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.


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)

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.”


Comment of the day

Craig Scarborough of 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.

From the forum

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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:

Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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

  1. macrob said on 15th September 2013, 7:03

    With all due respect, Felipe Massa has more credibility in his statements than any of us in here, after all he is a F1 driver and he was SCH/RAI/ALO team-mate and none of us are/were… he must have a strong reason why he claims Alonso is the most complete but failed to mention it (or the report didnt catch it…).

    • Feuerdrache (@xenomorph91) said on 15th September 2013, 9:23

      He would have credibility if he wasn’t trying to find a seat for next season and has a certain hidden thought as Hotbottoms said.

      We cannot tell whether he said what he actually thinks or whether it was to increase his chances to find a seat. I personally think it’s the latter.

      • @xenomorph91

        Well what will happen if he says this when he has find a seat or when he retired ?

        • It’s kind of strange that Massa would go out of his way to say this, given Schumacher was a mentor of sorts for Massa.

        • Feuerdrache (@xenomorph91) said on 15th September 2013, 11:16

          We will see if he even says that once he’s retired. I personally doubt it. :P Then it’s under other circumstances, although you still have to consider that F1 drivers have big egos and their opinions have to be controlled very critical as they tend to try to make them look better than actually are.

          So it’s probably not the best idea to consider F1 driver’s opinions in my eyes..

      • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 15th September 2013, 15:29

        You are not seriously suggesting that experienced team principals who have been actually IN the sport will regard Massa higher only because of such statements, are you?

        My feeling is that his declaration is genuine, but probably, as a previous poster said, reflects who he performed in relation to them. With Schumacher he was a rising star, growing each race, while Alonso found him after a severe accident and after a lost title. I don’t think that Schumi-era Massa is the same as the one which competed against Alonso, both in terms of skill and motivation.

    • davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 15th September 2013, 12:43

      In principle Massa is the best person to judge the respective qualities of Schumacher and Alonso. However, there is also a bias element that needs to be factored in given his current position. How much is bias and how much is truth i guess we’ll never know….

  2. geekracer2000 (@geekracer2000) said on 15th September 2013, 8:08

    Shouldn’t more complete driver be able to take at least second or third if not pole position once in while? But hey what do we f1 fans know.

    • Massa’s looking for a drive next year. What else is he going to say? Blame himself for his decline or blame having the greatest driver ever as teammate?

      By the way, Massa in as bad form he’s in has beaten Alonso four times in qualifying this season. Massa (back when he was quick) beat Schumacher four times in qualifying for the whole of 2006.

  3. Hey guys! Didi you read or hear the interview. It’s completely clear that Massa draws this conclusion because Alonso was harder to catch than Schumi. So, his opinion was just subjective in its logic. If anyone remembers, Massa was somewhat close to MS in pure speed (not race pace), lost first season to Raikkonen, beat him profoundly and had lost a Champion having 2 wins above Hamilton next year (due to 2 or 3 stupid Ferrari pit stop errors). When Alonso arrived in Ferrari, Massa was almost equal until his accident. After this happened, Massa was never the same except 1 or 2 races until today. So, Alonso and Schumi cannot be compared to Massa’s speed because the last altered very much. He just doesn’t want to accept it, as he wants to find a new seat in F1. I hope the best for him but in this comparison, he is the one who lowered the criteria.

    • Schumacher beat Massa 14-4 in qualifying in 06.

      Massa won in Turkey, but it was probably his best circuit winning three straight years I think it was. Other win was Brazil. If Schumacher didn’t get the first lap puncture he would have comfortably won considering he came from last to finish 4th.

      • For sure MS was faster than Massa but in pure speed not by so much. Differences in Quals were minors. Race pace and overtaking are other matters favouring MS tremendously. We all know that Massa before the accident was a very fast driver. Otherwise, he couldn’t have done the season in which he lost the title having 2 wins more than LH and 2 or 3 pit stop accidents. Moreover he beat hard Kimi back then.

        • For sure MS was faster than Massa but in pure speed not by so much. Differences in Quals were minors. Race pace and overtaking are other matters favouring MS tremendously.

          I have no idea where you pulled that one from. Schumacher comprehensively beat Massa in qualifying by large margins. At times over a second quicker.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 15th September 2013, 11:21

      When Alonso arrived in Ferrari, Massa was almost equal until his accident.

      Massa has had his accident back in 2009, Alonso has joined Ferrari in 2010

      • You are right. So, even more, the best Massa hasn’t competed Alonso for anyone to have a clue about permormance comparison.

  4. andae23 (@andae23) said on 15th September 2013, 10:10

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

    It’s very difficult to determine exactly what Massa means with the words “complete” and “perfect”. Every single person has his own definition of ‘perfect’ and ‘complete’, so as long as we can’t take a look inside Massa’s brain, we just don’t know why he thinks the way he thinks about Schumacher and Alonso.

    Just look at the ‘who is the greatest driver?’ discussion: some people would say Schumacher, others Senna, Prost, perhaps Clark, Moss or Fangio. We all have our own definition of ‘great': for instance in my opinion, a ‘great’ driver is the one driver who is respected by his competitors the most, but that doesn’t mean others should judge the same way.

  5. Even though they are very different mechanically and aerodynamically, the R25 and R26 don’t actually appear to be that different on the surface do they.

  6. Well, the truth hurts and the comments confirm that.

  7. our nige (@our-nige) said on 15th September 2013, 10:51

    Its interesting to see the Renault championship winning cars Alonso has! He was given them by Renault as a gift for winning the championship but he then moved off to Mclaren and Flav was none too happy and delayed giving him them. I worked for a Renault garage at the time and had booked the F1 show car for a motorsport evening, basically a shell with no engine etc but OK for an untrained eye but it had been double booked and we ended up getting the current Alonso winning car, complete with engine and added security! We were not allowed to get near it, touch it or breathe on it! That is, until they both went off for tea for 5 mins before the event – cue the smaller staff members jumping in and getting pictures of themselves in the cockpit! The steering wheel was taken off and we could not believe how light it was – its about the weight of a pencil! Must try and find those pictures!

  8. ….and Vettel more complete than Alonso.

  9. pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 15th September 2013, 11:10

    Driver comparisions are difficult at the best of time but in this instance their is so many variables that it holds no weight at all.

    Differences in age, motivation, driver relationship, length of time faced, freshness in mind and of course was the felipe Massa that faced Schumacher/Raikkonen the same man that faced Alonso means we’re comparing apples with banana’s

    To be clear im not attacking massa here, he clearly answered a question/made comment without considering the context and perhaps he’s even correct with his opinion but the basis on which he has come to that opinion is flawed.

  10. karter22 (@karter22) said on 15th September 2013, 11:43

    “haters gonna hate!”

    I find it quite amusing that some think that we see ALO as a demigod. Far from it. I personally think he is the best living driver on the Grid. If he would have been allowed to win and have drivers move out of the way as some have in previous races to other WDC, he would be a 5 time WDC! Just being 2 time sub wdc in bad cars is a testament to his greatness! Ok, the F10 wan´t all that bad, and is probably the only good Ferrari he has driven but still it is something that all should take into considration. It speaks volumes about his consistency. Sure, he is not the greatest in one lap, but who cares? I don´t measure greatness on Saturdays when points arren´t given out… I measure it on sundays when it means the world to the drivers!
    Being good in a bad car is difficult… being great in an awesome car is easy.
    I was a SCHUMI fan for a long time but, now, I understand the difference in having a great car undrneath you. Nobody else has had a car winning a minute ahead of the rest. Schumi´s domination came to and end after heavy changes in the regs… lets hope this happens aswell in 2014. Anybody see any similarities between both german drivers? and who knocked off the “best” from his pedestal? I can just hope that history reapets itself one more time!

    • I feel I have to remind you guys that Senna, Schumacher and Hakkinen sometimes were close to lapping their own team-mates. From time to time they actually did.
      There are still personell in the McLaren-organisation that are comvinced Mika Hakkinen is the fastest driver McLaren has ever had.
      Just to remind you guys how great those guys were compared to the rest of the field.

    • Nobody else has had a car winning a minute ahead of the rest.

      Plenty of drivers have had that. Genuinely dominant cars (not faux “dominant” cars like the recent RB’s) used to be common in F1. Detroit, 1988 – Senna and Prost lap the entire field.

    • @karter22

      If he would have been allowed to win and have drivers move out of the way as some have in previous races to other WDC

      I cannot agree with you here. Alonso has had easily the least resistant teammates of any of the other WDC and a team more than happy to depose of them for his benefit (crashgate and Massa’s gearbox ring a bell?).

      He clearly can’t be that great either if he needs his teammates to move out of the way to win titles. That’s a luxury Vettel has rarely been afforded, yet he’s won three (on his way to a fourth).

      • karter22 (@karter22) said on 18th September 2013, 3:21

        Oh Max, I wasn´t reffering to his team mates getting out of his way. I was reffering to instances sort of like what we have seen in Brazil 2012 (Schumi letting SV by) or the abu dahbi when a certain STR went off track to ensure safe passage to a certain someone. Or if we go back some more…. (I know I´ll get burnt for this but so be it) A certain toyota staying out on slicks and inevitably, pulling over and letting some guys past…
        I know Alonso has had help within his team, I do not dispute that, after all, he had the clearest shot at the WDC between both of the team drivers in 2010 and 2012. And before you bring up Hockenheim 2010, what good would one race have been for Massa, assuming he would have won Hockenheim? He still had a poor season after that! My comment was solely aimed at help from other drivers! Not within the team! It seems other WDC have had “indirect” help from others! And to be honest, and I think I said this in its moment, I totally lost all respect for Schumacher when he let SV past in Brazil, there was no need for that.
        What I meant basically is for example…. what if Petrov in his day would have just moved over in 2010? Stuff like that is what I meant.

        Oh and the gearbox issue was a totally tactical move! Any team would have done the same thing if they would have been fighting for the WDC. I hope I cleared up what I meant to say Max.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th September 2013, 7:10

          (I know I´ll get burnt for this

          – yes, and rightfully so @karter22.

          A discussion is based on people using facts, or at least well informed opinions. Not nonsense.

          Sure, Schumi made it a tad easier for Vettel by going out of the way. On the other hand, he made sure not to lose much time himself by not having to defend, and there was nothing to win (he was never going to be able to keep Vettel behind, car wise. And DRS wise). As for the toyota – just no.

          Shall we compare that to Ferrari ordering a Sauber to let Schumi by but impede his rival. Or a team boss asking his 2nd driver to crash? I don’t think so.

          Massa and his season after Hockenheim 2010 – the argument presented is exactly that. Up to that race Massa had been pretty close to Alonso, and maybe if he had not had to give up that one, he would not have dwindled like he did.

          • karter22 (@karter22) said on 18th September 2013, 11:16


            A discussion is based on people using facts, or at least well informed opinions.

            Well, that´s the things about opinions, what you might think is nonsense, some actually believe it with a passion. Personally, I really believe Glock stayed out on Slicks for a reason, but that is just my opinion. Schumi in Brazil, sure he might not have had anything to gain but I mean, you are a professional racing driver, show some back bone for crying out loud!! Don´t just bend over for the kid!
            About Crashgate, well, I cannot say anything about it… Briatore was and always will be a shady character.
            Oh and the other case could you please refresh my memory, what year was that ?? I don´t recall that Sauber episode. But then again, what are we critizicing here? Teams or help from other teams to other WDC? I don´t remember that sauber episode but if that was the case, I find it despicable… I consider team orders to be ok but, intra-team orders, I detest!
            That is my whole arguement! It is ok to have help from your team mate when your team orders it but it enrages me when other teams help a certain team to get a certain outcome! That really ticks me off and is basically all I´m saying.

          • THat is why i mentioned well informed opinions @karter22.

            I too am convinced Glock stayed out on slicks for a reason: because he/his team thought it worth the gamble on the rain not worsening to get a few points more.

            The problem with trying to hang on to nonsense as your opionion is, when you start mentioning those things as if there is any truth in it. Because I see no way that you could even argue a good case for Glock (or big spending Toyota) to want to do anything like helping Hamilton win that championship.

            The Sauber thing was despicable (there were rumours at the time, the driver later confirmed it and off course running both a Ferrari engine and having a Chassis based on the Ferrari gave the motive). The same for Singapore 2008.
            Now I can imagine both STR drivers being less than tough when being passed by a RBR car (just look how good ALG faired when he held up Vettel in a training session), and Schumacher not wanting to fight a position he is going to lose anyway when he is in his last ever F1 race and its his “pupil” doing to overtaking, but really Glock?

            That has been nicely shown to be nonsense so many times its not “having an opinion” but just ignoring reality when you believe that one.

          • @karter22
            “I really believe Glock stayed out on Slicks for a reason”. It was to try to gain some positions, and after gaining a position by passing Kovalainen, it actually paid off. Here are the lap times from the last lap: Glock – 1.44.731, Trulli – 1.44.800, so why continue with the conspiracy theory? Glock was behind Hamilton when he pitted, so it would’ve worked out for Hamilton either way. Do you really believe Toyota would’ve helped Hamilton out? You must be seriously deluded to think anything like that.

  11. Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 15th September 2013, 11:47

    “Do I think Alonso is a more complete driver than Schumacher? That’s laughable. Sure, I’ve been badly beaten by Alonso every year we’ve been team mates, but let’s be honest – after losing my confidence in 2010 your granny has probably driven better than me. Oh, that reminds me – Ferrari just kicked me out of the team, so I’m looking for an available seat in Formula 1! Team owners, contact me if you have one!”

    I mean, is someone actually expecting Massa to give this kind of an interview? His statement here means nothing in my opinion.

  12. First of all, ALO actually did at very young age beat SCH to the title not once but twice, and he did so in a non-dominant package. I think the statements of MAS should be put in that contest. It is not like comparing ALO to someone from a different era, that he has not actually raced with.

    Reading some of the posts below, it is amusing how some people will go to great lengths in order to continue believe what they like to believe, even when most evidence both events and statements points in the opposite direction. Even when the one and only person, that has the first hand information about the subject, tells very frankly his conclusion having first hand tried both sides, they will try to “explain it”, contest it, tell everyone how it still is consistent with their perception (that he is wrong) and does not change the reality (i e how they choose to see/believe things).

    Obviously, to me what MAS is saying today is no news really. I cannot compare to drivers pre 1994 as that is when I started watching F1, but ALO is the best that I have seen racing. It can be verified from the actual racing action from the last ten or so years IMO. ALOs current race engineer who also was the race engineer for SCH has also made statements pointing in the same direction. The fact that MAS, without any kind of outside pressure as he is free of contract now, gives the same picture, says all that needs to be said.

    Last but not least, ALO never tried to win a championship by driving his nearest rival into the wall (Hill) or try crashing into him to take him out (Villeneuve). Neither did he park his car in a corner at Monaco during qualy claiming he had a failure, in order to stop others from beating him to pole (ALO). Those aspects, in my view, are also part of being “more complete”.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th September 2013, 20:47

      Alonso never tried to win a championship by driving his nearest rival into the wall (Hill) or try crashing into him to take him out (Villeneuve)

      By which I assume you mean Schumacher tried to win championships by causing collisions with those drivers?

    • Albert said on 16th September 2013, 3:35

      “Last but not least, ALO never tried to win a championship by driving his nearest rival into the wall (Hill) or try crashing into him to take him out (Villeneuve). Neither did he park his car in a corner at Monaco during qualy claiming he had a failure, in order to stop others from beating him to pole (ALO). ”

      Nah, he just let his teammate crash on a wall so he could win.

    • First of all, ALO actually did at very young age beat SCH to the title not once but twice, and he did so in a non-dominant package.

      What is the definition of a “non-dominant package”? The 2006 Renault won 8 of 18 races (44%) and collected 63.6% of all possible points. The 2012 Red Bull won 7 of 20 races (35%) and collected just 53.5% of all possible points. Yet I’m frequently told that the former was a “non-dominant car” and the latter was a “dominant car”.

      Call me a cynic, but I’m starting to suspect that a “non-dominant car” means “A car in which a driver I like wins the WDC” and a “dominant car” means “A car in which a driver I don’t like wins the WDC”.

      • @jonsan: +1, very well put.

      • Did not see this replay until today, hence the late response.

        “What is the definition of a “non-dominant package”?”
        I will tell you what I consider to be a dominant package in this context. Reverse that for (the trivial) answer to your question.
        A package that does consistently give its driver a significant advantage over the closest competitor/runner up in the championship. E g ability to consistently starting from grid position well ahead of main competitor, and/or consistently having better race pace and/or for majority of the time having a car faster and easier to handle than main competitor.

        If you now continue your statistical exercise and compare RELEVANT indicators for performance of the Redbull CAR vs that of the Ferrari of 2012, I think you will find it (if you like) trivial to prove package-domination. Number of wins/scored points is not as good, as those indicators factor in “driver consistency” – a top notch and consistent driver may overachieve with a bad car (gaining more wins/points than possible given car performance) while a “medium notch”/inconsisten driver may underachieve in a very good car (gaining less wins/points than possible given car performance).

        I invested 2 minutes to get one piece of such info – regarding starting position:
        VET started on row 1 in 13 out of 20 races (sorry did not care calculate percentages). Row 2 in additional 3 out of 20. So in 16 out of 20 races he started from one of the first 2 rows – and WELL AHEAD of the closest Ferrari. Race pace – A redbull set the fastest lap in 10/20 races. Ferrari 0/20…cheers

  13. Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 15th September 2013, 14:17

    I don’t think the comparison between Woods and Hunt is really any good or an indicator that times have changed. Times have changed in the respect that business and sport are more PR driven these days but both situations were different for numerous reasons, not just the period in which they happened. Woods was from the sport of golf – it’s portrayed as a gentleman’s game (literally as some women can’t get near the clubs) so a guy getting caught cheating and speculation that he was a sex addict went completely against the idea of the golfing world. He got caught out of step with his sport. There’s also been speculation among those who take an interest in racial issues in society whether he got more stick as a black man due to the historic, racist myth that black men are uncontrollable when it comes to sex.

    In other sports though, where *action* is the focus or danger then there seems to be a different idea of what makes a “real man”. It’s been pretty common for racing drivers and footballers to be linked with plenty of women while in relationships but that’s just seen as normal and something to be cheered at. The only recent examples I can think of footballers getting any grief were Terry, but that may be because he broke “the guy code” for having sex with his mate’s wife and Rooney – but the jokes and criticism he got were primarily for sleeping with a grandmother/someone rather more older than him. Ironically then, even though he was getting grief the condemnation ended up being almost entirely sexist.

    Hunt did race decades ago but I suspect even today there’s still a good chance he’d be the guy that fans would want to have a pint with. F1’s a rather different world to golfing after all. Personally though, I don’t particularly care about their sex lives which is probably why I’m not fussed about Hunt as he got more attention for what he did after the races than during. That said, I really can’t wait to see Rush…

    Not surprised at what Massa’s said about Schumi. He’s worked with both so he knows more than me. I like Alonso better than Schumi anyway.

  14. I don’t agree with you Felipe – of course you know both drivers better than I do, but perhaps you overestimate yourself. You beat Schumacher a few times in 2006, and now that is rare with Alonso, but you are not the same anymore.
    And you shouldn’t be making a compliment at the expense of someone who you owe a lot to, and in favour of someone you rivalled with even before becoming team mates, and who has never supported you if not for his own benefit.

  15. When Massa entered F1 in 2002, I was sceptical of him, he was touted as a future Ferrari driver from the outset, but he did not seem to have the ability to be a top driver, he seemed too inconsistent. My mind was changed when he started doing so well against Shumacher and even started winning. He was consistently growing as a better driver. Teamed versus Raikonnen, at first he was a match for him, he was in the title race up to nearly the end, and then gave Raikonnen the position in the last race of 2007 to help his team, in 2008 he dominated Raikonnen and was a worthy champion (more worthy then raikonnen the year before), ableit for 15 seconds. I take Massa’s oppinion of Alonso as entirely genuine. Sure, massa had serious injury, as is not the same driver anymore, but Alonso of all his teammates has outpaced him far more often then raikonnen or Schumacher – that is fact, not PR.

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