Alonso unwisely refutes La Stampa, Kimi unhappy? Todt taunts Brawn, Pirelli want 8 compounds, Webber reprimanded by FIA

Alonso refutes La Stampa story: Fernando Alonso has dismissed as “not true” reports in the Italian press of a post-qualifying row with Ferrari Formula One team members in India last weekend. thejudge13 reported yesterday that the Turin paper, La Stampa newspaper claimed the Spaniard took exception to media comments by Ferrari’s British technical director Pat Fry, and threatened to publish a ‘tweet’ about a lack of aerodynamic progress since May this year. (LINK)

Alonso hit back on twitter, “The problem is when it is not true,” and added in Spanish “It’s not fair to your readers,” ending the exchange with “Forza Ferrari.”

The difficulty for many modern F1 watchers and in this case Fernando himself is they do not understand Ferrari and its history. If something over the years is published in La Stampa, it has been historically seen as sanctioned if not leaked by Ferrari because the Agnellis family who own the publication are very much part of the same family as Ferrari.

So to criticise a La Stampa Ferrari story as untrue, you may as well tell Luca de Montezemolo he’s lying Fernando.

Amusingly the Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, steps in to diffuse matters after stirring the pot maybe to inspire some creative tension. Explaining Fernando’s behaviour, il padrino suggests, “If he says certain things, it is only to keep everyone under pressure.” He then praises Alonso telling us “He is the best driver in the world, of that there can be no doubt.

thejudge13 had a number of comments from twitter and here suggesting the story was probably fake as Ferrari would be crazy to upset Alonso. The very reasonable and logical line of thought is Alonso has dragged this ‘truck’ of a car around the world delivering results that no other driver would have achieved (The reference to ‘truck’ is one readers pointed out, as this is what Alain Prost called his under performing Ferrari in 1991 – and was instantly sacked).

Yet this rationalistic thinking about how Ferrari should think and behave shows people’s misunderstanding of how Ferrari see themselves.

Where there should be logic there is passion and pride, where there should be order there is politics and self obsession, where others exude the desire to win, Ferrari are content to bask in the glory that is Ferrari.

@hairs on said it most articulately today, “Luca de Montezemolo has been involved with the race team for decades, with a slight break here and there, but he embodies what Ferrari really is as a culture: pride, touchiness, passion, arrogance and self delusion. Only when he relinquished control to Todt did the team spend its energy racing instead of infighting, posturing and waffling”.

I’m laughing whilst typing it out and I couldn’t put it better myself – and that is why I truely love who Ferrari are.

Alonso backs Schumacher: On a lighter note, Fernando tells T-Online the Mercedes have a lot to answer for. If Michael Schumacher had been in a Sauber he would have won 3 races this year – apparently.

Ross Brawn is very contrite about how they’ve let Michael down, “I hope people think of Michael on the day that we achieve our goals, because he will wear a proportion of that success”.

Trust me that was the short version, it was quite gushing really. It’s almost as if the reign of Lauda and Stuttgart are weighing heavily on Brawn’s mind and he’s reminiscing over happier days. Hey, at 57 years of age with around $100m in the bank how many more brutal efforts and pressure does he need to take.

The new and loveable Michael #2 is equally sentimental, saying the most he can hope for is that the fruits of his contribution to the Mercedes project will be reaped by next year’s drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. “It is natural that we are still working together as a team right now as though I will still be there next year,” he said wistfuly.

I’m welling up – time to move on. Tyres – that’ll do it.

Tyres for Abu Dhabi: For dry running we have the medium and the soft tyres from Pirelli. Without boring you with technical detail, this is a very conservative choice and the teams may again be able to one stop. This was the case in India where Pirelli would have been better selecting the super soft and the hard tyre instead of the soft and hard.

The main point of interest is how clean the track will be, the region has just suffered the mother of all sandstorms. There may not be enough time to prepare the track properly as by comparison in India they were sweeping the BIC circuit daily for a month to remove ingrained dust. How the tyres will fair with excess crystals of sand, no one is sure, but it may increase degradation and most certainly will reduce grip.

Pirelli want 8 different dry compounds: As if by magic, while I was writing the above story Autosport publishes this from Paul Hembery (LINK). Read the article I’m not rehashing it here. I will say that Hembery talks mostly about degradation, as though that is the only objective, but there is another objective when designing tyre compounds.

If the delta speed is significant enough between the 2 compounds used in any given race then choosing the softer tyre should allow a driver to be quick enough to overtake those on the harder, more durable compound – the payback is more pit stops. This would make Lewis happy as he could drive the knackers off the car and change tyres and steering wheel in under 3 seconds.

The good news is that Pirelli are looking to continue their F1 relationship, but only as the sole tyre supplier. I’m sure we all agree there should be no return to the bad old days of 2 tyre suppliers. watch: Sorry to bang on about Ferrari, but they are making the news at present.

Luca is fabulous and my mind wanders to a rambling rural villa of some note, he’s having port and cigars with the senior Italian heads of family. They’re  talking about yesteryear and how things used to be done when Enzo was the boss and they’ve arrived at the ‘youth of today’ conversation and are drawing comparisons with the ‘old ways’.

Then in rushes a Ferrari media intern, young and pretty…’Luca we need you to say something to bring the family together’.

Luca remembers the old Sicilian adage, ‘you knocka them down….thena you builda them up’. He asks the intern what he can say that supports Fernando – ‘percentages il padrino’ she quickly replies, ‘Fernando is at 120% now’.

Okay Luca concedes, ‘we’ll see Fernando’s 120% and match it’. He waves his hand commanding the intern to take dictation. “We’re more umited (not my spelling) than ever and the team is working on further improvements with the last three races in sight. We’re ready to give it 120%, just like Alonso. We’ll fight for the Championship right to the last kilometre. I’m very confident.”

Then Luca remembers the 2 DNF’s but forgets he’s referred to them about 5 or 6 times now. He ploughs on regardless, “Alonso was exceptional. The team was perfect in the strategy and reliability. I don’t wish bad luck to anyone, but I think that with 2 collisions at starts in the second part of the season, we’ve paid a very high price”.

The intern quickly disappears and Luca returns to his gathering, ‘Cuban anyone?’ He knows Ferrari will be here tomorrow and the next day and forever – whether they win or not – with Alonso or Vettel or someone else – it matters not. And that is the Ferrari way.

(Full quotes “” ONLY from

Todt taunts Brawn: This one has only just come out. As most of you will know, the teams met with Todt and Ecclestone and are into the last few 1000 kilometres of the endless race (Nee crawl) to agree and sign Concorde. When the Mercedes contingent entered the room, Jean Todt remarked, “I am glad that Mercedes number one has come to join us.” – an obvious dig at his former technical director Ross Brawn with whom Todt does not have the most intimate of friendships. (Auto Motor und Sport)

Kimi not entirely happy: This one I found a little strange. Raikkonen has just signed for Lotus for another year, and from a fit perspective the team and Kimi appear to be a great match. Yet the telegraph today reports Raikkonen not ruling out return to Ferrari or McLaren in the future.

A verbose and serious Kimi said, “I think the last year has been, overall, good for the team but of course you want to win races and challenge for championships. I’m not 100 percent happy,” he admitted. “If I’m here I want to win and be successful.”

Is Kimi saying Lotus can’t win races? He does admit that his relationships with McLaren and Ferrari did not end perfectly, but believes the doors could still be open. “Ferrari could have ended in a slightly nicer way but the people I worked with who are still there, I had a very good relationship with them and go and talk to them still,” he explained.

Kimi goes on and on and on to say more and …”You never know,” he said. “I don’t know how long I will be driving for. Maybe I don’t drive for many more years.” When reminded he and Ron Dennis were not best mates, Kimi admits, “For sure you have a different view of many things but we still talk to each other,” he said. “I have never had a fight with him. (Have a few drinks with Sutil and see what happens then Kimi).

As though the hypnosis is broken with the click of fingers, we return to laid back Kimi mode, he concludes “People just try to make sh*t stories. I have no issues with anybody.”

Mallya: His Kingfisher airline has been told by the Indian Airport Authority to vacate the hangers they use in 2 Indian airports, Channai and Kolkata due to unpaid dues of $150m. The have further asked the Director General of Civial Aviation not to allow the airline its license to fly until all arrears are cleared. Mallya is looking for investors to put around $1bn into the business to facilitate its recovery – no takers as yet, and 18 months and counting (Economic Times).

FIA issue Webber a reprimand: Little reported elsewhere, thejudge13 discovered on Monday that Webber had walked out on the podium drivers’ FIA press conference last weekend. I suggested at the time this would not be appreciated by those in authority, and today it has been confirmed he has received a reprimand for his actions. No fine apparently.

(This page will be updated regularly Thursday GMT – check back for more later)

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4 responses to “Alonso unwisely refutes La Stampa, Kimi unhappy? Todt taunts Brawn, Pirelli want 8 compounds, Webber reprimanded by FIA

  1. Just a conspiracy theory now! Could it be that Alonso knows Vettel will move to Ferrari in 2014 (despite Vettel denying that) and he prepares the ground to be ousted rather than staying on and face competition from a younger driver that Ferrari will potentially make into their no1? Let’s not forget they pushed out Schuey for Kimi and then Kimi for Alonso.

    • You’re an associate script writer when I direct, ‘Ferrari. The Movie’. 😉

      I don’t think Fernando is as truly ingrained in Ferrari as everyone believes – you do not criticse La Stampa as a Ferrari driver, it gets you a metaphical knee capping.

      I also think Alonso feels time is ticking and knows another title is slipping away – worse a younger current driver is about to be 3 times WDC, so he’s looking for excuses.

      Then he has been smacked down by Luca a couple of times – and is seeing the Ferrari machine is not as slick as people maybe believe cf. my humourous take on il padrino and port.

      Just out of interest my roundup today will include a story that Ferrari have just recruited Mercedes head of aero. Mmmm

      • I was never impressed with Pat Fry at McLaren and I can’t say he’s doing a stellar at Ferrari. So, why get head of aero from Merc, they have’t done a stellar job there either? Anyway, a new environment might rejuvenate them.
        PS I can also help with directing the movie 🙂

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