Lauda: Alonso is “toughest and cleverest”

F1 Fanatic round-up

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2012In the round-up: World champion Niki Lauda hails Fernando Alonso as the “toughest and cleverest” driver in F1 today.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lewis told to keep at it: Legend Niki Lauda backs Hamilton to succeed (The Mirror)

“[Alonso’s] the toughest guy out there and he is also the cleverest. He knows what to do and after years at Ferrari he has settled in, knows how to be consistent and has kept the team going forward step by step.”

Storms clouds over Formula 1 (Autosport, subscription required)

“The hosting fees suck every spare penny out of the circuit, in turn ensuring that CVC gets richer at every turn while severely jeopardising Silverstone’s facility development. Imagine how much hardcore could have been laid with just half the ??16m; imagine how many car parks and bridges could be built over the full 17-year contract period.”

Ferrari back at the Kremlin (Ferrari)

“Driving an F60, the car Scuderia Ferrari used in the 2009 world championship, will be Giancarlo Fisichella, who works for the Maranello team, as well as flying the flag for the Prancing Horse in GT races.”

Comment of the day

Thanks to everyone who sent in their Caption Competition suggestions yesterday. Among my favourites were those from StephenH, Prisoner Monkeys, Kbcusa, Platanna, Richard Charles and MahavirShah.

But my favourite was this from Alex Brown:

Bernie Ecclestone, Felipe Massa, Valencia, 2012

Bernie: “I?ve told you once, I?ve told you a thousand times – Tamara is off the market!”

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Emerson Fittipaldi extended his championship lead with victory in the 1972 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.

Pole sitter Jacky Ickx led the first half of the race for Ferrari before retiring with a broken oil cooler. Jackie Stewart was second for Tyrrell ahead of Peter Revson.

Here’s the start of the race:

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86 comments on Lauda: Alonso is “toughest and cleverest”

  1. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 15th July 2012, 19:01

    Alonso’s never really had the sheer pace as Senna characteristically had. It’s pretty rare for him to snare pole, either.

    I would say Alonso is nearer to Prost than Senna but I don’t really care for comparisons like that.

    • romeo said on 15th July 2012, 21:13

      Overall Alonso is a better driver than Senna.

      • Kimi4WDC said on 16th July 2012, 0:01

        I think if you go race by race, title by title you will be surprised that Alonso lacks A LOT of speed compare to many current drivers not even mentioning Senna. But what he lacks in speed he makes up in other departments.

        • AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 16th July 2012, 1:29

          Outside of the first third of the 2006 Championship, ^this is entirely correct.

          Alonso’s best attribute, and something I happen to consider to be the ultimate racing ability, is that much more often than not he will scrape and drag and steer every point or result available even (and especially) if the best achievable is only possible on paper.

  2. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 15th July 2012, 21:21

    I always thought Nico Rosberg was one of the most intelligent drivers on the grid; he can speak 4 languages I think

  3. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 15th July 2012, 23:31

    Lol, I saw Alonso compared to Senna… Look, I’m and hardcore Alonso fan, but I don’t think he compares. Senna developed into an almost invincibly complete driver by 1991-1994, much the same as Alonso did, but I think Senna would won their contest by virtue of his unique personality, in that he meant so much for many men in the sport… He won over practically everybody with his personality. That is why I think he was the best one ever, that one characteristics raises him from those few, who reached completion in almost every other respect during their career. Maybe Clark came closest to this charisma. Schumacher could be third.

    At the same time, it is somehow strange how the results of both of them paint an inappropriate picture of how they developed. I mean Senna was arguably a very dividing person with some hot-headed decisions and inexplicable mistakes (e. g. Monaco 1988, Spa 1987) during or around his title-winning years. And he found his rhythm to perform on 110-120% constantly from around 1991 – e. g. Monaco 1992, Donington 1993, Canada 1993, Brazil 1994 until he spun out, etc. Yet he won no silverware after 1991 and his heroics were arguably lost to a laic.

    I think this is the samw with Alonso. He won in 2005 practically by Kimi’s handy-cap; okay, okay, he had to be there, but still… The same handy-cap struck Schumacher in Suzuka 2006 in spectacular fashion. Once again, Alonso had to be there, yes. But then he was – once again, arguably – beaten by the newbie Hamilton psychologically, when Hamilton got the better out of him in Hungary and later on, when he succumed to the pressure in Fuji. Overall, I just did not see that faultless drives week in, week out back then, that I see since probably Germany 2010 barring Belgium 2010 and Malaysia 2011. I think Alonso is a much more complete driver nowadays, than he was during his title-winning years. He also altered his driving style substantially and became a perfect manipular driver from an essentially reactive driver.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 15th July 2012, 23:35

      Actually, I can come up with a better argument in the case of Alonso: he simply did not outperformed his machinery around 2005-2007 by the margin he does nowadays. I think that’s a fair point if we draw teammate comparisons.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 16th July 2012, 0:06

      Thank you for typing this out.

      Kimi is so getting that title back!

  4. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 16th July 2012, 1:38

    The 2005 argument is a little inane because what Alonso did from much of post-Indianapolis is simply standard operating procedure in racing when you have that massive of a points margin to lose to a faster car.

    Once the limiters were taken off in Suzuka, we saw exactly why Alonso beat Kimi to that WDC in the last two rounds.
    As far as 2006 goes, with Ferrari and Bridgestone making the leap from best of the rest mid-season to having a package even better than the 2005 McLaren, it was flat out war. And it got ugly. You can bring up Suzuka but you failed to mention that Alonso at the time of Schumacher’s retirement had climbed from P5 on the grid to a few seconds behind P1. And you would have also neglected to bring up Monza 2006, same retirement as Schumacher, but utterly appalling before that with the way Whiting and race control handled themselves that weekend.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 16th July 2012, 6:02

      I so can’t wait for next race!!!

      I love this season.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 16th July 2012, 11:23

      I agree and also with @leotef in the following post. We cannot assess long-term trends with picking out races. Actually we could just as well scrap the whole 2005-2007 point and just focus on my note at the bottom, which states that Alonso probably did not outperformed his car by that big of a margin in that time. But then again, without races or periods revoked to illustrate the point, it stays a pure assumption with which it is easy to disagree with.

      I just feel this way, remembering those years.

  5. leotef (@leotef) said on 16th July 2012, 6:05

    People are so easily herded to one opinion or the other so often. And they form their so called opinion based on the result, btw, which is the final outcome of so many dynamic factors in the making process for at least a given period of time. As somebody says, as far as the result is concerned, MSC is the best ever driver in the history. So may one argue.
    Now looking at the ROS in the same pit as MSC, I find it hard to believe so. Of course, everybody has his own good days followed by bad days. So MSC used to be dominant for a dull period of time in the past, and now what? ALO is acclaimed as frequently as never before as ‘the complete’, ‘the fastest’, and ‘the greatest’???
    Sure enough, he seems in the high form these days while in some sense others are suffering and lagging. Well that means esp in terms of completeness that he has succeeded in aligning and organised all the resources alongside with him minimizing the mistake risk in every aspect. That’s good and rewards handsomely just like these days. But jumping to ‘ALO the best whatever’ from there is just ridiculous.
    I tend to think ’cause so many praising on him then it might soon be the order that he comes down to wherever he usually supposed to belong… Talking about the abilities of a driver, there are so many aspects and personally I don’t think utilising sort of team order things and taking max advantage of them is within the applaudable features. This applies to MSC when he stopped the car at Monaco during qualifying… well done MSC btw.
    Only way to compare two drivers are putting them in the same car at the even level. So may hope someday ALO vs. VET and VET vs. HAM pair to become available to have better idea who is who even though that also depends on each drivers location along his own career and learning/development curve.

  6. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 16th July 2012, 6:24

    Well, in a word, yes.But you cannot do that sort of comparison in F1. It is all very much relative.If you wish to make such a claim as Lauda has, and you can, it’s part of sport – you can only hope Lauda (or anyone) weighs things accordingly. No one would, or at least should, argue that Schumacher is the best on the grid, but that denial should at least be weighted down by the facts that Schumacher is with a new team and in very old age. For Lauda’s claim to have relevance, everyone should accept that he’s talking about the very current day.

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