This page will be updated throughout the day.
Please if you are on Twitter press the press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines (tweeted) with links, please make sure you use #F1.
Alonso to do a Q&A on twitter (09:35)
Tremors increase (15:15)
Comment of the month (17:49)
Flashing lights too (20:18)
Alonso to do a Q&A on twitter
10 minutes ago at 09:25 GMT Alonso tweeted the following, “This afternoon at 18:00 we do a Q&A #askAlo ! you will know firsthand all your questions .. 😉 ! See you later ! Thaaaanks !”. Fernando has trying hard to be good this weekend. On Friday, TJ13 commented on his ‘compliant’ demeanour in the FIA press conference.
Every time Fernando has been seen with a microphone in front of his face this weekend, he has been beaming, complementing Massa – “He was perfect” in qualifying – and exuding sugar and sweetness and light.
Early last evening Alonso tweeted, “Fantástico Fantástico Fantástico FantásticoFantástico Fantástico Fantástico Fantástico Fantástico Fantástico!!” and posted this picture which looks a little photo shopped – which is in itself bizarre because Alonso was actually there.
A little later Fernando tweeted again, “ che dici, un fan club!? 😉 …what do you say, a fan club!? ;)” and added the 1st picture below. Clearly still excited about his fantastic and fabulous weekend Fernando posted a montage of pictures and mutterings at around midnight entitled “Monza” (2nd below).
This fantastic weekend saw Alonso lost further ground to Vettel – who must now be red hot favourite to retain his title unless a rogue squadron of Lancaster bombers target Milton Keynes manufacturing base. If anyone believes Alonso has suddenly decided to appreciate the finer things in life rather eg the adoration of the Tifosi and the beautiful setting in which the Autodromo in Monza is set – think again.
Alonso is driven to nigh on insanity by Vettel’s success. He continually justifies how Vettel is an inferior driver but driving a Newey special flying machine.
Let’s not forget folks, the first person who knew that Vettel’s win yesterdays equalled the number of GP wins that Fernando has bagged – would have been Fernando himself.
So, Fernando – you really want us to believe this was a fantastico and fabulous weekend? Can’t wait until 18:00 (CET) this evening. (17:00 GMT).
Vettel wears blue and is boo’d whilst drinking the boose
Fleet Street have decided the ‘Vettel booing’ is the story of yesterday which they are reporting today – probably due to the extreme dull nature of the race.
The Daily Mail suggests that nothing else should be expected at Monza unless a Ferrari driver wins the race. ‘Unstoppable Vettel goes on boos cruise’ – is the headline. “On Sunday the booing for the victorious Vettel carried an intensity rare even for these parts, where they are routinely as one-eyed as Cyclops.
Red is their colour, Ferrari is their creed, so when another German, Michael Schumacher, was strangling the life out of the sport by dint of his monotonous success, he was worshipped as a god.
But Vettel’s feats – winner of three consecutive world titles and holder of a 53-point lead over his nearest challenger, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the runner-up – are deemed worthy of ear-splitting condemnation. His Red Bull overalls carry no allure. The decibel levels barely fell when John Surtees, world champion for Ferrari in 1964 and conducting the podium interviews, urged the fans to calm down.”
The Times suggests the booing is routine when any champion becomes dominant..
“Vettel has won four times in the past six races, a test of resolve for even the most devoted grand-prix watcher. We have been here before, of course, with Michael Schumacher and a winning sequence that bored the fireproof pants off the sport.
Now F1 has a new mantra: Anyone but Vettel. It might be an unkind sentiment but the Monza tifosi took it to a higher and more unpleasant level as their boos tarnished the prize presentation ceremony.”
Mmm. Don’t remember hearing Roger Federer boo’d.
The Daily Telegraph cuts to the chase and states it is in effect Vettel himself who is being targeted. “Others were less impressed by what has become a regular occurrence at races this year, rejecting the argument that the Tifosi, Ferrari’s fans, boo anyone who is not wearing red by pointing out that Mark Webber, also on the podium at Monza, was not given the same treatment.
‘Vettel has been booed at many races this year – including the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in June – with many linking it to his behaviour at the Malaysian Grand Prix when he disobeyed team orders and overtook Webber for the victory.”
I wrote how impressed I was with Vettel following his appearance on the giant stage in ‘the Village’ after the race. He was amusing, self deprecating – both about himself and his nationality – and genuinely funny offering good banter with the assembled masses.
Yet it does appear that a sin like multi 21 in Malaysia and the way Vettel chose to subsequently deal with it is ‘sticking in the craw’ of many F1 fans. His treatment of Mark at the start of yesterday’s race was very firm but fair. Yet maybe someone in Vettel’s PR world should have suggested to him a Red Bull 1-2 with Webber winning – and Vettel showing him some grace – would go some way to beginning to restore the German’s image in the minds of the F1 fans.
Mark Webber during his career has been very popular amongst F1 fans for his generally fair minded but direct and open approach to speaking his mind. For many – Vettel has a deviously undermined and taken advantage of Webber who represents to them the values they want to see in F1 – from the drivers, team bosses, Ecclestone, Todt… et al.
So it is the case that Vettel now represents the F1 anti-hero, where all the disgust and distaste at all that is wrong with F1 is being focused through the booing.
Vettel needs to find a way to atone for his sin against Saint Mark (The Patron Saint of F1), if he wants to be forgiven by the F1 fans.
Life is made of moments. and choices. Not all of them matter, or have any lasting impact. Stealing apples from the farmers field to eat or a forbidden midnight trist are but small choices, really. Insignificant as soon as they’re made. Innocent moments.
Then there’s a different kind of moment. One when the world, our world is irrevocably changed by a choice we make. A moment we will play endlessly in our minds on lonely nights and empty days. One we’ll search repeatedly for some indication that what we chose was right, some small sign that tells us the truth isn’t nearly as awful as it feels. Or as awful as anyone would think if they knew.
So we explain it to ourselves, justify it enough to sleep. And then we bury it deep, so deep we can almost pretend it never happened. But as much as we wish it were different, the truth is, our worlds are sometimes balanced on choices we make and the secrets we keep.
Vettel must realise there are but a few moments left for him to demonstrate his contrition and find a moment of forgiveness from the F1 masses. Sebastian must act swiftly as this act of repentance can only be enacted with his team mate Webber.
Should the young German fail to realise this, the moment of multi-21 may define him in the viewers mindset forever.
As the circuit cleaners moved into the vast public viewing areas to clean up the empty cans and litter, the F1 circus was moving on from Monza.
This was the weekend where the mainstream media began to believe that the reports of Kimi moving to Ferrari were genuine. Fernando had “attacked his own team”, as Christian Horner described it to SKY, and clearly everyone now knows there has been chaos behind the scenes at Ferrari over the summer break.
German F1 news publications are openly reporting, that Felipe Massa will be informed by Il Padrino (LdM) that he will not be retained to drive for the Maranello team for 2014. They suggest that Alonso has been pushing hard for the team to retain his Brazilian team-mate and that clearly he has lost this battle.
Der Spiegel claims that Raikkonen’s contract will remunerate him around 20million euros p.a., paid for jointly between Santander and Shell.
Massa appears to know the writing is on the wall when he commented to told SKY, “I love Ferrari. But the other teams also know what I can do.”
Kimi is playing it cool telling RAI, “I don’t know anything yet. Once I know, I’ll tell you.”
German publications, Bild and de Welt, now agree with a long term view suggested by TJ13, that Alonso is most upset about the imminent arrival of Raikkonen’s in Maranello that he could jump ship to fill the Finn’s place at Lotus.
There have been murmurs that Renault are about to scale up their investment in their support for Lotus, a move backed by French carmaker’s chairman Carlos Ghosn.
The French car manufacturer has regularly complained about its lack of visibility from Infiniti Red Bull Racing and it could be that Lotus gives them a more substantial media platform.
Eric Boullier was asked what he would do if Alonso became available to his team, and he smiled replying, “If Fernando knocks on my door, I will answer it. I just hope that I can pay for it!”
The other driver in the headlines this week was Nico Hulkenberg, and his name was even mentioned by the Ferrari supremo in an interview with Martin Brundle for Sky. If Alonso were to leave Ferrari have a second seat to fill. Yet, Swiss publication Blick reports that Hulkenberg will definitely have a contract at Sauber in 2014.
Boullier appears to be enjoying all this – bizarrely – and when asked, “Kimi or Nico?”, he replied “Good question.”
posted by GPD today on twitter
Comment of the month
Sorry, we’re a bit late with this one from August. There was a debate ensuing around whether Alonso had been given No.1 status at Ferrari and in in return delivered or not. Kimi was being debated too, and it was suggested he was inferior to Massa.
“And all this Kimi, Kimi, Kimi crap is getting quite tiring. I like Raikkonen but other than 2007 when he lucked into the WC he hasn’t lived up to his alleged ability. He’s never had a truly competitive , hungry team mate until he joined Ferrari, and had Massa not been injured, Massa would have beaten him 2 out of 3 seasons. Raikkonen is a good driver not a great driver. Ferrari would be far better off with a younger driver, like Hulkenberg, who’s quick and do what he’s told”.
COTM was from Danilo Schöneberg who replied
“Get your facts right, Kimi could only qualify 15th in Australia because of mech failure in qualifying, therefore lost the race before it even began. Lost 2nd place in Monaco due to drive-through given for a team infraction then lost control on a wet patch after the tunnel and cluttered into Sutil. Exhaust failure in France handing the lead to Massa. Tactical fail by team in Silverstone – wrong tyres, lost lead and ended up 4th. Had to wait behind Massa in the pits during safety car at Germany, Had to queue behind Massa again after crash-gate induced safety car at Singapore. Nerfed off by Hamílton at Suzuka while in the lead. Had to let Massa through at China.
Massa was never in the same league, but Kimi’s 2008 campaign makes Webber look like the luckiest person on earth”.
TJ13 says: Just what we like here in the courtroom of F1 opinion at TJ13 – tough debating of strong opinions.
Click here for that days news and the full debate
(You can vote for comments by clicking the thumbs up sign on the first line of the comment).
Flashing lights too
So is Fernando happy or not? Is life really ‘Fantastico’ or is our Spanish friend agitated. He was irritated with his team during qualifying and yet tells the world 10 minutes later, Felipe was ‘perfect’ in his part in providing the ‘tow’.
Alonso was heard to complained on the team radio on lap 19 about Vettel’s flashing light to no avail. This light clearly irritated Alonso because in the written press conference after the podium ceremony he again raised the issue.
“It was a little irritating. It is a strong light when it is not raining. Sebastian is not used to have a car in front of him so he does not know how it feels when you are constantly seeing a red light.”
Thanks Fernando, it was somewhat irritating for the TV viewer too. Yet Alonso has not finished, “It flashed constantly. He could have turned it off, but he did not, so the whole race I had the red flash light in my eyes.”
Vettel was snoozing during the diatribe, but when Alonso had finished, he mischievously quipped, “I heard you were complaining about the red light, so I tried to drive away from you, so it wouldn’t bother you.
Yet last year Red Bull were accused in Hockenheim of running engine maps that reduced the torque, and this furore resulted in the FIA legislating.
The flashing light is usually deployed not by an on/off switch, but when a setting is switched on the car. For example, were the car to switch from a dry tyre setting to a setting for intermediate tyre or wet tyre conditions, the flashing light is deployed.
For you conspiraciests out there, could it be that Red Bull were running an intermediate/wet map which retarded ignition to lessen any potential wheel spin?
Maybe the team had programmed the full wet map with the dry tyres radius and dimension settings, but leaving reduced torque of the engine map?
So once Vettel had danced clear of the field, it would reduce the load on the rear tyres and gearbox?
Just a thought….