Alonso confronts paparazzi in Portugal

F1 Fanatic round-up

Alonso warns the paparazzi to leave him alone while he’s on holiday in Portugal.


Alonso en Porto Santo (Portugal) siendo tan “simp??tico” como siempre (Youtube)

Alonso, holidaying with his wife in Portugal, told photographers: “The first photographer or camera I see in the next days, I will leave the next day and tell????? everyone that Porto Santo is a disaster. OK? So please leave us alone.”

Back to work (Ferrari)

“Today is the full workforce back at their posts. The new season beckons, with the launch of the new car planned for the final week of this month.”

Can F1 be reborn in America? (Formula 1 Blog)

“I don?t believe pulling a crowd to Austin will be a problem for [Tavo] Hellmund. The tougher job will be getting the American media to take notice. F1 is an extremely technical, secretive and political sport and for the typically unfamiliar American writer or reporter it?s difficult to get inside F1 and comfortably explain it. That will take time.”

Fernandes applauds ‘green’ engines (Autosport)

“We’ve now got the scenario of F1 being very relevant to the car industry but most importantly, F1 being very relevant to the environment.”

Comment of the day

Lots of good debate in the Mansell vs Piquet Champion of Champions clash. Here’s two comments from opposite ends of the argument:

This is tough. Piquet I rate in my top five drivers, although Mansell?s story is brilliant.

Hmm, I?m going with Piquet, purely because ?87 was an awesome season and he beat Mansell fair and square, ?86 was closer but that was marred with ridiculous incidents. It was very much a Senna vs Prost type situation, the rivalry was brilliant but Piquet for me showed he was the more complete competitor.

I?m going for Nigel. One of the purest racers ever, in my opinion. Of course, Piquet was great and won three titles. But Nigel should also have won at least one more. Besides, he won so many races. For me he is one of the all-time greats.

So I?m going for him, altough it is a very close call this time.

From the forum

More speculation over the Force India line-up as Swiss newspaper Blick claims Paul di Resta will take Vitantonio Liuzzi’s place next year.

Upcoming interview: “Senna” writer Manish Pandey

I’m going to be talking to Manish Pandey, author of the movie “Senna”, later this week.

If there’s anything you want to know about his film on the life of Ayrton Senna, post it in the comments. Here’s the review of the film which was published here last month:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Anne Lambert!

On this day in F1

I’d forgotten the debate that sprung up after traction control was banned at the end of 2007.

As this old news round-up shows some drivers claimed it would make wet-weather racing more dangerous, though Nick Heidfeld reckoned it would make races better on the whole.

Image ?? Ferrari spa

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125 comments on Alonso confronts paparazzi in Portugal

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  1. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 4th January 2011, 0:05

    I have sympathy with Alonso, as obviously having a private life is important. Then again, his threat is quite childish and somewhat typical of his personality. He’s gonna have to accept that as an F1 driver he is not only a public figure but also a role model.

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 4th January 2011, 0:34

      Yeah but Paparazzi? What can you say to these people? I know F1 drivers are supposed to be role models but it’s not like there famous for the sake of it. They’re famous for a specific activity so they have every right to demand total privacy when acting outside of that activity.

      Also Alonso? Petulant? Never.

    • djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 4th January 2011, 1:22

      This video purely shows what a complete sphincter Freddy is. What a complete primadonna. If he wants privacy with his celebrity status he needs to go somewhere private. Idiot.

      • jimscreechy (@) said on 4th January 2011, 8:23

        djdaveyp87 – SERIOUSLY? you really belive what you wrote there? C’mon, your kidding right?

      • Ben Curly (@ben-curly) said on 4th January 2011, 8:34

        Quite contrary. I’m not an Alonso fan but I think he handled this very well. But I guess no matter what you do, you can always count on devoted haters.

        • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 4th January 2011, 9:03

          We all except that its fine for him to ask for his privacy, but I think making a childish threat was pointless.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 4th January 2011, 13:58

            If I were him though, I would’ve done the same threat. I doubt Paparazzi would respond at all to “would you please kindly walk away and leave me peace?

        • He could have asked for privacy nicely but I dont think hes going to get that while he walks through an airport and what was the point of threatening the photographers? Give it a rest dude.

        • PT (@pt) said on 6th January 2011, 18:59

          What’s with the beard? Working on becoming the first bearded World Champion?

    • Magnificent Geoffrey said on 4th January 2011, 2:04

      I actually think Alonso’s being completely reasonable, here. He wasn’t being aggressive, just stern. I’m by no means his biggest fan but I think he has every right to speak to the paparazzi directly like this and ask them to respect his privacy, like a real man. He doesn’t complain about them the rest of the year when he’s ‘working’, so he should be allowed to enjoy his time off in peace like the rest of us do.

      • wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 4th January 2011, 2:42

        Fair enough from Alonso he will devastated after 2010 so will need a trou8ble free 2011 with some quiet time with his family.But it was nice to see he was cool.

      • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 4th January 2011, 3:56

        I have to agree. As much as I don’t like Alonso, he handled this in a mature and respectful way if you ask me. I mean, how else can you get through to these guys? You can’t touch them or their equipment or face lawsuits. Ultimately, all you can do is give your fans and the city a reason to discourage people behaving poorly towards them (which he definitely did. I have to imagine locals will be loathe to the paparazzi now). I totally understand his desire to simply be left alone when he’s out to enjoy time with family. And being a celebrity is no excuse for harassing anyone (and yes, constantly taking photos of someone is harassment). They are still human, regardless of being a role model and deserve to be treated with the same respect.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 4th January 2011, 7:46

        I think he has every right to speak to the paparazzi directly like this and ask them to respect his privacy, like a real man.

        Like this?

        “The first photographer or camera I see in the next days, I will leave the next day and tell everyone that Porto Santo is a disaster. OK? So please leave us alone.”

        What do paparazzi care if he slags off the place if they get the photo they want? What’s Alonso going to do, stop going on holiday because everywhere is “a disaster”?

        Your quote is perfectly true, but Alonso’s doesn’t exactly live up to it.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2011, 9:22

      I don’t know anything about the story beyond what you can see in the video. But my instincts are usually to sympathise with the person who can’t go on holiday without people pointing lenses at them. I would hate it if it was me.

      That said, I’m surprised they recognised him with that beard!

      • Sush Meerkat said on 4th January 2011, 10:01

        OK every F1fanatic thats going to Silverstone this year, you must ask Keith for his autograph.

        • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 4th January 2011, 12:16

          Even that wouldn’t be the same. If Keith went to an F1 event then as his job relates to F1 he could reasonably expect to be stopped by fans (this ever happened to you Keith?).

          A better example would be, next time Keith goes on holiday, we find out where he’s going and stick a camera in his face the whole time.

          Does that sound fair? Why should Alonso be any different?

          If he was one of these people who are famous simply for being famous then I would say he’s being two-faced, but he’s not. Like him or loath him (not many f1 fans fall outside those 2 groups) he is entitled not to have a camera shoved in his face when he’s not working. As is any sports personality (or actor, musician etc for that matter).

          • Spaulding (@spaulding) said on 4th January 2011, 14:10

            While I feel he has a reasonable expectation of privacy, he is also famous for doing something in a VERY public fashion. Many actors and musicians need as much ability and skill as Alonso does to do their job and, just like an actor/musician, Alonso is famous for entertaining others. Also, he is VERY well compensated, its not like he is a pay driver or rookie who is paid in relative peanuts. That being said, most hotels won’t allow photographers inside and there are a LARGE number of resorts that cater to privacy and have most things that people would want to do at the resort (on private property). Also, Alonso can take a vacation somewhere that he is less well known (the U.S. would probably work out pretty well or Thailand, Mexico, Carribean, insert other area that isn’t full of F1 fever). Heck, in the U.S., other than maybe the occasional fan, I doubt anyone would pay any attention to him.

        • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 4th January 2011, 14:13

          Ssshh!! If Keith finds out of our plan he’ll start growing a beard :P

        • Dianna said on 4th January 2011, 18:37

          Perhaps he could borrow a few of Jacques Villeneuves wigs?

    • BasCB said on 4th January 2011, 14:28

      It actually raised his profile for me. Telling the paparazzi to bug of fair and square, I hope it worked!

      A lot better than waving fists at Petrov. And if you compare some of the celebs smashing cameras, arms and skulls up to prevent them from taking pictures it is a pretty mild and clever line.

    • miguelF1O (@) said on 5th January 2011, 22:49

      Im portuguese naturally we dont love spain we dont understand spanish we always fight with them we split the world in 2 in the 15th century for god sake anyway he went to Porto Santo to watch reportadly one of the best new year celebrations he started speaking spanish (thing that we dont understand)in the airport like he ruled the world just because other countrys media was there to watch him threatening us portuguese when other media was onto him aswell is dumb simply

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 9th January 2011, 21:17

      Like Kimi, he doesn’t seem to like paparazzi’s stress, even if to a smaller extent. But Alonso at least during the season talks to the media. But Kimi wasn’t so rude towards them.

  2. Polishboy808 said on 4th January 2011, 0:06

    First! Alonso looks so different with a beard like that…

  3. Daniel said on 4th January 2011, 0:07

    I don’t like Alonso so I’m voting for Paparazzi even though I never saw him drive.

  4. Sush Meerkat said on 4th January 2011, 0:11

    Today is the full workforce back at their posts

    Looks like Alonso’s on holiday though.

  5. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 4th January 2011, 0:11

    Agree with SW6569. Oh Fernando!!!

  6. dbkreling (@dbkreling) said on 4th January 2011, 0:13

    No surprises about Alonso’s nice touch. Summed up with Montezemolo’s statement yesterday, they seem to match in their dull characters, don’t they?

  7. RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 4th January 2011, 0:24

    I read an article on the Ferrari website earlier this season that Alonso said that he thinks all interest in him should finish on Sunday evening and I can understand his point. If you watch any interview pre-2006 you will see he was one of the most shy and private sports personalitys of all time. He has changed probably due to unexpected and unwanted pressure from the limelight.

    That said, I adore Alonso and he is a role model for many aspiring young drivers and he will come to realise this one day. I remember that in early 2006 Bernie had an argument with him over not signing autographs, and Fernando responded by making more of an effort. Then Hamilton came along and almost as a consequence Alonso was poorly treated by all factions and some of his own British supporters left to glory hunt. I think he was hurt a lot more by that incident than he lets on and it is the root of outbursts like this.

    One reason I like him is that I believe that he genuinely would prefer simply to race and not be subject to the circus, I hope rival fans can accept that.

    However, I can not claim that actions like this are for his own good and probably supply ammunition to his detractors that simply either a) can’t see this or b) have forgotten who he used to be when he was the giant-killing darling of the British media.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 4th January 2011, 0:53

      Well I have some very serious problems with Alonso’s attitude. For instance, maintaining that the tainted Singapore win counted as his victory, or his reaction to Petrov at Abu Dhabi this year, felt like poor sportsmanship.

      Despite being a fully commited McLaren fan I thought he was great, an likable enough in 05, awe inspiring in 06. I was absolutley delighted when he came to us in 07, thought we were going to crush everybody till the end of time. An without 07 shenanigans we might have done. Alonso if he’d been on point for more of 07, settled at McLaren in 08 and still with us in 10 could have been, with a little luck 5 times world champion.

      But he threw his toys out of the pram, don’t think we can really blame Hamilton for what happened. Dennis is definatley partly cupable but Alonso was brought in to drive what turned out to be two years of excellent McLaren cars, (we could have won both titles two years in a row) he should have done that and not sulked about the speed of a rookie.

      Ever since then he’s been so spiky, maybe it’s because he felt hurt but I can’t really find much sympathy for Alonso the person, maybe my McLaren bias prevents me getting over what we collectivley lost, and for bringing my team into complete turmoil. I’ll continue to appreciate Alonso the driver.

      • I completely share your sentiments Scribe ….

      • Bren said on 5th January 2011, 1:13

        singapore was his victory. he had no part to play in what happened. it was the team and nelson. He CLEARLY would of had nothing to do with that for one victory he didnt need. Renault/pat/flavio and Nelson were the desperate ones cos renault wanted to leave F1 so a victory would of convinced the board. fernando with a pending ferrari contract in his back pocket was not desperate-he has ALWAYS said wins mean nothing without titles.. So he had no part to play it. anyone rational person can see that. I say rational tho…

        and he never blamed hamilton. not once. only the team. who openly ‘raced alonso’ he fully respects(tho probably not like) lewis. as many people do. Lewis respects him. lets not forget it was lewis to a small degree (in his) book and Ron to any of the press who cared to listen to his clap trap that said bad things about fernando. Not the other way round.

        no offence but you need to get facts a little bit right before u start turning EVERY thing into Alonso/lewis/mclaren.

        He never brought the team in turmoil. The lies Ron told after the race at Silverstone(i think) about not knowing about certain documents etc. was what turned the team on its head. if he told the truth. the ‘team’ would of been fine. I remember the interview on ITV like it was yesterday. it was classic Ron. everyones wrong but me. It was just total lies. and cos he had lied to important people like erm the FIA they threw the book at them.

        i never agreed with the punishment really. i dont think the team deserved to suffer down to Ron and his mens lies.

        The ‘team’ not management were amazing that year and fully deserved the constructors title for all their hard work. The management finally got someone to stand up to their bias way they had worked. Prost did it too. but DC was never going to and his career and reputation will never be anything more than a so so man cos of it. and Montoya never had the stature to do it. But fernando like Prost did and fair play to them.

    • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 4th January 2011, 1:30

      I’d hate to be famous and I have a lot of sympathy for any of the drivers who dislike the limelight such as Alonso. Even Hamilton was slammed by a lot of people when he said all the attention he was getting in every day life was one of the reasons he moved to Switzerland.

      Also there’s a difference between acknowledging fans signing autographs where you expect drivers to be polite with them. But the paparazzi are pathetic with their invasions of individuals private lives to sell photos to ‘celebrity’ gossip magazines. Considering the level of paparazzi interest in Alonso and his wife its not surprise that he doesn’t like them very much.

      • Brakius said on 4th January 2011, 1:59

        While I do have a small bit of sympathy for the “stars” of today, no matter what proffession, it simply comes with the territory. It’s not like the paparazzi are new, so one should expect it when choosing a public career. I think it’s a rather small price to pay considering generations of your family tree will be changed by the amount of money being made. Just grow immune to it and get on with your life.

        • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 4th January 2011, 2:15

          Just because it might “come with the territory” doesn’t make it morally right for the paparazzi to hound anybody whilst they go about their every day lives whoever that might be. Regardless of the reaction of Alonso its the paparazzi that are in the wrong for even following on holiday in the first place.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th January 2011, 8:51

            I agree with a lot of people that Alonso is right to ask for privacy. Especially as he seems to be, aside from races and team sponsor events, rather closed about his live – maybe it is because I don’t read many Spanish newspapers, but he seems to separate his personal live from his racing live rather well – for example, his wife hardly ever joins him in a high profile role – last year she was only a bit visible around his birthday, and she’s a singer. Compare with Hamilton’s girl :)

            I will admit that I don’t really care to know about the stuff produced by paparazzi, so that might influence my opinion against them as I would hardly miss then anyway, but even so, I think there are drivers who are less deserving of a holiday without press following every move than Alonso, but I think every driver should be left alone for a quiet holiday. If they then party big at some public place, well, that’s the time the press can go after them if they need to.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 4th January 2011, 7:51

      I have a thought: can we please end this nonsense that makes out the majority of British F1 fans to be sheep led by whatever the newspapers are saying or the nationalities of the drivers involved? I know that is not your point but you touched on it and it’s getting very old. People dislike Alonso because he acts like a dislikeable person.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 4th January 2011, 8:02

        Well actually yes, a lot of people do dislike Alonso because of the whole 2007 thing. But then there are a lot of Alonso fans who dislike Hamilton over the same thing.

        Anyway, to re-iterate: Alonso’s right to privacy = yes. Alonso’s right to mouth off = no.

      • Donal said on 4th January 2011, 12:33

        Spot on Icthyes

        Living in Barcelona I can see that more and more spanish people are starting to dislike Alonso. This grumpiness is ridiculous and pathetic. You are famous, get over it.

        And it’s not just a case of him being like this outside race weekends. I’ve seen him in the paddock in Barcelona repeatedly running from the garage to the motorhome with his hat pulled down over his face in case any of the hundreds of people (his home fans!) calling his name might get a photo. There isn’t a direct translation for “Que maleducado” but it pretty much means “what an ignorant pr!ick” – that’s what everyone was saying

        • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 4th January 2011, 17:42

          Its far too easy for us to sit behind a computer screen and judge the character of these F1 drivers. I’ve been guilty of it myself sometimes but at the end of the day I will never and most people on here will never know any of the drivers on a personal level. Most people at best have a a 5 second chat with any of the drivers while asking for an autograph and yet some people seem to know for certain that Alonso is “childish” or “grumpy”, that Hamilton is “arrogant” etc..

          Many people better placed than me to comment have said about Alonso that he’s a very shy character. If that’s the case then its entirely understandable that he feels uncomfortable around large groups of his fans and despises the intrusion of the paparazzi.

          No F1 driver goes into racing to become a celebrity or seek attention, they do it because they love racing. The love/hatred that expressed towards them by millions that they’ve never met would understandable be suffocating for many individuals. As fans we often expect far too much from professional sportsmen and women.

          • I need “Like” button here :)

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 4th January 2011, 21:15

            Depends though. I’m quite a shy person but I find that in the end all it does is make me more likely to go along with whatever the person wants, because I lack the ability to assert myself. If I were Alonso I’d be “Um…okay”, all sheepish-like.

          • DASMAN said on 5th January 2011, 14:07

            Great comment Ads21…

          • Jeffs86 said on 8th January 2011, 20:27

            I disagree with you there. While I don’t believe that athletes or other forms of entertainers should be looked upon as role models, the fact of the matter is that they are idolized. With any sport, and even more so with motorsport (high investment required), the fans are who ultimately allow these individuals to have the job and lifestyle they do. In other words, the public nature of their job is what allows for its existence in the first place. Reactions like these should really just serve to make us more appreciative of the entertainers who understand and even embrace this; as an example take a look at the NBA’s Shaquille ONeal’s actions in Harvard Square.

    • Sucker said on 4th January 2011, 23:49

      Your comment is so biased obviously Alonso can do no wrong in your eyes.

  8. GeordiePorker said on 4th January 2011, 1:02

    Nicely considered points there RBAlonso. As much as I don’t like Alonso, I do have a lot of sympathy for his point of view regarding privacy.

    Unfortunately, in this case he has overstepped the sensible bounds of complaint by basically threatening to (attempt to) ruin the local tourism industry when they do not pay for the papparazzi. It is this which will be used as ammunition as it makes him look petulant. What his detractors will forget is that the papparazzi will take no notice of anything which is not a threat to them – Alonso clearly thinks that his threat will act as sufficient deterrent. I doubt it.

    Tough one. It’s v difficult for me to have a lot of sympathy with either party here ( ;-) ).

    Overall, I think for once I support Alonso here. But I do think his threat was over the top. By some way. But that’s just my opinion!

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th January 2011, 8:54

      Well, the paparazzi seem quite over the top too as a matter of course, so what can he do to stop them?

      hH is just telling them: local press, if you care about me coming back and spending money, well then just let me also enjoy my quiet holiday. Basically, letting local people know not to use him for publicity. He isn’t shouting or ranting either.

      Like the beard though :-p

  9. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 4th January 2011, 1:07

    There are a few things to be said about that Alonso video:

    1. He is so tiny!
    2. He’s become so hairy that he now looks like a darker haired version of Nick Heidfeld
    3. He’s really perfecting those blackmail tactics.

    I don’t like Fernando Alonso or the paparazzi, so I’m struggling to decide which is the lesser of the two evils!

  10. I hate Alonso, truly hate him, but he and his wife are as entitled to a private life as the rest of us.

    And Heidfeld was spot on about the TC ban making everything more exciting, 08, 09 and 10 were brilliant!

  11. oh come on! I can’t believe people are siding with paparazzi. Doesn’t matter who their target is and whether you like the target or not, it still doesn’t change the fact that paparazzi are the lowest form of scum in an industry which is seemingly losing its integrity (journalism as a whole).

    Anyone who ever gives the paparazzi a piece of their mind (without being hysterical or randomly throwing punches) deserves our praise. I’m always happy when people call the paparazzi out and point out that they are pretty much a failure as a career and as a person.

    Its harrassment, pure and simple, and they are always in the wrong.

    • David BR said on 5th January 2011, 10:54

      lol, total agreement. There should be a ban on paparazzi worldwide, they serve NO useful purpose and have nothing to do with a profession called journalism, completely abusing the fundamental principal of press freedom to produce junk news (and invariably crap photos). I thought Alonso’s response was just clever, trying to find a way for them to leave him and his wife alone.

  12. BTW it seems the FI will have Sutil & di Resta as number 1 & number 2 for 2011 and Hulkenberg will be doing the duty as third driver, with some friday practice session.

  13. Sammy said on 4th January 2011, 3:26

    Just another huge reason why I can never like or support this guy as a race car driver. If these guys are bothering you, wont it be better to just articulate that, rather than threatening the whole island with what seems like a pretty childish action.
    And some think he played no part in the ‘Spygate’ and ‘Crashgate’ affairs…the guy is pure snake, always using those around him to gain an advantage.
    I sometimes think without that opportunity to subvert his teammates, the team, the team bosses to his needs he wouldnt be as successful a driver.
    Pathetic character.

    • ha, threats are the only thing scumbag paparazzi take notice of. you can articulate all they want, but people with single digit IQ’s don’t respond to reasoned arguments.

  14. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 4th January 2011, 4:58

    Keith, if you think of it when you’re interviewing Manish Pandey ask him for an email address to contact Universal Pictures in the US. He tweeted months ago for fans to harras Universal for a US release date in hopes of showing them that there’s interest. I’ve tried for the life of me to find an email address to contact them to no avail. I’ve tried to tweet at Pandey a few times to see if he can provide the proper email address to contact, but he has yet to respond. If you could get an email address out of him that would be excellent! Can’t wait to read the interview.

  15. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th January 2011, 5:39

    More speculation over the Force India line-up as Swiss newspaper Blick claims Paul di Resta will take Vitantonio Liuzzi’s place next year.

    Oddly enough, Blick appear to have removed the article. There hasn’t been a retraction issued, it’s simply been taken down. It’s strange because the article directly quotes Willi Weber, so there’s clearly some truth to it. Even the meanest and sleaziest of tabloids – News of the World, The Sun – doesn’t risk quoting someone when they said nothing of the sort.

    My guess is that Force India requested the article be removed.

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