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. I admire ALO – he’s absolute top driver.
    Altough for me he’s not great sportsman (not ashamed to ask for team orders, theatrical reactions after Schumacher passed him in Monaco and so on).
    Anyway, for this title battle, I am all for him, if not him, then Mark, if not Mark, then I don’t care.

  2. Mark in Florida said on 8th November 2010, 21:53

    Alonso is a gifted driver no doubt,but he has undoubtedly been gifted by RB misfortunes and downright stupidity.Like it or not team orders are necessary at some point in the season.RB is so fixated on Seb winning the title for RB inc. that they are blowing their chances.Kudos to Ferrari for being there at the end with a good car and driver but also a logical strategy.

  3. Quietus said on 9th November 2010, 2:47

    Alonso would be a few more points ahead in the WDC if Massa weren’t such an incompetent team mate, but alas, ALO will do it on his own. Massa isn’t good enough for the scuderia. Bring on Abu Dhabi!

  4. If Alonso is to be blamed for Germany 2010 then he should be credited for the 2007 world championship. Remember Massa letting Kimi pass him in brazil 2007? Clear team orders that made Kimi world champ and stole alonso’s world championship in an illegal manner.

  5. Jorgem said on 9th November 2010, 8:04

    It doesn’t matter if massa had no options in 2007. He followed team orders which are not allowed. Nobody (even not Alonso) complained about that illegal action which was worthed a world championship. Now, in Germany, it was a big thing even the world title was not disputed in that race. Why???? English press against Alonso! Ask kovalinen how many times he followed team orders so Hamilton could win the 2008 championship. No word from the English journalists….

  6. Alonso should be a worthy champion irrespective of what happened in Germany. Many will argue that Massa still had a chance at the drivers title at that point in time but we’ve all seen how Massa’s season has played out … he is simply not fast enough and didn’t stand a chance against the red bulls and Hamilton
    Ferrari did the right thing by giving themselves an opportunity by betting on Fernando
    Team orders have existed in the past it really doesn’t matter if you use them to back one driver over the other be it the first race, middle of the season or the last race

  7. Damon said on 9th November 2010, 19:14

    Load of rubbish, alonso hasn’t got the edge on hamilton at all. Take a look at Canada 2010, the fact is he as got a better car. Hamilton is busting his balls to keep up with the front three, the braking of the mclaren and the traction through the corners doesn’t look good at all to me. When your pushing to the max mistakes will and do happen to the best

  8. Damon said on 9th November 2010, 19:17

    Sorry Vxr I’m going to have to prove you wrong. Button did infact lose it in Korea. He spun the car but luckily didn’t receive any damage

  9. Alex 3 said on 10th November 2010, 0:14

    I am not a great fan of Alonzo but I recognize he has talent and skills most of the grid can only aspire to. He has few rivals.
    Much the same can also be said about Schumacher of old.
    So all this talk including Jenson Button about a tainted title should he win is hogwash.
    None of Schumacher’s titles were considered tainted even though time and again either the team or on team orders his stable mates did stuff that took him to the front or close to it.
    If Alonzo wins, which is still very much in doubt it shouldn’t matter whether it is by 8 points or more or less than 7. Other than JB I don’t see most of his critics putting their butts in the car all season in a dangerous sport. I wish everyone would just shut up and let’s see a new champ. Period!!!!!

  10. JohnBt said on 10th November 2010, 1:10

    Second fastest car but Alonso handled the F10 with his experience and maturity – look at where he is now. Harping on his Germany win will not make any difference.

    Teamwork is the keyword in F1. Kudos to Ferrari for withstanding the bad luck they had. Red Bull has been the biggest hypocrites this season.

    All the best to Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso for the grand finale.
    All too soon this whopper of a season will conclude.

  11. B.T. Hamilton said on 10th November 2010, 6:44

    I’m not going to be coy about it, I’m a biased hamilton fan as well as a realist. Hopefully any1 reading this is an F1 fan and every F1 fan knows it’s not over until the fat lady sings, that is the last corner of the Yas Marina circuit. The title is far from won yet and Alonso comes out saying he’s 100pc certain he will win? Really? Does he realise how easy it is to get a DNF? Gear box failure, Engine blow out, flat tire, burst tire, loose wheel nut, an incident with Vettel, an incident with hamilton, an incident with some backmarker like Degrassi. Vettel, Webber and Hamilton are all still in it. Crazier things have happened

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