Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012

Alonso feels he has “whole new level of respect”

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012Fernando Alonso believes he has gained “a whole new level of respect” in Formula One this year after narrowly missing out on the drivers’ championship.

“Ever since I?ve been at Ferrari, I think I have grown a lot, especially this last year,” said Alonso at the Ferrari World Final event in Valencia.

“Before, the people had a more or less good opinion of me, but now I notice a whole different level of respect. And then, to be one of the greats of Formula 1, it?s not enough to win titles, you must also tackle seasons like the one just ended.”

He added: “I think in terms of strategy, pit stops, starts, reliability, this has been a perfect year. We all agree the one thing lacking was the car, which meant we could not match the best teams for most of the year.

“It?s the only thing we need to improve, but it?s also true that it?s the hardest thing to do. With all the difficulties we had, I?m thinking for example of how far behind we were in winter testing, to be able to fight right to the very end for the title means we are a great team.”

Alonso said he supported Ferrari’s decision to query Sebastian Vettel’s overtake on Jean-Eric Vergne during the final race in Brazil with the FIA:

“There were a lot of video clips on the Internet and we knew our fans were asking for an explanation and so it was right for Ferrari to turn to the Federation for a clarification,” he said.

“We got a reply and I think everything has now calmed down. I did not pay much attention to all the uproar this incident caused, but I felt we owed our fans an answer.

“Frankly, I?m not that interested in what the opinion is of me in Germany or elsewhere. What I know is that people who see me in the streets hug me and call me gladiator or samurai. What matters to me are the 1200 people in the Ferrari family, who gave me a standing ovation at a dinner.”

Asked about his target for next year, Alonso said: “I hope to score three or four points more.”

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148 comments on “Alonso feels he has “whole new level of respect””

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  1. Rui (@ruicaridade)
    2nd December 2012, 23:24

    At least from me he has. Maybe not as a person (the person he portrays let it be said) however as a driver for me he outclassed Vettel (imho). Alonso may have lost the championship, but to still be in contention considering the how Ferrari was at Australia and all the way till Barcelona is a testament of how good he drove. For me it feels like Senna in 93,memorable drives, remembered today even if he didn’t win.
    And considering how Vettel drove in Brazil, his words on Ayrton after….

    1. And considering how Vettel drove in Brazil, his words on Ayrton after….

      Vettel drove a champion’s race to go from last on the circuit after turn 4 (and if you want to blame him for the collision with Senna, fair enough, though Alonso made his share of mistakes in the race, including running wide in T1 under yellow and getting passed by Hulkenberg) to finish where he did-with a severely damaged car and no radio.

      As for his words on Ayrton Senna:

      “To win that third title here, where one of my greatest idols Ayrton Senna was from, is unreal,” Vettel said. “It’s very difficult to imagine I join him and other great names in winning three titles.”

      Perhaps we are coming from different cultural perspectives but I cannot for the life of me see where Vettel said anything negative or untrue about Senna or that being on the level with him in terms of titles won (an objective fact) is anything but mind blowing, nor is he saying that he is as great as Senna was.

      Of course today we have Alonso saying he’s one of the greats — “to be one of the greats of Formula 1, it’s not enough to win titles, you must also tackle seasons like the one just ended.”

      Vettel is humbled (not just humble) and only noting how he accomplished something the greats of the sports have, whereas Alonso proclaims greatness for himself. Forgive me if I refrain from joining in.

      Though I do wonder if Alonso may feel, perhaps subconsciously, that his opportunities to achieve another title or titles are slipping away and this may have been his last shot. It does sound like he’s trying to shape his legacy.

      1. He’s referring to a comment Vettel made on his collision with Bruno, where Seb brought up Ayrton. I just found it to be a bad joke, nothing harmful. But others have taken offense.

      2. Oops, forgot to tag @uan.

      3. Rui (@ruicaridade)
        3rd December 2012, 10:36


        I meant this.
        I believe what he did in Monza in 2008 shows he has a natural talent perhaps greater than Alonso, and in a sense i believe he is the person most like Ayrton in terms of raw talent nowadays. But he is just a kid and sometimes that shows , compare Alonso’s drive this year and Buttons drive to be WDC , to the mess , imho, vettel’s race was.

  2. RB8 has been much faster than Ferrari most of the season. Alonso is the driver of the year like many pole shows.

    1. What about Kimi..beeing third with slow car

      1. Kimi was slower then Grosjean on more then few occasions. It’s just that he is better overall package and made more of the good car then Grosjean who was at times a complete joke.

  3. Asked about his target for next year, Alonso said: “I hope to score three or four points more.”


  4. Asked about his target for next year, Alonso said: “I hope to score three or four points more.”

    A bit of a pessimistic approach to 2013. Or is it realistic? Either way, I doubt 280-odd points will be enough to win the 2013 championship, considering that it will be the most static year in terms of rule changes since 2007(w.r.t. 2006).

    1. @chicanef1 He’s having a bit of a joke…considering he lost the championship by 3 points this year :P

  5. Man… I’m not an English native speaker. But as I have understand it, Ferrari has praised any other aspect of the car/team except its speed. So yes, they agree with you about its reliability.

    They haven’t exaggerated anything. They haven’t said that their car was the last of the grid. They have just said that “it wasn’t the best” (which with everybody agree for what I’ve read here), and they are praising themselves to fight for the tittle without the best car. That’s all!

    Seriously, it’s just the fact that they are constantly saying it that you people have made it bigger in your heads. Statements are not accumulative xD. If I repeat 1000 times “x = 1”. At the 1001 time, x is still 1, not 1001. You can check it yourself ;-)

  6. He is full of praise with the ferrari team yet keeps bagging the “car” the team built… Blaming the tools as always. If he wins its because of him, everytime he loses its always the car.

  7. I was the best, but my car was bad. I win the championship for 100%, but how it happened, when My car was not good enough. Insignificant talking and emphasizing own ego…wake up Miss and start to give us more reasonable comments to earn our respect. When something goes well, I did the job fine, but as something goes bad the team has not done the job good enough.

  8. matthewf1 (@)
    3rd December 2012, 12:01

    At the end of the day, no one will remember who finished second.

  9. Kimi+Massa 1+2 Championship titles, Alonso+Massa 0+0

  10. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    3rd December 2012, 13:16

    Does anyone know how many positions on average Alonso jumped in race because I would imagine it’s a F1 record of some sort?

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      3rd December 2012, 13:55

      Actually, I calculated it and excluding SPA and Suzuka where he retired, Alonso moved up an average 3.22 positions per race. In all honesty, I expected that number to be 4 or 5 but he had pole twice and started 2nd another time which brought down that statistic.

      Still do we know of other seasons where a car gain 3+ positions on average?

      1. Is that race positions gained though or start positions? I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d gained 3 places on average at the start of the races…

  11. Come on guys … The picture is so clear …. The ferrari jus benefitted heavily from the unrealiability of mclaren (largely) &redbull … In such a scenario having had the best reliable car on the grid &still sayin the car was bad is jus ridiculous. Jus look at kimi . Had a reliable &fast car … Finished 3rd above both mclarens . Alonso had a more reliable & faster car .. Finished 2nd … Reliability especially when other top teams are so unreliable is a major factor for success. This & a foolishly teamplayin & nervously underperforming teammate is what many call the greatness of alonso this season imho.

    1. Kimi+Massa = 1+2 Championship tittles, Alonso+Massa = 0+0

  12. Respect you in the mornng, heck, I don’t respect you now. points gained by taking from Massa and the gearbox scandal made it way closer than it really was.

  13. I think in terms of strategy, pit stops, starts, reliability, this has been a perfect year.

    While I understand where he is coming from, I still find it hard to believe that he actually believes that him self. He doesn’t seem like a “that’ll do” kind of chap. None of the champions seems like that.
    I don’t know if I am just reading too much into the exact wording, but calling a season perfect seems like a stretch. It has indeed been very, very good, but if they aren’t looking into the situations where they could have done something differently then they aren’t going to learn anything from this year, and then they will go home with nothing but bitterness.
    They did make mistakes. Both strategical, and in terms of driving. There were points left on the table. Although probably the least of any team, it wasn’t perfect.
    Had this come from someone in an amateur league, then I wouldn’t be surprised, but they are F1 drivers. They earn their massive salaries for hunting hundreds of a second here and there.
    Nothing is ever going to be perfect, and not admitting that feels wrong. I have grown to really respect him over the past couple of years because he seems honest and cool headed. But recently.. it has just gone the wrong way I think. He seems bitter. Hurt. Angry. Frustrated. Feelings that he previously seemed very capable of kicking out the window and got on with the job. That was what really made me admire him. And while I certainly understand those feelings, he is after all, still a human being. It just feels like a very different Alonso then the one we saw in 2011, or most of 2012. Until things started to go wrong for him.
    I loved Massa on the podium in Brazil at the end of 2008. He took the defeat with honesty. And despite the tears, in a very gracious, and beautiful manner.
    Alonso feels exactly the opposite (and Luca certainly doesn’t help that picture). He tries to play down the defeat, and wash his hands of any blame. But he does it in a way that makes me believe that it is eating him up inside.

    1. after booting Kimi out (who won the driver’s title for ferrari on his first year) in favour of Alonso, with everyone there expecting that he would be winning it for Ferrari — this must have taken its toll after a fruitless few years with them.

  14. I think this is a fair assessment from him to be honest. Nice final words as well ;)

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