Alonso defends ‘perfect’ tactics after radio complaints

2013 Italian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monza, 2013Fernando Alonso denied Ferrari’s tactics to have team mate Felipe Massa give him a slipstream during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix had failed despite criticising his team during the session.

Alonso complained twice during Q3 as he struggled to stay within range of Massa. During his last run Alonso said “Felipe’s too far” as he ran behind his team mate. However after qualifying Alonso said the team’s tactics had been “perfect”.

“We planned to have a him a little bit in the front and he was helping me on the straight. In the end Ricciardo was in the middle of us but then Ricciardo let me by, Felipe wait me a little bit for the last corner so it was perfect. This extra tenth or something was thanks to him.”

Alonso qualified fifth, one hundredth of a second behind Massa. Ferrari president Luca di Montemolo was in the team’s garage to watch their qualifying performance at their home race.

Technical director Pat Fry also claimed the tactics had worked: “In reality, in terms of those positions, we picked up a tow so that part of it worked,” he said.

“Now we’ve got to keep on, we obviously have to build a quicker car still, don’t we?”

“Asked why Alonso had complained Massa was too far ahead Fry said: “No, I think it was the right gap to be honest. Three seconds back is good position to be in.”

Shortly after qualifying Alonso took to Twitter to reiterate his satisfaction with the result: “A good [qualifying] finally after the last Saturdays so so… Tomorrow we must try to be close to Red Bull in first part of the race!”

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106 comments on Alonso defends ‘perfect’ tactics after radio complaints

  1. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 7th September 2013, 16:47

    In the end Ferrari is the only one to blame for what happend today. Had they send them out at a better time so they could avoid Ricciardo they could have towed and nothing would have changed. I think they still would have been P4 an P5.

    Alonso calling for Felipe to be fired on the radio was a heat of the moment thing but that doesn’t make it right for him to be saying something like that. So now it seems Felipe has also lost Fernandos backing, Ferrari and Luca di Montezemelo are now clearly blaming him for today. So it would seems Massa is done for at Ferrari.

    • I think Alonso’s getting a bit too big for his boots with all of his recent spats also.

      • Alonso called Felipe to be fired? not sure about that, whatever i read on the internet says he called his team either idiots or geniuses(sarcastically)… I think Alonso’s time as a Ferrari driver is probably gonna end soon…

      • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 7th September 2013, 17:41

        @vettel1 Yeah and the comments he is giving now are only proving what you say. He himself has realised that. He knows he stepped out of line today and is now trying to smooth things out.

        Schumacher said it himself today: ‘you are part of the team, no matter what’ and he had 10 happy years at Ferrari, if only Fernando understood this tactic…

        But I gues his Spanish temperament won’t let him.

      • It’s a disgrace really. No team has ever gone to such lengths to favor one driver yet he still feels they don’t do enough to help him.

        I think Alonso is setting up a situation where he feels he is “forced” to leave Ferrari so he doesn’t have to butt heads with someone like Hulkenberg next year. He’d rather go to a weaker team like Lotus with a weak teammate and keep his reputation in tact than butt heads with someone like Hulkenberg at Ferrari.

        • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 7th September 2013, 22:41

          He went back to Team Enstone the last time he had a falling out with a team, so it isn’t completely out of the question if things get really bad. Lotus might get some much-needed money from Santander in that case.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 7th September 2013, 18:12

      Alonso calling for Felipe to be fired on the radio

      You must have been watching a completely different programme – at no point did Alonso ever say that. He stated Massa was too far in front, and criticised the team’s strategy, but he never said Massa should be fired.

  2. Jason (@jason12) said on 7th September 2013, 16:51

    Massa was just faster and Alonso couldn’t keep up.

  3. Andy (@turbof1) said on 7th September 2013, 17:02

    So Massa outqualifies Alonso. Maybe they need to turn things around next year: Alonso ahead and Massa pushing him forward with his front wing.

  4. Alonso bottled qualifying…again.

    What has Ferrari come to trying to more or less sacrifice Massa’s race on Sunday just to get Alonso an extra tenth of a second?? Wonder if they’re going to change Massa’s gearbox again to bump Alonso up the grid?

  5. oliveiraz33 (@oliveiraz33) said on 7th September 2013, 17:53

    This sounded like a very very frustrated alonso…
    But I still think this tatic is rubish…

  6. 72defender (@72defender) said on 7th September 2013, 17:57

    Kimi and Nico in, Alonso and Massa out.

  7. Travis (@mcmerctn) said on 7th September 2013, 18:06

    Fernando was obviously not pleased with the qualifying run, and the language he used afterwards to the media totally sounds like he’s hiding something. (Really? “Perfect?”) But, everyone gets irritated when things don’t work out, and everyone says things when they’re angry that they wouldn’t say otherwise. Especially over the team radio. I’m glad we get to listen to team radio during the race weekends, but it’s definitely not a fair judge of someone to judge them off of a comment made over the team radio.

  8. Mach1 (@mach1) said on 7th September 2013, 19:52

    ahem….I have a funny feeling that Massa is going to want to have his gearbox changed…..for no reason in particular…you know….just to be safe……really safe……..

  9. Broom (@brum55) said on 7th September 2013, 20:24

    Alonso is broken. Mentally and emotionally he is gone from Ferrari. Eddie Jordan said he may be looking for a sabbatical. I think there is a real possibility that he won’t be in F1 next year or maybe ever again. Maybe more interested in cycling after purchasing the Euskaltel Euskadi cycling team.

  10. Breno (@austus) said on 7th September 2013, 20:30

    This is just “Calm Checo down” all over again.

  11. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 7th September 2013, 21:10

    It’s obviously frustrating for him to be out qualified by Massa in Italy again, and for some I was surprised with his criticism, despite knowing what he’s capable of after 2007.
    In 2010, I and many others thought Alonso and Ferrari were a match made in heaven. Well this season the realisation that this partnership hasn’t and isn’t looking like getting the desired rewards is showing a few cracks. Maybe there’s more to it – like Eddie Jordan (I think) said, Ferrari might be wanting to replace Massa and Alonso doesn’t want it.
    Mind this could be being blown completely out of proportion and if Alonso gets a good result tomorrow then this all could be forgotten quickly. It’s all quite interesting though.

  12. zoom (@zoomracing) said on 8th September 2013, 4:46

    Too bad some of the english press are not interested in reporting the facts and not the fantasies, the radio message was on Q2, not Q3 (Kravitz info), and Alonso said genius not stupid (Carlos Miquel info, Ferrari meeting with the Italian/Spanish press to listen a clean audio version of Alonso’s radio message).)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th September 2013, 10:09


      Alonso said genius not stupid

      I didn’t say he said either. In the second paragraph I linked to a separate page discussing the exact wording of the message.

      But either way Alonso’s message was critical which is how I characterised it.

  13. Drivers don’t go to Ferrari and succeed year after year. Schumacher’s is really the only guy in the last three decades to do so.

    For decades Ferrari has had a toxic, political team culture. The Schumacher years were an anomaly. As good as Schumacher was on the track, he was the glue that held it together off the track.

    I’ll always remember in 2006 Schumacher entering the pit garage, after going out of the Japanese Grand Prix with a blown engine while in the lead, consoling and thanking his mechanics with grace. That blown engine had just cost him what looked like an 8th world championship.

    Compare that to Alonso this year and last year.

    • Broom (@brum55) said on 8th September 2013, 11:34

      Alonso thanked his team and consoled them last year at the final grand prix. His cars have not been as good as Schumacher’s when he was at Ferrari, so you can’t compare the two.

      • Schumacher only ever had the best car in 2001, 2002, and 2004.

        If Schumacher didn’t sacrifice his best years rebuilding Ferrari he’d likely be a 10-time champion.

  14. Why does Alonso call Riccardio as Richhardo

  15. Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 9th September 2013, 3:49

    My understanding was that to get a effective tow from the car in the front the car that follows must be very close behind – a couple of meter close. Otherwise, as in a case during the race, the car that follows get the “dirty” turbulent air that can destabilize the car compared to the car at front that runs in a “clean” air. If the tow works at a close distance how can the car that follows get a better time that the one at the front unless it overtakes it?
    I think the risks of not getting everything right with this trick are too great to be worth trying.

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