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

Happy birthday!

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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. Re: COTD. Williams also (and I suspect many others) use a “tyre condition dial”on the steering wheel; when Valtteri Bottas talked about his steering wheel it had three or four settings, the first one being “everything’s still grippy” and the last one “pitting in a lap or two”. This is definitely an easier way to communicate about tyre issues rather than asking on each lap.

  2. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 15th September 2013, 21:06

    reading the comments its almost like everyone wants massa to change his own opinion lol. Massa knows better than anyone on here, and thats what he believes

    • @scuderia29 he knows best about his own situation, absolutely. But that can majorly skew your judgement. It’s no secret that he’s been a shadow of his former self since 2009. It’s not secret that Schuamcher wasn’t at his best in 2006. So then, why ought we trust one man’s opinion over countless statistics? Everything says Schumacher was a better driver than Alonso in his heyday, and I doubt this is a case of statistics not accurately portraying the story somehow.

      Races like Barcelona 1996 were simply astonishing.

      • Brian (@bforth) said on 16th September 2013, 4:10

        @vettel1 I agree with you that Schumacher is a better driver all around, but calling on stats isn’t really the best way to stage your argument. If stats matter, than Fangio and Jim Clark – the two driver’s with the highest win ratios – are the best by a massive margin. They also boast the highest percentage of front-row starts, with only Ayrton Senna being in the same league. According to statistics Niki Lauda, James Hunt and Mario Andretti are amongst the “worst” of the champions.
        That said, I will argue Schumacher was an absolutely brilliant driver (easily top 5 of all time), and in terms of raw speed, he was better than Alonso. His early career indicated that, as does the fact that in qualifying, Lewis Hamilton took three fold the poles that Alonso did in 2007. But when it comes to race pace and the ability to overdrive the car lap after lap, I’d side with Alonso being a little bit better. Schumacher often buckled and made mistakes under pressure and his overtaking skills weren’t the best (I can link you to some old bootleg F1 races on youtube if you want proof). Schumi established the legacy he did because he had an extremely long career, most of which was spent in one of the fastest cars on the grid–even in the fastest car on the grid, i.e. his cake walk championships in 2002 and 2004. He never was in a Minardi, Toleman or some utter pig of a car. Lackluster perhaps but never hopeless.
        Numbers are fickle and misleading, my friend. You’ve got a fine blob of grey matter and fat in your skull (your brain). Use it.

        • let’s put into context:
          1. massa has been on the floor since the accident in hungary (or since ’10 in germany) yet alonso -on the level of pr and words- considers him worthy for a ferrari seat, massa is greatful for that
          2. you can’t compare the two mindsets of a ‘championship prospect and heir apparent’ and a burn out driver; everything looks taller from a lower POV
          3. i know the analogy has big flaws and it’s a bit forced but schu considered häkkinen his all-time greatest rival, not senna (i know, i know, biggest rival != better drive)

        • @bforth I readily acknowledge the limitations of statistics – hence why despite all the evidence I still hold Senna as the greatest driver ever – but in this case, they simply cannot be ignored. Schumacher’s pole to win rate for example, even if we ignore the stupid qualifying permutations. The way in which he more easily had a handle on teammates.

          Statistics aren’t even necessary to the argument though. You only need to look to the best driver polls – consistently, Michael Schumacher ranks above Fernando Alonso. Almost without fail. And often these are collated by people whom have been key figures in sporting journalism for years and years. So one man’s opinion cannot be trusted above a wealth of evidence to the contrary according to my blob of grey matter.

          • Brian (@bforth) said on 17th September 2013, 0:02

            @vettel1 Spot on! I wasn’t trying to stir up an argument, so I hope that didn’t seem condescending. I’ve seen some of your posts and you’ve truly got a fine blob. Actually, I was suggesting what you said; Schumi’s qualities should be considered more than just the stats. Of course, the stats were obviously a result of those talents, and the driver/journalist polls certainly outweigh Massa’s opinion as well. So, yeah, I’d have to be thick to agree with Massa – even though Alonso has some outstanding qualities.

  3. No confest said on 16th September 2013, 7:46

    I love it how we’re always talking about who’s the most ‘complete’ driver. What does it even mean? If compared to Schumi, Alonso is definitely not as complete, as he lacks quite a few WDCs in comparison, which I imagine would be one aspect of being a great driver.

  4. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 16th September 2013, 13:56

    It’s pretty wonderful that we have a site so full of people with so much expertise in the world of F1 that they know better than a person who has direct, first hand experience of going up against both drivers in equal machinery.

    I jest. It’s nonsense. I mean, we can all try and infer things from what he’s saying, but without some concrete evidence to back it up, I think we have to take what he’s saying at face value. And why not? His experience was Schumacher towards the end of his career at Ferrari, when things had started to turn a bit sour for him, whereas his experience of Alonso has been at the absolute height of his abilities. Alonso’s 2012 season was memserising, faultless.

    It seems pretty clear to me, and has done ever since Massa returned after his injury, that the biggest contributing factor to Massa’s decline is how comprehensively he’s been edged out by Alonso. Not just on the track, but off of it as well, within the team.

    • Albert said on 17th September 2013, 0:26

      ” I think we have to take what he’s saying at face value. ”

      Nonsense. As a general rule, one must never take things other people say at face value, regardless of qualifications. One must ALWAYS take the possible circumstances, reasons, motivations, biases, etc. into account. Many, MANY scams, manipulations, lies, PR stunts, and honest mistakes have been done by people of extraordinary credentials. So you core argument (“he knows better so we should believe him”) is a bunch of a nonsense.

      That’s without taking into account the huge SUBJECTIVE factor it involves making such a call. That’s why we’ve seen tens of F1 experts calling Schumacher better than Alonso, and Senna better than Schumacher, and Alonso better than Hamilton, etc etc. It doesn’t mean anyone has to start taking such claims at face value either.

      Thinking by ourselves is a beautiful thing.

  5. Who`s the most complete? That`s a difficult question to answer and in my view the answer lies in the statistics. There are just too many variables to factor in when a person weighs in on the subject, as a consequence the answer given by individuals will be flawed.

    I see a lot of people talking about qualifying-pace, ability to push in race trim and so on. Of course comparisons can be made on these subjects. I for one happen to think that Schumacher has the measure of Alonso in both departments over their career up till this point, something shown clearly by the statistics too. But I will be the first to recognize that Schumacher had lost his edge in 2006, as a matter in fact I think Schumacher lost a bit of his performance i 1999 at Silverstone but was still the major force in F1 through 2003. In 2004 Schumacher had lost his edge in my view (he was approaching 35), but he was still great and had a great car. Will the same apply to Alonso? He should still be in his prisme, but a in 2-3 years he will be at the same age as Schumacher was when he started to show signs of being over his peak. I think Alonso will experience the same as Schumacher did a couple of years from now. Even great drivers get old, it`s part of life.

    But I think it`s too simple to compare these factors without considering the rest. It has often been said some drivers can only win in good cars whereas others are good at handling bad cars. I think the comparison should start right here. Maybe some drivers focus more on and are better at making a car perfect and thus win a lot of because of this. If that is the case this definitely is a part of “being complete”, and a part many seem to ignore. Another factor that should be considered is the will and ability to “go for broke”. That`s an ability that can be both a positive and a negative when you talk about being complete. Alonso is complete in his way and secures points whenever he can by minimizing risk, but he has lost some championships because he`s been too cautious from time to time (2010?, 2012?). Schumacher on the other hand was an out and out racer and took a chance every time he had the opportunity. That lost him some championships, most noteworthy 2006. But on the balance Alonso has perhaps lost as many Championships as he`s won due to caution whereas Schumacher won a lot more Championships than he lost by going for it.

    The final factor that must be considered is the will to win. Some drivers have it in spades and can`t even imagine loosing. In my view Schumachers will to win was stronger than any other driver I`ve seen since Senna and in “modern times” perhaps Vettel. This is what defines the “winning machines” in F1 more than any other factor in my view.

  6. Schumacher 1996, driving a dog of a car, three impressive wins, including the farcical Monza race. The three on the podium that day were all outstanding, Hakkinen for his persistence, Alesi if only for his magnificent start and Schumacher for his brilliant driving – hit the tyres too, but managed to regain control. Ah me, Alonso is good, but there are others out there capable of brilliance

  7. I have been watching F1 since probably 1988/89 (6 or 7 years old) and I firmly believe Schumacher is THE best EVER.

    Norbert Haug was quoted some years ago saying “Let me tell you something about Michael Schumacher. He is a man who spends every waking hour looking for ways to crush his opponents into the ground.”

    He was a fantastic qualifier, an incredible metronomic racer, and had huge foresight into making sure he was fitter, cleverer, sharper and always ahead of the opposition.

    Just a few on his best races that spring to mind are : Barcelona 94, Monaco 95, Barcelona 96, Spa 98, Hungary 98, Monaco 99, Malaysia 99, Suzuka 00, Imola 03, Indy 2005, China 06, Brazil 06.

    I have no doubt that the Alonso of 32yrs old would have been totally destroyed by a 32 yr old Schumacher.

    The reason Massa is putting Alonso ahead of Schumacher, is because he is really suffering in form these days, and that is magnifying the true disparity between their respective talents whilst at their best.

    Massa was getting beaten by Schumacher in quali on average by around 0.5 seconds, and this was at a time when Schumacher was past his prime (racing drivers peak on average @ 32 yrs old).

    I think the driver in the current field with biggest *potential* is actually Jenson Button…if he hooks up his talent to a car the suits his perfectly – everyone else will get left behind.

    As it stands currently, I’d say Vettel is the most complete driver in F1, with Alonso a close second.

  8. i am always a fan of ferrari’s #1 driver hence, an equal admirer of schumi and alonso (throw in kimi and massa if you will). Been following f1 since late 99.

    It is difficult to compare an apple with an orange when it comes to drivers from two different eras..schumi was more dominant in the refuelling era, alonso arguably in the tyre wars (B vs M) and ban on refuelling / DRS era. The ban on refuelling / DRS era / schumi’s 2nd comeback should not be used for comparison because imho schumi never took to the new regs (except for canada’11 heh) and should have never made a comeback. So i believe both are equally complete comparing their time in the refuelling and tyre wars era, which if you narrow it fairly, is the 03-06 period.

    If you want to insist on throwing in the ban on refuelling / DRS era, then yes i’d have to agree that alonso is more complete because he has been able to adjust through the different eras and won or came close to winning (07,10 and 12) with what would have been 3 different constructors while schumi didn’t quite master the tyre wars (and not to mention DRS) era…. having said that, if schumi had also raced through 07 to 09 going into the ban on refuelling / DRS era, i don’t know if my answer would be different.

    Btw i’ll only start thinking of mr index finger babyface as on the road to being “complete” if he moves to another team without mr newey and wins a WDC (or comes frustratingly close like nando) there.

    • Albert said on 17th September 2013, 8:51

      “Btw i’ll only start thinking of mr index finger babyface as on the road to being “complete” if he moves to another team without mr newey and wins a WDC (or comes frustratingly close like nando) there.”

      I don’t get this. Why should he get out of the best team, putting himself intentionally in inferior circumstances? Just so he can prove something to people who doesn’t like him anyway? Makes no sense at all.

      I think it’s about time we get over the fact that he is winning with the (at the time) best team. The same thing did Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton. Welcome to F1.

      • The same thing did Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton. Welcome to F1

        schumi moved from benetton to ferrari to enable them to win their first WDC in 21 years

        alonso moved from renault to mclaren and almost won it for them in 07 and please fill in the blanks too for 10 and 12

        hamilton is mathematically still in the WDC for 2013 after moving from mclaren.

        they all moved from the best team and have won / come close to winning / are attempting to make the best of their current car to win another WDC. nothing wrong to desire that mr index finger does that too to prove his worth. otherwise the true 3 (coming 4) time WDC is really, mr newey.

        you are probably one who enjoys seasons like the 2011 one and the current season. if you must know, I did not enjoy the dominant seasons of 02 and 04.

        • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 17th September 2013, 11:47

          And you’re conveniently fogetting the quality of the cars involved. Remember, it took Schumacher 5 years at Ferrari to win a WDC, and the ’07 McLaren was a front-runner all season.
          The fact is that the driver must help develop the car. That is exactly what Vettel is doing at Red Bull.

        • Alonso moved because he saw little future in Renault (besides the fact McLaren has much bigger flair in F1 than Renault), and he was proven right. The McLaren of 2007 was arguably the best car on the grid. It wasn’t a move to worse circumstances. Neither was the move from Renault to Ferrari, since the 2008 and 2009 Renaults were inferior to the Ferrtari. It was a move to BETTER circumstances, not worse.

          McLaren wasn’t the best team in 2012, either (that was the Red Bull). In fact, Hamilton moved because he was so unhappy by the constant reliability issues of the McLaren and plenty of other conflict. And the Mercedes 2013 is an extremely competitive car. Once more, he didn’t move “from the best team” nor to worse circumstances.

          Hell, even when Schumacher moved to Ferrari he took a lot of the technical talent with him. Pilots seek the best circumstances at any given time, why would Vettel do the contrary? Why would anybody do the contrary? You haven’t answered that.

        • @benj-yam Vettel’s said it himself: the reason he competes in F1 is to keep the WDC Trophy in his cabinet. So he’ll remain in the seat in whine he thinks he’s most likely to win – obviously he feels that’s the Red Bull (and who would be one to criticise him for feeling that way).

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 17th September 2013, 20:48


          Btw i’ll only start thinking of mr index finger babyface as on the road to being “complete” if he moves to another team without mr newey and wins a WDC (or comes frustratingly close like nando) there.

          That argument just falls apart upon analysis.

          For a start, no current driver, including Alonso and Hamilton have won a championship for another team. Hamilton hasn’t even completed one season outside Mclaren. Yet why would anyone ignore him for 6 seasons, then suddenly use 12 races to call him great?

          So the minimum of what you’re asking is that Vettel wins races for another team, or fight for a championship with another team. To do either of these, any driver (including Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton), need a frontrunning car. Therefore, for Vettel to “prove” himself to you, he just needs to search for another top team. And that’s where your comment unravels- it’s just nonsense to suggest that Vettel would go from quadruple champion, to suddenly unable to win races in another frontrunning car.

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