plus he has to be the center of the teams attention. Schumacher, great driving style, great tactician and could get more out of an inferior car than anyone else. Mansell, pure street fighter. Hakkinen and Raikkenen both smoth and cool under pressure with kimi having a slightly larger set of gonads.

    1. great post , i agree

    2. Great comment – totally agree with your summary.

      Lewis is really good, not great yet, but we haven’t recently had anyone nearly as good since Schumi. He demonstrated that true racers spirit at monza.

      ps. I am not a Lewis fan, but if he came over to the dark side (SF :-)) I’d support him.

  24. Bob Thomas - US
    23rd September 2009, 17:18

    The question of Alonso’s knowledge or involvement may go into the history books without answer, but the single piece of evidence that points to the Spaniard may be the identity of Mr X. Until proven otherwise, Alonso could be the mysterious Mr X in Renault’s investigation report? Read the quote in their report – Mr X says he was told of the idea prior to the race by Pat Symonds in the presence of Flavio Briatore and says he renounced the proposal.

    Just speculation, but it a possible response from someone like Alonso. Who else would Symonds and Briatore possibly want to tell? The race engineers were questioning the strategy on the race communications. Who is else could Mr X be?

    Trouble is, we’ll never know for sure unless some other team members comes forward to claim the honor. Until then, you have got to wonder if it was Alonso. And remember, Mr X has been granted immunity by the FIA.

    1. Trouble is, we’ll never know

      Be sure Briatore knows who Mr X is. He was in that meeting and Flavio has been banned because his declarations.

      In few time we will know who is Mr X, unless he has not a relevant position.

      1. It is obvious that Alonso is the kins of driver who is into strategies decisions.
        So it is a cas of common sense that he knew about the crash strategie and it is pretty possibliy that he is Mr.X.
        And it is obvious whay the FIA is protecting his name. It will be a disaster in media coverage if a two times world champion is complice in a crash plan.
        Ecclestone (partner of Mosley) never would permit such situation.

    2. And remember, Mr X has been granted immunity by the FIA.

      X has been granted anonymity – not immunity. And given the FIA’s past policy of granting immunity to drivers who submit evidence, this suggests X isn’t Alonso. X is most likely a Renault mechanic or engineer who would face possible discrimination if his or her identity were to be revealed.

  25. I think in general the more senior the driver the more influence they will have with regards to their strategy and the more confidence they will have in their own choices.

    But ultimately teams nowadays use a lot of resources on working out the best strategy for each driver, so if they tell a driver that a short first stint two stop is the best they will have a lot of data to convince the driver they are right.

    The BBC recently did a feature on how McLaren work out which strategies are best, running millions of computer simulations and having a mini mission control back at HQ to deal with unforeseen events, and if you knew all the effort that goes into each strategy decision as the drivers do you will probably be ready to accept what the team say.

  26. Nice way to ignite another “little” debate, Keith!
    You have concluded in the article title that “…Alonso Doesn’t, Hamilton does”
    And from the Lewis conversation,

    But in actual fact it is decided by the team. Sometimes I might not even be at the meeting and I’m just told that I’m going to lap 15 or whatever lap it is

    And from the Alonso transcript:

    Normally I completely believe, I trust, the engineers. They normally have a lot of simulations which give you the optimal lap to stop. Sometimes it’s short fuel, sometimes it’s long fuel. I completely trust them

    Where is the real difference??

    1. The two situations ARE different.

      Alonso says

      I completely trust them, and that particular case was no difference. I completely trusted the lap they told me to stop on and I just drove at the maximum.

      Lewis says

      Generally we do discuss it together…Honestly, I wanted to be on a one-stop strategy, but I was on a two-stop…It was my personal feeling that, if other people were going for a one-stop and that was the fastest route, perhaps we should be on that, but we have to take a lot of things into account. The guys are the smart ones, they have all the information and they explained to me why I was on a two-stop and it seemed reasonable so that’s why we stuck with it.

      Alonso is trying to lead us to believe that he utterly trust the strategists and has no input.

      Lewis tells us he does discuss it with the engineers and has suggestions, but ultimately the engineers have the last say.

      I reckon Lewis’s version is the truth for both men, only Lewis told the truth because he is not trying to convince people that he had no part at all in a dodgy strategy. I’m sure if the drivers discussed the strategy and suggested something that could actually work, the decision would be collective.

      I find it amusing that those who are saying Keith has come to the wrong conclusion pluck bits out of the quotes to suit their argument, instead of telling the full story.

      1. I find it amusing that those who are saying Keith has come to the wrong conclusion pluck bits out of the quotes to suit their argument, instead of telling the full story.

        Why is my head suddenly filled with images of pots and kettles, glass houses and stones?

        1. I have quoted nearly the whole thing. Nirupam was extremely selective. Big difference!

          1. You missed Alonso’s first sentence which goes:

            Normally I completely believe, I trust, the engineers.

            My italics and of course Alonso wasn’t using his mother tongue, but I would infer from this that Alonso does sometimes question strategies just not as a matter of course.

            Whereas you didn’t include that part of the quote and inferred that Alonso “utterly trusts” his engineers and has “no input”.

    2. Where is the real difference??

      Lewis is speaking in his native language and Alonso no.

      That’s the real difference!

      1. I agree on this one. It’s so difficult to find the right words to make your point in a different language. It’s very easy to completely miss the point you’re trying to make!

  27. Your header should go to the school of journalism, if you let me the joke, Alonso says

    “Normally I completely believe, I trust, the engineers.”

    Hamilton says

    “in actual fact it is decided by the team. Sometimes I might not even be at the meeting and I’m just told that I’m going to lap 15 or whatever lap it is.”

    More or less the same, the header one says yes and the otherone no.

    Both are telling mostly the same, they have a word, but they rely on the teams.
    And you are mixing different moments, Hamilton is talking on saturday and ALonso is talking during the race. Last week Ross was cited telling that nor even schumacher would contest an order to pit.

    The driver can hav a feeling, but the team have much more info, so they rely on the engineers

    1. I told that first!!! :)

      1. No you didn’t

  28. I’m not defending Alonso, but just out of interest how many accidents happened during free practice and qualifying. If I was modelling the race and had seen a significant number of offs, I would be inclined to factor that into my model.

    Alonso may have seen the simulation, been convinced by the “sound” logic underpinning it and gone with the answer as provided.

    A conservative strategy would have seen him finish at best as a top ten maybe even scoring points. He knew he had a good car (proved in the next race), so he was probably inclined to go with the strategy. Perhaps at the day after the race he may have put 2 and 2 together and gone oh es aitch one tee

  29. As a parting shot von Moltke, the 19th century German general was a great believer in his simulated wargames. However he also recognised that “no plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main strength” (i.e. no plan survives contact with the enemy)and strategy is a system of expedients.

    War, business, sport they’re all the same and von Moltke was right. Maybe Alonso, a pretty shrewd and intelligent driver, also recognises that!

  30. I just want to add that it isn’t the first time Alonso has had a very aggressive strategy. He has a habit of it.

    Take China (fuelled to lap 11 if I remember correctly)and Hungary this year as the more extreme examples, but it’s not the first. Also Renault already had great success with an unusual strategy with Piquet at Germany 2008. Alonso was nowhere in that race.

    He usually goes all or nothing. And the only way he could to anything in Singapore was to gamle on a safety car. Otherwise the best he could have hoped for was some points if it was a race og attrition.

    Let’s just leave this issue behind us, though I agree that Renault got the lamest punishment ever. They should have been banned for the rest of the season in the least.

    1. That’s true, but as other people have pointed out here – and I think it’s a very good point – those were on occasions where he could use a light fuel load to qualify well. It was not on an occasion where he was already stuck with a poor qualifying position, as in Singapore.

  31. I wouldn’t overestimate Hamilton’s input in the process he describes. Apparently, he expressed his opinion, in this case leaning towards a one-stop strategy, but clearly, if the engineers or strategy analysts can give him a rationale for why they’re thinking whatever they mapped out should work best, he’ll defer to their judgement based on trust, rather than insiting on whatever might have been his personal preference before such a conversation took place. So from him offering his take on the matter, I wouldn’t immediately conclude he’s actually involved in deciding the strategy he’ll be on for the race. With that in mind, I don’t see much of a difference to Alonso’s case here, honestly. Both drivers express they generally trust their engineers’ judgement, so unless they were to come up with something entirely unreasonable, whatever they determine to be the best option determines the strategy.

    1. Perhaps, but even expressing a contradictory opinion is more than Alonso said he did.

      1. That’s right, so probably, a rationale like taking on a different (lighter) fuel load than the cars around him and/or making a short stint to deal with the potentially quickly degrading option tire was not a strategy unreasonable enough for him to opt against it.

      2. Of course, for this specific audience, Alonso would most likely understate his input in the process.

  32. Keith,
    I find these articles about the inner workings of a team : strategy, set-up methods, work distribution, etc very interesting.
    Please lets have some more info about how teams and drivers actually work. I am quite mechanical – minded and love these things.
    Thanks cheers

    1. Thanks, I’ll certainly try to make the most of any opportunity I get to write them

  33. The title is kind of missleading. Hamilton “helps” deciding strategies that is he comes up with his own crappy tactic which gets declined if it isn’t the same than that of team strategists (according to article). Just because Brawns won with one-stop tactic doesn’t mean it would have suited Hamilton/McLaren as well.

    1. McLaren has admitted the one-stopper would have been a ca. 7 seconds faster strategy (for Hamilton).

      I suppose they thought the Brawns will be in traffic after the start (or won’t be so strong) and Lewis could escape from them.

      1. Yeah indeed. Kovalainen was supposed to have been ahead of them. They probably even hoped Raikkonen would be ahead of one or both Brawns.

  34. Second that Bartholomew I love this sort of stuff

    1. I love it!

      1. Of course you do.

  35. Fuelling strategy is stablished BEFORE Q3 starts as established by art. 29 of F1 Sporting Code. Those drivers unable to take part in Q3 must inform the FIA in writing what quantity of fuel they wish to add to the car.

    So, at this point, all concerns and discussions regarding his race strategy have to be made BEFORE Q3 Started and after Q2 ended.

    So, suggesting F Alonso should know about that, based on he should know that strategy was someway absurd up to a point making him suspicious the team was “fixing something” means:

    1) That conspiracy was planned before Q3 starts, just few minutes after Q2 ended.

    2) All declarations made by Symonds, Nelson Piquet and Mr-X are untrue.

    3) Symonds, Nelson Piquet, Mr-X and Flavio, are lying for saving Alonso’s ash, not having any specific compensation for that purpose.

    It doesn’t mean F Alonso is not involved. Maybe he was the man who planned everything, or Mr-X, or both, or even responsible of the global warming.

    But sorry, I cannot think F Alonso should be involved because if not he would never had chosen that strategy.

    1. i think that the post for the conspiracy is another one, please let this one clean of that so we can comment on another topic very interesting, and that is only related to the singapore thing by just a little bit

    2. Completely agree with you IDR, Alonso is responsible for the global warming. What is going to be the next post? Why Alonso’s command of the English language is so much worse that Lewis’?

    3. You are forgetting one “tiny” detail. Alonso wasn’t in Q3 …

      1. Those drivers unable to take part in Q3 must inform the FIA in writing what quantity of fuel they wish to add to the car.

        They have to inform before Q3 starts.

    4. Fuelling strategy is stablished BEFORE Q3 starts as established by art. 29 of F1 Sporting Code. Those drivers unable to take part in Q3 must inform the FIA in writing what quantity of fuel they wish to add to the car.

      How long do they usually have before Q3?
      Could they have time to talk to each other?

  36. I think Hamilton didn’t say anything that different to Alonso. He said he trusts the team and the enginieers to pick the right strategy.
    I doubt Alonso doesn’t say anything about the strategy, but in the end its a team decision. “Normally I completely believe” that doesn’t sound like doesn’t question the team sometimes.

  37. So its ok for Hamilton if he is just told what lap to pit on & he just trusts the team, but not Alonso?

  38. Each person has their sites set on the task that is in their control- or at least what portion of the race they can influence best with their skill set. Teams have brain trusts for that very reason, so the driver can just drive – they can provide feedback of course, but the team must lead for the race strategy and frankly they should know better or they flat out aren’t doing their jobs right?

  39. I think people who are against the title are misreading the title. The question is not whether Hamilton or Alonso gets to “decide” the strategy. Do the drivers “help” to arrive at a strategy?

    In Keith’s defense, I think he *infers* from Alonso’s response that Alonso does not even provide input as to what strategy he might “prefer” or if he even wants to “discuss” the strategy with the team. Hamilton says that he is part of the discussion sometimes and he tells them what strategy he thinks will work for him. However, in the end both of them don’t get to decide the strategy, the team approves the strategy. It could be their strategy if they voiced an opinion, otherwise, it appears handed down from the team.

  40. I think the answer Lewis gave to the questions are consistent with what Alonso says. Lewis says he generally goes with what the engineers propose. Probably when his opinion is sought does he offer it.
    Lets not forget that the top drivers are expected to consistently maintain the pace required by the simulations carried out pre race.

  41. As I have posted a few days before and made some Fans of Alonso unhappy. It is difficult to imagine that Alonso has absolutely no knowledge of the strategy that Renault were going to use which was to get Nelson to crash in purpose. 2 times world champion….shouldn’t you feel suspicious about the extremely early stop before lap15? You aren’t one of the cars at the front of the grid, you are back in position 15, and wouldn’t you be wondering why Renault didn’t fuel up the car for a longer stint since it has the opportunity to choose their fuel level since they aren’t in the top 10 grid spot? A 2 time world champion should ask Why, and should always know the reason behind the strategy, it would be strange to me if he didn’t wonder.

    Perhaps, ING Renault F1 team needed the win at Singapore ING F1 GP, maybe for their sponsors? possibly? They were definitely desperate for the win they longed after.

    One thing I cant believe is that, in reality they have received no penalty after all if they behave, like all the rest of the team. Unbelievable! If I am one of the other team, i might use the same strategy again, knowing that we wont get punished anyway.

    1. Hang on a second, a short first stint is not necessarily a suspicious strategy. Recall the Australian GP, Hamilton started way back in 18th spot with a very low fuel load and pitted on lap 11 (as did the Ferraris). McLaren had correctly anticipated the fast degradation of the super soft tires and planned a short stint although Hamilton started far back. The strategy worked out pretty well for him (… ignoring the aftermath of course).

  42. Great job Keith! Is always good to read an interview, and when it comes from a champion’s mouth is far better. Interestingly, the driver’s feeling would prevail over engineering’s numbers. Everybody knows that generally the driver follows team’s plan. Felipe Massa, i.e. desperately depends on your engineer and the chemistry between them worked very well and back to the topic, I agree with those who say that both talked about the same thing. Cheers!

  43. I think with the technology of today and sophistication drivers are really just drivers. I like to believe the days of Senna and Prost were different. Drivers were ,in Senna’s case, God like. They had a tremendous influence and the top heroes probably had much more pull in a team than Alonso or Hamilton.

    Also we have to keep in mind that F1 is still very closed. These guys don’t reveal much about what goes on behind the scenes. Alonso and Hamilton have an input, but in the end I’m sure its the team that tells them what to do no questions asked. Maybe in the days before simulation drivers had more to say, but I think now the drivers have less and less power over what happens.

  44. Tomás de Torquemada
    24th September 2009, 5:45

    Mr X is a very controversial character indeed!

    Controversies involving Mr X

    At the 2003 European Grand Prix, David Coulthard and McLaren managing director Martin Whitmarsh accused Mr X of giving Coulthard a brake test. This was in relation to a passage of racing towards the end of the race when Coulthard was trying to overtake Mr X, who was holding him. Coulthard swerved off the track and into retirement during an attempted overtake. After talking to the drivers and viewing telemetry and video data, the FIA Stewards decided that the incident did not warrant any “further judicial action”.

    At the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, Mr X was involved in an incident in which he brake tested Red Bull Racing test driver Robert Doornbos in the second free practice session. The Stewards decided that Mr X’s actions were “unnecessary, unacceptable and dangerous”, and awarded him a one second time penalty to be applied to his fastest lap time in each of the qualifying sessions.

    After a separate incident from the same race, when Michael Schumacher was asked whether he thought Mr X deliberately slowed down so that Schumacher had to pass him under red flags in practice Schumacher replied, “You said that, I didn’t.”

    In the 2006 Italian Grand Prix, after stewards ruled Mr X had potentially blocked Felipe Massa in Saturday qualifying and relegated him five places on the starting grid, Mr X stated “I love the sport, love the fans coming here — a lot of them from Spain but I don’t consider Formula One like a sport any more”.

    In the qualifying for the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix, while both McLarens were in the pits, Mr X remained stationary in the McLaren pit for a few seconds. This delayed the then provisional pole sitter (and his team mate), Lewis Hamilton long enough to prevent him from getting another ‘hot lap’ in. Mr X then went on to claim pole.[38] McLaren boss Ron Dennis later said the team had got “out of sequence” when Hamilton did not as agreed allow Mr X past earlier in the qualifying session. He added that Alonso was “under the control of his engineer” when he was waiting in the pit lane However, Mr X was subsequently given a five-place grid penalty and his McLaren team were docked the 15 constructors’ World Championship points they would have earned in the race.

    As result of this investigation, it emerged that some team members within McLaren, among them Mr X, were aware of confidential information belonging to the Ferrari team. This information was commented on to Mr X by McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa who had also received information from McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan. The email contained text suggesting that Mr X was surprised by the data and doubted its authenticity. According to the “spygate” related email exchanges between Mr X and de la Rosa, it was clear that Mr X knew about Ferrari’s pit strategies in the Australian Grand Prix and Bahrain Grand Prix. Mr X finished 2nd and 5th respectively in those races. Ron Dennis told the FIA about the case during the Hungaroring GP after alleging that Mr X threatened him to report the team to FIA himself if he was not given number one status within the McLaren team, while Mr X declared that false and asked FIA to show evidence of his innocence; FIA then revealed that it had had knowledge of the case thanks to a slip made by Coughlan.

    In what became known in the media as “Crashgate”, Renault allegedly ordered Mr X’s teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, causing a safety-car incident at a moment where Mr X would get tremendous benefit from his race strategy, putting him towards the front of the grid, and giving him a fighting chance to win the race, after a number of opponents (Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica to name a few) made errors. However, the FIA confirmed that no evidence had shown that Mr X had knowledge of the plan, and neither did many of the personal mechanics of both drivers.

    Justice is only done when the most controversial driver joins forces with the most controversial team.

  45. mr a­­ hamilton asun a been the fed from the a silver­­­ a­­­­ spoon from a birth ,,,a No a rookie a been­ given­­ a­­ top­­ a drive from a day a 1 like a mr a­ hamilton­­ asun­­ anda­­ still he a mr a hamilton asun­ anda hes a­­ team­­ muclaren­­ had toa cheat anda spy­ anda steal­ the­ a­­ secrets toa­ win­ the a title,,,MR­ A HAMILTON­ ASUN­ ISA­­ THE BIGGEST­ A­ DONKEY A DRIVER­ ONNA THE F1­ A­­ TRACK….­ a just ask­ the­ a other­ a­­­­­ drivers…………………………………………­ ­ ­ ­ ­ …. ….
    NOA GLOCK!!!
    NOA­­ FAKE PHONEY­­ TITLE,,,,,,,,,,, for mr­ a­­ hamilton­­ asun….a still you­­ a keep the a­ FAKE­­ TITLE,,,,a­­ Jenson a Button willa­­ bring a­ the­­ respect a back­ into­ a F1 …HE A BUTTON­­­ GENUINE F1­­ WORLD CHAMPION­­ 2009-2010

    for a mea the­ a whole ofa­ 2008 a season a should a bea­ void a toa­ much a­ corruption ata least a scrap all a ­ points a­ scored a­ by a all a teams anda drivers fora­ singapore­ a race a­ toa much a corruption,,itta also a­ mean a mr­ a­ hamilton asun a give a back a trophy toa­ rightful­ a­ owner a mr a massa buta mea think a mr a­ massa­ would a­ not a want a 2008 a title a onna hes a­ c.v­ ,,,,itta­ toa corrupt
    VOID 2008 VOID 2008 VOID 2008­ VOID 2008 VOID 2008 VOID 2008 VOID 2008 VOID 2008 VOID­ 2008 VOID

    1. is this supposed to be funny ?

      1. This is either a joke or a non-English Alonso fan (judging from his tag) who has personal issues with Lewis. Whoever he is, he’s not a fan of F1.

        1. Oddly enough, Alonso was involved a whole lot more in spygate than Hamilton was. So why would an Alonso fan bring up that sordid affair?

          1. Good question.

    2. I think this commment should be removed for the integrity of this site. To start slinging words around like “donkey driver” is abusive and brings down the tone of this site. This is obviously one of those abusive Alonso fans who have to resort to vile terminology because they have no ability to argue coherently.

    3. You can tell someone is pretending, he can spell difficult english words.

  46. Keith

    I don’t know if the idea has already been suggested, but is it possible to rig the opening beats of the EastEnders theme tune to the ‘Submit Comment’ button, so every time we post a comment of the Renault story we get ‘DA…DA…DA…DA…DADADADA’. ;-)

  47. I wonder though… Just to give the benefit of the doubt.

    Lewis was still unable to change the strategy. Perhaps Lewis still still questioning everything at McLaren like he had to when he wasn’t the guaranteed number 1 driver?

    Over at Renault Alonso had no such fear did he? He can’t change it, like Lewis, there’s no point in asking the question.

    Or am I being too kind?

  48. Alonso might think that strategy was weird when he was first told to do so, but eventually he made that likely gamble strategy sense because he had nothing to lose at that point.(He had almost lost that race in qualify’s trouble).

    He understood that team bet everything on safty car trouble had happen just after he pit out, but had never imagined that team asked his temamate to crash deliberately.

    The point is, he must have doubted of the team after the race. It was too perfect. but there is no reason to ask the team that Did you guies do it deliberately?

    That’s all.

  49. Lewis Hamilton: Generally we do discuss it together. But in actual fact it is decided by the team. Sometimes I might not even be at the meeting and I’m just told that I’m going to lap 15 or whatever lap it is. We’ve got a great group of guys who are very, very intelligent, who understand all the statistics and so I have to rely on them. They may not always get it right, but who does? Generally they’ve always done a great job so I trust them. I don’t think, in Monza, I was on the right strategy, but it was how it was, and we’ll try and learn from that.

    1. This says it all.

      How could anyone in good faith interpret this quotation as Hamilton saying he helps to decide strategy?

      He is saying almost exactly the same thing as Alonso – that the decision is made by the team and he trusts them.

  50. Lewis Hamilton is considered by many to be one of the brightest talents in F1, but his memory could do with some fine tuning.

    In an interview ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, the scene of the sport’s most high-profile crime 12 months’ earlier, Hamilton opined that Nelson Piquet Jr could return to F1 at some stage in the future.

    “He’s a good driver and he’s had a great career, so who knows,” Hamilton said.

    “For sure, there are opportunities for him in the future and I can only wish him the best,” he added. Opportunities, yes, a race seat, doubtful. He is damaged goods …

    Hamilton added that he could not imagine what Piquet must have been feeling as the details of ‘Crashgate’ emerged.

    “I’ve never gone through what he’s going through.” Oh really?

    Does Liegate ring any bells Lewis?

    1. I think he means have a monstrous bully as a boss for over a year putting enormous pressure on him and yet not giving him the same opportunities as the ‘God’ on the other side of the garage.

  51. You do see drivers occasionally dictating the strategy, as in Alonso Japan ’08 when he asked the team to short fuel him: in effect he was calling the shots.

  52. the articles in this blog (so the blog) are soooo biased that i find it difficult to consider the work being done as ‘serious journalism’…
    it’s nice to read, though!

    1. Agreed … balanced journalism this certainly is not.

      But what the hey, the comments are fun reading, and its a spectator sport to see the Alonso and Hammy fans go at it.

  53. I don’t think Alonso *knew of the plot but I imagine that Pat Symmonds would have given him a nudge and a wink.

    Alonso clearly has a lot of input on his strategies. Do you remember in the very next race from Singapore last year? He was following Kubica in the first stint. He radioed the pitwall to say ‘get me out in front of Kubica’ because he knew that the tyres were graining on long runs and so a short middle stint would be best. It worked a treat.

    Alonso clearly knew more than he lets on and that the FIA would have us believe. But he is worth too much to Bernie to ban him. The FIA didn’t need to involve Alonso in this scandal – it wouldn’t help them get to Briatore.

    1. That’s it in a nutshell.

  54. Keke Rosberg has weighed in on the Finnish MTV3 on Monday: “It looks like Alonso is dumber than we all think he is – a world champion who does not know what is going on in his team”.


  55. Of course Alonso orders the menu – even more than Lewis…

    An engennier telling Alonso to stop on lap 15 or 25… never happens – he sniffs around and then decide his own stratagy and thats prove he was on the inside of the 2008 Singapure Piquet’s crash “stratagy” – it was his own!!!!

  56. I cannot see where it is stated that Alonso plays no role in the team strategy. Last I heard, team strategy are decided at a meeting that drives attend and give input.

    Other input are the simulations, which give accurate results most of the time so I guess they are trusted.But I doubt the simulations are the only input to decide the strategy.

    I have seen more than once how a strategy is followed playing the the low chance hand like hoping for a safety car (even when forcing the accident of a team member is not part of the strategy to make that happen) or just doing the opposite strategy of someone just ahead of you to see if you can overtake.

    As I see it, this article has been raised perniciously against Alonso credibility. There is just no proof, or better put, proof available indicates that Alonso did not participate in this scam.

    1. But!!!! Alonso might be AgentX. Maybe he was offered immunity like Piquet. I bet most of you would not like that as much as you think Piquet deserves a second chance.

      Anyhow, this the case I could no longer support Alonso. But I will just trust him unless proven otherwise.

  57. Very disappointing article from you Keith. While there is sometimes a degree of bias in your posts, they are generally well balanced and the interesting points raised, make them well worth reading.

    As with many others here, I cannot fathom where you get the “Alonso doesn’t, Hamilton does” argument out of the quotes included in your blog. Both are saying pretty much the exact same thing .

    For my sake, I can only hope you were just wanting to make a big impact with the quotes you were able to get from Lewis, by writing a controversial piece, and that this is not the direction this blog will be heading.

  58. Alonso is Mr.X…. Like Piquet snr said, there is no way a driver of his caliber not being on the loop in terms of strategy… what is he? a robot, a mercenary?

  59. Considering the accusation that Piquet suggested the strategy and not Flav and Pat, the flipside to this question is this: is it really conceivable that Piquet could have known the intricacies of Alonso’s strategy permutations? I can’t imagine that he would. It seems a crazy idea that such a strategy could come from anyone but those at the top.

  60. Is this blog obsessed with Alonso ? Yes, it is; and not, I’m not an Alonso fan.

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