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.

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

  1. leotef (@leotef) said on 27th October 2012, 14:50

    Quite different views actually. MW and SV answered to a question of ‘how do you explain the dominance?’ – implicitly, either the car or the driver – with “The drivers”. LOL.
    Alonso is belittling the Red Bull drivers then, by saying he is competing against Mr. Newey. Who’s right? Who knows? But except some Vet fans, I think Alonso’s specific reference of Newey resonates general grasp of most others on the current situation.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th October 2012, 19:25

      Yet Mclaren have been ahead of Mclaren for most of this season, and ahead of Red Bull for much of this season as well. Alonso should also have been saying “We’re fighting Paddy Lowe, as well as Lewis”, but in his mind, he’d be belittling himself, given the events of 2007 if he said that. He only remembers the car when Vettel is beating him, and alternators aren’t failing.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 27th October 2012, 19:49

        The RB8 was never slower than the Ferrari at any stage of the season, Alonso’s 3 victory were due to extraordinary circumstances (good strategy,wet skills,……) he is saying that because the RB8 is miles ahead of the competition

        He only remembers the car when Vettel is beating him, and alternators aren’t failing

        At least he remebered the car not like Christian Horner & Helmut Marko when they were saying in public that Alonso should have a DNF

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th October 2012, 20:01

          The RB8 was never slower than the Ferrari at any stage of the season, Alonso’s 3 victory were due to extraordinary circumstances (good strategy,wet skills,……) he is saying that because the RB8 is miles ahead of the competition

          Red Bull were clearly slower than Ferrari in Spain and Italy, but I’ll accept that Ferrari haven’t been consistently faster than RB this season.

          Red Bull have been fastest for the last few races, but people assume a car is “miles ahead” of the competition, only when it’s Red Bull. Just 3-4 races ago, Mclaren were reeling several consecutive poles and wins, just as they often threatened to do at the beginning of the season, when they locked out the front row in Australia and Malaysia. Yet the “miles ahead” comments were nowhere.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 27th October 2012, 20:34

            Red Bull were clearly slower than Ferrari in Spain and Italy,

            Red Bull had a good car in Spain but both drivers did a poor job in qualifying and were stuck behind slower cars throughout most of the race.

            I can’t argue Monza though.

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th October 2012, 8:51

            @kingshark

            Wrong, Red Bull suffered the same problem Ferrari did at that stage. Less competitive qualifying pace than race pace. The difference, however, is that Alonso qualified 3rd while Vettel and Webber qualified 7th and 11th. A clear car advantage for Ferrari.

  2. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 27th October 2012, 15:11

    I wonder then if Alonso won’t change his mind to drive for Ferrari for the rest of his carreer. He could get a seat in Red Bull maybe 3-4 years ago but he declined. He always emphasize that Ferrari is the best team, but I’m not sure about that, because aren’t the best team since Ross Brawn’s and Jean Todt’s departure. If he wants to drive the best car, he should go elswhere, because Ferrari aren’t looking to be able to esatblish themselves as the best team anytime soon.

  3. Cosmas (@cosmas) said on 27th October 2012, 16:16

    You are fighting against Newey…… but you are losing from Vettel ……and from Webber … and Button …. and Hamilton ….. and Massa if they let him.
    I am so sick about this opinions , as if the RB’s are driven by them self or if Newey drive’s them with a remote control from the pits… devaluing a first class driver as Vettel is.
    To those sharing this opinion , i suggest watching the onboard video’s from Vettels pol lap’s throughout this season specialy looking at his gearing.
    And the more annoying think is that for the bigger part of this season it was the mclaren the faster car… not the RB. RB’s are the fastest car’s in the last 4 races. So why dont’ Alonso fight whith Whitmarsh too?

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 27th October 2012, 19:54

      How about watching the onboard video’s from Alonso’s car on the wet this season

    • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 27th October 2012, 22:33

      The fact that both Webber and Vettel are dominating the last GPs goes to show the big performance gap between the RedBull and the other cars on the grid. Vettel could be a great driver, but this year he was beaten by Webber on several occasions and, when he had the slower car, he wasn’t able to produce those incredible performances that are expected of great drivers.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th October 2012, 22:46

        @alexx_88

        The fact that both Webber and Vettel are dominating the last GPs goes to show the big performance gap between the RedBull and the other cars on the grid.

        Yet nobody exaggerated Mclaren’s margin over the field when their cars were doing the same only a few races ago.

        Vettel could be a great driver, but this year he was beaten by Webber on several occasions and, when he had the slower car, he wasn’t able to produce those incredible performances that are expected of great drivers.

        How many races has Webber beaten Vettel though? Silverstone, Monaco and China? Three races in sixteen, plus the time when Narain’s front wing hit Seb’s tyre? People always say “Webber beat him a few times”, but a few times doesn’t prove a damn thing.

        How about Australia and Belgium, when he fought through to take 2nd? Or his win in Bahrain, holding off the 2 Lotuses?

        • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 28th October 2012, 6:32

          @david-a

          The point I was trying to make is that, since both drivers are rising above the competition, with Webber, by common acceptance, not being one of the strongest on the grid, the car must be a pretty determinant factor here.

          Yet nobody exaggerated Mclaren’s margin over the field when their cars were doing the same only a few races ago.

          Yeah, because they weren’t killing the show, as RedBull are doing now. Technical failures, indecently bad pit-stops and other issues like that prevented McLaren from getting into a position to dominate the field.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th October 2012, 8:33

            @alexx_88

            Yeah, because they weren’t killing the show, as RedBull are doing now. Technical failures, indecently bad pit-stops and other issues like that prevented McLaren from getting into a position to dominate the field.

            You misunderstood. I referred to a few races ago, where in Italy and Hungary, Hamilton dominated the race. In Belgium, Button dominated the race. All without any pitstop errors affecting the winning car in those races (Button did have a technical issue in Italy, when 2nd). Yet no-one complained to this extent.

            The point I was trying to make is that, since both drivers are rising above the competition, with Webber, by common acceptance, not being one of the strongest on the grid, the car must be a pretty determinant factor here.

            And by common acceptance, Button isn’t necessarily so much stronger than Webber. He won races and was at the front with Hamilton at times this season too.

        • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 28th October 2012, 8:46

          Mark was ahead of him in the WDC until Hungary & beat him 7 times in what so called “Vettel’s Territory” ==>Qualifying

  4. Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 27th October 2012, 16:29

    I think that they are fighting against themselves.
    Alonso said that they couldn’t match Newey.. well it seems that today they weren’t able to match Mclaren.
    They have to improve the car. If they can’t it’s not Newey’s fault.

  5. Jacob L said on 27th October 2012, 16:38

    Oh, Alonso. There are only two things he say to the press these days.

    1. Hamilton is the best the driver in Formula One, and by saying that, he implies he is also the best (read: 2007).
    2. Vettel is terrible and it’s all car.

  6. katederby (@katederby) said on 27th October 2012, 16:58

    Isn’t the point Alonso is making that it’s not Vettel only who is ahead in performance but both RBR drivers so that the car is clearly an advantage and the car’s primary designer is Newey. I don’t see this as a slight to Vettel.

  7. uan (@uan) said on 27th October 2012, 18:09

    I think Fernando is really psychologically deflecting his being beaten by the car and designer rather than a driver, which is perfectly understandable. None of the top drivers would readily admit, ever, that another driver is better than them.

    Button probably accepts Lewis is a bit faster over one lap, but feels he’s a better driver in the race, Lewis feels he’s the best qualifier and any issues in the race are the fault of the team or other drivers, Mark feels he’s being given number 2 status so doesn’t have a fair playing field and his starts are compromised because of “clutch” issues rather than himself, Massa probably feels circumstances and the team and the way the car is being developed are the reasons he’s behind Alonso, and so on for all the drivers.

    What Fernando’s not pointing out is that McLaren doesn’t have a Newey, and they have a better car than Ferrari and Lewis should probably be in the thick of things or leading the championship except for team mistakes and reliability issues and other drivers (Maldonado, Grojean) taking him out of point scoring opportunities.

    And so it goes…

    • stirper said on 27th October 2012, 18:47

      Mclaren is beatable. Alonso will finish ahead of both Ham and But, but that’s not the point…he need to finish ahead of Newey…and to finish ahead of Newey you need to beat his design…Only Luck can give Alonso the championship and only unluck can take form Vettel the championship

  8. Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 27th October 2012, 18:58

    Yes Alonso. Just like how other drivers fought Colin Chapman, Gordon Murray, Rory Bryne and an unnoticed Bob Bell

  9. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 27th October 2012, 19:03

    Is this ferrari’s way to massage Alonso for a new ‘number two’ driver – Vettel? Put it into his head enough – it’s the car Fernando, Vettel’s just average – and maybe he won’t be bothered when Vettel arrives in maranello in 2015.

  10. rdpunk (@) said on 27th October 2012, 19:43

    It’s just goes to show how important of a role he plays still. Many none fans will bemoan saying he just draws the car and then the driver does the rest, how wrong they were. The Red Bull at the start wasn’t the worst car, Vettel and Webber won in it and had podiums also, but all this does is highlights the drive, determination and innovation the man can come up with by adding bits to the car which have helped sort out the balance which puts the cars back on the rails they have been on for the past two years.

  11. Hey, I’m only too willing to get incensed at someone I think might be insulting Vettel, but I honestly don’t think that’s what was going on here. I think this statement was just a way of highlighting how much RBR have improved their car in this latter part of the season. I don’t think Alonso was saying “Vettel isn’t a factor” so much as he was saying “The way Newey has improved the car is making RBR that much more difficult to get the best of.”

  12. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 27th October 2012, 22:38

    Clearly Ferrari have got to out-develop Newey in the final races quite spectacularly. So I don’t know what all the cynical comments are about.

    • stirper said on 27th October 2012, 22:44

      The problem is that Newey’s skills are more important that Alonso’s skills …that’s sad but that’s true…that’s why in my opinion Newey is the best driver on the grid… and his biggest rival (Alonso)for the moment just admitted

  13. sic_j02 said on 27th October 2012, 22:59

    Alo is just stating the obvious. He’s saying that they are lagging behind in terms of car development. The fact that red bull locked out the front row in the past 3 races indicates big performance gap from other teams.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th October 2012, 1:23

      Yeah, looking at it, I agree. He said “we (Scuderia Ferrari with lead driver Alonso)” are not fighting Seb “only”. I.e. Fernando and his team are fighting Sebastian and his team. Car+driver always determines results, so fair enough.

  14. I think Fernando just jealous, enough said.

  15. mharker said on 28th October 2012, 6:58

    I’m fed up with these mind games. Obviously since Alonso can’t beat Vettel on track he’s trying his hand at mind games now.

    But seriously, this is a team sport. Alonso and Ferrari have always been fighting Vettel and Red Bull this year. Why is it suddenly just Newey? He’s been with the team all along.

    Alonso is a good driver no doubt. But this really shows that without a good car a good driver is helpless. Winning a championship is all about a good driver having a good car. Vettel and Red Bull have that. A good driver in an average car (Alonso – Ferrari) and an average driver in a good car (Webber – Red Bull) will struggle.

    To all the people saying Vettel can’t win without a good car – well Alonso can’t seem to win without a good car too. To win a championship you need a good car, as well as a good driver.

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