Alonso hails Massa as “one of the best”

F1 Fanatic round-up

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Mugello, 2012In the round-up: Fernando Alonso gives a vote of confidence for his under-fire team mate.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

“When I take my overall I’m a son; a brother and a friend; like any of you” (Fernando Alonso)

“[Felipe Massa is] one of the best drivers in the world, and he has shown it during his whole career. It?s easy to praise when you have a good car but also to criticise when you have a bad one. I lived similar situations during my last stint at Renault, when some of my team mates were unfairly criticised and now, they are being praised once again.”

Force India handed ??650,000 legal bill in copyright dispute (BBC)

“Force India have been ordered by a High Court judge to pay ??650,000 legal costs to the Caterham team and their chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne.”

Ferrari upgrades in detail (Sky)

More pictures of the configuration Ferrari ran their F2012 in the final day of the Mugello test.

Sauber F1 Team – Track Presentation Barcelona (YouTube)

The Wolff at F1′s door (ESPN)

“I’m a development driver, which means I’ll be doing a lot of work in the simulator. I’ll be doing a couple of straight-line tests to get used to the car. This year I’m not doing the Young Drivers’ Test, because they’ve already been assigned to other drivers – Valtteri Bottas is the third driver at Williams – but I’ll be doing a track test in an older car.”

Spain?s King Juan Carlos awarded FIA Academy prize (FIA)

“The prestigious award was conferred to King Juan Carlos in recognition of his dedicated and boundless support of motor sport clubs in Spain as well as his enthusiastic involvement with a number of other sporting organisations in his country.”

The President of the FIA, Jean Todt, visits HRT Formula 1 Team?s new facilities (HRT)

“The facilities are impressive, modern and functional. You can see that everything is brand new and it will be even better once they?ve spent a couple of months there working. I wish the best for the future of HRT.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“No F1 this weekend but it’s the Six Hours of Spa on Saturday, live coverage from 1pm on Motors TV in the UK. Last WEC race before Le Mans! Also it’s the first Formula Renault 3.5 race of the year. How will they get on with DRS? Race one live on Eurosport at 1:30pm on Saturday. And WTCC and Auto GP on Eurosport, and delayed coverage of the second Formula Renault race.”

Jenson Button Formula 1 Driver – Original self portrait Canvas – Face Britain Listed for charity (eBay)

A self-portrait of Jenson Button being auctioned for charity.

Meet Sonia Irvine: F1???s Entertainment Doyenne (Sybarite)

“Sonia Irvine, sister of F1 driver Eddie Irvine, has been throwing pop up parties for celebrities, F1 teams and fans of the sport. Our Sybarites managed to interview her about her personal story and business venture Amber Lounge.”

Comment of the day

Some interesting thoughts from DavidS on tyres in F1:

I think that the difference between the tyres is still too narrow. The difference between the prime and option in the race is that the prime lasts a few laps longer and is slightly slower, but doesn?t have a different character compared to the option.

If the harder tyres were designed to wear more gradually (i.e. a steady degradation, rather than “falling off the cliff”), took much longer to switch on, but lasted a long time and could take a lot more punishment without graining. Combined with the softer tyres being incredibly fast, but fragile and prone to “falling off the cliff,” we would see some interesting strategies.

Also, getting rid of the rule that requires them to use both compounds in the race would open up the possibilities further. That way, each driver?s strategy is immediately obvious to everyone ?ǣ drivers on an aggressive strategy would use the softs, whereas drivers playing the long game would be on the hards.

I think that the tyres should be chosen so that the hard tyre should enable someone to complete the race on one stop if they drive with care, and the soft tyre being somewhere between two and three stops. Drivers could do three stints of aggressive driving on softs; two stints on hards; or one very long stint on hards and an attacking stint on softs; or two stints on hards.

The two-tyre rule prevents the first two strategies from being used, leaving only variations on the latter.
DavidS

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On this day in F1

We got stuck into the overtaking debate yesterday but it was going on 12 months ago as well. In the press conference ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix Vitaly Petrov was among those arguing passing had become too easy:

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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115 comments on Alonso hails Massa as “one of the best”

  1. HoHum (@hohum) said on 5th May 2012, 5:25

    COTD; Congratulations, a sensible easy to achieve solution that can be done without faulting Pirelli, just get rid of the mandatory pitstop, allow the teams to decide which of the 2 selected compounds to use and organise qualifying so that they don’t have to use the tyre they qualify on and let the harder compound last more than half distance without falling of the cliff.

  2. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 5th May 2012, 8:24

    fernando says he likes his teammate
    response: “what a jerk!”

    fernando say he doesn’t like his teammate
    response: “what a jerk!”

  3. Mads (@mads) said on 5th May 2012, 9:17

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA good one Nando, good one! ; )
    No seriously though, I think it was a very nice comment on Massa.
    Its the funny thing about Alonso, sometimes he is a total *ss, and sometimes he is the exact opposite.

  4. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 5th May 2012, 9:30

    I think Massa’s performance has dipped since his accident in 2008, but the main reason he seems to be under performing is because Alonso is probably the best driver on the grid right now.

    • Kimi4WC said on 7th May 2012, 0:37

      I was about to rage about people being in denial, but then I saw “probably the best driver” and I calmed down :)

      It’s going to be a very good year, this years best driver(WC) will have work cut out for him and I wont be surprised there are going to be a few contenders for that award.

      I doubt this is going to be a good year for Ferrari, but just imagining that they will join in the fight, this is going to be crazy with so many car having a chance to win World Championship.

  5. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 5th May 2012, 13:08

    Felipe Massa is one of the best drivers in the world. All F1 drivers are. It takes a huge amount of talent and skill to drive on of those cars within 2 seconds of the best. He’s just not performing to the level expected and hasn’t been since Ferrari knocked the wind out of him at Hockenheim. I actually think he would fare pretty well at another team.

    There is a lesson here, don’t ever drive for Ferrari unless you are a Michael Schumacher or a Fernando Alonso. What kind of racing driver would want to be a number 2 driver apart from at the start of their career. In all honesty, I think Felipe is there for the money.

  6. tharris19 (@tharris19) said on 5th May 2012, 13:52

    Massa is an outstanding driver in a competative car. However, he struggles with a demanding car, such as this years car. That is the difference between him and the Alonsos and Hamiltons of the sport.

  7. vho (@) said on 5th May 2012, 14:51

    The issue with Massa is that post Schumacher era I it was expected of him to take on the number 1 mantle. With Kimi taking Schumi’s spot in 2007, it was expected that Massa would immediately have the upper hand. So it was somewhat embarrassing for Massa that Kimi won the WDC in his first year with Ferrari. 2008 was his most successful year, almost clinching the title. With his accident in 2009 he took a little time to get back up into the top class, but by that time Alonso had reached the team and was settling in quite well – with almost a WDC in 2010. From then onwards there has been a Red Bull domination and Ferrari’s car was generally the 3rd fastest – in other words in the top 6. Alonso is a far more capable driver than Massa and hence has made Massa look bad and the dismal Ferrari of the past 2 years look impressive. Another issue with Massa was his over defensive driving style that has caused him several incidents with Hamilton last year. That sort of publicity has not been good for both drivers but Hamilton fairing better with at least wins under his belt when he got his act to gether. Massa has not had a level of luck that other drivers have had, but at the same time, perhaps he should be looking at another team to fightout for the number 1 role as it is a ver sizable mountain to climb at Ferrari. And we know how Ferrari treats their number 1 drivers…. “Fernando is faster…”…

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 5th May 2012, 19:58

      With Kimi taking Schumi’s spot in 2007, it was expected that Massa would immediately have the upper hand. So it was somewhat embarrassing for Massa that Kimi won the WDC in his first year with Ferrari.

      I don’t think so. Ferrari knew that they wanted an established top driver to replace Michael Schumacher and go with the ever improving Felipe at the time. So it isn’t embarrassing for Massa that Kimi won the title after a close four way contest.

      • Kimi4WC said on 7th May 2012, 0:40

        With the amount of money they paid to Kimi, I don’t think they were looking at Massa as a nr1 driver.

        • Kimi4WC said on 7th May 2012, 0:42

          Also by 2007, Kimi got close to win two championships already.

          2005 is hands down his, there is something with Finns and McLarens reliability.
          2003 that was close.

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 5th May 2012, 18:25

    Now, I’m no expert on demo tyres, but shouldn’t Sauber have been using them for the track guide? They may well be using them, but they look like softs to me.

    Can anyone elaborate?

  9. Denis 68 said on 6th May 2012, 5:42

    Alonso must be getting worried that Ferrari are about to replace Massa with a quicker driver. Say someone like a Hamilton, Vettel or Button who would make life at Ferrari alot more difficult for Fernanado.

    Ferrari are a joke Luca Di Montezemolo keeps going on and on about a third car when Ferrari have been running a one car team for years now.

  10. Matt (@agentmulder) said on 6th May 2012, 5:47

    I’m glad to see that, through it all, Alonso has still retained his sense of humor.

  11. baluundertaker (@baluundertaker) said on 6th May 2012, 10:17

    Past performances doesn’t necessarily indicate present form. Who in their right minds would have thought schumacher would be beaten by Rosberg few years back ?

    Massa was one of the best F1 drivers in 2007 or 2008.
    He is nowhere one of the best F1 drivers in the current F1 grid. Even assuming Red Bull, Mclaren, Lotus and Mercedes are faster than ferrari at the moment , the Saubers, Williams and Force India lets say are about same pace as Ferrari. Is massa beating kobayashi, perez, di resta or senna ? So i would easily rate all of them above massa as of today.

    Alonso is good no doubt but hamilton matched him in his first year and fisichella beat alonso in about 1/3 races in the 2 years together and trulli earlier had matched alonso in 2004. So yes i believe alonso can be beaten in races though over a championship it might be difficult. So i don’t get the justification that just because alonso is massa’s teammate the latter is being beaten soundly.

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 7th May 2012, 1:37

      @baluundertaker

      Past performances doesn’t necessarily indicate present form. Who in their right minds would have thought schumacher would be beaten by Rosberg few years back ?

      Crazily enough, I did.

      “For me, he has nothing else to prove. Why go back and take the risk of being beaten week in and week out by a Nico Rosberg, never mind a Lewis Hamilton?”

      http://sidepodcast.com/post/schumacher-the-comeback-the-sequel

      Is massa beating kobayashi, perez, di resta or senna ? So i would easily rate all of them above massa as of today.

      I’d still rate Massa over Senna. It’s marginal in the cases of Kobayashi and di Resta, but I’d give Massa the benefit of the doubt. But I’d rate Perez over Massa now (thanks to Malaysia)… and really, Perez is the only guy that really matters here, isn’t he?

      Alonso is good no doubt but hamilton matched him in his first year and fisichella beat alonso in about 1/3 races in the 2 years together and trulli earlier had matched alonso in 2004. So yes i believe alonso can be beaten in races though over a championship it might be difficult. So i don’t get the justification that just because alonso is massa’s teammate the latter is being beaten soundly.

      You’d have to say that Hamilton beat Alonso because Alonso never really felt at home at McLaren. I’m not saying the team was favoring Lewis (consciously or not), but what can’t be disputed is that McLaren didn’t LOVE Alonso the way Alonso wants to be loved (by Renault then and Ferrari now). And that took Alonso off his game.

      As for the rest… Fisi beat Alonso very rarely. In the two years they were together, I only recall four races where Fisi beat Alonso (AUS 2005; MAL, USA, and GER 2006). Out of something like 37 races, that’s barely 10 percent. Trulli matched Alonso, that is true, but that was before he won the title, and you’d have to say becoming a World Champion is a game-changer for anyone’s morale (most recent example being Jenson Button).

      • baluundertaker (@baluundertaker) said on 7th May 2012, 15:37

        @journeyer

        Amazing forethought about schumi’s struggles in 2009 !!

        Regarding alonso vs fisichella i admit i didn’t look at the tables before coming up with the ratio. But after checking the results its something like 6 out of 37 races . So yes little under 20% and i was off by some percent.

        I prefer not to take comfort factor of a driver within a team(though i admit it is a factor) to judge a driver as it then becomes almost impossible to judge anyone. If Alonso couldn’t beat hamilton because Mclaren wasn’t very cosy with Alonso then we could say the same for all of Alonso’s opponents in Renault and Ferrari right ? May be fisichella could have beaten alonso if both were in mclaren then ? I am not suggesting he would but thats why i don’t like such arguments. It is easier to make an argument based on results just like how you clearly disproved my stats on fisi beating alonso ..

  12. Kimi4WC said on 7th May 2012, 0:17

    Alonso is just diverting the attention from last Grand Prix, were Massa was stuck behind him and was forced to finish behind him.

    I wish we got to hear: “Fillipe is faster than you”

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