Alonso: “I’ve driven the best seven races of my career this year”

2011 European Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Montreal, 2011

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Montreal, 2011

Fernando Alonso says he’s driven “the best seven races of my career” in 2011.

Speaking in the press conference ahead of this weekend’s European Grand Prix he said: “I think I have driven the best seven races of my career so far this year but now we must continue to respect our rivals while trying to close the gap to them.”

He said the team have got closer to victory in the last two race: “No doubt about it, indeed it?s a fact that we could have won in Monaco where I was ten centimetres away from victory and Canada where I was on the front row of the grid.

“This means the trend is positive and here, the circuit characteristics are similar to Canada and Monaco but we must remember that, at times, we have been one second off the fastest pace in qualifying.”

He is not convinced the rules changes introduced this weekend will automatically make Ferrari contenders for victory: “I don?t know if I can get pole just because of mapping changes.

“I don?t think it will change much, because the fastest car and Vettel was sometimes eight or nine tenths faster than us even in the race, so we saw a superior dominant car and we cannot underestimate our opponents.”

Alonso said he’s not ready to give up his chances of winning the title this year: “We need to have the best car and then we can win the title because there is plenty of time and plenty of races to recover.

“But if we are fifth and sixth in qualifying then it will be very difficult. The championship is long, so we need to concentrate on every race and try and be on the podium.

“Our aim is always to win every race even if this is very difficult but this is the way we are because we are Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. This is the pressure you have when you are Ferrari ?ǣ you are expected to win every race and every championship.”

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50 comments on Alonso: “I’ve driven the best seven races of my career this year”

  1. I thought Malaysia and China were blips (or perhaps Massa was having a good couple of weekends or a bit of both) but I’d agree that he’s driven very well again this year and thankfully without the errors is was making early last season.

    The thing that really frustrates me about Fernando’s career is that he is one of the best on the grid -for me he is the best- but he’s spent a few of his top years now in cars where he can’t challenge for the championship. I know that this is only his second year at Ferrari and in all honesty I thought they’d struggle this year but I hope they can bounce back soon.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd June 2011, 16:01

      I think you are right in both accounts. Massa is driving very good this year, but Ferrari have been too far off the pace to often.

      And Alonso lost 2 years in the mid field Renault, just when he could have been on top.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 23rd June 2011, 16:33

        I honestly thought Massa was driving better last year. He hasn’t been on the podium this year but was twice in 2010.

        • 85Q said on 23rd June 2011, 17:19

          did he only get 2 last year? i thought it was more. i remember him falling up the stairs 2 races in a row?

          • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 23rd June 2011, 21:32

            To be honest I could only think of a couple myself but I just checked and he was on the podium 5 times!

            The F150 isn’t doing either of them any favours.

        • He was on the podium at Bahrain, Germany, Italy and Korea iirc. I think he’s driving far better this year it’s just the car isn’t as good.

    • Oh I completely forgot Canada too where I thought he was pretty poor to the extent I thought him and Felipe had swapped helmets. I think Alonso’s races have been hit and miss; he’s either been spectacular such as Spain, Monaco and Turkey or I forget he’s there like China, Malaysia and Canada. I think this is mostly PR morale boosting talk.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 23rd June 2011, 16:32

        Maybe he means the best seven races altogether, the best first seven races in any of the seasons he has competed in. Although you are right and he’s had some excellent races and some mediocre ones.

        • 85Q said on 23rd June 2011, 17:21

          its been hit and miss. malayasia was amazing up to the prang.

          china was ok, made terrible by bizzare tactics leaving him out on worn tyres.

          melbourne was a good comeback.

          monaco, turkey and spain he was brilliant.

      • alex said on 23rd June 2011, 20:13

        true. Alonso has had many ups and downs since got at Ferrari. Ferrari and him are not in their best shape.

        • madnessisfame said on 24th June 2011, 0:14

          Its because the car is not in a good shape. Massa is an indication whether the car is good or not…Alonso is an opportunist who pushes the car so hard to make it look great.

    • PaulM said on 23rd June 2011, 16:15

      I think you can say the same about Hamilton, in that he has not had winning cars since 2008. There comes a time when you have to question whether loyalty is worth more than championships… I am sure that Ferrari and McLaren will bounce back at some point.

      • xbx-117 (@xbx-117) said on 23rd June 2011, 16:20

        I’m pretty sure Hamilton would have won in 2010 if it were not for a slew of racing incidents. He had a capable car, its just problems on track held him back (in the same vein reliability affected Red Bull, so everyone had their misfortune). But I do believe he had a winning car last year.

      • RIISE (@riise) said on 23rd June 2011, 16:26

        Well Senna was only ever interested in Championship winning cars so I would expect Lewis to take the same philosophy. Loyalty is all well and good but there is a big difference between being a legend for a team and being a legend in F1 (Which I’m sure Lewis would prefer).

        • 85Q said on 23rd June 2011, 17:23

          the way senna held mclaren to ransom in 93 with a race by race contract was going to far for me.

          he even turned up late for practice at imola lol!

    • While not an Alonso fan, he is pretty much the best on the grid.

      But consider this. He’s in a Ferrari. Didn’t he go there because he thought he’d win the title? Aren’t they supposed to be (one of) the best on the grid? Can a driver only win if he’s in the best car?

      Also consider that Alonso turned down two drives in cars that went onto win the title the following year.

      Mclaren and Brawn. He can’t have it all his own way all the time!

      • Robbie said on 23rd June 2011, 17:51

        Statistically speaking, in almost all seasons of F1 the winner of the WDC had the WCC winning car. And if not the actual WCC winning car, then at least a very strong second place car in the Constructor’s race. Sure one can win a race without the best car, depending on circumstances…but a Championship? Almost always you need the best car or as I say a very very close second place car and to have someone squander the best car and lose the WDC that way.

      • Rob said on 23rd June 2011, 23:00

        Its impossible to call. Thats exactly why he signed for so long.

        He knows that chances are Ferrari will get it right in one or two of the seasons remaining on his very long contract. So he is patiently waiting for that time, and then when it arrives he will pounce and destroy everyone.

    • SeanG said on 24th June 2011, 6:14

      He’s lucky to have won 2 championships. Consider Mika Hakkinen. So many years in poor cars. In his youth there was no one better.

      Alonso better pray…

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 24th June 2011, 16:16

      I think F10 was decent last year, particularly the second part of the championship and Alonso was leading into the last race. Ferrari made a pit mistake and Alonso was not brave enough to pull out a risky move on Petrov.

      You don’t win races on a Fiat Panda, but Alonso should’ve win the championship in 2010 because his car was good enought for a podium finish in Abu Dhabi.

  2. RIISE (@riise) said on 23rd June 2011, 15:59

    I wouldn’t say he’s driven the best 7 races of his career. But I guess he knows better than anyone.

    It’s good to see he isn’t being sucked into the engine map changes and allowing false hope to creep in (I feel that might happen with McLaren). He is being realistic about his chances for the title, sure Red Bull may lose 5 tenths but Vettel makes that up with the skill he has so you can guarantee Seb will still be running at the front for the rest of the season.

    Here’s hoping for a good result for Ferrari in Valencia.

    • Hyoko said on 23rd June 2011, 18:16

      I’d say his absolute best was Hungaroring 2006, with arguably the best first lap of all F1 history. Only that he DNF’d due to a crazy pitstop mishap when he should have scored one of the most stunning victories of all time.

      • RIISE (@riise) said on 23rd June 2011, 18:30

        If I were to pick one race that sticks in my mind it would be Magny Cours 2004. Fernando drove a brilliant race which was thwarted by the brilliant Schumacher 4 stop strategy.

        Other than that I could choose a few drives for Minardi.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 23rd June 2011, 20:47

          He had quite a few more brilliant races.. Suzuka and San Marino 2005, and Nurburgring 2007. Singapore 2010 was pretty impressive as well.

          I wouldn’t think his 2011 races were even close to his best wins. Seems like pointless PR talk to me.

        • I agree with what you’ve all suggested. I’d also add Malaysia 2010 when he drove with a car that was broken from the get go. Japan 2003 was pretty good too.

        • AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 18th July 2011, 0:46

          Oh come on, there are plenty of post-Minardi performances in masterclass from Alonso, to name but a few –

          Japan 2001 (I know I said post-Minardi, but far too impressive to ignore)
          Hungary 2003
          San Marino 2005
          Japan 2005
          Hungary 2006
          Italy 2006
          Malaysia 2007
          Europe 2007
          Italy 2007
          Japan 2008
          Brazil 2008
          Singapore 2009
          Malaysia 2010
          Singapore 2010

          It’s kind of hard to do this

  3. Aldo said on 23rd June 2011, 16:12

    “I think I have driven the best seven races of my career so far this year but now we must continue to respect our rivals while trying to close the gap to them.”

    jeezeess, Fernando, you need a new press advisor, mate.
    But yeah, considering that in the past you had teammates ready to smash the car against the wall for you to win a race, then yes, you are much better this season.

    • Rob said on 23rd June 2011, 23:05

      Thats not very fair of you. Its not like he planned it.

      Reno did that so he could win. They wanted him to win that badly because he was going to leave them unless they provided him with the chance to win. They needed him to think he won the race, and telling him before hand that they were going to cheat would have ruined their plan because he wouldn’t have felt it was a genuine win.

  4. HounslowBusGarage said on 23rd June 2011, 16:16

    “I’ve driven the best seven races of my career this year”, and all for 69 points so far. Apart from being punted in Canada and the 20 second penalty in Malaysia, he’s always been there or thereabouts. So that must mean the Ferrari 150 is not the finest. I wonder if this is directed towards the Ferrari designers.

    • TheBrav3 said on 23rd June 2011, 16:51

      “I’ve driven the best seven races of my career this year”

      Sounds more like he’s saying he’s to old :P but jokes on ferrari they just bought him for 4 or 5 years?

    • alex said on 23rd June 2011, 20:23

      This “I’ve driven the top 7…” is the kind of thing that you dont have to say, only if you want to blame your own team or if you lack confidence (“I am the best, I am the best, I can win”).
      I am a big Ferrari fan, but I have my doubts about Alonso being capable of winning championships there. The VettelxNewey combination seems to be the new SchumixByrne

      • Rob said on 23rd June 2011, 23:07

        He consistently makes Massa (the guy who pretty much beat Lewis to the WDC – if it wernt for glock letting him past) look like a rookie. You cant be serious about him not being good enough? If he is not good enough then honestly, who is?

        • alex said on 25th June 2011, 0:06

          he just remind me of prost last year, not overtaking petrov.
          if you cant see alonso’s mistakes, you are just a fan.
          he is good, sure, but overrated, in my opinion.
          he beats massa, ok, but why was he beaten by a rookie in 2007? Come on…

  5. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 23rd June 2011, 17:18

    I think Fernando has been sniffing some of those off-throttle fumes.

    He did well in Australia, mucked up an inherited podium in Malaysia, non-existent in China, did well in Spain, ditto in Monaco and then was average in Canada. So I have no idea what he’s on about, but if he wants to be positive, by all means be so.

    • Becken said on 24th June 2011, 2:55

      So I have no idea what he’s on about, but if he wants to be positive, by all means be so.

      Fernando is only doing his usual PR, something very common from him since he arrived at Ferrari.

      His qualifying and start at Spain this year are his highlights so far.

      For me, his best races was in 2007 in McLaren along side Lewis. Monza win was really special for me…

  6. Atticus said on 23rd June 2011, 17:35

    Yes, Fernando, bar Malaysia where you were left off of a sure-fire podium because of your impatience.

    I don’t think China or Canada could be included as ‘bad drives’ for him. Probably he gave his all in China without errors, but the pace of the car and strategy let him down. Probably it was Massa who finally rose to the challenge in Canada, and it was not Fernando dropping back.

    Overall I think he has been pretty consistent for a while. Since Germany last year probably. Maybe he needed that much-talked-about preference, and responsibility in the team.

    Not as good as Vettel though. Bar Singapore, Istanbul and Montreal Vettel has been untouchable since Monza last year, and apart from those three occasions he literally hasn’t put a foot wrong. Mind you three of those four mistakes came during the last four rounds or so.

  7. Robbie said on 23rd June 2011, 17:45

    I’ll assume that FA means that given the car is not quite a race winner but knocking on the door, he himself has had to wrestle the thing around the track an awful lot this year…ie. he’s not speaking to the results for an indication of how he is doing this year, but his own personal performance in the car, and perhaps other drivers wouldn’t have been able to do what he has with this car that clearly isn’t quite right. Something we look for in WDC level drivers…what they can do when the car isn’t the best on the grid.

  8. He must have short term memory as gold fish.
    Two years he became champion 2005 and 2006 he missed podium on one occasion in first seven races.

    • Rob said on 23rd June 2011, 23:08

      Learn to read.

      He didnt say its his best 7 results. In terms of skill, he drove his best ever. His car is just that bad.

  9. Jeffrey Powell said on 23rd June 2011, 18:59

    Kiddology! from Fernando .

  10. Klaas said on 23rd June 2011, 19:40

    Last season he drove the “best car of his career”, now the best races. This Fernando is a strange man – the shi..ttier it gets the happier he seems to be.

  11. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 23rd June 2011, 20:42

    Alonso is most of the times right when he talks about the performance of his competitors, so I don’t think he can really fight for the championship right now. Then again, a bit of luck can bring a lot.

  12. Herman (@herman) said on 23rd June 2011, 22:46

    Conversation between Alonso and journalist
    “I’ve driven the best seven races of my career this year”
    “What about Spain and Canada?”
    “Lets not bother with the technicalities!”

  13. madnessisfame said on 24th June 2011, 0:03

    while there might be a slight chance for Alonso, Ferrari should mean while develop the car for next season…I am sure Massa can work on it with some extreme allowed parts.
    From now on IF Alonso keeps winning lots of races with new intelligent up grade car (come on Newey is not a God…he has been beaten before) , and while the rest are busy fighting each other in the back, the points system will help. With some luck on his side, he came back so close to win the championship last year. He is an extreme serious person, fit & intelligent, and knows how to fight…Let’s see how this bull fighter will eventually enjoys knocking the bulls down…Enjoy Valencia.

  14. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 24th June 2011, 1:55

    Ferrari have good quali pace it’s the race pace that is hurting them, on the other hand Mclaren have good race pace.

  15. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 24th June 2011, 8:08

    I’m surprised by these comments. It would be more in character to say that he’s not at his best, particularly to gain some psychological points over Massa.

    Spain, Turkey and Monaco were good drives, but I’m not sure about the others.

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