Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014

Alonso “keeping Ferrari alive” – Andretti

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014In the round-up: Mario Andretti hails Fernando Alonso’s performance for Ferrari this year.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

A champion’s thoughts on 2014 (F1)

Andretti: “Fernando is one of those brilliant talents who will maximise everything you throw at him. He’s keeping Ferrari alive very well.”

Vettel ‘worn out’, Red Bull fighting back, says Horner (Reuters)

“He used to drive a bit ‘like a ballerina, dancing on the throttle and the brakes,’ said Horner, a style that was impossible at the start of this season, but was gradually moving back within reach as the team improved the car.”

Maldonado happier at Lotus (ESPN)

“We were not getting progression in terms of development, but for sure I knew that this year would not be a repeat of 2013 [for Williams] because they got the Mercedes engine and they have a good car. The extra power is helping them quite a lot in my opinion.”

Pat Symonds explains the story behind the Williams “miracle” (James Allen on F1)

“I believe that we have just developed faster than our opponents. We have significantly improved the aerodynamics, which is pretty impressive because the new regulations actually allow only small steps in this area.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Silverstone, 2014Grosjean considering future over break (Crash)

“I want to win races in the near future and we are working on that. Of course you think about your future … it’s going to certainly be in the summer break.”

Kvyat not ‘100 per cent’ confident (Autosport)

“I’m not at 100 per cent confidence level yet, but I expect a few things will come later on, maybe the second half of this year.”

The fighter (Ferrari)

Fernando Alonso says the hardest thing to deal with as a racing driver is “making mistakes that are too obvious”.

Il futuro della Ferrari e di Montezemolo (Autosprint, Italian)

More rumours from Italy about the future of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo. Alberto Sabbatini, editor-in-chief of Italian weekly Autosprint, claims the Agnelli family which owns Fiat (and, in turn, Ferrari) and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne wish to place someone from the Agnelli family, such as John Elkann, in control of Ferrari. Sabbatini points out that at a major Fiat Group meeting in May the heads of each brand reported on their plans for the future – except for Ferrari, where Marchionne substituted for Montezemolo.


Comment of the day

@PhilEReid was one of several people who thought 14th place was too high a rank for Kimi Raikkonen after the season he’s had so far:

Raikkonen I think has been the disappointment of the season. So much was said before the season started of the Alonso/Raikkonen battle, but it has been an absolute slaughter in the way of one man.

Personally I would put Raikkonen bellow Kvyat, simply because he is a rookie and doing very well.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Chris Monk, Ciaran, Omarr-Pepper, Jonathan, Camo8723, David Knutson and Sevrige!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Nigel Mansell scored one of the greatest wins of his career 25 years ago today, racing through from 12th to claim victory on the tight and twisty Hungaroring.

The coup de grace was this opportunistic sweep past Ayrton Senna, when the McLaren driver was briefly delayed by Stefan Johansson’s slowing Onyx, to clinch a memorable victory:

Images © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Lotus/LAT

55 comments on “Alonso “keeping Ferrari alive” – Andretti”

  1. Alonso is the best driver out of everybody on the grid today. Even in an uncompetitive car, he is able to produce something special. But Ferrari need to perform well in 2015 or Fernando will loose his patience and go to a team who has performed fantastically in the past few seasons which seems unlikely as many of the top teams have already contracted their drivers for at least another year or hope to anyway.

    1. which seems unlikely as many of the top teams have already contracted their drivers for at least another year or hope to anyway.

      Pretty sure they will drop whoever needed to accommodate Fernando. Mercedes might be the only team that is entirely happy with their current line up.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        13th August 2014, 13:16

        @todfod – Not Red Bull with a four-time champion and a likely future champion?

    2. As a Ferrari fan it pains me to say it, but I think Alonso should move on, Ferrari just aren’t competitive and seem to be focusing more on sacking people than focusing on the real problems at hand.

      Alonso is one of the best drivers on the grid today, if not the best, and is definitely deserving of more than 2 drivers championships. If he moved to Red Bull rather than Ferrari he could probably be up there with records of Michael Schumacher

      1. I wouldn’t quite class him with Schumacher. I agree that Alonso is one of the best drivers their today. If i was Red Bull I would offer Alonso a place and sack Vettel, as Vettel is nothing special other than to be lucky having Adrian Neuey car, Until Vettel Wins a championship without Adrian then i will consider him a driver of a bit more caliber. Ricciardo is all over Vettel as vettel isnt as good as the rookie in the same car, those are facts.
        I wish Alonso the best in the future and him to get out of Ferrari and stop wasting his time as an F1 Driver.

  2. For what i see in the forum, you can get a grosjean and a hulkemberg for less than a half of a Button…

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      13th August 2014, 1:34

      If that’s true, then if you’re McLaren, you’d be insane to pass that up.

      1. http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09216

        Follow the link above and see the driver salaries

        1. Holy pork pie, I can’t believe Ricciardo gets less than £0.6m and Vettel gets £17.5m!! I mean I know he had to prove himself, but he gets a fair bit less than Maldonado, Perez, Sutil and Bottas!

          The article was dated yesterday but Ricciardo’s salary is the same as JEV’s… is that data definitely up to date?

          1. Put another way:

            So far this season,
            Ricardo costs about £4,500 per championship point
            Vettel costs about £200,000 per championship point

            The worst of the big names seems to be Kimi, £650,000 a point

    2. It’s hard to believe. Maybe it’s because he’s a marketable chap… but based on driver talent, he shouldn’t be earning as much as the Hulk or RoGro

    3. After seeing that list i feel bad for Ricciardo, Vettel is on nearly £17m more than him. He should at least be getting more than vergne :)

      1. well, Vettel is a 4WDC afterall…

  3. 25 years ago, Mansell in a V12 Ferrari passes Ayrton Senna in a McLaren to win having started 12th on the grid and sets fastest lap on tyres 65 laps old, and this in Hungary where everybody knows you can’t pass. Yep it’s all rose tinted glasses, F1 was really boring in the old days.

    1. 89 was a pretty good season, though. I have a far higher number of vivid memories of that year compared to the years directly before and after. And it was a year when everything was new, new engine regulations, new aerodynamics…

      1. So 25years between good seasons (66 must be an anomaly)

        1. I wasn´t born in 66, and I haven´t seen much footage of it, so I don´t know. But for me, 2011 also had many good races, 99 had some good ones… I´m starting to think a good canadian GP is a strong indicator for a season with some good races ^^

    2. Because 1 good race always changes the outlook on an entire era. Of course.
      The era from 2002 (when I started watching) to now has most likely had more interesting/great races than any other 12 year period (including the 80’s so far as I can see).. And anyway, F1 should be moving forwards in it’s changes, not looking back to the past…

      1. I think many people would dispute that claim.

        1. Australia 02, Brazil 03, Europe 05, Japan 05, Brazil 06, Australia 07, Australia 08, Belgium 08, Italy 08, Japan 08, Brazil 08, Hungary 09, Brazil 09, Abu Dhabi 09, Australia 10, Belgium 10, Italy 10, Abu Dhabi 10, China 11, Canada 11, Hungary 11, Malaysia 12, Spain 12, Valencia 12, Abu Dhabi 12, Brazil 12, Australia 13, Malaysia 13, Bahrain 13, Singapore 13, Bahrain 14, Spain 14, Canada 14, Hungary 14.

          Yes, we’ve had races like Austria 02 where team orders ruined the outcome, but we had that in Australia 1998 and even Spa 98 where those races lacked that final ‘oomph’ to make a great race. We’ve had political struggles like Bahrain, but that can have parallels to the South African GPs of 1982 and 1983. The racing over the last 12 years has been better than any other 12 year stint. We’ve had a high variation of winners, Some great championship deciders, some simply great drives (Vettel in Singapore 2013, Raikkonen in Japan 05 etc.) and some great battles for position in the places where it matters.In fact the only real blot I see that has no comparison to the ‘classic’ F1 eras is USA 2005 (The closest I get is Australia 1986, but that was obviously different).

  4. I dont know if Seb will agree that he’s “worn out”. These guys are ultra competitive, I dont think the term worn out comes into the driver’s vocabulary. When you’re worn out, its probably time to quit!

    Loved the interview Mario. Such a great guy, a fan of the sport, a great ambassador of F1.

    1. But we all knew that eventually Seb would get to a time when he wasn’t on top. I can remember last year or maybe even the year before, on the podium he’d say things like ‘It’s important to remember these times because it might not always be like this’.

      My guess it the longer the engineers have to play with the software and iron out the torque-bump, the sooner Vettel will be getting back ahead of Daniel and competing for wins.

      1. I have no more insight into Seb’s psychology than any of us, but I would expect what he had in mind when he said that was more along the lines of a less-competitive car (which he has too) than being outperformed by a newbie teammate.

    2. @Jay Menon What has me really upset is that I cannot stop thinking of Seb prancing around a dark lit stage wearing a ballerina outfit….

      1. My Eyes!!!!!!!!

  5. He’s keeping Ferrari alive very well.

    The problem is that Ferrari aren’t doing a good job at being alive. Alive is hardly enough for a team like them, and it’s a massive shame that Alonso isn’t able to drive a good car.

    It’s so sad to think that back in 2010, a relationship that promised so much, is in it’s 5th year, and 4th without a competent machine. And they seem to have gone backwards… a lot…

    1. @fer-no65 Ah, but next year everything will be better! ;)

    2. @fer-no65 Yes ‘Alive’ is not good enough for Ferrari. But doesn’t it make you even more worried when you read that Luca is being sidelined by his own corporation? I have thought for a few years that Montezemolo wanted to go into politics and maybe he has expressed that desire to the FIAT board. Or perhaps they just don’t like his management style, and despite good sales figures, would like to ease him out.
      Possible years of turmoil ahead.

  6. I remember Mika Hakkinen saying that after he won the championships in 1998/1999 he was mentally ‘worn out’ & even said to David Coulthard in 2001 that it was his turn to fight for the championship because he didn’t feel he had any mental strength left to really fight Michael as he had the previous 3 years.

    He went on to say that one of the things he really respected about Michael Schumacher was that he had the mental strength required to really fight hard for championships for as many consecutive seasons as he did & that he kept fighting just as hard even when there was no chance of been in the hunt.

    1. In a somewhat different light, there’s also the story of Damon Hill, who couldn’t come to grips with the grooved tyres and narrower cars (despite his impressive Spa win in 1998). I remember how furious Jordan team members were when he parked the car in pristine condition during his final race to retire. I’m surprised Eddie Jordan doesn’t bring it up more often. His motivation simply ceased to be.

      I suspect Vettel isn’t that far (as we’re only in the first season of current regulations and frankly, he’s younger and doing better than Hill), but it’s not out of the question Vettel isn’t as close to his maximum potential as he was for the past 4/5 years.

      1. Did someone say Daddy.

        1. @hohum I don’t think I did?

      2. Eddie not bringing it up is perhaps because there was talk at the time that Damon initially told Eddie he was retiring after the British Gp but Eddie convinced him to see out the season.
        While Damon agreed to finish the year his heart clearly wasn’t in it after Silverstone & his lack of motivation showed over the rest of the year.

        Been honest I always felt he should have left after 1998 & perhaps stayed on at Jordan for 1999 as a test driver (Something Damon was always very good at). It was clear from the 1st race weekend of 1999 that he wasn’t enjoying the 1999 cars & wasn’t as motivated as he had been in the past.

        It was actually similar with Mika in 2001, He was saying the right things about been motivated to win a 3rd title & all that but you could just tell there was something missing & that he wasn’t enjoying his racing as much.
        Its also really interesting how at the 2 races he’d never won that he really wanted to win (Silverstone & Indy) he seemed extra motivated & pulled off race winning drives which were the highlight of an other wise disappointing year.

        Was the same with Damon thinking about it, He had probably his best drive of 1999 at the 1 race that meant the most to him, Silverstone.

        1. @gt-racer Here in the Netherlands we were very aware of the talk about Damon retiring after Silverstone. Especially because Eddie Jordan was baiting the Dutch press into the next dimension.. http://www.racehistorie.nl/grand%20prix/Jos_Jordan_test_1999.jpg

          With Damon I’d have to say age probably was a factor as well. He was 38 going into 1999, an age at which DC also seemed rusty and Schumacher (who has always been fitter than Hill) had a lot of trouble adjusting to the 2010 cars. That, and the lack of motivation must have meant there was little to achieve..

          Mika’s 2001 wasn’t really car-related, I think. Yet I have to agree he didn’t seem to be as motivated or at least lacking his edge that he had from 1998 to 2000. He did very well at the Spanish GP in those years and I think that blown engine in the final lap might have cost him a lot in terms of motivation for 2001. I don’t think many people ever expected his talk of a sabbatical to be true, either. Well, maybe by the time Indy came around people believed he still had it (and as you said, he did seem to carry some extra speed going into Silverstone and Indy), but personally I thought Mika looked ‘done’ with F1 about halfway through 2001..

    2. Indeed. From 1994 to 2006 Schumacher was always after a title, thats over a decade, and he won over half of those.

  7. Alonso has never been my favorite driver yet i hold him in high regard for his ability to always push hard regardless, how he maintains to place the car so high time and time again is a credit to his driving skills, no to ways about it he is better than some who have more titles than himself…
    Vettel reminds me of a spoilt brat that needs the car to perform his way, otherwise he has a problem pushing the car to the max, hence the reason Riccardo is driving so well he is more like Alonso and can push the car regardless of how it handles, he can make do with what he has…

  8. After nearly a decade of decline its pretty obvious why Williams’ form has suddenly improved… It’s clearly the AWESOME paintjob :)

    Ron are you reading this?

  9. Am i the only one that likes those three Williams photo’s with father and daughter. They don’t seem, but are genuine and that father daughter love is adorable and positive to watch. I sure hope the two of them can keep the team growing together showing their passion for racing and family love.

    Good job Clair and Frank Williams.

    1. @bazzek I liked all the Williams photos, too. Great portraits, they very nicely show humans behind all that machinery.

    2. @bazzek I don’t think we’d get the same photo at Ferrari with Luca Di Motezemelo, Marco Mattiacci and Fernando Alonso….
      That then leads to the question of whom would be kissing who on the cheek?

      1. mor important: WICH cheek they’ll be kissing!

      2. @dragoll Seeing this one in my email made my day, thanks !

    3. I think that’s a lovely photo. Well done to whoever took it.

  10. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    13th August 2014, 11:01

    It is interesting, with reference to Massa and Raikkonen’s performances against Alonso, to ask how Ferrari would have performed since 2009 had Alonso not joined and had the Massa-Raikkonen partnership been kept. Whilst I am certain that neither driver would have managed to challenge for the title as Alonso did in 2010 and 2012, I doubt things would have been as dire as some would imagine. The Massa we saw alongside Fernando, and the Kimi we are seeing alongside Fernando aren’t necessarily the same drivers they were before they sat next to the Eyebrowanator. Alonso talents aren’t just confined to his brilliance in the cockpit, but he is also handy at card tricks, posting Samurai related tweets, confusing interviewers, dealing out subtle insults to fellow drivers in press conferences, annoying Luca di Montezemelo and disarming his teammates of confidence, motivation, self-esteem and the team’s support…

    1. I don’t think Kimi & Massa would do too well. Judging by Massa’s performances to Bottas and the fact Massa held his own vs Kimi, I imagine Massa would be doing occasionally better but often worse than Kimi judging by his first lap issues this year.

      Still as F1 fans we owe Alonso a lot. Without him the 2010 and 2012 seasons would be almost as dull as the 2011 and 2013.

  11. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    13th August 2014, 11:59

    Ah Horner has confirmed my suspicions. It seems that Seb has become so accustomed to driving a downforce efficient car in recent years that his current driving style doesn’t complement his current car’s setup. Maybe because Daniel has been driving a somewhat raggady TR for the last couple of years he has more familiarity with issues that these new models are creating?

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      13th August 2014, 13:30

      @frankjaeger – But a modern day RB10 is still not as fast as the STR8 of last year; no matter how you cut it, these cars just appear to suit Ricciardo more than Vettel. With Vettel it’s more about the torque characteristics not the lower levels of downforce, with Vettel previously rolling the car on the edge of oversteer with plenty of throttle through the apexes and relying on Renault’s clever mapping and Newey’s immense rear grip to make for almost visibly better exits from slow corners in 2013. However that style simply doesn’t compute with such massive torque, and the premature software in the brake-by-wire systems also doesn’t give him the neutral car on entry needed to open the throttle so early. Inversely Alonso’s preferred style of maximizing entry speed and squarely off the corner exit is nearly perfectly suited to these new cars.

      1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
        13th August 2014, 17:15

        Interesting stuff @william-brierty

        I don’t know a great deal about how different drivers’ styles compliment different specs so this is more knowledge in the bank. I assumed Vettel’s relatively ‘controlled’ RB’s gave him a more comfortable car to develop a suitable approach which has proved irrelevant this season. Must be hard to shake certain habits in the seat

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          14th August 2014, 14:07

          @frankjaeger – It is interesting how the wizardry of a racing drivers driving style can make him go from hero to zero, or visa versa, with a simple balance or power delivery change. I am hoping, if Keith will let me, to write a guest article profiling Vettel’s issues in more detail which should be ready just before the Belgian GP weekend.

          1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
            15th August 2014, 12:25

            Awesome, i’ll give it a read! @william-brierty

  12. Is Alonso keeping Ferrari “alive” or is he just keeping them on life support? I’d be hard pressed to consider Ferrari’s results this year to be “living” for a team of Ferrari’s caliber and expectations.

    1. Alonso is sucking the life out of Ferrari with his one man’s show and Ferrari should kick him out and have a fresh start with Kimi and some other driver. Alonso has been treated like a king in Ferrari but has hardly given anything noteworthy in return.

      1. @Sami Totally agree! He could’ve won the 2010 and 2012 titles without his mistakes! He isn’t “overdriving” his car. The Ferrari is not the best or easiest car to drive, but at it has a lot of qualities!

  13. I think Grosjean will leave the Lotus.

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