Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 9th October 2013

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Maldonado: “Stuck on with you” (10:44)

Japanese FIA stewards (11:10)

Ferrari civil war rolls on (12:00)

FIA Press Conference’s (13:05)

Brawn being coy (13:24)

Villeneuve admonishes Sauber (13:50)

Huilkenberg puts suitors on notice (14:52)

Whitmarsh clarifies the ‘bulk of Hulk’ comments (15:23)

Social media speculation on TJ13’s identity (17:23)

Nico hits back over ‘love handles’ (19:08)

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Maldonado: “Stuck on with you”

There are rumours circulating in Germany that Pastor Maldonado’s patience has run out with Williams, and he has approached Lotus regarding the vacant seat left by Kimi Raikkonen.

TJ13 reported last week the details of Williams contract with PDVSA. They receive 35m euro per annum until 2015 and in return at present they employ Pastor Maldonado as a driver.

Yet Pastor is clearly unhappy with the Grove based F1 team. He told Autosport after the race in Korea, “I really need a good car to enjoy it, and this year I’m not enjoying it. I’m living a really bad moment and I need some motivation to keep doing my best. I want something more. I’m here for something more.

I don’t want to just be in Formula 1, to be honest. It’s better to stay at home, if it’s like that. I don’t care about being a Formula 1 driver, I’m here to win and I need to do whatever it takes to be there.”

The candid advice therefore has to be Pastor to quit F1. If being paid well and travelling the world is not enough to keep Pastor happy then it could be time for him to leave.

Facing the facts. Nobody is standing in line for Maldonado’s services, regardless of whether he can be lightning quick at time. The PDVSA oil money is tied up in a watertight contract with Williams and is not available to another team who recruit Pastor’s services.

To be fair to Pastor, he tries to be up-beat about the 2014 Williams and continues, I’m looking forward to having a better car next year, I need it. I showed that every time I had a good car I’ve been fighting for victories and championships. It’s very disappointing to see myself here fighting for Q2.

I’m not here to fight with Bottas. He’s a good driver but he is not my objective. I want to fight with the big people here.

At Barcelona [in 2012] when I had the chance to fight for a race I won that race, so I’ve been 100 per cent ready to win.”

Maldonado should be careful what he says because the contract Williams has with PDVSA states the team must employ ‘a Venezuelan’ race driver – NOT merely Maldonado. It appeaqrs he may be aware of this.

“I hope I will be on the grid, but you never know. It could depend on the [financial] support or not, you never know. Formula 1 is like that.

Last year I was winning races, today I’m nowhere. This year I’m here, next year I don’t know where I will be.”

Williams ceremoniously dumped Rubens Barichello after a year of disappointment for the team and a year where Barichello had regularly been vocal over the shortcomings in Grove. Shipping out Pastor may not be so easy.

He would clearly be the most competitive F1 driver of the other current Venezuelan racing drivers available.

E.J. Viso has had a fairly mediocre racing career. He entered GP2 in 2005 and finished 12th. Things looked to e on the up for Viso in 2006 as he again raced in the GP2 Series for the iSport team. He won the San Marino Sunday race and the Spain Sunday race.

That year he also drove the third Spyker MF1 Team car in the Friday practice sessions of the Brazilian GP. He came 6th in the GP driver standings.

Yet in 2007, it all went wrong for Viso. He had no GP2 drive at the beginning of the season, However, 5 races in at the French GP it was announced Ernesto Viso would immediately replace the underperforming Sergio Jiminez at Racing Engineering. His race ended on the first lap in a spectacular collision with Michael Ammemuller and Kazuki Nakajima.

Viso’s car somersaulted over the barriers at tremendous speed, smashing through an advertising hoarding and narrowly missing a bridge (as luck would have it, hitting the board saved him from clouting the bridge and probably more severe injuries). He had only severe concussion and a painful arm. The incident was remarkably similar to on in 1995 at the same circuit where Marco Campos was killed.

Campos died of severe head trauma after hitting his head on the concrete barrier. Viso was only inches away from the same fate. For the British round, he was replaced by Felipe Albuquerque. Viso returned for the following meeting and was then replaced for the rest of the season by Marcos Martinez.

Since the E.J. has raced in IndyCar for HVM Racing, KV Racing Technologies and moved in 2013 to Andretti Autosport and with a season’s best result of only 4th he is currently 13th in the driver standings with 1 race to go.

Williams would hardly back Viso over Maldonado to deliver in F1.

Another option would be Rodolfo Gonzalez who is currently the Marrusia team’s test driver. This may suggest Gonzalez could be a worthy replacement for Maldonado, but when you glance at his racing history, pickings are fairly bleak.

The highlight to date of Gonzalez career was winning the 22 race series British F3 National Class in 2003, Other than that, his GP2 career has been chequered. He raced for Ardent, Trident and Caterham between 2010-12 and completed full seasons. Yet his results were disappointing finishing 21st, 26th and 22nd in the driver standings in each of the year’s competitions.

The there is the spectacular Johnny Ceccoto Jr. who catches the GP2 headlines for all the wrong reasons. He is currently racing for Arden and lies 16th in the driver standings. He has similar results to Gonzalez in the past 3 years and is not considered by anyone who follows GP2 closely anywhere near the required standard to race in F1.

Samin Gómez Briceno is a 21 year old female driver making her way in GP3 this year, but again her results were poor. She finished 25th from 28 in the drivers. Yet if anyone wanted to see how much marketing they could get from engaging a female F1 race driver, Williams have a 35m euro start for the experiment.

So it appears the small matter of 35m euro’s means there is an F1 marriage – most definitely not made in heaven. Williams need the cash and are stuck with Maldonado. Maldonado can either quit F1 or suck it up that the cars from Grove – just ain’t what they used to be.

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Japanese FIA stewards

Having travelled to the distant lands in the south of South Korea, Gary Connelly and Emanuele Pirro have been rewarded with the opportunity to officiate in Suzuka.

Jose Abed’s mug shot as ever reminds us of his double drink driving convictions and the farcical appointments made by the FIA.

untitledGARRY CONNELLY

DEPUTY PRESIDENT, FIA INSTITUTE; DIRECTOR, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF MOTOR SPORT SAFETY; F1 AND WTCC STEWARD; FIA WORLD MOTOR SPORT COUNCIL MEMBER

Garry Connelly has been involved in motor sport since the late 1960s. A long-time rally competitor, Connelly was instrumental in bringing the World Rally Championship to Australia in 1988 and served as Chairman of the Organising Committee, Board member and Clerk of Course of Rally Australia until December 2002. He has been an FIA Steward and FIA Observer since 1989, covering the FIA’s World Rally Championship, World Touring Car Championship and Formula One Championship. He is a director of the Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety and a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

untitledJOSE ABED

FIA VICE-PRESIDENT

José Abed, an FIA Vice President since 2006, began competing in motor sport in 1961. In 1985, as a motor sport official, Abed founded the Mexican Organisation of International Motor Sport (OMDAI) which represents Mexico in the FIA. He sat as its Vice-President from 1985 to 1999, becoming President in 2003. In 1986, Abed began promoting truck racing events in Mexico and from 1986 to 1992, he was President of Mexican Grand Prix organising committee. In 1990 and 1991, he was President of the organising committee for the International Championship of Prototype Cars and from 1990 to 1995, Abed was designated Steward for various international Grand Prix events. Since 1990, Abed has been involved in manufacturing prototype chassis, electric cars, rally cars and kart chassis.

untitledEMANUELE PIRRO

FORMER F1 DRIVER AND FIVE-TIME LE MANS WINNER

During a motor sport career spanning almost 40 years, Emanuele Pirro has achieved a huge amount of success, most notably in sportscar racing, with five Le Mans wins, victory at the Daytona 24 Hours and two wins at the Sebring 12 Hours. In addition, the Italian driver has won the German and Italian Touring Car championships (the latter twice) and has twice been American Le Mans Series Champion. Pirro, enjoyed a three-season F1 career from 1989 to 1991, firstly with Benetton and then for Scuderia Italia. His debut as an FIA Steward came at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and he has returned regularly since.

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Ferrari civil war rolls on

Fernando Alonso should consider himself fortunate. The battle worn pit bull and arch defender of the Ferrari Faith, Luca Colajini – head of communications for the Scuderia for years – was shipped off to pastures new over the winter.

New kid on the block, Renato Bisignani has been finding his feet this year. The tone and style of a number of the ‘official’ communications from the Scuderia have been stilted, clunky and not so well crafted. This has been evident against the backdrop of the Alonso/Il Padrino war that has been fought both in the mountains and on the sea.

Ferrari.com, yesterday presented a piece for their fans entitled, “A special day for Alonso in Tokyo”. The Scuderia driver was the main attraction at the Japanese launch of the 458 Speciale, the new Ferrari sports car, unveiled back in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, at the Tokyo Dome City Hall.

The dispatch states, “Along with Kamui Kobayashi, who flies the flag for the Prancing Horse in the FIA World Endurance Champioship, Fernando literally burst into the room where the event was taking place, where he was met by Giuseppe Cattaneo, the head of the Far East Ferrari hub and by Herbert Appleroth, the President of Ferrari Japan KK”.

Dutifully and beautifully on script a beaming Alonso declares, “It’s a fantastic car. Better performance, faster and lighter than the 458 Italia: it would be difficult to do better than what our engineers have managed!’

Some say… Fernando did then suggests… he would personally offer his own housekeeping money to subsidise the first 3 customers who signed up there and then. Amusing as the idea is of Fred in Peckham, London selling Ferrari’s on a market stall shouting, “Cam on. I’ve got a wife and kids to feed” – I feel we are digressing.

The dispatch continues, “It’s hardly surprising that the owners were interested in the next round of the Formula 1 season, which takes place at Suzuka this weekend” and it reports Alonso duly obliges with a summary for the guests of what needs to be done.

“’We need to have a good race. There is still a lot up for grabs: second place in the Constructors’ championship and it’s not yet over in the Drivers’, commented the Spaniard, under the watchful eye of Team Principal Stefano Domenicali. ‘This is a key moment in the championship: Suzuka is a track I like a lot and the best possible place to have a good race on Sunday. We come from a place where the crowd was not so big, while in Japan the fans are fantastic and they really love Formula 1. We hope we can give them the result they want as they pack the Suzuka grandstands, as they do every year.’” (Ferrari.com)

You are having me on.  UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF TEAM PRINCIPAL STEFANO DOMINICALI???

I’m still chuckling now and I read this last night.

Ok Renato, you want us to understand Alonso’s card is still being marked – and we get it. Yet Fernando is fortunate because were Luca Colajini still in situ, this communication would have been infinitely more subtle; it would be crafted to crush Alonso yet again and would probably be done with humour with which we laugh together with Ferrari – not at them.

God I love this team. This is the antithesis of the Red Bull culture. This is old style F1 team management, and the old style way of doing family life with an errant child. #ForzaFerrari .

We’ve heard many times, no one person is bigger than Ferrari. It appears we’re actually reached a point where it can be said that Ferrari itself is not bigger than Scuderia Ferrari – the concept (work that one out).

TJ13 has continued to receive reports stating Alonso’s name is mud in Maranello. He is called the ‘shit layer’ behind his back, and not just by shop floor sweepers.

The humiliation just keeps on coming. Fernando had an ear tweak before the world on the day of his birthday and now this?

When will Ferrari stop kicking him? Presumably when he leaves.

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FIA Press Conference’s

Thursday 10th October: 15:00 local time

Drivers’ Press Conference

Jenson Button (McLaren)
Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)
Pastor Maldonado (Williams)
Charles Pic (Caterham)
Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso)
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

Friday 11th October: 16:00 local time

Teams’ Press Conference

Pat Fry (Ferrari)
Dave Greenwood (Marussia)
James Key (Toro Rosso)
Tom McCullough (Sauber)
Paul Monaghan (Red Bull)
Jonathan Neale (McLaren)

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Brawn being coy

A number of F1 reports suggested that Ross Brawn would be making his way to McLaren’s future engine partner Honda for 2014. Yet in an interview with SKY today, Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai when asked about the Brawn rumour said, I’ve never heard of that and it is a surprise! I don’t think it will happen.”

‘The bear’ is leading us all a merry dance at present. Speaking to Germany’s AMuS he clarifies his position. “The situation is the same as it has been for the last few weeks. I am still talking to Niki about my role in the team.”

Clearly as TJ13 reported, the handover to Paddy Lowe is well under way and will be completed by the end of the year. Yet, what role could there be for Brawn in Brackley? We’ve got Nikki and Toto fighting to represent the team in the commercial world and via the media. Paddy will presumably become Team Principal – or Technical director and Ross is left with the ‘director of salmon procurement’ role at the flyaway races.

Interestingly, a keen salmon fisherman, Brawn  does not rule out spending some time pursuing this hobby. When asked about a sabbatical, he replied with a wry smile, “It would not be the first time”.

Brawn is however adamant, “I have not spoken a word with Honda or McLaren. I’m not someone who makes a decision overnight. Should I look elsewhere, I would think about it very hard and consider the options carefully,” adding, “It takes time.”

Brawn is clearly being coy. He says he’s been speaking to Lauda for ‘weeks’ about this, so the matter of his future is being and has been carefully considered by Ross for some time.

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Villeneuve admonishes Sauber

As reported yesterday in the TJ13 daily news, Monisha Kaltenborn almost apologised to Barichello for suggesting he was under serious consideration as a driver for the Swiss team in 2014. She admitted she had allowed the media to think he was under ‘serious consideration’ was merely out of respect for Rubens.

Speaking in the German media today, outspoken 1997 world champion Jaques Villeneuve admonishes Kaltenborn and suggests she should not dismiss the Brazilian ex-F1 driver so quickly.

Villeneuve argues, “Rubens would be worth considering. Why would a team boss ignore the experience factor so easily? 2014 will be a complex year.”

The French Canadian is critical of the teams current no. 2 driver and doesn’t pull his punches stating, “Barrichello would always be better than Gutierrez. What has he given to Sauber until now? Nothing. Look at him compared to Hulkenberg.”

This intervention from Villeneuve is unlikely to advance Barichello’s cause, as the team are committed to Russian kid Sirotkin for 2014, and surely Massa who has been competing in F1 for the past year would be a better choice than Barichello. With Lotus leaning towards Hulkenberg, Felipe may not have a better offer – except from Toro Rosso 😉

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Huilkenberg puts suitors on notice

Having found himself kicked out of the Williams team with nowhere to go at the end of 2010, the Hulk has put his (rather large) foot down.

Nico is unilaterally accepted by F1 pundits and fans alike as a driver of such talent that he should be in a front running car. Had the relationship between Maranello and Alonso not imploded so spectacularly, it appears most likely he would have been driving for the Scuderia in 2014.

Lotus are indeed interested in acquiring the Hulk’s services for next year, and as TJ13 has reported previously, Boullier clearly favours him over Massa. Yet Nico is wisely seeking assurances on the financial clout of the Enstone outfit, having failed to receive his agreed remuneration now twice.

Further, to compete at the front in the new world of F1, Lotus must finalise the deal announced many months ago with Infinity Racing before Hulkenberg will commit.

“I want to have some certainty about my future – and not in November,” Hulkenberg tells Autosport. “It needs to be at the end of the month, for sure. There is obviously a certain cut off point. I have experienced falling over the back in 2010, and I am not going to risk doing that again.”

Most reports today assume this deadline has been set with Lotus specifically in mind, yet the sub-plot is thicker than this.

Di Resta’s drive at Force India is under serious threat following a year littered with mistakes and some acrimony between the Scot and the team.

The team however have earned themselves a reputation for dithering over driver line-up decisions. Earlier this year when questioned in January about the FI driver pairing, the much maligned Bob Fearnley was forced to concede there would be no announcement prior to the launch of the 2013 car.

On the 1st of February at the launch, Fearnly procrastinated again stating, “The shareholders will make their decision in due course. We need to be very careful where we are going, and the shareholders will take as long as necessary. I expect we will announce the two remaining drivers before Barcelona [the test of course].”

Di Resta himself – who was previously considered a shoe in for this year – had only been confirmed by the team the day before.

TJ13 is aware that talks have been held between Hulkenberg and his previous team Force India but when asked about the Silverstone team’s 2014 pairing, Vijay Mallya told SKY yesterday, We are considering all available options and we never take these decisions in haste.

We have a competitive pairing at the moment, but we will sit down with the team management and discuss the way forward for next year.” Worthy of note was the fact Mallya added, “It’s unlikely we will make any decisions before the Indian Grand Prix in any case.”

The date of the Indian GP is the 27th of this month, and it is no co-incidence Hulkenberg’s declared deadline today has been set for the end of October. This cleverly allows Mallya some wriggle room following his pronouncement yesterday.

Whether Vijay will have the time to ponder these matters whilst climbing out from under the deluge of creditors claims for payment and taxation enquiry notifications, we shall see.

However, on previous form, the Hulk will be gone by the time Bob – builder of fast cars – manages to persuade his self made ex-billionaire Indian boss to take these matters seriously.

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Whitmarsh clarifies the ‘bulk of Hulk’ comments

Martin Whitmarsh has found it necessary to correct AMuS. Quotes made by the McLAren boss in Korea had been construed to suggests that Whitmarsh thought that Nico Hulknberg was to heavy for 2014.

Martin states, “I only said that, next year, drivers would be hard pressed to be over 80 kilos. It’s others who interpreted this to mean I was talking about Hulkenberg,” said the McLaren boss.

Yet headlines such as ‘Hulkenberg still on the scales at McLaren’ may still be misleading because Whitmarsh did confirm in Korea that no talks with the German driver or his representatives have taken place with McLaren.

Given Nico’s deadline date set today, it appears improbable that Woking would open and conclude such driver contractual negotiations in the next 3 weeks.

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Social media speculation on TJ13’s identity

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Nico hits back over ‘love handles’

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42 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 9th October 2013

  1. ” hic sacra domus carique penates, hic mihi Maranello fuit.”

    Fernando Alonso 2013

    • heh? Any more context enzo? He was in love with the ‘sacred house’ of Maranello and…?

      • Ha,ha, no just a joke, since I don’t see any text to go with the “Ferrari civil war” headline, i thought i might as well start with a famous Lucan quote about the civil war between Julius Ceasar and Pompey 😉

  2. Ah the poor dears. They both want out, but the money, and egos, are so big they can’t make it work.

    Meanwhile poor Martin waits around to see if if can do a deal.

    Its the long goodbye.

    I do think that Luca et al are underestimating the amount of crap that Fernando is willing to take though. I can see him get to a point where if will blow up like a big bottle of coke filled with mentos sweeties

  3. re: PDVSA – I think Viso is better than you suggest… 4th in IndyCars is as good as a fourth in F1 (give or take) – but I would suspect Viso would have little interest in Williams, so It isn’t quite Frank’s decision. As for the rest it seems Venezuela’s driver future is bleak…
    However… imagine a scenario where Maldonado does decide to quit F1 (rather than be fired), and Williams decide there simply isn’t a suitable Venezuelan replacement… surely PDVSA must have a let-out clause…??
    OK, as you say, Maldonado cannot take the money elsewhere but… if I was Frank I would not be feeling too secure about all this…

      • Quite agree… although he wouldn’t quite be the first… 😉
        Perhaps first in this ‘era’…
        I would love to see a girl showing up some of the present ‘girlies’… 😉

        • No she’s getting on now – 41,42?

          Give young Samin a try – they’ll still get the 35m euro’s and she won’t be as aggresive 😉

          Here’s a picture of her http://wp.me/a2HWOP-iXf

          BTW how would I get that to display in the comments as a pic anyone?

          • Yes please – that will do me nicely…
            Whereas Milka Duno almost sounds like an anagram of Danilo… 😉

          • She won’t be as aggressive, but if her GP3 results are anything to go by, she won’t be any good either.

            You know I’m a supporter of women in Motorsports, but Samin would not be the best choice, really. Maybe Suzie could apply for Venezolan Citizenship? 😉

          • I think Samin is too inexperienced and Gonzalez not fast enough. Even Susie and Cecotto Jr are better matched for Williams, if still not first choices. Considering who’s about in F1, Gonzalez is Marussia reserve and Cecotto always pops up at YDTs. So I think Cecotto would step up and literally be the new Pastor (or should that be old!). But also considering the current car, they only really need one of Pastor and Valtteri – hence Hakkinen trying to keep him in his seat.

        • – didn’t refresh, saw that Danilo already touted the same idea, although with suzie in mind.

    • I must ask this question here… Maldonado’s statements indicate the possibility that the PDVSA money is not so tightly aligned to Williams. If another team was intrigued by Maldonado is it possible that the PDVSA money would follow with him?

      To be more specific, if Maldonado bails out of Williams for 2014, and Williams’ PDVSA money is conditional upon a Venezualan driver, then Williams must decide whether or not to grab another Venezualan butt to fill a seat. Since the alternate Venezualan driver choices appear to be weak, is it possible for Williams to choose a non-Venezualan driver and therefore lose the PDVSA money for 2014?

      If the answer is yes, may it be possible that Maldonado carries this PDVSA money with him to another team in 2014?

        • Hmm… If Williams claims “watertight” that means Williams is prepared to run an alternative Venezuelan driver if Maldonado bails out.

          Bottas is highly rated by some, so Maldonado is no slouch… It’s very hard to judge a driver’s F1 value when they only slug it out at the back of the field in a slow car race after race.

  4. I wonder…. is the reason Alonso wants to extend his Ferrari contract because his get out clauses are impossible to leave without massive penalties in Ferrari’s favour?
    Maybe Santander is so tied in with Alonso and Ferrari that he can’t get away, hence the team kicking him repeatedly?
    Or maybe they want him gone, but don’t want to pay huge money for the privilege… I’ll keep on wondering

  5. Peckham Fred: “I’m not ‘ere terday, and gorn termorrer…!”
    Little does he know… 😉
    Sorry for digressing.

  6. Re: ” …. he was forced to apologise to Hembery this weekend and now this. ”

    As I understood it, it was Hembrey who apologised to Fernando.
    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/110428
    “…… Alonso’s comments led to a public spat between the Spaniard and Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery, and the latter apologised for personal remarks he had made.

    Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali, who met with both Alonso and Hembery on race morning, thinks that teams needs to do more to help.

    “We had a meeting to clarify this issue together with Fernando,” explained Domenicali. “He apologised and I think that we need to look forward. ..”

    When Dominicali says “he apologised”, he means “Hembrey apologised”.

    A search for other reports in the media find this quote:
    “Ferrari’s Alonso was quoted by the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo: “We invited Paul for a chat. He accepted, he came, he apologised and we understand (each another) now.

    “It seems strange with the season they are having that they speak up, but, as I said, he apologised.”

    • SKY SPORTS Stefano Domenicali Q&A: The Ferrari boss’s post-Korea GP press briefing

      Q: Paul’s response to Fernando was quite heavy handed and he said he should basically ‘just go and speak to this soon-to-be four-time World Champion about how to get the tyres to work.’ That as I say is quite strong – do you and Paul have a good relationship going forwards?

      SD: “We had a meeting to clarify position together with Fernando and he apologised and I think we need to look forward.

      Sky’s grammatical constructions then leave something to be desired… Fernando is the subject in the last sentence…

      Anyway – Ferrari’s own report on Fred’s big day out says it all…..

      But thank you

      • ” .. SD: “We had a meeting to clarify position together with Fernando and he apologised and I think we need to look forward.

        Sky’s grammatical constructions then leave something to be desired… Fernando is the subject in the last sentence… …. ”

        I don’t think that is Sky’s fault, it is just Dominicali’s English.

        The autosport link I quoted above has this towards the end:

        ” …. Alonso said he was happy that the matter had been closed, but he stands by his original criticisms of the tyres.

        “I didn’t know if the comments were right or not, so we called him [Hembery] here just to explain if he said that,” said Alonso.

        “He didn’t know the complete sentence and he apologised. It’s good from him to apologise after a mistake because he misunderstood what we were saying. …. “

  7. Any comment on why he is getting called this behind his back, is it all because of his critisism of the car or is there something more besides?

    After all no team is managing to overhaul Red Bull, so surely Alonso cant take all the blame for them not winning the championships though it certainly seems that way at the moment??

    • I think TJ13 got the wrong end of the stick from Sky. See my other comments just a few lines above your comment.

  8. “It’s a fantastic car. Better performance, faster and lighter than the 458 Italia: it would be difficult to do better than what our engineers have managed!”

    I can feel for Fernando having to voice this nonsense, if this is properly reported (I don’t mean you, Judge…). I was reminded of the opening scene in ‘Donny Brasco’… 🙂
    ‘Better performance’ and ‘faster’ are pretty much the same thing, and ‘lighter’ contributes to the performance, so he could have just said: ‘It’s a better car.’ But he’s already said: ‘It’s a fantastic car.’
    As for the silly final part, it sounds as if he is berating the engineers for not making it better, because it ‘was too difficult’…
    Poor guy, having to spout this twaddle…

  9. I am itching to make a comment on the Ferrari stories. But don’t want my ear tweaked by Señor Carluccio ‘again’.

    Is Villeneuve kidding? He is a world champion but failed miserably after he joined BAT or BAR or whatever they called the Honda team that time. Rubens hardly had any success after leaving Ferrari. Experience does count but you don’t really need years and years of experience to be successful or to get a drive in F1 these days.

    • Welcome Rob, you can spout anything you want here, I won’t stop you, I don’t actually think I ever have, but there are times when your sole focus is Alonso and unrealistic claims about his abilities or rather lack of.
      As you know, I try to be as unbiased as I can, including admitting that Senna in Suzuka 1990 was perhaps the most disgraceful bit of driving I’ve ever seen and all I ask is a little balance in your views. Alonso is one of the best in F1 whether you admit it or not. Great points about BAR mind

  10. About the Alonso article: Am I the only one not getting it? I read it two times, but I still don’t see what’s the fuzz about. (Not in a sarcastic way; I genuinely don’t understand the bottom line of what’s being said.)

    Would it be possible to explain it once more without the introduction and side-information? Thanks, and sorry for this!

    • The part of Ferrari.com which releases stories about Scuderia Ferrari is over seen by their new head of communications – Renato B.

      He put out the ‘Alonso special day out’ story.

      It includes the line where they report Fernando’s comments… “’We need to have a good race. There is still a lot up for grabs: second place in the Constructors’ championship and it’s not yet over in the Drivers’

      Then the Ferrari writer of the story adds the information that Fernando is doing all this, “under the watchful eye of Team Principal Stefano Domenicali”

      … it reads as though they are saying Stefano is Alonso’s minder/babysitter to make sure he behaves properly…

      And this is quite deliberate…

  11. Any team possibly interested in Massa should be having second thoughts after his last showing. He may have found the field’s blunt end through little fault of his own, but he sure as hell hung around thereabouts. Not the sort of driver Sauber or Rotus need .

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