Alonso refutes Marko’s claim he’s too ‘political’

2013 F1 season

Helmut Marko, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012Fernando Alonso responded to Helmut Marko’s criticism of him and denied he lets himself get distracted by politics.

Marko made his remarks last week in reference to Sebastian Vettel, saying: “he shuts himself off from the rest of the world, so that he can still call on reserves that other drivers might not have: Fernando Alonso, for example, who is busy with politics and funny comments”.

Speaking at Ferrari’s pre-season media event Alonso said: “I don?t think I am good at politics, I just drive the car.

“Some recent remarks have surprised me, but I can?t see the sense in them. Some say they don?t read them, don?t hear them and don?t see them, before adding that they are not influenced by them: so clearly they do read them, maybe at night.”

Alonso also denied he had tried to diminish Vettel’s accomplishments: “I did not say that Vettel was not the strongest or that he did not deserve his three titles.

“There have been periods, like in 2011, when his performance level was fantastic and he was definitely the best.

“As of today, it?s impossible to say who will be our strongest rivals in 2013. Who will have the best car, who will have done the best job of preparation and had the best development, who will be the luckiest: there are so many factors which go to make the strongest combination of driver and team.”

However he singled out Hamilton as his most competitive rival and said he could win races in his first year with Mercedes: “Why do I say Hamilton is the strongest? Because it?s what I think, it?s my personal opinion and there is nothing political in that.

“Lewis has always won races ever since he has been in Formula 1, even in years like 2009, when he had started the season with a car that was two seconds off the quickest.

“When you look at what happens on track, you are well aware of what he is doing, that?s a fact. Last year, [Nico] Rosberg won in China, therefore I expect that this year, Lewis in a Mercedes can win more than one race.”

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89 comments on Alonso refutes Marko’s claim he’s too ‘political’

  1. mharker said on 17th January 2013, 20:13

    The Alonso-Hamilton love is getting a bit nauseating.

    Doesn’t anybody else feel that all the praise Alonso keeps heaping on Hamilton is not sincere, but has some sort of ulterior motive to it – to unsettle Vettel, to get Hamilton on his side, since Hamilton beat him in 2007 at least he got beaten by the best etc (Someone even mentioned that Alonso kept putting down McLaren to help encourage Hamilton to move from McLaren to Mercedes so that he wouldn’t be a threat to Alonso for some years)

    However the praise Hamilton piles on Alonso seems more sincere. But it could always be because Hamilton beat Alonso, and by saying Alonso is the best that makes Hamilton look even better.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th January 2013, 20:35

      I think this is just word game playing through the media and hasn’t nearly the effect you are giving it. I think FA likely thinks he could have won WDC’s in the Red Bulls too, and likely thinks that SV has had it easy, but while the likes of Marko are going to sit there and praise SV like he is a god while insulting FA, FA is going to respond. So his shot is to say LH is his real concern. Doesn’t have to be what he truly thinks or not. It’s word play. I don’t think FA thinks he is ‘getting LH on his side’ nor do I think FA would expect anything he would say would have an affect on another drivers staying with or moving from teams.

      Similarly I think LH might be giving SV a shot by praising FA, again, because he too likely thinks that he could have won in the Red Bull too ie. that SV didn’t do anything special and it was really FA that was the star of the season.

      Come the end of the day, no matter who sounds like they praise or demote whom, there’s only one winner every year and it will be every man for himself ultimately. They will all be competitors once the 5 red lights go out.

      • mharker said on 17th January 2013, 20:50

        while the likes of Marko are going to sit there and praise SV like he is a god while insulting FA, FA is going to respond

        Wasn’t it Alonso’s comments that kept putting down Vettel (“we are fighting Newey”, “I’m fighting Hamilton not Vettel”), that made Marko respond, and not the other way around? It seemed more like Alonso started it, and Marko was just responding to it.

        Perhaps the effect that my statement implied seemed more than I intended. What I really meant is that it is all basically mind games they are all playing – hoping to unsettle each other by them (not everyone will be influenced by them, but there is a possibility that some will be in some ways). And like you said at the end of the day every man is for himself.

        • Ben80 said on 18th January 2013, 9:24

          Agree with @mharker about Alonso started it, i don’t know why some people think he is that innocent. I admire his ability in the car but when in the drama he often the cunning one

          • Klaas (@klaas) said on 18th January 2013, 14:10

            From what I remember it was actually RedBull who started the psychological war, right after Hockenheim 2010.

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 18th January 2013, 14:07

      but has some sort of ulterior motive to it – to unsettle Vettel

      How do you know that Alonso didn’t actually target at Raikkonen, after all if the Lotus unveils a winning-car Kimi could be unstopable, or maybe it was Perez whom Alonso wanted to sting?
      This is called paranoia my friend, when everything a driver says is interpreted as a way to rattle a rival – this is getting nauseating.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 18th January 2013, 4:52

    Helmut Marko just looks evil.

  3. Ben80 said on 18th January 2013, 9:20

    2007 was that political drama, Alonso ;)

  4. Alfredo Riverson said on 18th January 2013, 11:04

    Exactly. I never laughed so much in all my life. It’s the straight face too……
    “I don’t think I am good at politics, I just drive the car.”

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

  5. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 18th January 2013, 12:11

    i genuinely dont see the correlation between “politics” and answering questions at a press conference, either he answers the question with honesty or he refuses to answer, who wants drivers that refuse to answer questions at a press event?

    • @scuderia29 – Kimi fans! ;) Anyway, I think this goes beyond simply answering questions at a press event: Alonso has also taken to twitter in his responses. Really the whole Alonso-Marko argument is rather pointless as Vettel appears to pay no attention to it anyway.

  6. maxmasder said on 19th January 2013, 0:03

    ok, let´s analyze Alonso´s words

    “I did not say that Vettel was not the strongest or that he did not deserve his three titles”… facts show he is right (he has said that Hamilton is the strongest rival…in his personal opinion)

    “As of today, it’s impossible to say who will be our strongest rivals in 2013. Who will have the best car, who will have done the best job of preparation and had the best development, who will be the luckiest: there are so many factors which go to make the strongest combination of driver and team.”… it is completely right.

    “Why do I say Hamilton is the strongest? Because it’s what I think, it’s my personal opinion and there is nothing political in that”…is it right?…why not? Is Hamilton an average driver, someone who shouldn´t be considered as “the strongest”? Are we in a position to judge someone’s personal opinion? How can we know what Alonso thinks or feels?

    “I don’t think I am good at politics, I just drive the car”…well, he drives a car and it is impossible for us to know if he considers himself good at politics so…it can be perfectly right

    “Some recent remarks have surprised me, but I can’t see the sense in them. Some say they don’t read them, don’t hear them and don’t see them, before adding that they are not influenced by them: so clearly they do read them, maybe at night.”… If you didn´t hear them, didn´t see them and didn´t read them, you couldn´t talk about them…if you spend your time talking about them, you are influenced in some way by them. All I can say is that he is right.

    I don´t know if Alonso is good at politics; I only know that his words make all the sense. This is the only thing I can say from a rational perspective.

  7. The Limit said on 20th January 2013, 5:06

    Handbags and ten paces stuff. I had to agree with alot of what Helmut Marko said in his interview, especially about Mark Webber, but to say others are political and ‘suggest’ that you are not! Right. They are all political in F1, and non more so than people like Helmut Marko. Fernando Alonso was within his rights to criticise Marko, yet I can still not get around this Alonso/Hamilton ‘lovefest’ we have witnessed recently. Both drivers last year showering the other with praise, once sworn enemies now the best of friends. I wonder how long that will last?
    Would Alonso be so full of praise had Hamilton just won three titles in a row, or is it because Hamilton has been out of the picture in terms of the championship in recent years? Its obvious that Alonso is of the opinion simular to that of the majority on this site, that Vettel is a good driver in an exceptional car. Put him in a Sauber for instance and the real ‘talent’ will be exposed.
    I have to laugh at all this. When the ‘majority’ of these guys win titles its largely down to the car being bloody quick, and consistenly so. It was the same for Fernando in 2005 and 2006 with Renault when he was champion, so thats important. Many harp on about Vettel never having driven a slower car than Adrian Newey’s Red Bull rocketship but that again, is nonsense. Vettel won the 2008 Italian Grands Prix at Monza in a Toro Rosso, the first and only victory in the teams short history. And in the rain I might add! Oh the injustice.

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th January 2013, 11:56

    handbags.jpg

    They both tow the political line, they have to, it’s just that Alonso is much more likable than Marko!

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