Alonso: we’ll catch Red Bull in Germany

Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari will be on the pace of Red Bull in the next races at the Hockenheimring and Hungaroring.

Speaking during a live video chat on Ferrari.com he said:

Red Bull have been very strong in the first part of the season. But we can’t forget Silverstone is a special track with very special corners – in 2009 also Red Bull dominated in Silverstone.

So I think we did very good improvement on our car. I think we are very close to Red Bull now in terms of performance. Hopefully we can see that at a normal track like Germany or Hungary and we can fight for pole position with them there.

I think the advantage they had in Silverstone wasn’t just at the entry or exit of the corner, it was a little bit everywhere.
Fernando Alonso

He explained why he ashed his race engineer Andrea Stella not to talk to him at one point during yesterday’s British Grand Prix:

I think the relationship with the race engineer is very special. He is the member of team you spend most time with at the track. This year with my new race engineer Andrea Stella I was very comfortable from day one.

He’s a superb engineer. Also he’s a great character. He tells me to perform better and he is a very calm person in stressful moments – in qualifying and the race you always try to calm the driver.

It’s very good with Andrea. We talk in races to share as much info as possible. In races it’s a huge help to the driver to have this kind of conversation with your engineer.

Yesterday was a difficult race for us. I was disappointed after the penalty we had. I was in fourth which became 18th after the penalty so I lost 14 positions because of the penalty.

So [getting into] the points was difficult from that point. I was disappointed. Then Andrea was telling me the gaps between the cars, so at one point I said please no more radio any more, I will try to do the maximum and do as much overtaking as I can and enjoy it as much as possible.
Fernando Alonso

He said his poor start was the result of a clutch problem the team had tried to fix earlier in the weekend:

In general we have been doing very good starts. I only remember one bad start in Australia where I lost a couple of places then in the first corner – I touched with Button and became last, so I was a little bit unlucky in the in first corner with touching two cars.

Obviously there was Silverstone but all the rest we started the same or better than the others so generally we’re very happy with the starts.

We need to understand for sure the Silverstone problem. We had some clutch problems in the weekend: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I think we know the reason but it will take some time to analyse it and do good starts consistently.
Fernando Alonso

However he thinks the testing ban has made it harder to conduct development during the season and was especially unfair to Ferrari as the team has its own test track:

Definitely I think the testing ban is not the perfect thing when you are behind and have to recover some gap to the other teams.

It hurts more to Ferrari because we have some superb facilities in Maranello. We have the Fiorano circuit and we cannot test the F1 car on it. So it’s sad to see that but it’s the way it is.

So we need to be better than others in other aspects such as simulation. We have the tools and facilities here to be the best team without testing.
Fernando Alonso

Although he’s not concerned with next season yet, he welcomes the return of KERS – as long as all the teams are able to run it:

I’m not thinking much about 2011! We are fully concentrated on 2010.

But overall I think KERS is a good thing to have because it is something new in F1, a green technology that I think has to arrive in F1.

In 2009 I was not very sure that the KERS worked because there was some teams with it and some without it. But in 2011 if we have all teams with KERS I think we can enjoy the situation.
Fernando Alonso

2010 British Grand Prix

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66 comments on Alonso: we’ll catch Red Bull in Germany

  1. Icthyes said on 12th July 2010, 17:15

    And having testing used to be very, very beneficial to Ferrari. Seems like Ferrari haven’t evolved properly in the new F1.

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 12th July 2010, 17:18

      Yeah, just because Ferrari have a test track doesn’t make the test ban singularly aimed at Ferrari.

      If Testing came back Force India would be able to use Silverstone.

      • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 12th July 2010, 18:14

        I don’t think Alonso was suggesting the ban was aimed at Ferrari just that it hurts them more than most which is true.

        • James G said on 12th July 2010, 18:59

          Cry me a river, Fernando. The veto over the rules that Ferrari have more than make up for it.

          • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 12th July 2010, 19:56

            Yes the right to a veto was completely wrong and I’ll never argue for it but jeez, Ferrari didn’t even use it when the changes proposed were going to hurt them to my mind.

          • Patrickl said on 13th July 2010, 18:18

            because they forgot to use it …

            Then they tried to win a second chance of using it in court.

  2. Scribe (@scribe) said on 12th July 2010, 17:43

    Not in Quali you won’t. It’ll blow up your engine. It’s going to be a Redbull year on the front row unless the other teams can figure out a safe way to do this engine retardation trick, seems probable to have bagged pole for Redbull almost everywhere.

    Still Redbull was lucky not to be challenged by McLaren at Silvertone as we know they can do it on the high speed tracks, pity McLaren messed up their updates. All the same, I do wonder what role Ferrari will be playing in the rest of the championship.

    • BasCB said on 12th July 2010, 18:15

      I do think Mercedes might give that a try to integrate for one or all of it’s teams. I find it interesting, that Renault do not do it themselves, but maybe they know very well why Red Bull used to blow so many engines!

      But i find it very encouraging, that Alonso does not feel depressed and is not whining about it. Keep your head high, learn those Italians how to develop the car without endless testing and you might win some more titles.

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 12th July 2010, 19:14

        Alonso’s being party line an positive because what else can he do? Whinge on a presumably sponsered phone in.

        And now Ferrari (powered by Santander) star driver 2 times WDC Fernando Alonso!

        “Car wasn’t what I’d hoped, team not what I thought, development not, like, when, with, McLaren, fates clearly against me.”

        In his heart he knows the team isn’t what it was, it’s got neither the conceptual genius to come out of the blocks quick, or the focused R+D department to chase time, it’s big boss ain’t making it better but more nationalistic and less efficient. An his lucks been rubbish too, it’s not his season, who really thinks he can win this thing?

        • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 12th July 2010, 20:02

          I think he can but it’s out of his hands, he needs the others to seriously mess up and for him and Ferrari to cut out the errors.

          You’re right that Ferrari aren’t the tower they once were for various reasons. Ages ago though, Alonso said success with Ferrari will take time. He knows he has work to do behind the scenes too but Ferrari even not at their best, still are a very good team right now. They need to strengthen up some areas but they can make the changes to do that. Getting Pat onboard is a small step in the right direction.

          The chances of Alonso winning this title are small but Alonso’s so good that if he doesn’t egt at least one more title by his retirement it’ll be outrageous. This isn’t like that big gap in the dark days where it took Ferrari years of decline and then needed saving. They just need to sure up, be decisive. I don’t mean to say just like a throwaway remark but it’s not a totally dire situation. They have to push hard though, much more so than any other team right now if they really want to have any chance at all.

          • Phil said on 12th July 2010, 22:57

            The two titles he has were won in a car with illegal suspension, but a blind eye was turned because the entire world was sick of MS winning everything. Sorry but that is a fact.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th July 2010, 23:15

            The suspension on the R25 and R26 was not illegal. Is this supposed to be a reference to their mass dampers being banned in 2006?

        • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 12th July 2010, 20:03

          I think you may well be right, but on the other hand if we look at the season as whole Alonso could easily be leading this championship had he not had such a bad run since Barhrain with Barca being his only clean weekend.

          Aus – 50:50 clash at turn one cost him probable win and 13 points
          May – stupid quali mistake then mechanical probs lost him a probable third. cost 15 points
          China – bizzare fasle start as he left the line 5 mintues before the lights cost him possible win likely podium but comes back to 4th cost of 3 points or so
          Monaco – crash in P3 cost him shot at win around and around 7 points
          Canada – backmarkers cost him a win and 10 points
          Valencia – terrible luck with SC – 11 points
          Britain – bad start compounded by penalty. 15 points loss

          adds up to 74 points.

          I know these kind of what ifs are pretty pointless and you could do it with other drivers but it shows how much his run of appalling bad luck/ bad errors has cost him

          Also it shows the Ferrari has actually produced a good car and that reports of it demise have been somewhat exagerated. Although I would agree they’re not the force they were in the Todt era.

          “Who really thinks he can win this thing?” If they can string the results together in the second half of the year that they’re capable of then they’re still very much in it since Alonso’s only 19 or so points behind in old money. But Hamilton is obviously the favourite at this stage.

          • Harv's said on 13th July 2010, 1:24

            china! … Bizzare false start?

            jumping the start was his own fault, not some random unexplained phenomenom.

            monaco! … crash in FP3,

            own fault again.

            canada! … backmarkers cost him win,

            everyone else has to deal with backmarkers they just did a better job than him at dealing with them, so deserved to be higher placed than alonso.

            Britain! … compounded by penalty,

            after the hamilton kimi saga at belguim 08′ everyone in the padock knows what to do if you cut a corner trying to make up a place.

            but lets take your aproach on someone else i the feild… bruno senna.

            Bahrain: slow car cost him the chance of any points or a win. 25 points lost.
            Australia: slow car cost him the chance of any points or a win. 25 points lost.
            Malaysia: slow car cost him the chance of any points or a win. 25 points lost.
            China: slow car cost him the chance of any points or a win. 25 points lost.
            Spain: slow car cost him the chance of any points or a win. 25 points lost.
            Monaco: slow car cost him the chance of any points or a win. 25 points lost.
            Canada: slow car cost him the chance of any points or a win. 25 points lost.
            Valencia: slow car cost him the chance of any points or a win. 25 points lost.
            Britian: slow car cost him the chance of any points or a win. 25 points lost.

            you see there is no point comparing what could have been, because mistakes count, and alot of other people have done a better job than alonso and ferrari so far this season.

          • i said bizzare false start in that it was a very strange error to make. I’m not pretending a lot of these weren’t his own fault.

            and to be fair I did say it was a bit pointless doing it, I just wanted to illustrate the fact that as Martin Brundle has been saying had Alonso had even just a slightly cleaner run he’d be leading the championship, apart from Turkey the Ferrari has been right on the pace.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th July 2010, 8:34

            I had to laugh at Harv’s comment about Senna. Nice one!

          • RaulZ said on 13th July 2010, 11:30

            Harv’s said: “everyone else has to deal with backmarkers they just did a better job than him at dealing with them”

            backmarkers didn’t a better job. In fact, they were passed. But they were annoying other competitors that weren’t fighting for position (Except Buemi). They only did a good job if they worked for Alonso’s competitors, o worked againt the race.

            Harv’s, nobody is telling that Alonso doesn’t make mistakes, neither Alonso. Nobody is telling he is the best, and nobody told that ferrari was the best. He’s just encouraging the suporters, wich is lawful and not arrogant.

            I think you have a personal thing against Alonso more than spanish fans against Hamilton. Or at least, the same thing.

          • Mike-e said on 14th July 2010, 23:04

            Britain: Sakon Yamamoto stole his car costing him the chance of any points or a win -25 points

        • miguelF1O (@) said on 13th July 2010, 23:19

          ahah you so biased i guess thats not the first time someone has told you that but anyway mclaren is as nationalistic okay bit less cause they run german engines so they are semi british? answer no they always say they are british every team has their own pride dont go there and mclaren had horrible years on the 00′ and they ditched you almighty Adrian Newey so…..

    • miguelF1O (@) said on 13th July 2010, 23:12

      he is already quicker than mclaren and on long runs aswell but not in the race mercedes may not win the title but their engine seems to be the best since start of the year and cosworth dissapoiting on terms of power at least on race pace because the williams could have gone lot faster if they werent going backwards on the hangar straight

  3. PT (@pt) said on 12th July 2010, 18:11

    As things stand, the only way Ferrari can catch Red Bull is if Vettel and Webber clash into each other. Does Alonso really mean it when he says Ferrari will catch Red Bull at Hockenheim? Or is it mere PR talk for the Ferrari website?

    • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 12th July 2010, 18:16

      He’s putting a huge amount of pressure on him and himself if it is just PR talk. That said, the tifosi need a bit of hope after the last few results.

      • IDR said on 12th July 2010, 23:27

        I think that’s the case. Alonso is putting on him more pressure than the maximum he can handle.
        Alonso has made many errors costing him and the team a good bunch of points. He should stop promising miracles for the second half of the season, from the moment he is risking making more

        • IDR said on 12th July 2010, 23:31

          Errors.
          Fans do not need words of hope. They need to see Ferrari making good races.

          • RaulZ said on 13th July 2010, 12:04

            Fans need words of hope and everything he could offer. Of course, everything has to work fine and they have to do things right.

            I don’t think the errors are because of the preassure. He is just a champion and has to offer the best. Neither Ferrari or him are allowed to say that they are going to loose and stop championship.

  4. Re the test ban – Forget Ferrari for a minute – Is it cheaper for a company to develop accurate simulation software, or drive the car around a track for a couple of days? Bring back testing!

    • Calum said on 12th July 2010, 20:26

      5 test days throughout the season at test events where all teams must attend?

      • Rob B said on 12th July 2010, 20:34

        Why not follow the motoGP route and have the testing after an event. All the cars, drivers, team are all there. just stay an extra day or two. Two or three times per year – after 5th, 10th & 15th races? testing yes but minimal logistical costs.

        • Bartholomew said on 12th July 2010, 21:07

          That is a good idea Rob

        • BBT said on 12th July 2010, 21:32

          Rob, If I knew where I typed it I put a link to my comment a week or so ago… ;-)

          Great minds and all that.
          :-)

          • Very true, but this idea being simple, cheap and efficient means it will probably be dropped in favour of something overly complicated and surprisingly expensive. :P

          • Tango said on 13th July 2010, 10:09

            BS : Couldn’t have said it better

  5. SoLiD said on 12th July 2010, 22:18

    Alonso being a bit overoptimistic there :)
    Don’t see the others losing too many points so he can overhaul. Or does he have so much speed in the car.

    The biggest differnce with the old Ferrari is that they didn’t need to develop so fast, they just started the year with a nearly unbeatable car.
    Obviously having their own track in the old days was a big help for them!

  6. HounslowBusGarage said on 12th July 2010, 23:12

    No, You won’t.

  7. Regis said on 12th July 2010, 23:12

    He is only 2 wins away from the lead. If the other guys have bad luck, just like him, it will be all square.

    Everyone will have bad days, it seems like he had his, now lets wait for the others.

    • Harv's said on 13th July 2010, 1:26

      only 2 wins if everyone else fails to score

      • RaulZ said on 13th July 2010, 12:25

        We are waiting for the brunch of silly things and mistakes Hamilton use to do every year.

        We are waiting for the war inside redbull, what is looking worse every week passes. I think RB pilots are going to fight with their hand before the fist (literally) before the championship ends.

        We are waiting for the Button fall because his team plays for de #1 pilot.

        Everything is under control ;)

        • bosyber said on 16th July 2010, 18:54

          But Hamilton seems to have dropped those mistakes for this year. So it might keep you waiting for too long.

          Webber seems like a guy who gains strength from adversity, and Vettel will not be crashing into him three races of the season.

          Button failing to fix on SUnday what he messed up on Saturday only means a place more, but does not give the WDC, and only the WCC if we can stop waiting for Massa to have a good race because he does get one.

          Ferrari do seem to have a fast enough car to battle, but it seems that for whatever reason, they and Alonso are not able to get results out of it.

  8. Alistair said on 12th July 2010, 23:52

    Despite having the Red Bull diffuser and the McLaren F-duct, Alonso is essentially two whole wins behind Lewis and with a car very close to the speed of the McLaren. The great silver lining for McLaren, if they needed one, is that they will soon have their Red Bull diffuser: this will give them 0.5 sec per lap. This will, comfortably, put them out of the reaches of Ferrari and within striking distance of Red Bull. And McLaren, as we’ve seen, develop faster than anyone.

    Ferrari is no longer the team that Schumacher helped to build: the half dozen or so key individuals have all gone. The rules on testing, second cars, etc., have seriously hurt them. Moreover, their drivers have been unimpressive. Alonso is driving poorly: he’s made a significant mistake at each race. To not give the position back, straight away, at Silverstone was stupid. That he didn’t give the position back immediately is rather odd, too, in light of what he said about Spa 2008. Massa has made far fewer mistakes but has just been plain slow.

    • Tom said on 13th July 2010, 22:03

      I do like how people think that the F1 car has very discrete aero components, and that catching up is just a matter of upgrading/adding one part. This train of thought then makes people think that McLaren (and a couple of season ago Ferrari) will catch anyone up in 2-3 races with the introduction of xxx new part.

      RBR have a good, solid design which principally has good airflow (an area where the McLaren is perhaps lacking), high downforce (which other teams are quickly catching up) and the other extras such as the pull-rod and retarded quali setting. As good as McLaren are at development the initial design is important, and whilst McLaren certainly don’t have a dog of a car, the championships are still Red Bull’s to lose.

  9. manatcna (@manatcna) said on 13th July 2010, 1:08

    Alonso doesn’t make much sense here

    “It hurts more to Ferrari because we have some superb facilities in Maranello. We have the Fiorano circuit and we cannot test the F1 car on it. So it’s sad to see that but it’s the way it is”

    But then he says

    “We have the tools and facilities here to be the best team without testing”

    • miguelF1O (@) said on 13th July 2010, 1:41

      the maintenance costs are astronomical and … i think he has done too many interviews

    • Gagan said on 13th July 2010, 4:33

      He will never make sense for u coz ur display pic says it all.

      Either he can say that he will not win the championship or he will win. He chose to say the latter and everyone would have said the same thing.
      Its good to be optimistic rather than pessimistic.

    • BBQ2 said on 13th July 2010, 11:36

      Yeah Manatcna, those who doctored the statement forgot we could read and reason along the other lines ;-)

      • RaulZ said on 13th July 2010, 12:35

        It’s easy. Ferrari has big capacities, so they are well prepared, as McLaren, to work without tests. But, as they have big capacities, they could be even more prepared with tests, as McLaren.

        there’s no incongruity.

      • manatcna (@manatcna) said on 15th July 2010, 17:52

        If, as you claim, you can read, you will find I didn’t “doctor” anything.

  10. Dev said on 13th July 2010, 1:51

    the car is ok, but ferrari need better drivers… alonso & massa have done horrible job this year..

  11. Harv's said on 13th July 2010, 3:11

    It sounds like Alonso’s running for PM, making promises that he can’t guarentee.

  12. Gill said on 13th July 2010, 4:36

    Either he can say that he will not win the championship or he will win the championship . He chose to say the latter and everyone would have said the same thing.
    Its good to be optimistic rather than pessimistic. Wats wrong in it ? Dont be a fanatic fan, be a fanatic f1 lover.

  13. dragon said on 13th July 2010, 7:19

    Still the best driver on the grid, but, like Webber a few months ago – just needs a few clean weekends to restore the belief.

  14. Todfod said on 13th July 2010, 8:28

    Well, despite Alonso’s costly errors, the Ferrari has shown promise in the past few races. They were up to speed in Canada, Valencia and Britain. They are as quick as the Mclarens, but they do need Massa qualifying higher and making life tougher for the Mclarens.

    I think Ferrari has developed their F-duct better than Red Bull, Mercedes and renault, and have adapted the exhaust driver diffuser better than Mclaren, Mercedes and Renault as well. So, although their car doesn’t have the qualifying pace of the Red Bull’s yet, they can still consistenly finish on the podium and give the McLarens a hard time. Its just a matter of both the drivers delivering together on a weekend. However, one of two more poor performances could guarantee their demise from the championship.

  15. silencer said on 13th July 2010, 8:30

    before British GP

    he said : we’ll catch Red Bull in Silverstone

    but Ferrari didn’t do well in silverstone

    and now before Germany GP

    he said again : we’ll catch Red Bull in Germany

    come on Alonso… stop talking and do your job

    • RaulZ said on 13th July 2010, 12:43

      Well, thanks to Ecclestone and new F1, his job is talking aswell. isn’t it?

    • Speed Damon said on 13th July 2010, 14:00

      I agree. He said they would be on the pace in Valencia when they weren’t and then again for silverstone which they definately weren’t. EPIC FAIL on Ferrari’s part

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