Alonso extends Ferrari contract to 2016

2011 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2011

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2011

Fernando Alonso will remain at Ferrari until the end of 2016 after signing an extension with the team.
Ferrari announced the deal on the eve of Alonso’s home race.

Alonso said: “I am very happy to have reached this agreement.

“I immediately felt comfortable within Ferrari and now it feels to me like a second family.

“I have the utmost faith in the men and women who work in Maranello and in those who lead them: it is therefore natural for me to decide to extend my relationship in the long term like this, with a team at which I will no doubt end my Formula 1 career one day.”

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said: “It is a great pleasure to have renewed our agreement with a driver who has always demonstrated a winning mentality even in the most difficult circumstances.

“Fernando has all the required qualities, both technically and personally to play a leading role in the history of Ferrari and I hope he will be enriching it with further wins very soon.”

Last year Felipe Massa signed a deal which runs to the end of 2012.

2012 F1 season


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123 comments on Alonso extends Ferrari contract to 2016

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  1. RIISE (@riise) said on 19th May 2011, 8:52

    Well what news this is. I can definitely see Alonso becoming a 4 time WDC by the end of this contract.

    2016 though, he’s going to become a Schumacher-esque figure at Ferrari (Although he won’t overtake the greatest ever).

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th May 2011, 9:36

      I guess it depends on how much Neweys magic keeps ticking at Red Bull though. And certainly Fernando will want to keep pushing their development team to actually come up with a smashing car next year, or at least in 2013.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 19th May 2011, 12:10

      Schumacher passed 11 years in Maranello. If Alonso stays until the end of 2016 it will be his 7th year in red. I’m sure he will still be competitive by then.

    • Nick said on 19th May 2011, 12:44

      “I can definitely see Alonso becoming a 4 time WDC by the end of this contract”

      I agree. Providing he becomes resilient. Which might be a struggle.

    • The New Hope said on 19th May 2011, 14:13

      I honestly do not see Alonso winning any more championships.

      • Ella said on 19th May 2011, 14:18

        Your name is obviously ironic then :)

        I have to disagree though, I think there is a strong chance that with his and the team’s talent, and a lot of luck, he could add to his championship tally.

        • PT said on 20th May 2011, 8:21

          To be honest, being an Alonso fan, I think if Red Bull keeps dominating races this way it will be Vettel adding to his title and not Alonso. I’m surprised he’s renewed his contract for such a long period. Ferrari no longer has the Todt/Brawn/Byrne invincibility factor that enabled Schumacher to romp away with titles. The glaring strategy errors they’ve made (Raikkonen – Sepang 2009, Alonso – Abu Dhabi 2010) show that Ferrari is just any other team now. Performance wise they don’t have the edge either. Let’s hope the Barcelona updates given them a leap.

          There is a hint of discontent in Montezemolo’s tone, and rightfully so. The last part of his statement: “…I hope he will be enriching it with further wins very soon” shows that the Alonso partnership hasn’t worked as expected in terms of hard results. The only hope Ferrari and Alonso can have is from 2013 when the new rules will shake the grid.

          FED UP WITH RED BULL DOMINANCE
          As long as Newey is there in Red Bull no one can have a sniff at the title. It is a shame that Formula 1 has a tendency to become predicatable every now and then. If Vettel is going to be winning every race why should I care to watch? I might as well crown him World Champion 2011 and sit back.

          FORMULA 1′s TENDENCY TO BORE
          Why is it that in spite of having so many world class outfits, one team sometimes manages to run away with the wins in this self-professed highest rung of motorsports every now and then? Is Newey a superman? He, Ross Brawn, and Michael Schumacher have been the greatest engineers of predictability, making Formula 1 Formula Yawn. This is back to the Schumacher – 2000-2004 and Button – 2009 boredom.

    • William Stuart (@williamstuart) said on 14th August 2014, 12:01

      Haha, how unfounded were these claims?

  2. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 19th May 2011, 8:54

    This makes me happy.

    You’d expect him to grab another couple of titles in that time, though a lot depends on what happens with who his team mate(s) is/are during that time…

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th May 2011, 9:23

      Having a team-mate that can take points off of others will be vital in this age of F1. It’s not like before, only having to worry about one challenger. There are at least 4 other guys out there who could also win. As much as he’s improved, Massa isn’t quite there yet. If he doesn’t get back to his old form Ferrari need to make a point of going back to the 2007-2008 mould of fielding two strong drivers. They can’t afford to have a fast lackey unless they have a dominant car.

      Of course, Webber and Button will fade as challengers over the course of time. But Rosberg will come into the fray too and who knows how youngsters like Paul di Resta will turn out?

      • Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 19th May 2011, 9:35

        I agree. Alonso certainly has the talent to probably beat any of the current drivers, the question is does he have the mindset? If someone like Vettel, Hamilton or Kubica (though I’d be amazed if he’s as good as he was before the accident) joined him would have learned from his experience at McLaren and do his talking on the track?

        Would Ferrari want to take that risk and put another top driver against Alonso, knowing that it could potentially become volatile? To be fair I don’t think Ferrari were aware that Raikkonen and Massa would as closely matched as they were and they still like to have a number 1 and number 2 driver.

        Massa is certainly improving this year and if he can get to a point where he regularly mixes it with the top guys, Ferrari may well opt to keep on past 2012 – that is, if Massa wants to stay, but that’s another matter…

        • that is, if Massa wants to stay, but that’s another matter…

          If anyone terminates the Massa Ferrari relationship it’ll be Ferrari. Massa’s the clingy one-despite all the times it seems Ferrari might ditch him he still manages to keep the seat.

          As for Fernando this news has really made my day. I remember Alonso saying after his title wins that he may not stick around in F1 for very long but I guess the uncompetitive years in Renault, the messy 07 and the oh so close title hunt last year has seduced his competitive nature and convinced him to stick around. I am still surprised it’s until the end of 2016 at least.

          I don’t want to get my hopes up but I’d really love Alonso to get at least a third title. 2006 seems like such a long time ago!

          • Fixy (@fixy) said on 19th May 2011, 13:29

            You’re right. This though leaves only one vacant seat between 2012 and 2016, and that is Massa’s. He will be the one leaving if Ferrari want someone else.

        • Eggry (@eggry) said on 19th May 2011, 15:09

          Alonso should know this could be last chance in really big team. He have to supress his feeling when something like 2007 is happend and beat his teammate on track.

  3. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th May 2011, 9:15

    No more titles for Alonso then ;)

    Nah, this is the only smart choice for him. Ferrari will be back at some point and will give him the tools to do the job. A great driver like him deserves more than the haul he has at the moment. Hopefully Ferrari won’t go back into the doldrums but with Alonso at the helm it’s hard to see it happening any time soon.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th May 2011, 9:16

    Well, so long as Alonso and Ferrari are in the one place, I don’t have to spread my hate around. See? I can hate efficiently.

  5. Alonso4ever said on 19th May 2011, 9:19

    This is the sweetest news for Alonso Fans like me. Though i did not expect the announcement to come so early. Clearly shows the faith Ferrari have in Alonso. Hopefully he will win at least a couple more Titles and will be a Legend on the lines of Senna and Schumacher. Go Alonso !!!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th May 2011, 9:30

      Alonso will never be a legend like Senna. And that’s not my hatred of him speaking – no-one will ever be able to incite the same passion that Senna did. No-one will ever be able to drive so instinctively. Alonso has never had a breathtaking drive like Donington 1993. And while both he and Senna had both their fans and their detractors, Senna’s detractors respected him. I know a lot of people with no respect for Alonso (and most of them felt that way before Hockenheim 2010) and who think the sport would be better off without him.

      Alonso might be good. He might even be great. But he cannot ascend to the level of Senna. Not even Michael Schumacher can do that.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th May 2011, 9:32

        Alonso has never had a breathtaking drive like Donington 1993.

        I beg to differ, at least as far as the first lap is concerned:

        Three great first laps

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th May 2011, 9:43

          Oh, he might have the odd great first lap … but wht about a great race, lights to flag?

          Senna got caught up in all manner of controveries. But ask any fan the first thing that comes to mind when they hear his name, and they’ll likely remember things like Donington 1993, his battles with Mansell and Prost and his astonishing record.

          Alonso has had his share of controversies, but if you were to ask fans of the first thing they think of when they hear his name (after he leaves the sport, of course), and they’ll likely recall a double World Champion who was a key player in the two biggest scandals the sport has ever seen (even if he was innocent in both, neither could have happened without him – particularly Singapore), plus the team orders row in 2010. Fernando Alonso has made an impression in Formula 1 … he’s just done it in all the wrong ways.

          • Taib said on 19th May 2011, 17:23

            If you are going to hate at least do it with facts instead of bile filled conjecture. “Ask the fans?”. You have been asking all the fans then?

            Alonso is already a great driver. Clearly he has made such a great impression that Ferrari felt that more doubling his initial contract was necessary.

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th May 2011, 9:51

          That race was always over-rated anyway. Everyone remembers it for the stunning opening and forgets about the rest. Don’t get me wrong, it was exciting, but the race didn’t finish on Lap 1!

          But if we’re comparing first laps, even I would say Alonso’s was better.

          • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 19th May 2011, 10:14

            Ok, if its lights to flag you are after, then how about Monaco 84, Estoril 86, Suzuka 88…

          • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 19th May 2011, 10:16

            Estoril 85 of course! Ah the perils of ommenting at work!

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th May 2011, 10:29

            Monaco 84 is a bit of a cheat as we only had half the race – he might have binned it ;)

            But yes, all great drives by Senna. I find it a bit silly to stack up “he has greater drives than you” because subjectivity and context are king.

        • alex said on 19th May 2011, 14:36

          I went to see again alonso’s 1st lap. It is really good, but you have to consider he was overtaking car much slower (except for massa).
          Besides, Renault (not alonso) was fantastic in the starts… (now it is even clearer, given the poor ones alonso has had recently)

      • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th May 2011, 9:41

        Nor is Alonso at the level of Schumacher. In 162 starts Alonso has 26 wins, which looks very impressive, until you see that Schumacher had 52 wins, exactly twice as many, by his 162nd start.

        Alonso may be very very good, but he is no legend, at least not yet.

        • Butterfly said on 19th May 2011, 9:53

          That’s right, not yet.

          Time is on his side, though.

        • Lustigson said on 19th May 2011, 10:04

          You have to take into account, too, while comparing Schumacher’s and Alonso’s 162 starts, that the former had had a car capable of winning every single season of his career, bar his debut year 1991, while the latter has had a less-than-optimal car for 2004, arguably 2008, and 2009.

          Plus, the Renaults, McLarens and Ferraris that Alonso drove to victory haven’t been as dominant as Schumacher’s Benetton in 1995 — he took 8 wins from 17 races — and more so his Ferraris in the 2000 through 2002 season — I’m only counting his first 162 starts, i.e. until Malaysia 2002 — handing him 19 wins in 36 Grands Prix.

          The way I see it, Alonso is in Schumacher’s league. Perhaps not statistically, but hey, most of us don’t consider Schumacher to be in Senna’s and Prost’s league, despite his 91 wins and 68 pole positions. :-)

          • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th May 2011, 10:14

            That is a very valid point, but when you look at it, and despite the car dominance, Schumacher got his 26th win by his 96th start, it took Alonso 60 more races to reach that mark.

            I think Alonso today is as good or better than the Schumacher of today. But compared to the Schumacher of the late 90′s – early 2000′s he has a long way to go.

            Something I think he is trying to answer with the new and very lengthy Ferrari contract. I suspect it shall work and we shall see at least one more, if not multiple Alonso title, and it will take that for me to see him as being in the same class as Schumacher, because in my mind, he just isn’t quite there.

          • Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 19th May 2011, 10:18

            Not to forget that Alonso has arguably come up against a stronger and wider field of talent than Schumacher did…

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th May 2011, 10:38

            Well let’s see. Schumacher won against Senna and Prost. You may say he had a car capable of winning races, isn’t it just as likely he won those races more than the car? How many races did Brundle win? Irvine didn’t win in a Ferrari until 1999. How many wins did Schumacher take from Hill having a dud year?

            @Dan Schumacher was also up against superior machinery from 1996 until 2000. Alonso by contrast had 3 seasons where his car was either the best or equal best.

            Personally I don’t think Alonso is as talented as Schumacher was. He reminds me much more of the later Schumacher years, driving from experience more than instinct. If we’re talking about legacies,Alonso is not there yet. Win two more championships and we’ll see.

          • brum55 said on 19th May 2011, 11:33

            How many of Schumacher’s wins were against Senna and Prost? 5 wins in 3 years. Then it was wins against the mighty Hill, Villeneuve and Hakkinen before having the most dominant car in history.

            Alonso’s rivalry with Hamilton has already lasted longer than Schumi’s with Mika. Not forgetting battling an on-form Kimi and the emergence of Vettel. And of course he battled with Schumacher and came out on top.

            The reason people rate Senna and Prost so highly is because of the standard of their opposition and the fact they more often than not came out on top. And once they retire, people will be rating Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel as highly for the same reasons regardless of whether they get near Schumacher’s records.

          • David A said on 20th May 2011, 2:59

            @brum55- if Schumacher wasn’t driving, then the driver’s you mentioned would have been more even, and fighting for the championships and wins Schumacher took. Then you’d be talking about how great the competition was, like now or in the 50′s-80′s.

            There is a difference between being no competition and simply being better than everyone else.

        • unnnooocc said on 19th May 2011, 10:09

          Adam, much of that has to do with which teams he is in.

          Schumacher collected a win in his first full year (1992). Along with all podiums bar DNF in 1993. He then had fast cars (with reigning champions to go against) in 94 and even more so 95. Fast cars capable of winning for the next 4 years. Then fastest cars and a lapdog teammate for 5 years and 2 fast cars at the end.

          Alonso on the other hand, could only muster 1 win due to the cars he had in his first 3 years. Schumacher has a champion by the end of his 3rd full year. Alonso never had the car. He then had 3 years of championship capable cars although he faced more oponents to take wins off him.

          then 2 ‘wins’ in 2 years before the 3rd fastest car last year and something even more off the pace so far this year.

          Compare that with someone like Hamilton and it looks even more amazing purely by facts.

          Hamilton was brought up by an F1 and in his first year had the fastest car. 2nd year he had fastest/2nd fastest car along with bias from team and a move over I’m coming past teammate
          3rd year he didn’t have anything until later in the seasn.
          4th he was challenging till the final GP despite several large mistake near the end. 2nd fastest car.

          I’m not a proper fan of either of the 3 drivers, I personally like the later two more than Schumacher but I would prefer Webber and Massa to be on the podium before any of them.

          Senna could only manage 41 wins from 162 starts. So is Schumacher 150% better than Senna? nup… I wouldn’t say he is even close.

          Prost had 43 in his first 162 starts. I wouldn’t call Schumacher better than Prost either.

          • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th May 2011, 10:18

            I think you still have to take into account that he scored 16 wins with Ferrari before his first championship season with them in 2000. 16 wins during seasons in which the Williams, and then the McLaren were arguably faster cars.

            Yes, Alonso has had more time in inferior cars than Schumacher, but he just hasn’t gotten as much out of them as Michael had.

            I’m not trying to say the stats make Schumi out to be any better a driver than Prost or Senna, but he is(or at least was) clearly a better driver than Alonso who now seeks to emulate him with this new Ferrari contract.

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th May 2011, 11:32

            I’m sorry but it’s a little rich to say Hamilton had a “move over” team-mate when you’re sticking up for Alonso. Fisichella was exactly the same and the less said about Massa moving over, the better.

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th May 2011, 10:52

          I sometimes make this point about Senna but it also fits in with Alonso.

          A lot of Senna fans say he would have had Schumacher’s records if his career (i.e. the level of cars he drove) had gone the same way. Probably true. If Alonso’s career goes the same way as Schumacher’s he’ll challenge them too, at least in “real terms” (taking into account level of opposition, etc.).

          But the thing is, Schumacher actually did them. And whilst in Senna’s case the reason is tragic, it’ll always be a “what if”. Maybe, seeing as he was so demotivated from Prost’s retirement, he would have slumped and given up.

          Alonso himself still has the chance to emulate Schumacher. But whilst we fall over ourselves comparing them like-for-like, the fact is Alonso won’t be in Schumacher’s league until he does what Schumacher did (in “real terms” of course) over the rest of his career.

          • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th May 2011, 11:04

            Thankyou Icthyes!!

            You have helped prove the point I was trying to make. That Alonso needs a lot more success to be truly compared to Schumacher.

            I did some digging, and those that say Schumi didn’t have enough competition need to look at their history.

            During Schumacher’s career, so from late 91-06, 2010-present:

            Hill had 22 wins, Hakkinen had 20, Alonso had 20, DC had 13, Mansell had 12, Villeneuve had 11, Rubens had 11, Senna had 10, Kimi had 9, Vettel is up to 8, Prost had 7, Montoya had 7, his brother Ralf had 6, Berger had 5, Webber and Hamilton had both had 4, and there are several others you have 4 or less.

            On this list are many of the best drivers to compete in the sport. Schumacher may have had the best car for several of his seasons, but it is because he earned it, during his time he’s amassed 91 wins and had to compete against the likes of Senna at the beginning, Hakkinen at his peak, Alonso near his retirement and now he’s come back to deal with Vettel, Hamilton and others. To say he has not had enough competition is nearly blasphemous.

          • Robbie said on 19th May 2011, 14:14

            No driver has ever had nearly the resources for such an extended time period as MS/Ferrari…FIA/F1 desired for MS to end the Ferrari WDC drought and hence the mega contract including contracted subservient bootlickers for teammates to not be a bother, decided in the boardroom, not on the track…the extra 100 mill per year just because they were Ferrari, the 3 seats on the board to the other teams’ one, thus giving them veto power on upcoming rule changes throughout MS’s tenure at Ferrari.

            No driver will ever achieve the numbers MS compiled until the FIA/F1 decides to make it so.

            I will honour any driver who has achieved ‘only 1 WDC’ but achieved honourably, vs. any of MS’s WDC’s achieved with the underhanded tactics of massive favouritism on his teams robbing we the fans of true racing on MS’s teams, the FIA’s desire to see him win, the career long unethical behaviour on the track…

            The likes of JV, MH and FA beat an MS that had the cards stacked moreso toward him, not just on his team(s) but amongst the whole grid, moreso than any driver in the history of F1, so I honour those WDC’s hand over fist more than those of MS.

            The proof MS needed all that he received to win? Look at how he is doing now without it.
            The effort and motivation just isn’t there like it used to be to give MS a hand up, and the results show it.

            I look for Ferrari to honour we the viewing audience with worthy teammates for FA such that we are not robbed of racing in the pinnacle of racing. I look for FA to want to earn his WDC’s honourably, by beating his fairly treated teammate first and foremost on the track, not in the boardroom, and then by beating the rest of the field.

          • David A said on 20th May 2011, 3:22

            No driver has ever had nearly the resources for such an extended time period as MS/Ferrari…FIA/F1 desired for MS to end the Ferrari WDC drought and hence the mega contract including contracted subservient bootlickers for teammates to not be a bother, decided in the boardroom, not on the track…the extra 100 mill per year just because they were Ferrari, the 3 seats on the board to the other teams’ one, thus giving them veto power on upcoming rule changes throughout MS’s tenure at Ferrari.

            The majority of this stuff has already been pointed out to you as being fiction, or inaccurate. The rule changes in 2003 and 2005 for example? To prevent Ferari domination.

            The likes of JV, MH and FA beat an MS that had the cards stacked moreso toward him, not just on his team(s) but amongst the whole grid, moreso than any driver in the history of F1, so I honour those WDC’s hand over fist more than those of MS.

            That’s your very misguided opinion, which I have to respect. MH and JV had superior cars to MSC in 97 and 98, and MS’s talent meant he could keep up and almost beat them in those years. In everyone else’s mind, JV isn’t even close to MS. Hakkinen is an underrated driver, but overall still isn’t in Schumacher’s league (with Senna, Prost, Fangio, Clark).

            The proof MS needed all that he received to win? Look at how he is doing now without it.
            The effort and motivation just isn’t there like it used to be to give MS a hand up, and the results show it.

            No, it’s just clear that F1 drivers get better, not that Schumacher was never the best. It’s a sign of how great Schumacher, that when MH (a 2 time WDC) tried to test a Mclaren after retirement, he was seconds off the pace, yet MS is tenths off the pace.

      • meadowlark said on 19th May 2011, 11:22

        no not your hatred speaking/ it must be your close personnel relationship with him /or your extensive bitching on blogs

        • Robbie said on 20th May 2011, 16:27

          The majority of this stuff has already been pointed out to you as being fiction, or inaccurate. The rule changes in 2003 and 2005 for example? To prevent Ferari domination.

          Don’t recall anybody pointing out to me that this stuff is fiction…regarding the rule changes, if you are going to argue that rule changes were meant to stop Ferrari’s domination ask yourself how it is that it got to the point that they were so dominant that it required rule changes to alter that…also ask yourself why it is possible, using your argument, that FIA would interfere with F1 with rule changes to stop Ferrari domination yet couldn’t possibly have set MS up at Ferrari to end the WDC drought there.

          No, it’s just clear that F1 drivers get better, not that Schumacher was never the best. It’s a sign of how great Schumacher, that when MH (a 2 time WDC) tried to test a Mclaren after retirement, he was seconds off the pace, yet MS is tenths off the pace.

          Actually MS is seconds off the pace…he is only tenths off of NR’s pace. And it’s been a season and a half almost…did MH had a season and a half to test a Mac after he retired? Or are you just going to pick on selected momentary flashes in time of different circumstances to make your argument?

          • Robbie said on 20th May 2011, 16:30

            Oops, looks like I need practice at blocking quotes.

          • David A said on 20th May 2011, 17:46

            Don’t recall anybody pointing out to me that this stuff is fiction…regarding the rule changes, if you are going to argue that rule changes were meant to stop Ferrari’s domination ask yourself how it is that it got to the point that they were so dominant that it required rule changes to alter that…also ask yourself why it is possible, using your argument, that FIA would interfere with F1 with rule changes to stop Ferrari domination yet couldn’t possibly have set MS up at Ferrari to end the WDC drought there.

            Sigh…Brawn, Byrne, and the rest of the technical staff at Ferrari were the best people around at the time. Combined with the talent and leadership of Schumacher, you get domination. F1 became boring, and so “the show” had to be livened up. By signing the best driver and people, Ferrari set themselves up for an end to the WDC drought.

            Actually MS is seconds off the pace…he is only tenths off of NR’s pace. And it’s been a season and a half almost…did MH had a season and a half to test a Mac after he retired? Or are you just going to pick on selected momentary flashes in time of different circumstances to make your argument?

            It’s pretty amazing that you can accuse others of making “selective memory flashes”, when that is all you ever do. Consider every negative thing about Schumacher, blow it up a thousand times and claim Villeneuve scraping one title are better than all of Schumacher’s. Yeah, we can’t pretend that Schumacher’s conduct was always perfect. Yes, the team was geared towards him. But you can’t take away his dedication to everything on and off track (that modern drivers have taken to and refined) and his at times phenomenal consistency.

            Hakkinen was over 2.3 seconds off Hamilton’s pace when he tested a Mclaren, while at no point (not even before 2010) was Schumacher so far off the pace of someone in the same car. Have a look for yourself.

      • Oh, Senna detractors respected him??? Well, I can name a bunch that didn’t respect him at all. And (sorry but it’s true) even a few that were happy about his demise.

        • Robbie said on 20th May 2011, 18:26

          Starting off with a sigh does not make your opinion superior and does not convince me to change mine…I think we can agree to disagree because we’ll only just keep going around in circles otherwise…eg. you say MS had phenomenal consistancy, I say that is what happens when you are set up at Ferrari with a subservient teammate and by extension a designer car, designer tires, more testing than anyone has ever done, etc etc…

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 20th May 2011, 18:33

            More testing than anyone else because he was the hardest working driver. So, I guess we will have to agree to disagree otherwise this’ll go on forever.

    • unnnooocc said on 19th May 2011, 9:48

      here here for more Italian to Spanish in English radio

      The only real option for Alonso and a great one for Ferrari.

      Ferrari and McLaren will be up there probably like it has been since the late 90′s (i.e. after williams’ run). Red Bull until they get bored. Mercedes and Renault maybe.

      Alonso doesn’t need to risk a lower team and they are moving around too much, will renault or wont it, will Mercedes be in the midfield or front in 2 years. He can’t go to McLaren and Red Bull is only there as long as Newey is and there is no point going to Vettel’s cheer squad when you have a cheer squad of your own (although not as much).

      Ferrari is the only real option for Alonso.

      Ferrari on the other hand does have a few options although one would guess a simple performance criteria would settel any doubts they have about him doing a Raikkonen.

      Vettel is a ?, is he really fast or just a ‘quite-old-webber’-beater? Hamilton is at McLaren. No point bargaining on rookies yet to come.

      Alonso is quite probably the best overall driver in F1. Great reason to keep Alonso.

      Not suprised and it isn’t a big thing for either as they both desperately need each other

  6. Stokesy said on 19th May 2011, 10:13

    I’m sorry, but why will Ferrari be winning championships again? The only reason they won in 2007 was because Hamilton threw it away, and apart from the Schuey era, where they only had McLaren challenging them at some points, they haven’t won since ’79. Schumacher was (emphasis on was) an amazing driver, and Raikkonen was very high class as well, not saying Alonso isn’t, but now Ferrari has real competition from Red Bull and McLaren, and will continue to for the forseeable future, I just don’t see them winning many more championships.

    • TommyC said on 19th May 2011, 13:43

      Strange comment. Have you forgotten their constructors championship in 2008? anyways to say ferrari hasn’t won since 1979 (except 2000-2004, 2007-2008) sounds very strange. unless you were being sarcastic. Ferrari will always be there or there abouts. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see fernando win at least one more title. But you do make the valid point that the competition from RBR and McLaren is currently very strong and i don’t think we’ll see the dominant ferrari of the last decade.

  7. marcusbreese (@marcusbreese) said on 19th May 2011, 10:14

    For all you people saying he should hoover up a few more championships.. may I remind you that Ferrari has had one WDC in the last six years.

    With Adrian Newey happy at Red Bull, and a big regulation change coming up (let’s not forget that Red Bull’s ascendancy really started in 2009, at the time of the last big regulation change) it’s hard to look past them, and with Mclaren, Mercedes and Renault all more or less in the same league as Ferrari, scrapping for the remainder of points, it’s hard to see Ferrari sticking out from the crowd enough to win anything more than a few races.

  8. Stokesy said on 19th May 2011, 10:22

    Oh and another thing I forgot to mention that I can’t quite understand is this perception of “royalty” with Ferrari. Yeah, they’ve been around since the beginning, and yeah they’ve won the most championships, but you’d think with their experience they would’ve won a lot more.

  9. Excluding FA’s second stint at Renault, where the car was clearly not up to the job, FA has had an impressive championship record:

    2005 win
    2006 win
    2007 lost by 1 pt
    2008 – car not up to it …
    2009 – car not up to it …
    2010 lost by 4 (new) points

    Impressive stuff.

  10. Viper-7 said on 19th May 2011, 10:40

    @PRISONER MONKEY’S, Your obvious hate for Fernando is clear in your post’s. Yet you still fail to remember that it was MCLAREN stealing FERRARI data in 2007. Second of all why is it that you are directly only referring to Fernando when comparing to Senna???? Why don’t you say Button,Vettel or Hamilton???? Second of all your favorite driver Button, is always being referred to as Alain Prost.
    Which I think is a load of non-sense. Wasn’t a certain Mclaren team Involved in a lying scandal in Melbourne 2009?? Lets just say you are PRISONER of your own mind and you need to stop MONKEYing around.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th May 2011, 10:49

      Yet you still fail to remember that it was MCLAREN stealing FERRARI data in 2007

      And yet, Alonso was a major part of it. The entire point of stealing the data was to build a better car and stand a better chance of winning the World Championship. Even if he was an innocent bystander, he still benefited from it. And I seem to recall his testimony being a major factor in prosecuting McLaren.

      Second of all why is it that you are directly only referring to Fernando when comparing to Senna???? Why don’t you say Button,Vettel or Hamilton????

      Because we’re not talking about Button, Vettel and Hamilton. If someone had posted something about them being comparable to Senna, I would have replied in kind. They didn’t, so i haven’t.

      Wasn’t a certain Mclaren team Involved in a lying scandal in Melbourne 2009??

      Yes, they were. But it was hardly a major scandal when, as you pointed out, in 2007, McLaren used Ferrari’s technical data to build their car. Or, in 2008, when Renault had one of their drivers deliberately crash to allow Alonso to win. Lying to the stewards about what happened under yellow flags at one corner doesn’t compare.

      • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th May 2011, 11:07

        Renault had one of their drivers deliberately crash to allow Alonso to win. Lying to the stewards about what happened under yellow flags at one corner doesn’t compare.

        Here here! It doesn’t even come close.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th May 2011, 11:43

          Yeah, that was merely deeply embarressing. Not worth an outcry and a fully deserved but not upheld ban for those mostly responsible.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th May 2011, 12:05

            But Renault made it pretty clear that they had never told Briatore to do what he did. The manufacturer had a very hands-off approach to the sport, allowing Briatore to run the team in their name. The advantage was that it allowed them to concentrate on other areas whilst a person more competent to run the team than they were got them results. The downside was that that person could do anything in their name. And Briatore did. If Renault could prove they had nothing to do with the incident (except to have their name on the cars), why should they be punished?

            Briatore – the person most responsible – got what he deserved.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th May 2011, 12:15

            No he didn’t. In the end his ban from F1 was thrown out by the courts due to how Max handled everything.

            I wasn’t talking about Renault not being punished for it. Thats a different story.

  11. YUTAO said on 19th May 2011, 11:05

    These years the lineup at top teams is annoyingly stable. This means that new drivers are being exploited of chances of entering top teams. Sigh..

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 19th May 2011, 13:56

      Schumacher: 1996-2006 Ferrari
      Irvine: 1996-1999 Ferrari
      Barrichello: 2000-2005 Ferrari
      Massa: 2006-2011 Ferrari
      Hakkinen: 1993-2001 McLaren
      Coulthard: 1996-2004 McLaren

      Even before now top teams tried to keep stability in their line-ups. It is, after all, a sensible action as those drivers were strong and the more they stayed in their team, the more they knew the car and people working, allowing them to improve and win.

  12. box this lap said on 19th May 2011, 11:29

    so when Alonso’s contract expires I have finished my education. It wil be great to see who is getting the best results the coming years, me or alonso!=P

  13. James said on 19th May 2011, 11:30

    Quite a commitment on both sides, although this is exactly what both Ferrari and Fernando need.

    It offer’s stabilitiy and the ability to rally the team behind Alonso (I would say that would be a major negotiating point in this contract). Stabilitiy and focus is something Ferrari have lost since Schumacher retired from racing in 2006. Kimi didnt lead the team technically and Massa doesnt seem capable of doing so at all.

    I’m sure Alonso will get another title or two at some point during this contract. Newey’s cars dont normally have long periods of dominance. Ferrari just need to sort their development department out and they’ll be back on top before long.

  14. kbdavies said on 19th May 2011, 11:30

    I think this clearly show Lewis needs to move teams fast, and i believe negotiations are currently underway.
    McLaren are not about to build a championship winning car anytime soon. If current form in the past 3yrs is anything to go by, they are going to spend the 2nd half of the season trying to perfect the Octopus Exhaust, thereby persisting in using updates that clearly don’t work; due to that well known malaise – Stubborn Engineers Syndrome.
    I predict McLaren will regularly fall behind Ferrari and Mercedes for the rest of the season – unless they change their current direction.

    The only option available is Webber’s seat at Red Bull.
    Clearly, neither Vettel, nor Red Bull relish the idea for different reasons. Lewis absolutely believes he can beat Vettel if given equal machinery. He as said as much. Vettel however, has not shown the same confidence, and quite clearly is not looking forward to Lewis being a teamate, as it would threaten his his de-facto, unspoken No.1 status. Just ask Alonso.

    My thinking is that Adrian and Christian also believe Lewis will be more than a match for Vettel, and so do not relish the idea either as it would create all manner of intra-team tensions. I simply cannot imagine Lewis laying over whilst his front wing is given to Vettel, or being told to reduce his fuel mix, so Vettel can catch up and overtake. We all saw what happened when McLaren tried that shenanigans in Oz.

    I predicted Lewis to move to RBR this year, as i felt Mark would leave due to all the drama last year. That did not happen. Mark will never win a championship at Red Bull, nor at any other team for that matter. He is with the fairies if he thinks as much.

    Lewis leaving Macca is only a matter of time, and Red Bull is the only option at the moment. This means Marks days are numbered, as i canot see Red Bull persisting with their unspoken ferrariesque strategy – A No1 driver racking up championship points, and a No2. taking points away from rivals.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 19th May 2011, 11:41

      McLaren are not about to build a championship winning car anytime soon.

      Hamilton has been the only person so far to beat Vettel.

      2nd half of the season trying to perfect the Octopus Exhaust, thereby persisting in using updates that clearly don’t work; due to that well known malaise – Stubborn Engineers Syndrome.
      I predict McLaren will regularly fall behind Ferrari and Mercedes for the rest of the season – unless they change their current direction.

      My understanding is that it’s been ditched already because they can’t stop it melting.

      Only in the last race did a Ferrari get under half a second slower in qualifying than a McLaren. They only beat the leading McLaren in the last race. I’d hold your horses before predicting McLaren’s downfall!

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th May 2011, 11:45

        Yeah, I gather that McLaren are at least as likely to build a winning car as Ferrari are.

        Only going to Red Bull would currently look the better perspective for that. But that would be a bit like joining Alonso at Ferrari. A choice for a number two seat.

      • kbdavies said on 19th May 2011, 11:59

        @Icthyes

        Hamilton has beaten Vettel, but its not because of the car, which validates my point that McLaren have not given him a championship winning car for a while, and are unlikely to do so in the near future.
        Also, the prediction is from Mclarens form over the past 3 yrs (this is where predictions come from).
        Its been a case on 1 step forwards, and 2 steps backwards as far as their updates have been concerned.
        Please tell me the last time McLaren have CONSISTENTLY improved their pace over a season, and at every race in the last 5yrs? This is something Renault & Red Bull achieved last yr, and Red Bull and Ferrari are doing this year
        You only have to read Tim Goss’s comments this week. They are not even sure of which updates they are going to use yet!!
        They spent the whole of winter testing barking up the wrong tree, and they are about to spend the 2nd half of the season barking up that same tree. The Octopus Exhaust has NOT been ditched. They are still trying to optimise it for races.
        Cue 2010 when they introduced EBD to what was clearly the 2nd fastest car on the grid, and subsequently unbalanced it thereafter. They spent the 2nd half of the season trying to optimise it.
        Cue 2009, when they actually went up the wrong tree and stayed there. They found solutions that made the car better, but again went back to updates that didnt work thereafter!

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th May 2011, 12:19

          Sorry kbdavies. But you seriously mention Ferrari are consistently improving the car this year?

          First of all, we have only had a few races without any major packages since McLaren brought something new to Melbourne, so it is far to early to judge any consistency save Vettel being consitently ahead so far.
          Secondly, Ferrari have so far found out they were nowhere, struggled to find the reason, found out something went wrong in the windtunnel and stated they will gradually improve.
          Their race pace has been just about the same comparative to Red Bull for now, but they lost through bad starts, pitstops and just not being as good to setup the car for the tyres.

    • Rob said on 19th May 2011, 12:03

      “McLaren are not about to build a championship winning car anytime soon. ”

      Wow, we have a man from the future here!

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 19th May 2011, 13:58

      I think McLaren are and will be competitive and Lewis should sign with them not only to have a winning car but also as a sign of commitment.

    • DaveW said on 19th May 2011, 15:05

      Agree. It’s very simple: if you want to rack up titles, you do it in car designed by Newey, Byrne, or Barnard, and only one of those guys is still on the job. If you want to live your F1 dream or whatever, drive for Ferrari. If you want to be a loyal company man, stay in Woking and assemble an amazing record of runner-up trophies. I can see Whitmarsh making a grab for Rosberg to protect the team’s future, which might set things in motion.

  15. Harvs (@harvs) said on 19th May 2011, 11:42

    Why r we comparing Alonso to Senna, Prost, and Schumacher? Honestly this comment is going to cause a huge stir! I’m expecting to be yelled at here but just Listen….

    …Alonso, Hamilton, Kubica, Rosberg, Vettel and most of the current F1 drivers are better than Senna, Prost Mansell, Fangio and all of the drivers considered great.

    You might think why I’m saying this but think about it. What age did Senna start Karting? not the same age as Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel i supose? And i’m right Senna started racing karts competitivly at the age of 13. Now if you get two idenditcal twins and teach one of them let’s say french at the age 5 and continually teach them untill they are 20, and you take the other twin and start teaching them at 9, when they get too 20 the boy who started younger will be more fluent 100% of the time. Secondly what was the population of the planet when Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel started Karting? Probably alot less people were chilling on the 3rd rock back when Senna was born, and I’d expect there would be far less poeple interested in motorsport let alone getting involved in it! F1 drivers now are Super fit machines, most of them dont even drink during the racing season! bar Sutil.. this was not the case in the 70′s and 80′s

    So the Greats started driving later, went up against less tallent, less people trying to make it to the top, and the cars were slower.

    The reason why we consider Senna the greatest ever, Prost and Schumacher Greats is because the tallent was not as great at the top. So Senna and the other greats stood out more in thier current feild, so the gap to the rest of the feild appears to be greater but its just because the tallent is less refined. The tallent is so close in this generations feild that I strongly believe that Senna would struggle. As Ive said the tallent is so refined in the current feild that being able to qualify 1.5 seconds ahead of your team mate will be almost impossible, and standing out as much as Senna is absolutly impossible.

    Put Hamilton, Alonso, Senna, Prost and Fangio in an identical GP3 car and I would not be supprised when Hamilton and Alonso finish 1st and 2nd, id actually put alot of money on it!

    Also, when a driver dies in a car they gain a huge amount of fame, some of them become better when they are dead than when they were alive, F1 is so safe now that it is highly unlikely to see a death. Danger is Hot! so people risking thier lives in dangerous cars have the illusion of being better drivers,

    I’ve used Senna alot becuase he is widley regarded as the best!

    let the abuse follow!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th May 2011, 11:46

      Interesting thoughts, let me think about that.

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th May 2011, 12:04

      Seeing as we cannot resurrect the greats and put them on the modern grid, I say we put the current crop of drivers in vintage grand prix machines and see how they do. I think you would quickly be changing your tone sir.

      How fast you go now is ultimately up to the car, how fast they went back then had a lot more to do with the driver than it does now. They had a lot more input. Bring back Jim Clark, put him in an RB7 and I guarantee you he’d give Vettel a run for his money. Reverse that situation and I don’t know if Seb could keep up.

      • Hallard said on 19th May 2011, 17:17

        I have to agree with you…kind of. The only thing I would dispute is that F1 racing nowdays requires a much higher level of physical fitness, and there’s no way to know if the old greats like Graham Hill could have achieved that level of fitness. Otherwise, I totally concur :)

    • Klaas said on 19th May 2011, 14:07

      I agree about this useless tendency of comparing drivers (Alonso isn’t like Senna, Schumacher or others). Alonso is like Alonso and this is how it normally should be, he has his own personality, his own achievements and he doesn’t have to immitate anyone. If Senna wanted to be like Jim Clark he wouldn’t be the legend he is today. In the last 6 years Alonso was a contender for the championship in 4 of them and he has 5 more years to compete. So no matter how he will be remembered one could say that he was an influential figure in the sport (he brought F1 in Spain)and certainly one of the greats.

    • rfs said on 19th May 2011, 14:37

      Didn’t Senna first drive a kart when he was 4 years old?

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