Alonso’s role in Ferrari strategy revealed in pit messages

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

The discussions on the Ferrari pit wall that led to crucial decision that cost Fernando Alonso the world championship have been revealed.

The exchange of messages between Alonso and his race engineer Andrea Stella, which was not broadcast during the race, shows the team’s preoccupation with Alonso’s position compared to Webber.

It also shows how Alonso urged the team to use Felipe Massa to hold Webber up.

The radio transcript, published by Corriere della Sera, shows how Ferrari made the mistake of reacting to Webber’s pit stop instead of keeping Alonso out.

Lap 9

Alonso is 1.7 seconds behind Jenson Button and 1.4s ahead of Webber, who is 0.8s ahead of Massa.

Andrea Stella: “You gained three tenths on Webber. Felipe is closing in too.”

Lap 12

Webber pits.

AS: “Webber has stopped and Vettel is also losing ground on Hamilton.”
Fernando Alonso: “If you see that Felipe can overtake him in a lap call him in.”
AS: “We are thinking about it, concentrate on Button.”

Lap 14

Massa pits.

FA: “How did it work with Felipe?”
AS: “He came out behind Webber”

Lap 15

Ferrari tell Alonso to pit on lap 16.

AS: “OK, come in [to the pits] now.”
FA: “OK”
AS: “You will come out close to Webber. You are in front”.

Lap 17

Alonso is 1.1s ahead of Webber and 1.5s behind Vitaly Petrov.

FA: “What’s the situation?”
AS: “We have to overtake the Renault in front, he won’t stop any more. After that it’s Rosberg.”

Lap 22

Alonso is 0.5s behind Petrov. None of the cars that were in front of him before he pitted have come in yet.

AS: “I know you are giving everything but it’s critical to overtake Petrov.”

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179 comments on Alonso’s role in Ferrari strategy revealed in pit messages

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  1. Alonso was just too slow. That’s there is to it.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th November 2010, 16:54

      So was hamilton behind the other Renault. Maybe trailing a Renault makes your car slow?

      • roberto said on 17th November 2010, 20:03

        the problem with overtaking a renault was that it had a high speed on the straight.

        • Alistair said on 17th November 2010, 23:15

          As was the same problem for non-Renault drivers at Malaysia and other races….

          Yet RBR still complain about their engine.

          • their speed was nothing to do with engine, but tall 7th gear & very efficient f-duct with a set-up which was biased towards sector 1 & 2. they were around 1 sec slower than Ferrari in the last sector… but that did not matter as you can’t overtake in sector 3.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th November 2010, 16:55

      From what little we saw of his pace in clear air I don’t think there’s any reason to doubt he could have finished fourth, given his position at the end of lap one, had they got the strategy right.

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 17th November 2010, 18:52

        Say it again Keith, it fills me with a pleasant warmness.

      • Alistair said on 17th November 2010, 23:34

        I agree; but, of course, a championship is not determined by any one race, but, rather, by all the races combined. Alonso made myriad mistakes in the first half of the season. He did well in the second half, though, with the second best car. I.e., the strategy in the final race wouldn’t have mattered, if he had made fewer mistakes earlier on in the year.

        Lewis, in contrast, had the third best car and consequently couldn’t, by definition, make many mistakes and still be in the hunt come the final race: in fact, he made one, monza, and that was very unlucky. He didn’t lose the championship because of that mistake, either. He lost it by not having a quick enough car throughout the year: often, he was 0.5-1 sec. slower than the RBR; at Hungary, it was nearer 2.00 sec.

        Speaking of strategy, McLaren could have used Button to hold up Vettel by keeping him out on worn tyres…it might not have won Hamilton the title; but it would have helped him out.

        • Lewis made quite a few more than one mistake, He let Alonso past twice in the last few races by going off the track.

          No doubt he did a great job, but don’t forget mid year, the McLaren was quicker than the Ferrari.

          I think Hamilton still being in the running is more a reflection of how badly Red Bull messed things up, than how well McLaren did.

      • KC, could you establish the link to the corriere della sera were Alonso was involved? I can’t find it in the online edition, unless you receive at your door step the paper edition….

  2. Alonso was gifted 3 wins ( barhain, germany, korea). It’s Karma! Well done to Sebastian! The true champion, earned it without team order.

    • LewisC said on 17th November 2010, 17:09

      And without doing much overtaking, either.

      Still: the points table doesn’t lie and the history books will say he’s the champion.

      • sato113 (@sato113) said on 17th November 2010, 17:21

        apart from he’s not the champion.

      • A real champ should not be needing to overtake..
        overtaking is only for bad qualifiers to claw back positions they should nt have lost in the first place.

        Besides when Vettel needed to overtake because of the puncture, he did that in style.

        Vettel is the rightful champ this season and perhaps the most deserving of the last 5 WDCs except Kimi!

    • I think we should get over this “gifted” attitude. This is motor racing and countless victories in F1, Indy 500 and other series have been decided by retirements. If you can’t accept that, go into the F1 sporting records and start defining who the “true champion” is, beginning with Ascari.

      Had Alonso won the title he sure would have been a worthy champion. But he and Ferrari fumbled with the strategy and Vettel won – no complaints, Vettel deserved it. If the right strategy at Abu Dhabi won Alonso the title it would be deserved as well.

      Without team orders? What do you think Turkey was? The initial reactions from the Red Bull staff confirmed it was team orders gone wrong. Or why else do you think Horner continues to say “both should have given each other room?” It was clearly Vettel’s mistake.

      • I second that PT.

        Winning the title is about getting the whole package right over the season, a mix of car and driver speed, strategy, driver mistakes, technical issues and getting the right dose of luck.
        Ferrari came close this year, but in Abu Dhabi they made one more mistake, while Red Bull got it right with Vettel so he deserves the title.
        Interesting discussions, it shows again how much Alonso is part of the strategy on track (I wonder, did he always do that, or did he get more involved after Singapore 2008 to avoid suprises? – he did say he was not involved in the strategy there).

    • roberto said on 17th November 2010, 20:05

      oooooohhh you dont now that.

      • Ronman (@ronman) said on 17th November 2010, 21:18

        BasCB, He did say? do you believe Mr. Teflonso? have you noticed that nothing ever sticks to Alonso, and that he is always unaware of his team strategies? Crashgate was the tip of the iceberg, he also denied the fact that Massa let him by, and still does… have you ever heard him concede that it was in fact a team order… i think Alonso will become a politician or a mob don once he retires…

        • Yes, he did say so repeatedly when questioned about that at the FIA hearing.
          I was thinking back to an excellent article by Keith, where he had a look at how drivers were involved in strategy and already put a strong argument in to question, how real it would be for Alonso not to be involved in the race strategy (compared to remarks from Hamilton and others who were defenitely more involved or at least informed than that).
          I think we have seen several times this year and in the past, that Alonso is pretty active in tactical thinking behind the wheel.
          But the FIA went with his argument in this case (at least oficially).

    • RaceKid said on 17th November 2010, 23:06

      Without clear team order…

    • Alistair said on 17th November 2010, 23:24

      Vettel should have won the championship way before the final. He had the best car by miles. He was also given preferential treatment over a team-mate who is not rated highly: I have never, in decades of following this sport, seen a team take a wing off one car and give it to the other…and that was a major team order, to all intents and purposes.

      Alonso, in the second best car, and Lewis, in the third best car, still took the title down to the wire. So these drivers did a far better job than the RBR drivers….

      • David A said on 18th November 2010, 17:34

        They did a far better job than Webber. Vettel lost three wins through mechanical faults. That’s part of why he didn’t have it wrapped up 2-3 rounds earlier.

    • david smith said on 18th November 2010, 13:47

      Gifted 3 wins??

      Bahrain and Korea??

      Okay you could argue Bahrain and no doubt you will Korea what planet are you from?

      You could say webber was gifted monaco you could say hamilton was gifted turkey you could say and say and say.

      But to finish first first you have to finish.

  3. Jeremy said on 17th November 2010, 16:54

    i believe the last quote should read AS: “I know you are giving everything but it’s *critical* to overtake Petrov.”

  4. Alonso should have focussed on the guys (Vettel, Hamilton) in front, instead of the guy (Webber) in the back.

    Q. Do you race the frontrunner or the backmarker?

    In hindsight still a strange pitcall.
    After the pitstop and getting stuck behind Petrov the title chase went into a ‘sudden death’. Game over!

    Petrov drove the Quali and Race of his life!

    • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 17th November 2010, 17:02

      Alonso only needed to finish 4th, he was quite reasonably concentrating on Webber, how was he to know if couple of upper midfield cars had pitted under the SC? It was Ferrari’s job to make sure they didn’t pit Alonso until they knew he’d come out clear of Rosberg and Petrov.

      • Joey-Poey said on 17th November 2010, 18:31

        And it’s Alonso’s job to pass the cars in front. Granted, it’s a tough job, but you can’t expect becoming world champion to be easy. I’d say there’s no one person to blame, but both parties are at fault for not stepping up.

        • Hamilton was in an identical situation with Kubica and couldn’t do anything about it. Its nearly impossible to pass at Abu Dhabi and the Renault had super traction and straight line speed. Alonso’s shown enough times in his career that he’s more than capable of overtaking another car.

    • Webber was just seconds, if not tenths, behind Alonso when he pitted. He was right in making sure he exited in front of him, but pitting later would have made him finish fourth and finish in front of Webber.

      • But only because the soft tyres were coming back into it at that moment, something none of them really had any way of knowing as even Bridgestone expected them to drop furter off.

    • Jack Holt said on 17th November 2010, 17:28

      Spot on, it’s almost impossible to overtake at Abu Dhabi, yet Ferrari must have known he’d come out behind Petrov and Rosberg – OK perhaps they thought Petrov wouldn’t be a problem, but Rosberg? There would have been little chance of getting past him.

      The transcript shows just how much of a pawn Massa had become when they made him number 2 driver, I wonder whether his dismal run of races following Germany reflected his low spirits or simply his unwillingness to play ball? Had he been quicker there can be little doubt that Ferrari would have used him as a blocker many times during the season, so what was the point of him even trying to have a good race? Reading that transcript I’m so glad Ferrari walked away empty handed.

      • bananarama said on 17th November 2010, 18:06

        Basically, what you are saying is: Massa is useless. I like Massa, he is a nice guy, but if he drives like after Hockenheim I must agree .. that way he is useless or even worse a waste of money and a valuable

        • He did not say Massa was useless. All he meant was the way Ferrari abused Massa, it totally destroyed his morale. I agree Ferrari and Alonso don’t deserve the title.

          Wether Vettel can overtake or not is a different issue, but he defenitely was in the right car and fast.

          • Adam Tate said on 17th November 2010, 22:27

            Exactly! I agree with you Vishy, had Ferrari actually supported Massa at all, I think they would have won the championship. If you want a one man team, have a one man team, don’t demean and toss aside a good driver like Massa and then whine like little babies when you don’t when the championship.

            I’ve never been so disappointed in Ferrari before.

          • Jay Menon said on 18th November 2010, 10:42

            We’ve been talking about Ferrari not supporting Massa since Germany.

            Im not condoning what Ferrari have done with him, but he’s just bent over and taken it! If he was self respecting enough, he would have given Monty the grand finger and walked off, hell I would have.

            This my theory alright, when you work in a big organization, you make yourself important, and you have to have key leadership characteristics for that, which is what Massa lacks. Alonso revels in this.

            You have to admit, apart from Abu Dhabi, Ferrari look a much better team during the second half of the season compared to the past couple years (post Todt) and you have to attribute that to Alonso. In 08, Ferrari should have won the title long before Interlagos, but the team was a mess.

            They seem to have got their act together. I suspect they will be a force again next season but Massa needs to grow a pair if he wants to be take seriously. And it would help if can make up the 0.5s deficit he has on his team mate as well.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 18th November 2010, 7:01

          Massa was always going to be used as a pawn in Abu Dhabi. He couldn’t win the WDC in Abu Dhabi, nor could Ferrari take the WCC by using Massa differently. That was his purpose, just like Jenson was going to be used as a pawn to help Hamilton in Abu Dhabi. I really do not see how Jack is so shocked with his pawn status. What did you expect Ferrari to do.. put Massa on a race winning strategy from 6th on the grid?? Massa’s job was to jump Webber after the pit stops, and even though Webber was help up by Alguersuari, Massa was unable to jump Webber. If Massa was in front of Webber, we would probably see Alonso take the title this year… but.. as usual Massa has lived up to his reputation and disappointed. Since Hockenheim, it seems like Massa has tried his level best not help Alonso win the WDC.

          • Jack Holt said on 18th November 2010, 12:01

            Todford, drivers should not be asked to drive deliberately slowly at any point in the season, it’s simply unsporting. I don’t mind a team a team pitting a driver so that he comes out ahead of a rival, but he should still be racing at that point, not driving deliberately slowly.

            I don’t get why people watch sport if not for the sport, what’s so great about a team (any team) winning if it hasn’t won sportingly? Red Bull were brilliant last season, they risked the title in order to allow both drivers to race, that’s how a world championship should be won.

            I suspect Ferrari were prepared to ask Massa to impede the other championship drivers as soon as he was placed in the number two role, that explains why his form was so atrocious after Germany, he had no motivation to race – there’s no point qualifying well if team orders will turn each race into an embarrassment.

            The irony is that a motivated Massa would have probably played the number two role much better, before Germany he was frequently in the mix with the title contenders, afterwards he disappeared off the radar. They didn’t need to do it, Alonso had him beat anyway.

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 17th November 2010, 18:16

        Well you say it’s almost impossible to overtake around Abu Dhabi but enough went on last year. Also the Renaults did a fair amount of overtaking, along with a few other changes of position that went on. I’d say the Renaults are ideally suited to protect themselves from overtaking, especially on a track like Abu Dhabi, which isn’t ideal but not even close to impossible.

        • I have to agree with that, overtaking is proven to be pretty hard to do at Abu Dhabi (even in GP2), and the Renaults with their new engine for top speed and having great traction out of corners were a very tough nut to crack.

      • Maybe they didn’t think their tyres would last the race distance so they would eventually get out of the way.

      • theRoswellite said on 19th November 2010, 4:03

        Jack, I must agree.

        Also, when you compare Alonso’s blatant directions to the team…”have Massa block”…it reminds me of other races, Singapore, and other years…the Schumacher reign at Ferrari.

        Race manipulation, of any kind, seems so cynical when compared to the Red Bull teams stated policy of adherence to not only the stated rules, but the spirit of equality and sportsmanship.

        Ferrari has no one to blame but themselves. They were basically handed the Championship, and instead of letting Alonso RACE to the points he needed they became consumed with making the right calls.

        Life isn’t much fun when you feel you need to manipulate your way to success.

        I hope the Italian press points all this out to them.

    • Daffid said on 17th November 2010, 22:35

      I agree, I really don’t get it. Once I saw Quali it was obvious that Webber was dead in the water. After the start Fernando just needed to concentrate on Button to keep 4th or regain 3rd. Easy from the calm of the sidelines, but it’s not hindsight – in my flat we were watching the driver tracker, and as it happened we were all screaming, what the hell are Ferrari doing, have they lost their minds?
      Evidently they had.

  5. Ads21 (@ads21) said on 17th November 2010, 16:58

    Judging from this article Alonso didn’t really have any role in the decision to pit. He obviously suggested they try and have Massa jump Webber as was common sense for Ferrari to do.

  6. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th November 2010, 16:59

    Hadn’t seen until now that Commendatore tipped this story in the round-up today, so thanks to them:

    • chris sz said on 17th November 2010, 23:01

      im sure there is more to it than that.knowing ferrari they must have edited the conversation…where is al the cursing that when on between the two?

    • Commendatore said on 18th November 2010, 23:18

      Well Keith, because I enjoy so much your amazing site (as a fellow F1 fanatic), I thought it was about time to give something back as well i.e. contribute. :)

      Cheers… ;)

  7. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 17th November 2010, 17:01

    Such a difficult call, at the time it looked like pitting first was an advantage and it even looked like Hamilton might get the jump on Vettel, which made covering Webber the main priority.

    Had Vettel swanned off comfortably into the distance would they have kept Alonso out? Who knows.

    It’s all to easy to criticise with the benefit of hindsight but even so Alonso and Ferrari broke the golden rule of giving up track position, especially to a Renault which had been a) Quick through the speed traps all weekend and b) Had strong traction away from corners all season.

    • Absolutely bang on money. A blunder to give track position to Renaults and Rosberg when he was only a few seconds off the lead.

  8. matt88 (@matt88) said on 17th November 2010, 17:06

    Keith, it’s “Corriere della Sera” not Serra (which means ‘greenhouse’). :)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th November 2010, 17:18

      Ah I should have known – presumably it’s an evening paper then? Fixed it, btw.

      • Utter failure of management and communication by the team. Alonso is controlling the team’s whole strategy, for both cars, but they are giving him lousy information, and, of course, he has to drive the car. I’m fairly certain that Alonso was not aware of Petrov and Rosberg until the stop, instead of having his mind filled with sugar plum fantasies of Massa jumping Webber and Hamilton passing Vettel. The pit wall is focused on bowing and scraping and puffing him up instead of speaking truth to power.

        • David BR said on 17th November 2010, 17:54

          Yeah, the reference to Hamilton gaining on Vettel, suggesting he might get past, may well have stopped him realizing fully the threat Vettel posed.

        • You may be spot on here, DaveW. You make a very good point.

        • RaulZ (@raulz) said on 18th November 2010, 8:33

          Alonso couldn’t know if there’re peple who already pitted if the team don’t tell him. And I think the team didn’t tell him because they just didn’t realise of that fact.

          It seems that the team realize late, when Alonso came out to the track.

          Any chance looks very sad and a big mistake.

          And, be carefull what you say. Alonso is listening to you, he knows everything and all his furious wil lay on you. :)

          What ideas you have…

      • matt88 (@matt88) said on 17th November 2010, 17:50

        yes, ‘sera’ means ‘evening’.

  9. I like this part most, the man in control!
    Fernando Alonso: “If you see that Felipe can overtake him in a lap call him in.”

    • Sound_Of_Madness said on 17th November 2010, 17:30

      The correct word is leapfrog I believe. I was like OMG too when I saw the quote.

    • Arrogance. That is what it is. To think everyone else is your tool is arrognance.

      • I disagree. I reckon many a driver has done this before. Both Senna and Schumacher have been known to ask for a LOT of information from the pitwall, and they can make decisions or suggestions to the pitwall based on it.

        That said, DaveW said in an earlier comment that this is useless unless Alonso has all the information. Did the Ferrari pitwall factor in those who had pitted behind (Rosberg, Petrov)? They may have not been able to do so. In any case, they probably didn’t inform Alonso of this, which meant Alonso probably made a wrong recommendation.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 18th November 2010, 7:21

        Vishy .. dont make me laugh. This has nothing to do with arrogance. What is Massa’s job in Abu Dhabi? Does he have to win the WDC?…NO! Does he have to help win the WCC?….NO!

        His job was always to help Alonso take the title. Alonso stating the obvious doesn’t make him arrogant.

        • Marybeth said on 29th December 2010, 0:41

          Todford, “His job was always to help Alonso take the title.” Precisely. Massa outqualified Alonso in Bahrain and on the first turn of the first race, Massa had to pull over to let FA by.

    • I do think this is one of the things that make Alonso as good as he is, he is able to do quite a lot of strategical thinking while driving the wheels of the car.
      Downside is him wanting to be in control even over his own teammate.

      • I disagree with Vishy and the others bagging Alonso, it’s not total control of a teammate….what else was Massa doing? It was the last race of the year and the only thing Massa could do was help Alonso and the team (which he said he would do). If this was the radio from the first race of the season then maybe it’s wrong, but not in this case.

        Quit trying to vilify Alonso just because you don’t like him. If this was (insert your favorite driver here) then you would be saying “oh, he’s a genius….so tactical”.

        • This is not about not liking Alonso at all. His ability to think about the tactics and dirigate a lot of things is very impressive (as said before) and makes him one of the greats.
          But i see a downside, that gets him to be in total control and getting involved into things like Germany 2010, Singapore 2008 and Spygate 2007.
          And then seemingly being clever and fast thinking enough to get out of that without any penalty for himself does make me get a sour feeling about him.

          • Dave Blanc said on 17th November 2010, 23:10

            Not an Alonso fan but you have to admire a guy that can drive a F! car to the limit AND be thinking of strategies at the same time. Impressive.

          • HewisLamilton said on 18th November 2010, 16:12

            Spygate 2007? You mean where McLaren stole Ferrari documents? Alonso was controlling this? I think this is a bad example.

  10. Kieth, where can we get McLaren and Red Bull’s radio convo’s? I find it a bit unfair that Ferrari’s are handed out but not the rest.

    • The story is about ferrari radio. Why does he needs the others? It was Ferrari who made the bad strategy call.

    • I think McLaren have it on their website, maybe.

      • yes, but they don’t put everything.

        For sport’s sake al radio conversations should be public after the race. Period. And also not confidential telemetry (speed, gear used, brakes, G, etc).

        I enjoy watching races, but also looking at numbers and analyzing the after-race data to understand what the drivers and team faced, what they did and why. That’s what I love Keith work on data (I even thought about publishing a blog with similar information before I found f1fanatic)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th November 2010, 21:47

      I’m with you, infy, I’d like to be able to hear them all in real time. McLaren do publish some of theirs in the commentary on their website during races.

      But when you watch an IndyCar or NASCAR race the chatter from the teams almost never stops and, to the best of my knowledge, it’s in real-time, or at least much closer to it than F1’s is.

      • Although i would like to hear radio coms closer to real time, if i had to choose between that and HD, i would choose HD every time

  11. David BR said on 17th November 2010, 17:51

    concentrate on Button

    That’s the weird bit, precisely what Ferrari didn’t do.

    Alonso’s grid position was highly vulnerable: third place at the start, needing 4th against Vettel to win and no more than 1 place behind Webber. Fighting to pass Hamilton and Vettel would be risky as they apparently had least to lose in any track tussle. So third was better than trying to grab 1st or 2nd, paradoxically. It meant, though, that losing one place to Button (as happened) would mean that Webber passing him (a) gave a Vettel championship win, or (b) leave Webber just needing to pass Button. Once Button got past him at the start, Ferrari were suddenly looking in both directions at once, with any mistake (losing a position) critical. But why they broke the cardinal rule of not giving up track position unless losing a lot of time because of tyre wear is the strange bit. Big mistake that cost the title for sure. The radio messages seem to suggest Alonso was focusing on the wrong threat too, at least at the critical moment, but not really enough to be sure.

    • The first thing, stopping Massa to block Webber was a sensible idea, shame for them it did not work with Massa’s inlap and stop being to slow.

      Then when the team called in Alonso, he will not have known, that that meant to come out behind these cars as well as none of them could know the sofst were getting better again so it would have been faster not to stop.

      • David BR said on 17th November 2010, 21:04

        Massa was worth risking, I guess, though it didn’t seem to be timed right after. But my point was that they weren’t losing any real time to Button or Webber, so why bring Alonso in? Especially as that meant getting stuck behind drivers who’d pitted already? It might seem like hindsight, but – since I was rooting for Vettel in the race – there were two moments when I thought things were definitely going his way: Button passing Alonso at the start, and Alonso pitting early. Just seemed an obvious mistake. We’d just seen Webber and then Massa pit and fall behind. Ferrari seemed to think they were copying Webber at Singapore – or were overly worried he’d do the same, coming through the field again, and wanted to tag him. But the circumstances were totally different.

      • David BR said on 17th November 2010, 21:05

        sorry, ‘timed right either

  12. kowalsky said on 17th November 2010, 18:05

    the title was lost long before the last race. The fact that he had a chance to win it at abu dabi, still is hard to understand.
    Ferrari will try next year, and if they can keep the level, or may be better it a little, they will be a formidable opposition to red bull. Nobody at ferrari should be ashamed of a very good 2010 season.

    • ? Doesn’t make any sense, or at least I don’t understand. Is the first sentence talking about Vettel.
      Alonso was favourite until he pitted and even then I thought he’d still make it until I realised the top speed of the Renaults, if Hamilton could pass (better top speed) then I was sure Alonso wouldn’t.
      After Hamilton nearly lost the title in 2008 I’ve always said you should concentrate on the position above the one you need, as it happens if they had done this Alonso would be champion today.

      Oh well never mind, pleased to be a neutral. :-)

  13. Well Sebastian Vettel is world champion, but he got this tittle very easy, almost never had to battle and if he did battle then he lost, not really a true champion in my opinion.

    Ferrari was indeed wrong with their strategy, hopefully next season they do a better job, but watch out for renault.

    • Brad Leigh said on 17th November 2010, 19:41

      Didn’t battle? Heh. Tell That to Mark Webber. If you’re new to the sport, a big part of the battle occurs on Saturday.

      • Remind me again of how many of those pole positions Vettel translated into a win? He must have the worst pole/win ratio of all time.

        • Adam Tate said on 17th November 2010, 22:33

          5 wins from 10 poles ain’t so bad. In fact why don’t you look back at 2002 and see how Montoya managed to get something like 5 poles in a row and yet didn’t win any of those races. And that was Montoya, a driver I’m convinced should still be in the sport and as good as anyone running now. So for Vettel to only get 5 wins from 10 poles is more than acceptable to me, considering it was enough for him to win the World Championship.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th November 2010, 22:55

            Interesting you mention 2002, the last season before this year to have proper (i.e. low-fuel) qualifying.

            That’s part of the explanation for Red Bull’s poor pole-to-win conversion – some cars are simply better for low-fuel, single-lap blasts than a 200-mile Grand Prix.

            The ’02 Williams was a case in point – great at using its tyres and BMW power for a single flying lap, but it tended to shred its tyres in the races.

          • anotherignorantinofformula1 said on 18th November 2010, 23:37

            before you talk do some research because if not it makes you look bad. they are not 5 out 10. he converted only 3 out of 10 valencia, japan, abu dabi.
            the other 2 wins weren’t wins from the pole
            malaysia, brazil
            3 out of ten is pretty bad 30% is not even an F . that kind of convertion rate shows pretty much what kind of driver the finger guy is. just to put the facts straight

  14. JCCJCC said on 17th November 2010, 18:32

    It’s pretty clear that Alonso and Ferrari make a mistake together. Ferrari failed to communicate that with the safety car, some drivers already pitted, and that some of them where in position to overtake alonso if he pitted in that moment. They failed to look at the overall painting, they should focus not only in Webber, but in Vettel, and in this case in Rosberg. Why in Rosberg? Because Rosberg was the first of the ones who pitted in the SC period in the beginning, and since Alonso was already in is limit position (4th), returning from the pits behind Rosberg would mean that he had to overtake him on the track, thing that they should know would be very difficult (due to the wing configuration that they choose).

    Ferrari should have informed Alonso about the Rosberg/Petrov early stop. And then they should wait until they had a safe gap to Rosberg (22 seconds maybe).
    Alonso came to the pits on lap 15, on lap 14 he had 15.7 seconds over Rosberg. Assuming that Alonso would keep his pace, 1-2 seconds begind Button, he should have waited until laps 23-24 (almost the same that Vettel and Hamilton choose). The question is: Would Alonso tyres keep is performance for 10 laps more?

    P.S.: The move to call Massa was very clever, if Massa returned in front of Webber, Webber would be out of the title…

    • I would think that given the mileage of their engine, Alonso qualification position was the best they can achieve. Button got easily past him on start, so yes, they played a defensive game, they need to bring the car to finish line. Switching the tactics from attacking and defensive is not that easy.

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 17th November 2010, 23:17

      I didn’t see the race, so I’m going on reports and other people’s comments. But are you suggesting that Ferrari didn’t notice or failed to tell Alonso that anyone pitted during the Safety Car period? If that’s right, it’s utterly stupid.
      Alonso sitting there, driving his private parts off. Waiting for Petrov to peel off into the pits for his obligatory pitstop . . . which he’d already taken many laps before.

      • JCCJCC said on 18th November 2010, 8:32

        If the talks are just those. They only told him about the early stop of Rosberg and Petrov after Alonso pitted. For what I know about Alonso he would never stop if he knew that he would return behind drivers who had already pitted.

    • Oliver said on 17th November 2010, 23:58

      But if they were going to Sacrifice Massa’s race what was the point pitting him early since as Webber had already gone into the pit, he was going to fall back behind Massa.
      Massa could have just kept on going, then If eventually Webber caught up, he would just slow him down.

      • I agree with you Oliver. Ferrari made 2 blunders with pitting both Massa and Alonso. All they had to do was keep Massa out after Webber pitted and have him slow the train until there was 22 seconds between Massa and Alonso so Alonso could pit and come out in 4th place with fresh tires for the win. It seemed so obvious as I watched, I just about fell out of my chair when I saw what they did.

  15. people_are_people said on 17th November 2010, 19:09

    Why did they wait 2 laps to call in Massa? If they had pitted him a lap earlier, he probably had a better chance of re-joining in front of Webber. And it doesn’t explain why they called Alonso in at that point of the race either. Was it the tyres? Or were they only looking at the gap between Webber?

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