How do Hamilton and Alonso compare after six years?

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Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Fuji, 2007Darren Danga wrote in to ask this question about two of F1′s top talents, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso:

I would like to know who had more points when they raced, pole positions and their records if you had to compare the two?

I think they are of the best drivers in Formula One at the moment. Not taking anything from Sebastian Vettel, he has a good, reliable, fast car.

My main wish in life is to have these three guys race in a similar car, and look at the result!

It’s always exciting to see top talents go up against each other in the same car. We had it in 2007 with Hamilton and Alonso, but unfortunately it didn’t last very long.

Hamilton and Alonso as team mates

Alonso had moved to McLaren from Renault, with whom he had won the last two world championships. Hamilton arrived at McLaren as a rookie, having won the GP2 championship and Formula Three Euroseries in the preceding two years.

Even Hamilton’s boss and mentor Ron Dennis didn’t expect him to be immediately on Alonso’s pace, telling him “don?t be surprised if you’re half a second slower than Fernando”.

Nor did Alonso expect Hamilton to be much of a threat. “He told me at the beginning that it was my decision to sign a rookie like Hamilton, but that it could cost me the constructors? championship,” said Dennis in 2010.

Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Montreal, 2007To the surprise of Dennis, Alonso and probably everyone else car Hamilton the rookie ended the season in front of his team mate in the championship. But it couldn’t have been much closer: they tied on points with Hamilton ranked ahead as he had five second-place finishes to Alonso’s four.

Hamilton and Alonso waged war within the McLaren garage. At times both claimed the team weren’t doing enough to support their individual causes.

In Monaco Alonso had the benefit of a lighter fuel load in qualifying but Hamilton was not given the opportunity to use the full benefit of his heavier fuel load to pass his team mate during the pit stops. “It says number two on my car and I?m the number two driver,” grumbled Hamilton afterwards.

Two races later the team arrived at Indianapolis with Hamilton leading the championship. During the race Alonso trailled his team mate and drove up to the pit wall as he exhorted his team to order Hamilton to make way. They didn’t, and Hamilton scored his second win of the year.

Matters came to a head in Hungary when Hamilton refused to let Alonso run ahead of him during qualifying. Alonso hit back by blocking Hamilton in his pit box later in the session. The stewards ruled Alonso had impeded Hamilton and moved him back on the grid. Hamilton won the race.

This had repercussions beyond their internal rivalry as it provoked Alonso to reveal details of McLaren’s use of confidential information belonging to Ferrari. That ultimately saw the team excluded from the constructors’ championship and fined $100m.

From that moment on it seemed impossible Alonso could have a future with the team. He remained in contention for the drivers’ championship but a crash in Fuji – where Hamilton won – virtually ended his hopes. But Hamilton also saw the title slip through his grasp after a strategic error in China and a gearbox glitch in Brazil.

Hamilton and Alonso in 2007: Statistics

Here are the statistics of their 2007 season in detail:

Lewis Hamilton Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren. Interlagos, 2007 Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2007
Wins 4 4
Podiums 12 12
Points 109 109
Pole positions 6 2
Qualified ahead* 10 7

*Drivers qualified with their race fuel loads in 2007 which could affect qualifying performance. Alonso qualified in front of Hamilton in Hungary but was penalised and moved behind.

Notes on reliability

  • French Grand Prix: Alonso’s gearbox failed during qualifying leaving him tenth on the grid
  • European Grand Prix: Hamilton had wheel failure during qualifying, causing a heavy crash and leaving him tenth on the grid
  • Turkish Grand Prix: Hamilton had right-front tyre failure, dropping him from third to fifth
  • Brazilian Grand Prix: Hamilton had a gear selection problem on lap eight which dropped him from sixth to eighteenth. He finished seventh

Laps per position

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2012drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Fernando Alonso 203 224 272 110 51 53 64 29 24 2 1 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Lewis Hamilton 321 311 184 56 24 10 15 25 12 16 8 7 8 15 1 8 12 3 1 0 0 0

Hamilton and Alonso since 2007

Hamilton remained at McLaren while Alonso returned to Renault and then switched to Ferrari. This obviously deprives us of the ability to compare their performance in the same cars.

During this time Hamilton has won the world championship once and Alonso has been runner-up twice. Both have had cars that were capable of winning the world championship, and both have had uncompetitive cars at times. That was particularly true for Alonso in 2009.

Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Monaco, 2012Hamilton’s one-lap speed is a key strength of his along with his racecraft and overtaking. However he has been prone to incidents, notably in 2011, and has headed down the wrong path when setting up his car.

Alonso is a master of consistency, both in terms of avoiding mistakes and in repeating millimetre-perfect laps again and again. But he doesn’t respond well to pressure from the other side of the garage and is not on a par with Hamilton and Vettel in terms of one-lap pace.

Few would doubt Hamilton and Alonso are two of the best drivers in the world at the moment. Choosing between the two of them is extremely difficult, though I have put Alonso ahead of Hamilton in my Driver Rankings for the last two seasons.

The best way to tell would be if they were to share a team again. But the chances of that happening are slim.

Last year Alonso said he would be happy for Hamilton to join him at Ferrari though other sources say that isn’t the case. Given Ferrari’s policy of not having “two roosters” in their driver line-up, it seems unlikely we’ll ever see Alonso and Hamilron in the same team again.

Here’s a summary of their results since 2007.

2008

Lewis Hamilton Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso, Renault R28, Barcelona, 2008
Car McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23 Renault R28
Wins* 5 2
Podiums 10 3
Points 98 61
Championship 1st 5th
Team mate Heikki Kovalainen Nelson Piquet Jnr
Team mate points 53 19

*Hamilton won ‘on the road’ in Belgium but was stripped of his win after the stewards decided he has passed Kimi Raikkonen illegally. Alonso won in Singapore but it later emerged that his victory was facilitated by his team mate being ordered to crash to bring out the safety car to the benefit of Alonso’s strategy.

2009

Lewis Hamilton Fernando Alonso
Car McLaren-Mercedes MP4-24 Renault R29
Wins 2 0
Podiums 5 1
Points 49 26
Championship 5th 9th
Team mate Heikki Kovalainen Nelson Piquet Jnr, Romain Grosjean
Team mate points 22 0

2010

Lewis Hamilton Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010 Fernando Alonso, Ferrrari, Hockenheimring, 2010
Car McLaren MP4-25 Ferrari F10
Wins 3 5*
Podiums 9 10
Points 240 252
Championship 4th 2nd
Team mate Jenson Button Felipe Massa
Team mate points 214 144

*Alonso’s team mate was ordered to hand him victory at Hockenheim.

2011

Lewis Hamilton Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Sepang, 2011 Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Montreal, 2011
Car McLaren MP4-26 Ferrari F150??? Italia
Wins 3 1
Podiums 6 10
Points 227 257
Championship 5th 4th
Team mate Jenson Button Felipe Massa
Team mate points 270 118

2012

Lewis Hamilton Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Melbourne, 2012 Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2012
Car McLaren MP4-27 Ferrari F2012
Wins 4 3
Podiums 7 13
Points 190 278
Championship 4th 2nd
Team mate Jenson Button Felipe Massa
Team mate points 188 122

Over to you

Can you choose between Hamilton and Alonso? Would you like to see them share a team again? Have your say in the comments.

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108 comments on How do Hamilton and Alonso compare after six years?

  1. Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th January 2013, 15:56

    I give the nod to Alonso being the better all around driver. I think he has done a lot more with a lot less than LH, in general, at times. My main thing here is that LH has only been on ‘his’ team, that raised him in racing. I think that makes it a difficult comparison to FA and other drivers too, and makes his career so far unique, and certainly different from FA’s. And sure FA has had teams wrapped around his pinky too…Renault and now Ferrari. But they didn’t raise him from a kid.

    I was highly unimpressed with LH in 2011 when he admitted off track distractions cost him on Sundays. I don’t think FA would ever let that happen.

    I think we need more time to do a better comparison between these two drivers, and it will start this season with LH no longer on the team that raised him, no longer in a top 3 car (presumably). No more off track distractions allowed, LH…time to put everything into helping build a team that is competitive. Whole different ballgame coming up for LH and it’s going to be fun and exciting to watch. But for now, if the question was Who would do better going to Merc, LH or FA, I would say FA. LH has much to prove yet now that he is no longer under his ‘parents’ wings.

  2. sumedh said on 16th January 2013, 16:04

    I would look at it year-by-year

    1) 2007 – Hamilton was easily the better driver.

    2) 2008 – Hard to compare but Alonso was the highest scorer in the championship in the last third of the championship. Even if we discount the Singapore win, he still had a great season. Given Hamilton’s slightly inconsistent season, I would give 2008 to Alonso. Although, Kubica trumped them both pretty easily this year.

    3) 2009 – Another difficult season to compare. Alonso as he beat his teammate by 26 points. Hamilton could beat his teammate by only 27 points in spite of having a much more competitive car. But he did lose 14 points at Italy and Abu Dhabi. On balance, I think 2009 belongs to Hamilton

    4) 2010 – I would give this one to Hamilton. Except for the wrong setup choice at Monza, Hamilton had a pretty much perfect season.

    5) 2011 – Alonso easily.
    6) 2012 – Alonso easily once again.

    So overall, three each for Alonso and Hamilton :-). If you still force me to choose one, then I will choose Alonso as he has done better in the recent two years!

    • auto_freak (@auto_freak) said on 16th January 2013, 19:18

      I would chose Alonso over Hamilton in the recent two years as well but to say Alonso was better in 2008 than Hamilton’s incredible championship win that year is just awkward. Hamilton was a sensation that year and on his rookie year as well!

      • sumedh said on 16th January 2013, 20:13

        I don’t think Hamilton’s 2008 season was as spectacular as his 2007. He had a few lacklustre races in 2008 – Bahrain, Canada, Japan, Hungary, France. He definitely got lucky in Monaco that year.
        2008 was the season where it seemed no one wanted to win the championship. Kimi was poor all year. Massa had the dreadful start with 2 no scores and the embarrassment that was Britain. The two outstanding performances of 2008 were Kubica and Alonso. Unfortunately, they had slower cars.

  3. JB (@) said on 16th January 2013, 16:07

    I´d take a slow but consistent driver over a fast and crash-prone one… Sure Hamilton is fast but Alonso is much more complete.

    I think Hamilton once said… I´m like Senna and Fernando is like Prost; To which when asked about that, Fernando answered : “Good… Prost was a four time world champion!”

    And to be honest… Hamilton had it spot on… He is as quick as Senna, well maybe not as fast but close to him, and Alonso is as calculating as Prost…. Canada 2012 proved that Fernando drives with a calculator in his head… He preffered to lose a win and podium, than to risk losing all! There is a driver for you!!!

    • I think it’s wrong to call Hamilton “crash-prone”: if you based it purely on his 2011 performance then you may have a point but he was only involved in two collisions last year, the same as Alonso (and both were pretty much equivocal to the other’s).

      I agree with the comparisons between Senna & Prost but the example you have used for Alonso being “like a calculator” isn’t a good one @catracho504: in Canada Ferrari made a clear strategic error and lost out to Hamilton & Vettel because of it, so not a good example of his calculated mindset. Anyway, startegy is decided by the teams and not the drivers so you would be better referring to a time when he held off to save tyres and then attack or something along those lines; perhaps in Valencia where he was quick to get away at the safety car re-start and take advantage to overtake Grosjean.

      I personally would have a calming influence paired with a feisty-but-fast driver and out of the top three drivers would probably pair Vettel and Hamilton for the fact that they would be able to dominate qualifying and build a gap at the start of races.

    • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 17th January 2013, 7:52

      Well this showes that for Alonso the only important thing are numbers. If he admited Hamiltons talent in their ’07 season, then if he was realy a faster driver he would win a title in ’08. Instead he choose to blackmail his team?!?! In my eyes I never forgot this fact as he is a dirty caracter. Lewis admired Alonso till that point and I think that ’07 left Hamilton in a shook for a while.

  4. tmax (@tmax) said on 16th January 2013, 17:27

    @keithcollantine I am surprised by 5 wins and 3 Podiums statistics for Lewis in 2008 when you hadmentioned that Podiums are not excluding wins. I guess Either the statement needs correction or statistics needs correction.

    As far as head to head comparison between Alonso and Hamilton is concerned I Think it is a no brainier. On an equal equipment Lewis who was rookie in F1 was way ahead of the Alonso who was a double world champion of the previous 2 years. Lewis is fast and he is the fastest. Between him and Vettel if they both are given equal equipments, they can set the track on fire on a qualifying afternoon.

  5. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 16th January 2013, 17:46

    if i was a team owner id want Alonso in my team over Hamilton, Hamilton is hugely fast but i know Alonso would deliver every race

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 16th January 2013, 18:16

      (@scuderia29) I can’t help but feel Whitmarsh just doesn’t run Mclaren quite as confidently or with as much direction as Ron Dennis, and their lacking in recent success perhaps justifies this? Don’t ask me what gives me that impression.

      And perhaps Hamilton would have remained there if they had been more successful recently and led better.

      Just thinking out loud.

  6. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 16th January 2013, 18:03

    Don’t get me wrong, Alonso is a class act but the things he has got away with, is incredible. in 2007 with the e-mails in which he had a part in the spygate and got off clean. 2008 with Singapore and his team mate.

  7. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 16th January 2013, 18:06

    I’ll pick Lewis because I watch F1 for the emotions not for the mathematics. Hell I remember much more Montoya passing Michael in Brasil in his first season in F1 than some of Michael titles :)

  8. William Brierty said on 16th January 2013, 19:05

    Wow. I get excited just thinking about these two. They are, in my opinion, the finest drivers to grace the cockpit of an F1 car since a rather dark day in 1994. In fact I think Fernando got into the F2012 and drove it in a manner that took himself out of the modern crop of “simply bloody fast” drivers and onto the shelf with the all time greats of our sport. Actually I remember sitting at home quietly scoffing at Alonso’s title assurance, and about an hour later watching Alonso take two positions to go up to championship winning position. At that point a rather involuntary obscenity sprang from my dumbstruck lips, and although it didn’t pan out, Alonso can go into next year knowing that his sheer awesomeness scared the entire field, especially one Mr Vettel. Actually its interesting that this is Hamilton vs Alonso, as opposed Vettel vs Alonso. Has Vettel joined these two yet? Now that’s what I call a pub debate!!!!! In my opinion no because…
    1. He almost certainly doesn’t get as much as Hamilton and Alonso can get out of a car. Whilst Hamilton gets everything the car has to offer during qualy, Alonso manages to reap the maximum number of points over a weekend.
    2. Vettel lacks the incredible versatility of Hamilton and Alonso. I would categorize him as a “balance-dependent” driver, and similar to Button or Massa, whereas Hamilton and Alonso just jump into a car and “drive the wheels off it”!! Unless Vettel has plenty of rear grip, its sometimes hard to remember that he’s turned up at a race weekend, although Newey’s rather good at providing grip.
    3. I know everyone’s gonna roll their eyes when they read this, but Vettel’s race-craft isn’t as good as the top two. He lacks Hamilton and Alonso’s ability to swarm all over the rear wing of a car ahead and almost “scare” them off the racing line or into a mistake. Vettel has pulled off some wicked overtakes, and he is very accurate and often very decisive, but unless he has confidence that that rear end will stick, he can seem very hesitant. And whilst Hamilton can also be accused of this after his contact riddled 2011, Vettel has the undesirable stat of never winning without being at least classified 2nd at the end of the first lap hanging over his head.

    Please don’t think I’m a bitter Alonso fan, because with experience and perhaps a few difficult years, Vettel could be mentioned among the greats of Formula 1, and perhaps even challenge the status of these two modern greats. Three time champion or not though, Vettel is not with Alonso or Hamilton yet.

    • auto_freak (@auto_freak) said on 16th January 2013, 19:14

      Bravo! Precisely explained.

    • I feel that Vettel is in fact more versatile than at first appears. Of course, in his first full season with Toro Rosso, he performed very well indeed without a trick rear-end and convincingly out-performed his teammate. I do agree that he is not quite on the level of Alonso & Hamilton in terms of being able to “drive round” a cars’ problems but there is still plenty time for improvement: after all he is only 25!

      I don’t agree though that he “almost certainly” doesn’t get as much as Hamilton & Alonso out of a car: his three world championships are a testimate to his ability at getting the most out of the car. In 2012 for example, Red Bull brought an upgrade to Valencia which, in the hands of Vettel, was apparent that it had improved the car significantly. He then duly took pole position by a significant margin and led by over 20 seconds by the first round of pit stops – that to me says “maximising the car”. That is a feat he repeated in Japan and to a lesser extent India.

      Vettel’s race craft is up there now with the best (note not the best) and with more experience it will only improve so I can expect him to be on a par with Alonso and Hamilton soon. We saw even in the duration of a race distance in Abu Dhabi that once he had shaken off the cobwebs (i.e. hitting Senna) that he improved significantly to the point at which he was pulling brilliant moves such as that on Button.

      As for the stat of him never winning from below 2nd at the end of the first lap, indeed you are correct but winning from below a starting position of 3rd is a very rare occurrence and usually only happens in wet conditions, abnormal races or if the driver has underperformed in qualifying (be it due to simply not being able to put in a lap-time or a problem) – I don’t believe Hamilton has won from below 4th although if you could back up that claim it would be appreciated. So I don’t hold that against him and instead take it as evidence that he usually maximises the car in qualifying. And of course Vettel started 24th in Abu Dahbi and finished on the podium.

      Conclusively, I agree that Vettel still has room for improvement but I am certain that he will continue to improve: remember when people said Vettel couldn’t race, yet he last season put in two largely error-free recovery drives last season to land himself in a decent points scoring position. So yes, not quite there with Alonso & Hamilton in terms of race craft and adaptability but I’m confident he will get there and prove to everyone that he is worthy of his 3 (and likely more to come) titles and is indeed a true great of the sport as are Alonso & Hamilton.

    • with experience and perhaps a few difficult years, Vettel could be mentioned among the greats of Formula 1

      That’s very gracious of you to say about the man who stands alongside Fangio and Schumacher in the record books! What’s comical is the insistence that Hamilton and Alonso CAN be mentioned among the greats at this stage. I like Hamilton but the reality is that if he retires today his chief claim to fame will being “the first black WDC”. And that’s all.

      Vettel has the undesirable stat of never winning without being at least classified 2nd at the end of the first lap hanging over his head

      In what reality is that an “undesirable” stat? I suppose the same reality in which winning 19 races from pole position is seen as a bad thing.

    • He lacks Hamilton and Alonso’s ability to swarm all over the rear wing of a car ahead and almost “scare” them off the racing line or into a mistake.

      I have never noticed this ability on their part. Hamilton has made a large number of mistakes while attempting overtakes throughout his career. (As has Vettel, of course. And as did a number of “great” drivers throughout F1 history). Alonso gets around this problem by simply not making many overtaking attempts. The standard Alonso method of moving up through the last few positions in the field involves patiently waiting for people ahead of him to break down or crash out.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 16th January 2013, 22:47

      Vettel has the undesirable stat of never winning without being at least classified 2nd at the end of the first lap hanging over his head

      He also has the stat of having started P1 in over 1/3 of his race starts hanging over his head.

    • sumedh said on 17th January 2013, 5:48

      While I agree with you on everything you said, all this makes Vettel look even better. How?

      Because Vettel is the only driver out of the three to have shown huge improvements year after year 2009-2012. In 2009, he made many mistakes under the pressure of being the title contender for the first time. In 2010, he perfected his qualifying and made fewer mistakes on track than in 2009. In 2011, he made even fewer mistakes on track and sustained his qualifying performance and did a small amount of good overtaking. In 2012, he did even more clean overtaking to make up for the loss in 1-lap pace of the Red Bull.

      Unfortunately, I do not see such upward graph in either Alonso or Hamilton. Alonso has learned nothing from his 2007 debacle and still needs no.1 status. Hamilton is so unpredictable that he can become a rookie again (like 2011).

      While Hamilton and Alonso are already at their peak and do not seem to have anything more left in them, Vettel is continuing to learn from his mistakes and is a better driver in every race.

      Simply put, Hamilton and Alonso are at one level fighting each other. Vettel is at a whole new level and his competition is just with himself. And as he contnously improves, Vettel will leave the others behind in his wake.

      • William Brierty said on 17th January 2013, 22:22

        Could not disagree more. By the 2010 Italian GP it would be valid to say that Alonso had had a poor 2010, and a season dogged by mistakes, reliability issues and poor qualifying attempts. Subsequently after four consecutive podiums, Alonso was in the pound-seat for the title, a title lost only by a team strategic error. Two years later Alonso put together a season that was perfect in almost every way, that doesn’t seem to be a flat learning curve to me. Also Hamilton, after a contact riddled 2011, had a nearly faultless 2012, with nearly none of the poor judgments and clumsiness that had characterized his 2011 campaign. Again, that’s not exactly a lack of driver development. However, whilst I think Brazil ’12 and 2012 in general is the best we have seen of Vettel so far, only Helmut Marko could be so blinded by bias to say that he did a better job than Alonso. Fact. So whilst Alonso put together one of the finest seasons ever, Vettel continued to show the world that he is not yet the complete picture. Vettel is by no means “on a different level” to Hamilton and Alonso, and it is fanciful for you to say such a thing. Don’t get caught up in his rather impressive statistics, because he is still prone to immature demonstrations of frustration, clearly struggles when the car is rear-limited and tends not to thrive in chaotic races, like Hamilton and Alonso do. To judge Vettel fairly we must remove him from the current context, we must remove Vettel from the fact that he has won the championship the last three seasons and that he’s only 25, and the resultant media hype, and by doing that we see Vettel the driver, not Vettel the champion. And by doing that I see a driver of comparable skill to one such Robert Kubica, bloody good, but not great. I have almost detached my eyes the amount of time I have rolled them after seeing Vettel in a montage with Schumacher, Fangio, Prost, Senna and the other greats of F1, because it detracts from the plain facts: Vettel won the championship in ’10, ’11, ’12 because he had the best machinery most of the time, he’s quicker than his teammate and because RBR are strategically and operationally blemish-less. End of.

        • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 18th January 2013, 20:26

          +1000.

          (@david-a)

          I feel borderline sick whenever Vettel’s finger pops up after Senna in a montage (usually to that awful ‘just drive’ song.) The Abu Dhabi race didn’t show his ability to overtake, it proved his utter inability to- he had a superior car, DRS, two safety cars and still managed to hit two different drivers and attain half his overtakes off the track (something I don’t understand why he wasn’t penalised for).

          Vettel’s eye-wateringly quick when he’s in the best machine, that’s it. By no means am I arguing Alonso (and particularly Hamilton) are perfect, but the statistics utterly bely the truth, and even the most dogged Vettel fans, and I’m certainly not one of them, knows the 2012 championship truly belongs to Alonso (and I’m not an Alonso fan either).

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th January 2013, 20:50

            @sgt-pepper

            attain half his overtakes off the track (something I don’t understand why he wasn’t penalised for).

            He passed Grosjean off the track at one point, handed the position back, and repassed him shortly after. I don’t know what other incidents you could be referring to. But it didn’t seem to me like he’d done anything wrong.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th January 2013, 23:46

            @sgt-pepper

            If the title belonged to Alonso, he would have won it. But he didn’t. So the only people who feel it “belonged” to Alonso, or can’t accept Vettel’s 3rd title (in a car that wasn’t as fast as the Mclaren, or reliable as the Ferrari) are those in a state of denial.

            And by the way, Vettel passed a lot of cars in Abu Dhabi and Belgium, to collect podiums against the odds. That doesn’t show an “utter inability”.

        • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 18th January 2013, 21:34

          (@keithcollantine)
          I just got a sudden sense of deja vu :p

    • Darren Danga said on 18th January 2013, 10:32

      Thanks William for the insight, I always thought I was the only noticing this! I could not agree with you more!! Can’t wait for race to start!!

  9. auto_freak (@auto_freak) said on 16th January 2013, 19:13

    While I remain a huge admirer of Hamilton’s true brilliance on the track, I still think he has a bit of catch up to do when compared with Alonso. He has the upper hand on qualifying but he lacks consistency over a span of 3 seasons. He is bound to have 1 season that can truly be awful and that’s something he needs to remove from his profile once and for all to be a true great.

    Alonso will deliver with any car you provide him, can we say the same about Lewis? Well, why don’t we see how he copes this year on what’s possibly the 5th best team with the 5th best car assuming last year’s streak continues on. I do think Lewis will prove all his doubters wrong because he truly is the envy of every driver and team. Pure talent doesn’t come in this manner that often.

    So over all these seasons I have followed Lewis and Alonso, I can tell the big podium finishes Alonso has maintained in 2010 and 2012 has helped keep him in contention of the WDC race though it wasn’t fruitful at the end. This has to hurt Alonso who did everything in his power last season to win it all. On the other hand, I hope Hamilton’s luck takes a huge turn because many of his fans have been left heartbroken. 2007, 2010 and 2012 were three seasons in which he himself/team/car let themselves down big time. Vettel still ranks 3rd in my book, needs to change teams and especially the designer head to see what he truly can do. He’ll move on and will prove us either wrong/right.

  10. Love how Kieth puts an asterix on Alonso’s wins in 2010. Team orders have been around before 90% of people here were born (including me and Kieth). Just look at what Sir Sterling Moss had to put up with!

    Alonso has clearly been the better driver. The only year were Alonso had superior hardware over Hamilton was 2010 and that hugely debatable anyway. Hamilton has had the luxury of cars and has failed to capitalize since 2008 and even in 2008 he was handed the title because of Glock’s slow car. The only year were the McLaren was poor was 2009, Alonso’s Ferraris in 2011 and 2012 were just as bad (if not worse) and yet he finished better both times. I’d love to see Vettel or Hamilton do the same job as Alonso in the F150th or F2012.

    • tvm (@tvm) said on 16th January 2013, 20:58

      How the heck is a McLaren in 2012 that cant finish half the races due to reliability issues be better than a 2012 Ferrari?

      Do you realize that you loose all credibility when you post such stupidity?

      Besides that, Alsonso is a cheat and a whiner, if Massa isn’t pulling over for him or taking 5 place grid penalties then he is out actively “destroying” the other teams races.

      • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 16th January 2013, 21:12

        Yeah I forgot about the gearboxgate. Is that another of those “Alonso didn’t knew about it for sure” things? :)))

      • @tvm
        If we are going by raw pace the McLaren was faster than the Ferrari period. The McLaren had more pole positions, the McLaren had more wins yet thanks largely to Alonso, Ferrari finished 2nd in the Championship due to his consistency. If I recall also, Alonso never won a race with large margins, he either just won or was handed victory due to the misfortune of others. That again shows how slow the car was, Valencia anyone? Furthermore, wasn’t the Ferrari at least 1.5 seconds a lap slower in Australia and the McLaren was the race winner?

        Regarding your last point, you sound bitter. I think I recall Hamilton asking for the same treatment with Kovalainen in 2008 but Keith obviously forgot to place an asterix there, understandably.

        @nidzovski
        Just like Webber and the front wing at Silverstone? Gate this gate that, didn’t McLaren steal 500+ page document in 2007 to clone the Ferrari car of 2008? SpyGate was in. McLaren handed a $100 million fine and could of been booted for 5 years… wouldn’t mean that again. Team orders are legal, stealing technical documents because your car is worse is putting the sport in disrepute.

        • tvm (@tvm) said on 17th January 2013, 9:31

          Ok, so you want to cherry pick what makes the best car, and because it so suits your agenda you choose to take reliability out of the equation and focus on speed alone, again loosing all credibility in doing so, pure bullocks.

          Fact is that Alonso still has to show that he can win without getting it handed by team mates or by cheating.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th January 2013, 9:46

          @rgbfs when you write

          Team orders are legal, stealing technical documents because your car is worse is putting the sport in disrepute.

          you are right that currently team orders are legal.
          But at the time Ferrari used them they were very much illegal. And the fact that was not punished, nor ruled to be damaging the sport while the whole spygate affair was handled as it was (and Renault got away with about the same “crime” without ANY punishment at the time) show that the aftermath might have been as much about politics as the rulebook.
          Anyway the fact that Ferrari did in fact use then illegal team orders in 2010 fully warrants putting an asterix next to them, especially when we are comparing 2 drives with another.
          In 2007 they both had the same McLaren at their hands, and both profited about the same from the car, and both hurt their own efforts as much as each other in the way they battled inside the team, and later outside as well.

          As for 2008 – when you say Hamilton only won because of Glock, you forget to mention that he got it to the finish first in Spa, but that was taken away for controversial reasoning (and handed to Massa, who would never have won that race on his own as both Kimi and Hamilton were way ahead). And you omit to mention a penalty given to Bourdais, when in fact Massa had impeded Bourdais and should have been penalized instead that helped Massa towards his point tally.
          In the end, Hamilton won the WDC that year, it was close, but that does not suddenly make Hamilton a cheat or slow when compared to Alonso (certainly not THAT year).

    • @rgbsf – I feel it is absolutely necessary to indicate that one of those wins wasn’t on merit of pace; it helps to give a truer indication of how the driver actually performed. I don’t think it is clear-cut that one driver has out-performed the other; I agree with you that Alonso has been better on average but it is far from conclusive that is the case.

      I’d love to see Vettel or Hamilton do the same job as Alonso in the F150th or F2012.

      I would to and we may well get the chance to see that with Hamilton next season; of course the F2012 was a net 4th fastest in terms of qualifying pace and they were 3rd fastest overall (and if we factor in reliability probably 2nd best as is evident from their second place in the constructors’ championship despite a severely under-performing Massa in the second seat). So absolutely Hamilton or Vettel could perform if not equally as well but close to how Alonso has performed previously in a “bad car”. So I agree, I too would love to see that as I believe they could do something comparable to what Alonso did.

      • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 16th January 2013, 21:18

        I don’t know way we bother with what if’s when we saw in the ’07 that Hamilton was BETTER than Alonso in same car against two time world champion. A Rookie against champion. Period.

        • That’s how I see it; Dennis was expecting Hamilton to be up to 5 tenths lower than Alonso so to see him having the better of Alonso on raw pace was a big surprise, one which was not a welcome one with Alonso. I do believe Alonso is a more complete, more consistent driver than Hamilton but Hamilton is quicker.

          • @nidzovski
            Other than qualifying, both drivers had the exact same stats. Hamilton was handed lead drive role even though Dennis signed Alonso for that role in the team. Hamilton had full team support and probably more technical support with the car. By Hungry Alonso was done, he had enough of the unfair support his teammate was receiving over him. Wouldn’t surprise me if Hamilton got the new “toys” first either.

            On the same playing field, I think also is way more capable. Also, I level the way people are bitching about Alonso whining. Has Alonso had a meltdown year like Hamilton in 2011? Hamilton blaming everyone but himself for the direct cause of his race incidents and crashes? Plus media meltdowns? Unreal!

          • On the same playing field, I think *Alonso* is way more capable. Dyslexia kicking in.

            Also Ron Dennis is a fool. He had the opportunity to sign Schumacher in 1995 (Michael was in league with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport at the time) and he blow it. Look for a video on YouTube where Ron speaks to Schumacher, Michael looks completely offended. The rest is history as they say, Michael has won Ferrari more races and championships in that time period than any other team or driver and Ron’s idiocy could of been the catalyst in that.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th January 2013, 9:56

            Where do you take the notion that

            Hamilton was handed lead drive role even though Dennis signed Alonso for that role in the team.

            @rgbfs?

            Its well documented (as Alonso himself requested the FIA to inspect it on his behalf, and before that the stewards investigated in Monaco) that McLaren did not give either of them a preferential treatment as far as the car or team equipment was involved. They did give Alonso a bit of a better strategy in some races though, probably to try and temper the smoldering fire between their drivers.

            To me its clear that most were surprised to see Hamilton as fast as he was, including Alonso and Dennis. Alonso must have had a hard time accepting that anyone could be as fast as himself, or even faster. And for Dennis it meant a tricky situation at his hands, as he had his champion driver but also his future star to handle as well as the teams preferred way of giving the drivers equal treatment.
            From the outside, Alonso could have handled the shock better, Dennis could have been a better middle man and Hamilton (and his dad) might have been wiser not to push the issue of winning over Alonso as far as they did (see the Hungary incident, or his remarks in Monaco).
            In the end Hamilton did have Alonso beaten, and it took Alonso effort to get over that. But in the last couple of years at Ferrari, I think Alonso has done well, grown and become the top of the pack currently.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th January 2013, 9:57

            @rgbsf, that is

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 16th January 2013, 22:16

      your logo (as my logo) give alll the proves you need for your comment, @rgbsf

  11. Jorge Lardone (@jorgelardone) said on 16th January 2013, 19:36

    “Alonso won in Singapore but it later emerged that his victory was facilitated by his team mate being ordered to crash to bring out the safety car to the benefit of Alonso’s strategy.”

    Having taken part of this unsporting conspiracy completely disqualifies Alonso as Formula 1 driver. It is shamefully still he be considered one of the best, when he was an accomplice in the worst unsporting conspiracy in the history of Formula 1.

    • DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 17th January 2013, 12:30

      You have evidence that Alonso was guilty? What are you doing posting on here, quick contact the FIA!!!

      Also considering both Senna and Schumacher both endangered their own and other drivers lives by deliberately crashing into them I think it’s only fair to completely disqualify them as Formula 1 drivers.

      You are entitled to your own opinion about Alonso and I have to respect that but posting utter nonsense regarding whether or not he should be classed as an F1 driver is just baiting.

  12. baldgye (@baldgye) said on 16th January 2013, 20:56

    With Alonso making a new bed at Ferrari and Lewis setting up shop at Merc, and with the new rule changes I think we’ll really start to see how good they are… I think on balance Alonso is the better all-round driver… and therefore the best driver in the world atm…

    But I think Lewis is closest to him, and if he can get his deamons in check and get into a team where he is #1 (maybe this will be the case at Merc (like Alonso is at Ferrari)) then I think him and Alonso could really dominate it and bring us even closer seasons.

  13. Not taking anything from Sebastian Vettel, he has a good, reliable, fast car.

    Maybe so. But not as good, reliable, or fast as Hamilton’s car over the last five years. In that time span Hamilton has had significantly fewer mechanical problems and a higher average starting position on the grid than Vettel.

    • Nickpkr said on 17th January 2013, 5:30

      Actually Vettel had one less pole than hamilton last year, proof of Vettel delivering tittles even with not a faster car all season, including reliability problems, penalties and team mistakes.
      Realize even button had a pole on last year McLaren’s car, but Ham didnt capitalize and crash a couples times to much for Mclaren keeping him at all costs. Alonso on the other hand will never such mistakes and as Vettel will take all points possible when car delivers.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th January 2013, 10:00

        I think that last year Hamilton was held back more by bad pitstops (early in the year) and his car breaking down (later in the year) than any mistakes of his own. But Vettel also had several issues with his car that did not help, so that evens out.
        In comparison, Alonso had the more reliable car (a quality as well), he suffered only a technical issue in qualifying in Monza.

  14. JB (@) said on 17th January 2013, 13:17

    @vettel1

    in Canada Ferrari made a clear strategic error and lost out to Hamilton & Vettel because of it,

    I agree that Ferrari messed up in the tyre strategy… Although some might agree that in the moment, it was the correct decision (I thought at the time that it was as well) but what I meant was that if Alonso would have been like Hamilton…. Alonso would have had the same exact outcome that Hamilton suffered in Valencia… His tyres were dead already yet his character didn´t let him back out of defending from Maldonado and we all know what happened then… That is why I say he runs with a calculator on his head… He knew his tyres where done… there was no point in fighting to try and defend his position… it was better to walk away with some points than to end with no points… see what I mean??
    It also was the same in Monza where Perez flew past Massa and then Alonso! There was no sense in trying to defend when you have no tyres… it´s like trying to defend something impossible to defend… That to me is a calculating driver… better to walk home third than not finish at all…
    I hope you can understand what I mean!!

    Oh and BTW, I agree Hamilton had a better season in 2012 but yeah, 2011 he was very Massa-prone and was too much for me…

    • @catracho504 I get you now! Still, I’d say there are probably better examples out there of Alonso’s calculated nature (although I can’t think of any off the top of my head).

      • JB (@) said on 17th January 2013, 16:17

        @vettel1

        I’d say there are probably better examples out there of Alonso’s calculated nature (although I can’t think of any off the top of my head).

        Well actually you did point out a good one… Valencia, after the safety car went in…. he took a totally different line than what Vettel and Grosjean took, it gave him a better exit and was able to be on Grosjeans tail to do his “outside in the first corner to have the inside in the second corner” move on the first 2 corners… He knew there was going to be a risk there (Grosjean touching the sidepod of the F2012) yet he knew that he could make it stick…
        Another one that comes to mind is Monaco 2010 when he picked off like 3 or 4 passes coming out of the tunnel into the chicane… very precise and calculated moves…
        The one that springs to mind the most to me is Monza 2012… He could have tried to defend from Perez, but it wouldn´t of have made much sense to agressively defend his position against a car with fresh rubber in the fastest circuit of the calendar!

        • @catracho504

          The one that springs to mind the most to me is Monza 2012… He could have tried to defend from Perez, but it wouldn´t of have made much sense to agressively defend his position against a car with fresh rubber in the fastest circuit of the calendar!

          On the contrary though, he was a tad ambitious in trying to overtake Vettel on the Curva Grande! I agree though, knowing to pick your fights is an important skill to have and as Maldonado has proven many times before fighting every battle just increases your chances of losing one. On the subject of Maldonado I believe he could learn that skill from Alonso: he too is a very aggressive driver but it is controlled aggression, something Maldonado is yet to master. Also, Maldonado seems to jump at every gap which Alonso doesn’t do: often we see him biding his time and frequently scaring people into a mistake. These are skills I think Maldonado could do with learning from.

          • JB (@) said on 18th January 2013, 6:10

            @vettel1

            knowing to pick your fights is an important skill to have

            Maldonado seems to jump at every gap which Alonso doesn’t do: often we see him biding his time and frequently scaring people into a mistake.

            I totally agree with these comments! I believe we are now on the same page on this… this can also be interpreted as being a calculating driver because you can lose more by doing a “maldonado” than just surrendering a position…

  15. LoreMipsumdOtmElor said on 17th January 2013, 14:17

    When a driver is leading the race with a gap to his teammate and is then ordered to let him pass – then he gave away the win (ask Rubens).

    When a driver is holding up his teammate right behind him (in the middle of the race), while those behind are closing up, it’s a completely different story.

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