#F1 Daily News and Comment: Monday 1st December 2014


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Previously on The Judge 13:

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: We will fight them on the beaches

OTD Lite 2005 – Villeneuve heads into the twilight zone

Kubica reflects on Alonso/ Vettel moves

Roman Mattitacci descended from Ceaser’s enemies

Sebastien Vettel’s first day in a Ferrari F1 car

Hamilton wants Mercedes talks ‘before Christmas’

McLaren D-Day

OTD Lite 2005 – Villeneuve heads into the twilight zone

Jacques Villeneuve. Over-rated or misunderstood? A son of a legend that crashed alot, privately educated and with his former teacher, Craig Pollock, managing his career descended from the pinnacle of a dominant Williams to a bit part player with BMW Sauber before being replaced by Robert Kubica in 2006.

On this day, nine years ago he was unveiled as a 2006 driver for the Swiss-German team with boss Mario Thiessen claiming: “We are in no doubt that having Jacques in 2006 will make the BMW-Sauber team stronger.”

After some great drives for the WIlliams team his career became a parody and the opinionated maverick became less and less competitive with stints at BAR and Sauber paving his legacy. A sometimes rude, brusque man he made no apologies for his anti-establishment views but his unpredictability became so predictable that he has become merely a figure of mirth


The Grumpy Jackal


Kubica reflects on Alonso/ Vettel moves

Robert Kubica was talking after the weekends Monza Rally Show were he had won the event from MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi. Asked about the movements within the F1 circue and who had gained the most he joked: “Who has gained the most between Fernando and Vettel? I don’t know either of their contracts therefore it would be impossible to say who has earnt the most.”

“Joking aside, Formula is a highly competitive sport and far more complex than what it appears on TV. In the last few years Ferrari has had many difficulties and it’s for this reason that Alonso made his choice to leave. He’s not going to a top team but there is a new engine constructor coming in.”

“We will see who has made the better choice but it will be difficult recovering the gap to Mercedes. But I repeat, F1 is very difficult to follow from outside the paddock – even if you have raced for years and it’s impossible to predict the future.”

“Alonso’s choice is interesting as he has grown considerably as a driver and a person. His experience with Ron Dennis in 2007 will help him in difficult situations this year. As for Sebastien, driving a Ferrari is a dream for many and with four titles behind him, he is about to write a new part to his legacy.”


Roman Mattitacci descended from Ceaser’s enemies

A speech from Marco Mattiacci was recently transmitted on Spanish TV by La Sexta. The production team had been following the Spanish Samurai for the final two weeks of his Ferrari tenure, it also recorded MM confirming to the team within the garage possibly the worst kept secret of the last few months.

“For me it is extremely important to acknowledge this great champion and for everything he has done for Ferrari, keeping us ahead in difficult moments and not allowing to fall embarrassingly behind. Therefore I want to applaud from the heart ..”

Fred countered with his own gushing praise, “I will be brief. I thank you all it has been a fantastic experience. We didn’t win but we have made things interesting over the last few years.”

Of course, it was known back in the summer that Alonso had been approached by Honda but was reluctant to commit and mentioned his penalty clause as a reason he was staying with Ferrari. Except Marco and the overlord Sergio Marchionne made it clear that Fernando would not have to worry about trivialities.

With the unceremonious removal of Il Padrino, all of the Austurian’s allies had gone and Ferrari’s Roman Team Principal made it clear to his young charger that he was not wanted at Ferrari – during an explosive exchange.

Iron fist within a velvet glove or the blade perched deep into the back, to the Romans the meaning was the same.


Sebastien Vettel’s first day in a Ferrari F1 car

Fernando Alonso? Who is he was the message from the local stores. The Spaniard is a fading memory, all everyone is talking about is the debut of the new wunderkid – Sebastien Vettel. Even celebrated writer, Leo Turrini, speaks about young Seb bringing a similar disposition to the legendary Michael Schumacher when he first arrived in Maranello in 1995.

Like his idol, the four time champions arrived with sponsorless overalls and began his day at 9.30 as he took a Ferrari 458 Speciale around the Firoano circuit with Marc Gene beside him. By 10am he was ensconced in the Ferrari F2012; that had pushed the Red Bull team so hard that year when he secured his third title. He continued to drive until late afternoon – making no mistakes in over 300kms of testing and gathering information at which point he then transferred across to the simulator to continue his education.

Welcome to the fishbowl..

Welcome to the fishbowl..


Hamilton wants Mercedes talks ‘before Christmas’

Lewis Hamilton now says says he would like to sit down with Mercedes to discuss an extension to his 3 year contract which expires at the end of 2015; “I hope we can sit down and talk about it before Christmas,”

Unlike Alonso and now Sebastian Vettel, the British double world champion clearly states he is in no mood for an imminent switch of teams.

“I’ve never had this dream of Ferrari,” Hamilton insists. “The red car looks great but I can always buy a Mercedes in red,” quipped the winner of the F1 drivers’ title for 2014 season.

Hamilton has a contract with Mercedes for 2015, but team management had scheduled immediate talks to discuss an extension for 2016 and beyond.

Of course, it’s not a complete surprise to hear a driver in negotiations to extend his current contract with his team decry the possibility of driving for Ferrrari. Lewis in fact made similar statements when he told the world, he could never foresee any reason for him to leave Mclaren – because it was the team he had dreamed of when he was a child.

Alonso made similar comments to the press early in his career- that he never wanted to drive for the Maranello concern because his hero, Ayrton Senna, had won three titles for the Woking based outfit. Yet if one were to believe the Spaniard, his time at Ferrari was a love like none he has ever known… then again…

Ultimately, any professional sportsman is interested in winning. It matters not the name above the team gates as long as they have the opportunity for glory. Supporters of a team be it F1, football or any sport of choice have invested a life-time of emotions and passions into the team and they expect the teams highest profile employees to be there for the same love.

For the same reason, Sebastian has joined Ferrari because of a childhood dream, but if over the next three years there is little or no progress – will the fans understand his leaving for pastures new?


McLaren D-Day

There’s been some excitement this morning on social media regarding the McLaren announcement of their drivers – which many expected today.

However, the team from Woking did state in Abu Dhabi that, “We have decided to defer our final deliberations relating to our 2015 driver line up until a date no earlier than Monday December 1.”

The word is, in fact it will be later in the week at the earliest when Big Ron and Honda declare their intentions to the world and that Dennis has been in Denmark discussing sponsorship for the team with 3 companies, including Saxo Bank and Lego.

The options are clear. Firstly, Fernando is insisting on a certain number two driver or even the kind of experience the second McLaren driver must have. His evasive behaviour in the recent drivers’ FIA Press Conference when asked would he choose Jenson as his 2015, has led many to conclude his opinion on this matter is clear.

Yet McLaren are now in a better bargaining position with Fernando, since he has been ‘ousted’ by Ferrari and his choices for a Formula One drive in 2015 are severely limited.

McLaren should also consider, the promise of the fine young Danish driver was at its zenith during the first race of the 2014 season – and Magnusson’s results then deteriorated over the year.

Such that without Jenson’s 126 point haul, the team from Woking would have been a distant 6th way behind Force India rather than 5th and hunting down Ferrari.

Opinion is still divided on whom the axe will fall upon from McLaren’s 2014 driver line up.

However, it would be no surprise to see Ron Dennis pull a rabbit out of the hat, despite their new signing’s apparent leanings.


58 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Monday 1st December 2014

  1. RE Villeneuve

    It’s still very fresh in my memory all those accusations of many a fans that Lewis was just another Jacques, a one-hit wonder, well…

    • The history book of Villenueve might have looked different had he gone to McLaren and not followed Pollock’s fantasy of BAR. It’s funny the Hamilton fans love to ignore the speed of the Mercedes in their assessment of this past season.

      • 2008 was far from a virtuoso performance, either. Lewis fell over the line after a season of great drives punctuated by some extremely poor mistakes.
        Hamilton fans seem rather prone to hubris. I suggest they understand and then acknowledge he has feet of clay like every other WDC.

        • Hmmmm….. Not going to argue he had a perfecto season, but no driver ever does, TBH. Double race wins to his teammate, basically, and 2 long winning streaks would argue he earned this one more, though, as has been pointed out anyone who puts together a season that leaves them with the most points deserves.

          Frankly his start at Yas Marina and the duel in Bahrain make me think this was his coming of age season, finally starting to put all the pieces together. If he can manage it again next year then he will confirm it.

          • I was actually saying 2008 was super patchy, not this year :/
            I agree that this year he might have actually found one of those plastic thingies that holds the six-pack together.
            Hamilton is obviously one of the best drivers out there at the moment but that’s it. As suggested by TJ below, leave it at that. You can build pedestals and blow smoke rings in 5 years time if he deserves it.

        • And of course Massa’s, FIA supplied, fuel rig failure in Singapore, while he was leading, gets no recognition.

          • And of course Lewis’s FIA stewards 25 second penalty at Spa, after crossing the line first, gets no recognition either. Especially when the guy he overtook going into T1 so happens to put his car in the wall..hmmmm

          • So, an error by the driver is just as important as a error by a third party?

            Come on, the only question here is the size of the penalty. Considering Massa failed to score I think his loss is greater so Lewis can consider himself lucky.

          • @StephenHughes, it wasn’t the FIA operating the fuel hose! That was all down to Ferrari. The 2008 Ferrari was the best car to be in that year, but Hamilton kept close enough to take advantage of any of their slip-up’s.

            As for Spa, they handed out a penalty, even though Charlie told McLaren they were good, and before there was any articulated definition of what constituted giving the place back “enough” … that only came into effect at the next race, where the “wait ’til after the next corner before another pass attempt” rule came into being. That was more garage league stuff from the FIA, which ruined the ending of what was a fascinating battle at the end between Kimi and Lewis.

      • yes, villeneuve made some bad career choices and suffered from the williams wdc curse ( no driver ever won a wdc again after succeeding with williams, all of them either spend the rest of their career in the doldrums or left formula 1.)

        i’m not quite sure what hamilton and his fans have to do with it though.

          • i still don’t see what hamilton fans have to do with other people downtalking jacques career. it was other people who said villeneuve was a one hit wonder, and tried to compare lewis to him. mclaren only pointed out that now that lewis won his second championship, it is clear that he is not a one hit wonder.

    • @McMaster
      @Roger D

      Someone who’s not a fan of his, will only try to see all his achievements in a negative light and will try to find excuses. Lewis (just like Alonso, Schumacher, Mansell, Prost, Senna, etc) has proven himself in uncompetitive cars. It’s not just 2008 and 2014 and so it’s poor trying to belittle his two achievements. That is exactly the reason people still have questions marks over Vettel.

      What I was trying to convey in my original post is that since 2007, many ‘not so much fans’ of Lewis have been branding him as another Jacques who will fall flat on his face as soon as he finds himself in uncompetitive cars and will finish his car with one title and just another one-hit wonder.

      • Sorry for poking the bear here, but Lewis has made his mark in uncompetitive cars be being outscored by a team-mate over their 3 seasons together who is widely regarded on here as not being very good?

        Lewis has proven himself to be a very fast driver but one who is lacking in a few areas. This last season has shown he’s improved some of them but he needs to keep going to be up there with the greats as an overall driver.

        • Don’t know about being one of the ‘greats’ or ‘all time top-10’ of the sport, we have to wait till the end of his career (same goes for Alonso and Vettel). One’s for certain though, he’s already a ‘great’ of his era along with Alonso and potentially Vettel.

          As for your note about being beaten by Button, more likely he was beaten by himself, he went off the rails that year. And besides, wasn’t Alonso beaten by a rookie in 2007? Wasn’t Vettel beaten by Ric this past season?

          • “And besides, wasn’t Alonso beaten by a rookie in 2007? Wasn’t Vettel beaten by Ric this past season?”

            Awesome points buddy

          • Perhaps, “Hamilton finished higher in the standings in 2007” would be a more realistic assessment of the situation. After all they did tie on points.

          • Lewis/Fred in 2007 – granted but both of them managed to throw away the WDC that year!

            Vettel/Ric – who knows, Ricciardo may end up being one of these greats? He’s certainly showing promise. Also, one season isn’t really enough to make a clear judgement. My point was that over three seasons Lewis couldn’t comprehensively beat someone who most consider lucked in to a WDC and isn’t actually that good…

          • @McMaster, you’re not doing yourself any favours.

            Higher up in the standings = getting beat. Remove Kimi from the equation, and who would’ve been champion? ’nuff said.

            You don’t like Lewis, that’s fine, get it off your chest. Your opinion will not matter a whit in 20-30 years time when people then are looking back and rendering judgment on the drivers of today.

        • There you go again, using whatever means you need to suit your argument.

          What if Lewis had outscored Jenson over the 3 season, but Jenson had beaten him 2-1 over the 3 seasons. Would your argument be that he outscored Jenson or Jenson beat him 2 out of 3?

          • ….Fortis – let it lie

            The point I believe others are trying to make is that when Jenson joined McLaren – it was widely held view he was as a lamb to the slaughter…. or Lewis was utterly superior.

            This did not transpire to be the case….

            Further, Lewis was also expected to nail Rosberg easily….

            In race wins this season – he was dominant – yet even without double points it was a season which went down to the final race…. Between Lewis and Nico

            It’s not Lewis fault – he is and has been over hyped by either the media of his die hard fans – but those who hold him as ‘a great’ and head and shoulders above his last two team mates – do not have the facts to support this view.

          • Would the argument be different? Much as I like him, no-one would call Jenson a ‘great’ of the sport. Can Lewis be a ‘great’ if he can’t beat Jenson comprehensively over 3 seasons?

            Maybe Jenson is better than everyone thinks? Or maybe Lewis isn’t a rounded enough driver…. Yet? I hope that is the case as if his talent isn’t fulfilled it would be a shame.

          • Hmmmm…

            Given the superiority of the Mercedes car, they were always destined to finish 1-2 (without reliability), so clearly Nico was always going to be in the running right throughout the championship.

            Given that the points are handed out for race wins and not pole positions, so in that respect, he more than ‘nailed’ Rosberg.

          • Fortis, a great example of the “over hyped” the Judge is talking about is Hamilton’s passing Mansell’s wins record. It completely overlooks the reality of true performance. Jim Clark started 72 GP’s, he had mechanical failure (not crashes) that put him out of 26 and he won 25. So he won almost 35% of the races he started, including those he didn’t finish DNF’s. If you remove the races with DNF’s from the equation it put’s him close to 55% win rate. Jackie Stewart’s also had a higher win to start ratio then Hamilton. Yet there are many heralding Hamilton as “the greatest ever” Brit. I’ve even read, many times, some heralding the greatest F1 driver ever. It’s not true in either case. To many, like me, he is not even close.

          • So now race per win ratio is important?….hmmm ok…..Was it important before or after Lewis broke JYS’s record? Did you also say the same thing when Mansell broke his record?

          • @ Fortis. “So now race per win ratio is important?…” Of course it’s important. F1 is now at 20 ± races; it’s getting easier and easier to break records from BITD simply through sheer volume. And let’s not even talk about points …….

            Hamilton’s a very good driver, but the best there ever was? Groan.

          • @gomer….

            At no point did I say or implied he was the best ever. I’m merely saying, people will do whatever possible to undermine his accomplishments.

            He wins the title in 08, what do we get, ‘oh he stumbled across the line and Massa should’ve won’. All while forgetting that upon until those last couple of laps, Massa had no chance of winning.

            He wins this year, ‘oh it’s because the car is so dominat and anyone could’ve won in it’. Well they didn’t.

            But I tell you what, John Myburg said something on one of the podcast about putting Lewis in a F1 car and a wheelbarrow. So for next season, put him in a wheelbarrow and if he so happens to win the championship, I bet you that there’ll be someone finding something to try and diminish it as well.

          • @Fortis

            I’ve mentioned this before – your comment ratio is again now way higher than anyone else on the site – more than double of the next highest commentator – therefore I’m going to put your comments back into moderation for a while.

            As a matter of course, there’s no need to respond to every detail which is posted… sometimes you just have to let things go…… without continual comment

      • There was a lot of difference between Hamilton’s “uncompetitive” McLarens and Villeneuve’s never competitive BAR. I am not belittling Hamilton’s championships just trying to bath them in a realistic light. Hamilton is a great racer, no doubt about it, but he is also mistake prone. Driving into the gravel trap in China, bumper cars with Massa, Button, Raikkonen and others, pitting during a drying qualifying session, spinning into the guard rail at the start on cold tires, the luck of them having paved the run off area in Brazil this year, just off the top of my head. Events we will likely see again when faced with a tougher challenger than Rosberg.

        • I’m not going to enter the ‘who is better’ argument, BUT, if you were to list the mistakes made by Seb or Fernando, they will read as just as stupid, even Michael ‘the great’ made some serious balls-ups during his career (both of them). So to just sit and list a drivers cock ups you will only EVER paint half the picture. As has already been alluded to, it is possible to take individual stats that support your own arguments. This topic of debate will running for years to come, but please consider no diver is error free and that’s it’s those errors that make them the drivers they are today.

          Take Maldonado, he makes the same mistakes over and over, most of the top tier of drivers only make mistakes once and learn from them.

          • I would agree they all make mistakes but it’s the quantity that matters. I easily pulled my examples from memory of Hamilton’s, however I don’t believe you could make a comparable list with the other three drivers you mentioned. I’ll throw in Vettel hitting Weber but then would add Hamilton driving into Raikkonen in the pit lane in Canada. I have given points that support my argument not bent statistics to serve my need.

          • McMaster, it’s clear that you remember Hamilton’s mistakes because it’s he that you’ve keyed on.

            As for Seb, that’s pretty easy … Canada 2011, last lap. Blew the race win. Those situations are hugely important in my eyes. This year he made a mistake at Spa, which allowed Ricciardo through, and Dan went onto win. Turkey 2010, Belgium 2010, Japan 2007, Brazil 2012. Lot of examples of mistakes by Seb.

            As for Alonso, again it’s pretty easy. Japan 2007, Spa 2010, Valencia 2010 (letting Kobi through), Silverstone 2010, Japan 2012 (unlucky, but should’ve known better), Malaysia 2013, Bahrain 2013.

            There’s plenty … it’s just that you forget them b/c you’re too worried following what Hamilton’s doing.

          • And you, young lad, seem to try giving Fortis a run for the money about who is the most rabid Hamfosi. All driver make mistakes and – lo and behold – all of them make *stupid* mistakes occasionally too – and that includes the drivers you names as well as Lewis. So just calm down and let it lie, okay?

          • And here comes the hippo telling what they can or can’t do.

            Why did you not tell those who are criticing Lewis for the things he has done, to let it lie?

            McMaster claims that he could compile a list of all the mistakes Lewis has made, but couldn’t for your boy and Alonso. All KRB did was to rubbish his claims, by doing what he said he couldn’t.

            Maybe it’s you who should let it lie.

          • You are certainly one who CAN’t let it lie. Fortis, some people are simply getting fed up with regurgating the same crap all over again. Everytime someone remotely alludes that there could have been drivers equal to or even better than HIM, you and your tiresome posse go on a posting rampage spending 50 posts on saying the same thing over and over again. Some of us want our site back.

          • @FH, I’m the rabid Hamfosi you mentioned?!? Geez, I can’t even support the guy, or what? McMaster was taking silly cheap (and largely erroneous) shots, but Hamilton supporters should just “let it lie” b/c he won? Tell them to give it up, how ’bout? Think it’s long past time for you to act the part of honest broker.

            All 3 drivers (ALO, HAM, VET) will be recognized as greats from this era, there’s no way they won’t be.

            If we’re being totally honest, the drivers today are likely the best of all time, b/c the competition is greater (more very good drivers “out there” than ever before), it’s less of a rich-boy exclusive sports club than at anytime previous (still nowhere near good enough to what it should be, but good), and the glare of the spotlight is greater than ever before.

            There’s a reason the England national team was sweeping all before them in the early part of the 20th century … because not too many others were playing the game! As the others picked up the sport, England fell down the order. In F1, I think the case can be made that the likes of Fangio, Clark, and Stewart were the best in era’s where the talent pool was not as deep as it is today. Have all three of those drivers born (again) in 1985, and I’m not sure they dominate today as they did then.

            It’s the same in every sport pretty much. I’m Canadian, so I’ll use hockey as my example. Would Gretzky be getting 200+ points/season in today’s NHL? Doubt it. Watching some of those old games, one cannot help but notice how very slow the game was then, compared to today. The athletes are just so much fitter today than before. It’s the same in F1.

        • Well, let time be the judge on his status in F1. It’s very easy criticising current drivers and seeing their faults and yet at the same time look at the past ‘greats’ with rose-tinted spectacles. I’m pretty certain there were several people during the 80s that weren’t regarding Mansell a ‘great’ for example.

          I used to be like that, but I have decided the past 2-3 years to start looking at this era as a new golden era of F1 with at least three true ‘greats’ in Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel. I honestly hope that Vettel does well at Ferrari (despite not being a fan of his). It’ll be a terrible shame if he doesn’t solidify his legacy.

          And to close the loop in all the posts and arguments above. Irrespective of anyone’s opinions right now, Hamilton (just like Alonso and hopefully, Vettel) will be remembered as ‘greats’. Just like when the doubters in 2007 had to eat humble pie, the same will occur after a number of years and after we move to a new era.

          • “Look at the past greats with rose-tinted spectacles”. Yes, let’s ignore the past and only look at the “new golden era”.

            “Irrespective of anyone’s opinions right now” McLaren78 will tell us how it will be and was.

          • Why are you twisting my words? I did not say forget the past, I said looking at the past in rose-tinted spectacles which is only human, we always do that.
            I’m only trying to enjoy this era after long 15 years where there was only one true ‘great’ (Schumacher) around and now we at least have 3 great drivers (Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel) that dominate at different times.

            As for your last sentence I guess I deserve the mockery, although my intention was not to belittle anyone’s opinion, but rather to show my disagreement with it. But it did come out wrong so fair play.

      • I think because Hamilton has been the first British driver since Mansell to show complete WDC material status (not going to include Damon), it is only natural that the British Media shine a light up his ass and claim he is the second coming.

        Us Brits are famous for being very patriotic when defending our heroes in all types of sport. You have to remember in 2007, Lewis brought a lot of casual fans to the sport, fans who probably never even bothered to watch F1 before he entered.

        Through watching his career up to now, it is only natural they assume he is one of the greatest drivers. Because they do not pay much attention to the actual behind the scenes workings of F1, to them he is just a Sunday hero.

        On Sky Sports F1 recently, they held a poll for the greatest British F1 driver in history. Hamilton had 50% of ALL votes, beating drivers like Clark, Stewart and Nigel Mansell to claim top spot. This just shows the average Hamfosi’s mentality, as who in their right mind would claim he is currently better than Stewart or Clark at this point in his career?

        Delusion and downright defence of their “hero” in it’s perfect form.

        The 2014 Mercedes W05 will go down in the history of F1 as one of the sports most dominant cars (most dominant in terms of overall wins), but because the majority of Hamilton’s fans won’t care about that, or appreciate it, they will not bother to mention it when proudly claiming he is now a 2x WDC.

        The real star of this season was not either Merc driver, but the car itself. Heck even a 40+ year old Schumi would have probably cruised to the WDC in that car based on his performances relative to Rosberg in 2012.

        Now before I publish this post, I just want to say, I am not calling all Hamilton fans delusional, but that majority of casual fans who were brought into the sport in 2007, do not appreciate the sports history or workings to make rational decisions based on how good their “hero” is.

        • When I mean complete WDC material status I mean the prospect of becoming a great of the sport, Jenson and Damon whilst both winning WDC’s, are not in the same bracket in my eyes.

        • Although I don’t disagree with you about the British press and the fact they like to turn our sportsmen from zeros to heros and back again in a split second, the dominance of a car only tells half the story some times. Fangio’s Merc was utterly dominant. The same with Clark’s Lotus. The same with Senna’s McLaren. The same with Schumacher’s Ferrari. It’s also what they did outside those dominant car years and in their intra-team battles (especially in the case of Fangio and Senna) that really defined them.

          • Those comparisons are a bit unfair though. Back in the days of Senna and Schumacher, they could test till the car improved or the cows came home. These days, if you start the season with a bad car, you are likely to finish it in one as well, because testing is all but verboten these days and the massive number of failed updates in the last years shows that the simulators are not quite able to replace proper on-track testing.

          • @Hippo….

            So are you saying that it’s a lot more difficult for the current drivers, given the lack of testing?

          • After Fangio you should add “and yes Hamilton’s Mercedes was utterly dominant as well”.

          • I left Vettel’s ‘utterly dominant’ 2011-2013 RBRs and Hamilton’s ‘utterly dominant’ 2014 Merc out of the discussion in purpose.

  2. Re-McLaren announcement

    I read yesterday that Alonso had taken part in a 24hour endurance kart race with one of the other drivers being the one and only Stoffel Vandoorne.
    Could this be a clue?

  3. Wow. I watched the documentary this weekend and what I can say, based on the 80 minutes of film is that Alonso was loved by the team at Ferrari. Plenty of engineers hugging him, some of them even crying. Obviously, editors play a role in what we see, but the feeling is that he was admired by his team. In the documentary, you can also feel that Alonso loves Ferrari but he is now aware that the best for both parties is to separate.

    There is one moment in the documentary, when Alonso is heading to the back of the box, that he is hugging with engineers, both wishing mutual good luck. Mattiaci gets by and they shake hands in the coldest possible way. I do not think Fernando even looks at him.

    Seriously speaking, Mattiacci can be a descent of Caesar’s enemies but, to be true, nobody will remember him when the cars hit the road in Jerez in 2015. I am not sure you can say the same about Alonso, who is part of Ferrari even if they did not score a championship together.

    With that in mind, Alonso is out, Vettel is in. The king is dead, long live the king!

    • I’m afraid to say that if Vettel wins titles with Ferrari, Alonso will be quickly forgotten, he will be the star in between two dominant Ferrari periods that he didn’t win.
      If Vettel doesn’t win, who knows, maybe Alonso will go down as another ‘Gilles’ or ‘Nigel’, loved, but never won for Ferrari.

      • I agree! It is all about the future and we will be able to put things in context in a few years time.

        My point is that we have read in this blog (which I enjoy and therefore I patronize) that Alonso was hated by the team and I was surprised to see that it was quite the contrary.

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