Alonso loses the battle but he’s winning the war

Ferrari race review

Fernando Alonso saw his championship lead cut from 11 points to eight in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

But as far as the championship is concerned it suited him fine that Sebastian Vettel was doing the winning and not Mark Webber.

However team mate Felipe Massa endured a dreadful race at home.

Felipe Massa Fernando Alonso
Qualifying position 9 5
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’17.101 (+1.112) 1’15.989
Race position 15 3
Laps 70/71 71/71
Pit stops 3 1

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Felipe Massa

For Massa, the only consolation in his home Grand Prix was that it brought him one race closer to finishing a dreadful season.

Scraped into Q3 with a last-gasp lap that relegated Jenson Button. But in ninth place he was over a second slower than Alonso:

In the wet, with intermediates, I was able to do reasonably good times, but when we fitted the soft slicks and the track was still damp, I immediately felt a lack of grip which in the end affected my performance. In fact, all season I have struggled to get my tyres up to temperature and the damp track definitely did not help.
Felipe Massa

His race was ruined by a problem at his first pit stop which meant his right-front wheel didn’t go on properly and he had to come in again on the next lap.

That left him 23rd, and he began working his way back up the field. Ferrari seized the opportunity offered by the safety car to give him a fresh set of tyres.

He passed Nick Heidfeld and Adrian Sutil after the re-started but clashed with Sebastien Buemi and spun off, losing the places he’d gained.

He then fell behind Rubens Barrichello and Vitaly Petrov as well, but re-passed Petrov to end the race 15th. “Everything happened to me today,” he said afterwards.

Compare Felipe Massa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Fernando Alonso

Had an engine failure at the end of first practice but the team said it was a high-mileage unit that was scheduled to be replaced ahead of second practice anyway. Ended Friday three tenths of a second slower than Sebastian Vettel.

In the damp qualify session he took fifth behind Lewis Hamilton and passed the McLaren driver on the second lap.

It took a few careful efforts to prise third place from Nico H???lkenberg’s grasp but Alonso finally saw daylight on lap seven.

The Red Bulls were too far ahead and too quick for him to catch, though as ever the F10 seemed to treat it tyres well leaving him with good pace later on in the stints.

He kept his cool after the safety car restart despite a frustrating moment behind Jaime Alguersuari to bring the car home in third place:

All things considered, I am pleased with this result. We have only lost three points to our closest rival and, given how things turned out yesterday in qualifying, it went well: if this morning, I had been told it would finish like this, I would have happily signed for it.

We were very cautious in the very first corners, because everyone was very aggressive and we did not want to risk touching anyone. Then, we immediately lost too much ground to Vettel and Webber: it took me several laps to get past Hulkenberg, while passing Hamilton is never easy.
Fernando Alonso

Compare Fernando Alonso’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Brazilian Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix articles

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71 comments on Alonso loses the battle but he’s winning the war

  1. MacademiaNut said on 8th November 2010, 14:45

    ALO certainly has a great chance to win the title. Forcing the team to instruct MAS to let him through was the key decision and ALO shows that the can keep up his words. Just look at the last set of races. Feels all over like 2005-06. There will be some who will complain about the Germany incident, but FIA doesn’t have the guts to enforce the rules, so no point in blaming him.

  2. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 8th November 2010, 14:48

    It was a pity for Massa in the race. He came out ahead of Button and probably would have stayed there if it wasn’t for the wheel issue.

    It also would have made McLaren think twice about bringing Hamilton in during the SC, possibly allowing for a battle there.

  3. Well this could cause a very exciting Abu Dhabi race, since Vettel won it last year.

  4. F1iLike said on 8th November 2010, 15:06

    Obviously the title costs $100000.

    • Really? 100.000$

      At that price Lewis Hamilton will buy one. For sure.

      • Ricky Bobby said on 8th November 2010, 16:05

        In fact he did, in the Canadian qualis.

        • He got one for free in 2008 when his team mate “let him past” far far too easily at the same race, he won the title by 1 point and no one batted an eyelid because it was the golden boy of the british F1 fan.

          Since many of those same people are now probably backing webber for the title, i think im right in assuming that if red bull give in and move seb over if needs be those same people will also pretend that didnt happen, or say it was allowed because it was the last race of the season?

          Some F1 fans are as abad as football fans.

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 8th November 2010, 17:15

            You mean like how Massa almost won it by 0 points and a gifted win because his team-mate let him pass for 2nd in China?

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 9th November 2010, 0:41

            A driver deciding to help his team mate out when he needs to is very different from what Ferrari did in Germany. It should be left up to the drivers themselves, not the teams.

          • ILoveVettel said on 9th November 2010, 5:32

            @US_Peter, there is absolutely no difference.. One is executed perfectly by the team and the other is not… That is the only difference..

    • Julian (@julian) said on 8th November 2010, 17:08

      I dont understand, if you dont like Alonso and/or ferrari why read and then comment on an article about them?

      • tombo said on 8th November 2010, 23:28

        the clue is in the meaning of the word ‘comment’…..

        • Lee, you so conveniently forget that Massa was only in the title hunt at Brazil in 2008 due to ‘questionable’ stewarding decisions in Spa & Suzuka. Had it not been for those, then Hamilton would have had it wrapped up weeks earlier.

  5. F1iLike said on 8th November 2010, 15:08

    Who want to bet against that Hamilton lets Alonso by for 3rd or 4th or whatever position he can give up? Since he obviously has expressed his love for Alonso recently and forgiven him for 2007…

    • Rahzam said on 8th November 2010, 16:20

      ha ha ha. Funny people

    • Weasel Chops said on 8th November 2010, 16:53

      I think Hamilton already has let Alonso past twice in the last two races :D

      Why is no one talking about this conspiracy?

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 8th November 2010, 18:54

        I always thought that Lewis was the one who made Alonso crack under pressure, but after the last couple of races, it seems like Alonso has the psychological edge on Lewis.

        • chemakal said on 9th November 2010, 16:38

          ??? What! You don’t remember 07 obviously… Ham has still a long way to go to be considered a mature driver..

    • HewisLamilton said on 8th November 2010, 17:34

      What did he forgive him for from 2007?

      • IffNav said on 8th November 2010, 21:46

        I believe many people have said it a million times, but others do not remember. HAM and ALO are not close friends, but respect each other and have a fair relationship. The problem in ’07 was not ALO, was not HAM. The problem was not MW. The problem was, as Prost clearly stated back in ’07, Mr. Dennis.

        Quoting some wise comments: Alonso was murdered by a syndicate of Lewis, Ron and Mclaren culture. It was “friendly fire”. Now, Alonso is up again.

        At the time I had no direct relationship with F1 (as some of you know I had a very direct 8 year relationship with SF, but I changed jobs in ’06), but I heard lots of comments and opinions from them in ’07, and the common theme was one: personal clash between RD and ALO, with HAM as the perfect excuse. Even FB joked about it…

        Even ALO declared in ’08 that he missed the fights with HAM. So get the real facts, not just what a few guys told the (mostly) British press (and some German outlets too).

        At the end of the day, I believe ALO and HAM are the two best drivers out there. Just compare them with their partners…they’re just soooooo much better…give them a Red Bull and dream.

        Ciao,

        • In 2008 there were rumours that Alonso was thinking about heading to Red Bull. Had that happened in 2010…

  6. Calum said on 8th November 2010, 15:09

    You can’t help but feel sorry for Massa. In 2008 he had a great season, marred with bad luck that cost him the Driver’s title, and ever since then he has had nothing but bad luck….. He is due a break by the law of averages!!

    • Roger Carballo AKA Architrion said on 8th November 2010, 15:39

      Being consistently 0.6 sec slower race after race than your teanmate and being outqualified by a huge second at your homerace it’s known REAL BUD LUCK now. New Formula 1 glosaary. I’ll learn.

    • in 2008, he had the Ferrari garage completely supporting him (Changing car to suit him since he kept spinning out & giving him Kimi’s car information & setup & best strategy every race) and ignoring Kimi, who won the WORLD TITLE the previous year.

      What goes around comes around son.

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 8th November 2010, 17:50

        …Or, in the real world, Massa was just faster than Kimi in 2008 (as he had been for a large part of 2007 as well).

        • in the latino real world?

        • Massa was fast at three tracks in 2007 & 2008, instanbul, brazil and spain(which coincidently, Kimi owned him in 2008 with more fuel). Every other win was gifted by a Kimi DNF. France, Spa.

          seriously, Massa is the most overrated Driver on the grid, and it’s hilarious to see his delusional fans keep reiterating that he was faster than Kimi….5 years in a Ferrari, 0 world championships.

          • David BR said on 8th November 2010, 18:36

            Chickens. Hatching. Counting.

            Let’s see if Alonso this time next week has 1 out of 1, or 0 out of 1, at Ferrari.

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 8th November 2010, 19:51

            Massa’s years in a competitive car = 3, 0 championships

            Kimi’s years in a competitive car = 4, 1 championship

            So let’s wait and see huh? ;)

          • Massa = 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010. 4 years.

          • sumedh said on 9th November 2010, 2:04

            Delusional?

            Massa’s salary is now 3rd highest in a sport. Why? Because he beat the highest paid driver of the sport for the better part of 2.5 years. If anything at all, Massa exposed Kimi Raikkonen and his over-rated abilities. In fact, he drove Kimi out of the sport!!

          • sumedh, I remember you…still trying to hate on Kimi lol. and yes delusional, massa is garbage as we are seeing this year when he doesn’t get 100% support, strategy and upgrades.

          • Byron R said on 9th November 2010, 14:27

            Kimi beat himself , lost focus and became a drunk

  7. Manuel F said on 8th November 2010, 15:10

    I seems like Vettel is turning to be Alonso best ally, stealing points from Webber as has been consistenly faster than Mark all through the second half of the season. At the end of the day his (presumably) unwilling help to Alonso could be much more valuable than the evanescent Massa’s one. I can imagine Vettel happier if not himself, Alonso would finally grab the title.
    Finally I am very surprised and disappointed by how the McLaren pace has dropped from Monza onward, especially compared to Ferrari.

  8. Charles Carroll said on 8th November 2010, 15:21

    As the year has progressed, I think that Alonso would have passed Massa on his own in Germany anyway…without team orders. So the whole issue is moot in my mind. Massa has not be a threat to Alonso all year. He is driving like a champion.

  9. Ed Hunter said on 8th November 2010, 15:35

    First of all im Ferrari fan.Second i dont think its bad luck. U cant always link everything to bad luck. MAS had poor quali. all season and thats what brings him bad luck. In the middle of the crowd is more possible that someone probl.will struck u. He always was average driver, imagine what ALO would do with 2008 Ferrari car. So if RAI was still here with MAS they wouldnt eaven be close to fight for drivers champ. title cos they ware eavenly matched in seasons together. That brings us to Germany, and only right decision is to let 2 time world champ to fight with these guys cos u cant let “bad luck” decide rather driver ability. I know somone will say ALO is leading in points cos of luck but no, WEB made mistake thats not bad luck, and VET is using his engiens like crazy he cant manage them.

    • So because Massa qualifyed bad wis wheel didn’t go on correctly? It could’ve happened to Alonso just as well, but it happened to Massa.

    • no, Massa always qualified light in 2008 and caused Kimi to get stuck in traffic by always blocking him.

      Kimi on equal fuel was always faster and 2009 proved it. Kimi would have won the title by now in 2010.

    • Kimi is highly rated as a driver, I think you’ll be hard pressed to find many people who agree with you.

      I think you could put more weight on the idea that certain cars will suit certain drivers. It’s no secret that Massa can’t get this years tyres to work.

      VET is using his engiens like crazy he cant manage them.

      I think this is naive, if Vettel was doing something to damage his engine, his engineers would have put a stop to it. More likely, a certain set of events have led up to each of his car failures, which people looses describe with the term “luck”, describing something that is out of his control.

      • looses = loosely

        • Roger Carballo AKA Architrion said on 8th November 2010, 17:19

          Correct me if I’m wrong…. You said that Kimi would have clinched the drivers championship by now in a Ferrari subpar against the Red Bull rocket?

          Son. Did you drink a bit too much of capirinha?

          • I’m assuming you’re a Alonso or Hamilton fanboy?

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 8th November 2010, 18:59

            @Nick. I think he is a realist. Kimi was great, and I am a huge fan. But over the length of a season, there is no way he could match the points tally that Alonso has.

          • if by realist, you mean never watched the races and only looked up the results of races online?

            I’m guessing when Kimi’s engines failed and Alonso collected the wins, it was because Alonso was a faster and better driver. LOL.

    • suleman said on 9th November 2010, 12:33

      If ferrari had not MAS to let ALO past then webber would have been wdc by now.It was the right decision and look now it is paying for them

  10. TED BELL said on 8th November 2010, 15:45

    Alonso and Ferrari seemed like a potential winner when announced last season. To now be in this posistion of the drivers championship while racing against the Red Bulls who for the most part have truly been the dominant cars all season long must be very rewarding. Don’t want to count the chickens yet but only a Ferrari failure will keep Alonso from his 3rd title. Sorry Webber you seem to be a good guy too….

    • xabregas said on 8th November 2010, 16:52

      I sure understand Vettel when he says he´ll try to get the drivers championship after all it´s Webber that isn´t doing the job properly, also Alonso can´t be blamed for that.
      One more time Alonso and Vettel are doing what ever they can to win this thing so congratulations to them.
      As for Massa the best way to help Alonso is just doing what is doing wich is nothing, feel sorry for him but i was expecting something like that when Alonso came to Ferrari and next year it´ll be the same story.

  11. Ed Hunter said on 8th November 2010, 17:07

    Like somone said every car cant suite every driver. so thats no bad luck. VET had more engine probs then WEB this season its the way of drive.MAS cant warm up his tyers is no bad luck its a good bye card from Ferrari if he cant warm up Pirelli next year (and hello to KUB but its unlikley 2 good drivers at Ferrari at the same time)!

  12. What could be better next week then if Alonso’s car self destructs early and we then have a fight to the finish between Vettel and Webber??

    At this point it’s Alonso’s title to lose, all he has to do is finish third and neither RB driver could top him.

  13. Jim N said on 8th November 2010, 17:42

    Historically I was never overly impressed by Alonso, I thought him immature, petulant and rather lucky, but this last half of the season he has impressed me mightily. He was in most peoples estimation out of the running, but he has stayed modest, kept very calm, not let the earlier troubles get to him, never lost faith, has got his head down and just done all that is necessary. I’m still not a fan of Alonso but regardless of the outcome of the next race, for me Alonso has been the driver of the season.

    • TommyC said on 8th November 2010, 23:54

      there’s always a feeling i get from alonso that you can never count him out. after belgium, after he crashed out leaving him more than a race win behind, i still thought this championship will be between webber and alonso. and here we are with one race to go and fernando’s on top. quite the comeback in deed. i really want webber to win but i will absolutely respect and admire alonso for his performances of late and if he wins he will fully deserve it, irrespective of germany.

  14. DaveW said on 8th November 2010, 18:09

    If Massa turns up at Abu Dhabi, Ferrari could actually take second place off McLaren in the WCC. That would be horrible for McLaren, turning a competitive though disappointing season into a disaster. Given that Button is now as likely to score zero as anything else, a Hamilton retirement could make that a reality.

    • “Given that Button is now as likely to score zero as anything else,”

      Button is the least likely driver out there to score zero due to any unforced driver error. Korea being the exception, but he didn’t crash there either.

      If you look a any of the other top 5 drivers you will see that where unforced driver errors are concerned, Button is at the bottom of that list.

      • Barrichello said the same, telling that it was harder to fight Jenson than Michael, because Shummi at least makes mistakes whereas Button doesn’t.

  15. I’m loving the Alonso royal ‘we’ in the quite above!

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