Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Circuit of the Americas, 2012

No Alonso-Vettel “dream team” for Ferrari

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said he is not considering partnering Sebastian Vettel with Fernando Alonso in a “dream team” line-up in the near future.

“Could Vettel and Alonso one day be part of a dream team? I think our president has already commented on this subject several times: a dream team is fantastic if it is correctly managed, but at the moment we are not looking at that, because we want to ensure the team is as well balanced as possible,” said Domenicali.

“You have to be very careful, not just in Formula One, but in sport in general, because sometimes, putting together all the number ones can lead to more negatives than positives.”

Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Last year Domenicali raised the prospect of bringing Vettel into the team, saying he and Alonso “could easily coexist together”.

After months of speculation that Vettel might join the team Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo dismissed the idea, saying “I don’t want to have two roosters in the same hen house”.

At the end of last season Vettel seemed to imply Ferrari had started the rumours he might join them in an attempt to destablise his relationship with Red Bull.

A lot of people tried to play dirty tricks and certain things that maybe are, at least from out point of view beyond the limit,” said Vettel, adding: “we never [got] irritated, distracted by that.”

Domenicali deflected criticism of Alonso, saying: “As usual, there are people who try and stir up the politics, believing they will provoke a reaction, but I am deaf to these things and I believe Fernando is totally focused on his performance, while I can assure you that the team will give its answer on the track, with deeds not words.”

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58 comments on “No Alonso-Vettel “dream team” for Ferrari”

  1. we want to ensure the team is as well balanced as possible

    So… two teammates that are equally good is a less balanced team than two drivers that are not equally good?

    1. nope, 1 driver that readily sacrifise for another. Thats what they called balance LOL.

      As usual, Alonso can’t stand inter team battle.

      1. As usual, Alonso can’t stand inter team battle.

        yes, because he knows that when team-mates fight, the rival team’s driver gets the title. If you don’t believe me, ask Withmarsh.

        1. i thought great driver can thrive in any condition?

          1. If you look at it that way, there are no such thing as great drivers. Alonso needs to be No1, Ham – a happy bubble, Vettel THE fastest car etc. But I was talking about another thing > FACT no driver won a WDC in this century without benefiting from special tretment.

        2. but anyway, with things on his way and Alonso couldn’t get the title either

    2. would you say Mclaren were well balanced in 2007?

      1. That’s an extreme and non-fitting example, same goes for Senna and Prost. How about Hill and Clark, or Moss and Fangio? Or more recently, Button and Hamilton?

        1. Interesting that Hamilton claimed a championship with kovalainen as his team mate but not since Button joined, nor has Button won another championship.
          Vettel has outclassed webber in the last 2 seasons resulting in 2 wdc’s in that time period.
          Alonso won his titles when he was partnered by the much weaker Fisichella.
          And Schumachers dominance over Barrichello in the early 2000’s resulting in numerous drivers titles.
          There is a valid argument to suggest having a #1 driver who’s clearly quicker than his team mate can help towards winning the drivers title, whether thats down to a balance or harmony in the team i dont know.

          1. I actually did some calculations on this: if Massa had finished exactly one place behind Alonso in every race both of them finished, then Alonso would have won the championship in 2010 and 2012 and Ferrari would have claimed the constructors’ title in 2012.

          2. @andae23
            …and? This still means finishing behind team-mate, that’s not the same as being equal and fighting your team-mate for every tenth of a second and every meter of tarmac. Every time two drivers equipped with the very same machinery and having more or less equal speed fight each other, there will be drawbacks. Big ones. Two fighting drivers are more prone to errors and crashes. Developing two even cars puts more strain on the technical department of the team, provided it’s possible (we often see updates for just one car, because the factory didn’t manage to build them for both cars on time). Teamwork is nonexistent. Two drivers fighting each other are always easier target for the third one behind them. Seriously it’s much more reasonable for an f1 team with championship ambitions to either have one driver slower than the other or artificially awarding one with the “leader” status. Of course this should not be pushed to the extreme, were the number two driver barely scores any points, but having two guys fighting for the same position in your team is not what you want.

          3. @cyclops_pl I agree with you, but that’s not related to the original subject of the article. If Vettel and Alonso were to teamed up at Ferrari, then of course Alonso will get the no. 1 status. If after a few races it appears that Vettel is stronger than Alonso, then he will get that number 1 status. Problems occur when a driver feels entitled to the number one status but doesn’t get it, which Di Montezemolo refers to as two roosters in a hen house. What I don’t understand is why these two things get confused so often, even by Di Montezemolo.

          4. @andae23

            But this would not be the case. I’m pretty sure none of them would agree to number two status, under any circumstances, maybe beside total failure and no chances for the title, even theoretically. When you have two champions you can take for granted that none of them agrees to number two status and that’s when the troubles begin. Even the calm and gentle Button refused to yield ground to Hamilton, expect much worse from Vettel and certainly Alonso. So what you are talking about is more or less an impossible scenario. In case of drivers of such caliber it’s always “two roosters in one hen house” and the “hen house” always suffers.

          5. I think we should agree to disagree

      2. last time alonso had equal teammate, he got his a** whipped.

        1. Imho, the way F1 should work, but unfortunately has veered from respecting the viewing audience, is that all teams seek out the best drivers they can possible get, because this is Formula 1 RACING and because there are two Championships involved each year.

          There is a reason why Patrick Head at Williams years ago said of MS/Ferrari…’what a shame they forgo the spirit of racing for the sake of share value’.

          The argument that if you have two rooster on the team, some other team will beat you because your drivers are taking points off each other, is a false one. If all teams have the best drivers available, then all teams have drivers taking points off each other, and the fight comes down to the end. And the viewing audience, who are the very reason the show exists, wins.

          Team orders are not new. But they were elevated to a level far beyond anything that had ever been done before, in the MS/Ferrari era. And the precedent has been set for this formula, although it is obviously debateable to this day as to whether it is a successful formula other than for sheer numbers compilation. Do we really honour, or want to honour, WDC’s that needed help from race one of the season? Many don’t. I don’t.

          The one rooster rule is a formula that can work. From sheerly a business viewpoint. And with with no guarantees, and with the risk of sacrificing the WCC. And at the same time, for the sake of striving for the WDC for the one rooster, the team also takes tons of flack from the likes of myself, and others, who prefer not to know that the decision has been made in a boardroom as to who will come out ahead in the end on a team.

          “You have to be very careful, not just in Formula One, but in sport in general, because sometimes, putting together all the number ones can lead to more negatives than positives.” Yeah…for the team manager…but nobody else…the paying, viewing audience is there to see the best…not some reasonable facsimile that is there to make the teams life easier, while sacrificing the whole spirit of the thing.

          One of the big reasons why the one rooster formula can still work for Ferrari is that obviously not all teams are willing to sell their other driver out quite like Ferrari admits they do. So in that sense, while there are still teams willing to have two rooster, yes Ferrari can ‘succeed’ by standing out favouring one driver. If all teams took on the one rooster rule, then no team would benefit, and I would hate to think what the face of F1 would look like then. So thank goodness there are still teams like Mac willing to take on two WDC’s on their team. That shows bravery and sportsmanship, to still be doing this in spite of Ferrari throwing a spanner into the works, doing the opposite for two decades now.

          Thank goodness many still get what Patrick Head meant.

    3. @andae23 What would the team do if their drivers were level on points, leading the championship, prior to the season climax? Probably let them race but it would be very ugly for them.

      1. Why ugly? They’re leading…they’re gonna win the WDC either way…the fans get the maximum show…everyone knows there’s only one winner…what’s so ugly?

  2. Anyone with common sense knew it wouldn’t happen. Especially with Alonso onboard.

    1. jimscreechy (@)
      16th January 2013, 16:57

      So obviously true it almost goes without saying… least till Stefano said it.

  3. Almost certainly the correct choice. Having the 2 top drivers in the same team means that they could end up taking points off each other, allowing someone else to win the drivers championship.

    1. But surely having the 2 top drivers would ensure Ferrari would win the Constructor’s instead?

      1. Ferrari don’t need the 2nd top driver, just an upgraded No 2.

      2. Having a car like the RB7 would secure them the WCC even with narain karthikeyan as n°2 driver

        1. @tifoso1989 – ah yes, that is indeed why Ferrari won 6 constructors’ titles in the early 2000’s despite having a weak no.2. Realistically though, Ferrari aren’t going to have that luxury anytime soon with Red Bull, McLaren and Lotus being so competitive and the rules ever-constricting grip meaning that no one team is likely to gain a distinct advantage.

          So Ferrari I feel should employ a more competitive no.2; perhaps not to the extent as Sebastian Vettel but definetly on the level of a Button or a Webber: a guy that can challenge the no.1 on occasion but is not quite fast enough.

  4. This saddens me! I really really wanted to see these two go head to head at Ferrari! I think both drivers are ideal Ferrari material.

    They are both able to build the teams around them. They both understand the concept that F1 is a team sport first and an individual sport later and are very respectful and supportive of their teams. They are both capable of sustaining a very high level of performance for a significantly long period than other drivers.
    They both do much much better when their teams favor them over the other driver. And they are not averse to sitting on the naughty step once in a while.

    Michael was also similar to these two in these aspects. It would have been fun to see how Ferrari would do when they had two drivers of this type!

    1. I think there’s a bigger probability to see an Alonso-Hamilton pairing or Ferrari taking Kimi back along with Fernando. Fernando and Vettel despise each other, that’s pretty much clear. Alonso alluded numerous times that it’s more of Newey’s talent than Seb’s behind the latter’s championship titles. And Seb can talk as much as he wants about equal status between him and Mark, it’s not true, he’s as much of a primadonna as Alonso is.
      Therefore you can’t have a normal working relationship with 2 individuals between which there’s not any grain of respect and who are used to be their team’s main protagonists. As Senna-Prost and Alonso-Hamilton showed it may be extra excitement for F1 fans but it’s destructive for a team.
      I think Ferrari and RedBull are right in theor drivers’ policy. History showed that equal driver status brings only to collective losing especially in such a competitive environment. McLaren seem to be a bit naive in their commitment to both drivers. And I think that’s one of the unvoiced reasons Lewis left them – he knew he had no chance to win any WDC in the conditions when Jenson was stealing points while his rivals benefited from their team-mates pulling over for them. It was an unequal fight so he went in search for his own ‘kingdom’.

      1. And Seb can talk as much as he wants about equal status between him and Mark, it’s not true, he’s as much of a primadonna as Alonso is.

        So you think Alonso/Ferrari would have allowed Massa to win in f.i. Silverstone last year?

        1. @mnmracer I don’t understand what do you mean to say.

          1. That comparing Vettel/Webber to Alonso/Massa is like comparing Nederwiet with American weed.

          2. @mnmracer I mean what does Massa or Webber has to do with Alonso’s win in Silverstone?
            When it counted the most, RedBull did everything to favor Vettel. Webber did a much better job for his team than Massa but he’s still a No2. I can’t remember a race when Mark finished just in front of Sebastian. In Turkey 2010 Sebastian crashed into his team-mate but Marko still backed him up. When Mark was in a similar position to challenge Sebastian he was told to hold station. Says it all about Mark’s status.

    2. When Alonso moves towards the retirement part of his career and can no longer keep up with the younger guys, he will probably offer to be #2 to mentor/help who ever they bring in to replace him. Probably Ham or Vet.

      I cant see Alonso retiring and Ferrari replacing him with a new #1 in the same period. It would make more sense to have the younger driver spend a year as team mates with Alonso so Alonso can show him the ropes before he retires.

      Alonso might not take lightly to team principles breaking agreements or team mates who put up a fight, but he is definitely a team player and I’m sure when he knows he is done with F1, he will help the team by supporting his replacement.

      1. I can almost 100% promise you that no WDC is going to go out being a volunteer number 2. To think of FA volunteering to second LH or SV at Ferrari…I promise you 200% no way.

  5. I think Ferrari could really benefit from having “two roosters”: we have seen in the past with Senna and Prost that although relationships can turn stale when they remain “co-operative” it pays off handsomely in the constructor’s championship. As long as the inter-team relationship remained productive and not destructive (as it did after Hungary in 2007 with Hamilton & Alonso) then, provided the car was good enough, the team would likely win both titles.

    Ferrari have made it clear though they have a strict number 1 policy, so I think Mercedes, if they improve to the point at which they are challenging for/winning titles, could hire Vettel and pair him with Hamilton: they would undoubtably lock-out front rows frequently if the car was quick enough and would for sure win the constructor’s title. Also, it would be interesting to see who came out on top!

    1. The priorities that Ferrari is focusing on now is how to build a competitive F1 car from the beginning of the season ,how to solve their wind tunnel issues and reinforcing their aero team these are big issues comparing the “two roosters” policy
      i don’t think that Ferrari didn’t analyse the possibility of having a driver like Sebastian (who said that he will maybe drive for them on day) in their team , theoretically the benefit would be grate because they will not only secure Vettel’s services but they will also deprive Red Bull from their n°1 driver
      in this process of hiring a top F1 driver i’m pretty Ferrari has gathered information about Seb, espetially about his attitude, his work methodology …don’t forget that there are some ex Red Bull engineers who knew Seb and they are currently working for Ferrari (Neil Martin)
      It is not about Ferrari having a strict n°1 driver policy just look at 2007/2008/2009 seasons ,it is about the drivers them selves, Kimi & Massa could coexist together because kimi is unpolitical he doesn’t care of anything he just drives the car and Massa is a very nice person while Alonso is the master of “mind games” and Vettel is not that nice guy who smiles always in the interviews ,Seb has a strong personality we saw it many times a second place is enough to change his temper putting them together could bring more problems to the team that it can solve

      o I think Mercedes, if they improve to the point at which they are challenging for/winning titles, could hire Vettel and pair him with Hamilton

      I don’t think that if Hamilton succeeded to build a strong team around him he would accept to share it with Vettel

      1. That is my main gripe; that the top driver’s egos may be too big to realistically pair them. As for Hamilton with Mercedes, sure he wouldn’t appreciate it but I don’t think it would be his choice: if Vettel wanted to go to Mercedes and Mercedes wanted Vettel I think Hmailton’s say would be rather insignificant.

        I do agree though that Vettel is a different man under his myriad of helmets: you can sense this through the radio messages. That is a false smile to hide what is deep down a competitive, agrresive beast.

        1. That is a false smile to hide what is deep down a competitive, agrresive beast.

          I see people say this a lot, and I really disagree. As is the case for many extremely competitive people, there’s a certain mindset you have in competitive contexts and another you have the rest of the time. You see this said frequently about Schumacher, for example: outside the car, a genuinely nice guy and devoted dad and husband; inside the car, about as ruthless as they come. Why should the mindset inside the car be considered the “real” one? Why should the rest of his life be considered what’s “fake”?

          I suppose all this is a bit beside the point, though: I do think both Vettel and Alonso are too competitive to coexist peacefully on the same team. Whether any team boss will ever try to make that happen, I don’t know — but I kind of doubt it.

          1. @aka_robyn – don’t get me wrong, I agree with you; if you aren’t ruthless and competitive in the car then you can forget about winning championships. Perhaps “fake” is the wrong word to use in this context; he is a genuinely nice person no doubt but what I was saying moreso is his mindset in the car is enirely different to out of it: place Vettel in a competitve environment and he won’t be the smily happy chap he usually is.

          2. It used to be said that two top drivers on a top team can push each other. That healthy competition between them can result in developing the car faster, progressing it throughout the season, and ensuring that they know they are out there to race and aren’t going to get ‘the call’.

            I get tired of hearing that drivers must be able to coexist on a team, like it is supposed to be a lovefest or something. It often turns out otherwise even when a team starts out thinking they have hired two ‘friends’ to get along on the team.

            What happened to the paying audience getting to see two gladiators duking it out across different sides of the garage, pushing each other on and off the track, clashing at times on and off the track physically with their cars and mentally through the media. There’s the story of F1. There’s the saga. There’s the headlines. Let’s see their true colours when they aren’t sheltered by boardroom decisions.

            If F1 is worried about their future at all (not that I’m claiming they are) they would head back to the Senna/Prost type of rivetting rivalries that were the story of F1 and remain so to this day, rather than the story being manufactured in the boardroom because that is easier for the team manager to deal with.

  6. What is the fun in F1 if all of the best drivers sit in a Ferrari at the same time? Let there be variety, Let there be debates and let there be discussions. That is what makes a sport like F1 interesting.

  7. I sometimes wonder if Ferrari are actually interested in getting a constructors title. Vettel and Alonso together would be unstopable, no matter what state the car is.

    1. How are you so sure of Sebastian ability to deliver consistently in a bad car ?

      1. @tifoso1989 – Because Alonso in 2008 outperformed his Renault like Vettel did the outperformed his STR.

        @nick-uk is actually spot on, if, and only if, they could coexist, which the big doubt.

        1. *Also don’t give me the old “it was a good car/it was a Red Bull/Bourdais got one good result in it” excuse, since Bourdais finished 17th in the wdc, and Red Bull weren’t the powerhouse they are now.

          1. alonso cheated in 2008 for his Sing win. And Suzuka was all thanks to Lewis for taking out both kimi and massa and also himself which pave way for alonso to win. More of a inheritor than outperforming his car bla bla bla.

          2. Kanman1 – Okay, Singapore was down to Piquet’s actions, but in Fuji he drove a fine race from the front, once there. And still, he took a series of top 5 finishes in the R28, not to be sniffed at (plus look at Alonso’s results in 2009, or 2011).

          3. doesnt change the fact he was benefited by luck. Massive luck tbh. In 2008, the renault ‘s upgrades work very well on 2nd half of the season which helped him.

        2. I sad “bad car” like the F2012 or the R29 that it was hard to keep them on a straight line maybe the STR was a bad car but Vettel is the kind of driver that has a driving style that demands a specific set up of the car give him what he wants and he will deliver my point is that Ferrari didn’t succeed to build a drivable car from the start of the season in the last 4 years how about building a car around Vettel’s driving style????

          1. Nope, F2012 only suffer from DRS boost hence quali effort demand more. On the race, it was a great race car with great launch setup which makes up places during the start easily. Both massa and alonso did well on this department. With sublime straighline pace, it enable its driver to overtake easily. On cool track, the car is a beast.

            And how you know vettel ‘s driving style require specifice setup?? as far as i know, every driver do their setup work to make them comfortable. And please explain in details how vettel ‘s driving style work exactly??

          2. @Kanman1
            You’re talking on the F2012 of the last part of the season
            The car was rubbish before the Spain upgrades
            As for the straight line speed the car was having the lower top speed of the top teams until Monza upgrades

            And how you know vettel ‘s driving style require specifice setup??

            Seb himself admitted that he carries more speed into the corners he brakes very hard and he’s able to manage the car at that point and the car must be adapted to his driving style unlike webber for example who carries more speed at the exit of the corner
            here is an interview in which Giorgio Ascanelli says the same about Vettel


  8. Ferrari would get the same media attention getting the WDC, so it sounds “NOT” necessary (despite the millions implied on it) to get the WCC. They are so hard trying to get a title for Alonso, that sometimes it looks like they were the only team trying their best to succeed in F1 (and Alonso moaning “my car is a dump” helps to settle this idea in people’s minds), when the truth is that Red Bull is a well deserved champion, as a taem and with their top driver too.

  9. “Stefano Domenicali said he is not considering partnering Sebastian Vettel…” Before he speaks maybe he should consider why SV would want to join Ferrari.

  10. F1 is the top of any motorsport and to order to some of the drivers to let past his teammate is awful. Every drivers dream is to win in F1 not just drive and folowing orders. Image drivers motive to keep driving after a “rape” order! I’m maybe radical but if you have a team of mechanics and engineers that are working for only one goal, and that’s wining, than there should be only one car and one driver, because it’s not possible for two drivers to get the same chance to win.

  11. a great news, if they race at the same team the one of them will have a lot to lose

  12. This article really sheds a light on my theories…. Now i totally undrstand why they where trying to make Massa look so bad… it seems that Ferrari were being pressured to make room for another “rooster”(Vettel) and so once Massa was confirmed… they gave him the “ok” to start being competitive again… Interesting indeed…
    Anyways somebody already said here that having the top drivers in one team can make more harm than good… and i agree!

  13. I can’t get my head around how people can’t see beyond 2007 with Alonso…sure, he threw his toys out of the pram, but surely there’s something to be said for hoping he’s matured a little?!

    I’d hate not being able to shake a negative image as I’m sure you all would.

  14. @andrewtanner

    I can’t get my head around how people can’t see beyond 2007 with Alonso

    If that would have happened at Williams or Sauber or another team but McLaren, nobody would have put any thought into it. The fact is that it happened at McLaren which is the second most important team in F1 history, the team with the second largest fan base and so it had much more meia exposure and that is why people are so affected by it.
    In time, they will forgive him for it and maybe they´ll see things Alonso´s way and realize that McLaren didn´t honor their side of the deal by giving Alonso the suport they had agreed to have given him.

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