Alonso: Stronger Massa ‘good for me and the team’

2013 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 2013Fernando Alonso says it will be good for him and the Ferrari team if Felipe Massa has a strong year.

Massa began 2012 poorly but improved in the second half of the year and was more than a match for Alonso on pace in the final two races.

“I have always said that Felipe was one of the best drivers around and I still remember that some people smiled when I said this last year,” said Alonso.

“He and I have always helped one another, day by day and I expect him to always be very close to me in terms of performance: what was not not normal was the difference between us over the past two years, but now I don?t think that will be the case. That will be a very positive factor for me and especially for the team.”

Despite narrowly missed out on the drivers’ championship in 2012 Alonso says he is under no added pressure to success this time. “I don?t think there is necessarily an obligation to win,” he said.

“Sport means sacrifice, work, enjoyment of what one does and for the past three years, I?ve been fortunate to be in the fight for important targets.

“There are 24 drivers in Formula One and few of them can say they have won races and usually finished on the podium. Since I?ve been at Ferrari, two out of three times I have come very close to being world champion, which is the target for me and for a team like ours and I hope I can now make that three times out of four.”

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38 comments on Alonso: Stronger Massa ‘good for me and the team’

  1. Kanman1 said on 17th January 2013, 12:56

    im sure if you can shed some resources to Massa side, he can beat you hand down.

  2. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 17th January 2013, 13:09

    I’m having a hard time remembering when was the last time he helped Massa. I’m sorry Fernando, I know you were asked a question and are just answering, but the few times you have a strong team-mate, didn’t end too well for any team.

    • Timebolt (@timebolt759) said on 17th January 2013, 13:12

      You don’t know what is going on behind the scenes and besides, Hamilton at the time was just a little immature brat.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 17th January 2013, 13:19

        @mnmracer
        How is he suppose to “help him”?

        • He backed him massively in the press last year, despite massa’s performances really not helping alonso’s title challenge.

          Its not really help, but he could of been less helpful at least.

          • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 17th January 2013, 16:57

            He backed him massively in the press last year, despite massa’s performances really not helping alonso’s title challenge

            The thing about this action is that Alonso wasn’t doing something with the purpose of helping Massa. He was doing something for the purpose of helping himself, it just so happens that in this instance Massa may have benefited as a result. Alonso thinks of no-one but himself, as do most top drivers, the difference being that a team normally plays a role in controlling its drivers. Unfortunately Alonso seems to thrive best under the guidance of those outstanding moral compasses Flavio Briatore and Luca De Montezemolo.

        • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 17th January 2013, 13:40

          Well, according to Alonso he has.

    • Asanator (@asanator) said on 17th January 2013, 13:22

      In fairness, there hasn’t been a time where it was either necessary or possible to help Massa to date. He has only really had a team mate that has pushed him in 2007 and that was when McLaren had the dominant package.

    • JB (@) said on 17th January 2013, 13:31

      @mnmracer

      I’m having a hard time remembering when was the last time he helped Massa.

      Like some others have said… How is it possible for Fernando to help Massa when he was consistently beaten by Fernando in quali and race with the exception of the last 2 races of 2012?? Is he supposed to wait for Massa and let him use his tow??
      Please enlighten us how Fernando could´ve helped Massa!!! I guess you mean they could´ve switched suits, helmets and car??

      • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 17th January 2013, 14:44

        Ask your buddy, he was the one implying he helped Felipe ;-)

        • JB (@) said on 17th January 2013, 15:47

          @mnmracer

          Ask your buddy, he was the one implying he helped Felipe

          What buddy?? If you mean FA…. where did you read that?? Now, if you think about it.. Alonso did support him when the press where taking whacks at him and trying to get him fired… I guess he did help him to keep his job…

          So again…. I ask… when has Felipe been in a position to have Fernando help him on track?? Facts please…

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th January 2013, 16:46

          In fairness, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if FA and his side of the garage tried to help FM find better setups last season, especially early on when he was struggling so much. I think we all have agreed that a stronger FM would have taken points off FA’s competitors and potentially helped FA to a WDC as a result. Nobody knows that moreso than FA. So I have little doubt that FA and his side of the garage, selfishly, and with the luxury of boardroom decisions that have designated him the one rooster, would have supported FM in many ways in efforts to get him up in the mix, which he was finally able to do near the end of the season and when even if all things were fair and equal on the team, the math by then was simply not in FM’s favour.

          So don’t take FA’s ‘help’ remark as literally meaning on the track. As the designated rooster he would have no need to fear feeding the other side of the garage with setup suggestions as to how the non-rooster could be of more help.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 17th January 2013, 18:27

            He has twice had a team-mate that pushed him (2004, 2007). Both times, things/Alonso imploded.

            I don’t remember him imploding against Trulli. Briatore sacked him when he threw away an easy double-podium for Renault in front of the home crowd in France. But sure, you can believe what you want, also I’m not surprised that you conviently forget that;

            1.) Alonso easily beat Trulli in 2003
            2.) Alonso had a lot of bad luck in 2004, he was generally the quicker driver in the races.
            3.) Vettel has never had a competive teammate. Who knows how he would react.

    • Sviatoslav Andrushko (@) said on 19th January 2013, 9:03

      Alonso did helped Massa in Australia 2010.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th January 2013, 11:45

      @mnmracer Has there been a situation where he could have helped Massa?

  3. Timebolt (@timebolt759) said on 17th January 2013, 13:11

    I hope Massa has a good year. He is a good driver but some people seem to forget that.

  4. andae23 (@andae23) said on 17th January 2013, 13:24

    For the past few days I have heard Domenicali and now Alonso say what a good driver Massa actually is. Just the fact that so many people are saying this and supporting Massa in this way to me is a confirmation of how bad Massa has performed last year. In the last couple of races, he finally seemed to match Alonso when it comes to pace, so assuming that this trend will continue I think he will do a lot better than last year. Therefore I think it is unfair that so many people on blogs and stuff criticise Massa in the off-season, as he has no chance to prove himself right now.

  5. FS (@vfftw) said on 17th January 2013, 13:43

    “Since I’ve been at Ferrari, two out of three times I have come very close to being world champion, which is the target for me and for a team like ours and I hope I can now make that three times out of four.”

    So he’s basically saying he wants to almost become world champion again this year? Made me laugh.

    Wishing Massa all the best for this season!

    • Anonymouse said on 17th January 2013, 15:51

      Not just that, but ‘I don’t think there is necessarily an obligation to win’ makes me think the quotes were either hijacked or Alonso read them out with a gun pointing at him.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th January 2013, 17:08

        In fairness to FA, I think all he is saying here, and he’s not wrong, is that it is a sport, he gets to do what he loves and is well rewarded for it, he is on a top team that gives him the opportunity to win, which most drivers in the history of F1 can’t say, and that if they don’t win they live to fight another day because come the end of the day it is a sport.

  6. I Love the Pope said on 17th January 2013, 13:58

    Has anyone ever asked Alonso if he would help Massa win the drivers championship in the event that he found himself behind his teammate? I could imagine that this would only happen if Alonso had reliability problems or wrecks and fell well-behind Massa. Would he be willing to do for Massa what he expects Massa to do for him? I say this because I really want to like Alonso. For me, it would go a long way to showing that this is a guy who craves victory for his team and teammate even when he can no longer achieve it for himself.

    Without knowing this for sure, it is hard to see him as anything other than completely and totally selfish. Now, don’t get me wrong, all of these men are and such selfish drive can motivate them to rise to the top. But I’m still a human being too and it would be nice to see humanity in sportsmen.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th January 2013, 14:01

      Well Massa certainly believes he would:

      Massa: ‘Alonso would support me if I were leading’

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th January 2013, 17:01

        It is moot. Ferrari have told the world they have a one rooster philosophy. So FA might answer the question diplomatically, yes of course I would support FM, but he would be saying that knowing that the odds are greater of him being hit by lightning, and on top of that the team would simply ensure that efforts toward their rooster get redoubled well before FM would somehow miraculously find himself ahead of FA. I think FA would have to crash, break a leg, be out for a bunch of races, and then be forced back into the car, ala MS/Ferrari, for any questions to ever have to come up of FA supporting FM in the same way FM has to support FA.

      • I Love the Pope said on 17th January 2013, 17:23

        Thanks for that! It is an intriguing, but probably unanswerable, question.

  7. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 17th January 2013, 16:55

    ok….its time bring in Hamilton into Ferrari!

  8. Häkkimi (@feynman) said on 17th January 2013, 18:42

    If Vettel does go on to equal or beat Schumacher’s records in the next few years surely Alonso will win WDC one of the years along the way?

  9. andae23 (@andae23) said on 17th January 2013, 19:08

    I think we can officially say that we’re reliving the late 1990s. To pinpoint it exactly, we are getting ready for the F1 championship of the year 2000. Alonso, the double world champion that went to Ferrari and almost single-handedly drew them out of their misery, can he finally win another World Championship having come so close a few times (Schumacher 1997 and 1998)? Massa is settling in his role as a good number two Barrichello, Vettel reminds us of Hakkinen and Hamilton stars a Jaques Villeneuve.

    Based on that logic, Alonso will win the championship 5 times in a row, so get ready folks!

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