Another podium “would be unbelievable” – Alonso

2014 Spanish Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Fernando Alonso says Ferrari need luck to finish on the podium again this weekend as they did in China.

“We cannot start the weekend thinking to be on the podium, thinking to win the race,” he said in today’s press conference, “that will be creating wrong and false targets to everyone that will come here”.

“We finished ninth and tenth in Bahrain, we did podium in China because we had some things put in together in that Sunday but it’s not that we are in a position now to say we will fight for the podium here.

“We will do our best but we know that it’s going to be a tough weekend, not going to be easy. But you never know, this is sport and anything can happen. But today, sitting here, if I tell you that I will fight for the podium, probably I will lie to you and I don’t want to do so for all the people coming.”

Alonso said his third place finish in China was partly the product of good fortune. “I think the car is always what it is,” he said, “the car never changes.”

“The driver also, sometimes you have better luck, sometimes you have worse luck.

“In China for example I have a crash at the start and nothing happened to my car, I could finish the race. I think the Red Bulls they were fighting a little bit, they lost a little bit of time, and I could be there. My pit stops were very quick, in the first stop I overtook Sebastian in that lap, so there were many factors together that put us in a podium.

“But we need to do very special weekends to be on the podium and China was one of those. Lucky and some other factors. So arriving here sitting on Thursday in the next press conference to repeat that podium would be unbelievable. It’s not at the moment our main target.”

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39 comments on Another podium “would be unbelievable” – Alonso

  1. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 8th May 2014, 15:36

    Alonso reminds me of Jose Mourinho, sometimes…

  2. mclaren (@mclaren) said on 8th May 2014, 15:53

    Alonso fans will bite my head off for this, but here goes; When Ferrari don’t perform e.g. Bahrian, Its poor nando, he deserves a better car, how dare Ferrari give him a donkey again; And when Ferrari do well e.g. China, Its unreal, unbelievable how he dragged a dog like that on to the podium.

    I’m not blind to how good he is, he’s amongst the best 3 on the grid of course, but my word is he over rated!

    • Florin G (@floring) said on 8th May 2014, 16:02

      I don’t see how those 2 scenarios you mentioned contradict themselves. They do have a donkey and he did manage to put that donkey on 3rd. Do you think Ferarri went from 9th to 3rd in terms of quality over night? It’s as he said a number of factors that contributed, including the more suitable track, but he has all the credit for the podium.

      • mclaren (@mclaren) said on 8th May 2014, 16:07

        “Do you think Ferarri went from 9th to 3rd in terms of quality over night” that’s exactly my point, it could be the car was capable of 3rd in the first place, is just that Alonso perhaps didn’t perform as well. I really don’t want to start some silly fanboy debate, was just saying that for some reason, whenever Alonso does well, all the credit in the world is given to him, and then in the next race he does not so well, immediatly all the blame is chucked on to the car and he suddenly now has a dog at his disposal.

        • Florin G (@floring) said on 9th May 2014, 7:11

          I am not Alonso’s fan, not by far, actually I’d love to see Raikkonen crush him, but let’s face it, the car is garbage and Kimi is not getting the hang of it so far. Fernando is doing a better job.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 8th May 2014, 16:17

      @mclaren Hardly an Alonso fan, but give him a break. Since 2010, all he’s had are nearly-cars, dogs with 3 legs that keep sucking at every race. And he’s done much better than anyone expected.

      Sure, motorsport is car and driver. And you cannot go far beyond the limit of what’s physically possible for a given car, but he’s certainly made the best of what he’s got.

      • uan (@uan) said on 8th May 2014, 23:19

        @fer-no65

        In 2010 in had to finish a very doable 4th to secure victory in a car that was quite capable of that. He didn’t. Can’t blame the car for that. Yeah yeah, the pit wall had him cover Webber, but that was as much his fault as there’s – thinking Webber was his main opponent, after a horrible qualifying effort and knowing what kind of starts he makes. Alo should have talked with his engineers after qualifying that if he was ahead of Webber, they would forget about him.

        But Alo has needed a ton of luck/fortune these pass couple of years and 2013 showed what happened without. His biggest mistake though was passing on Red Bull when he had the chance.

        He could’ve been in the RB5-9 and possible 5 straight championships (I think if Vettel was more experienced in 2009, and didn’t give up some points due to silly mistakes, he could have won the WDC then).

        • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 9th May 2014, 0:28

          @uan it’s easy to make decisions with the results already there. At mid race we didn’t know if Ferrari had made a good decision or not. It’s a one-time decision that can go as wrong as it can go well.

          He’s had tons of luck, but he was there to pick the gift up. You can’t blame him for that. He’s just relentless…

          • uan (@uan) said on 9th May 2014, 0:54

            @fer-no65

            I understand hindsight is 20/20, but we shouldn’t use 2010 as an example of pulling a car that had no business being in championship contention into contention.

            Alonso had the car capable of winning the WDC in Abu Dhabi.

            I totally agree with you about Alonso always being there and picking up the pieces (and that’s one thing Ferrari has always given him, a car that allowed him to be there when others – primarily Red Bull and McLaren – have either had reliability issues or operational/pit stop issues).

            The one thing Alonso knows (Kimi as well, and Vet) is that it’s important not to throw points away. In 2010, Hamilton threw away points in Italy and Singapore that would have won him the championship (yes, in retrospect). But you wouldn’t see Alonso throwing those points away. And he brings that focus to each lap of each race (though perhaps not at a certain point in 2013), but that attitude does translate into just being consistent, even if it’s only out of habit. That’s the one thing Hamilton will need to bring this year. He tends to phase out at various times, even in his best previous seasons in 2007 and 2008.

            With Vet, he threw points away in 2009 and again in 2010, and I think he learned from that how important not doing that is. I think that played as much a role in the Multi-21 thing as anything else. He doesn’t know how that 7 point difference between 1st and 2nd will be in the championship, especially in the 2nd race of the year, when everyone seemed quite close and on the heels of how close 2012 ended up being.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 9th May 2014, 11:36

            @uan Ah ! confusion here, then. I never said in 2010 he didn’t have a capable car. Quite the contrary, it was the last good Ferrari.

    • anyone76 said on 8th May 2014, 16:25

      i agree with ‘mclaren’. I’m a ferrari fan since 80’s but I don’t like that spanish. He’s overrated. He won his 2 championships only due to circumstances (2005 – mclaren’s reliability… Raikkonen would have won it easily. 2006 – renault’s illegal muss dumper.). In my humble opinion Ferrari deserves a true driver leader, but first of all a new team boss.

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 8th May 2014, 17:29

      I don’t know if Alonso is overrated, but I’ve noticed the same regarding his car development skills:

      2005 and 2006: “Alonso is the best driver at car development, that’s why he has the best car!”
      2007: “Alonso is the best driver at car development, that’s why he has the best car! It’s easy for Hamilton, since he’s driving a car that Alonso is developing.”
      2008: “Sure, Hamilton can win a championship in a car that Alonso developed!”
      2009: “Poor Alonso, he’s driving a donkey. But obviously Ferrari hired him because of his superior car development skills!”
      2010-2013: “Poor Alonso, he’s driving a donkey. Can’t Ferrari build a proper car?”
      2013-2014 off-season: “Alonso must be ******, because Räikkönen is coming to Ferrari and he can benefit from a car that Alonso has developed!”
      2014: “Poor Alonso, he’s driving a donkey. Can’t Ferrari build a proper car?”

      • mclaren (@mclaren) said on 8th May 2014, 18:14

        you summed it up

        • q85 said on 8th May 2014, 20:12

          its hard to take that sort of opinion seriously, do you actually believe Alonso is overrated??

          Kimi IS an amazing driver as proven in the last 2 years and his first career….Look where he is.

          Alonso isnt the fastest but he leaves nothing behind and gets the very best out of what he has at anyone one time. Usually with brilliantly consistent lap times. The race lap times in his career speak for their selves, unless you choose not to look at them.

          I refer to Japan 2008 as an example of how to make the most of what you have & how to adapt a strategy (in the car) to any given circumstance.

    • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 8th May 2014, 17:33

      @mclaren i dont see in any way how he’s overrated, he’s a terrific driver who gets the most out of any car more than anyone else. In the same car Raikkonen has scored just 11 points. And raikkonen is considered one of the very best drivers on the grid. Alonso continues to impress every single season, he’s rated so highly for good reason

    • anyone76 said on 8th May 2014, 17:52

      I agree with @mclaren. Alonso is overrated.

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 8th May 2014, 19:31

      No one is going to bite your head off but your reasoning @mclaren. He was partly fortunate to be on the podium in China for the reasons he has mentioned. And no one would deny the fact that the F14T has been lagging behind the pace setting Silver Arrows so far. If anything, the Ferrari fans are angry at the Scuderia for not producing a car capable of race wins from the first race in Melbourne even after such a huge change in the formula, which could be attributed to using Toyota’s Cologne facility while due to the revamped wind tunnel and simulator were not being ready earlier.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 9th May 2014, 1:32

      So, where is Raikkonen? If the F14 T was so “podium capable”, why did he finish 8th, almost a full minute off Alonso? Why has his best finish been 7th in Australia? Any of Alonso’s results, except Bahrain, would outscore Raikkonen’s four races.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 9th May 2014, 6:59

      Agree with @floring . If the car is rubbish you feel bad for a great driver, and when he takes that rubbish car and puts it on the podium, hats off to him.

      What seems to be the confusion @mclaren ?

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 9th May 2014, 9:55

      Maybe he would get less credit if his team-mates ever got anywhere near him, but that hasn’t happened since 2007 (apart from very occassionally). He is quite the politician though i’ll give you that, he was very keen to point out that Kimi was nearly a minute behind in China, while dressing it up as a ‘concern’ for the team, and something they need to address with the car.

    • AldoH said on 9th May 2014, 15:49

      +1.
      This is so truth that for the last race he was voted DOTW, even with the superb display by Hamilton in the same weekend. I guess that when Fernando wins a race again he will be selected as Master Yoda of all Known Universes.
      The guy is a VERY good driver, with a relentless pace, but IMHO as a car developer is just average and has the awful awful awful habit of always blaming his team for the fact that other cars/drivers are faster and are winning races (and, I am so sorry to say, I see his pictures or his image on TV and I see Singapore’08).

  3. Florin G (@floring) said on 8th May 2014, 15:55

    ‘I think the Red Bulls they were fighting a little bit, they lost a little bit of time, and I could….’
    I like how he gives his opponents something to think about over the weekend.

  4. mclaren (@mclaren) said on 8th May 2014, 16:08

    @floring “Do you think Ferarri went from 9th to 3rd in terms of quality over night” that’s exactly my point, it could be the car was capable of 3rd in the first place, is just that Alonso perhaps didn’t perform as well. I really don’t want to start some silly fanboy debate, was just saying that for some reason, whenever Alonso does well, all the credit in the world is given to him, and then in the next race he does not so well, immediatly all the blame is chucked on to the car and he suddenly now has a dog at his disposal.

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 8th May 2014, 16:21

    I’d love Alonso to leave Ferrari and find a better place somewhere else. I’m so getting bored of them. And Luca constantly complaining, whose team is still uncapable of producing a decent car. It’s getting so close to my views about Toyota F1… THe money, the resources, and the cars are just a pile of…

    It’s been so, so long since the F10 it’s just unbelievable.

  6. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 8th May 2014, 18:04

    If Alonso spent as much time making the car and team better as what he does criticising them, he’d probably have more world titles than the two that he currently has.

    His race pace cannot be faulted. He has his odd off day on a Saturday which sometimes limits him on a Sunday, yes. However, he’s lacking that something that helps to give the team that extra bit of motivation and support to deliver a good car and a good team performance.

    Long story short: Alonso has failed to transform Ferrari in the way M. Schumacher transformed them.

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 8th May 2014, 19:52

      Alonso has failed to transform Ferrari in the way M. Schumacher transformed them.

      You need to factor in the ban on in season testing which has been a big negative for Ferrari and the fact that they had been struggling with their wind tunnel and simulator @craig-o

      • q85 said on 8th May 2014, 20:16

        also michael WAS NOT complimentary of the 96-98 cars. As most fans of the time will remember if they choose to.

        He never faulted the teams efforts, but neither has fernando.

  7. SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 8th May 2014, 19:39

    Though I agree that luck / fortune played good part in Alonso claiming the podium finish, I don’t agree with this

    “I think the car is always what it is,” he said, “the car never changes.”

    for only day before yesterday James Allison mentioned that

    “Where did we see the real performance level of the car? Bahrain or China?” he asks. “It’s a mistake to think in those terms, because it wasn’t the same car at the two tracks. Between those two races, we improved the car quite substantially, so not only did the track characteristics change, so did our car.”

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 8th May 2014, 19:48

      Considering what Vettel said about Red Bull hoping to close the gap like “Ferrari did in China”, I guess this could be Fernando trying some mind games?

      • q85 said on 8th May 2014, 20:18

        True but kimi’s performance was almost the same at both races.

        So perhaps thats his angle. its what he said after the race when asked if they turned the corner. He is right to say they clearly have not.

  8. Toncho said on 8th May 2014, 20:37

    Oh come on, give the guy a break. He is just sending a message to the local press/supporters who expect no less than a victory this weekend.

  9. Andre Furtado (@f1andy83) said on 8th May 2014, 21:56

    Wonder how Kimi will do next year when he has some input on the car design.

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