Alonso ‘more complete’ than Schumacher, says Massa

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2013In the round-up: Felipe Massa compares his Ferrari team mates past and present.

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Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

‘Alonso the most complete’ (Sky)

“Schumacher was very, very good. He was amazing and a very complete driver as well. But I think maybe Alonso is even more perfect.”

Lotus signs Ferrari aero chief (Autosport)

“Lotus has moved to boost its technical department in the wake of recent departures by signing Ferrari’s chief aerodynamicist Nicolas Hennel.”

Webber no longer has to deal with weighty issue of height (The Canberra Times)

“A comfortable weight for someone of his frame would actually be 82kg. Back when he was a talented teenager with the dreams of making it to the top in motor sport in Europe, I asked him his height. His response: ‘I’m not telling you because I don’t want it to be an issue when I get to F1.'”

Q&A with James Calado (Force India via YouTube)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7SNpVJg2xw

Times have changed since the era of James Hunt’s seventies romp (The Guardian)

“As Rush unfolds, a nostalgia-fest that becomes a morality play, it becomes increasingly hard to imagine how our “celebrity culture”, policed by red tops and the bloggers, would have coped when faced with a libertine sportsman of Hunt’s stamina. You suspect ?ǣ as with Tiger Woods and his grim catalogue of infidelities ?ǣ he would have been destroyed on front page and back before he had even got to the starting grid.”

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Comment of the day

Craig Scarborough of ScarbsF1.com dropped in to explain a question which arose from the team radio transcript.

The front wing rotary is simply a way for the driver to communicate how much of a front wing adjustment he?d like at the next pit stop. The position the driver sets the dial to is picked up by the engineers via telemetry. This keeps the info secret, unlike radio broadcast of the setting.

Red Bull a similar dial to describe the tyre condition to the pits.
Scarbs

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On this day in F1

Two years ago today Sergio Perez tested a Ferrari F60 along with Jules Bianchi. Although the latter remains Ferrari-backed, Perez’s ties to the team were severed when he joined McLaren:

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231 comments on Alonso ‘more complete’ than Schumacher, says Massa

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  1. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 15th September 2013, 0:22

    Massa really thinks that? or it’s just Ferrari’s PR at delusional levels?

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 15th September 2013, 3:31

      @omarr-pepper
      Why would be a Ferrari PR puppet at this point, when he’s leaving the team soon anyway?

      Felipe is simply telling what’s on his mind. Massa has gone up against Schumacher, Raikkonen and Alonso; and if he thinks that Fernando has been his strongest teammate in Formula 1, then it carries a lot of credibility.

      • +1 @kingshark

        As soon as I saw the headline I groaned. Not because I think Massa is wrong, but I knew it would bring out legions of Schumi fans convinced that, despite never having so much as sat in a single seater, they still know more about the subject than the near world champion who actually raced alongside both.

      • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 15th September 2013, 8:50

        @kingshark

        Felipe is simply telling what’s on his mind.

        Massa is trying to find a seat for next year and he’s been badly beaten by his team mate for the last four season, so obviously it’s in his best interest to tell everyone Alonso is phenomenal.

      • I am pretty sure that Massa feels that way for real @omarr-pepper.

        With Schumacher he was able to win at times and probably felt rather like having a challenge than being just overrrun. Part of it could off course be explained by Massa at the time getting better and better, while Schumi was already getting over the top of his talent when they were partnered. Currently Massa is still recovering from a big crash, he is likely over the top of his career and Alonso is more at the height of his strengths, which is highlighted by the team giving him what he wants/needs to excel (well, apart from the best car, off course).
        That means Massa is comparing himself at his best vs. a dwindling Schumacher with himself dwindling vs. Alonso at the top. Its pretty logical to conclude that Alonso comes out on top then.

      • Joel Morrell said on 15th September 2013, 18:04

        What is never discussed when talking about Schumacher is his tremendous ability to develop the car. He came into a dismal situation at Ferrari and drove them to incredible results. Vettel, like Schumi, has this innate ability, which is going to make him very difficult to beat as well.

        As for Massa, he simply is past his prime. Its time for him to find another series that will fit his current level of skill.

    • Jimmy Hearn (@alebelly74) said on 15th September 2013, 8:23

      I wonder how many championships Michael lost on the last day of the season when it was his for the taking?
      But yeah, this sounds like PR spin in the wake of a Kimi signing; the princess got her skirt ruffled.
      (poor Massa is simply a pawn being moved at will with little thought of consequence)

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th September 2013, 10:03

        @alebelly74 – I think that’s rather unfair. Massa did everything it took to win the title. It was even his fir fifteen seconds. He lost it because Hamilton passed Glock on the last corner of the last lap. It’s not like he folded at the final hurdle, like both the McLaren drivers did in 2007.

        • Indeed, that race Massa did all he could and he did it as best as was possible to win that title. But it just was not enough.

        • “It’s not like he folded at the final hurdle, like both the McLaren drivers did in 2007.”

          Which in itself is rather unfair given what happend to Hamilton in the last 2 races with bad advice from the pit wall in one race, and an absolutly bizarre, never-before-seen, or ever-seen-since gearbox malfuntion that lasted just enough time for him to fall outside the neccesary positions he needed to take the title.

          • an absolutly bizarre, never-before-seen, or ever-seen-since gearbox malfuntion that lasted just enough time for him to fall outside the neccesary positions he needed to take the title.

            Strange that wasn’t it ;)

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th September 2013, 23:00

            He went off track earlier in the race, which didn’t help, nor did his failed pitlane entry in China. @prisoner-monkeys got it right, Hamilton and Alonso folded.

          • “He went off track earlier in the race, which didn’t help, nor did his failed pitlane entry in China. @prisoner-monkeys got it right, Hamilton and Alonso folded.”

            No, he didnt get it right.

            Going off in China was by-product/a knock-on effect, a result of the ‘bad advice’ to stay out on his tyres because his team expected different weather conditions, Hamilton trusted in his team, *that* was his problem.

            Brazil, going off early in the race was not detrimental to his title challanege, it had no impact on the title outcome. It was the sheer loss of time spent stationary while his bizzare gearbox problem resolved itself is why he lost the title that day. Even despite losing so much time after the gearbox ‘issue’ and falling way behind the entire field, he still manged to fight his way back upto 7th, one place behind the required position needed for the title. Without that problem you can bet your last penny that he’d have finished atleast 6th, and we wouldnt be here arguing about him ‘folding’, going wide at one corner while swerving to avoid the rear end of a car infront.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 16th September 2013, 23:25

            Going off in China was by-product/a knock-on effect, a result of the ‘bad advice’ to stay out on his tyres because his team expected different weather conditions, Hamilton trusted in his team, *that* was his problem.

            Even with all that, it was perfectly possible to get into the pitlane. So even with the “bad advice”, it was a driver error that ended his race, and hampered his title charge.

            Brazil, going off early in the race was not detrimental to his title challanege, it had no impact on the title outcome. It was the sheer loss of time spent stationary while his bizzare gearbox problem resolved itself is why he lost the title that day.

            Yes, that was an issue, but again, you highlighted that he finished one position behind what was required. Had he not lost so much time initially (falling to around 8th or lower), before the field started to spread out, his comeback later on would have been enough for the title. Hamilton did not put himself in a good position, problem or no problem.

        • Jimmy Hearn (@alebelly74) said on 15th September 2013, 11:21

          I was talking about Alonso

        • From my understanding, I think he’s refering to Alonso rather than Massa.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 15th September 2013, 10:57

        @alebelly74

        I wonder how many championships Michael lost on the last day of the season when it was his for the taking?

        I wonder if you really started watching F1 in 1997 ??????????????????

      • I wonder how many championships Michael lost on the last day of the season when it was his for the taking?

        @alebelly74

        Two

        1997 and 2006

        It should have been three.. but he got away with the 1994 stunt scot free

      • in regards to michael he cracked(that could be argued of course) in the final race in 94, 97, 98 and 2003.

        Of course all for different reasons and all with different results but it makes your comment look rather flawed.

        • The stall in 98 wasn’t Schumacher’s fault. 97 the Ferrari had chewed its tyres. He closed the door on Villeneuve because Villeneuve went for a reckless lunge.

          94 I agree. He got pressured into a mistake. 2003 he didn’t choke. He had to finish 8th or better and did it.

          • he made a mess of 03

          • He needed a point and got it. It was an ordinary drive, but he did what was necessary. He won the title.

            Making a mess of things is Hamilton beaching his car in 07 or Webber and Alonso getting stuck behind slower cars in 2010.

    • Can Alonso qualify like Schumi did?

    • AlokIn (@) said on 15th September 2013, 14:32

      May be Massa has a clause in contract not to say anything against Alonso.
      He might sing a different tone end of the season.

    • I have no idea but Alonso is not that great qualifier and I would go further and say he is the best managing a bad car and a poor driver on a well balanced car.

      • No driver has had more advantages in car and treatment on the team, including contracted subservients to not compete against him than MS, so I think the suggestion that FA is more complete is a valid one. When all the ducks weren’t in a row MS folded, and when he returned at Mercedes and didn’t have the endless resources and testing and the contracted subservient, he got beat by Rosberg 3 years straight.

  2. I wouldn’t go that far, Felipe. Alonso is an excellent driver – arguably the most complete of the current drivers.

    Schumacher was stunningly good though. At times he lacked morality, but by god did he win prolifically. I personally hold him second only to Senna in my own all-time rankings. He went to Ferrari and made everyone work for him, then rolled in the spoils. Love him or loathe him, did he ever earn his success.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 15th September 2013, 0:29

      Absolutely, but remember the car was usually the best of the grid from ’01 to ’04 ;-)

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 15th September 2013, 0:50

      Well Massa only had Michael as a team mate for 1 year (the last before retiring) and maybe for him the Michael of 2006 wasn’t as good as the Alonso 2010-2013, for me it’s a waste of time trying to compare drivers but I can see why he would say that.

      • That’s the only reason I can think of other than delusion.

        • or common sense, the results against massa for both drivers are in black and white, chiselled away in stone.

          and dont forget he was test driver at ferrari also for quite along time, during some of MS best years. He knows better than most. Only one other person has seen both(and senna, though not at his peak) up close and personal and that is Pat Symonds, who also puts Alonso on top.

          i dont think massa is the delusional one.

          • What is there to imply Alonso is better than Schuamcher? Certainly not statistics @q85. Certainly not every driver ranking in history.

          • Jonathan said on 16th September 2013, 19:51

            Pat Symonds did what? Maybe you should refer to the article in Autosport, authored by Symonds, where he explicitly stated that Schumacher was easily the best driver he’d worked with – better than Alonso, and better than Senna. (Although the latter is perhaps unfair as he only worked with Senna for his rookie? season).

      • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 15th September 2013, 1:11

        I don’t think Massa is one for letting his ego get in the way, but it would make him look a lot better saying that the only reason he hasn’t come near Alonso on a regular basis is due to the fact that he’s a superior driver to Schumacher.

      • qwertyuiop said on 15th September 2013, 2:09

        i actually think monza 04 was the last time we saw Schumi at full throttle. That hiddeous accident he had in testing definitely effected him. Look at tge 04 results after that. I think the schumi of 06 was definitely not as good as Alonso of 2012 but Schumi of 97-02 was stunning to watch sometimes

        • I thought 2003 was the first year he had days where he was just off. I think him and Ferrari had become a little complacent after how strong they were in 01 and 02. 2003 was the wake up call, which is how the dominance of 04 came about.

          He did take the foot off the pedal at the end of 2002 and 2004 when both championships had been won. Last half of 2006 he was utterly dominant.

      • iFelix (@ifelix) said on 15th September 2013, 2:19

        I thought exactly the same. And the fact that when you are younger it’s harder to see how good others are.

    • MarkM (@mpmark) said on 15th September 2013, 1:56

      amen to that…

    • Traverse (@) said on 15th September 2013, 1:57

      There’s no doubt, Schumi new how to grab the initiative (a but like Bernie in this photo!).

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 15th September 2013, 2:03

      @vettel1

      I wouldn’t go that far, Felipe. Alonso is an excellent driver – arguably the most complete of the current drivers

      In the last 3 years Shumacher was still racing in F1 and Alonso in that period was regarded as the undisputed best driver on the grid.
      You will still argue that Shumacher Mercedes isn’t Shumacher Ferrari which is true but Alonso was also a tough rival for Shumacher even in his Ferrari days
      Shumacher was known for being a racing machine working always hard with the engineers to develop the car, in that aspect Alonso is even better than Shumacher Luca Di Montezemolo, Stefano Domenicali, Marc Géné and many other Ferrari team members said that there has been no driver in the history of Ferrari that spends more time in the Factory than Alonso even Michael himself.
      For those who support the conspiracy theory i don’t think that this is the first time we hear some F1 figures considering Alonso one of the greatest of this sport and not all of them are in research of an F1 seat

      • Cranberry said on 15th September 2013, 2:26

        I always wonder where the Alonso fans come off saying “Best beyond comparison” or “Unrivalled talent” when at the same time you’ve had a youngling barely out of his teens steadily become the number one on the entire paddock. Statements like those are unfounded.
        Are they blind, or is the denial so strong?

        I also wonder where do Teflonso’s fans come off portraying him as a demigod of technical feedback and a car whisperer. Alonso won his championships at Renault when they had the tuned mass dampers, a device which I believe was falsely banned to prefer Ferrari.
        Where do you base your statements that Alonso is better at developing cars than, say, Massa?
        He had 2(08-09) seasons at Renault and the best he could come up with to win a race was to have his teammate crash deliberately at an optimal time. He’s now had 3+ seasons at Ferrari and his car whispering talents are still yet to produce a WDC or WCC winning car.

        Massa saying this is just Ferrari’s PR department trying to smooth over Santander’s ruffled feathers after signing Räikkönen alongside their egoistic golden boy.

      • Albert said on 15th September 2013, 2:31

        “[...]Alonso in that period was regarded as the undisputed best driver on the grid.”

        … that’s not even remotely close to be true.

        • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 15th September 2013, 11:03

          that’s not even remotely close to be true.

          That’s not my words Team principles, ex world champions like Niki Lauda Jackie Stewart Emerson Fittipaldi Jacques Villeneuve …. Journalist and all the F1 world have agreed on that, i’m not responsible if you were not watching F1 in the last couple of years

          • You seem to have a very narrow vision of what the popular opinion was in those years. I would advice you to open your mind a bit, and try not to be limited by a certain driver or team fanatism.

          • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 15th September 2013, 16:27

            The opinions of four world champions count for far more than any fanaticism ever could.

      • Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 15th September 2013, 10:29

        I’ll laugh at your words if Kimi beats Alonso next year. But I’d prefer to see Vettel and Alonso as teammates next year.

        • @osvaldas31

          But I’d prefer to see Vettel and Alonso as teammates next year.

          Me too and a lot of F1 fans but Vettel said a big NO to that offer.

          • marsianwalrus (@einariliyev) said on 15th September 2013, 11:15

            @nomore No, he didn’t that is pure speculation. He said he’d preferred Raikkonen to Alonso because he was friends with the former (he said that with regard to Dan Ricciardo as well); he further confirmed that he’d be fine racing alongside Alonso.

        • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 15th September 2013, 11:11

          @osvaldas31
          Be sure at the end of the season i’ll be laughing even more at your words !!!!!!!!
          Vettel declined an offer from Ferrari and has required Newey’s services as a guarantee to stay with Red Bull and has preferred Ricciardo to be his teammate over Raikonnen which he preferred to be his teammate over Alonso

          • Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 15th September 2013, 11:20

            Actually, Vettel preffered Raikkonen over Ricciardo, while Alonso wasn’t really an option to race in RB, it was pure speculation and mind games. Unless you work at RB and know better.

          • @tifoso1989 so he wants to put himself in the best position to win yet another championship. Is that a bad thing?

            Alonso wanted to retain Felipe “Fernando is faster than you” Massa…

          • @tifoso 1989 & @vettel1

            TBH there is no evidence than pure speculation about either vettel’s veto of Kimi/Alonso getting the RBR seat or Alonso preffering Massa over Kimi…

          • @puneethvb it’s slightly innevitbale that all want the best seat first, a teammate that will do what he wants also. But I agree, there’s no reason to suggest any of them cared so much as to veto a decision.

    • @vettel1

      I do agree with you but I also agree with Massa to an extent. Let’s examine his claim shall we. Let me start out by saying that I’m of course a huge Schumacher fan and in my opinion (and in Murray Walker’s famous words, it only has to be an opinion) Schumacher is the greatest ever driver both in terms of racecraft, is remarkable ability to relentlessly push ill-handling cars and take them to places they had no right to be, be it wet or dry. But let’s keep that aside for a second.

      The problem for Schumacher was that his true peak, in terms of performance, was between 1996-1999 and unfortunately a lot shorter than Senna’s, who could be argued was the best of his generation between 1986-1994. Alonso likewise also has an edge in this department. I would say that between 2006 to 2013, he has been the best driver on the grid and I realize a good chunk of people will disagree with me. Secondly and again a lot of Schumi fans will disagree with me, but he just wasn’t the same driver after Silverstone ’99. He certainly lost something, I can’t define it for you but the Schumacher of the old wasn’t there. He was beatable in a similarly performing car from then on. Alonso’s personal peak may yet not have arrived! Who knows? Also remember that the first half of ’06 was the only time Alonso truly has driven the fastest car of the field, a luxury Schumacher had a lot in some of his dominant years!

      When Massa was driving in 06, Schumi was certianly not the same driver in 1998 say. (Although Schumacher’s second half fightback in 06 was very inspired and did remind me of his title charge in 98). The Alonso, Massa has had to contend with for the past four years is a completely different beast to Schu’s 06. So I can see why Massa would say what he said:

      Also let’s do a point by point:
      1. Lap-by-lap consistency: Schumacher (but Alonso a very close second!)
      2. Qualifying (Alonso=Schumi)
      3. Wet-weather: Schumi (Alonso is good but not on the same level!)
      4. Race-craft/spatial awareness (Alonso = Schumi)
      5. Overtaking (Alonso, Schumi a close second)
      6. Starts (Alonso, Schumi was particulartly poor in this department especially in the 90’s)

      Now I’ll let you decide. Phew! that was long :)

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 15th September 2013, 2:30

        2. Qualifying (Alonso=Schumi)

        Schum is the all time greatest in that. Have you seen where Alonso is in poles?

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 15th September 2013, 2:37

          He had 68 poles to his 91 wins. Schumacher was no slouch over one hot lap, but I don’t consider him the all time greatest qualifier. I thought Hakkinen in his prime was better, let alone all the drivers before or since Schumacher’s prime that are fantastic qualifiers (Clarke, Senna, Hamilton and Vettel to name a few).

        • @omarr-pepper

          “Schum is the all time greatest in that”.

          I would phrase that in a different way. Schumacher has the highest number of poles, but as @colossal-squid said, there have been better qualifiers than him, although I’m not sure if Alonso and Schumacher ever cared about poles that much. It was easier to overtake in the mid and late nineties. In the early 2000’s overtaking did become a problem, but Ross then adopted the overtake-in-the-pits mentality, which frankly I disliked a bit. Even in 2005/06 I mostly recall Alonso starting in the pack and then more often then not fighting for a podium position or a win (Although races like Hungary 05 were a notable exception).

          Also the claim that Hakkinen was a better qualifier than Schumi is dubious in IMO. Mclaren had by far the most dominant qualifying (and race) car in 1998. They had poles in the first 13 races that season, although I do recall Fisichella taking pole in one event. Similarly in 2000 when Michael had the relatively more dominant car he had more poles.

        • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 15th September 2013, 11:13

          @omarr-pepper
          Have you ever heard of someone called Ayrton Senna ?

          • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 15th September 2013, 15:31

            @tifoso1989 yes, it happens we are talking “Alonso vs Schum” and it happens Schum has the all-time record. So yes, Schum is the one with most poles in F1 history, or to agree with you, Senna did almost the same in less, less time, but let’s stop there, because there are 2 current drivers which the same number of victories, but that would start an endless argument with you, and it’s Sunday, I just want to be in good mood.

      • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 15th September 2013, 9:24

        @sankalp88 excellent argument . Well written stuff. But sadly I believe Alonso’s peak was last year . Surely 2012 was the best . I sincerely hope becomes better next year . This year has been touch and go . Again the car never has really been there or thereabouts.

        But definitely I prefer Alonso as he has better ethical racing sense and spatial awareness compared to Schumacher. If only Alonso can qualify a llittle better ……
        I was a big fan then but after seeing 94′ (in videos )and the monaco incident , I lost admiration for Schumacher . Sadly wasn’t around to see Schumacher vs Senna . I think it was a lot similar to Schumacher vs Alonso in 2006 with the roles reversed .

      • @sankalp88 I’ll spring off that and do what I feel is an all-time ranking in each of those categories:

        1. – Lap-by-lap consistency – Schumacher: utterly relentless. Rarely made mistakes.

        2. – Qualifying – Senna: he outqualified Alain Prost by seconds at times.

        3. – Wet weather – very close between Schumacher and Senna, but I think the latter edges it.

        4. – Race Craft – that’s a tricky one. I wouldn’t say Schumacher, maybe Prost? Clark also had very good racecraft.

        5. – Overtaking – again, tricky. Alonso may have a point of call here.

        6. – Starts – I think this is highly subjective, as of course starts are very dependant on cars. So I’m not going to call that one.

        • Alonso consistency is rarely matched. Schumacher at his peak could, but he made more unforced errors than alonso (pat symonds words in F1 mag 3 years ago)

          To look at fernandos consistency watch the 2008 japanese grand prix. The car was not a Ferrari, mclaren or BWM on pace but he won that race by been the most consistent driver out there. Usually forgotten but for me one of his best ever races.

          Schumacher at hungary 1998 was also outstanding, lucked in a little with mikas retirement but his pace to make the strategy work was mind blowing.

          • Alonso consistency is rarely matched. Schumacher at his peak could, but he made more unforced errors than alonso (pat symonds words in F1 mag 3 years ago)

            Cars are so much easier to drive today. Through the 90’s Schumacher’s cars were a handful. You just have to compare onboard clips from then to now.

            Alonso came into F1 during the traction control era, then transitioned to cars with the same characteristics as now.

          • 08 wasnt traction control. and if its so easy why arent others doing it???

            They arent, and michael couldnt in the new cars either. So stop talking BS

          • 08 wasnt traction control. and if its so easy why arent others doing it???

            Others doing what? Make mistakes. The top drivers make few mistakes. Even on bad tyres the don’t struggle to keep it on the track.

            Schumacher coming back at 40 after three years on the sidelines getting rusty hardly disgraced himself against hungry drivers physically at their peak and racing for their careers is hardly relevant to anything.

            By last year he was effectively on Rosberg’s pace. He got a pole at Monaco which is the one track where a driver can make up for a car disadvantage with ability.

          • q85 that’s because Michael was over 40 years old by the time he was driving the new cars. I have no doubts that his earlier 90’s ones were much more of a handful that the current generation.

    • I think the explanation is in the “currently” @vettel1. When Schumi and Massa were teammates Alonso was the better driver (2005-2006 he was) compared to Schumi. And currently he is better than Massa is when they are partnered, as well as probably being better than the 2007/2008 Hamilton (who beat Massa), and off course Alonso 2009-2012 has been better than 2010-2012 Schumi as well.
      Massa is talking about his own experience, not about what Schumacher achieved before that (its hard to compare when he was not there)

      • @bascb that’s very logical; of course we’re comparing a driver who had been at the top of his game and was starting to drop-off in Schumacher to a young (and pretty promising) Massa, with much talent.

        Whereas 2012 was Alonso’s best season to date I will say pretty affirmatively, and one of Massa’s worst (post crash he just hasn’t been the same driver). So the perspective is definitely skewed somewhat.

    • At times he lacked morality

      Well, well, well, then Massa can be onto something, in the end…. In these particular terms, Schumi and Alonso as two heavyweights contenders, me thinks….

  3. ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 15th September 2013, 0:31

    Curious! What is it though that makes Alonso a more complete driver than Schumacher?

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 15th September 2013, 1:17

      @scuderiavincero The ability to single-handedly crush a teammate’s morale? ;)

    • aka_robym said on 15th September 2013, 1:24

      The advice of Ferrari’s PR department? ;-)

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th September 2013, 2:21

      At the height of Schumacher’s powers, Ferrari had the luxury of unlimited testing. They could run every permutation and combination of set-up changes, which allowed them to understand the car on the most fundamental level imagineable. So even when the car had its shortcomings, Ferrari and Schumacher could easily get the most out of it and adapt their approach to make up the difference.

      Now that we have restricted testing, the teams and drivers have to get everything right every single time – and when something goes wrong, it can really hurt. The driver really has to push to make any impact, and Alonso can do that. His drive at Monza is proof of as much. And he’s been forced to do it consistently, since Ferrari haven’t had a decent car for years. They fall further and further behind over the course of the season, but Alonso has consistently been at the front.

      So, in a way, I think Massa is right. Schumacher had a very deep understanding of the car, but his overall skill set was quite narrow in its focus. Alonso, on the other hand, has a whole range of talents that Schumacher never had (or, if he did, he never had to employ).

      • At the height of Schumacher’s powers, Ferrari McLaren, Williams, Toyota, BAR, Renault had the luxury of unlimited testing. They could run every permutation and combination of set-up changes, which allowed them to understand the car on the most fundamental level imagineable. So even when the car had its shortcomings, Ferrari McLaren, Williams, Toyota, BAR, Renault and Schumacher and their drivers could easily get the most out of it and adapt their approach to make up the difference.

        • cos they all had tracks in their garden didnt they?

          • That’s why most of the teams were/are based near Silverstone.

          • Ferrari is the only team that has their own track, and in MS’s day Bridgestone had a headquarters there too. Just because most of the teams were/are based near Silverstone did not mean that they could go there whenever they liked to test, in case you are under that mistaken impression. But Ferrari could use their own track any time, and did.

  4. Funny how you all think Alonso is not great
    He beat Schumacher and Kimi
    And Hamilton
    If Adrian was not designing the RedBull
    Alonso would have won the WDC in 2010, 2012
    And 2007 if McLaren had been fair to him
    And Alonso would be the only back to back 3 x champion in two different race teams He only missed out by 3 points
    And Massa has admitted on TV to Martin that he was stronger then Kimi and Schumacher
    Ha ha ha
    Bring on 2014 can’t wait

    • I Love the Pope said on 15th September 2013, 10:36

      Vettel – 4 championships
      Alonso – 2 championships
      Schumacher – 7 championships

      • So you see into the future
        If Alonso wins 2013, your Kurt remark will be useless
        Vettle has 2 titles down to luck and team orders
        2011 had the best car and drove it well so is an honest champion for 2011
        2010 should have been webers
        And Alonso should have won 2012 but for rotten luck
        Like I said
        Can’t wait for brazil this yr and 2014

        • celeste (@celeste) said on 15th September 2013, 15:32

          Oh come on!!!!

          Vettel has his title due team orders?!

          If any of the three Vettel is the one whose team mate has denied himself to do team orders, unlike Massa and Barrichello.

        • In 2012, you say Alonso had some rotten luck – what about Vettel then in Valencia and Italy?
          Vettel won titles due to luck and team orders? All champions need a bit of luck, that’s normal, but there weren’t many team orders that I remember. It’s a bit rich coming from an Alonso fan, e.g. Germany 2010, US 2012.
          McLaren gave fair treatment to both Alonso and Hamilton in 2007, it’s just Hamilton was better.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th September 2013, 20:39

          Vettel has 2 titles down to luck and team orders

          I think that’s a completely unjustifiable assessment. How have you reached that conclusion?

          After all in 2010 Vettel beat a driver who’d had a clear boost to his points total from team orders.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th September 2013, 23:43

          Your spelling of “Vettel” is actually the least nonsensical thing you just wrote.

    • “And 2007 if McLaren had been fair to him”

      Unfairly treated like… the team telling Hamilton to turn down his engine in Monaco and not fight so Alonso could take the win? that kind of unfair treatment you mean?

      Funny how Alonso fans like to create this image that he was unfairly treated. Alonso is known for planting (********) seeds and play the polictics. He knows by making a blanket statement that he was ‘unfairly treated’ that average joe like you would take it as meaning he got lesser opportunity than Hamilton.

      When actually all that Alonso means by ‘unfairly treated’ was that he wasnt favourd as he expected before the season started, and if anythink, according to previous engineers of Mclaren, the team was split 50/50 after the hungary inncodent.

    • Alonso beat Hamilton? A rookie who infuriated him due to his ability to beat him on merit? Nah!

  5. aka_robyn said on 15th September 2013, 1:29

    The advice of Ferrari’s PR department? ;-)

  6. Joey Chatwould said on 15th September 2013, 1:32

    You’ve just to love Felipe, playful and cheerful doormat/backmarker that he is. I like how he said, “I think maybe Alonso is even more perfect.” So, apparently there are degrees of perfection according to Felipe. Not to mention his delusional appraisal of King Fernando’s abilities.

    Is there something more going on between these two guys than meets the eye? They seem to be very uniquely devoted to each other in a way that transcends mere comradery and friendship.

  7. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 15th September 2013, 1:53

    I think Alonso and Schumacher are both very, very complete drivers, but in different ways. Schumacher went to Ferrari and used him being the best driver in the world to attract the best people and organise the team around him. Alonso does that too, thought not to the same degree. His strength is his relentlessness, and his ability to drive at 110% consistently without making mistakes. His overall intensity is greater than Schumacher’s, even if he’s not as single-minded.

    Of course, both will go down as true greats of the sport and rightly so. As for who is “better” or “more complete”, it’s probably subjective, though you can’t exactly argue with Michael’s results…

  8. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 15th September 2013, 1:55

    “Alonso is more perfect”? Sure lets look at the stats. hmmm 91 victories vs 32? 7 World Championships vs 2? Yeah, good one Massa… just exit the sport already.

    • Traverse (@) said on 15th September 2013, 2:01

      just exit the sport already

      He can’t, he’s too busy kissing Alonso’s…feet.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th September 2013, 2:24

      @mpmark – Don’t forget that Ayrton Senna only had three World Championships, but is still considered the best driver. Michael Schumacher is second or third (he tends to swap places with Juan Manuel Fangio), despite having seven titles.

    • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 15th September 2013, 6:29

      @mpmark Not a Schumi hater (far from it), but “there are lies, damned lies, and statistics”

    • If F1 was a sport were every driver had the exact same equiptment/information/personel, et al. then F1 stats would actually hold a little bit of meaning, as it stands though, and incase you didnt notice, equiptment far over shadows driver talent and cant even be taken with a pinch of salt.

      F1 stats are the most useless of all sporting stats, they are in no way an indication of driver ability in any shape or form.

      They are that useless that its not even worth comparing 2 drivers of the same team, because they oftern dont even have the exact same car and/or setup

      • If F1 was a sport were every driver had the exact same equiptment/information/personel, et al. then F1 stats would actually hold a little bit of meaning

        I’m drawing a blank trying to think of all those sports where the contestants have the exact same personnel. I’m nearly certain that Man United don’t have the exact same personnel as Man City, for instance.

        • Rockie said on 17th September 2013, 8:04

          LOL isnt it funny when people make these silly comments what are you in a sport for, if not to leave your name in the record books
          Emotional ratings are what they are try explaining to a kid in 10yrs that Alonso is better than Vettel.
          Afterall Alonso was a 2x WDC before Vettel won his first race and now Vettel has 3 WDC’s and Alonso none in same period.

  9. iAltair (@ialtair) said on 15th September 2013, 2:28

    Wait what?

    Massa, you’re drunk.

  10. Paul2013 said on 15th September 2013, 3:08

    Alonso was better than Schumacher twice, he won two drivers championships against him. Nothing new.

    • Albert said on 15th September 2013, 3:17

      So Vettel is clearly better than F.A., since he won THREE (soon to be four, by the looks of it) WDC against him, right?

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 15th September 2013, 6:25

      By that logic both Hamilton (one championship to none) and Vettel (three championships against none) are better drivers than Alonso. And in fact Schumacher won three championships against Alonso, so he’s better also.

      Your logic also generates some interesting paradoxes, since Alonso is better than Räikkönen (two championships to none), Hamilton is better than Alonso (see above) yet Räikkönen and Hamilton are as talented (both have one championship against each other).

      • I Love the Pope said on 15th September 2013, 10:37

        Yes and yes.

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 15th September 2013, 13:21

        As much as many of us like to believe that Alonso is the most complete driver, the reality is that at the moment that driver is Vettel.
        Unfortunately, speculation and wishful thinking isn’t going to provide us with an answer instead the only “true” measure of driver performance is statistics.

    • 2005 Ferrari were nowhere. 2006? Both Alonso or Michael drove well enough to deserve that title.

  11. Paul2013 said on 15th September 2013, 3:17

    It is amazing to read all these comments trying to justify that Schumacher lost two times the WDC against Alonso -driving the best Ferrari car ever-. Schumacher is just like Vettel, they win only driving a superior car, and Schumacher not always -he lost twice-.

    • Albert said on 15th September 2013, 3:19

      Ferrari 2005 was far from being best car on the paddock. In 2006 they were close. Let’s not make up stuff, please.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 15th September 2013, 3:25

      Are you seriously stating that the F2005 was one of the best Ferrari’s ever? You sound like you have only heard about the 2005-06 seasons or know the results, and not the story of those seasons. It wasn’t as clear cut as Schumacher losing in supposedly superior machinery. I can tell you for a fact that the F2005 was a dog, and the 248 didn’t really get going until mid season.

      This takes nothing away from Alonso’s well deserved championships, and in a head to head in 2006 he came out on top fair and square. But the substance of your comment is laughable.

      • Paul2013 said on 15th September 2013, 4:26

        In 2006 massa won two races, he was second a couple of times as well etc. not a superior car? Yeah… Tell me more. Regarding f2005 you are right but it was due to the poor performance of Bridgestone.

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 15th September 2013, 14:08

          Very well then here’s more: You appear to be suggesting that for Felipe Massa to win in the Ferrari, he would have to have a superior car, as he’s so terrible, right? Well back in 2006 Massa was a rising star, and highly regarded. It’s no surprise that Massa did so well, he’d been in the sport since 2002. Back then Felipe Massa was a completely different driver to the Massa of today. His winning two races does not prove your point.

          Also the 2006 season was a season where there were only two top class teams: Ferrari and Renault. The rest of the field couldn’t compete on their level. Schumacher had a dominant car in 2006, but so did Alonso. Just because Schumacher lost that year doesn’t prove that he could only win in a dominant car – heard of his wins in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000? – just that only he lost by a narrow margin.

        • So in 2006 Massa wins two races and Fisichella one, thereby proving that the Ferrari was a better car than the Renault that year?

          In 2011 Button wins two races and Webber one, thereby proving that the McLaren was a better car than the Red Bull that year.

          • Rockie said on 17th September 2013, 8:09

            LOL when people put forward this arguments they dont think further than what they are typing I tell you!

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 16th September 2013, 0:06

      Schumacher is just like Vettel, they win only driving a superior car

      What a load of over-repeated rubbish. You’re only judging cars to be superior, if Vettel or Schumacher (or other drivers who have this nonsense used against them, like Buton, or Hill) just happen to win with them. That is a totally different standard to the one you’d set for someone like Alonso, which is why such statements fall apart every single time.

  12. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 15th September 2013, 3:39

    I would trust the qualifications of Massa more than my own as to who may or may not be a better driver. But, all these comparisons, even from drivers themselves, are still so subjective. Especially the comparisons of drivers in different eras, but still difficult in eras that overlap. My opinion is that Clark was best, but it is still only an opinion. Stats can tell a lot about driver comparisons, but they don’t tell everything. Not to mention changing point systems, variables in competition, regs, tracks, technology and every other variable. Trying to convert diehard fans of one driver with statistics, anecdotal evidence or feelings is akin to arguing politics or religion. So, Massa says he thinks Alonso is better than Schumacher, we will probably never know his subjective reasoning for believing or saying that. There is no foolproof way to prove which one is/was better. Does it really matter? They both are better than almost all other drivers who have ever raced in F1, in their own era or any era. Beyond that, the devil is in the details…

  13. In my time watching F1, Alonso must be the most over-hyped driver of the lot.

    Don’t get me wrong, he’s probably the third best driver on the grid after Vettel and Hamilton, but he’s not even the best driver of his era let alone one of the one of the best of all time.

    He could easily have two championships. If Kimi had a little luck and reliability in 2005 he easily beats Alonso. 2006 Alonso doesn’t win the championship if Renault didn’t use the illegal mass damper for the first half of the season. 2007 he gets beaten by his rookie teammate.

    Basically his claim to fame is beating a an increasingly demoralised teammate who came back from a life-threatening brain injury.

    • *Could easily have zero championships

    • marsianwalrus (@einariliyev) said on 15th September 2013, 11:26

      agree absolutely. besides, Schumi was on course to win 2006 before that Ferrari engine blew up in Suzuka and I threw my tart at the TV.

    • And Hamilton could have 0 world championships if Massa’s engine hadn’t failed in Hungary.

      And Raikkonen could have 0 world championships if McLaren didn’t implode during 2007.

      And Vettel could have 1 world championship if Ferrari got their strategy right in Abu Dhabi and if Grosjean had some spatial awareness.

      You see, it’s very easy to twist things in order for them to suit your agenda. I’m pretty sure Alonso’s claim to fame is his two world championships and not beating Massa. But hey if that’s what you want to remember him for then that’s up to you.

      • @davef1
        +1, It’s funny how people use ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ to support their own argument while completely ignoring the fact that ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ can support the opposite argument as well..

      • And Hamilton could have 0 world championships if Massa’s engine hadn’t failed in Hungary.

        I agree. Hamilton is flawed, but he did beat Alonso in 07 and he was nearly two races clear of Kimi in the championship with two races remaining. A more experienced Hamilton would have sealed the championship. Getting beached going into the pits was almost inexplicable.

        And Raikkonen could have 0 world championships if McLaren didn’t implode during 2007.

        I agree. Why I have never rated Kimi higher than a Jean Alesi for instance.

        And Vettel could have 1 world championship if Ferrari got their strategy right in Abu Dhabi and if Grosjean had some spatial awareness.

        Vettel in a Ferrari would have won 2010 and 2012 if we are to assume he gets the same reliability and same “luck” as Alonso.

        2010 Vettel twice goes out of the race with car trouble while comfortably leading. Vettel was driver of the year. Alonso and Webber were vastly more experienced than Vettel yet Vettel is the one that did crack under the pressure. Ferrari was good enough. Alonso wasn’t.

        2012, Alonso had incredible reliability, a strong car from Barcelona. Once again, when all the pressure was on in the last third of the championship Vettel was flawless while Alonso buckled. I mean the last two races of the year he couldn’t outqualify Massa. In the final race he could only manage to finish one second ahead of Massa. Vettel went from last to 6th in tricky conditions with a compromised car. Vettel was the better driver.

  14. Keep in mind that Massa has actually worked closely with the two of them and is now in a position where he doesn’t have to play nice either with the team and/or Alonso.

    Forgive me if I’m more inclined to trust his opinion than the rest of you guys here.

    That said, it is still one man’s opinion, and definitely an interesting one at that.
    I don’t think Alonso, or anyone else for that matter, will ever amaze me as much as Schumacher did during a rainy afternoon in 1996 at Catalunya.

  15. Klaas (@klaas) said on 15th September 2013, 6:57

    Well, if Felipe says so… he must know better.

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