“Vettel is a worthy champion”, says Alonso

2012 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Marina Bay, Singapore, 2012Fernando Alonso praised his world championship rival Sebastian Vettel while speaking to journalists in Madrid today.

“Vettel is a worthy champion: he scored more points than anyone else and that is clear for all to see,” said Alonso. “Red Bull will again be favourites next year, ending this season with seven or eight tenths in hand over us and that will be hard for us to make up over the winter.”

“The McLaren was also quicker than us and, at the end, even Force India and Lotus were ahead of us,” he continued.

Alonso said he felt the standard he achieved this year would be hard for him to repeat: “Sometimes you think you?ve done a good job and at others you feel something is lacking or that you would like to change or improve for the following year, but this time, I think this was a perfect year and I am very happy with my season.

“I think it will be almost impossible to do the same again in my career.”

Alonso said he expects the team to “start from a better base” next season. “It would be hard to start as badly as in 2012.”

“In Jerez at the first test, we were two seconds and a half off the pace, in Australia one and a half seconds. There?s a lot of work to do but our objective is clear: to have two Ferraris ahead of the field, both on Saturday and Sunday. These past few years, some teams have managed that, but not us: we will try again in 2013.”

Referring to the problems the team has experienced with its wind tunnel, Alonso said: “I don?t think the fact the Maranello wind tunnel has been temporarily closed will be a handicap: we will use other wind tunnels, and indeed we have been doing just that for the past few months.”

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172 comments on “Vettel is a worthy champion”, says Alonso

  1. Sad but true.

    • Jayfreese (@) said on 12th December 2012, 20:14

      what is sad?
      that he’s worthy? or that you’re a Alonso fan?

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 13th December 2012, 8:15

      @infy
      Come on, it’s just PR talk, I don’t think it’s sad at all. They have a very decent car to work with. It wasn’t the quickest in qualifying, but had a very good race pace throughout the year and was astonishingly reliable. We shouldn’t judge a Formula 1 car by qualifying pace alone.

      This approach suits Ferrari, it suits Massa and it suits Alonso, who can paint himself as a racing driver with truly epic skills. Don’t get me wrong: he’s one of the best and I would prefer him over Vettel as a champion. But I’m sick and tired of this: “We made the worst car ever. Absolutely terrible. A dog. It was slower than half of the grid, but through our heroic effort we managed to extract 1378% from it. We’re the best”.

      Ferrari F2012 wasn’t a bad. It wasn’t quickest, but over the course of the season it was a second best machine on the grid.

      • This +infinity.

        One does not simply get as high as 2nd in the constructors with an absolutely “horrendous” car.

        Yes it may have not been fast enough for Alonso to win the championship somehow, but it’s not like the F2012 has been the same ‘midfield dog’ that has been ousted by teams like Sauber at the start of the season really.

  2. Obi-Spa Kenobi (@obi-spa-kenobi) said on 12th December 2012, 20:18

    Personally I can’t put him up there with the Senna’s or Schumi’s. Not yet at least. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy, but like many I feel his car (aka Newey) is a too big a factor to single him out.

    Only time will tell if he is worthy.

    • Never really understood that view. Maybe a little bit in2010. But “the car” has not looked anything extraordinary the last two years.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 13th December 2012, 7:14

        @jonsan

        You’ve got to be joking… you didn’t think that the RB7 and RB8 were the class of the field in 2011 and 2012. Which car would you say was better during those two years ? Keeping speed and reliability in mind of course

        • Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 13th December 2012, 9:08

          @todfod
          McLaren – qualifying pace, race pace (questionable)
          Ferrari – reliability, race pace

          More often than not, the F2012 had better race pace than the RB8, and that’s even with the 4-race dominant run that Vettel had.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 13th December 2012, 9:56

            @pamphlet

            What you fail to mention is Red Bull – Race Pace, Qualifying, Reliability (as compared to Mclaren at least)

            Other than Monza and maybe Barcelona, there wasn’t a single race where Ferrari had better race pace than Red Bull… and I do not know how anyone can argue differently. The data has been presented in a previous article by Keith, so please check it out.

            Even if we look at Alonso’s 2 wins – Malaysia it was getting temperature into the tyres that was key… and when Red Bull managed that Vettel was setting the fastest laps of the race. In Germany, Red Bull had better race pace than Ferrari but couldn’t get by due to Alonso’s brilliant defensive driving.

            I think Seb fans are finding every reason for how Seb’s drive was the game changer and not his car.. but I do not see how they can justify with saying that the Ferrari was equal on race pace with the RB8.

        • Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 14th December 2012, 0:36

          Taking “class of the field” as implying dominance in every aspect of car performance (qualifying pace, race pace, reliability), I don’t think the RB8 truly qualifies as such. With the exception of their late season revival, Red Bull were consistently outpaced by McLaren, and they lacked Ferrari’s near-bulletproof reliability.

    • Senna had a similar disadvantage in 93 and only kept up the challenge for about half season. And there was less competition from other teams.

      Schumacher never had a car that was 4th quickest and fought for the title with it.

      • RamboII said on 14th December 2012, 1:24

        Yeah, sure.. In 93 the cars were seperated by seconds. At certain circuits Senna didn’t even qualify within 1,5 seconds of Prost. Alonso’s “dog” of a car he likes to call it so often, never was that far away. Not even half of that. Aside from that, the car was more reliable and the best car in the wet by far this season. So it wasn’t that bad. It’s racepace was a lot closer to the front (if not on par with) then it was on qualy.

  3. A top class driver, Alonso, but his constant bashing of his own team – a move transparently aimed at elevating his own stature – is starting to get on my nerves. I’ve never seen any driver, or any figure in any sport, rubbish his own team the way he does. The phrase “Self praise is no praise” come to mind.

    • He hasnt said anything negative about the engineering team. He has simply highlighted the shortcomings of the team and why as a team, they lost. When Alonso speaks the truth by saying the Ferrari was slower than the Redbull over the course of the season, he’s not taking a shot at his team. If they feel he is (i doubt they do), well thats just because they themselves feel guilty for doing a worse job than their competitors.

      If you would prefer him to turn into a heavily scripted machine who always says the best thing, perhaps you should rather support a mclaren driver?

      I like his leadership style because he tends to lead by example. If the team is struggling, he will pull an amazing drive out of the hat to show them that all is not lost.

      I also believe his results support the things he has said. He was in fine form and did drive very well but probably will not be able to match it again, and in sight of that, he is trying very hard to play down expectations so that the outrage from Ferrari/Alonso fans is not as extreme as it could possibly be if either the car or Alonso himself is unable to perform.

      • If the team is struggling, he will pull an amazing drive out of the hat to show them that all is not lost.

        He will tell you incessantly that’s he’s done so, at any rate. He had some excellent drives this season, but so did several other drivers who have not promoted themselves as Alonso has.

        • Francuis (@francuis) said on 13th December 2012, 7:33

          “A top class driver, Alonso, but his constant bashing of his own team – a move transparently aimed at elevating his own stature – is starting to get on my nerves. I’ve never seen any driver, or any figure in any sport, rubbish his own team the way he does. The phrase “Self praise is no praise” come to mind.”
          How is he constantly bashing his own team? Then so is Stefano Domenicali, Pat Fry and Luca di Montezemolo, who publicly stated several times that, they simply need to give Alonso a faster car. The Ferrari fan demands it. On several occasions he said that Ferrari is the best team. He is just speaking the truth and not blowing his own horn.
          “He will tell you incessantly that’s he’s done so, at any rate.”
          What does he say to reports that constantly ask you the same question over and over?
          “but so did several other drivers who have not promoted themselves as Alonso has.”
          If he did not have such a hugh following, more than any other F1 driver, even Vettel and Hamilton, then he would not have to answer the same silly questions and then be perceived as promoting himself. It is not like he arranges press conferences were ever he goes just to promote himself.

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 12th December 2012, 20:52

      @jonsan

      What did you expect? He stated the facts – Ferrari started behind and ended behind other teams, which should not happen for a team of this stature and aims. Had Ferrari done a better job, especially in terms of qualifying speed, Alonso would have had much easier fight for the title with much greater chances of succeeding. For a team which wants to and has to improve hiding the ugly truth and pretending everything is fine and rosy is the worst thing it can do. Also bashing is absolutely wrong word here. Alonso did not get even close to for example Hamilton lashing out at McLaren.

      • He stated the facts

        The factual claims which he made, about how “Lotus and Force India were ahead of us” or about how Red Bull were supposedly “seven or eight tenths” faster, were simply wrong. So no, he dd not state the facts. He made assertions which do not stand up to examination.

        • Cronies (@cronies) said on 13th December 2012, 16:52

          Could not have said it any better – bet if asked Pat Fry how “perfect” Alonso had been in extracing the most out of the car in private you would get a very intresting answer. In Brazil Massa looked like he had the speed to fight for victory yet Alonso says the Lotus (10th) was a better car. You have to be smoking some pretty strong stuff to think what he says if based on any sort of reality – he has spoken a pack of lies all season.

    • Seems most people want Alonso to openly express how the Ferrari was faster than every other car over the course of the season.

      • @infy – no we don’t; we want to dispel this delusional notion that the F2012 was a terrible car, after all it did finish second in the constructors championship even though Massa severly under-performed in the first half of the season.

        • It was a slower car than the Mclaren and RBR. It was better in reliability which is why it managed to finish second. Alonso has clearly stated that the reliability has been great but the car itself was slow.

          You need to stop trying to hard to bolster your favorite drivers (Vettel) win by overstating the speed of the Ferrari. The Ferrari’s average speed was hardly ever fastest over the course of a GP and it was a real dog on Saturdays.

          • davidnotcoulthard said on 12th December 2012, 23:54

            a real dog on Saturdays.

            Otherwise known as a Lemon.

          • John H (@john-h) said on 13th December 2012, 0:26

            He also stated he would have been on pole at Monza. Seriously, a lot of people have been taken in by Alonso’s exaggerations of how bad that car really was. Yes, slower than the Mclaren and RBR, but listening to Alonso you’d think it was as bad as the F60.

            Alonso is a wonderful driver, but he would also make a great politician.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th December 2012, 7:10

            Keith recently had an article on hear that demonstrated that the Ferrari over the course of the seasons was behind.

          • Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 13th December 2012, 9:11

            In little over half the races the F2012 was outright better than the RB8 on race pace. The F2012’s qualifying pace was nowhere near as bad as you think, and the car itself was a beast at the start so gaining 2-3 places was almost guaranteed.

            It’s funny because you’re the one who’s wrong here.

          • It’s not that bad really… At least either of the Ferraris’ have always been able to easily qualify into the top 6 since Barcelona. (Alonso earlier in the season, Massa later)

            And to top that off, their race pace and reliability is exceptional as we all (well most of the sensible ones, not all) know. And another plus they have is their good starts, they have always been able to make up places at the starts (take note of Alonso throughout the season, and especially back in form Massa late in the season).

          • @infy

            A real dog on Saturdays

            I disagree. Even though it was clearly slower than the Red Bull the “7-8 tenths” is a rather overemphasising the true deficit. In actual fact, the average deficit was more like 3-4 tenths and the race pace was almost equal. I’m not trying to bolster Vettel, I’m trying to give an accurate representation of how well both drivers actually performed and that would be achieved by giving an accurate representation of both the RB8’s and F2012’s true pace – which is hardly what Ferrari and Alonso are leading us to believe.

          • tigen (@tigen) said on 13th December 2012, 17:23

            Keith’s article was only based on qualifying. And even then the Ferrari actually was faster than RB and/or McLaren at least a couple of times in qualifying.

            Alonso is an extreme politician. He never admits the possibility that he himself might have done better.

            And what is with the double standard? “Alonso is so wonderful, he can do well with an inferior car!” Except… why didn’t he win more races then? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Alonso won Germany when the Ferrari was fast, and he won Malaysia in a freak weather situation when the car was also fast in the race. He wasn’t winning many races and that’s why he lost the championship.

            Alonso’s season was mostly: qualify a few rows back, make an EXCELLENT start (that is the CAR), then use Ferrari’s good race pace and reliability to make it to a decent spot like 3rd place.

        • celeste (@celeste) said on 12th December 2012, 23:44

          +111111111111111111

    • Shariz said on 13th December 2012, 2:57

      Then why did Alonso say “We have the best Team and we can fight for the championship” towards the end of the championship this year?

      And what did he say on the Brazil GP podium.. “I’m proud of my team”

      Any driver who has a car which is off the pace says that they need to improve…
      Vettel said it in the begining of the year, Hamilton has already said that Mercedes has to improve…

      So, according to you when a guy says we have the best team it means “my team is ****”?

    • @jonsan He’s calling a spade a spade. He’s stating the facts about the shortcomings and difficulties. In fact if I remember correctly Alonso said earlier on that ‘Red Bull have the best car but we have the best team’. That is not team bashing, certainly.
      @john-h The car was truly ‘fit-for-pole’ at Monza. Yes they had tyrewear poblems there, but at that time Alonso was regularly two to three tenths faster than Massa and that would have given him pole. Unfortunately a car that is fast only at Monza is not good enough, but Monza demands a specific set-up and played to Ferrari’s strengths. It was the only race where they had the fastest car.

    • You never heard what Rossi said about his slow Yamaha when racing Ducati or his poor handling Ducati when racing a Yamaha then! Lol

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 19th December 2012, 18:57

      I’ve never heard him say anything negative that wasn’t necessary. It’s constructive criticism at the very best.

  4. auto_freak (@auto_freak) said on 12th December 2012, 20:20

    Who else would be favourite? Vettel is clearly in the best car of the grid and he can surely clinch another title next year and many more as long as Adrian Newey and his team can grind out performance from all around the car. I think the turnaround Red Bull has accomplished this year is incredible and I haven’t seen any team besides Ferrari pull out such extreme development on a car that was clearly slower than the pace-setter in the McLaren.

    Lewis is gone and if McLaren can fix its reliability issues then again they will have just as much of a fast card compared to the Bulls but their driver pairing couldn’t get any worse. Button will be nowhere near the front of the grid unless his car is at least 0.2 or 0.3 seconds faster than the Red Bull. And even then I don’t see him putting it on pole. He needs a much much faster car to compete with the likes of Vettel and Alonso. Hamilton will be no longer in contention of the front rows, so that’s one less worry for Button, Vettel and Alonso for the next year at least.

    I can’t see Alonso being this close next season especially if Red Bull manages to get that much of a good car from the start. He needs an equally fast machinery because Vettel is clearly one of the top 2 drivers when it comes to qualifying. I can only see Lewis giving him a run for his money come quali day on a similar car. On race day, he still is behind Lewis, Alonso and Button and that’s a shocker given he is a 3 time WDC already.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 12th December 2012, 21:19

      On race day, he still is behind Lewis, Alonso and Button

      How so?

      • Are we talking about the same driver? The one who led over 200 consecutive laps this season?

      • auto_freak (@auto_freak) said on 13th December 2012, 6:55

        Even through all this years of his racing, I have seen him start from the front and only then has he been able to win races. Alonso, Hamilton, Button and even Schumi back in his day did wonders coming from behind and even racing on much weaker cars, ok maybe not Button. But surely Hamilton and Alonso are much higher up on race craft compared to Vettel, ask any top racing fan and they’ll have to agree unless they are a staunch Vettel supporter.

        Vettel will need to show what he can do on a far more inferior car to prove us wrong. And yes that is it, he has led that many laps and he has led them from the front, never from the back besides Monza 2008. Vettel is a great champion but he’ll have to prove us his greatness on inferior machines and inferior cars. Simple fact why I still don’t rate Messi over Maradona because he hasn’t done anything for his national team just yet. Maradona, Pele carried their national teams on their own shoulders to lots of glories, Messi needs Xavi and Iniesta, similar as to why Vettel needs Adrian Newey and a rocket of a car.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th December 2012, 8:13

          @auto_freak – Winning from the back is something that is pretty rarely done. Hamilton for instance, has never won a race from lower than 4th. Like Hamilton, though, Vettel has been able to show that he can grab excellent results from the back or mid-pack in his career. Numerous fightbacks this year for instance (like Belgium, Abu Dhabi and Brazil), and back in his STR days in 2007 and 2008, in clearly “inferior” cars, that weren’t “rockets”.

          • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 13th December 2012, 9:56

            It is not that rare to win from the back. Of course it is relative to say what is winning from the back. I can recall MSC winning from the back in Sepang 2001, just to name one. When Vettel grabs a good result from the back it is because most of the drivers let him pass. If they wouldnt let him, he would start to panic, make mistakes and so on. He demonstrated this in Abu Dhabi. And you cant call Abu Dhabi a “fightback” since half of the grid let him pass, plus he also clearly benefited from two safety cars. Even with that help, he wasnt able to win any of those races.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th December 2012, 10:27

            @thorpedo – Winning from the back isn’t that rare, but you had to go back to 2001 to recall one for MSC…

            If you’re going to nitpick, and diminish Vettel’s fightbacks by claiming that people didn’t fight him, or that he benefited from a safety car, then why not do the same with others? Did Alonso, for instance, overtake- on track- all 10 cars that started ahead of him in Valencia? No, he didn’t. He needed a safety car to bunch the field up, he needed Vettel’s alternator to fail, he needed bad pitstops from Lotus and Mclaren.

          • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 13th December 2012, 13:16

            You understood me wrong. I picked an example from 2001 because it seemed the most extreme (in my opinion). He won without help from others, safety cars etc. There are also other cases but they probably wont convince any of Vettel-lovers. I am not scorning Vettels fightbacks but I am saying that they are highly overrated. It is true that Alonso won in Valencia because of misfortune of other drivers and SC, but no one let him pass. And the biggest difference is that when Alonso won everyone “knew” it was because of previously listed events and not because of his driving. When Vettel does sth like that he is suddenly the best driver that history of F1 has ever seen. I am just waiting that you start to claim that Vettel has won more WDC than Schumacher :)

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th December 2012, 13:58

            @thorpedo – Fair enough if you’re not attacking Vettel’s fightbacks, but they wouldn’t need to be constantly brought up, if people like “auto_freak” weren’t so insistent on claiming that Vettel’s racecraft is poor compared to his rivals, based on the idea that he’s never won from lower than position X. Neither would they be brought up if people weren’t so negative about Vettel so often sticking the car on pole and winning from there.

            There is no way that I (a Vettel fan, not “Vettel lover” lol) thinks that Abu Dhabi 2012 makes Vettel the best thing ever. There are plenty of other things Vettel has done over the last 5 years to justify his position as one of the best racers on today’s grid, along with Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen and Button.

          • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 13th December 2012, 14:36

            The reason why auto_freak claims that Vettel is not as good as other big names, IMO, is not only because of his starting positions. He also mentioned a very important factor in F1- the CAR. He needs to show his skills in an inferior car (but I hope not in Ferrari, I would hate that :)). I, personally think that you need to start your career in an “inferior” car and then build your way up. Thats what Schumacher, Alonso, Massa and Button did. We cant compare Vettel with those guys. Hamiltons case is similar, but he isnt getting the same support from Bernie and he is not complaining all the time and throwing his gloves when things arent going his way (which was pretty much the whole 2012 season). So, you cant put him along with Hamilton. Plus, Hamilton has shown dignity when talking about Ayrton, which Vettel obvously didnt.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th December 2012, 14:58

            @thorpedo

            He needs to show his skills in an inferior car (but I hope not in Ferrari, I would hate that :)). I, personally think that you need to start your career in an “inferior” car and then build your way up. Thats what Schumacher, Alonso, Massa and Button did.

            And clearly, you weren’t watching in 2007 or 2008. Vettel did drive an “inferior” car, and he did impress, which got him into the Red Bull.

          • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 13th December 2012, 15:32

            Did he impress in 2007 and 2008 apart from Monza? Were those cars really as inferior as Minardi in 2001? Note that 2008 STR car was a decent car. Vettel was dominating within the team, but we must not forget how “talented” his teammate was.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th December 2012, 16:06

            @thorpedo

            Did he impress in 2007 and 2008 apart from Monza?

            Yes. He qualified and finished top 6 in Valencia and Singapore 08, passed Hamilton in Brazil to get 4th, and was 4th in China 07, to name a few.

            Were those cars really as inferior as Minardi in 2001?

            Was Jordan 91/Benetton in 1992 as inferior? Sauber in 2001 and 2002? Williams in 2000? Only Webber and Alonso drove cars that bad at the start of their careers. Are they the only “proven” drivers now?

            Note that 2008 STR car was a decent car.

            How do you define “decent”? It was similar to that year’s Red Bull (Vettel easily beat Webber/Coulthard anyway), and well behind Ferrari, Mclaren, BMW, Renault and Toyota. Having the sixth best car is “decent” by Toro Rosso’s standards, but not so good we can consider it a frontrunner, or a car that Vettel didn’t “prove” himself in.

          • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 13th December 2012, 16:30

            You seem to love the stats. OK… lets say that 1992 Jordan was as good as Vettels early career cars. Did Vettel scored his first podium at his 8th race? Did he finished 3 in WDC in his second season. Did he win his first race in his second season?

            Only Webber and Alonso drove cars that bad at the start of their careers.

            So, you admit that Alonso is better driver than Vettel?

            I define decent car as a car that can occasionaly get on podium. In 2012 season it would be MAMG, Sauber and Force India (car was good enough to be on podium once, maybe twice, but it didnt happen).

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th December 2012, 17:11

            @thorpedo

            You seem to love the stats. OK… lets say that 1992 Jordan was as good as Vettels early career cars. Did Vettel scored his first podium at his 8th race? Did he finished 3 in WDC in his second season. Did he win his first race in his second season?

            I assume you’re trying to compare Schumacher and Vettel here.

            They were both great early in their career in their own right. Schumacher did 1 race with Jordan mid 1991, before moving to Benetton. Though Schumacher did take his first podium earlier than Vettel, the 1992 Benetton was 3rd in the WCC, with Toro Rosso in ’08 6th. So you can’t use the number of podiums or WDC position to say one was better. Oh, but still, Vettel won in his second season (first full season).

            Ironically, if we’re talking full seasons, then Vettel actually did finish 2nd in the WDC in his 2nd season. So there.

            So, you admit that Alonso is better driver than Vettel?

            Where did you get that from? Simply driving the worst car doesn’t make you great. If that was the case, Karthikayan, Albers or Badoer would be highly rated. It’s what you extract from your cars, that determines how talented the driver is. It’s what Schumacher did in 1991/1992 that made him great back then. Same with Vettel 2007/8 or Raikkonen 2001.

            I can respect the opinion that Hamilton, for instance, didn’t “prove” himself in ’07 (with a title challenging Mclaren), though I don’t agree with it. But Vettel not “proving himself” in the STR because the car was supposedly too good? Ludicrous.

          • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 13th December 2012, 18:49

            If we are talking full seasons, then Schumacher finished 3rd in his first season, won a race as well and scored 8 podium finishes!

            I agree that driving the worst car doesnt make you great, but there is difference between starting your career in Minardi (back of the grid) or starting in a midfield team. Alonso could have ended up like Gene, but he didnt because of his telent. Alonso already is great, with Vettel looong way to go, despite all the numbers. Like you said, you cant use numbers to say one is better.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th December 2012, 19:19

            @thorpedo – At the same time, starting out in a midfield team doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up at a top team. Vettel had to work his way up to a top team through his talent as well. For such a short career, he’s shown quite a lot of greatness in his own right.

          • auto_freak (@auto_freak) said on 13th December 2012, 19:38

            At the end of the day, we are just comparing the top 3 drivers on the grid. When Lewis says Vettel is the luckiest driver on F1, you can certainly relate to it. But I think throughout the season, Alonso was the luckiest to gain on others failures mainly the McLarens unreliability and few of RB8’s falters too.

            You see there are considerably very few Vettel fans all around the world, I’d know a bit since I have been to several grand prix on the modern era. We are yet to be truly inspired by one of his drives, he has a lot to prove, sounds funny hearing something like this about a 3 time WDC. But the main issue is, Alonso, Hamilton and even Button after Canada 2011 inspired many by racing hard and doing everything on their possibilities to put a much worse car on places where it never truly belonged.

            Vettel has done a lot for the sport and for himself, he is a record-breaker and and he isn’t done just yet. But if he ever drove a car that Red Bull started this season with for 1 complete season even while being at Red Bull, and if he won a race or two with such a car then I’d be amazed and start standing up for him. Until then he’ll keep on setting pole laps, fastest laps and winning championships from the lead which isn’t necessarily truly inspiring racing is it? Lewis has had the balls to move to the 5th or 6th best team in F1 where he knows he’ll have a dog of a car. Alonso went from a title winning car at McLaren to a ever so fading Renault to build up his resume and now he drives for Ferrari, Lewis will drive for the first and most prestigious automobile giant in Mercedes while Vettel will be driving at a drinks company for the foreseeable future, hey as long as they keep on making championship winning cars, why not?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th December 2012, 20:05

            @auto_freak – It’s a very subjective issue, but I’d say Vettel has had inspiring drives in his career, including his maiden win, for a team that had operated in that little base in Faenza for 30 years, and has never come close to hitting those heights without him. The majority of his maiden full season, in fact, involved him having to put worse cars in places it ever truly belonged.

            I also think you’re giving Alonso too much credit for his previous career moves. He went back to Renault because he so spectacularly fell out with Mclaren. And although the history of Ferrari would have been an allure, Alonso would have believed they would have given him title winning cars (at the time, Ferrari had won 2 of the previous 3 WCCs).

          • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 14th December 2012, 18:01

            @auto_freak – Nicely said! Completely agree.

            The majority of his maiden full season, in fact, involved him having to put worse cars in places it ever truly belonged.

            Like I said before, Toro Rosso was far from being the worst car. I can only agree that his 1st win was inspiring, but that’s all. If he continues this way, he will never reach Alonso’s level despite having more WDC (probably even more to come with Newey finding loopholes).

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th December 2012, 21:11

            @thorpedo – The Toro Rosso was also far from being a car capable of finishing 8th in the driver’s championship or taking 7 top 6 finishes. Vettel was inspiring throughout his time there, and has continued that throughout his career with Red Bull, as much as you want to nitpick and dispute.

          • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 14th December 2012, 21:33

            Of course it was capable of. Face it… Vettel always finishes as high as his car is capable of. When he has the best car on the grid, he wins, when he doesn’t have it, he doesn’t win. As simple as that. He can only inspire someone who is watching F1 for half a decade or so and has therefore missed the era of real F1 with real champions. Feel sorry for them. Half of his nickname Baby Schumacher is actually well chosen; Guess which!

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th December 2012, 22:25

            @thorpedo – Correction- Vettel always finishes at least as high as his car is capable of. It’s ludicrous for you to suggest that in 2007 and 2008, when Vettel was driving a lower-midfield machine, that his results weren’t a result of him putting the car in unexpected places. If he wasn’t inspiring, then why did he get so much praise from compared to every other young Red Bull driver? Why did Giorgio Ascanelli compare him and his driving style to champions of the past, all the way back in 2009?

            Also, just because someone disagrees with your opinion doesn’t mean they’ve watched F1 for only “half a decade”. It’s you who needs to take the blinkers off and face it- Vettel is another real champion, and he’s still only 25.

          • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 15th December 2012, 9:32

            Oh, come on. Give me a break! With RB8, it is a shame that he didn’t win every single race since the summer break. Hamilton embarrassed him in Austin, which was the track that favoured RB. If he really is that inspiring, then why team bosses didn’t choose him as the best DRIVER this season?

            Vettel is not another real champion. You know… in my opinion, Vettel against Alonso, Schumi and co, is like Yas marina against Spa. I think that says it all.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th December 2012, 10:26

            @thorpedo

            With RB8, it is a shame that he didn’t win every single race since the summer break.

            Oh, come on now. You’re acting as if the RB8 was a completely dominant car all season. You know, that in this competitive season, that this isn’t true.

            Hamilton embarrassed him in Austin, which was the track that favoured RB.

            Hamilton was on the front row, so you’re really exaggerating if that is supposed to be “embarrassing”, that Vettel didn’t win.

            If he really is that inspiring, then why team bosses didn’t choose him as the best DRIVER this season?

            Because others also did a good job. But that doesn’t mean Vettel didn’t. Vettel was voted the best driver in 2011, and 2009 (when he didn’t win the title).

            Vettel is not another real champion. You know… in my opinion, Vettel against Alonso, Schumi and co, is like Yas marina against Spa. I think that says it all.

            In your opinion, maybe. But the way you’ve so vehemently denied that Vettel has proven himself in non-frontrunning machinery,and are insistent that the RB8 should have won “every race since the summer break”, including Monza and Spa apparently, shows how blinkered that view is anyway.

          • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 15th December 2012, 10:50

            I didn’t say it was dominant all season long, but from summer break on it clearly was. Plus, it was illegal. And don’t say it wasn’t! (holes in the floor, ride height adjustments in parc fermee, banned engine maps, rubber nose).

            Remember that Hamilton started on a dirty side of the grid, so that was equal as starting from the second row, given that the race took place on a new circuit.

            Vettel did good job, others did excellent job (especially Alonso and Hamilton, not to forget Raikkonen though). He will never be real champion. He lacks charisma together with everything I already mentioned.

            I think I didn’t mention Monza.

            Now, make another 100 accounts and go vote for Vettel because he obviously isn’t going to be chosen as the best driver of the year on this site either!

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th December 2012, 11:57

            @thorpedo

            I didn’t say it was dominant all season long, but from summer break on it clearly was.

            For Japan, Korea and India maybe. But how was it a dominant car in races that their rivals (especially Mclaren) won and took pole?

            Remember that Hamilton started on a dirty side of the grid, so that was equal as starting from the second row, given that the race took place on a new circuit.

            He set the 2nd fastest qualifying lap. The dirty side of the grid would have affected his start, not his qualifying pace before that, or his race pace after that.

            Vettel did good job, others did excellent job (especially Alonso and Hamilton, not to forget Raikkonen though). He will never be real champion. He lacks charisma together with everything I already mentioned.

            It’s not up to you to call someone a “real champion” or not. Facts are, Vettel has beaten the opposition for three years consecutively, having worked his way up from a midfield team. A similar path to success as past champions. Or maybe his F1 career, and the many events that have come together in the past has been coincidence after coincidence after coincidence?

            Now, make another 100 accounts and go vote for Vettel because he obviously isn’t going to be chosen as the best driver of the year on this site either!

            I don’t care that Vettel won’t win the vote, since I appreciate the job Alonso did. What I cared about, were the nonsense above, from “auto_freak” that Button was in a league above Vet, and your nonsense about Vettel not being a real champion.

          • auto_freak (@auto_freak) said on 16th December 2012, 5:20

            I think the only person talking nonsense was you @david-a. You are putting your own words on my mouth. When was it that I ever mentioned Button was in a league above Vettel? Holy….I only said Button inspired a heck lot more fans than Vettel has, but don’t worry Vettel will do 2 or 3 times more what Button has done for this sport because he has the age, the brain and the pace to win it all.

            I think quite frankly you should stop defending Vettel as if he is not open to any criticism, Hamilton is probably the biggest talking point of the sport every race of the season and yet he is only a 1 time WDC but why does he have so much media exposure and get paid the 2nd highest salary in this sport? Because, he is one of the top 2 drivers on the current grid and that is exactly why Vettel will have to do a heck lot more than winning consecutive championships on supremely dominant cars on a team that has been winning WCCs like there is no tomorrow.

            Vettel has beaten his team-mate who was always average but put it him on a team paired with Lewis/Fernando at the next season or two, you’ll see why exactly he is still 3rd best. I like him as a driver but not as a racer, Hamilton & Alonso will be the only remaining inspiring fellas on the grid now that Schumacher is gone. Vettel can get there but he needs to take up a challenge sooner or later. At Red Bull, there are no remaining challenges left. And please spreading BS as to what others say or doesn’t say.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 16th December 2012, 10:42

            @auto_freak – I’m not defending him as if “he is not open to any criticism”. I’m defending him from what I feel is unfair criticism. You did say, that on “race day, he still is behind Lewis, Alonso and Button”, so you didn’t just talk about fan inspiration with regards to Jenson. I wasn’t “spreading BS”, I was expressing my disagreement with the idea that Vettel is, by any significant margin, behind those three drivers in terms of racecraft. That’s based on some of the comeback drives and overtakes performed in the last few years, and what he did back at STR. That’s why in my opinion, he’s up there.

            You simply cannot be so sure that Alonso or Hamilton would prove Vettel is the third best if paired up in the same team. There are good arguments either way for Vettel, Alonso or Hamilton being better. This year, by the way, I do not see how in one of the most closely contested and competitive seasons you can say that anyone was “supremely dominant”. Again, often Vettel’s cars get exaggerated in order to diminish the role Vettel played in winning the title, which I don’t see as fair.

            I’ll give you the fact that SV will look for more challenges, and change teams, at one point. However, is moving teams a necessity to be considered one of the greats? Vettel’s only been with RBR for 4 seasons. It wasn’t until after his sixth season with Mclaren that Hamilton announced he was moving teams. There’s a driver from the 60’s widely considered one of the greatest of all time that only drove for one team (although circumstances would lead to his career being cut short, but still).

        • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 15th December 2012, 12:33

          How many races did McLaren win? The only thing that was missing from RB was top speed. Nowadays you can’t evaluate car’s performance based on it’s top speed. RB had the most balanced car. They had best mechanical and aerodynamical grip. And most of it due to the tricks already mentioned. Try to search for onboard shots, especially tracks with high speed and traction corners. Other drivers had to correct their cars in-corner much more then Vettel. Even high kerbs didn’t seem to disrupt his driving and stabilty of the car. Look at the movement of the wheel. Almost no oversteer. So… put Button in RB, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was level with Vettel. Put Hamilton and he will be way in front, not to mention Alonso.

          By the way… It’s funny how two days ago Toro Rosso was one of the worst cars, yesterday it was lower-midfield car and today it is midfield car. What’s next?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th December 2012, 14:24

            How many races did McLaren win?

            Seven, the same as Red Bull, despite their reliability woes. Mclaren are acknowledged as having the quickest car this year, ahead of Red Bull.

            So… put Button in RB, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was level with Vettel. Put Hamilton and he will be way in front, not to mention Alonso.

            Button, despite driving the fastest car, and having nowhere near the reliability problems of Hamilton, was a good 90 points off Vettel. How would he have matched Vettel? Also what Hamilton or Alonso would have done is pointless speculation, so it’s just disrespectful to claim they would have been far ahead.

            By the way… It’s funny how two days ago Toro Rosso was one of the worst cars, yesterday it was lower-midfield car and today it is midfield car. What’s next?

            I said that it was an inferior car, and one that Vettel put in places it didn’t belong, which is why Vettel proved himself and got into a top team.

    • Vettel is clearly in the best car of the grid

      I don’t find that to be clear at all. If the car is so clearly better than the rest, what’s Webber doing finishing the season behind a Ferrari, a Lotus and both McLarens? The RB8 was nothing special.

      • davidnotcoulthard said on 12th December 2012, 23:57

        While it was not clearly the best it still isn’t clear how “nothing special” it is – if at all. Surely it was at least a decent championship fighter, right? Just saying.

        • Yes but some people like @auto_freak are still thinking 2011, nitpicking like as if Vettel had a “vastly, superior and dominant car that destroyed the opposition”

          • auto_freak (@auto_freak) said on 13th December 2012, 19:19

            I don’t understand why you have to put your words in my mouth. I never mentioned this nor did I imply such a thing. “vastly, superior and dominant car that destroyed the opposition”

            RB8 was just as fast as the MP4-27 throughout the season and it improved the most in pace from the start of the season while the McLaren faded away in performance throughout the middle part of the season and even then Lewis didn’t fail to put it on pole at most times. Vettel had it all in 2011 and he dominated it only on a dominant car, this season was tight but not the true reflection of the best driver who won this championship at the end. Alonso and Hamilton trumped Vettel throughout the season, its only when Lewis’ car faltered, did Vettel capitalize on winning most races. (Abu Dhabi, Singapore)

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th December 2012, 19:30

            @auto_freak – Actually, according to this article, Mclaren had the fastest car.

            http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2012/12/03/2012-f1-car-performance/

            And Vettel only won one race (Singapore) due to Hamilton’s car faltering, balancing out the race he lost because his own car failed (Valencia). Raikkonen won Abu Dhabi (Vettel had to start from the back), and Maldonado won in Spain.

            Also, you say “Lewis didn’t fail to put it on pole at most times”, but Vettel took quite a lot himself (only 1-2 less), in a slower car.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 13th December 2012, 7:14

        If you put a 3 year old in a car all the teams would have beaten it,

        Webber is a great driver, but you have to judge Vettel on what he could make the car do, which was alot. In the end, the performance of the RB8 was demonstrated by Vettel in most cases, not Webber.

        • Is Webber really a great driver though? I’ve not followed F1 long enough to be able to see that myself. I think Red Bull do prefer Vettel to Webber but I don’t think Webber’s intentionally disadvantage – yet he regularly gets taught how to drive by Vettel.

          BTW I’m not a Vettel or Red Bull supporter, I’m just questioning is Webber even a top 10 driver? I think on a good day the following drivers are vastly better or equal to him: Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen, Button, Vettel, Massa, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, Rosberg, Perez, Maldonado. Webber has a lot of off days, so potentially all of the driver’s listed would do better than him over a season – although he rarely causes a crash these days thanks to his experience …

    • I`m getting quite fed up with all the questionmarks raised by people about Vettels ability as a driver. I`m not surprised though as he`s from Germany and has tremendous success. That is a combination a lot of people just love to hate, it takes some getting used to on my part too. First we have the war that is not yet totally forgotten, then there`s Schumacher that dominated for years and saw of all challengers untill Alonso. Then Hamilton arrived on the scene and everybody was looking forward to a golden time for F1 with Britain back in dominating fashion. And what happens? Germany comes up with Vettel who picks up where Schumacher left off.
      To add insult to injury the Germans even have a strong economy and is able to dictate most of Europe as most other countries are in deep shit. I totally understand where the resentment comes from, I get it.

      But what about Vettel, what is he? If anything he`s a winner and has proven this fact since he arrived in F1.

      Fact: Torro Rosso has been around for quite some time, their most successful season by far and their only race win was in the one full season Vettel was driving for the team.

      Fact: Red Bull didn`t win a race before Vettel arrived, since his arrival they have dominated F1.

      I just don`t believe in coincidents and has thus come to the conclusion that there must be something special about this kid. I don`t know what it is, it might be his ability to communicate what he wants from the car, it might be his attention to detail, it might be his total focus, it might be his will to win, it might be his ability to rally a team around him, it might be his mental strenght or it might be his raw talent. It doesn`t really matter though as the whole package has been enough to break all records in F1 at this point in time.

      The fact that many choose to credit Newey instead of the rest of the team and driver more than indicate that there is a bias based on nationality. Newey was there for years before Vettel arrived enen though Newey is a truly great designer the team was not dominating anything. The combination of Newey, the rest of the team and Vettel however has been mighty since 2009. But they wouldn`t have a single title if they had pinned their hopes on Webber.

      Furthermore I don`t think either Vettel or Red Bull care what we and others might think or mean. You can`t really do more than win and come out on top year after year. Both team and driver has come through with flying colours come crunch time (2010 and 2012). You don`t have to do better than that..

      The bias based on nationality works in mysterious ways too. Alonso was never given much credit in the past, but when he`s fighting Vettel the sentiment seems to be “rather a Spaniard than a German”. Mind you I have always rated Alonso highly as a driver and competitor, but he`s had some issues in the past both with the teams he`s been driving for and his surroundings. I think he`s much more of a handful than Vettel is, and if Ferrari don`t start winning championships soom I can very well imagine Alonso creating havoc in that organisation.
      Hamilton is also a driver I`ve always rated highly, but I still feel he has a tendency to selfdestruct when the chips are really down. Hopefully this season was a turning point in Hamilton`s career and what we saw was an older, wiser and more measured driver. But still, he performed better when he was out of contention for the championship and the pressure was off.
      Raikkonen is also a great driver, give him the equipment and he`ll give you the championship. He`ll not strggle mentally either so you don`t have to worry about that. He will never win as many championships as the other three though as he doesn`t have the same will to win.

      Hulkenberg is in my view a future WDC given a competitive car, that was clear back in 2010. If Williams had kept Hulkenberg in 2011 and 2012 they would have won several races this season and been back among the top teams in F1. They must be kicking themselves now.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th December 2012, 18:02

        The bias based on nationality works in mysterious ways too. Alonso was never given much credit in the past, but when he`s fighting Vettel the sentiment seems to be “rather a Spaniard than a German”.

        I don’t agree with any of that. Alonso’s championship victory in 2006 was one of the best season-long performances I’ve seen from a driver and I said as much at the time.

        • I was not referring to your postings.

          What I am saying is that if Alonso had been fighting a British driver for the championship his effort would not have been appreciated in the same way by so many people on English-speaking sites. The focus would have been on the other guy and how great he did.

          But that`s ok, it`s natural to react that way, I do too. But there comes a time when credit must be given where credit is due. In my view that time has come when a 25-year-old wins his third Championship in three years. That`s not a time to raise questionmarks as there at this point in time is nothing to question other than this: “Why do so many people work so hard to question Vettels ability?” I think this can be anwered by: “We try to marginalize what we fear”. What we all fear is that Vettel is the new Schumacher and will dominate F1 for years to come. We don`t want that, so we try to convince ourselves and others that he`s not so great, others are better, it`t the car and so on. If you can`t tear him down, build others up. That`s human nature, but you don`t spend time and energy trying to discredit something or someone you don`t fear. That`s a waste of time. It`s the same with both Hamilton and Alonso, if they had not been supremely talented very few would have taken the time or effort to try and belittle them.

          Three Championships in a row in F1, the pedigree of motorsport, is a truly great achievement. To believe otherwise is an insult to F1 in my view, you just don`t happen to win 3 titles in F1 by luck or coincidence. It takes a lot more than that, any WDC has my utmost respect.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th December 2012, 19:05

            Well this is an English-language site and I and plenty of other people here were capable of appreciating Alonso’s talent – and Vettel’s for that matter. Perhaps others weren’t, but that doesn’t justify making these sweeping generalisations which effectively say “you’re British so you won’t respect the abilities of a non-British driver who has a British rival”.

  5. andae23 (@andae23) said on 12th December 2012, 20:29

    Vettel is a worthy champion: he scored more points than anyone else and that is clear for all to see

    Though it is nice to hear Alonso acknowledging Vettel’s achievement, I can’t help but hear an undertone of sarcasm. If he explanes his appreciation for Vettel is that he has scored more points this year, yeah, that cannot be called genuine appreciation nor acceptation of the championship result. I can understand his frustration, as he feels he has had a perfect year – if you then miss out on the championship by three points…

    The McLaren was also quicker than us and, at the end, even Force India and Lotus were ahead of us

    Again he is heavily exaggerating Ferrari’s lack of pace. It is true that the Ferrari is not as fast as the McLaren and Red Bull are, but the gap is a lot smaller than Alonso and Ferrari claim it is – I explained this before on the forum. Why Ferrari keep pretending they had a dog of a car this year, I don’t know, but they should stop pretending Alonso has performed miracles this year. As a sidenote, if Ferrari were slower than Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus and Force India, how can they score a double podium in the final race?

    In conclusion: the general feeling I get from this article is that Alonso/Ferrari is/are dissapointed and upset by the championship result. That’s not ok.

    • magon4 (@magon4) said on 12th December 2012, 20:38

      Alonso is on a good way to becoming completely ridiculous in his outlook at formula one. Lotus and Force India faster than the Ferrari? Come on.

      • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 12th December 2012, 21:45

        I have made this point several times in the past few weeks, but heck, what’s one more…
        Lotus(3x), Mercedes (3x), Sauber(2x with a Ferrari engine), and even Force India(1) have managed to have Fastest race laps this year. The Grand Total for Scuderia Ferrari??? None, no fast laps, not one time were they ever the fastest car on track for a single race lap all season long. In over 1100 laps, SF never had more speed than all other teams.

        I understand, people hate Ferrari and will always expect conspiracy, but come on, the F2012 really was not worthy of the position ALO was able to put it in. Why would Alonso be sandbagging? His Qualifying average was 6.1, but yet he was able to lead the WDC for most of the time, and lose by only 1 point.

        Is there some honor in losing that I just dont see? Maybe Montezemolo gave him a special bonus for finishing Second rather than First? Perhaps Enzo’s favorite number was 2, and this is all some strange conspiracy to save the world from Ancient Mayan Apocalyptic predictions? See how stupid this sounds?

        • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 12th December 2012, 22:17

          If you think fastest laps or qualifying laps are indication of race pace, you still have a thing or two to learn about modern Formula One. Do you know how many fastest laps Vettel set in the RB7 last year? 11? 14? No, 3.

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 13th December 2012, 1:19

            Ok, how about Speed Traps?
            The conditions are selected by the team. Fresh Tires, Low Fuel, and prime track position. Ferrari has none of those either in 20 attempts.

            What more evidence does one need to prove the F2012 was not substandard car?

            Next thing, you’ll all be telling me that speed means nothing in F1.

            @mnmracer, @andae23, @vettel1 @john-h

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 13th December 2012, 1:40

            Edit:

            was not substandard car

            was a substandard car for them.

            Lets take this further…
            Thanks to the fantastic data present by our own Keith Collentine. The F2012 was a full 1.26% slower for the first 4 races, and at the end was only able to achieve 4th in the ultimate speed chart with a .75% average percent deficit to the fastest car.

            Of the other 2 major teams Mclaren and RB, and the newcomer/returner to form Lotus/Renault, Ferrari was the slowest.

            What more can be said? Data wins arguments, the F2012 WAS SLOWER on average than its main rivals. Fernando is not wrong, but he DID have a great season with his ultimate result.

            What would be the point of sandbagging in the media anyway? Perhaps SF was trying to lull the competition to sleep and slow down their development? Then, on race day engage the top secret “Stealth Mode” and sneak up to steal the win on the last lap?? Really??

            I apologize for seeming so facisious, but really, this is blatant Ferrari hatred, pure and simple. If Fernando said the sky was blue, some would brand him a liar, and find a way that a blue sky benefits Ferrari.

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 13th December 2012, 6:55

            Next thing, you’ll all be telling me that speed means nothing in F1.

            Well, actually that’s exactly what I wanted to say. Red Bull have been the slowest in the speed traps all year. It says mor about set-up than about the car’s pace: if a car is quick in the speed trap, than it has less downforce and therefore is slower in corners.

            Then the pace deficit: the data obtained is from qualifying and again qualifying is not a representative tool to compare race pace. Two more points are that the first race includes Alonso’s spin in Q2, and if you look at the data you cans see that the F2012 was actually faster than the 150 Italia from last year. Also: Massa’s pace was taken into account as well, and as we all know: he sucked for a good portion of the year.

            Why Alonso and Ferrari keep sandbagging about this in the media, I stated in my original comment that I don’t know. If what Alonso’s saying is true – that even the Force India was faster than the Ferrari – then I still don’t understand why they keep repeating this message to us.

        • andae23 (@andae23) said on 12th December 2012, 22:18

          Fastest lap is not a relevant when looking at a car’s pace: it actually is more coincidence, which is supported by the fact that 12 different drivers set fastest lap this year. Also, I acknowledge that Alonso started relatively far down the field – again you cannot judge a car’s pace on qualifying alone, as explained by Keith below. And for all we know, maybe Alonso is just a poor qualifier, as he has made crucial mistakes during quali this year (Brazil, Australia spring to mind).

        • @javlinsharp – Fastets laps aren’t really representative of true pace in the “Pirelli era”. Quite frequently whoever happens to be on the right tyre at the right time gets fastest lap – coincidently it seems none of the Ferrari drivers happened to be in that position.

          Take Vettel for example: often he happened to be on a different strategy to the rest in an effort to make gains which reflects upon his 6 fastest laps – only two of which coincided with wins from pole.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 13th December 2012, 0:30

          Fastest laps mean absolutely nothing anymore.

        • Alonsos ego needs to be fed. If he doesn`t win it`s due to the car, or the team, or another team, or the weather or what have you. I think he`s gotten to a point now where he needs the rest of the world to accept his greatness as well.

          All the top drivers have a big ego, but Alonso and Hamilton need constant ego boosts. Thank god Alonso can speak Italian now, remember the radio messages in 2010 in English: “You`re doing fantastic Fernando”, “Amazing performance Fernando” and so on, during the race. Hamilton is up there to with “you`re the fastest driver on the cirquit”, “great job Lewis” whenever he is having a couple of good laps”. Vettel is up there too, but he seems to prefer praise after the race, and lots of it.
          On the other end of the scale yoy have Raikkonen: “Leave me alone”.

    • I think you are confusing the management of expectations with disappointment.

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 12th December 2012, 21:00

        No I’m not: clearly Ferrari and Alonso had hoped for their first driver’s title in five/six years. And now that they have just missed out on that, they are being childish and start whining about why they didn’t deliver. A perfectly human reaction, but in a sport environment like Formula 1 this can be seen as being ‘unsportmanlike’ behaviour. That’s why I claim what I just wrote.

        • While you see it as whining, I see it as explaining. There is a big difference and I dont think it is fair to just presume that he is being negative. As there is no way to tell what tone of voice he used, we have to go with a passive (not negative nor positive) outlook.

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 12th December 2012, 21:11

            I give up – I think we have an unsolvable disagreement.

          • @infy
            I guess if he had actually explained what went on, he wouldn’t have overly simplified it and ‘incidentally’ overly exaggerated the view that the car was bad and he was great.
            I think that is what makes it smell like whining.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th December 2012, 21:24

      It makes some sense to me that Alonso singles out Lotus as being quicker than Ferrari. On average, over the entire season, they were – by a slim margin of 0.07% of lap time. That’s just 0.063s over a 90-second lap.

      And as pointed out here, Ferrari’s performance after the first four races was significantly better.

      But I’m surprised he names Force India as another team who were quicker than Ferrari. On pure lap time, Force India were only ahead twice in the 20 races. Sauber and Williams fared better by the same measure. And all three were slower on average over the entire season.

      And this data only reflects one-lap pace, not race stint pace, where Ferrari were much stronger. So I would put Ferrari’s pace pretty much on a par with Lotus’s over the season and better than Sauber and Williams – and certainly Force India’s. I do think he’s exaggerating a bit.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 13th December 2012, 7:20

      If he explanes his appreciation for Vettel is that he has scored more points this year, yeah, that cannot be called genuine appreciation nor acceptation of the championship result.

      Well.. Vettel finished 3 points in front of him in a car that was clearly superior throughout the season. Its hard to pay any compliments to Vettel’s abilities when Alonso nearly took the title with inferior machinery.

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 13th December 2012, 7:28

        My feeling about this is that if he doesn’t really think Vettel deserved the title, then don’t make these statements.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th December 2012, 8:16

        And then Alonso’s car clawed back a lot of points due to superior reliability over Red Bull and Mclaren (who were even faster than RBR).

      • @todfod

        Clearly superior? Then what happened to Webber, a fellow title contender midway through the season?

        Well he has clearly faded off in the title fight, ever since his Silverstone win. While Vettel has claerly fought hard to keep himself in title contention in Germany-Italy, Barcelona, and has capitalised on maximum point scoring opportunities from Singapore-India, thus he was able to slash Alonso’s huge lead, to place himself in the lead after being so far behind.

        I don’t see how the RB8 is that “vastly superior”, it’s not 2011 we’re talking about here.
        Besides, Ferrari has managed to get 2nd in the constructor’s, even with Massa only just recovering from his horrible slump with consistently strong finishes late in the season.

        One does not simply get 2nd in the constructors with a ‘dog of a car’ really. That’s why it’s called a championship, it highlights one’s overall performance (not just pace but also reliability, strategies and even differing race and quali paces) for throughout the whole season as a whole. And Ferrari has only came one place behind Red Bull, so i don’t see how the Ferrari is that much weaker compared to the Red Bulls.

        Yes they’re weaker, but not to the extent that some people, including Ferrari and Alonso, seem to be exaggerating. (Like “we have been slower that Force India”?! Really?)

  6. Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 12th December 2012, 20:29

    Wow… I don’t think even Prost was that openly critical. How things have changed at the Scuderia!

  7. David-A (@david-a) said on 12th December 2012, 20:34

    Awesome article picture.

  8. matthewf1 (@) said on 12th December 2012, 20:35

    ‘Alonso said he felt the standard he achieved this year would be hard for him to repeat’

    I hope he means his standard of excuse-making. All he has done this year his slag off his team to make himself look good. He needs to be reassured how good he is so often, it’s quite sad really. It is wearing painfully thin now, and he is making himself look oh so desperate.

  9. Agree with Alonso, Vettel is really worthy champion. McLaren and Ferrari missed their opportunities themselves

  10. Thanks to Fernando Alonso for this textbook illustration of “damning with faint praise.”

  11. olivier (@olivier) said on 12th December 2012, 20:56

    “Sometimes you think you’ve done a good job and at others you feel something is lacking or that you would like to change or improve for the following year, but this time, I think this was a perfect year and I am very happy with my season.

    The only thing missing is the title, but Alonso did an amazing job. He challenged for the title all the way till the end in a car that was not the fastest in any of the rounds. Quite the achievement.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 13th December 2012, 9:58

      Alonso drove very well this year – I don’t think that is in dispute. It is his own need to harp on and hugely exaggerate just how amazing he himself was that brings him down in my estimation and grates with a lot of people. If he just let his driving do the talking I think he would be more widely popular.

  12. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 12th December 2012, 20:56

    7 or 8 tenths faster than Ferrari?
    That’s just ludicrous!!
    At Brazil, Massa did a 12.9, with Vettel on a 12.7 and Webber on a 12.5
    That’s not exactly 8 tenths is it?

    • I watch the live timing and on most laps in the final races they were about a second a lap off the pace. Sure they could randomly set maybe one or two quick laps, but not consistently.

      • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 12th December 2012, 21:05

        But that would have been off the Mclaren, and given the trecharous conditions, it isnt really appropriate to compare car performance.
        Therefore, Quali is the only real performance marker for each car, as errors would have been much less frequent.
        And anyway, at Abu Dhabi, Alonso was really quick; he was consistently faster than Webber I believe.

        • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 12th December 2012, 21:07

          Somehow, I read that as exclusively Brazil :/

        • I don’t think that qualy is the real performance marker for each car because you can make a setup that makes a car go fast in qualy but slow in the race.
          For example Ricciardo in Bahrain where he was 2 seconds ahead of Vergne in qualy but Vergne being consistantly faster in the race.
          But nevertheless the Ferrari wasn’t a dog of a car like they say it is. On race pace the Ferrari was often on par with the Red Bulls or just a bit slower(like Abu Dhabi and India).

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 12th December 2012, 21:10

        That’s not true. For instance Texas: Vettel and Alonso both drove the final 30 laps in clear air, on the same tyres. In those 30 laps, Alonso lost on average 0.4 seconds a lap – and Massa was faster than Alonso.

    • OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 12th December 2012, 22:30

      @xjr15jaaag

      In Austin the fastest Ferrari qualified 1.3 seconds off the fastest Red Bull. (0.4+1.3)/2=0.85, so the average of the last 2 qualifying sessions show a bigger gap than Alonso is suggesting. And don’t forget Interlagos is a relatively easy track where all cars are closer in laptimes.

      • @oel-f1 but if we take the data from the supposed “number two” drivers – of which Webber is supposed to be better – the gap is just under 8 tenths. I would say that is slightly more of an accurate representation of the one-lap pace deficit – in the races however the gap is less significant. Coupled with blinding starts and really Ferrari didn’t have as bad a package as has been suggested.

  13. Since people are saying that Alonso is “explaining”, let me point out that this –

    “Red Bull will again be favourites next year, ending this season with seven or eight tenths in hand over us”

    – is not in fact correct. While the gap in qualifying between Webber and Alonso in Brazil was 0.67 seconds (reasonably close to seven or eight tenths), his teammate Massa was quite a bit quicker, four tenths behind the fastest RB.

    “even Force India and Lotus were ahead of us”

    Not unless he is using the royal “Us”. Hulkenberg in a Force India qualified ahead of Alonso – but behind Massa.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 12th December 2012, 23:08

      Unlike Alonso, Vettel can somehow up his game when it really matters. Unless main rival do not finish, I can’t see Alonso performing miracles in the last race.

      He needs to be slapped back into reality, if he thinks Ferrari was slow in Brazil. He was slow in Brazil, both Massa and Hulkenberg were better.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Alonso did get the lead, Vettel would have made an adrenalin rush to 4th.

  14. 5150 (@) said on 12th December 2012, 21:37

    The way things are going right now, I would say around Christmas Alonso will tell us that even Caterham were faster than Ferrari.
    I think he’s fantastic driver, but he would be much better off, if he just shut up.

    • @5150

      I think he’s fantastic driver, but he would be much better off, if he just shut up.

      I agree. This isn’t the graceful defeat that I had expected from him. He comes across as bitter and frustrated, and more so each time he repeats this message.

    • Enigma (@enigma) said on 13th December 2012, 7:00

      I think he’s fantastic driver, but he would be much better off, if he just shut up.

      Very well said. He was the best driver this year, but he wants us to believe he was by far the best driver.

  15. crr917 (@crr917) said on 12th December 2012, 22:16

    Dear Santa,
    Please grant Alonso’s wishes and make Ferrari slower than Lotus and Force India next year

    P.S. Slower than Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Sauber and Williams, too.
    XD

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