Alonso: We’ll see how good Vettel is later in his career – and Raikkonen’s no faster than Massa

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013Fernando Alonso explained his view on the abilities of his closest championship rivals in the run-up to the Japanese Grand Prix.

Alonso said Sebastian Vettel, who is on the cusp of winning the world title for the fourth consecutive season, has been “very good, close to perfection all these years”.

However Alonso says the jury is still out on how good Vettel ultimately is: “It’s true that he had an advantage in car performance all these years so we see how good he is later in the career.”

“At the moment he is better than anyone and winning all the championships. But we saw also [Lewis] Hamilton starting in the first year nearly win the championship, in the second year winning the championship, but then he didn’t win any more because sometimes you have the car to do it, sometimes not. And at the moment Red Bull [and] Vettel are a very good combination and too good for us.”

Next year Alonso will be partnered at Ferrari by Kimi Raikkonen, who will take Felipe Massa’s place in the team. Alonso doesn’t expect a difference in performance between the two.

“For next year with Kimi I think we can do a very good championship for Ferrari, try to do again score as many points as possible,” he said.

“But I think in terms of speed Felipe’s not any slower. I mean when they were racing together Felipe was as quick as Kimi in a way so if we have a competitive car we will enjoy the season and we will do very good things.

“If we are not competitive car it will be very similar to this season, I think.”

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172 comments on Alonso: We’ll see how good Vettel is later in his career – and Raikkonen’s no faster than Massa

  1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 10th October 2013, 17:55

    If Massa is only as fast as Raikonnen then its going to be another difficult year for Ferrari :-)

    • @full-throttle-f1 That’s also a quick conclusion. In 07 and 08 cars were like scaletrix, an aggressive driver is the way to go but from 98 to 2004 cars were a bit squittish perhaps as much as the 2012 cars but bottom line Massa is not a Pirelli fan, on the other hand Raikkonen has done well enough on his return.

    • rambler said on 10th October 2013, 19:20

      Massa is not nearly as good as he was prior to his accident. It’s that simple. He still has the speed shown by the occasional Q performance. But all in all, he’s not the same. So Kimi wil be a much tougher challenge for Alonso.

  2. We’ll see, We’ll see…

  3. I rarely find myself disagreeing with Alonso’s opinions.

    • @georgeod implying that this is one of those occasions? I find the proposition that Räikkönen will be only as fast as Massa laughable…

      • Nick (@nick-uk) said on 10th October 2013, 18:23

        To be fair, Kimi is an aweful qualifier.

        • Candice said on 10th October 2013, 18:42

          two races and he’s awful.

          Singapore – spine injury

          Korea – broken front wing at Q3. FIA had a list showing the team changed the front wing after qualifying.

        • What Kimi lacks during qualifying he makes up during the race. I do belive that Kimi has more wins, podiums & has been higher in the points in the past 2 years when compared to Massa in an inferior car.

        • It’s funny that people always praise his qualifying pace on McLaren including Kimi own driver coach. Facts are facts Kimi hasn’t qualified well lately.

          • Candice said on 10th October 2013, 19:02

            not funny, because he often got pole despite qualify with heavier fuel load.

            Even in 2007, he got chances for pole in France, Silverstone, China but opt for heavier fuel load.

            In Brazil he was on course for pole but impeded by Lewis.

            Fact is, things haven’t gone his way in the past two races with spine injury and broken front wing.

        • @nick-uk not afwul (neither is Alonso) but both aren’t stellar, either. There’s at least a few drivers that’d beat the pair of them on a Saturday IMO.

          @caci99 to be perfectly fair I prefer open honesty over “protecting people’s feelings” – I can’t see any reason other that that to suggest why one may conclude Massa would be a match for Räikkönen based on current form.

          @commendatore it’s an undeniable truth that Vettel has had a car capable of winning the world championship the last four seasons, absolutely. That however does not imply that he hasn’t been doing the best job with that car, as Alonso admits. I’d say personally that the best drivers the last four years have been as follows:

          2010 – Vettel
          2011 – Vettel (the least affirmative)
          2012 – Alonso
          2013 – Vettel

          Which, of course, averages as Vettel being the best driver over the last four years. In 2010 Vettel didn’t have a great mid-season, but he was affected throughout the season by many reliability problems. Yet he didn’t crack under the pressure: he was the only one to keep his head at the end of the season, and it paid off.

          In 2011, well, need I say any more?

          In 2012, Alonso’s opening half of the season was just excellent. He scored every point that was available to him, so purely on that basis I have to doff my cap to him. You could however make a case for both Hamilton and Vettel in the second half of 2012 I would say.

          As for this season, well what in essence Vettel has done is repeat Alonso’s 2012 consistency and combined it with 2011 dominance when he’s had the car performance to do it. I’d say it’s been his best season performance to date.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 10th October 2013, 19:42

            @vettel1
            I strongly disagree with your claim that Vettel was better than Alonso in 2010, both drivers made a handful of mistakes, but Alonso had the inferior car, and still came within 4 points of winning the WDC. Even team bosses voted Alonso as the best driver of 2010:

            http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88556/

          • caci99 (@caci99) said on 10th October 2013, 19:45

            @vettel1 You are just illuding yourself, there is no such thing like open honesty or whats so ever, even more in public. Alonso is not saying any thing controversial about his team mate and his future team mate, which is good. Results at the end will speak for themselves, it is not up to him to decide who is better or not, he is not in a position to do that.

          • The “least affirmative” tag was of course supposed to be attached to 2010, not 2011!

            @kingshark I’m not set on that, hence the correction above. However, it is also undeniable that Vettel suffered far greater reliability woes – Bahrain and Korea are the ones that spring immediately to mind. So on balance, and giving Vettel the youth benefit of the doubt, it wouldn’t be unfair to rate both Vettel and Alonso in the same category of achievement in 2010.

          • Broom (@brum55) said on 11th October 2013, 7:33

            Vettel also was responsible for collisions with two WDC contenders – Button and Webber and despite having a superior car to all his rivals rarely got the best out of it until the Asian leg, where the Red-Bull seems to get its wings.
            Alonso won the best driver award from the paddock and Hamilton was rated the best driver of the year on this site. Both were superior to Vettel in 2010. I’d argue the same in 2012 with Kimi.

            Regarding his ‘dig’. Well in 07-09, when together, Massa got the better of Kimi in terms of wins, poles and points, but Ferrrari wouldn’t be replacing Massa if they thought Kimi wasn’t better. In terms of outright pace they may be similar, but in mentality Kimi is much tougher.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th October 2013, 7:53

            @brum55 – Vettel got the best out of his car more often than the results show. He lost by far the most points of the title contenders with mechanical issues/misfortune (much like LH in 2012). Not to mention, that all of the other title contenders (except Button) were responsible for at least as many collisions. The paddock didn’t believe Hamilton was superior to Vettel in 2010 either, or in any year since. Same with Raikkonen last year.

          • JCost (@jcost) said on 11th October 2013, 8:38

            @vettel1

            For me, best drivers:

            2010 – Vettel
            2011 – Vettel/Alonso
            2012 – Hamilton
            2013 – Vettel

            Best car

            2010 – Red Bull
            2011 – Red Bull
            2012 – Red Bull
            2013 – Red Bull

            Statistics theory says correlation is not causation but…

            Nando has made a good point, sometimes we need to see these guys driving a not so good car to really know how good they are.

      • caci99 (@caci99) said on 10th October 2013, 18:25

        What do you want him to say? Massa is not worth? That’s what you want to hear? That’s very poor sportsmanship. Even between Webber and Vettel we don’t hear such words (gestures were seen though) although it is well known they are no friends, but still, they are team mates.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 10th October 2013, 19:04

        @vettel1

        I find the proposition that Räikkönen will be only as fast as Massa laughable…

        I guess you didn’t pay attention to F1 from 2007 till 2009?

        • Candice said on 10th October 2013, 19:06

          i guess you didn’t pay attention to 2004, 2007. And 2011 when Button trashed hamilton which reflect badly on Fernando.

        • @kingshark I guess you haven’t been paying attention since 2010?

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 10th October 2013, 19:43

            @vettel1,
            Yes, I paid attention very closely to Alonso trashing Massa. ;-)

          • @kingshark exactly, which was at least partially due to a severe dip in form from Massa ;)

          • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 10th October 2013, 23:43

            He gave the best response possible, given the question. I’m sure that, if he’d would’ve spoken our minds (we don’t know what he thinks) and say that Kimi will be faster and better than Massa, a lot of people would’ve said: “Alonso is a poor sportsman”.

            It seems to me that, for some people, Alono can do no right, while Vettel can do no wrong.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th October 2013, 7:58

            @alexx_88

            It seems to me that, for some people, Alono can do no right, while Vettel can do no wrong.

            I think you have that the wrong way around.

          • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 11th October 2013, 8:09

            @david-a: I think there are people in both categories, that’s why I said “for some people”. You can’t deny that there are hard-core Vettel fans that can’t accept that their favorite driver can do anything wrong, same way there are for Alonso.

            In this situation, I think Alonso went the safe route, especially since he had nothing to gain by saying than one is faster than the other, especially since he didn’t race in the same team as Kimi. He gave a safe answer and luckily for him, had facts to back it up. Whether those facts are true or not now, we’ll see in 2014. Talking before they race head-to-head on the track is just that: talking.

      • Mashiat (@mashiat) said on 3rd August 2015, 22:23

        @vettel1 Who’s laughing now? :p

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 10th October 2013, 18:24

      I disagree completely …

      Vettel is the only driver this year who made no errors in all races so far and Raikkonen has stayed on top the last two years while Massa hasn’t been close to a win during that period.

    • Commendatore (@commendatore) said on 10th October 2013, 18:26

      About Kimi – yes, he’s wrong. Imo, Kimi next year will give Alonso a run for his money.
      About Vettel – nope, he’s spot on, implying that Vettel’s dominance these years is due to his car mostly, which is an undeniable truth! :)

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 10th October 2013, 18:40

      I actually think the other way: I often disagree with Alonso, but this time I completely agree. Vettel has been close to perfection the last five years. But it’s simply too early to judge how good he really is as he is still unbelievably young (still younger than Prost when he won his first GP as has been pointed by some).

      It will be very interesting to see how he deals with setbacks, for instance not having a car he feels comfortable with. I imagine it would not be any issue for him to deal with it, but… we simply don’t know! So it would be unfair to start rating him against the legends because, although he has achieved a lot already, he hasn’t gone through the same phases as them.

      Nonetheless, Vettel’s greatness is undeniable. Denying it feels like a combination of seeing your favourite X-factor candidate loose in the final and having a playground football argument regarding whether the ball went above the imaginary goal post or not.

      • @andae23 I find difficult to think he will have problems with a car (or for a long time). Not because I’m assuming he will always drive that well, but because, as good as he is, the best teams will offer him the best available seat. He will have the luxury to choose where to drive if Red Bull takes a debacle.
        Alonso lost a great chance in 2008. He was in a team which almost evidently didn’t love him (McLaren 2007) but that gave him great results. If Alonso had stayed in McLaren, instead of choosing that terrible car that was Renault in 2008 and 2009, we could be talking now o a 3-times champion Alonso and a no-champion Hamilton. He decided the easy escape, a little childish to be honest, and that stole him of 2 years where he could have done better things in a better car.

        • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 10th October 2013, 22:23

          @omarr-pepper Alonso couldn’t beat Hamilton in his rookie year in the same car, why do you assume that Alonso would have got the better of him when he had one years’ experience under his belt the following year had he stayed at McLaren?

          • @jerseyf1 yep, but you can’t compare Alonso and Kovalainen. I’m sure that with Alonso grabbing some victories, probably Massa would have taken the WDC, or Alonso, or Hamilton. A 3-way battle, but look that the “crashgate” played in favor to Hamilton in some way. And that wouldn’t have happened with Alonso in McLaren. So, even when i agree with you, the victory of Hamilton would have been much more difficult, if possible. (A lot of ifs for a single comment, let’s stop it there :P)

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th October 2013, 23:37

        @andae23 – I think you have really touched on an important point here. So important that it might give us an idea as to why people don’t respect Vettel.

        In 2007 and 2008, I felt largely the same way about Lewis Hamilton as I currently do about Vettel. His speed wasn’t in question, but I just couldn’t bring myself to like him or support him. But then 2009 came around, and things changed. McLaren built a terrible car, and suddenly Hamilton found himself in a position where he had to rally the team around him. It was the same for Fernando Alonso at Ferrari last year – the car was terrible, but he brought them back from the brink of disaster.

        Sebastian Vettel hasn’t had to do that. Sure, he’s driven uncompetitive cars, but he’s never been in a position like Hamilton and Alonso where his championship campaign is over almost before it even starts ans he has had to make the best of a bad situation. Just about every single driver who has been champion in the past twenty-five years (or more) has had to do that at some point in his career, so I think it’s an important quality for Vettel to have, and one he needs to be accepted as one of the sport’s greats. It may even be more important for him than for anyone else, because he also missed out in the introductory stuff. Champions in the past have arrived in the sport in smaller teams and have done amazing things with the cars – like when Paul Stoddard described Alonso as doing fifty-three qualifying laps in the Japanese Grand Prix. It’s only after they turn heads on the bottom rung of the ladder that they start to move up. But when Vettel arrived on the scene, it was clear that he was going straight to Red Bull. His performance at Monza in 2008 was excellent, but it was really a case of being in the right place at the right time.

        So I think the reason why people don’t respect Vettel is because there is the perception that his success has come to him too easily, and that he is missing some if the key qualities of a champion, like rallying a team behind him in a difficult season.

    • Jelle van der Meer said on 10th October 2013, 21:38

      I always disagree with whatever Alonso says as it is always fake, political motivated, excuses or whatever he can make up to make himself look better. Recently 1 exception, which were his comments on Hulkenberg, very true but even that I believe was Alonso PR

    • dot_com (@dot_com) said on 10th October 2013, 23:58

      I agree. Like him or not, Alonso knows his stuff. I do think that Massa is not the same after his accident, but to be fair he was never exactly legendary. I believe that Kimi is a more complete driver than he was in his first stint in F1, and he’s certainly surprised some people, but to be fair we’ve only had Grosjean to compare him to since his return. I don’t think Alonso will dominate Kimi the way he has Massa, but I still expect him to come out on top. I’m really looking forward to watching Ferrari next year!!

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 11th October 2013, 9:51

      Me too.

      I can’t understand what is happening within that brain this time. Maybe on a specific 1 lap pace Massa was occasionally faster, but his race pace is terrible, and he is extremely inconsistent.

  4. Bigasshammm said on 10th October 2013, 18:08

    Lolonso’s ego strikes again. If he thinks Massa is as fast as Kimi he’s delusional. Under perfect conditions maybe but Kimi has the ability to get te most out of the car wherein Massa has never shown that. I so hope Kimi puts a stomping to Alonso next season. Then we’ll hear more bitching than Hamilton does.

    • Roald (@roald) said on 10th October 2013, 18:12

      I would find that equally amusing, but there’s just no way I could actually believe that. We’ll see though.

    • James Coulee said on 10th October 2013, 18:54

      No that long ago Massa and Kimi shared a seat at Ferrari -remenber?- and Massa kicked his but out to WRC…

      • Candice said on 10th October 2013, 19:15

        i also remember how button embarrass lewis at his homeground.

      • Marciare_o_Marcire (@marciare-o-marcire) said on 10th October 2013, 19:44

        Massa didn’t “kick his butt out to WRC” it’ pretty obvious that Santander wanted alonso and massa, and kimi was kicking ass in 2009.

        • Nathan (@il-ferrarista) said on 11th October 2013, 1:30

          No he wasn’t really “kicking” that much a**… Have to correct you, since he became really good just when Massa was injured. And before Hungary’ 09, Raikkonen was on par on little bit slower than Massa, all in all.

      • Dane (@n0b0dy100) said on 11th October 2013, 4:07

        Who kicked who’s butt?
        Massa lost 2/3 seasons to Kimi.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th October 2013, 4:21

          They did 2.5 seasons together, Massa won 1.5, Kimi won 1. Of course, the one season Raikkonen beat Massa, he won the title, something Felipe never quite achieved.

  5. Alonso’s comments shows just how his “samurai mind” works

  6. subbf1 (@subbu) said on 10th October 2013, 18:19

    2014 Alonso meltdown already starting it seems.

  7. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 10th October 2013, 18:31

    Is he underestimating Raikkonen or just being nice to Massa?

    He underestimated Hamilton. Expecting to blow away the rookie and “asploded” when he instead found himself beaten. Hope he doesn’t make that mistake again.

    • he was nt beaten as you seem to imply they were fairly evenly matched in 2007… yes Lewis finished ahead of him in the standings but that was on count back , not in terms points or race wins…

      • Imre (@f1mre) said on 10th October 2013, 18:45

        Finishing ahead of someone means beating him, doesn’t it?

      • Candice said on 10th October 2013, 18:52

        he was beaten. and alonso also got Kimi’s setup,strategy data etc on his disposal.

        I don’t get it why people keep saying Kimi didn’t deserve that title…he won it despite handicapped by cheat.

      • @puneethvb Hamilton was a rookie, Alonso was the current double world champion – that is very noteworthy.

        • @vettel1

          I am not taking anything away from Hamilton though… He surpassed everybody’s expectation in 2007… I agree that Hamilton’s performance was more impressive considering that he was a rookie… But that does not mean he beat Alonso quite convincingly as some people try to suggest from time to time… The truth is they were fairly evenly matched throughout 2007 … scored the same amount of points and won 4 races each… and @candice I never said KiMi did not deserve his title…

      • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 10th October 2013, 23:46

        Hamilton beat him in the standings and was clearly the better driver, considering it was also his first year and Alonso had just won his second title, as Max said.
        Alonso shouldn’t underestimate Raikkonen either because that is clearly what he is doing if he thinks Raikkonen is currently at the same level as Massa, who he is comfortably beating. Although ultimately I do expect Alonso to beat him.

        • Hamilton finished ahead of him in the standings on count back… They finished even on points and had same number of race wins… so it’s not as clear as you say.. I do admit Hamilton’s performance was very impressive considering he was the rookie against a double WDC…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th October 2013, 8:14

      Or taking a bit of a dig at his team for not heeding Alonso’s advice and keeping with Massa @patrickl

  8. Big fan of Fernando but he’s sounding a bit like a grumpy old man. Vettel is only going to get better while Alonso naturally loses a few tenths as he gets older.

    The driver with the most points at the end of the season wins the championship, simple as that.

  9. Tim M (@tim-m) said on 10th October 2013, 18:45

    I think Alonso is right by saying “Felipe was as quick as Kimi in a way”, in the sense that Felipe can be very fast over a single lap, but Kimi is better over the span of a race. I think it will be interesting to see Alonso and Kimi in the same machinery, since they both are pretty tactical in their race craft, and aren’t fantastic qualifiers. I expect it to be very close. Not so much a ‘Prost-Senna’ pairing, more like a ‘Prost-Prost’ pairing, and hopefully not like the ‘Prost-Mansell’ pairing!

  10. PeterG said on 10th October 2013, 18:46

    Going by 2007-2009 then Alonso is right, In those years Massa was very closely matched to Raikkonen & let us not forget that in 2008/2009 Massa was actually the faster of the 2 more often than not.

    Alonso will have no problems with Raikkonen next year & if the cars competitive Alonso will get Championship #3.

    • Candice said on 10th October 2013, 18:53

      2009 kimi is much faster than Massa. He got front row in Monaco with that crap F60.

      Reliability setback cost kimi points tally though.

      And are you assuming the 2008 kimi is the real kimi?? if thats the case, be my guest

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 10th October 2013, 19:03

        2009 kimi is much faster than Massa. He got front row in Monaco with that crap F60.

        Massa was leading Raikkonen 22-10 in the championship standings before his accident in Hungary.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 10th October 2013, 19:03

        2009 kimi is much faster than Massa. He got front row in Monaco with that crap F60.

        Massa was leading Raikkonen 22-10 in the championship standings before his accident in Hungary.

    • subbf1 (@subbu) said on 10th October 2013, 19:09

      2008 Version of Kimi was so slow that he managed to set 10 Fastest laps in a 17 Race Season.

      • MrBoerns (@mrboerns) said on 10th October 2013, 19:37

        But still, he hasn’t been the same ever since 2007. 2008-09 was really odd, and still after his comeback he seems to lack that pure speed he showed 03-07. Or maybe the Lotus is a bit of a dog. but it feels he changed from bloody quick to even-bloodier-consistent

      • Broom (@brum55) said on 11th October 2013, 7:18

        He was the fastest lap WDC, whereas Massa was the one actually competing for the title.

  11. Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 10th October 2013, 18:51

    Alonso is both wrong and right. He is obviously right about Vettel – Vettel may be a legend, the best ever, or he maybe another “good” driver! The proof of this uncertainty is how the fans are divided about Vettel! 5 years later only one of these “schools of thought” will be proven right. We will see.

    And about Raikkonen – he either has had too much to drink or he is just trying to not insult his team-mate. Or maybe he means it and he’s right – Massa has as much raw talent as Kimi ( their years together at Ferrari ) but Raikkonen “converts” the talent better!

    • Candice said on 10th October 2013, 19:04

      disagree on talent part.

      Kimi was claimed to be the laziest driver on the grid. Without enough natural talent to support him, he won’t be competitive despite being lazier.

    • Diego (@ironcito) said on 10th October 2013, 21:08

      I don’t know how you could classify a driver who wins four consecutive WDCs as merely “another good driver”, regardless of what he accomplishes after this year.

      You’ll probably say that it’s all about his car and so on, but there have been dominant cars throughout the history of F1, some more dominant than the Red Bulls. Many of those were driven by F1 legends, yet only two drivers managed to win four titles in a row, and only three managed to win four titles overall.

      And Vettel did it with some of the best drivers on the grid. Last year, with a car that was good but not dominant, he won the title against a record number of former champions.

      • Breno (@austus) said on 10th October 2013, 23:56

        Alonso classified Vettel as “better than anyone and winning all the championships”.

        Anyway, we basehd Hamilton yesterday, Alonso today. Who is next on the list? Raikkonen, Grosjean, Maldonado or Button?

  12. subbf1 (@subbu) said on 10th October 2013, 19:01

    Why is it that Vettel having a dominant car is considered a negative for him. I very much doubt that any world championship in any era was or will be won by a slower car unless the faster car has reliability issues.

    Alonso/Hamilton behave as if they won their respective World Championships in A MINARDI.
    BY Alonso standard, he should give up his 2005 WC. Only Reason he won because the Mclaren kept exploding.

  13. clas1 (@class1) said on 10th October 2013, 19:11

    Alonso is already scared of Kimi , lollll :D Next year will be legendary ….

  14. lordhesketh (@lordhesketh) said on 10th October 2013, 19:40

    I’m sorry, but I think the title of this article is very unfair to Fernando.
    “We’ll see how good Vettel is later in his career”
    The context of the conversation was regarding whether or not Vettel is “one of the greats”. Fernando answered the question honestly. He was extremely complimetary of Sebastian’s ability and the job he’s done over the last 4 years. All he’s stating is that one’s legacy can’t be judged until they are more or less finished with the sport. Other than that, he’s said that Seb has done almost a perfect job.
    Raikkonen’s no faster than Massa”
    What he actually said was “Massa is no slower than Raikkonen”. Huge difference. It sounds to me as though he’s defending Massa against aggressive comments questioning Felipe’s ability vs. Kimi.
    My two cents, anyway.

    • caci99 (@caci99) said on 10th October 2013, 19:49

      @lordhesketh absolutely right.

    • @lordhesketh agreed on the first, disagreed on the second. What he is implying is that Massa’s apparent lack of speed is only that – apparent. Which is grossly untrue, unless he knows something we don’t (Massa has inferior equipment etc.). The points standings say enough by themselves.

      • lordhesketh (@lordhesketh) said on 10th October 2013, 20:21

        Yeah, fair point.
        It just sounds to me like he’s politely answering a question that I’m sure everyone keeps asking him. “So, Massa is ****, but you’ll have Kimi breathing down your neck now. Thoughts?”
        He’s certainly not going to throw Felipe under the bus with a direct response to that. My point was that he’s not saying that “I’ll wipe the floor with Kimi as I did with Felipe”, which would be as extremely arrogant as I feel the title of the story implies.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th October 2013, 4:17

      @lordhesketh @caci99 @vettel1 The headline is a completely fair paraphrasing of Alonso’s comments.

      Headline: “We’ll see how good Vettel is later in his career…”
      Original Alonso quote: “we see how good he is later in the career”

      These two are virtually the same.

      Headline: “…and Raikkonen’s no faster than Massa”
      Original Alonso quote: “in terms of speed Felipe’s not any slower”

      Not identical text but clearly exactly the same meaning.

      • 3239 (@vfbi60) said on 11th October 2013, 5:55

        As a Raikkonen fan, when I saw the headline, I almost lost my respect for Alonso for saying such arrogant things. But after reading what he actually said I think they are really different.

        “Raikkonen’s no faster than Massa” and “Massa is no slower than Raikkonen” may have the same meaning but they really make different feelings. The first one sounds like Alonso is underestimating Raikkonen but the other one sounds like he is just praising Massa.

        I think the headline is pretty unfair to Alonso. It can make people think badly of him although he haven’t done anything wrong, just my opinion anyway.

      • UTBowler0407 (@utbowler0407) said on 11th October 2013, 7:15

        I have to disagree on the 2nd one. Of course they mean the same thing semantically, but the former statement sounds like a dig at Raikkonen, while the latter statement seems like praise for Felipe. Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it. I agree entirely with @vfbi60

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd October 2013, 11:39

        @vfbi60

        The first one sounds like Alonso is underestimating Raikkonen but the other one sounds like he is just praising Massa.

        Clearly he is saying both. There is no difference between the two statements as @utbowler0407 admits. Pretending otherwise is just an attempt to do Alonso’s PR for him. The headline is completely fair and accurate.

  15. Kisii (@kisii) said on 10th October 2013, 19:50

    Fernando is realizing that as time passes, people will focus more on the numbers and not the extenuating circumstances and Vettel will stand higher than he does in the ranking. It is a sobering thought for someone of his ambition and it has to be rankling him to no end.

  16. Fixy (@fixy) said on 10th October 2013, 20:01

    I mean when they were racing together Felipe was as quick as Kimi in a way

    In a way? Felipe and Kimi were the most balanced Ferrari pairing since decades. Of course the cars have changed, the tyres have changed, and both drivers have changed. But although I remember Scheckter beating Villeneuve I don’t remember anyone bashing the Canadian. As Keith recently reminded us, Alonso and Massa are 9-5 in qualifying, just like Hamilton and Rosberg. And people say Alonso is clearly the best driver on the grid. In that case, wouldn’t Massa be clearly better than Rosberg? There are situations which go beyond our understanding, but I’m pretty confident if Massa or Alonso changed team Felipe’s performances would benefit from that – unless he became Vettel’s team mate, as if he’s Alonso’s second fiddle he would most definitely be assigned to the same role with the German.

    • @fixy qualifying is only half the story though. Rosberg has maintained that form over Hamilton in the races, whereas Massa has dropped like a stone in most cases. That is absolutely crucial.

      Also, I’d argue Rosberg were a better qualifier than Alonso, which again casts doubt over quite how meaningful the qualifying teammate battle statistics actually are. Would I reason that Massa would have a chance of trumping Rosberg in qualifying? Absolutely not.

      On the number two role concept also, I see no reason why he’d be assigned a number two role alongside Vettel if he could be competitive against him, a la Webber 2010. I am highly skeptical that would happen though, so perhaps you have a point: it’s never good to be demoralised by not being able to keep pace with someone in the same car as you.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 10th October 2013, 20:32

        @vettel1 What I’m trying to say about the qualifying scores is that people use them in their favour, to defend the drivers they like and criticise those they don’t. It’s easy to remember the times Massa had been behind Alonso in the races because when he’s been ahead he’s been quickly asked to give the position to Alonso, and we tend to notice what we want to notice. I’m nto saying Massa is as good or better than Alonso, not even Rosberg in my opinion, but people who name him the worst driver on the grid when he’s losing out to, apparently, the best one, is rather hypocritical. This year Webber hasn’t been doing a particularly nice job, of course he’s beaten Massa but that’s because the Red Bull is better than the Ferrari, indeed Vettel has beaten Alonso as often as their team mates have respectively done.

  17. People who defend Massa: Remember that everything changed on him AFTER the accident. So If you start bringing 2008 or pre-Hungary 2009 stats now, it’s like asking Kubica to drive a F1 right now and still say “he’s one of the most promising drivers in F1″
    @kingshark think about it. And Kimi may not be the best, but nowadays he is showing the same qualities (excellent starts after an average quali, “smelling blood” and grabbing the chances, scoring as much as he can) as Alonso,so it’s too early to say one of them will crush the other next year. And that’s to defend Alonso a little from heavy attacks too, but he should be more honest about that Massa vs Kimi comment. (probably PR to protect an already fallen Massa,I know)

  18. Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 10th October 2013, 20:19

    Alonso’s comments about Räikkönen seem very strange to me. Everyone knows that the idea of current-Massa being as fast as current-Räikkönen is ludicrous. Obviously Alonso wants everyone to think that Massa – whom he has beaten overwhelmingly every season they’ve been team mates – is better than someone who is 3rd in the championship standings at the moment and regarded one of the best drivers this season. But in this case boasting seems very silly, because everyone will know the truth next season when they’ll be team mates… – or will they? Alonso’s comments would make a lot more sense, if he was leaving the team and trying to prove he isn’t doing that because he’s afraid of Räikkönen…

  19. HedmarkViking said on 10th October 2013, 21:08

    Alonso is unfortunately displaying all the behaviours of series past – which is a shame because when he isn’t looking over his shoulder he is one of the finest racing drivers the World has ever seen.

    Unfortunately he now finds himself partnered with a driver that is as close to James Hunt as a modern driver can be in terms of attitude….Kimi doesn’t generally give a **** what people think of him and prefers to leave it all on the track. In terms of raw talent he again is right up there but he doesn’t always deliver he is a bit Matt Le Tissier in that respect.
    That said I remember watching the telementry when he was testing one year at Silverstone. It was a little damp, misty and someones engine blew sending smoke out across the track. Being cold it hung there. Kimi was the only driver to accelerate through the cloud. He has heat resistant ice for balls…

    So if Alonso lets his head get to him or Kimi has a few great mind moments early doors and Ferrari have the car then next year could just be the best F1 season for a very very long time.

  20. Jason (@jason12) said on 10th October 2013, 21:24

    The jury is definitely still out on Vettel’s skills.

    I have him tied with Kimi on the 3rd spot, so far (that’s with him getting the 4th WDC).

    • @jason12 it’s still out, absolutely. But it’s evidence is becoming increasingly weaker.

    • TheBass (@) said on 10th October 2013, 23:19

      @jason12 I’m a bit curious about this. What exactly have Alonso, Hamilton or Raikkonen do that Vettel hasn’t, to make them amazing drivers for sure, but Vettel still questionable?

      • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 10th October 2013, 23:52

        Win more than one race in inferior or equal machinery by overtaking through the field and fighting their way to the top.

        • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 0:33

          @alexx_88 Any particular examples of Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton doing that?

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 0:34

            More than once, of course.

          • Nathan (@il-ferrarista) said on 11th October 2013, 1:55

            Much much much more than just once, of course :). It is psychologically a lot easier to start with a top car from position 1 at the race start and from there build up a good lead/gap, compared to the challenge og fighting through the field.

            Also one more thing: Raikkonen certainly has lost some speed compared to his first F1 stint (he was regarded as _the_ fastest driver in F1 before LH came, and Alonso as the most reliable..). BUT; their aren’t bad qualifyer, not even Alonso. Every time Alonso has had proper good cars he’s been top notch in Q. And you have to agree, other than 05/06 and 07, his cars were always designed towards a good race-performance instead of being good on one single lap.

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 2:00

            @il-ferrarista Any examples?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th October 2013, 5:47

            @il-ferrarista – Not that psychologically easy to actually qualify in position 1 though, to prepare for the race is it?

          • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 11th October 2013, 7:35

            @silence: Sorry, I am bit on the run, but Alonso’s wins last year are all in an inferior machinery and a result of him coming through the field. Hamilton also had some races last year that he should’ve won, but didn’t becaue of technical failures.

            Anyway, what did it for me, what convinced me of RB’s crushing superiority is the side-by-side onboard footage from Singapore Q3 of Vettel vs Rosberg. The fact that Vettel was entering the corner with less speed, but able to accelerate way earlier (as Hamilton and Minardi pointed out) and reach the same point at turn exit carrying a lot more speed, can’t be down just to driver skill. Simply because in the first part of last year this wasn’t happening, not surprisingly when RB didn’t yet figure how to make their EBD work as it did. So either Vettel’s talents are on/off, or the car produces crazy amount of rear downforce.

            I’ve read a lot of technical discussions where the difference between Webber and Vettel is explained through this concept and the fact that it requires the driver to rely more on knowledge of the car than on instinct. A lot of you have probably driven a RWD car and know that, when the rear end steps out, the driver instinct is to stop accelerating and counter-steer. Well, given how the RB is supposed to work, the driver must do the counter-intuitive thing and accelerate harder out of the corner, simply because this produces more exhaust gases which feed the diffuser and produce downforce for better traction. Coming back to last year, when Webber was leading Vettel, it’s exactly the same period of time when their EBD was not working properly.

            So yes, you can either think that the 1s difference is solely down to the driver and continue to consider Vettel the best because of this, or realize that these are incredibly complicated machines and we’ll never know how much is Vettel’s contribution in that gap. For 4 years RB have been using the EBD to gain a big advantage over the field, since this won’t be the case next year and hopefully the Renault and Ferrari engine will have similar characteristics, I think that 2014 will give us a lot of answers.

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 8:19

            @alexx_88

            Sorry, I am bit on the run, but Alonso’s wins last year are all in an inferior machinery and a result of him coming through the field. Hamilton also had some races last year that he should’ve won, but didn’t becaue of technical failures.

            Alonso won twice in 2012, and one of them was from pole. So that’s two races. Cool. And even then, while the Ferrari was inferior, was still a frontrunner car.

            So was the McLaren, which was actually faster than the RB most of the time.

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 8:19

            *meant to say three times. One from pole.

          • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 11th October 2013, 9:13

            @silence: Indeed it was a frontrunner car, but not the best car by any margin. Moreover, that pole position was achieved on a wet track which is said to equalize cars.

            What we, or at least I, am trying to say is that people want to see Vettel win a championship in a car that’s more or less level in terms of performance to the ones of his competitors. That is obviously by no fault of his own, but it also means that we haven’t actually seen him race the others in equal or nearly equal machinery.

            I don’t know why people keep trying to change opinions. I, and everyone else, have the right to rank the drivers and I’ve provided technical explanations and arguments for what is, in the end, a personal opinion. And now I am not referring to you, @silence, but to others, being condescending as if any of us share any of the merits of these drivers’ victories is laughable. Let’s keep it relaxed, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 9:25

            @alexx_88

            that pole position was achieved on a wet track which is said to equalize cars.

            Interesting you mention that, considering that Vettel has a few brilliant performances on a wet track. One in a Toro Rosso, no the less. Another won him the 2012 title. Funny how it works.

            What we, or at least I, am trying to say is that people want to see Vettel win a championship in a car that’s more or less level in terms of performance to the ones of his competitors.

            Alonso won his championships with the best car on the grid, so did Hamilton (plus a vastly more efficient team on that season). What makes Vettel that much different?

            it also means that we haven’t actually seen him race the others in equal or nearly equal machinery.

            So the Red Bull has been dominantly superior in every single race for the past 5 years? That’s an interesting view.

            Also a not very accurate one.

          • Jason (@jason12) said on 11th October 2013, 9:28

            @alexx_88
            Very well said Sir.

            Also the teaming up of either Lewis or Alonso with Vettel (which should happen at some point), will give us a lot of answers.

          • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 11th October 2013, 9:59

            @silence: Sorry, but you are picking pieces of what I said and trying to put them in your favor. You are missing the bigger picture here and it’s obvious to me that I am not going to change your opinion.

            Interesting you mention that, considering that Vettel has a few brilliant performances on a wet track. One in a Toro Rosso, no the less. Another won him the 2012 title. Funny how it works.

            Yes, your argument comes from 5 years ago. :-) The performance from 2012 was still in the best car on the grid and it has been proven, even by Webber, that the RB can easily pick his way to the top from behind up to the first 5-10 places.

            Alonso won his championships with the best car on the grid, so did Hamilton (plus a vastly more efficient team on that season). What makes Vettel that much different?

            The fact that the RB is technically much more capable than its rivals. It means that the driver has a bigger cushion to work with.

            So the Red Bull has been dominantly superior in every single race for the past 5 years? That’s an interesting view.

            What I meant to say is that he didn’t have a championship season where he battled on with a car that’s not vastly dominant and come out on top. Just look at the first half of last year.

            I think @prisoner-monkeys said it very well in a previous post and it pretty sums up my opinion. I gave the technical arguments as to why this is happening (in my opinion).

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 10:17

            @alexx_88

            The performance from 2012 was still in the best car on the grid and it has been proven, even by Webber, that the RB can easily pick his way to the top from behind up to the first 5-10 places.

            And the Ferrari couldn’t? Because the three frontrunners cars last year were the McLaren, the RedBull and the Ferrari. What exactly makes Alonso’s comebacks that much more impressive than Vettel’s?

            What I meant to say is that he didn’t have a championship season where he battled on with a car that’s not vastly dominant and come out on top. Just look at the first half of last year.

            Other than 2011 and 2013 after Silverstone, it hasn’t been “much more capable”. Certainly not in 2012, nor at the beginning of this season (and he was still leading). Certainly not that much different from the Renault of 2005 or early 2006.

            Sure, he hasn’t come on top without having the best car. Neither have Alonso, Raikkonen or Hamilton, though.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th October 2013, 4:19

            @alexx_88

            What I meant to say is that he didn’t have a championship season where he battled on with a car that’s not vastly dominant and come out on top. Just look at the first half of last year.

            His car wasn’t dominant in 2012, and he came out on top.

          • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 13th October 2013, 10:24

            @david-a: His car was much better than the Ferrari in the second part of the year and only then he came on top. The only car in the same league as the RB in terms of speed, in the second part of the season, was the Mclaren, unfortunately usually only good for half of the race.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th October 2013, 10:29

            @alexx_88 – Not really. Spain onwards, when Ferrari found their feet, Massa only scored 11 points less than Webber. RBR were the best of 2012, that’s why they won the constructor’s, but not by the sort of margin you imply, given that Mclaren were faster, and Ferrari lost less points to reliability than Mclaren and RBR (and underrated in terms of speed, round 5 onwards).

          • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 13th October 2013, 10:41

            Well, it’s enough to look at the results after the summer-break, the moment when supposedly RB figured out how to make their EBD work again. Alonso could only fight to get near or on the podium, nowhere near the first place, as opposed to RB who were always there, battling for victories.

            The only period when Ferrari were really competitive was between Spain and Germany and from there on they were probably third in terms of speed, but got second because of Mclaren’s reliability problems.

            Just to be sure that we are talking about the same thing, are you saying that, from Singapore onwards, the RB and Ferrari were closely matched?

      • Jono (@me262) said on 11th October 2013, 0:34

        @silence not quite sure its about what he hasnt done, on paper he’s just won 4 world titles in a row which you could make a brash conclusion that he is head and shoulders above anyone else. On the other hand if you dont think statitistics and wdc’s are the be all end all to question of who is the best current F1 driver and have the time to watch the last four or five seasons, then maybe you will appreciate what exactly it is with people’s rating Alonso and Hamilton better than Vettel

        • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 0:42

          @silence That was a non-answer. “Just watch the last four seasons” (which by, the way, I’ve done. And many, many more) it’s not an answer.

          I ask because in the last 6 seasons I’ve seen him do everything Hamilton and Alonso have. Amazing qualifying laps, flawless races, great races under rain, great recoveries from the back, absoulte dominance from the pole, great fights with other champions, and yes, mistakes and weak races, just like Hamilton and Alonso.

          I’m not saying he’s better than them, I’m asking why is he so far behind that he’s talent is questionable in your eyes.

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 0:43

            ^That was directed at @me262 of course.

          • Jono (@me262) said on 11th October 2013, 0:52

            put it this way: if vettel was as dominant as he has been in a controlled series, I dont think anyone could argue about who is best. You have every reason to feel Vettel is best, you have the statistics to back you up. Other people have a different opinion because Alonso and Hamilton

            were not in a red bull

            . You can either accept the notion or get hung up on it

          • Jason (@jason12) said on 11th October 2013, 9:33

            @silence
            He needs to team with either Lewis or Alonso to put this matter to bed.

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 9:38

            @jason12 So that one year together 5 ago is what makes Alonso and Hamilton great, but not Vettel? Not very reasonable.

        • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 4:23

          @me262 Where have I said Vettel is the best? Or that I don’t accept the notion that other people think Alonso and Hamilton are better?

          I’m just curious, as I said, what are those specific things that put Hamilton and Alonso so far above him in some people’s eyes. That’s all. A simple question out of curiousity.

          And so far everybody has evaded the question, given non-answers or replies that are vague to the point of meaningless.

          • Jono (@me262) said on 11th October 2013, 4:56

            @silencewell i think ive reached my limit on specifics without preparing a 1200 page dossier on the specifics of why alonso, hamilton and Kimi are rated higher than Vettel. Until then and until someone has replied to your question in a satisfactory manner, you have justified your opinion

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 5:09

            @me262 what a surprise ;-)

          • Jono (@me262) said on 11th October 2013, 5:23

            @silence dude your question has been answered: vettel>P1>leads form start to finish>boring>boos = not amazing
            vet rai ham>P5-P8>finish 2nd behind Vettel = amazing
            you do the math

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 5:29

            @me262 That‘s what you come up with? Really?

          • Jono (@me262) said on 11th October 2013, 5:35

            @silence what were you hoping for?

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 5:38

            @me262 Reason.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th October 2013, 5:40

            @silence – Why bother, @me262 doesn’t understand the fundamentals of sport or is WUMing, to come up with such a laughable comment

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 5:47

            @david-a – You may be right.

            You know, considering the amount of times this argument has been raised, I would have expected people to have a more concise answer.

          • Jono (@me262) said on 11th October 2013, 5:53

            what has vettel done to be on equal footing with alonso ham & kimi? reason your brain off man

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 5:57

            @me262 I already said it. Couple of posts above.

          • Jono (@me262) said on 11th October 2013, 6:17

            @silence

            Amazing qualifying laps, flawless races, great races under rain, great recoveries from the back, absoulte dominance from the pole, great fights with other champions, and yes, mistakes and weak races, just like Hamilton and Alonso

            and your far from wrong, your not wrong at all, its just that your placing vettel far behind kimi alonso and ham. Personally i place vettel at a tentative 4th…I just cant be convinced by his constant index finger lifts, he’s still 4th at best till he wakes from best car dreamland and proves himself

          • TheBass (@) said on 11th October 2013, 10:27

            @me262 Another post, another non-answer. Come on.

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