Austria “my best race of the season” – Alonso

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2014Fernando Alonso described his fifth place finish for Ferrari in the Austrian Grand Prix as his best performance of the season so far.

Though not Alonso’s highest finish of the season – he was third in China – the Ferrari driver took heart from finishing closer to the Mercedes drivers.

“I think that I can consider this to be my best race of the season, because finishing 18 seconds off the Mercedes in a race without a Safety Car or any particular incidents, is a good result,” he said.

Alonso started fourth and only lost one place, to Lewis Hamilton on the first lap.

“It was impossible to keep Hamilton behind me and fifth place is really the best we could do today because the first four cars were quicker and therefore deserved to finish ahead of us,” he said.

“We pushed hard all race without any problems, which means that little by little, we are improving. Sure, there’s still a long way to go but the aim is still to do well and score points.”

Team principal Marco Mattiacci echoed the view, saying: “Fernando could not have done any better today.”

“He managed to maintain a great pace for the whole race, at times even quicker than the leaders and this must serve as an incentive to continue developing the F14 T.”

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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47 comments on Austria “my best race of the season” – Alonso

  1. Paul2013 said on 22nd June 2014, 17:42

    He is right his 5th position really close to Mercedes has a lot of merit.

  2. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 22nd June 2014, 17:42

    Well, Mercedes were held up first by Williams pair and then by Perez, so the gap could’ve been more than half a minute. So nothing positive here, because Ferrari is like a yo-yo – they are closer to the front in one race, further back in the other, and then closer again.

    • Slava (@slava) said on 22nd June 2014, 21:50

      I don’t think they are a yo-yo. Lewis was able to close the gap to Bottas by 1 sec in 1 lap at some point of the race. Easily.
      Next time, when the Mercedes guys will not stuck behind, the Ferrari guys will lose 50-60 sec at least.

  3. TMF (@tmf42) said on 22nd June 2014, 17:49

    Not his biggest fan but you gotta admire his fighting spirit.

  4. Sami said on 22nd June 2014, 18:07

    Alonso probably scorched his tyres again in the end and had to retire the battle for fourth place. Alonso should get better results with that car which is built perfectly for his specification.

    • JaegerGolf (@jaegergolf) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:14

      Are you joking? Which driver would do any better in a car like the Ferrari is this year? Look at Kimi…he isn’t a bad driver but he doesn’t come as close to Fernando as expected pre-season.

      And look at Vettel… he is criticising everyone and anything when he’s not winning. Vettel’s situation this year is just the same as Alonso’s since all years after 2007, the last time he drove a dominant car over a season.

      • Sami said on 22nd June 2014, 18:19

        No, I’m not joking. He should do better. Car is built for him.

        • Nick (@npf1) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:28

          Actually, with track testing much more limited, driver influences have gone down on car design. There’s an interview with Ferrari’s chief designer (which I can’t seem to find right now) in which he said teams can’t afford to build very driver specific cars anymore. At least, not to the extent of a B194 or a F2001. You could argue that recent Red Bulls were built in Seb’s favor, but Newey said Seb’s driving style works well with the car, rather than the other way around. And with his current struggles, I think it underlines the idea that driver-specific car designing is much less a thing than it was in the 90s and 00s.

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 22nd June 2014, 19:12

            Newey recently said that they were working on developing the car to better suit Vettel.

          • matiascasali (@matiascasali) said on 22nd June 2014, 20:53

            spot on. If Newey build cars for Seb, why is that Dan is doing such a good job in that car? that’s the reason, they make a car, and the drivers drive it

        • DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:29

          ‘Car is built for him’

          Cool F1F has an Ferrari team member registered. Can you tell us some other inside information?

        • Hansb said on 22nd June 2014, 19:13

          You are really serious about this aren’t you ?

        • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 22nd June 2014, 23:11

          Yes, but the car is terrible. That’s the simple fact, Alonso is doing the best he can with a car that is obviously not up to par. The fact it is tailored for his driving style is irrelevant, its impossible to get the car higher than what it was. The engine alone means he’s already at a disadvantage.

      • uan (@uan) said on 22nd June 2014, 20:36

        @jaegergolf

        do you actually check what drivers say or do you just make it up?

        “And look at Vettel… he is criticising everyone and anything when he’s not winning.”

        Has Vettel actually done that? Even when his car gave up the ghost in Monaco or today when his car just lost power?

        Vettel’s response today:

        “Obviously, it has been a bad first half of the season with a few retirements and other problems, but I guess it’s part of the game. Equally we were able to learn a lot today and it’s good that Daniel got some points for us. It would be bad to say I got used to it, but obviously we have had a lot of problems so far already and I got calmer when the problem occurred. ”

        Doesn’t sound like someone throwing toys out of the pram, nor has he gone off earlier in the season either, admitting even that RIC is putting in performances that he’s not matching when the car is working.

        I know Vettel has lots of distractors and many who are just happy to see him lose, etc. but let’s not make up stuff.

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:35

      Really? He has been constantly there, and has got into 4th in the drivers championship, and Ferrari 3rd. He is doing an amazing job. Just because the ‘car is built for him’ doesn’t automatically make it a good car.

      Just look at the gap between him and Kimi, who is by no means bad.

    • well first you are wrong, he again tried to attack massa in the end, reduced gap to 1.1s at finish. And better than what ?? hes long way ahead of his teammate in terms of points, atleast hes not getting beaten by teammate unlike vettel who clearly proved hes was good only coz of car.

  5. Nathan (@il-ferrarista) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:09

    Poor man. I just read the Autosport article on the same subject. Well, 5 years in the same 2nd or 3rd best car on the grid is a bit too much in F1. Mclaren or RB next.

    • Nathan (@il-ferrarista) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:12

      Yes I know Dennis is at Mclaren. But that problem is so 2007. Alonso explicitly said in Autosports article that he wants a fast car lot more than respect in being a underdog hero. Here it is btw; http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/114596

    • Julian (@julianwins) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:42

      le mans is more likely

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 22nd June 2014, 19:13

      It’s not like McLaren is fighting for the wins.

    • Lari (@lari) said on 22nd June 2014, 19:48

      I think at his age, he’s abit overdue. After this season, max 1-2 seasons left in his career I’d suspect. Shame he was such a queen back in 2007, would’ve made a different career if not. Not that it’s bad now, but still.

    • Sven (@crammond) said on 22nd June 2014, 21:08

      With all the problems Ferrari has, moving to McLaren would still be a bad idea. It´s a team in decline, having build worse cars for years in a row, which will furthermore trade the best power-unit for another one of unknown quality, which might have them drop down the order even further.
      RBR stick to their own drivers (and Ricciardos performance will further encourage them to do so), and Mercedes also look very unlikely to change anything, keeping the relative peace within the team and especially not hire someone whose name might overshine the cars strength.
      So Alonso doesn´t really have any other option than to stay at Ferrari and hope for the best, I guess.

  6. reiter (@reiter) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:20

    I bet he’s wishing his car had more sparks underneath already.

  7. Nick (@npf1) said on 22nd June 2014, 18:31

    Honestly, as a Ferrari/Alonso fan, this season is doing very little to restore my faith in the Scuderia, and I really, really wish Fernando and Kimi would stand up to the team more. Never mind a remark like ‘I’d like a better car for my birthday’, be clear that neither of you are here to finish 5th and 10th, no matter how hard the guys at the factory are working. Something needs to be done, and Ferrari for the past 5 seasons clearly hasn’t been doing it.

  8. kpcart said on 22nd June 2014, 19:11

    I feel Alonso put in the Mercedes car would thrash the 2 pretenders – who are raikonnen level. Alonso’s talent is really being held back by stupid things like ”engine homologation” Alonso matures each year as a driver, he adapts to every circumstance and gets the best out of the car. I didn’t see Hamilton or Rosberg get the best out of their car today.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 22nd June 2014, 19:15

      Alonso already went up against Hamilton when Hamilton was still a rookie and lost.

      Hamilton went from P9 to P2. He did so even with 2 botched pitstops holding him back and on a track where overtaking is very difficult. Not sure what more he could have done today.

      • Sven (@crammond) said on 22nd June 2014, 21:17

        “Alonso already went up against Hamilton when Hamilton was still a rookie and lost. ”

        They finished on equal points. So even if you ignore the political situation within the team that year (the experience of which most probably lead to Alonsos behaviour at Ferrari), saying Alonso lost is a difficult statement.
        Except you say both 2007-McLaren-drivers lost that year, that would make sense in a way.

      • Slava (@slava) said on 22nd June 2014, 22:02

        to @patrickl
        It was a long time ago. Right now there is no racer like Alonso. No one is able to be so consistent and fast and reliable. Alonso will trash Hamilton in the same car. If Rosberg can, Alonso would do it without hesitation.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 23rd June 2014, 9:14

        Alonso already went up against Hamilton when Hamilton was still a rookie and lost.

        @patrickl

        Surprisingly, Alonso has improved much more than the rookie has since 2007

    • Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 22nd June 2014, 19:32

      I don’t know about thrash but he has Hamilton’s speed matched with a cooler head.

    • Sami said on 22nd June 2014, 19:46

      So Hamilton took second place from ninth place of the grid without taking best out of his car? :D

      • uan (@uan) said on 22nd June 2014, 20:40

        well Hamilton went from 9 to 4th on the first lap, and then basically the Williams duo were on a strategy (with later pitstops) that would allow both Mercs to easily pass them as the race went on. It’s hard to say if Hamilton (or Rosberg) got the best out of their cars. I think there were brake issues both had to manage, so you could say that they both got out of the car what was available to get out of it.

    • Lari (@lari) said on 22nd June 2014, 19:50

      I think Hamilton and Rosberg did get best out of their car today, but not yesterday.

    • Dan said on 22nd June 2014, 22:50

      Rai level? Haha sure dude because Grosjean is better than Nico and Lewis? Oh wait…

      People who talk about politics are silly it was Alo who started it USA GP weaving down the straight to ask team to let him through, when in previous race Alo was favoured in Monaco. People forget all this they say because Alo had to leave he was unfavoured. I mean why not sack FA straight away to make sure Ham was champion?

      Hamilton was on FA pace from day 1 qualified 1 tenth behind in 1st race with more fuel. Ham was a match for a 2XWC and people will never admit it. They think because he thrashes two avg drivers he is a god. Also Ham really was better than a tie he was 17 ahead with 2 to go he had bad luck, and anyway Ham beat Alonso, it is a fact. Sports in same points don’t give ties my friend. Ham won on Goal difference hehe.

      Did you see Massa today?, comepletely shrivels underpressure as soon as stop went he goes slow, Bottas was a match from start today. So surely Alo biggest fans can admit Rai and Massa are not all that. Gro was beating Kimi. It is like when Alo said Massa was his quickest teammate, just LOL at that.

    • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 23rd June 2014, 8:10

      I’m a Ferrari/Alonso fan since 2010, but that’s untrue, for sure. Probably, but probably, ALO could have done better than ROS overall, gain more points more exactly. But trashing them… seems unreal, especially that HAM and ALO were team mates already and things were even. Plus, Mercedes is winning almost everything that can be won, so there’s not much to gain compared to the current Mercedes drivers in order to lead to a “trashy” situation.

  9. It’s a sad day when the best driver on the grid at the moment -IMHO- declares P5 as the best race of the season.

    Not sure I’d agree with the idea that Fernando and Kimi should be putting more pressure on Ferrari to improve. As suggested already, I’m sure there’s already huge pressure being put on everyone at Ferrari. But it’s obvious they do need to find more useable power & energy out of their engine.

    How they do that in the homologized world of modern F1 is beyond me though.

    • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 23rd June 2014, 8:44

      Agree. As the season goes by, I’m more convinced that the engine is the weakest part in Ferrari’s package. It seems that Mercedes knew what they have in their ENGINE DEPARTMENT STORE when they asked for new rules otherwise they leave the sport. At 1 moment of the race, yesterday, in the top 10 were 8 Mercedes engines, the other 2 being ALO and RAI. McLaren apart, all Mercedes-engined teams made a step forward compared to the previous years… and I think the engine is “at fault” mostly.

  10. William Stuart (@williamstuart) said on 22nd June 2014, 20:10

    Alonso was talking about how quick the Mercedes engine is when all the settings are turned up, I would really like to see the mercedes racing with those settings turned up, I’m assuming that even in quali they aren’t using those settings unless they are pushed, as it’s not great for reliability. I wish the FIA weren’t so harsh on reliability this year, were already seeing Vettel on the verge if getting penalties for use of components, and the racing is not as good because teams would rather finish fourth rather than risk an engine or ERS system.

  11. DC (@dc) said on 23rd June 2014, 5:21

    I wonder about Kimi’s longevity. Supposedly, it is not unusual for a driver to have a clause in his contract where he can be released if he doesn’t score X% of his teammates’s points. Kimi is my favourite driver, but I’m beginning to wonder if Ferrari might make a drastic move, like Bianchi in 2015.

  12. Juan Pablo Valverde (@jpvalverde85) said on 24th June 2014, 3:43

    Ferrari can rebound at Spa and Monza, given the speed of those tracks they hardly will have troubles to keep temps in check with the engine, just some lift and coast to save fuel (based on the hint that the ferrari engine is thirstier than the merc at equal power). Monza will be painful for RB and the Renault clients.

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