Voice of the #F1 Fans: Alonso the Home Wrecker

TJ13 is committed to social media and giving the fans a voice. “The voice of the fans” articles meet this goal and so this post is brought to you by TJ13 contributor landroni

Edited by Andrew Huntley-Jacobs

With the impending announcement of ‘Fred’ Fernando Alonso being re-united with his long lost… love/hate… McLaren, one has to wonder why anyone in their right mind would want to hire Alonso given his incredible home wrecking skills. Let’s take a look at what the self-confessed “I am a team player” Asturian has been up to in his past 10 years or so in F1.

Having been with Renault since 2003, Alonso became a newly crowned WDC in October 2005. With his trophy still warm, he unapologetically signed for McLaren in December 2005 for a drive in… 2007. After winning one more title with Renault in 2006, Fernando, ‘for the good of the team’, Alonso discarded his beloved Renault team and switched to Big Ron’s McLaren.

Sebastian by comparison must be considered a devotee to Red Bull having stuck with the Austrian team throughout the disastrous 2014 season – which by the way saw them romp home 2nd in the F1 constructors’ title behind the über-dominating Mercedes team; along with scoring the only race wins other than Mercedes AMG F1.

However, back in 2007, Fred the shining new 2x WDC team-player quickly found himself matched by a diapered punk, also known as Lewis Hamilton, who couldn’t even clean up his nose without the help of Big Ron. So in despair and anger he decided in Hungary 2007 to throw all the toys out of the pram, and upturn the applecart, attempting to blackmail Dennis his boss – presumably, ‘for the good of the team’.

Alonso, in his mind had a clear #1 status within McLaren. “Who is that guy? I am a 2x WDC! Tell the damn kid from the other side of the garage that he is to respect his superiors, i.e. me the team-player, and make damn sure that he always finish behind my gearbox in races, as was originally promised to me when I signed the contract in 2005!” This is in actuality a paraphrase of mine 😉

So we all know what happened at the end of 2007: Fred slammed the door loud and clear at the MTC — shattering a few windows —, left Big Ron with a hefty $100m cheque to honour while McLaren found themselves disqualified from that year’s Constructor’s Championship. Ultimately, a year later following years in the sport, Dennis appeared to be ‘removed’ from F1.

The way was paved for the Martin Whitmarsh revolution which itself began inauspiciously with the recruitment of Heikki Kovalainen

Moreover, it has been suggested that the unwelcome $100m (reduced on appeal to $50m) write-off was one of the triggers for Mercedes withdrawing from their long-term partnership with McLaren, ultimately ending in an acrimonious, public split in 2014.

No happy ending here as Fernando ‘for the good of the team’ Alonso leaves, heads roll and the team is in tatters. Take 1.

Depending on your choice of analogy, the dog returned to his vomit OR the prodigal son returned home to Pappa Briatore and his Enstone home once again.

The team’s lack of competitiveness and a frustrated Briatore (or maybe even Fred) decided to put Nelson Piquet Jr on the line in Singapore. This paved the way for a contrived first win for Renault in 2008 as at the time Fred marched victorious to Victory under the lights in Asia.

Briatore, Symonds and possibly Fred, necessary pressure on a less than ballsey Nelsinho, and the theatrics were set in motion. Piquet Jr duly spun out on lap 14 of the 2008 Singapore GP triggering the Safety Car, which was co-incidentally immediately following the decision to pit Alonso in what was an abnormal tyre strategy.

Felipe Massa, had been leading the race and was in the thick of the championship fight, complained that the spin appeared somewhat fishy. As time would tell this was in fact the case.

Following Briatore’s unceremonious ditching of Piquet Jr mid 2009 season, Nelsinho discovered his balls, and revealed the Singapore crash—and by extension Alonso’s win—was indeed stage managed.

Massa later astutely observed, “It was the team and Nelson – but Alonso was part of the problem. He knew. We cannot know it [but] of course he knew. [It’s an] absolute certainty.”

What happened next? Following these revelations, sponsors ING and Mutua Madrileña removed their hats from the hat stand and headed for the hills removing their stickers from the Renault cars by the 2009 Singapore GP.

The CEO of Renualt dismissed both Briatore and Symonds despite their obvious abilities to manufacture underserved results. He then offloaded the Enstone team to a pair of somewhat… unproven investors… who acquired some paint and a couple of Lotus stickers – placing them atop the Renault badge.

Surprisingly, or not, Alonso decided it was once again time to jump from the sinking ship and head for pastures new, thoughthis time they were to be red.

Fernando ‘for the good of the team’ Alonso again exits stage left, a team boss’ head rolls, and the team finds itself in tatters, Take 2.

Having left behind two devastated lovers, Fred’s womanizing was in no way in decline.

This time the prize was the red-haired beauty going by the name of Ferrari. She was forced to jilt her current partner – Kimi Raikkonen – as Fred marched into the house in time for the start of 2010.

Yet Fernando could in no way have envisioned the fate about to befall him as over the next five years Ferrari gradually slumped from championship contender to race win contender to merely a podium contender.

Yet Fernando’s star was still in the ascendancy as despite the ‘trucks’ being built in Maranello, he almost managed to clinch two WDC titles, each time being just beaten to the tape by the clinical German upstart that was Sebastian Vettel.

With each passing year of failure, it was inevitable; the letting of the Maranello coloured blood began.

Interestingly, the designer of the all-conquering 2014 Mercedes AMG F1 car – Aldo Costa – was dismissed for failing to deliver a trusty steed for Fernando to ride.

The promise of the new 2014 engine era gave hope to the tifosi, that Ferrari could spend their way to glory. Yet so catastrophic were their efforts that following a couple of races, Stefano Domenicali could take no more – and was off.

Most incredibly, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, was ousted later in the year and swiftly followed by his nomination to replace Domenicalli – Marco Mattiacci. This is most unfortunate for the writers of TJ13 – as the M&M pairing is no more.

Yet despite requesting to leave, Fernando walks on water – fails to breach his contract with Ferrari – and in all likelihood departed the fields of Tuscany with a big fat cheque.

Most incredible of all, Ferrari is now to be sold in all probability to non-Italian owners. Could this be the end of the Scuderia – once and for all?

That would appear an appropriate epitaph for Fernando the Home wrecker.

Fernando ‘for the good of the team’ Alonso leaves, multiple bosses heads roll, and the team finds itself in tatters, Take 3.

In the meantime, Fred is talking double-dutch and once again pondering pastures new. Once he salivated at the thought of being inside the curves of a Newey creation, but his dreams of that outcome appear to have been shattered – once and for all.

Fred also eyeballed the grey but feisty and muscular Mercedes, but no room at the inn was the cry from behind the shuttered windows.

Now it appears, Fernando is out of choices. What is left is the unproven and possibly unstable creation from the nuptial bed of McLaren and Honda.

Yet should any team boss in their right mind entertain inviting the Asturian – Don Juan – anywhere near their lovely daughters?

Doesn’t his track record demonstrate he will court them, abuse them and their family, casue mayhem amongst the blood relatives and then head for the highway when the going gets tough?

For many, it is most puzzling to observe Honda’s unbridled passion for Fernando. Isn’t the pretender’s history worth considering prior to committing to the marital bed?

Of course, as every introductory statistics class teaches you, correlation doesn’t imply causation. It may be hard to argue that Alonso was the cause of this trail of destruction. But it is just as difficult to ignore the ship wrecks bestowed upon the teams unfortunate enough to fall for Fernando’s charms… And since Fred loves to get his hands dirty in the inner machinations within the bowels of a team, it’s even more difficult to dismiss the Alonso influence.

So if I were Ron Dennis or Yasuhisa Arai, I’d be having sleepless nights for some time to come. Or is this a secret plan by Big Ron to exact revenge on Fred – and teach him a lesson, once and for all?

On the bright side, Mercedes fans looking to how Toto Wolff may one day be removed from their team – rest assured; Fred will be sniffing around your daughter too, just as soon as the terms for his future divorce are agreed at the shrine of the MTC.

85 responses to “Voice of the #F1 Fans: Alonso the Home Wrecker

  1. Yet both mclaren and Renault were both happy to hire him more than once. Seems more a case of putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 5 in an effort to diminish someone who in undoubtedly the best driver of his generation, possibly in top three ever.

    • McLaren, only allegedly Jamie, we don’t know for certain yet.
      Renault, with Flabio still in control – no surprises there…..

    • McLaren is desperate, Renault had dropped from first to third (in fact fourth if it hadn’t been for McLarens exclusion), was employing two journeyman at the time and no other top driver was going to sign for them. In addition they were managed by Alonsos mentor and manager.

      If you look at the facts, Alonsos politicking doesn’t bring any positive energy to the team he drives for. Yes, Schumacher demanded a similar undisputed No.1 status, but when did you hear him bitch and moan about his team in public? He might have kicked asses here and there if things weren’t going well, but he did it behind closed doors and in a constructive way. I was never a Schumacher fan, but I have to admit that he was very good at building a team around him that served his needs. He was very effective at getting what he thought he needed. Alonso on the other hand, seems primarily driven by the fear of not getting what he thinks he deserves. Instead of convincing people that it is best for them to do the best for him and giving them the feeling that he very much appreciates everything that is done for him, he is quick to backstab, distance himself from the team and throw his toys out of the pram.

      Of course it might be all a coincidence, but if you look at his career, a very destructive pattern emerges. I think the troubles at McLaren and Renault can be directly attributed to him. Ferrari is not as clear, it seems their problems had a lot to do with ineffective leadership. But then again, Alonso was part of that leadership. He used it for short term advantages, like the “Fernando is faster than you” incident, but long term, he was not able to establish a structure that allowed him to win a WDC with the team. Yes he came close twice, but he never came close to building up the effective winning machine everybody expected the Ferrari-Alonso combination to be.

    • Indeed it is not a coincidence. However, it’s not the one that is implied either.

      Alonso does not cause the mayhem, but he recognises the writing on the wall early enough to leave the burning wreck before it explodes. That’s the causality.

      • Maybe Alonso doesn’t cause the mayhem single-handedly, but believe you me, he’s got his fingers in the mayhem pies. When he walks in and demands that the team bow to his every need, that causes the teams to lose focus.

      • Alonso does not cause the mayhem
        That’s a pretty definitive statement given his McLaren history…

  2. A very enjoyable article…..

    There is a reason a certain broadcaster has on occasion referred to him as “Teflonso”…….

  3. Landroni, you are a brave man. Unbelievably stupid, but brave. I wouldn’t have dared posting that. The mob will eat you alive…

    • No mob will touch him. Hamfosi won’t. Sebfosi won’t. Tifosi even won’t anymore. And definitely Mcfosi won’t. Alonso, just like Mourinho to use a football analogy, leaves a trail of destruction behind him irrespective of how brilliant he is. If Ron-da manage to get the best out of him and at the same time not lose focus by trying to satisfy his every need, I’ll take my hat off them. Then again, maybe McLaren-Honda want to make a big entry with a big name and once they have a strong car in 2-3 years dispatch with him and go for Lewis, Seb, Ric, Bottas, whoever.

      • This “analysis” is not excellent, it’s rubbish, but I think I already said that last time you tried to pitch it. Alonso is a poisoned cookie – great driver but rotten character and completely useless at developing a car. I nearly laughed my arse off when Ferrari mechanics waxed lyrical about how Seb told them things about the 2012 car that Alonso never noticed. Seb had driven that car for exactly 20 minutes. That’s why I think Seb will achieve the title with Fezza.

        • See what you want to see, it’s all equal to me.

          I’ll grant that the stats might be skewed by Raikkonen’s miserable performance this season, but stats they remain, as opposed to Hippopinion.

        • Stefano Domenicalli told the same about Alonso when he was hired by Ferrari that they need a development driver. Its a new marriage hippo. Every event would be adjusted and issues amicably settled for some time. If Seb endures two seasons like Alonso’s five he would be looking for pastures new and every driver for that matters since they exist to win.

          As to linking the ousting of LDM and Alonso, i disagree. LDM was ousted because his and Marchionne’s ideas contradicted concerning the future of Ferrari as a whole and not only the racing team. Everyone was calling for Domenicallis’ head after the 2010 season itself. So even Domenicalli’s ousting cannot be linked with Alonso. It just happened that Alonso was also employed by the Scuderia at the same time.

          @ Landroni

          Agreed that he was matched by a rookie Hamilton. But don’t you think Ron was only in favour of lewis and not him. Wasn’t he pushed into a corner and hence din’t have anything to defend himself apart from threatening Ron? I still do not understand how the FIA investigated the incident in Hungary that happened between two team-mates with no insistence from the team itself but only from Hamilton’s father?

          • Re: Alonso vs Hamilton
            At the end of the day, the talking is being done on track. These top teams, and McLaren above all others, are religious about providing identical kit to their drivers (well, unless Fernando comes in a requests special priority to new bits, as he did when returning to Renault, to make a point).

            And this is what I suspect happened in 2007: Alonso got spanked hard, on the track, by a rookie, in identical kit. For example, as proof in point that there wasn’t necessarily a Fred-shafting atmosphere in MTC, in Monaco 2007 Big Ron asked Hamilton to stay put in 2nd and not threaten Fred for 1st place; ultimately neither brat listened Big Ron, but this is hardly proof that McLaren were clumsily favoring Hamilton at all costs… And that Alonso lost hearts and minds within the team as a result of his intransigent posturing is one thing; that he got beaten on track by a rookie in identical kit is quite another.

            The thing is that if the rookie cannot drive fast enough, he would never be in a position to look at Alonso in his mirrors. Take Magnussen this year: Big Ron may favor KMan all he wants, but at the end of the day Button was looking in his mirrors at KMan weekend-in weekend-out. And if things reversed, do you really think that Button would have started blackmailing his way into priority-man? Very unlikely, and Jense must have all the dirt in the world on McLaren after his number of seasons in the team, because all top F1 teams have unauthorized technical information on other teams all the time…..

            [WP seems to enjoy eating my comments, so admins if there is duplicate please delete

        • “I nearly laughed my arse off when Ferrari mechanics waxed lyrical about how Seb told them things about the 2012 car that Alonso never noticed”

          Alonso never noticed some of the flaws of the car because those were not flaws for him. Vettel is more sensitive, so he was more vocal about the car. What was a problem for Vettel while driving, wasn’t a problem for Alonso.

        • Raikkonen has probably given more feedback to the Ferrari mechanics than both Alonso and Vettel combined.

          Teams dont hire Alonso because of being a miss congeniality or for his cool drunk skills. They hire him because he is one of the most capable drivers to put their car at the top.

      • @ Landroni,

        Its the same Hamilton who refused to yield to Alonso in the practice run in the fuel burning phase which was the starting point for the entire episode. He went unpunished for that. I think Ron mentioned in the radio to Hamilton his exact feelings for Hamilton after the qualifying incident. I think this fact and it was Hamilton who started all this (sorry to Hamfosi’s) is missed by many media outlets and you also did not recollect this in the above article.

        Further the situation of Jense and K-mag cannot be compared to Alonso and Hamilton coz. Mclaren today are not fighting for WDC and WCC but they were in 2007. Thats the difference.

        • Again, we’d all love a sober account from Carlo or the Judge of the events in McLaren that year…..

          I’m not sure that “he started it!” is a sufficient excuse for Alonso, the employee, for indulging himself into blackmailing his employer and making good on that blackmail threat. There is a difference between brushing with what’s barely acceptable (refused to yield to the other driver in the practice run in the fuel burning phase; would Raikkonen have been as chastised for a similar episode, or lauded instead?) and outright blackmail. Spoiled children rarely understand the difference between the two.

          For instance I never saw Mark Webber divulging all of RB’s secrets, and there is little doubt now that cheating did occur and that drivers were in the know, either before or after leaving RB, even though he found himself for years in a corner within that Vettel-centric team……

          • I was wrong about that free practice thing. It happened earlier in the qualifying session. Had Hamilton let him through Alonso would have had the chance to set the final flying lap and consequently a likely pole position. This would not have opened a can of worms i suppose.

    • Are there Alonso fans so rabid as to suss out an internet identity and cause a threat?
      Nasty comments may ensue but after all landroni
      is anonymous…unless all of you know something I don’t.

  4. So Fred was responsible for the 100m Mclarent bill? What about Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan and the fact that Ron and the whole team knew they were cheating.

    But of course, it’s all Fernando’s fault. Ignore the fact that it was Mclaren to cheated in the first place.

    And Fred moving to Mclaren after his 2 WDCs… well he was managed by Briatore who was also manager of the Renault team then…. I’m sure Briatore would have been involved with Alonso’s negotiations with Mclaren. So how is that home wrecking?

    At Ferrari, it was Mattiaci who acted in haste to sign Seb. Why would they sign up their enemy, such a stupid move? As a result Ferrari had signed 3 WDCs. A mistake which would prove fatal to his career.

    So yes some team bosses heads rolled, but it was caused by their own unethical behaviour. Fred’s timing was poor and was unlucky he happened to be in teams who’s ambition was greater than their talent.

    • Let me phrase things slightly differently.

      Since winning his WDC, Alonso witnessed some rather incredible events that surrounded all the 3 teams that he set foot in: a $100m penalty and WCC disqualification (McLaren), a win-for-crash operation accompanied by the withdrawal of a manufacturer (Renault), and the demise of a powerful dictator in Maranello (Ferrari). Given the rollercoaster bloodshed of this year, this last story isn’t over by far.

      In each of those instances the boss’ head rolled on the floor more or less in sync with Alonso’s leaving. In each of those cases long-term financial and strategical damage occurred in the affected teams:
      – the $100m penalty which was one of the triggers for Merc’s withdrawal from their long-term partnership with McLaren, including the acrimonious, public split in 2014. As well as the forced Martin Whitmarsh revolution, which itself ended in tears two failed drivers later, Heikki Kovalainen and Checo Perez (both Whitmarsh hopefuls), crowned with the disastrous 2013 and 2014 years, and an ostentatious lack of sponsor stickers. And all signs are there that even this story is far from over, too.
      – the withdrawal of Renault from its works team, offloading Enstone to uncertain investors. The instantaneous loss of main sponsors ING and Mutua Madrileña. Loss of headline personnel—Kimi Räikkönen, James Allison, Eric Boullier, and countless others—over a single winter at the end of 2013, and a glorious finish in 2014 ahead of Marussia, Sauber and Caterham, with lack of investment funds being one of the core reasons for the slump. And all signs are there that this story is far from over, either.
      – killing after killing after killing: a lot of thick, red blood was spilled, certainly enough to write this very article. Among others, Aldo Costa, Stefano Domenicali, and shockingly Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, as well as Marco Mattiacci (sadly depriving us of M&M’s). And if history is any guide, Fiat shall withdraw from its long-term association with Ferrari, dumping it before Christmas or so.

      Spin it as you will, but the trail of destruction invariably revolves around one brilliant driver, incredibly adept at pushing any junk to a race-winning position, our very own Andalusian Fernando Alonso…

      So tell me, why would Honda dream of working with Fernando? If you look coldly at the events, team ruin—as in the deep abyss of despair—occurs about 5-6 years after Fernando sets foot in said team. I’m willing to bet a dollar that Honda will look rather queasy in 5 years time…

      • Come on. Alonso caused the $100 million penalty just like the teeth of the dog who ate my homework caused its destruction.

        You can do better than that…

  5. Nice round up on Alonso’s, maybe the heads role because the big bosses know they have the best driver possible and it then highlights the car’s deficiencies, so when that driver says “I’m off, your cars a rubbish” then change must happen, as what is the point of hiring another stellar driver if the team that was left still carry on building less than stellar cars. That is the only explanation I can offer.

  6. Nice one, landroni. Your point about causality is well taken, but I would be wary of the Alonso effect if I were McLaren to be sure. Very wary

  7. He didn’t “span” out in Singapore. He SPUN out. Plus a number of other typos. Fun read though. Great driver, disastrous employee.
    And you gotta wonder why Massa stills regards him highly.

  8. Gary Anderson:

    Do you get the sense that Alonso is like poison to the dynamics of a team, as some are saying?
    
Richard Durishin, via Twitter

    

Fernando Alonso is not poison to any team – he is a very talented driver with two world championships under his belt and he simply wants results.
    When he is in an F1 car he works as hard as, if not harder than, most other drivers and he expects the team to do the same.
    
We have seen heroic drives from him on many occasions, and the team he has been driving for has appreciated it – because it has known that the equipment at his disposal was not capable of what he had just done with it.
    Just go back to 2012 – the car was a real dog yet he brought Ferrari results that it could only dream about.

    I rather take the opinion of an expert than [mod]

    • “I rather take the opinion of an expert than [mod]”

      Well, said sycophantic Autosport expert(s) rarely trouble to be genuinely critical to any one F1 player of importance…. And they rarely trouble to stick their neck above the party line….

      Same expert has recently uncritically endorsed our dear old Bernard: “I have to say, Bernie, that F1 needs you in control. No one else can do what Bernie has done for F1 and we are now at a critical point. If the teams have any sense they will get behind him.” Conveniently overlooking that it was dear old Bernard himself, as CEO at FOG and master manipulator, who has himself engineered over the years the current financial disaster for the teams.

      Same Autosport experts have recently written sickeningly sycophantic adulation to one Dr Collin Kolles, “F1’s tail-end troubleshooter”, conveniently overlooking how the Kolles management team was at the same time drawing blood and shafting one unfortunate Caterham into the ground, in a scam that has been relentlessly reported by the TJ13 amateurs (and haters, I gather).

      As one team boss recently and memorably put it (from memory): “Thinking hurts. It’s dangerous to think by yourself and make your own opinion.” So pick your poison…

  9. Wasn’t McLaren fined $100m by FIA for committing the sporting form of corporate espionage, and bringing the sport of Formula 1 into disrepute?

    How is that Alonso’s fault that McLaren illegally and criminally obtained and utilized Ferrari’s IP?

    • My understanding of the McLaren 2007 espionage incident is as follows.

      McLaren was on trial with Ferrari in the civil courts, while the FIA didn’t get involved, no more as it did more recently in the Force India and Caterham debacle. Then cometh Alonso in Hungary 2007, blackmails Ron Dennis into giving himself unchallenged #1 status within the team, and gets spurned by Big Ron. Alonso then makes good on his blackmail and murmurs to Briatore something that the Renault F1 boss passed onto the governing body (aka Max the Spanky), prompting a letter to all three McLaren drivers. Then Alonso was “very happy to help the FIA discover everything.”

      From what I see, Alonso was the trigger for the FIA nosing around the McLaren/Ferrari debacle, and Alonso provided Spanky with means and justification for a serious episode of regulatory overreach. Of course it was McLaren’s guilt to possess confidential information from another team, but let’s not forget that a disgruntled former Ferrari employee, Nigel Stepney, has provided them with that info. What happened when a disgruntled former employee provided “confidential information from another team” to Renault, months after the McLaren public shamming? Exactly that, nothing, not even a footnote.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_in_Formula_One#2007_season

      “On 8 November 2007 the FIA accused Renault F1 of having McLaren F1 technical information in their possession.[9] According to the charge, the information in hand “included the layout and critical dimensions of the McLaren car as well as details of McLaren’s fuelling system, gear assembly, hydraulic control system and suspension”. The hearing on this matter took place in Monaco on 6 December 2007. The charge faced by Renault F1 – breaching of article 151c of the Sporting Regulations – was the same as that faced by McLaren earlier on in 2007 in the espionage controversy involving Ferrari & McLaren. The FIA found Renault F1 in breach of article 151c but did not penalise the team.”

      But I don’t see anyone dragging Renault through the mud for having cheated. And what happens when former employees, wink wink Peter Podromou (and countless others!), jump ships and bring with them “confidential information from another team”, conveniently stored in files within their brains, all up for easy access and exploitation? Exactly that, nothing, this is actually the rule of the game… I don’t see anyone dragging Ferrari through the mud for “cheating” by poaching Merc engine specialists and thus acquiring “confidential information from another team”….

      But as was requested several times in the comments on TJ13, we’d all love a sober account from Carlo or the Judge of the events in McLaren that year…..

      • thanks for replying. I’ll read over what you’ve written later today. just wanted to send you a brief thanks now tho. cheers.

  10. Interesting piece to get the conversation going, but Alonso is the guy who beat the all conquering Schumacher and Ferrari in 2005-2006, something no other driver/ team combination could do for many years previously.

    Also, it was Ron who made the biggest mistake of his career with his poor management of the team and drivers in 2007. I have a feeling he wants to correct that mistake through his re-hiring of Alonso.

    As for Ferrari…………..they have been going steadily down hill since the “Italians” took control back from Todt. Without Alonso they wouldn’t of challenged for the Championship during those 5 years.

    Alonso will be champion within 3 years with Mclaren and Vandoorne will be his faithful disciple until Alonso retires. Mclaren/Alonso dominance is on its way.

    • “Alonso is the guy who beat the all conquering Schumacher and Ferrari in 2005-2006, something no other driver/ team combination could do for many years previously.”

      Indeed so. It is for this very reason that I hold Alonso, the driver, in highest esteem. Probably higher than Hamilton, who is much more yo-yo like when it comes to maintaining top-notch performance. And it is extremely gratifying to see Alonso’s driving skills critically acclaimed, placing him squarely into the sports greatest ever:
      https://f1metrics.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/who-was-the-greatest-f1-driver/

      And currently (!) on his peak 3 year performance, mind you. This guy is peerless when it comes to driving an F1 car consistently fast!

      So as much as I have qualms with Fernando’s “team player” self-aggrandizing myths, Fernando the driver is simply sublime.

      “As for Ferrari…………..they have been going steadily down hill since the “Italians” took control back from Todt. Without Alonso they wouldn’t of challenged for the Championship during those 5 years.”

      Indeed so, again. But it is nevertheless striking how after winning his WDC, Fernando is like a scourge to any team that he touches, with 5 years on the said team staring into the deep abyss of despair… McLaren, Renault nay Lotus nay Enstone, and now Ferrari…..

  11. Pretty sad piece of writing Judge. Doesn’t do any good for reputation to publish such lop-sided drivel.

    • It’s called “THE VOICE OF THE FANS” – a section of our site dedicated to allowing fans an opportunity to express themselves.

      The point is TJ13 promotes fans access to an audience via social media – what they write is their call – given certain criteria based on readability

      Fans are often polemic – by definition – and they may write from a bias.

      However, it may be better to either

      – engage with their articles critically, rather than merely snipe in a cheap and easy fashion
      – or alternatively, say nothing at all.

      • Not really Judge, the other 2 instances of Voice of the Fan where Fat Hippo rants, it’s me or this site has an Anita Alonso Bias?

      • “Merely snipe in a cheap and easy fashion”, like the article. I’ll take into account the low threshold of the criteria for publication in the future and refrain from commenting.

        • “the low criteria for publishing”…. as I suggested, avoid the “Voice of the Fans” articles if they are not of the nature you require.

          “cheap and easy fashion – like the article”…. ….In fact, someone spent considerable time and effort penning their ideas…. whether they are valid or not.

          In contrast, your comment was a throwaway 5 second dismissive opinion without any explanation behind it… as stated, it was cheap and easy – and not in keeping with other worthy contributions you have brought regularly.

          • I gave the effort worthy of the article. I was dismissive because it should be dismissed. I couldn’t be bothered to take the time to point out all the short comings of his statements and then have to respond to all the long winded defenses he would post. Like those he has. I read all his subsequent posts before commenting, which only served to reinforce my belief.

            I apologize for having posted such a brief assessment. In the future I will take into consideration that the Voice of the Fans articles need no basis in reality and will keep my thoughts to myself.

          • …Much appreciated….

            And should you wish to pen some thoughts in the future – TJ13 will be happy to publish them – they appear to be regularly well considered and enlightening

    • The main thrust of the article is based on surprisingly many facts, which I did my best to keep accurate. Please address those arguments, instead of leaving such drivel as a comment.

    • McMaster, Voice of the Fans is a fan-written piece. Like a newspaper op-ed, if you disagree with the content, you don’t have to read it. The difference is you have to pay for a newspaper and last I looked, this is free.
      I value TJ13 and the effort he puts into the blog. Do you know how much time goes into maintaining this sort of effort?
      If TheJudge can find a fan who’ll spend a great deal of time and effort to write an entertaining and cogent piece, I applaud him for sharing the space. That the FatHippo and Grumpy Jackal help out is commendable.
      If you have a differing view, supply a substantive article to TheJudge and I’ll bet you here and now he’ll post it.

  12. Really and obvious piece of scientific and measured analysis, facts and evidence, this is the type of “articles” that made me start reading Judge13.

    -Sarcasm

      • The thing here it’s you’re condoning this kind of misinformation in your Blog, with that you are devaluating it (your blog), I can not recommend into my friends anymore as I often did as very good mix of rumors and intelligent opinion.

        • …then if that is your blinkered view – feel free to do as you wish.

          It is my right to publish a controversial opinion written by a fan and clearly mark it so – with the obvious disclaimer this is not necessarily my view.

          Also – in my opinion – it is no one’s right to be blaze and dismissive of others without proper engagement – and for those who behave in such a manner, I suggest they are better served slugging it out in out in a forum somewhere else.

      • I tend to disagree, Judge. Just because it was published in the “Voice of the Fans” section, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was written from a strong bias, or that it passed only a very low readability threshold for publication….. Sure, the style was kinky (and even more so in its original version), but the substance was as fact-based as possible.

        As I say above, the main thrust of the article is based on many facts, which I did my best to keep accurate. I encourage posters to address what was written, not what they thought they read. And clearly state what facts are plain wrong, and what facts were erroneously interpreted. THEN we can have a meaningful discussion.

      • Look the problem is everywhere, but your conclusions are jumps of faith, like this example: ” And since Fred loves to get his hands dirty in the inner machinations within the bowels of a team, it’s even more difficult to dismiss the Alonso influence ” how do you know that ? The other day Rob Smedley said working with FA was a great experience and he was not difficult to work with. So how do you KNOW that he meddles in the bowels of the teams? This is just one of your conclusions. Your… How can we call it, article, is full of premises that aren’t proved, and from them you get your biased conclusions.

        I will follow Judge opinion and go elsewhere,,,

        • Fernando Alonso has a known, well-publicized history of meddling in the politics of teams.

          In McLaren, he famously blackmailed Ron Dennis into giving him undisputed #1 status over Lewis Hamilton, as was implied when he had signed for the team in 2005.
          On his return to Renault, he had it enshrined in his contract that he would receive special treatment from the team, in the form of priority access to upgraded parts, etc. (Can’t recall any other driver insisting on such contractual clauses.) And as was implied in the article (and by Felipe Massa), it is inconceivable that Alonso had no part to play in the Singapore cheating episode, but he certainly got off lightly from the fallout. He was also one of the few drivers on the grid to be “chumming up” with the team principal, Flavio Briatore, even if he was his manager.
          In Ferrari, he was very close to both Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo. Very often it wasn’t perfectly clear who had the power behind the throne. When Marco Mattiacci arrived, he immediately started a power struggle with him, dismissing him as a good-for-nothing neophyte, that would have no immediate impact on the team. When Mattiacci started showing his fangs, and the power behind the throne shifted, Fernando’s public position softened visibly, starting to praise the new team principal. And so on, and so forth. For all intents and purposes, Fernando had sufficient political clout (either via the media or in backrooms) to influence decisions at Maranello.

          And for what it’s worth, this assumption of Fernando’s being a political animal is oft times implied and sometimes stated outright in TJ13 analyses. But hey, feel free to go elsewhere…

          • …Alonso is indeed a most political animal… and with considerable clout too… this is founded in his remarkable driving abilities – and I would suggests he is second to none on this score in his generation..

          • How do you know when Dennis, in 2005, approached and signed Alonso that it wasn’t on the basis that he was number one? Is there any doubt he was, with Renault, when Dennis signed him? Would it not make sense that it would be part of the agreement in moving to McLaren? Could it be Dennis that went back on his word?

  13. Anyone who’s seen the emotional farewell videos showing Alonso’s Ferrari departure would never come away thinking he wrecked that home in any fashion. What a load of bs.

    • Indeed, he was a major force keeping it all from falling apart before the eyes of the world. Think Ferrari’s had poor results the last few years with Alonso? Imagine where they’d have been without him.

      • Maybe in a position to effect the necessary changes much earlier, much thorougher, and without the need for the current bloodbath…. LdM must be ruing the day he decided to center the team around Fernando. And let’s see how the rumors of Marchionne selling Ferrari away pan out… If that happens, THEN it shall be very hard to argue that Alonso was Ferrari’s savior in any way, shape or form.

        • Landroni: I would like you to cite all these quotes you are attributing to Alonso and others. You can start with the second paragraph of your article. Show us where he dismisses Mattiacci as ” a good-for-nothing neophyte”. Show us evidence that Alonso had anything to do with the poor performance of the engineering departments at Ferrari. Those that actually develop the car. Tell us how Massa’s statements regarding Singapore have any bearing or are even provable. Gives us a quote from Montzemolo indicating his disappointment with hiring Alonso, or Domenicali or anyone at Ferrari. Give us a quotation from any team principle from any team that Alonso is a destructive force.

          “The main thrust of the article is based on surprisingly many facts…”. BULL. It is opinion mixed with fairy tales backed up by hot air.

          • Indeed. Well said, my friend. I would also like to see some evidence of the team being built around Fernando, or that he was in any way a divisive force in the garage. Any of you who may have seen the documentary of Alonso’s final race for Ferrari know how well-loved he is at Ferrari and how much he loves that team. It’s obvious to anyone with eyes.

          • As you justly pointed out, life is too short. In any case, nihilism will only get you thus far. We’re all trying to make sense from the little facts that we have on other people’s lives; I sure do hope that you apply the exact same demanding principles on each and every piece of TJ13 that is being published, and then categorize those as BULL, because the regular TJ13 writers use just as much conjecture, rumors, logical deductions spiced up by speculations as this particular piece, if not more at times.

            As for the main thrust of the article it was quite very simple. After winning his 2 WDC: Alonso enters a team, 5 years later the team finds itself in exquisitely perilous financial and leadership position, with main manufacturer backers withdrawn (or on the brink of withdrawal, in Ferrari’s case), and with the original team boss unceremoniously ousted. 3 times, with 3 different top teams. Now that’s one good riddle! Care to disprove this BULL pattern?

          • It’s fine to employ speculation and conjecture, so long as you don;t frame them as fact. You should expect that to draw criticism every time.

          • “Show us where he dismisses Mattiacci as ” a good-for-nothing neophyte”.”

            Of course someone politically astute like Alonso will never say exactly this outright in public. But if you read between the lines, this was the message coming from Alonso when Mattiacci was ferried in.

            http://thejudge13.com/2014/04/18/daily-f1-news-and-comment-thursday-17th-april-2014-2/
            “Earlier, Alonso’s first statements about his new boss were far from glowing. On Thursday, he said he wasn’t even sure Mattiacci was making the trip to China, while revealing he has been talking with the departed Domenicali “all the week long”. And when asked about Mattiacci’s inexperience, Alonso answered: “It’s too early to say if it will be a very good thing or very bad. “I don’t really have much to say. I drive the car,” he later added.”

            http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/114045/
            “Speaking to reporters ahead of the Monaco GP, Alonso said Mattiacci still needed more time to gain experience of F1 before he could enact change at Ferrari.

            “Not much to be honest – I don’t think it’s going to happen soon,” said Alonso, when asked by AUTOSPORT what Mattiacci had altered inside the team.

            “He’s still learning about the team situation, the Formula 1 environment, the F1 weekends.

            “There are a lot of things to learn and [he needs to] get some experience before making any decisions that at the moment he will not take.

            “On our side – the drivers, the engineers, the mechanics trackside – we come to the GP and still have the same meetings at the same times; we don’t see any big difference.

            “When I go to Maranello to work, to have some meetings and preparations and run in the simulator, these areas are still not any change in this last month.

            “But probably it was expected not to have any change in the first month, because he still does not have the experience.”

            http://thejudge13.com/2014/04/21/daily-f1-news-and-comment-monday-21st-april-2014/
            “Before the confirmation of Domenicali’s resignation, rumours began circulating that Ross Brawn and Briatore had been mentioned to replace Stefano yet with the announcement of Marco Mattiacci one could understand Alonso’s reluctance to welcome him to the team.

            Alonso responded with what could seem to be an inflammatory statement to test the mettle of the new man – “In Bahrain, we were one minute behind the leaders, ninth and tenth and today we are on the podium, seven seconds behind Nico (Rosberg). I think this podium should be dedicated to Stefano, as everything we do up to July will also be the result of his efforts.”

            Alonso is not a reactionary man, every move and utterance is designed for particular motives. It may yet be proved that his disapproval of the new arrival is linked to a wish to move teams – as many neutral observers have suggested in recent weeks. A move that Ferrari will not countenance having seen the performance of Raikkonen this season.

            Despite his faith in his own abilities, Alonso needs to tread carefully, LdM is a consummate political player. His intentions are without doubt to be winning titles but he would be wise to learn;

            you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar..”

            ===
            “Show us evidence that Alonso had anything to do with the poor performance of the engineering departments at Ferrari.”

            This is a topic in itself, and a matter of debate. You say, I presume, that drivers drive the car while engineers develop them. I say drivers are instrumental in giving feedback to engineers on what works and what doesn’t, and what needs to be fixed. As examples are Schumacher who built Ferrari around his needs, and Vettel who geared Newey around his needs (and to the detriment of Webber).

            Alonso can almost always adapt his driving to work around car issues, which means that he is less sensitive to car issues than other drivers (i.e. Massa or Alonso). And given that he was an uncontested number at Ferrari during 5 years, his feedback was taken into account above all else. If he cannot point out car issues, then car development and setup optimization cannot happen straightforwardly…

            ===
            “Tell us how Massa’s statements regarding Singapore have any bearing or are even provable.”

            They’re not provable, of course. But take a moment to reflect on what he says. Briatore and Symonds put pressure on Piquet Jr, and Nelsinho duly spun out. Alonso was the main beneficiary from this operation, as he inherited the lead as he pitted abnormally early. He pitted abnormally early, so he knew what was going to happen. It stands to logic that Alonso was in on the whole plan, from the moment he stepped in his car. This has bearing. Other drivers may have dismissed such a cheating plan from the outset, but obviously not Alonso. Alonso was right in the thick of the most damaging event in Enstone from the past 5 years or so, the event that has triggered the exodus of sponsors, manufacturer Renault, team bosses, arrival of shaky investors, lack of funds and sponsors, and today’s financial despair at Lotus.

            ===
            “Gives us a quote from Montzemolo indicating his disappointment with hiring Alonso, or Domenicali or anyone at Ferrari.”

            I haven’t affirmed anything like that in the article. I speculated on this, tongue in cheek, in the comments.

            ===
            “Give us a quotation from any team principle from any team that Alonso is a destructive force.”

            You really don’t want to submit Ron Dennis to a lie-detector test on this subject… And I don’t need quotes from team principles on this matter. I simply point out the trail of destruction that seems to be following one very specific driver, which as it happens has a habit of getting involved in very peculiar political incidents. Make of this what you will………

        • I’m not the one making the slanderous claims Landroni you are. You’re attributing statements to people that were never made. Your presenting arguments as fact with nothing to support the them. I find the writers of TJ13 generally don’t present opinion as fact. Speculation and rumour are just that. But be sure that if I read something I consider rubbish there will be a comment from me.

          Maybe in your thinking you should include McLaren losing Newey. Or how about Dennis, being the boss of the team when they convicted of cheating to the tune of millions lost for investors. Maybe you should note the Santander logos that remain at McLaren and now grace the Ferrari. Maybe Alonso wasn’t in on the Singapore affair. He didn’t need to be. Maybe Massa was pissed because the fueling rig sticking in Singapore cost him the championship. Maybe Ferrari’s decline started with the loss of Brawn and Byrne. Maybe Costa moved because he had been demoted and was offered a big cheque and a better position at Mercedes.

          Your “main thrust’, as outlined in the first paragraph is “…why anyone in their right mind would hire Alonso with his incredible home wrecking skills”.

          Look up nihilism.

      • BTW, *I* don’t think Ferrari’s had poor results the last few years. No way! Ferrari has had very decent seasons, twice being in the thick of the WDC battle, regularly scoring wins and podiums, and regularly being at the sharp end, even if not in front of all others. Not unlike McLaren in the past decade or so: always there or in the whereabouts, but rarely stringing it all together.

        I think the perception that Ferrari has been doing so badly these last 5 years is more to do with the media and fans trying to satisfy stratospheric expectations reminiscent of the Schumacher era, which as pointed out on TJ13 in the past, was a distinct aberration in the recent 50 year history or so of Ferrari in F1. Before the Schumacher domination era, for the past 50 years very few Ferrari drivers managed to win a WDC, only Niki Lauda and Jody Scheckter. Overall Ferrari isn’t such a happy hunting ground, notwithstanding the Schumacher era, for world titles… So I’m not quite sure why we have so many grumpy jackals nowadays…

        • Landroni, that was certainly a much better effort at backing up your argument although none of it did.

          He said he didn’t know if Mattiacci was going to be good or bad and would need time to learn what he needed to know about F1 before doing anything and this was not going to happen immediately. Later he said that the changes Domenicalli had made, before his departure, were why Ferrari had closed the gap to Mercedes and that those plans were going to affect the way Ferrari were working until July. What he said was true and I don’t think that his belief that the podium should be dedicated to Domenicalli was so much a jab at Mattiacci as recognition of reality.

          Drivers give feedback on the parts the engineers have already developed or in the simulator on parts they believe might work. They don’t give input on how to develop them. The reason Alonso can drive around problems is because he is so good at identifying them. He has to know where the weakness is in the cars abilities to be able to adjust his driving and he does it better than anyone in F1. Vettel did not give Newey direction on development. It is exactly the opposite. Newey got Vettel to change his driving style to take advantage of the blown diffuser. He had to get him to believe that the car was going to break the understeer by applying throttle which is completely against driver instinct. Webber could not adapt, Vettel did. Schumacher, although a great driver, had the backing of, by far, the biggest testing budget in the history of F1. Ferrari ran full track testing more than 60 days a year as well as developing the Bridgestone tires they ran. During their peak spending It equated to more than $300,000 per lap of racing.

          Alonso pitted when the safety car came out. Could have been a call from the wall. He may have known but he was cleared by the FIA and they had more information than you, I or Massa. So I’ll take it as ruled.

          Montezemola was a great supporter of Alonso. Lot’s of quotes out there to prove that. He knows the worth of Alonso.

          During the lie detector test make sure you ask Dennis if he promised Alonso that he would be the focus of McLaren’s efforts. Remember when he was asked about racing Raikkonen for the championship his response was “WE are racing Alonso”. And of course rumour has it Dennis has hired Alonso again. It’s unlikely he would rehire a man he thought was a “home wrecker” although he would probably rehire a man he wasn’t fond of that he new could help him win.

          Dennis was moved out because he cost McLaren shareholders money and embarrassment by endorsing his teams cheating. Briatore and Symonds were thrown out by the FIA. Their cheating causing embarrassment for Renault shareholders. Domenicalli fell on his sword for the crappy car this year (and was probably tired of the politics of the organization). Montezemolo fired the engine designer (can’t think of his name) because he was under pressure for Ferrari’s poor performance. Montezemolo was moved out because he didn’t agree with the direction Marchionne wants to take Ferrari (road cars).

          The pattern I see is Alonso giving 100% to whatever team he’s driving for and those teams not giving what he needs to win.

  14. I agree with the sentiment that Alonso is a terrific pilot that comes with great and unusual risk, but I think the text could have been more eloquently written.

    Anyhow, I wonder how much of this is due to Briatore’s influence on him. Why would anyone in his right mind want to hang around FB at all? It’s not like Alonso depends on him to establish his credentials as pilot and make contact with teams. If anything, it seems as if Alonso’s contract decisions are more often a miss than a hit (as far as getting WDC cars, not as far as being well paid).

    As a McLaren fan, part of me would welcome Alonso back and trust his skills and opportunism to help achieve far better results. But part of me also fancies Alonso simply having no ride at all in 2015 and watching F1 from home while Hamilton and Vettel add to their trophies and possible legacies.

    • “Anyhow, I wonder how much of this is due to Briatore’s influence on him. Why would anyone in his right mind want to hang around FB at all? ”

      My feeling is that it’s a question of compatibility. Some people simply get along marvelously, for no obvious reasons. Fernando and Flavio have a feel for each other, just like Bernard and Putin…

    • Right car at the right time is always a crap shoot.

      I would love to see Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo and Alonso in comparable equipment. That would be a season to remember.

  15. [mod]
    Sebastian dumped Red Bull pretty damn quick. Sticking with them? What a joke.

    [Note from Editor in Chief – AHJ If you insist on posting abusive and pathetic personal insults your comments will be placed into permanent moderation]

  16. Thid is by far tge most absurd article i have ever read. What js so great bout it? This man has simply charted ougbthe liff of Alonso in f1. Bravo but i vould read that on autosport mate.

    To understand why Alonso is what he is, is that you need to understanf the mentality if f1driver. Tgey want ti win, uou wanna blame him for that?

    And this talk about sebastian sticking with his team in 2014. LMAO wat other option did he have. Your articlrs premise is absurd. I will bd writting adetailed reply to this absurdity, after i finish somf studying. So watch this space over the next 24 hours.

    And tj13, seruously yiu chose to post ths article? [Mod – personal attacks on individuals will not be tolerated]

    Your blatant disrespect towarsds alonso is perpetual and pathetic. Instead of a tribute fir him leaving ferrari you post this. I hate this from a source who rrspects and propagates a sport. The onf man whos the only possible strand of perfection and ths is how you treat him. Shame on you!

    He is complete, he took the ferrari where its never deserved to be. Hes still in great touch with tge team. Apparrnyly Arrivebene has even voiced his concern over letting Alonso go. You premise is defunkt and hopeless. More detailed whooping coming soon.

    [Note from the editor AHJ: As has been said many times, TJ13 is committed to giving the fans a voice – the voice of the fans articles are written by fans – and they are their opinion. The articles are edited for possibly a clearer structure, grammar and spelling only. TJ13 does not edit the fans opinions.

    If you wish to read more ‘news style’ stories and reports – I suggests you avoid reading the voice of the fans articles

    Alternatively – should you wish to pen a counter position to the one you read – we will publish it in the interests of the debate

    All fan articles bringing tribute to Fernando and his time at Ferrari are welcome]

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