Ferrari: Seriously losing their grip

Earlier in the year, TJ13 had suggested that Christian Horner was indeed a man with a Vettel shape footprint on his neck. There were many articles and news stories about the turmoil in Milton Keynes, particularly from the multi-21 fallout from Sepang.

Some Red Bull fans criticised TJ13 for having an unfair bias against their team, lead driver and senior management personnel. I did comment at the time, the annual Ferrari in fighting would most likely begin again in the autumn.

I was wrong, it has begun. TJ13 was highly surprised at the recent love in instigated by Il Padrino and reported the event with much amusement. For those of you new to TJ13, the image portrayed was of poor little Felipe having a tough time, but being re-assured that even as he receives the love of his wife and family, the worldwide Ferrari family wished him to know they loved and supported him equally.

TJ13 sources have revealed that in fact Massa’s traumas in Monaco and in Germany were because the team were experimenting with a new anti-spin system, that’s based on the KERS and also can brake or slow the car down via the engine. This may or may not be legal but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. In all three instances Massa loses control of the car in strange circumstances, such that last week Anthony Davidson remarked he did not believe any of the accidents were driver error.

When asked following the German GP to explain his strange spin under braking, Massa included in his reply that “the team didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with the car”. He shrugged and shook his head in bemusement.

Ferrari is again having problems with the correlation of the car development between the wind tunnel and the on track results, just as they did last year. Dominicali then stated following the Japanese GP that the wind tunnel issues would not be allowed to be an excuse for the engineers and designers.

Of course, 2 races later in India we had the infamous incident of the wild-eyed Spanish matador – incandescent with rage – screaming and threatening Fry and Dominicali that he would tweet to the world that his car had not been developed aerodynamically since May.

Alonso’s demeanour following the German GP was his usual mix of philosophic comment and passionate call for the team in frustration to find more pace in the car, and it appeared we were about to see his level’s of angst rise further this weekend as clearly the Ferrari is not improving.

Yet a number of observers commented in the build up to this race that Fernando appeared very relaxed, almost nonchalant in his dealings with them privately and with the media.

Stefano Dominicali was conspicuous by his absence from any pre or post race live interviews with either of the BBC or SKY. I am told he was not available for comment with the written press reporters either.

The cold hard fact is that Ferrari has been heading in reverse since their uber dominant weekend in Spain. In Hungary even at the most optimum with fresh tyres and clean air Alonso was nearly half a second behind the pace of Mercedes, Red Bull and Lotus with Massa finishing behind one of the MP4-28’s which have been woeful for most of the year.

P5 was probably the best Alonso could have hoped for and without the stewards’ bizarre decision to penalise Grosjean for being millimetres from the edge of the track having passed a limping Ferrari, it could have been worse for Fernando.

As an aside, to punish Grosjean for his incident with Button would have made some sense, but the TV footage reveals a number of drivers had left the track at turn 4 earlier in the race defending their position – including Vettel. Once again, the race management under Charlie Whiting’s guidance has fallen into disrepute for its inability to be consistent in its rulings.

During the post race driver pen interview’s, Fernando commented, “We didn’t have the pace with the soft, we didn’t have the pace with the medium and we were not quick enough.. July – the month in general has not been so good for us in terms of how competitive we have been this month – in Nurburgring, Silverstone and Hungary. We need to… to… react… and we need to… [speaks a burst of Spanish] win 3 or 4 consecutive races that will close any gap with the leaders and we need to do it”.

All this was said whilst Alonso was looking away from Lee McKenzie, picking at his cheek and twirling his side burns. The usual passion and determination was lacking, and Alonso appeared to be disillusioned and flat.

Further, Fernando’s comment about winning 3 or 4 consecutive races is delusional – and he knows it. This clearly demonstrates his utter lack of belief that the team can deliver him anything remotely competitive to fight the Red Bull, Lotus and Mercedes cars.

Lee McKenzie asks Fernando, “Are you becoming frustrated with Ferrari, we understand that your manager has been speaking to Red Bull. Are you looking to leave Ferrari and go to Red Bull?” He replies, “No, no no. I am concentrating on winning the championship. These other rumours that [are] always in August. It is a good time for rumours because there are not 4 weeks where there is a Formula 1 race”.

Alonso is unconvincing, and a smile creeps across his mouth as he is answering and he ends with a sheepish grin – as opposed to a sneer of disapproval or a convincing and firm denial of any kind.

McKenzie presses, “Has your manager been to speak to Red Bull?” Alonso again sheepishly responds, “I don’t think so”.

McKenzie again, “Not that you know of?” Alonso is now practically chuckling with embarrassment and grinning like a Cheshire cat and barely completes the response, “Not that I know of” before grinning from cheek to cheek and wandering away.

For those readers who are sceptical of the German publication ‘Bild’, it was they who published pictures and a report of Alonso’s manager this morning. Of course Alonso’s manager – Garcia – also manages Carlos Sainz Jnr yet it is highly unlikely that they would be discussing him as a replacement to Webber.

Finger on the pulse Niki Lauda dismisses the idea of Alonso going to Red Bull stating, “It’s the biggest nonsense I’ve ever heard, a stupid rumour. Alonso has a contract for three more years, 2014, 15, 16 — everybody in the paddock knows that. It’s absolutely not true.” Clearly Lauda has excluded at least one paddock member as David Coulthard counters this stating of Fernando, “I’m sure he has [opt] outs from his contract because he is a double world champion”.

Coulthard fires the speculative fires further when he gives credence to the meeting between Garcia and Horner. “There’s a strong suggestion and evidence that is the case, but it’s not a big surprise. He [Alonso] wants to win – like any of the drivers – look Lewis Hamilton has moved to Mercedes because he’s frustrated at a lack of success at McLaren. Fernando has to be looking at his options”.

If there was any further doubt over the Alonso to Red Bull in 2014 rumour having some substance, the usual double speaking, hedge your bets against all odds Horner had this to say on Webber’s replacement. “We’re starting to get a clearer picture but then other options pop up.” This is on the back of Horner stating 2 weeks ago that it was now between Ricciardo and Raikkonen.

Vettel is asked by Lee McKenzie, “Do you fancy Fernando as a team mate for next season?”. Grinning from ear to ear he replies, “I prefer Kimi”. Lee asks him, “Why’s that?”. Vettel responds, “Umm… I think err… I think err…. I need to be careful now… nothing against Fernando I respect him a lot as a driver, but I respect Kimi on and off track because he’s always between very straight with me – and for that reason I think it might be easier”.

What is clear is the Garcia/Horner meeting is a political event. If Alonso was in a position of weakness in Maranello, his representative would not be pictured meeting Christian Horner. It could be this allows Red Bull to play psychological warfare with Il Padrino and the Italian troops, but only with Fernando’s tacit agreement – which itself is more than an alliance of passing interest. Red Bull could further be sending Vettel a message that the decision who replaces Webber is theirs and not Sebastian’s.

The BBC reporting of this was quite excellent. SKY who at times appear obsessed with their own gushing ideas and beliefs which have them at the heart of F1 missed it completely. It appears being in the paddock does not ensure you are aware of the big F1 story – whether you are an F1 writer or international media organisation.

Ferrari will respond for sure, whether via La Stampa, the Horse Whisperer or another family BBQ for Felipe where Fernando is unwelcome. The Ferrari fun season is beginning and for non-Ferrari fans this may be a time when much sport is made of the happenings in Maranello.

What is clear is that Ferrari are fast losing their grip on the development of their 2013 car; losing their grip on any hope of the 2013 titles and maybe losing their grip on keeping their star driver and double F1 World Championship winner.

UPDATE: Luca de Montezemolo is furious with Alonso (link here)

(How long we will have this before it is removed who knows but click here for the downloaded interviews)

53 responses to “Ferrari: Seriously losing their grip

  1. Apart from Hamilton’s win those interviews with Alonso, Horner and Vettel made the race for me. Could we even see a swap between Vettel and Alonso, could we?

    • IF Alonso was to join RB in ’14, I think that is more likely than an Alonso-Vettel partnership, since it seems in the past Vettel has expressed an interest in joining Ferrari sometime on his F1 career, many people from RB and Ferrari have stressed it would be highly unlikely both to be in a team at once.

    • Yeah, a swap doesn’t sound that unrealistic. But the question is : why would Vettel want to leave the team, given Ferrari don’t seem to be able to develop a car at this stage ?

      • I guess it depends if RBR were trying to employ Allison as the replacement for Newey. Maybe he wants to retire and Horner wanted Allison as his replacement. If there is any truth to that, maybe Vettel sees Ferrari as the place to be now.
        The other thing that still bugs me, didn’t Ferrari speak to Horner over the winter? There was suggestions that they were discussing terms for both Horner and Newey..

        • My understanding was that the horner/Maranello meeting turned out to be a pow wow over Bernie’s impending issues and how they may wish to act given certain scenarios.

  2. Machiavelli would be proud.
    I’m really not sure what to make of all this. Alonso is a very savvy individual, a man who knows both how to motivate the troops and play psychological games with the opposition.
    It’s very rare in F1, to have the full details of a given situation.

    Maybe Alonso has tired of Ferrari and is seeking pastures new. Maybe he feels that currently, only RBR can provide him with a winning car, but that raises as many questions as it answers.

    If we are to believe the reports from last year, didn’t Alonso veto Vettel from ever joining the team as a team-mate because he “feared” him? Or did we all get swallowed up in the vague rumours around? Would Alonso really want to join Vettel’s team?

    We heard that he wanted Symonds at Ferrari, something that Ferrari refused. But if current rumours are true, if there is one individual he should want at Ferrari above Symonds, it is Brawn. After all, Brawn and Byrne were the architects of the Ferrari juggernaut.

    Ferrari have the services of Allison joining the team, a man who worked with Byrne during the Schumacher years. A man who also worked with Alonso during his 2 Championship years.

    Then I question, wasn’t Pat Fry employed by Ferrari because of Alonso’s request? Yet he seems out of his depth, along with Domenicalli. Aldo Costa was resigned due to non adventurous design in 2010 and 2011, yet the Mercedes is arguably the fastest car out there this year.

    Is this a Red Bull ploy to take some control back from Vettel? After all, Horner and Webber are close outside of the sport, and Webber is a friend of Alonso.. or has Webber spoken to Alonso about how to disrupt the team equilibrium?
    Or could it be that this rumour allows both Horner and Alonso to gain leverage in their respective teams?

    Ferrari look to be assembling the old dream team once again. The problem is, will it take a couple of seasons to get it all working properly?

    One final question. Ferrari are once again reporting problems with correlation. They have focused their wind tunnel use in the Toyota tunnel, as have Mclaren, whilst Ferrari recalibrate their own tunnel.
    Am I being naive to think that the 2 biggest teams in F1 history, both using the same facilites and both suffering development issues, surely is more than mere coincidence?

    As a Ferrari fan, I hope the man from Asturia is still dressed in red next year. After all it took MSC 5 years to secure a WDC for Maranello.
    But although they share the same work ethic, Alonso is somewhat more emotionally driven than Michael.

    • Thank you Carlo – great to hear from you and you make a number of well educated deductions.

      I did suggest this is a political event which suits both Horner and Alonso in my conclusion.

      The English media are rather dull reporting F1 in a ‘he said she said’ kind of way and TJ13 clearly states one of our objectives is to examine matters in a deeper manner than that.

      Kimi was ditched prematurely, some argue for sponsorship reasons with the Santander deal and Ferrari have never allowed one driver to be bigger than the team.

      Interesting observation over the wind tunnel issues and you could well be correct.

      Overall, a great comment and much food for thought for us all

    • Carlo,

      +++ excellent take on the important off track events. Thank you!

      I think many teams are having problems dialing in their tunnels.

      That’s a sweeping statement, but I back it up by suggesting you look at the state of change in the GPGPU compute arena. (General Purpose Graphics Computing Unit) Challenges more than merely who has the fastest stripes. Anyone with cursory CAD/CAM experience knows the clock versus cores dilemma. Some modelling, try Solidworks, and CATIA to name culprits among a friendly crowd, love clock speed. Stuff the core count. But GPOGPU a) only just has double precision ECC arithmetic very recently, only _just has toolchains in development to make use of n*K cores. And not all embarrassingly parallel computation is so embarrassingly parallel. I used to love it when you could smoke in bars and clubs, and friends traded options, and I could blow a puff from a dense rich robusto. Then slice the smoke with my hand. “There’s your model!” .. as expressions would vary between the confused to embarrassed (often exactly who knew their model limits) to, now and then, curious. The problem with playing with models like that is how much they spawn subset problems, which also look rather parallel, but knowing how they arise involves heading back up the tree to discover their origin. That’s a lot of interrupt state or context to keep in the pipeline, and the more units doing the job, the harder it is to look back. (Oh for the days you could have a d**k measuring competition with register depths. . ) And here’s the fun thing with calibration: the more you can compute, the more _arbitrary precision you think you can attain, the harder it is to decide what is significant when you run it all back to the real world. Because if a flea has a flea inside her . . . now you have ten fleas . . and which one will accidentally not be hermaphrodite? All this almost Lorenzian wonder (I just happen to like Lorenz, because in his attractor I find useful thought as to imagining system models chasing their own tail) has to be checked against fairly geometry which is not necessarily built to the same order of precision as one can compute. Oh, sure, the milling and fabrication is awesome. But there’s true need here to start thinking of the implications of a far greater model precision, greater airflow precision . . and it goes on.

      Put simply, I think the potential for throwing compute at a problem and ending up off track is higher now. Given the affordability of enormous computing power, I think artificial limits on this kind of test insulting to the idea of science.

      – – –

      Carlo’s off track personal / personell thoughts are super too.

      I am thinking drivers are forming alliances to protect against the inevitable shakeup whenever someone finally has to do something about the MIA Concorde.

      This could make for a very interesting development.

      How long is it since drivers gave up their cars to honor a friend?

      Who can drivers really trust, with it so patently obvious every team is neck deep in Princely politicking to out shuffle the forthcoming shuffle?

      Is Seb V saying he prefers Kimi for real, or flexing his muscles as to what influence he really can have? Sounded to me very much like he was vying for a reaction only he can assess. Can you decode that as “Kimi takes no BS politicking, so stop it with me, he’s the example I like, in general”?

      There could be so many messages. But though I am no SV fan, he’s wily beyond his years, coached by a certain floppy haired octogenarian even. As such, I take what he says in that interview far more seriously than I would otherwise.

      – – –

      There is a oddity in the MB camp. Chef-du-jour-watch aside, much has piled in since the ’13 car was put to bed in essence, and there’s a year to tell yet, whether TJ and others here are right about cooks and broth, or if we’ll find a Ratatouille dancing Disney-esque surreptitiously in the kitchen, or if indeed there are so many roles to play. I’d argue that they bolster at too high a managerial level, not that there are not more roles to play and to give dedication to.

      – – –

      I think there is argument for outsourcing wind tunnels as standard. I think it’s needed to bring it all up to spec. Help the small teams also. No reason, not a single reason you could not get say Epsilon or whoever has the ability to set out to build the best and stretch the art as far as it can go.

      My best analogy is Intel.

      Intel get to spend 10BLN a pop on new fabs (chip plants) on a schedule. They demote the older to less demanding products, and can offload to other companies almost at will, including the almost as expensive decommissioning cost / risk. Even TMSC is barely close, Global Foundries may be Floundries yet. (though GF more because of lack of product pipeline demand caused by slower design iteration) .

      Basically, the idea of competitive advantage of a wind tunnel only works when there is almost no testing limit – *calibration time* – and budgets are as you please all you can eat.

      Put in the constraints and well, I do not think anyone can do a good job under time and resource restrictions when the complexity of the job is accelerating as it is now.

      So, get rid of the other tunnels, save for protos. Open one truly super one, run it 24/7, give equal time to all. Light some fiber between the sensor processors and the server farms of the teams, direct, and they can throw what kind of facility they may muster at the results in private. But have that sucker calibrated by all the data, the data anonymized and in independent hands only. Get a team of universities on the case, as well. No more stigma being Marussia, that the top young minds aspire to work on someone else’s data.

      – – –

      I would like to see also a effort to cooperate on tooling standards, measurement and QA.

      All this feeds academia and industry hearty fayre.

      All this gets young bright minds attracted to F1 and exposed to every team.

      I know many of my old school friends took less than prestige jobs with the same degrees as others who went for name employers. Why? They liked the people more. This ensures there’s a constant parade of faces.

      Imagine if you have aggregated non identifiable data for aero, and spot something interesting, and under rules must publish full access your paper, and you are anxiously wondering who will be the first to catch on and use your results? Well, that’s make for a dream thesis candidacy abstract anyhow!

      Can’t tot my own horn, because I only look at this and another site where I comment, but I adfvoocated or at least suggested inevitable the standardization of aero a couple years back.

      Because of cost disparity.

      Well, if you truly share base test beds, there’s more time to interpret differently. Does everyone build a Lego brick castle the same way?

      My house is not the same as yours, but if we started today, oh what amazing materials we’d have to build with.

      Therefore I advocate a F1 kit car factory.

      Have someone with good commercial roots manage it like Epsilon.

      Have it open to the public.

      YES, Open it!

      No, not so we can waltz in and check out Adrian’s latest muse. Open the second tunnel. You are going to build two identical tunnels aren’t you, so one can always be calibrating / there for training? Build a public gallery to that one.

      = = =

      Enough of that from me for now, I’m throwing at the wall, see what sticks, if anyone thinks I’m off my nuts, please pile in, I wanna hear.

      Hi to all I know, and thanks to absolutely everyone for making sure the thirteen is still here for me to find refuge within. Once upon a time a wanted man might enter a church and be saved from arrest. I dunno how long the diet is good for, but I see bread and wine here aplenty.

      • John, I’ve read your musing previously and always enjoy them.

        As to the wine and bread, I always enjoy a meal here:

        http://www.grottadelconte.it/

        Fine stout Italian bread dipped into Virgin Olive Oil, with a glorious red wine, and a fine pasta dish. I usually choose Cannelloni Ripieni.

        Followed by freshly caught and cooked mussels and delicate salads.

        For afters, it has to be Italian ice cream, there is none better, and a shot of Chivas with an Espresso to finish the evening.

        Then a passeggiata along the harbour, listening to the waves kiss the mooring and hulls of the boats.

        Then the wife and I get into a classic Fiat 500 and return to our home in Poggiardo, merely 8kms away.

          • Ditto, Carlo!!

            No, more please, more MORE M – O – R – E !!!

            I am trying to tear my love away from her beloved hound, who has taken on a demented streak lately (sorry EQ, but R4th is so lately) sensing something is not the same any more Chez Doggie. (and doggies who tear up old / new, okay our old office one but v nice) leather sofas are going to not get my love for a poignant interval. (poor mutt, a bitch went after him in the park, like a shot, well I know nothing about dogs, so picked up the hound, all muscle and dopy endearment, and he slipped me and leash, and on attempt 2 I rugby tackled him to the ground. For a while, we knew our places!)

            Bring on the paradise, Carlo, please. I may not be able to afford the trip or time (that perennial gotchya both ways) but if this is where fine F1 minds repast, I shall make formal business like excuses ..

            ’tis a pity Rpaco is not about these ways lately. I think the TJ vs JS thing overcooked mutton. I would love some more Italian influence. Keep meaning to visit Vicenza and trace the locations for Joseph Losey’s amazing Don Giovanni. (recently remastered by epic endeavor at Gaumont. Even the DVD issue screams pictorial beauty, not sure there’s a Bluray thing, or that it needs it, a good transfer always excels)

            Stroke of genius, Losey removing that play to Italy. But it does catch you when Leperello (José van Dam, fantastic cast all) sings “Ma in Ispagna son già mille e tre. ” with a quip of conclusion, you miss the point that Don G is playing a bit too much on his home turf. Personally, I wrote ’till I dropped how actually Don G is the victim of class in this tale, long ago in my teens. You’d never believe it, unless you knew me personally, and experienced my quiet times, that as a boy I was terribly shy, and as a result failed languages miserably.
            – –

            when Joe’s wordpress install was randomly eating my posts (and Chrfome failing to keep the back cache also, so much was odd) I wrote that he’s make a great travel agent of potential investors in F1. In reply to who suggested he might retire into that (ha!, Joe retire!?) but I had the thought exactly who spends real money in F1, is modest, would be impressed to meet the culture around F1 and who could buy Bernie with pocket change.

            My little dream, well not so little, is to kit out a pair of MB coaches, one for par . . I mean work, the other for living, and follow all but the flyaways in a posse visiting the pilgrimage sites of racing. Maybe one day we might find a way? Next year I can go for it. Needs people, though. And good restaurant guides!

            thanks, Carlo, for your compliments. I am deeply flattered, this kind words coming from you. I am not yet back fully, but the spark returned, the embers rekindle, there may be much changed which is worth the time spent away.

            TJ, if I ever come out of my online shell, to the real world, I am going to make a point of dragging you kicking and screaming to that place for dinner, Carlo and your loved ones too. I hope I’ll be able to shed the pseudonym bit by bit, before long. (anyone who has contacted me knows I use my real name directly, which keeps me nicely out of the rumor mill hunts, and my predictions if any clean and unadulterated)

          • With all due respect Judge, I feel I should add a little more..;)

            Everyone knows Italy for Milano, Roma, Venezia, Verona, Napoli, Capri and Florence amongst others.

            There is an abundance of fine clothing, cars, food and wine and unmatchable art collection throughout the land.
            I believe I’m right in quoting a “Rough Guide” tourist book that stated, Florence has more listed art than any other country in the world. Florence, merely a city in Tuscany.

            There are also towns which are so steeped in history, yet barely known as a tourist attraction. I was playing Assassins Creed 2 some years back and saw a medieval city called San Gimignano.
            During a planned holiday to a Tuscan villa in Lucca (birthplace of Giacomo Puccini), we made a journey into this walled city and practically stepped into history.
            Stunning, and within easy reach of Florence, Pisa and Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci.

            Puglia is a region of Italy that resides on the heel of Italy’s boot. It is known as the place that Italians go on holiday, yet is barely heard of outside the country.
            I was reading a recent edition of Boats International, which listed the “best of” items for the wealthy. Be they boats, private jets, cars, clothes or fine wines, etc. For places to dine out and eat, there were a few around the Italian shoreline.
            Portofino and Capri were both mentioned, but not one from the Italian Jewel. So it seems, to outsiders, it is still a mystery.

            As I said, Castro is merely 8kms away, but also local is Santa Cesaria Terme;

            http://www.termesantacesarea.it/

            Otranto, (I recommend “un caffe in ghiaccio” in a sea front cafe)

            and Alimini

            http://www.charmingpuglia.com/en/alimini-beach.html

            I always wondered what madness made my father and mother decide to come to Britain, I remember him saying work, but it was almost a Bilbo Baggins moment of madness to go on an adventure.
            Then again, he was a master mechanic and worked for Rolls Royce and also worked on the original GT40 programme.

            I am working towards moving there permanently in the next 3 or 4 years, you are of course all welcome to visit.

            Opera is something my wife truly adores, and she doesn’t understand the language! We were in Rome for my 40th birthday, and we found they were performing Madama Butterfly at the Caracalla baths, where the original 1990 3 tenors concert was held.
            We bought tickets and had a meal in Piazza Navona before heading to the venue that evening. It was open air, and it was remarkable how warm it was during the evening.
            Rome is my favourite place in the world, and being with my wife, on my 40th there and listening to a beautiful production was spell binding. The soprano actually brought her to tears. It is a memory that will live with me forever. Verona will be our next destination.

            As to your pilgrimage to motor race sites, that is something that I have been passionate about for some years and always wanted to take trips around Europe visiting places. The Montjuich road system in Barcelona still exists, and the roads around Spa just to mention 2.
            I was at Le Mans in 2010, and was bemused that in their museum, there was no mention of the tragedy that occurred there 55 years previously.
            I love the fabric of our sport, the history of the teams and drivers.

            Whilst I adore the spectacle of F1 and the sights and sounds of the cars, I adore the historic events just as much.
            In a way, I am jealous of the people who followed Formula One when drifting was an art form, not a life choice.
            It speaks volumes that during Saturday qualifying on the BBC, Ben Edwards was so excited by Kimi Raikkonen sliding a few degrees out of line on a lap.
            With drivers becoming ever more cocooned in their missiles, when we can no longer distinguishes the helmet from any other curve on the body work, when cars corner as if on rails, we are losing sight of the individual.
            I want to watch these guys and marvel at their skill, knowing that if given the seat, I wouldn’t be able to match their speed. That’s not a feeling I have felt for some time, probably since the 80’s.

            Thank you for the platform

          • I did a sort of photo-shoot in San Gimignano about fifteen years ago… I thought it was an honour to be allowed to visit such a sight…

  3. Am I the only one who thinks Alonso has started all this fuss? Implying he could leave Ferrari whenever he wanted, he puts pressure on them. Pressure to develop the car, to deliver, to give him a good enough car to fight the Bulls and Mercedes.

    I personally don’t see him partnering Sebastian – he likes to team up with drivers that are not as good as him (remember 2007? He won’t be sharing a team with a top driver).

    And why would Seb want to join Ferrari next year? He’s had a world championship car for 3/4 years and the Italians have been struggling ever since they won the WDC in 07.

    • Alonso believes that Newey designs the best cars, and in an far inferior Ferrari he came within 3 points of winning the 2012 drivers’ title. He backs himself against Vettel. As Coulthard says, Alonso will have opt outs and may not want to wait 2 years for Ferrari to get their team assembled.

      Plus how does the Brawn/Allison thing work? I’ve heard today that Brawn is also talking to McLaren – so for Fernando this is not a done deal.for Ferrari and their future ‘dream team’.

      Red Bull have a significant disagreement between Marko, Mateschitz on one side and Horner, Newey on the other. The former have gone on record supporting Ricciardo, and their young driver programme whereas Horner and Newey know Webber has been the best of the ‘2nd placed’ drivers’ which is why they have won the constructors.

      They want Kimi because they believe he will perform better than Ricciardo and now also he will be be less ‘trouble’ than Alonso.

      Further, it could be argued the Lotus in 2012 and in 2013 has been a better car than the Ferrari when you look at the results Grosjean has been capable of when not having racing incidents.

      Horner doesn’t mind a driver capable of challenging Vettel because Webber at times has done this to the benefit of the team in the constructors’ championship.

      Add into the mix relations between Horner and Vettel have cooled a little following the aftermath of multi-21 where his driver made him look somewhat of a patsy.

      The problem Horner now has is, should he argue for an experienced competitor for Vettel and win the day, maybe Mateschitz will judge Alonso a better bet based on the fact he has been in an inferior machine to Kimi.

      • That is really a lot supposition. Alonso did a great job last season but I just cant see that Alonso has done anything more this season then what Kimi has done. If anything I would say Kimi is doing a better job.
        The Ferrari didn’t start off as a good car last season, but they kept on improving, the car had the second best race pace by the end of the year, even Massa’s performances improved dramatically.
        Lotus started off with a better car, but at the same time Kimi had just returned from a two year break to a new team. The Lotus last year was much more depended on track temperatures. The Lotus’s performances where not consistent and it dropped heavily from Spa, the Ferrari was much more consistent.
        The car has been more consistent this season but even Lotus this season had a period from Monaco until Spa where car just wasn’t fast. The Lotus car was also very bad in wet condition and last season had a lot of wet races, the Ferrari on the otherhand was much better in the wet. This season both teams seems to be more equal in the wet.

        People also need to take into consideration the team organization as well. Lotus’s pitstops are much slower then the other top teams, last year their pitstops was always in the 3.5 – 4 second range. These last two grandprix’s was the first time they were able to do pitstops below 3 seconds. It makes a big difference in close fights.
        Lotus also doesn’t have good strategies. Their drivers has a way of losing positions in the first part of the race. This has happened to Kimi in the last 4 races. In this race alone Kimi was in 10th place after the first round of pitstops. That really isn’t ideal. And some of their past strategical issues have been discussed for these past few races.

        Ferrari has a very good organizational side their pitstops are always good, and they practically never make mistakes with their strategic calls. When teams are fighting so close together this can make a big difference. Even if Lotus and Ferrari has the same pace Kimi will always have more obstacles.

        Using the second drivers as a means of guessing the pace of the car is an incorrect science. Last year Grosjean scored 46% of Kimi’s points and Massa scored 43% of Alonso’s points, that isn’t a big difference.
        And this season Massa has scored 46% of Alonso’s points, While Grosjean has scored 37% of Kimi’s points. The Ferrari was a strong car at the beginning of the season, but should we know conclude that the Lotus is a worse car then the Ferrari?

        Second drivers are by nature inconsistent, most of them can show flashes of speed but for the most part they are just generally to inconsistent.
        Webber and Massa are older drivers. Grosjean on the otherhand was signed with the idea that he might lead the team as a young driver at some point. Especially at the beginning of last year, the team had a real incentive to see Grosjean get good results.

        From Horner’s point of view if I had to choose between Kimi and Alonso there wouldn’t be much of a difference. But is is all a moot point since if you look at the pictures of this discussions taking place, you would see Alonso’s manager and Carlos Sainz Snr. talking with Horner. Besides Alonso has a big salary, so who would buy out Alonso’s contract for 3 years, if he wants to move.

        • I must find time to watch again the races so far.

          FA’s driving last year gripped me and rattled many a cage, and you’re right, Amanda, the Ferrari was a regularly improving car to boot.

          Now that may not be ideal, you want to be ahead, but a driver pushing and a design pushing made for seriously good racing, IMO.

          So, who might have a almost top car, ability to push the design, and need of a driver who can wrangle like Fernando did?

          A respected friend, whose name needs not guessing, is fond of saying F1 contracts are whatever they are wont to be, but oft dismisses moves as illogical; a contrary position, if one is pedantic. I forget which side we respectively fell down with regarding Lewis’s move… Interesting, might look back.

          My view is that whilst so much is so many dominoes, to make any move it has to be a whale not a big fish, because rear of grid shuffles are too complicated by feeder series and fresh talent precedence and preferences and sponsorship. In other words, the back pressure down the grid is so intense, there is far less shuffle room between the top and mid levels, so something serious has to happen to be of note and shake the tree sufficiently hard.

      • Alonso asked Ferrari to hire Pat Symonds, but Domenicali was very clear:” no way!”.
        First time they ever turned him down, Alonso’s relation with Ferrari is far from good.
        I can completely understand his frustration, the car that LCDM so affectuous called “la speranzosa” at the beginning of the season can now almost be labeled “la vergognosa”.

  4. Nice little pop at Joe Saward there! 🙂

    I wonder if 2014 is a good time for either driver to move to be honest. So many variables. I commented yesterday that Newey’s obsession with packaging could well harm Red Bull more than in the past now ERS is to become more of a factor. We also have no idea who will do a better job with the new turbo engine. Ferrari could easily design the best of the lot and if Alonso moves away he’ll be kicking himself, especially with Allinson now on board which should hopefully give the chassis side a boost.

    I also feel that a swap is very unlikely now that Webber is retiring. I can’t see a top team like Red Bull happily replacing both drivers at the same time, especially coming in to a season of major change.

    I think Alonso really has to see out this season knowing he won’t win the title and hope Ferrari pull their socks up for next year. No harm in him negotiating a possible move for 2015 though.

    • My ‘pop’ was at a global media empire who provided 5 hours of F1 programming, but are so self obsessed they failed to have anyone scanning the other news outlets to see if there was a fairly big story brewing.

      However you raise a fair point, if SKY can miss something like this, what chance is there for the vastly diminishing handful of independent F1 journalists left applying to the FIA for a season’s press pass and attending each race. They are herded like sheep for interviews with anyone who is vaguely important, thrusting their dictaphones forward amid the masses to record interviews which are available to the many. Following the F1 circus costs them at least $60,000 a year in travel and accommodation alone.

      The old days of closeted meetings for ‘special favoured reporters’ with a team principal are gone, and the TV viewer gets the immediate reactions and opinions of the top drivers and team hierarchy live withing minutes of the race ending.

      Further, if you are a known press individual or TV pundit, the mechanic, truck driver and PR girl are cagey when you approach them as they know they are being presented with questions from known F1 press individuals. Ted Kravitz of SKY admitted he was being sanctioned by Eric Boulier since he dared to ask on Thursday whether Kimi had been paid. They all have to play the game and not upset people if they want to continue to get interviews.

      TJ13 and our associated friendly European sites are talking to the people in the factory and on the ground, along with at times dealing with team hierarchy on matters of our daily business. The ‘little people’ are just chatting to someone from ‘the business’ and even if they know about our websites, they have the benefit of anonymity when they reveal the stories they do.

      Amongst the many interactions I’ve had this year was a most interesting 30 minute chat with Jenson’s driver, who in the past worked for Alain Prost. He also had previously been awarded a contract to supply services to Silverstone for several years and employed 10 people under that contract.The background information which was revealed from our chat was priceless.

      Formula 1 is changing very quickly, and many of those associated with the sport are not up with the ‘times’ and how fans are interacting with the sport. Further, the age of Formula 1 fans is pretty mature compared to global ‘soccer’ and this still means they buy glossy magazines and their online equivalents because they haven’t realised most of the information contained therin is free elsewhere – plus a lot more.

      If I get time, I’ll do a piece on the enormity of how the internet and TV coverage is changing nature of F1 journalism. Though most of the themes are in this comment. As with every seismic change in working practices from the industrial revolution to that of the digital age and social media, there are those who argue the old ways are the purist, the only way – and the best. Yet they all become subsumed by the new dawn. Adapt or die!

      • Great comment Judge, and its interesting to me your final paragraph. As a professional archaeologist during the day, I have to say this is typical of every new technology there has been. Something new arrives, people start to use it like they did the old technology, both seem to coexist for a period, eventually they realise the potential of the new technology and develop new ways of using it, new technology finally becomes the standard. This is true of the transition from flint to bronze tools through to Traditional media vs internet based digital media. We are still in that cusp period, but its not going to last forever… musics already practically left the party, TV and film are looking at their watches.

        • Indeed. Another example of this is that F1 is missing $100m’s in internet revenue because of their TV contracts which grant regional internet rights to the broadcasters – and most of these have have several years to run. When they can exclude regional internet based services from the broadcasters rights, F1 may easily treble its income.

          • F1 is just gagging for higher frame rate transmission.

            Almost any broadcast camera I have looked at or touched of late can do 60 frames a second.

            Yes, please, let’s have a value add download of high FPS footage.

            There are so many many little comings to I would love to review dialed in slo mo!

            The same for 3D.

            Stuff 3D in the movie theaters. (see the late dera Ebert, link below*)

            But for arguing race action?

            Yeeep, Bring IT ON!!

            – –

            None of this should really be costing more. Least not significantly more. But with 3D standard and increasingly a very high standard on tellys** at the very least get a deal with say Pany to hook that up on their VieraLink, or Samsung who are stuffing “smart” TV’s, or — – who is that tiny little insignificant goggle box making mom and pop shop that was called, hmm, wonder what happened to them, always shoddy stuff I remember, was it Goldstar . . .??

            * http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/why-3d-doesnt-work-and-never-will-case-closed

            ** like the oft fevered debate “no I don;t want my camera to do movies, I want all the effort in just still pictures”, well the tech comes at near zero incremental cost once it’s in the manufacturing process. One just needs a reason to use it.

            – –

            Extra fiver a month for a “red button” that actually bloody well works, maybe say connected using your PC as a PVR buffer, and you use the HDMI signalling to pull a 3D stream of the just viewed overtake, or something like that. Not beyond possibility a PC will do duty to make “hawkeye” style views on the fly, either. Any which way, people vote with their feet for separate boxes: telly, games, pc. Who makes them compliment eachother the best will do very well. That’s what Windows8 is about. Tough I must be mad, because I think Win8 is very good, very very good, worte elsewhere about the delights of having it all under my fingers on the keyboard, oh, well, if you will suffer my geek rambling also, it’s on this page, below: http://www.techopsguys.com/2013/06/04/infoworld-suggests-radical-windows-8-changes/

      • TJ,

        oh, and Hi There after too long, dear friend!

        your explanation of “the little guys” as barometers of worth to my mind coincides with the lack of direction at the top. See also my thought about drivers expressing “preferences”. The grass roots of F1 are speaking out – legitimately, legally and perfectly morally – whilst TPTB twiddle their thumbs. You know I have great respect and admiration for JS and his writing, but increasingly he is a rara avis, relying on his undoubted senses and sensibilities, but contrarily branding himself a maverick, whilst the sport is jostling and experimenting and finding ways to over-brand themselves (add a brand to change one mark to another) or as you attest here, opening the debate through channels I am sure are frowned upon. You just cannot tell so many thousands of people and their families, “yeah, don’t worry fella, we’ll get those contracts sorted all in good time .. all in good time. Run along now.” and get orderly consent to omerta when there’s nothing to be “omerta” about save that that’s the very problem.

        I liken the difference between a botanist perusing taxonomy at Kew, and amateur adventurers spanning the globe reaping bounteous discoveries which may or may not ever make it back intact, to be inspected and classified by the professionals. But the adventurer explorers – the careerists lifers and journeymen and all who owe their living to F1 are indeed professional, not stupid enough to spoil their names nor futures. Just a different kind of professional, and who cannot be quoted. As much is unattributed in the pro media, dint how who writes by virtue of their own network must interpret signals. But the potential for self censoring tendencies is the greater when one comes from access to the highest orders. I’m not keeping score, but the difference is a established journalist would be unwise to consider “outlier” data points, or to follow them. Other work beckons. That’s the job. The similar happens in many organisations. Few get the budget or research grant to go off on their own instincts. Or those who do, have earned it with the prime of their life and most mentally agile years indentured to the center path.

        What we need is a better informed readership among fans. When Mr S wrote his last piece on amateur reporting, some took it as diatribe or adhominem. I read it as a unequivocal call to readers to look about and evaluate what they see. Plus a good old fashioned plug, because, yes, GP+ is a darned fine place to start if you want a racing read. I found it jarring, such was the misunderstanding of some, to read comments under that article suggesting it was merely slagging all else under the typeset F1 sun. The case for better F1 media is so dire, there is such need, it’s all too important to be left alone. In those terms, at least in those narrow terms, I see no feud between here and Mr S. If anything a tacit appreciation of respective efforts, though I’ll never say so much as it is a love that cannot be spoken 🙂

        • You are correct… There is no feud, but Mr. S made himself ‘The Story’ when he did a U-turn 10 miles in diameter… sending ripples across the ocean… on his previous position on the Bahraini rulers/race organisers (same brotherhood). Since then he appears to have become the Al Khalifa’s version of Ferrari’s La Stampa on all matters F1 and Bahrain..

          This year he reported statistics given to him by the chairman of the circuit which in support of the Bahraini claims to ‘massive’ crowds in attendance. These numbers were way in excess of the circuit capacity and further – I was there and saw the plethora of half and completely empty grandstands.

          One amusing commentator remarked that the missing tens of thousands of F1 attendees must have been rounded up and locked in cellars underneath the paddock.

          • I was very disappointed at the Bahrain U-ey.

            But I kept my view private, as I thought fit. Joe made no bones he felt he was very mistaken. There’s no shame in that.

            What was lacking, was the narrative of how the viewpoint changed, which jarred in the coverage. That was one real WTF moment, in reading Joe as I do daily. Should have been handled better.

            Hmm, well, at least he lets through such comments.

            I think Joe likes to talk up to his audience, let them work it out for themselves. But that does not always work so well as he might hope.

            End of the day, he’s a worthy voice, and not one I wish to change or mold into another.

            Now, put me in the producer’s shoes or exec publisher’s job, with big money rolling on every press run, and I’d ask that sort of thing be curtailed. But it would not be Joe’s head I’d chop. In that scenario someone else must have let it through. You and everyone knows how partisan I am towards Joe. But when you are in almost absolute control of a magazine, I think one ought to step back a bit and think, and when changing positions, make a serious go of explaining how and why. If Murdoch does it – think when he backs a different party or candidate openly – it is not about swallowing pride, or fessing up, or begging forgiveness, it is about letting the reader know why you stand a certain way, so they can better choose their choices. I consider that episode poor stewardship that caused a drop in journalism.I am convinced if I had the ability to do the deals, and minds and hearts were willing, we could all clean up on this F1 press game. But actually I see it as I used to be, coddled by my dear missed biz partners (started with a ding dong a friend asked me to interview for a magazine, spun the copy nastily, with personal insight, and we had to get, well my partners did – get very heavy, and stop pressed a big magazine run. The picture is there, with toned down text, and a very moody photo. But that was the one and last time I was let out to play. If I find a copy abouts, I’ll scan it for you for giggles. Me, 20 years ago, dear me. ..) and that is what happens when you end up with too much control. Joe is not a control freak. Nope. Not true. But tendencies go with the circumstances, and I learned that terribly expensively, think retirement / FU bread painfully.

            You could throw a Tilkedrome through any of the gaping holes in F1 commercial media. If by any chance I cash up offloading my nemesis project at last this year, I’m gonna come knocking!

            – – –
            bottom line though, it’s way out of proportion what people think is going on between you guys.

            My late BP had a line in getting rival artists to hook up to record, and pulled down some historic events. I wonder if any of those years I learned by osmosis might yet pay off . .

            bottom bottom line, F1 fans *need* this new attitude, and there is no wrong when things are so stagnant otherwise.

      • All global media empires have an agenda to resist true reporting and investigative journalism.

        You only have to look at the recent aquittal of Zimmerman in the US. The President of the US and other interested parties wanted this to incite race riots and foster even more fear in the herd, when any proper journalist would have known that Trayvon Martin was not a saint, Zimmerman had siblings of black origin and he himself was Hispanic.
        They chose to not show pictures of injuries to the back of his skull and any journalist of integrity would have known that the drink and skittles Martin had bought from the store, when mixed with cough mixture becomes a drug.

        Some of the more disgraceful media were comparing this to the murder of Emmett Till in 1955.

        I am very careful with news outlets, it seems that the majority of stories all come from the same source.
        F1 has become much the same, which is why I enjoy this site enormously. Instead of regurgitating the same facts, there is a a determination to cut through the dross and actually apply a sense of logic to the proceedings.

        As ever in your dept TJ

  5. Smoke and Mirrors from Alonso I reckon. With Byrne working on 2014, and Allison joining him, coupled with the fact that we are moving into a more engine focused rule set, and Ferrari is a works team, then now would not be a great time to jump. This is especially true regarding going to a team with an entrenched world champion driver… regardless of multi-21 souring things a bit, RB is still ‘Sebs team’, Fernando reacted bad enough to Lewis making McLaren his, I think he’ll be double wary from now on.

    He’s surely just firing up the management to get their shit together, thats what all the smirking was about I reckon. If 2014 is a washout though I’m betting he’ll be out of there like a flash, he needs at least one more WDC for his set, and he’s running out of time.

    • Fair point because the evidence is that Mercedes have produced the best engines for years and 2014 could be about that more than anything else.

  6. I’m a Ferrari fan but I can see Fernando’s frustration with the management. Frankly he deserves a better car. He at least needs assurances that they are going forwards which he’s not, instead we have seen Lotus and Mercedes disappearing into the horizon. It’s complete incompetence from Ferrari that has lead to this. He must be feeling that he’s doing his part taking the car to positions which it doesn’t deserve and Ferrari aren’t doing theirs which is completely correct.

    • Hi Uzair

      Great to hear from a Ferrari fan who recognises the problems they face.

      McLaren fans have been depressed this year because their team has been 5th or 6th fastest. Yet Ferrari’s woes have largely gone ignored.

      They are clearly now no better than 4th quickest which has been inevitable and coming for quite some time.

      Even more worrying should be the fact that Button easily beat Massa today, starting from 13th. They are in danger of becoming the 5th quickest team in the near future and only Alonso has been screaming the odds for the past 2 months.

      What fascinates me is the Ferrari culture which was expressed to me as follows a couple of years ago by someone who has been there in the F1 race team for a long time. He said that Ferrari, “would rather bask in the glory of being Ferrari – rahter than get involved with the dirty business of winning”.

      The Brawn years were unique, and they miss his non-Italian… non-Ferrari approach to F1 racing.

      • One thing TJ, the Brawn years and non Italian culture at Ferrari were ruled by a certain Jean Todt. In fact, Todt’s time was from 1993 to 2008, he was the catalyst for the success and for giving people the freedom to work without pressure.
        I could see Brawn return in a team principal role at Ferrari, over seeing the departments, this would work with Allison being tech director? Byrne, has worked with Allison previously with success so there would be no egos clashing there.

        Beyond that, I’m still struggling why people are assuming Mercedes will have the best engine.
        When Ilien designed the engines, they were arguably best, but the banning of Berylium affected Mercedes catastrophically. By 2000, BMW and Ferrari were vying for the best engine on the grid, and whatever the opposition devised, Ferrari were at least equal to them, often ahead.
        It was only with the engine freeze but more importantly the 18,000rpm limit when Mercedes achieved reliability.
        The Renault is seen as not as powerful as the Merc, but it’s fuel efficient. I’d argue that since 1997, Renault hasn’t been the pace setter at all, in fact it was only a couple of seasons ago that Brawn and Mclaren vetoed Mercedes supplying RBR with engines.
        Marmorini designs the Ferrari engines, before that he was engine chief at Toyota. His engines never failed and yet were as powerful as any other, this at a time that the fabled Honda designers had heavy unreliable engines in F1.

        LdM has been saying for some time how glad he is that F1 is returning to a formula that rewards engine manufacturers, I doubt he’s too concerned by his department, yet still we here about Renault and Mercedes.

        Of course the chassis is important, designers will not unlearn previous lessons, it’s just not so critical.
        Who knows, isn’t that one of the compelling reasons we all stay fixated by the sport?

        • Nice one, HWS,

          very fine point about the rev limit coming to MB’s engine’s favor, very fine observation. That’s exactly of course where the Beryllium alloy compounds in critical parts and rings was so effective. Not only super strong, but non sparking, safe in contact with explosive gas mix. Even more fun, BeCu is super for TEMPEST like RF seals, so you can use that property to keep ignition signalling clean, nice sharp uncluttered traces on the scope please to trigger voltage, none of this spluttering and ramping . . .

          Now call me silly, but why should Be compounds be banned? Any half decent lab bench has tools of Beryllium Copper. Now you’ve got me digging into Elsevier Referex for a idea how hard it is to work with you naughty naughty Senna fan!

          I guess there is a tangential thought, as to BeCu’s RF properties plus conductivity. Awfully useful if you wanted to ahem discretely embed a component that would not trace in normal use if scrutinizing for little things like the ECU circuitry being where the ECU circuitry is supposed to be . . . consider the timing advantage of putting the ignition circuit right into the piston or casing .. at 20K RPM, that could matter quite a bit.

          disclosure, I am not a EE, only A Level electronics, plus hobby tinkering, and merely fond of conjecture, but it posed a real Q why 18,000 RPM brought the game back to MB / Ilien engines, and so I started thinking what would affect the quality of output at high revs, and clean ignition would to my best guess fit the bill.

      • Methinks I am not the only one strongly leaning towards Fernando being the Big Domino to shake down the grid.

        (dammit, this year, i promise at least this year, I’ll work up my toolchain for keeping tabs on my posts, because sure I said the other place, other month, there had to be a big big move, but i forget now, been a ding dong of a time, chez “oh,J(!)”.)

  7. The rumours and speculation is all good and well. But when you look at the actual picture it is Alonso’s manager and Carlos Sainz Snr. in the picture. Sainz Jnr. did run in the young drivers test, and they might be inquiring towards the STR seat. Why would Carlos Sainz Snr. be discussing Alonso with Horner? Nice try Alonso. 😉

    Red Bull are milking the PR for their second seat for all it is worth, if Ricciardo was just announced people just wouldn’t be interested.

    • Hi Amanda, you make a fair point, though wouldn’t Gracia be seen talking to Tost instead?

      Further, is it not the case that the manager of one of the 2 highest profile drivers from 2012 talking to Red Bull and being caught on film is clearly designed to create speculation? This must be with Alonso’s approval.

      • I’m not an expert on body language, and a lot of time these guys wear sunglasses is not to give away information but Alonso looked mischievous, as if the game plan was working.

        I wouldn’t put it past Bernie to have rigged it all, 4 week break and nothing controversial to talk about…

        • “I wouldn’t put it past Bernie to have rigged it all”… huge LOL.

          Now THAT is a conspiracy theorist operating at their very best 🙂

          • In an slightly unrelated note : the Motors TV Debriefing of the German GP (it’s in French,but people can watch it on YouTube), Jean-Luc Roy said that Kimi’s body language was indicating that he may be wearing a Lotus suit but his mind is already at Red Bull. He even went on to say that the deal to bring Raikkönen at Red Bull is all but done and may even have been signed and Red Bull are just waiting for the right time to announce it.

            Not saying he’s 100% spot-on, he can be wrong, but I’ve been watching his GP debriefs for over 2 years now and I think he’s one of the few French journalists who seemed to know what he’s one about. He too tries to read between the lines and gives his insights into what’s going on behind the scenes. TJ13, given you are a journalist yourself you probably know him personally 🙂

          • Haha. I’m certainly no journalist – spelling is to bad as I’m regularly advised by readers 😉

            nice try though.

            (BTW.. I do no that the above should be ‘too’ – was joking)

          • TJ, terrible copy and spelling is the _hallmark of a pro hack! 🙂

          • An Italian journalist asked Fernando, yesterday after the race : “Cosa vorrei per regalo di compleanno? Una di quelle macchine che ci stanno davanti”.

            What would you like for your birthday? Alonso:” one of those cars that’s running at the front”.

          • There was a time that a Ferrari driver (Prost) would get fired on the spot for saying that.

      • Apparently Toast doesn’t have a say in STR as far as I understand, and Sainz tested a for STR and Red Bull. But you are of course 100% right, this is obviously about creating speculation and rumours. It works to both Alonso and Horner’s benefit, It will certainly keep fans busy during the summer break.

      • I like Herowassenna’s theory : 4-week break, F1 needs some form of stupid rumour that will keep everyone agitated/interested. And Alonso is not half-bad at mind-games and calculated mischief. Nor is Ecclestone for scripting it all :p

        It’s also a fact that he’s unhappy at Ferrari so this window-break was a perfect opportunity to do some mischief. While it doesn’t seem out of order, I just don’t see Alonso and Vettel going in the same year ahead of the really drastic changes that will come in 2014. Allison and Byrne will produce a diabolical car next year, Byrne is Newer mark 2 so I’m kind of worried that he will be involved for the 2014 Ferrari car.

        Likewise : at Red Bull, with Webber already going, they will want stability and that’s the sole reason why I don’t see them letting Vettel go, no matter what. For sure, there is some psychological warfare going over who will be Vettel’s team-mate but perhaps Newey may want to look at different things. He’s in F1 for the aero side of things, if from 2014-onwards aero is put on the back-foot then he will see this as the time to go. Time will tell.

  8. Classic from Montezemolo:
    “All the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own…”

    Good luck convincing Alonso of that.

  9. Pingback: Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 29th July 2013 | thejudge13·

  10. Pingback: Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 22 August 2013 | thejudge13·

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