Alonso: ‘We’re fighting against Newey’

2012 Indian Grand Prix

Adrian Newey, Red Bull, Montreal, 2012Fernando Alonso pointed out Red Bull’s performance advantage after qualifying fifth for the Indian Grand Prix.

He told reporters after qualifying his battle is as much against Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey as title rival Sebastian Vettel.

“At the moment I am or, or we are not, fighting against Sebastian only,” said Alonso, “we are fighting against Newey, let’s say, because they are first and second in the last four* races.

“So it’s not so easy at the moment to fight especially on Saturday. On Sunday normally we are a little bit more competitive.

“So tomorrow we need to overtake Mclaren as soon as possible and put some pressure on the Red Bull to wait for some little mistake from them or pit stop problem or reliability or something because if they can start and go away and have an easy race that will be the worst news for us.”

Alonso said he couldn’t realistically expect to qualify any higher for the race: “I think this is our normal position at the moment behind Red Bull and McLaren.

“Even if it looks disappointment I think it’s our normal position at the end of the day you have to do it because Force India, Kimi [Raikkonen] they were quite fast so you can end up eighth or ninth very quickly.

“So fifth at at the end of the day is our position and a good starting position for tomorrow’s fight.”

*Red Bull have been first and second on the grid for the last three races.

2012 Indian Grand Prix

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134 comments on Alonso: ‘We’re fighting against Newey’

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  1. Eggry (@eggry) said on 27th October 2012, 11:23

    Maybe FIA should ban Newey oneday?

  2. sumedh said on 27th October 2012, 11:25

    Alonso needs a mega-race now. Similar to Valencia 2012, Singapore 2010, Hungary 2006. He has to transcend to a completely another level for two hours tomorrow. Knowing his past, he is capable of doing it.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 27th October 2012, 11:36

      Singapore 2010? He started from pole and was never seriously under threat from Vettel.

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 27th October 2012, 12:40

      what do you mean with Valencia 2012? Oh yep, he needs a Vettel’s car failure. That’s a “mega-race”.

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 27th October 2012, 13:07

        Look, even had not Vettel’s car failed, Alonso still would have managed P2.

        • That’s the whole point though, Vettel would have been 32 points more ahead, in spite of his epic racing. In this two way title fight, it is completely irrelevant in what position Alonso finishes, as long as it’s in front of Vettel. 6th place is preferable to 2nd if it means finishing ahead.

          Regarding Valencia, Grosjean’s car also gave up the ghost.

        • F1fanNL (@) said on 27th October 2012, 17:47

          @eggry

          No, Ferrari and Alonso managed P2. If not for the teams quick stops (or McLaren’s and Lotus’ poor pitstop) he would have been behind Raikkonen and Hamilton at the restart. He only passed a Force India and a Williams and then Grosjean at the restart.

          If that’s a mega race and transcending to another level than what was Vettel’s race at Spa? Vettel overtook Massa, Webber, Senna, Di Resta and was about to pass Schumacher while managing his tyres well enough so he could do one stop less than the cars around him.

  3. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 27th October 2012, 11:28

    “At the moment I am or, or we are not, fighting against Sebastian only,” said Alonso, “we are fighting against Newey, let’s say, because they are first and second in the last four* races.

    I’d like to clarify (highlight) that just in case not a similar bash-fest starts here as it did on the Autosport forum.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th October 2012, 14:32

      @kingshark Alonso’s quote is slightly different in the press release Ferrari have put out:

      Clearly, finishing ahead of Red Bull is our aim, but today it was impossible to fight them, at least in qualifying: when we had a similar car, it was possible to fight with Vettel and we have even been ahead of them, but now we are fighting against Newey and, at the moment we cannot match him.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 27th October 2012, 16:09

        So we can bash Alonso now… down with him!!!!!!

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 27th October 2012, 17:23

        The quote from Vettel when asked abput what Alonso said:

        Q: Today your title rival Fernando Alonso said that he is not racing against you but against Adrian Newey. How would you reply to his statement?
        SV: I don’t think that in general this is just a fight between us race drivers; it is rather a competition amongst teams and all of their members. If you walk into the Red Bull Racing garage you will see that every single individual is committed 100 per cent to making the team more competitive, even if someone is not feeling entirely well. So I don’t think that this would be a fair statement towards any team member.

  4. Real question is : “Who does Red Bull value the most- Adrian Newey or Sebastian Vettel???”, IMO Christian Horner should choose Adrian for he is the RBR’s main pillar!

    • sumedh said on 27th October 2012, 11:32

      Red Bull don’t pay Vettel or Webber much. They pay Newey a lot. So that clearly tells whom Red Bull think is more valuable.

      Vettel and Webber get a lot of bonus on every win though.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 27th October 2012, 11:35

      @akshay
      Does it matter? Currently they have both, and its not like RB can only afford one of them. There is no need for Horner to decide who is more important.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 27th October 2012, 11:40

      @akshay,

      You could also ask yourself this. What would Red Bull have to show for with Newey if they hadn’t brought Vettel into the team but had replaced Coulthard with someone of the same caliber or less than Webber.

      • Agreed Vettel has been fantastic!! But look at the current drivers line up: Alonso, Kimi, Ham, Vettel….there is very little to choose between them! This is where Newey has been a great asset to both RBR and Vettel for he has been phenomonal with his designs and his car has been brutal in the latter half of the season!

      • davidnotcoulthard said on 28th October 2012, 6:08

        What if DC stayed in ’09? I think he would’ve probably stayed in ’10 as well…and he would’ve won the title, which would have been Mansell-esque.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th October 2012, 8:26

          Well, DC had been outclassed by Webber in 2008, so no, Coulthard would not have become champion (he also didn’t do so with the 1995 Williams, or 1998-2000 Mclarens).

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 27th October 2012, 12:53

      Well if you think about it.. before Vettel, RBR didn´t even had a win, in 2010 probably Alonso would have won driver, and las year it would have been Button… so yes Newey is brillian! But is Vettel the one that have made the team have this level of sucess

      • katederby (@katederby) said on 27th October 2012, 16:52

        If Webber had been Red Bull’s #1 driver since 2009? I’d say he’d be a 1 time world champion, maybe 2 time. His performances, especially when the car has not been so dominant, have been good,better than Vettel at times and if the car had been developed to suit him then I don’t see why success would not have come his way.

        • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 27th October 2012, 17:22

          @katederby I call ** on this car not being designed around him notion.

          All of their years as teammates, since 2009, Vettel and Webber have copied each other’s setups often, indicating that the two of them like similar characteristics in their cars.

          • katederby (@katederby) said on 27th October 2012, 18:35

            Just going on what Red Bull openly said in 2010 that the car would be based around Vettel. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all but it is a fact and even if the 2 drivers have similar styles they are not the same.

          • ivz (@ivz) said on 27th October 2012, 22:24

            The team is based around Vettel in general, he has more support, that is obvious. Just have to look at the reactions of the team when each driver gets pole to clearly see that. Not to mention Marco.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th October 2012, 22:36

            @ivz – They (Horner & Newey) weren’t necessarily jumping around today on the pitwall when Vettel got pole, it actually looked similar to last week. The only difference was Marko going around the pitwall.

        • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th October 2012, 8:12

          @katederby

          But even when Webber had the car advantage, Vettel was outscoring him. So I see no reason for Webber to have been a 1 or 2 times World Champion based on that.
          Could he have done more if the car was based solely on him? Probably. But I believe Newey and his team just built and develop the car the way they thinks is best, as evident by the changes Vettel wasn’t happy with even though Red Bull said they would built the team (and car?) around Vettel.

          • katederby (@katederby) said on 28th October 2012, 8:26

            But the suggestion was a theoretical one where Vettel was not in the Red Bull, so all I’m saying is in that scenario I see no reason for Webber not winning titles. And RBR themselves said in 2010 that the car will be built around Vettel, that’s not up for dispute, it’s a fact as 2011 showed. I don’t see why this is a problem to some, it seems logical to me.

  5. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 27th October 2012, 11:31

    There are other people in Red Bull who make the car go faster; Peter Prodromou and Rob Marshall for example.
    Newey is a key cog, but he can’t single-handedly make the car go much faster than the competition.
    (I am not disputing his greatness; I’m just syaing that other people need the recognition as well)

  6. Popcorn said on 27th October 2012, 11:37

    Poor Newey. He desgins a great car yet again and people bash him for it. :p

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 27th October 2012, 11:55

      He’s not bashing him – I think it’s more a flattering comment, to be honest…

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th October 2012, 12:03

      I don’t think Alonso is having a go at Newey for designing a great car.

    • Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 27th October 2012, 13:01

      He desgins a great car yet again and people bash him for it

      He is not talking about Alonso

    • JB (@) said on 27th October 2012, 20:36

      The truth is that Alonso´s comment is in no way bashing Newey…. if you wanna take it as bashing, he is bashing Vettel…. He just said in other words, that Vettel is only as competitive as he is thanks to Newey…
      I sometimes wonder why people tend to misunderstand or fail to interpret what is being said when it is as clear as day…

      • davidnotcoulthard said on 28th October 2012, 6:19

        …….People tend to misunderstand or fail to interpret what is being said when it is as clear as day.

        If you’ve ever seen the comments and replies people post on EspnStar (www dot espnstar dot com), then you might not be posting that comment here, now that I’ve come to think of it…

        I don’t think Fernando was trying to bash anyone though, especially by using the word only.

      • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th October 2012, 8:17

        @catracho504

        That’s not what Alonso said. Alonso said he’s no longer fighting Vettel but Newey as well, so Vettel and Newey. He said he was capable of fighting Vettel when the cars were equal but now he’s got a car disadvantage because of Newey.

        So, in a way, he’s saying his own team isn’t good enough. He’s not saying Vettel isn’t good enough.

    • peter548 said on 28th October 2012, 7:42

      Looks like smiley faces are not enough to indicate sarcasm anymore lol.. its ok Popcorn, I understood what you meant.. ;)

    • AldoG said on 28th October 2012, 8:39

      I want Adrian Newey to design a car for me. Not that I can pay for it, but hey…

  7. Mads (@mads) said on 27th October 2012, 11:41

    Fighting implies that they are in a position to challenge them, but currently they don’t seem capable of it.

  8. There are two key elements in winning world championships in Formula 1: the first is a good car (and credit to everyone at Milton Keynes for being able to achieve such a feat, not just Newey); the second is a good driver (your not going to get pole positions if your driver can’t put in the lap times). Both deserve equal credit in my point of view, for one would not work without the other.

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 27th October 2012, 11:45

      There are two key elements in winning world championships in Formula 1: the second is a good driver (your not going to get pole positions if your driver can’t put in the lap times).

      Good by F1 standards? Jacques Villeneuve defies your logic, sir. ;)

      • Replace Jacques with a back marker today (let’s say De La Rosa) and I could be almost certain that Schumacher would have been an 8-time world champion.

        His father Gilles is a great example of my point; he was a fantastic driver, arguably one of the fastest of all time, but he never won a championship. Albeit his time was tragically cut short but the point stands; if the cars’ not quick enough your not going to win championships and visa-versa.

        On the contrary, Lewis Hamilton lost out in the 2007 championship to Räikkönen (although that was more likely due to inexperience and intense rivalry within the team) but still he didn’t win in the fastest car.

        As I always say, the best drivers usually end up in the best cars, and that’s no coincidence.

    • leotef (@leotef) said on 27th October 2012, 12:04

      Well, that’s for sure. But the question is one of that factor is not something to be replaced by others whereas the other factor is substitute-able. As usual, that’s the problem.

    • mharker said on 28th October 2012, 7:05

      +1

  9. Ads21 (@ads21) said on 27th October 2012, 11:45

    At the moment I am or, or we are not, fighting against Sebastian only, we are fighting against Newey

    Not really much to disagree with here, as much as the focus is on the drivers, the drivers championship is all about the driver/team combination. Although Alonso is at the peak of his career and has driven better than anyone this year you can’t continue to score beyond the performance of the car like Alonso did in the mid-season. Alonso’s title challenge was built on two miraculous wins in Malaysia and Valencia, two great wet qualifying laps and McLaren and Red Bull falling over themselves despite having faster cars. Even when Alonso had an decent lead in the championship, he was always going to be extremely vulnerable if either of the two top teams sorted themselves out.

    As in 2010 rather than Vettel being the best driver (I feel Hamilton and Alonso have driven better) the title win will be won by Vettel/Red Bull having the best all round package over the course of the year, which like I say is what the drivers championship is all about. Alonso might deserve to win the championship for the way he’s driven, but Ferrari don’t deserve to win the championship with the car they’ve produced.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 27th October 2012, 14:53

      Alonso might deserve to win the championship for the way he’s driven, but Ferrari don’t deserve to win the championship with the car they’ve produced.

      I think this is a serious message from Fernando to his engineers this season he doesn’t only drove very well but he was 100% involved in the development of the car i give you an example after the Malaysian GP when the team returned to Italy Alonso was working at the Factory at 8 in the morning we all know that Fernando doesn’t need the fastest car to win the WDC a decent one is enough
      let’s say a Lotus but the team failed to give him that decent car at the beginning of the season & all the season while the other teams were developing their cars Ferrari were correcting the design errors
      I will not be surprised if some engineers will be fired after the end of this season just like Aldo Costa considering how influential Alonso is on Luca Di Montezemolo

      • uan (@uan) said on 27th October 2012, 18:01

        as things are going, Ferrari has a decent car and it’s proving not good enough to win the WDC, so you can’t say “Fernando doesn’t need the fastest car to win …”

        Any driver that wins or is competing for a win needs to be in one of the fastest cars. And just having the fastest car does ensure anything, ask Button and Hamilton who’ve been in the fastest car for the bulk of this season. Or Kimi in the 4th fastest car and he’s 3rd in the championship.

        • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 27th October 2012, 19:35

          As i mentioned before some people (& i respects all of them) do have selective memory how about the first 4 races of the season when Ferrari technical director said that the podiums are out of reach & the car was undrivable & 1.2s off the pace if that was a decent car for you then we have to discuss what is a “decent” car

          Or Kimi in the 4th fastest car and he’s 3rd in the championship

          I advise you to re watch the first half of the season because Kimi was sitting in the fastest car on the grid in term of race pace even Grosjean was able to put that car in the second row in Australia

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th October 2012, 19:43

            I advise you to re watch the first half of the season because Kimi was sitting in the fastest car on the grid in term of race pace even Grosjean was able to put that car in the second row in Australia

            And yet they (and Hamilton & Button) get less criticism for not leading the championship in the fastest car, than Vettel gets for actually leading in the fastest car!

          • uan (@uan) said on 27th October 2012, 21:08

            I advise you to re watch the first half of the season because Kimi was sitting in the fastest car on the grid in term of race pace even Grosjean was able to put that car in the second row in Australia

            We all have selective memories. Just from what you are saying here, McLaren and Lotus had the best car through the first part of the season, not to mention China with Mercedes. So Vettel staying within in shouting distance of the championship in a decent car (remember the whole exhaust issue in China and he didn’t qualify in the top 10 either) and winning Bahrain in what was clearly not the fastest car, are down him as a driver. Outside of the first 4 races or so, Ferrari has had a decent car and you can say that RB has only had the fastest car since Singapore, or round 14.

            As of right now, Ferrari has a very decent car, and had one when Fernando was leading the WDC, so we’ll put to the test the statement and idea that’s all he needs to win.

            Over the course of the season, from the beginning, then during the 4 race run they had until Singapore and again today with a very competitive P3 and P4, McLaren’s has had the best and fastest car for the entire season. So this season is really a season of lost opportunities by McLaren and making hay while the sun shines for both Vettel and Alonso.

            The truth of it is that Alonso went to Ferrari because he anticipated that they would be building one of the fastest cars, or the fastest car, on the grid every season. Because if you are a driver who wants to win you want to be in the fastest car. Basically the statement that’s true for Alsonso is probably “give him the fastest car and he will win the WDC”. Vettel has also proved that as well. McLaren has shown this year and previously in 2007 that having the fastest car doesn’t ensure that they will be able to have one of their drivers win the WDC. (and you could say that 2007 showed that Alonso isn’t always capable of winning the WDC in the fastest car on the grid).

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th October 2012, 8:27

            @tifoso1989

            I think ‘decent car’ means something different to everybody. You obviously perceive a decent car to be able to at least score podiums. I think a decent car is a car able to at least score a healthy amount of points. A 5th place for example is just that. Decent.

            Well for me anyway.

  10. Fernando Alonso clearly doesn’t have faith in his own team’s ability in development, which to be perfectly honest I don’t blame him for. I believe his comment is directly aimed at Maranello; Red Bull have the better designers. If he’s relying in problems for the guys in front to be able to challenge for victories then I think the championship is slipping away from him I fast.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 27th October 2012, 11:57

      Fundamentally the F2012 could perhaps have been stronger – even in the early stages where the RB8 wasn’t necessarily the fastest it was pretty consistent from the off. I think Ferrari have done a better job development-wise than in the past this year though.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 27th October 2012, 13:46

        I think Ferrari have done a better job development-wise than in the past this year though.

        Completely disagree. Their barcelona update consisted of fixing huge flaws in design such as the exhaust layout so I would barely call that good development work. Even mid season Ferrari were never the fastest car or most consistent. It was Fernando who was taking the most out of the car while Vettel, Webber and Button were faltering. When the going got tough … Ferrari dropped the ball again in car development.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 27th October 2012, 13:44

      Fernando Alonso clearly doesn’t have faith in his own team’s ability in development

      It seems that many people have selective memory or they are just searching to attack the others
      how about Vettel complaining last year before the summer break begging his team for ameliorate his car performance ,how about this year when he choose to race with the old specs car in Malaysia ………….
      Well if you have the guys at Maranello(who are not very good at aerodynamics) & all the trouble that they face in development(Wind Tunnel) & you’re complaining it’s very normal but if you have Adrian Newey & his team who are very good at Aerodynamics & you’re complaining
      WHAT DO WE CALL THAT????????

      I’m not trying to attack anyone but i’m just answering you with your logic

  11. Jason (@jason12) said on 27th October 2012, 11:50

    It’d be better if RBR was just slightly faster than the other leading teams.
    But the margin is so large that its just not funny anymore.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th October 2012, 19:30

      Well, RBR are slightly faster than the other teams, but with a driver of Vettel’s caliber (i.e. the calibre only Alonso is also at), a small gap will appear large.

      • peter548 said on 28th October 2012, 1:35

        You’re fighting a losing battle David-A. I come here for comedic value only… ;)

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th October 2012, 1:48

          Well, I guess that the people who exaggerate (like Jason above, or stirper with his posts on this page), will give you your share of comedic value :)

          • peter548 said on 28th October 2012, 2:57

            This forum is swimming with them! Which is why it’s so fun. Can’t wait to see what it’s like when (and if) Vettel wins the Championship at the end. The excuses and bitterness will be priceless!

  12. Nico74 (@nico74) said on 27th October 2012, 12:09

    Newey is the F1’s steve jobs. They took the worst car and did it an invincible one.
    Today grosjean or any driver with a third red Bull had finish almost in third position in qualifying

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 27th October 2012, 12:31

      Newey is a sales person?

    • Eren Ozturk (@nickelcobalt) said on 27th October 2012, 13:25

      even mark webber was fighting for title.Think what ALO may on Newey’s car.

      He assimilated him to Jobs on intelligence.

      • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th October 2012, 8:46

        @nickelcobalt

        Mark was fighting for the title thanks to Vettel losing well over 70 points due to mechanical problems (and more from stupid mistakes). Problems Webber didn’t have.
        Bahrein 1st to 4th because of engine failure. -13 points
        Australia, suspension failure while leading. -25 points.
        Spanish Grand Prix, brake failure. -3 points.
        British Grand Prix, first lap first corner puncture. 7th in stead of (at least) 2nd. -9 points
        Korean Grand Prix, engine failure while leading. -25 points.

        Compared to Webber’s problems;
        Hit by Vettel in Turkeye while leading. -10 points.

        That’s a 65 points car disadvantage for Vettel. 2011 showed us how 2010 would have been if Vettel hadn’t had any problems or mistakes.

  13. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 27th October 2012, 12:51

    Even when Webber or Horner say the contrary, the race won’t risk the chance of Vettel to get a biggest gap against Alonso. BTW, surprising (for me) to see the McLarens back on form (at least a little), so they could play a keyrole in the championshp this time. Races ago (when Alonso was on top) it was believed that Hamilton could win a race and affect Vettel’s chances. Now the RedBull are stronger and any podium by McL is only going to affect Alonso.
    Unless there’s a Turkey 2010, a Valencia 2012 or a Singapore 2008 (Massa is not Piquet Jr, fortunatelly), I don’t see how Alonso could win this one.

  14. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 27th October 2012, 12:57

    For the last three races, it seems Alonso is fighting his team mate.
    Start there Fred and that title could be yours ;)

  15. stirper said on 27th October 2012, 13:08

    You got love the way Newey drive the car. he can win without driving….just amazing…Definitely Newey is the most complete driver in the grid.

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