Alonso: Raikkonen ‘driving better than anyone’

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Shanghai, 2013Fernando Alonso says Kimi Raikkonen has had a strong start to the season with Lotus.

Alonso, who trails Raikkonen by six points after three races, said: “Kimi is having a fantastic start to the season and driving maybe better than anyone.”

Sebastian Vettel leads the drivers’ championship at the moment but Alonso believes “championship positions are not really important” at this stage.

“But at the same time, it?óÔéĽÔäós not a big surprise to see Lewis where he is,” said Alonso. “He is one of the best drivers on the grid right now and last year he put McLaren in a competitive position and this year he is doing it with Mercedes.”

“We know the Red Bull is probably the strongest car,” he added.

Alonso believes Red Bull did not fully exploit their potential last week: “In China, on race pace, Sebastian was quickest in all the stints, but had chosen a strange strategy for qualifying.”

Ferrari’s Shanghai victory does not automatically make them the team to beat according to Alonso: “In Australia we were clearly not the quickest and in Malaysia we struggled a bit.”

“We need to keep improving and to be a little bit faster. There are some new pieces for this race and new components coming to Barcelona and Monaco. So hopefully in the next month and a half, we can be at the level of the best cars.”

However he was relieved at scoring his first win in nine months: “I was very happy, as not winning for a while is a very difficult matter to deal with.”

“It was eleven or twelve races that we had not won, even if we were consistently on the podium, but there are many other drivers with super cars who have not won a race in the last 50 or 60 races. However, we need to be consistently on the podium if we want to fight for the championship.”

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149 comments on Alonso: Raikkonen ‘driving better than anyone’

  1. Cristian (@cristian) said on 18th April 2013, 15:30

    Alonso will always say that someone else has the fastest car, no matter what

    • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 18th April 2013, 15:39

      +1. That gave me a good chuckle.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 18th April 2013, 15:47

      He does make some strange statements, I agree. I don’t think we can conclude that the Red Bull was the fastest on race pace in China, and I didn’t see Ferrari “struggle a little bit in Malaysia” (unless you count running with a broken wing), or being “clearly not the fastest in Australia”. Alonso doesn’t need to downplay the speed of his car all the time. We would rate him as driver regardless of what he says.

      As for managing expectations, that is fine, but it’s not necessary to come out with such dubious statements. Just say the season is still long, etc.

      • Cristian (@cristian) said on 18th April 2013, 15:54

        exactly

      • The Ferrari was outqualified by both Red Bull in Australia and was clearly outpaced by the Lotus in the race.
        Massa was somewhat struggling in Malaysia but that could be just Massa being Massa.

        He was clearly the fastest in China though, not over one lap but if he can win by over 10 seconds while not going all-out then I’m as perplexed as you are as to why would he say that the Red Bull was fastest in China when they obviously aren’t.
        They clearly are ‘at the level of the best cars’ right now so a little bit of compliment for his team would be nice.

      • Nomore (@nomore) said on 18th April 2013, 16:05

        this time @adrianmorse i must agree with you.

        He is going far too much by saying : “We know the Red Bull is probably the strongest car”

        In average in 3 races Ferrari and Lotus were better in race day.
        I think he is doing this to motivate Ferrari to not stop pushing in the development like they did mid-season last year…

    • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 18th April 2013, 15:48

      On the issue of what Lewis did with the Macca last year, i have always said that this year’s McLaren is not as bad as it looks, and it race pace has confirmed that. Unfortunately, McLaren will never know what is is really capable of on the qualifying grid as neither Sergio nor Jenson are putting the car where it belongs. Given that Lewis has typically has 2/10ths to 5/10ths, and sometimes close to 1sec on Button in qualifying, we can safely assume that the MP4-28 belongs on the 3rd row of the grid.

    • sic_j02 said on 18th April 2013, 16:50

      Have I just read a different article? I can’t find where Fernando mentioned about other teams having a faster car? He did mention that they are not the quickest (in terms of qualifying pace) which is the truth but I beg to disagree with your statement. We all know that they have a strong race pace but they are trailing on one lap pace. I still believe that redbull is the strongest team (once they resolve their tyre issue) that’s why they are leading the WDC and WCC. He just gave Kimi and Lewis a compliment so for God’s sake give the guy a rest.

      • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 18th April 2013, 22:24

        Thank you – bang on. Alonso’s analysis was refreshingly honest and open, and the compliments he paid to other drivers are well merited. And if he’s trying to keep his development engineers on their toes, then that’s about all that the conspiracy theorists can come up with.

      • astonished (@astonished) said on 18th April 2013, 23:19

        I cannot agree more. I thought that was us, poor non native English speakers that got I wrong… Or perhaps I understand because Fernando is neither one of these…. Un solved mysteries….

        After his dramatic early exit in Malaysia, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso fought back with a convincing win in China last weekend, and now lies third in the standings, nine points shy of leader Sebastian Vettel. So what has the former champion made of 2013’s opening rounds, are what are his and the Scuderia’s prospects for the Bahrain weekend and beyond? Alonso discussed these and other issues – including his friendship with Mark Webber – with the media in Sakhir on Thursday…

        Q: After three races, would you have predicted the current championship standings?
        Fernando Alonso: The first races are usually the ones where one can see the potential of the different teams, and where you have to learn how to deal with the new rules and regulations. This year it is very much the learning curve on how to deal with the tyres that we are all currently occupied with. In general I don’t think that the championship standings are very important yet, but they are also not a big surprise at the same time, as for example Lewis (Hamilton) is one of the best drivers on the grid, and he had put McLaren into a very competitive position last year, and is doing the same with Mercedes this year. So once more he has proved his talent. Also we all know that the Red Bulls are very strong and we will count with them again, and also Kimi (Raikkonen) had a fantastic start of the season – he is driving better than anyone else at the moment and also he clearly deserves to be there.

        Q: How satisfied are you personally with the win at the last race, and how satisfying was it to not see your main competitor of recent years with you on the podium?
        FA: Of course I was very happy, as not winning for some time is clearly a difficult matter for oneself and the team. It has been for sure 11 or 12 races that we haven’t properly won the race, although we have managed to be on the podium constantly. But also there have been a lot of other very good drivers with a competitive car that have not won either for 15 or 16 races. But what we have understood is that it is not only important to win a race, but to be consistently on the podium. Not to have had Sebastian (Vettel) on the podium is for sure good news at this stage of the championship, as he is leading it, but it would be the same with Lewis or Mark (Webber) if they were in the lead.

        Q: Do you have the feeling that yours is the car to beat at the moment under race conditions?
        FA: I don’t really think so, as I do not see the advantage that others see after one victory. In Australia we were obviously not the quickest, and in Malaysia we were even struggling a little bit, and Felipe (Massa) was only fifth, so he was not dominating the race. Also in China, if you look at the race pace I think Sebastian was the quickest. Maybe Red Bull has chosen a wrong qualifying strategy and therefore they compromised their race. For us it is clear that we need to keep improving, and be a little faster. We hope to achieve this with introducing new components here, in Barcelona and Monaco. So I hope that during the next few weeks we can close up to the level of the best cars.

        Q: Do you see any effect on the Red Bull team because of the internal situation their drivers have?
        FA: To be honest I don’t think that there is much effect, as once you arrive at the track you separate from your team mate and have your meetings with your own group of engineers and mechanics, and you really focus on your own work. So both of them concentrate on their own schedule. I just think that Mark needs to regain his luck again, as China was just bad luck, and then he will be as strong as ever.

        Q: You were seen having dinner with Mark Webber this week. Was there a special reason for this?
        FA: Mark and I have known each other now for almost 13 years and we have a very good relationship, and not only because we have been working both with Flavio Briatore. So there doesn’t need to be a special reason to have dinner together, as it is quite normal that friends have dinner together. And Mark is feeling quite good and confident at the moment, knowing that he has got a very competitive car and that there are still many races to come in this season.

        • obviously said on 19th April 2013, 5:25

          @astonished
          Well that makes much more sense than the sensationalist one liners that have been provided in this article, although sadly this is not the first sensationalist non-story here in the recent weeks.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 18th April 2013, 17:05

      I see nothing wrong with what he said. In Australia they did not have the fastest car. In Malaysia Massa finished lower than he started. In China RBR had faster pace but a bad qualifying and strategy. Matches up well to what he has been saying.

      As for saying Kimi is the best at the moment, that is his opinion and its not hard to see why. Kimi has been very good. I think Alonso has not forgiven himself for losing his front wing.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 18th April 2013, 17:09

      @cristian so does Hamilton since 2009… It’s a way of attacking the opposition and putting pressure of themselves. Like Vettel used to do when he complained about McLaren’s enormous top speed

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 18th April 2013, 17:34

      @cristian If you’re talking about the headline, then he’s saying Kimi is driving faster than anyone. Not that he’s got the fastest car.

      • Cristian (@cristian) said on 18th April 2013, 20:36

        I am refering to:
        “We know the Red Bull is probably the strongest car,” and to
        hopefully in the next month and a half, we can be at the level of the best cars

    • Howard (@howard) said on 19th April 2013, 2:10

      Alonso just exposing some insecurity, just like Domenicali he knows how to deflect current issues onto someone else.

    • Quirk said on 19th April 2013, 5:01

      The best 80% driver!

    • tRUE dAT. Poor guy. Double WC and never had a decent car. C’mon Ferdo, play fair…

  2. Tango (@tango) said on 18th April 2013, 15:33

    “but there are many other drivers with super cars who have not won a race in the last 50 or 60 races” : Nice way of saying that he is better than those driver (what a relief)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th April 2013, 15:38

      @tango Who’s he referring to here? Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Button, Raikkonen, Rosberg and Maldonado all won races last year. Is he having a go at Massa? Is this a belated pop at Schumacher? I’m sure there must be an obvious answer to this one which I’m overlooking…

      • Tango (@tango) said on 18th April 2013, 15:42

        @keithcollantine , I was actually wondering about this one when you answered the first comment. The only three I can think of are Grosjean (not 50 races but still a few), Massa and Schumacher. I could not fathom why he would make a jibe at Grosjean now, he may have been 10 cm close from being killed by the man, but it was an accident and more than 6 months ago. Attacking Massa is just cheap as he can do the talk on the road every week end and I don’t see the point of taking a jibe at Schumacher.

        • Lari (@lari) said on 18th April 2013, 15:49

          @tango And even out of those 3, only Massa could be classified as having a “super car” at some point of the season. I wouldn’t say Lotus or Mercedes were super cars at any point last season or 2 season before it. So I think he’s jabbing at Massa here. I can’t think of any good reason why he would do it though, since if he stays within reasonable distance (given there’s no or very few cars inbetween) from Massa he can always be sure that he will pass Massa, just because contract says so. So he doesn’t have real competition from him. Wouldn’t it be better to just leave him alone or actually even cheer him if they want to get that constructor’s title sometime in the future?

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 18th April 2013, 21:48

            There’s no way he can be talking about Massa though, because Alonso will be the first to tell you that the Ferrari last year was one of the slowest on the grid. It was only through his own superpowers that he was able to fight for the championship.

      • MW (@) said on 18th April 2013, 15:45

        @keithcollantine @tango I was wondering that, bit harsh if it was Massa (especially after Hockenheim) and Schumacher didn’t really have the machinery when he came back.
        Maybe he meant that there have been drivers in the past who have had super cars and not won for 50 or 60 races. Slightly lost in translation perhaps.

        • Tango (@tango) said on 18th April 2013, 15:54

          Yep, that must explain it. Plus, if Massa has and has had super machinery in the past 60 races, so has Alonso. And here goes the general posture of mighty Alonso who doesn’t have the best car on the grid. (to be clear, I believe Alonso oozes talent, but there is a trend in his comments)

      • Nomore (@nomore) said on 18th April 2013, 16:10

        @keithcollantine

        My personal opinion is that he is saying that to Schumacher…i think Alonso didn’t liked what Schumi said at the end of last year in Brasil (the right driver won)…

        • Lari (@lari) said on 18th April 2013, 16:27

          @nomore If he does imply the comment towards Schumacher then he just fails badly, noone in their right mind would say Mercedes were ‘super car’ in the past 3 seasons. Even Rosbergs sole win, during the three seasons, last year in China didn’t make Mercedes a super car.

          • Nomore (@nomore) said on 18th April 2013, 17:24

            The point is that Hamilton in 3 races (1 pole, 2 podium) did more than Schumi in 3 seasons.And this is coming from a Ferrari fan who loved schumi in those days ( ferrari )…but Ham deserve to be acknowledged

            If you read above first he compliment Ham for the performance than he says this…for me is for Schumi

          • Lari (@lari) said on 18th April 2013, 20:14

            @nomore The thing is, you can’t compare this years Mercedes with 2012, 2011 or 2010 version to be fair. It’s been a development process and they’ve made progress each year, so it’s natural that after last years pole and win they would get even more of those this year, given they’re doing the right things with development. And as I said, Mercedes wasn’t a super car on any of those (2010-2012) years so that comment from Alonso fails on that part. Hence I think it’s for Massa.

      • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 18th April 2013, 17:36

        @keithcollantine maybe more about the guys at Sauber, and the two at Williams/Lotus who didn’t manage to grab a win last year?

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 18th April 2013, 20:55

        It can’t even be Maldonado.

      • Sikander said on 18th April 2013, 22:46

        I have read his interview on the F1 website. He says 15 or 16 races in that interview. “Of course I was very happy, as not winning for some time is clearly a difficult matter for oneself and the team. It has been for sure 11 or 12 races that we haven’t properly won the race, although we have managed to be on the podium constantly. But also there have been a lot of other very good drivers with a competitive car that have not won either for 15 or 16 races. But what we have understood is that it is not only important to win a race, but to be consistently on the podium. Not to have had Sebastian (Vettel) on the podium is for sure good news at this stage of the championship, as he is leading it, but it would be the same with Lewis or Mark (Webber) if they were in the lead.”

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 18th April 2013, 15:36

    there are many other drivers with super cars who have not won a race in the last 50 or 60 races.

    And one of these other drivers could have won in Germany 2010.

    Sarcasm aside, yes, definitely Alonso is riht this time when he says championship positions at this moment are not so significant.

    But, in my opinion, talking about points, everybody knows every single point counts.
    Many people complained a lot about Webber and Rosberg missed points in Malaysia, but with their share of bad luck, they scored nothing last race,and so Brawn with Seb have a little more right to defend their Malaysian choices.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 19th April 2013, 3:35

      Brawn with Seb have a little more right to defend their Malaysian choices.

      It shouldn’t change your opinion either way, if you are against team orders, Seb still did the right thing. If you think Seb should have respected the team and his team mate more, then you can’t make judgement calls based on events in the future.

  4. victor (@genevene) said on 18th April 2013, 15:36

    Kimi is not young anymore.

    Time to be fully committed for these short span of seasons to come.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 18th April 2013, 17:00

      Kimi is not young anymore. Time to be fully committed for these short span of seasons to come.

      @genevene – indeed. it’s almost, paradoxically, like watching a racer drive who is aware of his own mortality as a professional and has every intention of maximizing the time remaining, however much that is. Being fully-committed, like you say.

      • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 20th April 2013, 10:27

        (@joepa)

        indeed. it’s almost, paradoxically, like watching a racer drive who is aware of his own mortality as a professional and has every intention of maximizing the time remaining, however much that is. Being fully-committed, like you say.

        This is what I’m hoping, but not expecting will happen to Webber – that he’ll get a new lease of life, beat finger boy to the championship when the latest upgrades end up making the RB by far the strongest in the field again, retire to go surfing.

        But then again, I really like Webber.

  5. “Sebastian Vettel leads the drivers’ championship at the moment but Alonso believes “championship positions are not really important” at this stage.”

    Of course you would say that, as you crashed out in Malaysia! Championship positions are always important – importance obviously increases as time goes on, but if you have more points now you may very well be in a better position later.

    Perhaps what he is insinuating is there is still time to recover, but that does not mean championship positions (and hence points) aren’t important!

    As for his comments on Red Bull’s car though, yes they probably do have the fastest car on outright pace but the tyres are meaning they aren’t able to utilise that extra downforce. The way I see it, they are being punished for having the best car.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 18th April 2013, 17:13

      Championship positions are not important after only 3 races. And he did not say “points”, he said “positions”.

      Tell me Vettel, how was Kimi holding 1st place in the standings for 7 days “important”? Did Kimi win something for being no.1 for 7 days? No he never.
      Forget points completely because points are a result of a “race” position, you dont get points for holding a position in the overall stands. Thus, until final (end of the season), the positions hold no value. This is because they change from race to race.

      I think you are just trying to find ways to attack something Alonso said. Unfortunately you chose something he said that actually makes complete sense. You then put words in his mouth to try and argue it.

      • @joshua-mesh

        And he did not say “points”, he said “positions”.

        You can’t have a high championship position without a greater number of points, so that argument makes little sense.

        Championship positions are intrinsically related to points scored, which absolutely make a difference as the championship was won last year by a mere 3 points. I did make it abundantly clear that perhaps he was meaning that you can recover from 3rd to 1st, which is obviously true, but of course championship standings are important because as I said that equals points!

        The way I read it, he was again trying to justify his retirement in Malaysia (as of course he could have been leading the championship had he not been involved in that incident), which I don’t think is correct as it was a factor firmly within his control.

        • @Vettel1

          I dont think he tried to defend his retirement by saying Championship positions are not important at the moment… It is more like saying even if you are behind at this stage there is still plenty of time to make up the deficit..
          Had he been leading the championship he still would say the same …
          Malaysian GP 2012 is a good example..

          Anyway leading the championship at this stage no way guarantees that the same guy will be leading by the end of the year…

        • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 18th April 2013, 18:29

          You can’t have a high championship position without a greater number of points, so that argument makes little sense.

          I dont think that makes sense at all. You could be in 1st place in the standings for the entire season and lose it in the final race. That first place position for the first 17 or so races meant nothing at the end of the day if you dont hold the top spot after the final race.

          • Yes, but on the flipside you could be in the position Vettel was in last year leading the championship by (the crucial element) 13 points and then have a luckless race. That 13 point cushion though allowed him to stay ahead of second-placed Alonso: the championship position was very important under that circumstance.

            The position in itself is not important absolutely, but the points that put you in that position are very much so. Which is why I think Alonso’s argument has a major flaw.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 18th April 2013, 19:08

            @vettel1

            Of course you would say that, as you crashed out in Malaysia! Championship positions are always important – importance obviously increases as time goes on, but if you have more points now you may very well be in a better position later.

            Ironic you would say that, given that exactly 3 years ago at this very stage of the season; Alonso was leading Vettel in the championship despite driving a considerably worse car.

            As for his comments on Red Bull’s car though, yes they probably do have the fastest car on outright pace but the tyres are meaning they aren’t able to utilise that extra downforce. The way I see it, they are being punished for having the best car.

            Not this same old gossip again, is that you Helmut Marko? Teams sacrifice certain aspects of the car for others all the time. The tyres are just one part of the car. Red Bull can always take downforce off the car to improve tyre usage if they want.

            Going by your logic, Ferrari are being punished for having a car fast in a straight line, because they haven’t got as much downforce.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th April 2013, 19:18

            @kingshark

            Ironic you would say that, given that exactly 3 years ago at this very stage of the season; Alonso was leading Vettel in the championship despite driving a considerably worse car.

            They were actually level on 37 points after 3 races, behind Felipe Massa, and Vettel dropped the other 38 points to mechanical issues.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 18th April 2013, 19:30

            @david-a
            My mistake, I actually meant 1 year ago, 3 races into the season. IIRC, Alonso was on 37 points and Vettel was on 28 points; and there’s no doubt that the RBR was clearly the faster car in 2 out of the first 3 races.

          • Cole (@cole) said on 18th April 2013, 20:00

            I think what he meant was that he`d rather be 3rd (as he is) but on the hunt, than second way off the leader.
            At this stage positions are not as important as the gap, in fact the only time when position is more important than points is after the last race, (ask Vettel in 2010!).

          • @kingshark

            Ironic you would say that, given that exactly 3 a years ago at this very stage of the season; Alonso was leading Vettel in the championship despite driving a considerably worse car.

            Yes, but Vettel hadn’t put himself in that position due to a fault of his own (just to clarify, the Malaysia incident was entirely Karthikeyan’s fault). That’s what I’m getting at here: championship positions are always important as they equal points – of course there’s much time to recover a deficit, but he may come to rue those lost points (which could’ve been prevented). We shall see though.

            @hohum +1! :D

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 18th April 2013, 20:33

          The way I read it, he was again trying to justify his retirement in Malaysia

          @vettel1

          Dude just let it go. He lost the points… its his loss. What the hell are you getting so worked up about?

          And I can guarantee you that once again, you are the only person who inferred his retirement in Malaysia from that statement.

          Heck.. If Alonso said he liked icecream, you would think he is justifying his decision to drive with a broken wing

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 18th April 2013, 21:00

            Dude, who’s getting worked up here.

          • @todfod

            Heck.. If Alonso said he liked icecream, you would think he is justifying his decision to drive with a broken wing

            I get that’s just a pun, but his championship position is directly related to that retirement: his enjoyment of frozen deserts is not!

            I just think the way he has portrayed it, it appears to me like “I could be leading the championship, but I’m not – that’s not important though”, which would be fair enough if that wasn’t within his control but on this occasion it was! It’s not the fact it’s Alonso here, I feel the same way with all drivers: points = higher championship position and vice versa, so the fact this is coming from the same driver who has lost three championships by four points or less seems a bit strange to me.

            @cole fair enough!

            @puneethvb

            Anyway leading the championship at this stage no way guarantees that the same guy will be leading by the end of the year…

            Oh absolutely, what I’m saying though is more to do with the points lost: Vettel has a lead of 9 points with his championship position, and we’ve seen championships won by much smaller margins than that…

        • astonished (@astonished) said on 18th April 2013, 23:26

          This meaning that:

          A)Points mean positions
          B)position do not mean significant points

          Conclusion, points are better than standings…. To explain myself, it is better to be one position ahead of your nemesis by 100 points than being 4 positions ahead by just 5 points (ask vettel what he would prefer right now)

          Don’t let love blur your, otherwise sharp, vision.

          • @astonished this is true, but the main focus of the comment which few seem to have picked up on was the nature in which he is not at the front of the driver’s standings – that was due to a mistake in Malaysia. I just simply find it ironic that he makes it appear like no big deal when he’s lost three championships by less than 4 points…

  6. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 18th April 2013, 16:07

    Alonso, who trails Raikkonen by six points after three races, said: “Kimi is having a fantastic start to the season and driving maybe better than anyone.”

    I’m sure Kimi will be quite relieved and happy to hear this.
    [insert winky here]

  7. A Carrot said on 18th April 2013, 16:17

    Wow. You guys look for something in nothing. He’s just being honest. He states clear facts, that is all. He’s not blaming anyone for anything at all. You guys are as bad as the press.

    • Cacarella (@cacarella) said on 18th April 2013, 16:38

      +1 – Worse than the press.

    • vishy (@vishy) said on 18th April 2013, 16:41

      cmon, ppl are just having fun. Would you rather everyone were silent or smiley all the time.

      I personally feel Alonso is just saying other teams are better to motivate Ferrari, nothing else. But when you tote that line long enough, you forget to look at reality and give credit to your team.

      I really don’t read anything much more than that.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 18th April 2013, 17:14

      +1 he cant say anything without people trying to place an evil spin on it.

    • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 18th April 2013, 17:20

      Well, people like myself are getting really tired of Alonso failing to give credit to his team (they were the fastest car in race pace in China), the stubborn failure to acknowledge Vettel’s achievements, stating that Red Bull had the best car last year (when it was the McLarens, by quite a margin actually) and this year, when we don’t even have sufficient data to state who’s the best team (could be anyone between the top 4), and really, this bottom-kissing with Hamilton (again ignoring that last year he had the fastest car and that this year the Mercedes is much, much more improved) is getting old.

      • Sure? I’d say you could be tired rather from the contrary. In fact, I don’t recall any other driver that praises his team so much:
        “It’s the best team in the world, there’s nothing above Ferrari,” “And with that car we fight for the world championship until Brazil.” “We have a car that is doing what we expect the car to do.”
        ……………

        • @chemakal – he does frequently “praise” Adrian Newey though, I’d say much more than his own team, which smacks a bit of faithlessness.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 19th April 2013, 10:44

            @vettel1

            Ridiculous!

            Its weird that when he praised Newey, Alonso bashers look at it as Alonso attacking his own team.

            By praising Adrian he is merely giving credit where it is due. Heck, Adrian produced a dominant and championship winning car 3 years in a row.. and that is a great feat. Something Ferrari haven’t been able to do since their unlimited testing glory days

          • @todfod

            Its weird that when he praised Newey, Alonso bashers look at it as Alonso attacking his own team.

            Well indirectly he’s saying his own team is worse than Red Bulls, which although true isn’t exactly morale boosting.

            That’s not the main point though, it’s the fact he never fails to remind us of his love affair for Hamilton in the same sentence he reminds us “Vettel has a great car”: apart from the fact ironically he mentioned this throughout 2012 despite the fact the McLaren was clearly faster on average, I find that to be a simple destabilisation tactic. That would be fair enough, except from the fact he has overused it to the extreme where it just becomes monotonous and boring.

            I expect all drivers to respect each other, and quite simply Alonso is making claims based on no evidence whatsoever (in fact, the evidence is to the contrary in 2012). It’s just immature I think – let his on tragic actions do the talking.

      • May be this is what Alonso should start doing…

        1. Praise Vettel at every interview he gives and tell everyone he ever talks to that if Vettel were to race with Senna , Fangio , Jim Clark etc he would out qualify them by 20 sec every race and if it rains he might even lap them in qualifying ..
        2. Blame Hamilton for each and everything starting from Global warming .
        3. start telling that from 2010- 2012 Red Bull had the worst car on the grid and Ferrari was the best and it was only because he is too slow that they could nt win any WDC or WCC

        He might win over some Vettel fans … But guess he does nt care…:)

        • @puneethvb – I get you’re being slightly sarcastic but that’s not the point people such as myself are trying to make. It’s the way he constantly heaps praise on Hamilton’s driving like he has some sort of weird bromance with him and then goes to say “Vettel’s got a very quick car” – he knows fine well he’s a great driver, but as of yet has failed to acknowledge that. It all seems a bit childish to me…

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 19th April 2013, 10:52

            @vettel1

            Maybe he doesn’t think Vettel is a great driver.. as simple as that.

            Vettel fans would love for Alonso to respect Vettel… but he doesn’t.

            There are tons of fans who think Vettel is nothing special with Newey, so what difference does it make if Alonso thinks the same way?

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 19th April 2013, 11:20

            *without Newey .. not with

      • Stijn (@stijnzer) said on 18th April 2013, 23:01

        +1 @guilherme

        He’s such a schemer.

      • clappy (@danielc) said on 19th April 2013, 1:08

        lol its correct what he says about Hamilton last year, answer me this – if Jenson and Perez were in last years McLaren would you guys call it the fastest car?, no you would not. Alo also clearly respects Ham now after 07 who wouldn’t eventully acknowledge that, I mean Alo was the best thing in F1 and along came this rookie, which was probably the most impressive season by a driver in absoloute decades. Max we all no Seb is as quick as these guys just because Alo respects ham more is probably because Vettel is the one to beat not Hamilton because of the fact Mercedez have bad tyre wear. 1 day we will hopefully no for sure who is best, because I don’t honestly no Vet is great but then I honestly don’t think Webber is great and has not pushed Seb, 1 in in 2011 that was gifted to him says it all for me really.

    • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 18th April 2013, 19:10

      +1 … don’t see underlying & sneaky messages everywhere

  8. Maciek (@maciek) said on 18th April 2013, 17:27

    What stands out for me is that he praises Raikkonen and Hamilton for their driving, but with Vettel he talks about the strong car and how championship position is not important right now. So I read as a bit of a taunt. Not surprising, seeing as he’s finished closerthanthis to Vettel in 2 of the last 3 years.

    • I Love the Pope said on 18th April 2013, 17:34

      This is what I saw too. It was subtle but brilliant trash talking.

    • @maciek – I see it that way too, which basically is a secret admission that he needs to taunt Vettel because he sees him as the biggest threat to his title hopes; that says to me he thinks he’s the best driver!

      I really thought he would’ve figured by now though it’s a futile task, as it makes no difference to Vettel’s driving whatsoever which was apparent from last season…

      • @vettel1 More like a not so secret admission that he thinks he, Raikkonen and Hamilton would have a good shot at beating Vettel if they had a Red Bull at their disposal.

      • Jake (@jleigh) said on 18th April 2013, 21:50

        I think it’s more that he genuinely believes that he and Hamilton, and at this point Raikkonen, would beat Vettel in an equal car. I happen to think Vettel would probably beat Raikkonen, have a very close battle with Alonso (having an advantage in quali but being not quite so quick in races) and would lose out to Hamilton because of (I believe) Hamilton’s superior qualifying pace. You obviously believe Vettel would beat all 3. Hopefully at some point we’ll find out.

        • @jleigh – it’s the way he portrays it though that just seems strange: he never failed to mention last year that Vettel also had the fastest car, which was evidently not true.

          You obviously believe Vettel would beat all 3.

          Not necessarily: I think Vettel would have a handle on Räikkönen so we agree on that much, I think between him and Alonso it was be close as you’ve said because Vettel’s a better qualifier but Alonso’s a better racer slightly but on Hamilton not so much. I think they’ll be really close in qualifying (with Hamilton probably edging it) but in the races it’s anybodies game and f anything I think Vettel would be a more consistent performer.

          So I think Vettel would have a good chance of beating all three but it’s not a foregone conclusion. I do think he still has much room for improvement though, which I don’t think the same of with Alonso and to a lesser extent Hamilton. So in essence no, I think it’s pretty much even Stevens between those three but I think Vettel has greater potential to improve personally!

          Hopefully at some point we’ll find out.

          Agreed on that! It’ll settle this and many other debates for one thing ;)

    • artificial racer said on 18th April 2013, 18:33

      Agreed, it’s part of a theme from Alonso which mainly started last year with consistent comments subtly jabbing at Vettel (while praising Red Bull and downplaying Ferrari).

    • Jimbo Hull (@kartingjimbo) said on 18th April 2013, 18:53

      Pretty much what I took from it all. Is Vettel going to make any friends in F1?

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 18th April 2013, 19:40

      Clearly he feels that he, Lewis and Kimi are great drivers;and is unconvinced about Vettel.
      There are way too many out there who share that same opinion, we can’t blame him for that.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th April 2013, 20:19

        @jason12 – I agree with @maciek , that it is a bit of a taunt. Vettel, who is younger and less experienced, has won the last three titles that Alonso and Hamilton have been going for, so I can’t blame him for heaping praise on multiple others (even Michael Schumacher back in 2011) when Vettel is the “common enemy”. Some will come up with reasons for being “unconvinced”, but those excuses often fall apart under scrutiny.

      • Clearly he feels that he, Lewis and Kimi are great drivers;and is unconvinced about Vettel.

        Oh, “clearly”!

      • @jason12 – I think he’s intimidated by him actually: Vettel has denied him two championships, so he should rightfully fell challenged by him and so feels the need to attempt to destabilise him.

        • karter22 (@karter22) said on 19th April 2013, 4:07

          @vettel1

          feels the need to attempt to destabilise him.

          Max, why do you keep repeating the same comment every time you feel Alonso talks in a “disrespetful” way about Vettel?
          He´s not trying to destabilise him, he´s openly saying he doesn´t respect him or the way he has achieved his 3 WDC plain and simple. He is not obligated in any way to respect the guy or even like him and he has every right not to since, may I remind you, he did beat the 7 time WDC twice back to back. That to me has more merit since he didn´t have the best car!
          I just don´t get the destablilise comment. Vettel couldn´t lose stability in his RB even if a tornado hit the track! XD

          • @karter22 – absolutely he doesn’t have to like him, but I expect all drivers to have respect between one another, particularly if one has beaten them. The only way I can interpret those comments is as mind games.

          • karter22 (@karter22) said on 19th April 2013, 18:38

            @vettel1

            I expect all drivers to have respect between one another, particularly if one has beaten them.

            Well Max, mind games are a part of racing as well. It´s up to each person to deal with them as he/she sees fit. And why all the worry about it? Vettel has admitted he doesn´t like the internet! I doubt he´ll read into it! XD
            About your comment, the part I quoted, in a utopia it might happen but as you perfectly know, the person in your old avatar didn´t have much respect for Prost and vice versa! In the end it seems like they tried to make ammends but we all know they hated their guts. It´s normal and like I said, you´re bound not to be liked by some so everyone should deal with it in their own way! It´s just a fact of human nature.

          • @karter – I don’t like the mind games but I can understand why they use them, that’s not my issue though – it’s the respetitvness of them and the fact they just taint Alonso’s image from my perspective because they evidently don’t work.

          • @karter22 even!

          • karter22 (@karter22) said on 20th April 2013, 3:18

            @vettel1
            You´re looking too much into it Max. I realy don´t see mind games in all this. He simply does not like Vettel at all. It´s clear as day.
            I understand that you feel that drivers should have some respect but they are not obligated to. If he showed some symphaty, he would then be considered a Hypocrite and people would still talk about him. I much rather he be straight forward about it and not respect him at all than to be labeled a hypocrite.
            As for the repetitiveness, well, if the press keep asking him about SV or if he has a chance to compare him because of the questions he is being asked, well of course he´s gonna seize the moment and that simply shows how much he dislikes him.
            I wouldn´t think too much about it Max, if everybody gave it as much thought, some of us would go ape **** with some of the stuff Helmet says!. Just chill and enjoy the game they play! ;D

      • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 20th April 2013, 14:09

        (@david-a) I don’t think Alonso is trying to play ‘mind games’ with Vettel. Kimi and Hamilton clearly also (at least if development remains consistent) are looking just as much of a threat to his 3rd championship as Vettel does, but as (@debaser91) points out, Alonso is basically airing an opinion that’s held by a considerable proportion of F1 fans (and myself included) that Vettel’s talents are somewhat…flattered…by the Newey machinery.

        And before you go and repeat that the Mclaren was faster in 2012, again – yes until the Asia leg it was, but a fast car is utterly pointless if it can’t finish a race half the time. So that point is moot.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 21st April 2013, 14:30

          @sgt-pepper

          Kimi and Hamilton clearly also (at least if development remains consistent) are looking just as much of a threat to his 3rd championship as Vettel does

          Yes, but neither of them denied Alonso for 2 of the last 3 years, have they? Nor have either of them overtaken him, in that race for a 3rd title. It’s easy to choose to look for an excuse for the success/talent of someone who has done exactly what you’ve been aiming for, for the last 6-7 years.

          And before you go and repeat that the Mclaren was faster in 2012, again – yes until the Asia leg it was, but a fast car is utterly pointless if it can’t finish a race half the time. So that point is moot.

          As if RBR didn’t have their fair share of reliability problems as well.

  9. bpacman (@bpacman) said on 18th April 2013, 17:29

    I’d have to disagree with Alonso on this one. Yes Kimi does lead the championship so you could say that alone shows he’s driven the best. But I think Kimi’s only faultless performance was in Australia. He was ragged in Malaysia – with numerous off track excursions and only finishing 7th (behind his teammate). In China, he made a poor start, hit Perez and came second in a race most predicted him to win.

    I think Hamilton is the driver who’s got the most from his car this year. It’s clearly slower in a race than the Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus yet Hamilton has two podiums and a fifth place to his name.

    • victor (@genevene) said on 18th April 2013, 17:47

      errr….in Malaysia they got the suspension setup wrong. And failure to switch on the wet tyre due to small downforce output from rear means they are doomed. Its a miracle kimi could finish the races despite the balance was damn bad.

      In China, the team asked kimi to change the clucth setting, and apologized to him after the race. Not his fault. He dragged that imbalance and massive understeerly car back to P2 despite losing cascades and a big hole on the nose cone.

      Alonso is not stupid. He got more data than you.

      Merc was flying In malaysia….well, on Rosberg’s side only. Get most out of his car??? i doubt it.

      • matt (@f1supreme) said on 18th April 2013, 19:38

        well lewis has outqualified nico 3 times despite being new to the team.plus he has better race results.

        • This seems to be a little-known fact, but Webber outqualified Nico by a large margin in their time together. There’s a reason why Webber had the reputation of being a brilliant qualifier, in the years B.V.

      • bpacman (@bpacman) said on 18th April 2013, 19:39

        errr……

        Its a miracle kimi could finish the races despite the balance was damn bad

        Yes a miracle that he managed to finish that race. The fact that Grosjean finished too and finished ahead of him must have made that race a double-miracle.

        He dragged that imbalance and massive understeerly car back to P2 despite losing cascades and a big hole on the nose cone.

        A car that was unbalanced and understeerly (?) with a big hole in the nose cone (not sure what the reference to cascades means?) because of a mistake Kimi made.

        Alonso is not stupid. He got more data than you.

        Alonso also has an agenda – hence why he praises the Red Bull car but not Vettel. I’m not completely sure what data he’d have on his rival drivers that would give him this incredible insight into who was extracting most from their car – but, even if he does, I’m entitled to my opinion too.

        Merc was flying In malaysia….well, on Rosberg’s side only

        The Red Bulls were clearly managing the gap back to the two Mercedes – some have even suggested that Webber was attempting to back Vettel up into the two Silver Arrows. Third place for Hamilton (even if he did benefit from team orders) was the best result he could’ve achieved.

        You’re entitled to disagree with me @genevene, but I’m not basing this assessment on any partisan bias – I’m just giving my honest opinion.

  10. Rambler said on 18th April 2013, 17:33

    Pretty sure anyone in their right mind has stopped completely listening to what Alonso has to say after the last few years. It’s all brown coming out of that boys mouth.

  11. Sumedh said on 18th April 2013, 17:35

    “We know the Red Bull is probably the strongest car,” he added

    .
    For once, I don’t agree with him.
    I think the fastest car at each race has won that race of the season so far.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 18th April 2013, 19:52

      That’s very naive, you think Redbull’s dominance (downforce / earo-superiority) would just evaporate for no reason?

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th April 2013, 20:08

        @jason12 – Red Bull haven’t been “dominant” since EBDs were banned. In 2012, Mclaren had the fastest car. And currently, we have four similarly competitive teams (funnily enough, not including Mclaren).

      • Jason (@jason12) said on 18th April 2013, 21:01

        @david-a
        We don’t have similarly competitive cars at the moment.
        – The Lotus is unpredictable
        – Merc has consistently lacked race pace
        – Ferrari is undergoing some good development
        – RedBull still the strongest, as witnessed by many in pre-season testing (despite their sandbagging). The fact that they can even afford to sandbag tells a story on its own.
        They might be struggling to understand these Pirellis, but they are still the strongest by some margin.

        • Jason (@jason12) said on 18th April 2013, 21:07

          Also, according to the graph you’ve referred to Macca and Redbull appear to been ‘evenly’ matched when you look at the entire season.
          And one has wonder how many of those fast laps was just Lewis’ speed.

          • Ah, when Lewis goes fast it’s because he’s a fast driver, while when Seb goes fast it’s because he has a fast car. Yes, it all makes sense now.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 18th April 2013, 21:08

          witnessed by many and sandbagging at the same time, hard logic to follow there.

          • Jason (@jason12) said on 18th April 2013, 21:35

            @hohum
            Many alluded to how planted and stable it looked during testing, and tipped it as a favourite for this season despite the sandbagging.
            Easy logic, really…

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th April 2013, 21:18

          @jason12
          Actually, yes we do have similarly competitive cars. Three different teams have won the races so far, with the one that hasn’t (Mercedes, who haven’t exactly “lacked race pace”) taking 2 podiums and a pole.

          When determining how strong a car is, the tyres have to come into the equation. So if Red Bull are the strongest, it is not by any meaningful margin. The only reason anyone would say otherwise is to make RBR’s drivers look bad for not doing a clean sweep, which looking at the relative race pace of the cars, is nonsensical.

  12. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 18th April 2013, 17:42

    Yes alright, we get it. Some of you don’t like Alonso.

    Just be glad that these answers (and yes, they were answers, to people’s questions, believe it or not) at least make an interesting article.

    I think saying the Red Bull is the strongest car isn’t a million miles off, to be honest – there’s still a little part inside most of us that has a bit of surprise/pleasure when it’s not a blue car (usually Vettel) on pole, which is more than can be said for the others at the minute.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 18th April 2013, 17:45

      Ferrari/Lotus having the strongest car in the race though? Probably!

    • Some of you don’t like Alonso.

      I’ve never understood the obsession some people have with “liking” and/or “disliking” various drivers. I don’t “like” or “dislike” any of them. I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’m upset because a particular driver wins the WDC. Which obviously sets me apart from many “F1 fans”.

      That said, Alonso has been repeating the same canned remarks for years now and really ought to get some new material. The fact that’s its “trash talk” isn’t the problem – the fact that’s tediously boring and repetitive trash talk is. “Blah blah my car is too slow blah blah Seb’s car is too fast blah blah”. At least come up with some new insults and excuses.

      • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 18th April 2013, 21:50

        @jonsan Absolutely. I can pick something I like about every single driver on the grid. Well, there’s a couple at the back maybe not so…

      • Jono (@me262) said on 19th April 2013, 5:52

        @jonsan

        “Blah blah my car is too slow blah blah Seb’s car is too fast blah blah”

        unlike the rest of F1 drivers who talk about the weather, the daisies on the side of the circuit and gluten free recipes? when Formula 1 drivers are interviewed they generally speak about Formula 1 – it usually gets repetitive. Trash talk? maybe its an honest appraisal from Alonso of where they are atm with respect to Red Bull…an appraisal which even though I am no Alonso fan, I tend to agree with. Sounds to me as if your looking for excuses not to come out of the closet and admit your dislike for Alonso openly and honestly :)

  13. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 18th April 2013, 18:26

    Never play Sea Battle with this man, you’re all warned.

  14. Same press conference. Alonso: Revolution on twitter? It’s just a picture of 2 friends having dinner that know each other for over 13 years and share same manager (Briatore). The media puts the tittles to the picture…
    About Mark: I see him as a strong rival for the tittle. Malasya was the only race where nothing strange happened to him and he fought for victory til 10 laps before the flag. Problems with KERS in Australia, a bit of everything in China,…
    Fantastic

  15. DaveW (@dmw) said on 18th April 2013, 19:49

    You see what he did, right? Heap praise on everyone, including the biggest threat, but simultaneously call that team and driver stupid. Alonso knows what he is doing. He knows Vettel is a hot-head and that RBR is a team in strife. He’s just stoking things a bit.

    • @dmw

      He knows Vettel is a hot-head

      Funny you say that, because Vettel usually only gets better under pressure. In actual fact, I’d say that’s his greatest skill.

      Honestly, I think his mind games have absolutely no effect whatsoever – they have also just become rather monotonous and tiresome.

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