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Hungarian Grand Prix: Epilogue

Is Fernando Alonso really about to leave Ferrari and join Red Bull Racing in 2014? That was the sensational question on everyone’s lips on Sunday evening at the Hungaroring.

f1  Hungarian Grand Prix: Epilogue

For the past few weeks, the debate has raged whether the triple world champion team should choose the known quantity that is Kimi Räikkönen to replace Porsche-bound Mark Webber, or stick to its young guns and go for Red Bull junior Daniel Ricciardo. In Hungary, the smart money seemed to be edging towards the Australian, who “acquitted himself very well” in the Silverstone test a week earlier, according to team boss Christian Horner.

But then, during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, it emerged that Horner and Alonso’s management team had been talking. Was the Spaniard, considered by many to be the most complete F1 driver of the modern era, really considering a switch from Formula 1’s most famous team to the sport’s most successful in recent years?

The short answer is we don’t really know. In assessing the options that Alonso has before him, all we can say is that he is believed to have a cast-iron contract with the Italian team. If he was to make the switch, it would cost Red Bull many millions to buy him out of his current deal. But that alone might not rule the move out, given Alonso’s standing in the sport and Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s incredible financial investment in motor racing.

f1  Hungarian Grand Prix: Epilogue

It is true that the timing of a move at this stage of Alonso’s career would be complicated. He is closer to retirement than he is to the beginning of his racing life, and he has invested so much of himself in Ferrari. He has become part of the fabric of Italy’s national team.

Then consider that James Allison, the highly rated former Renault/Lotus technical director who worked with Alonso during his two world championship-winning seasons, is about to return to Ferrari. Allison, in partnership with Alonso, could be the missing part the Scuderia needs. Wouldn’t Fernando want to stick around to find out?

On the other hand, Alonso is in his fourth season at the Prancing Horse and during that time he has been powerless to stop Vettel notching up three championships – possibly four considering how this campaign is going. Ferrari has failed to give Alonso a car that is worthy of his incredible talent. The temptation to drive an Adrian Newey creation, up against a driver who Alonso will believe he can beat in a straight fight, might well be hard to resist.

f1  Hungarian Grand Prix: Epilogue

On Sunday afternoon, after a Grand Prix in which Alonso had laboured to an unsatisfactory fifth place, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was hardly killing the story stone dead. In fact his responses to questions were phrased in a way that would only stoke the fire.

“We’re in a fortunate position where there is quite a lot of interest in the seat for next year,” he said, when asked directly if Alonso was an option for 2014. “We’ve also been able to take a good look at Daniel at the test last week, so we’ll take a bit of time over the summer to reflect on the options that are open to us and look to make the right decision to put the right driver beside Sebastian next year.”

So that wasn’t a denial that Alonso was an option for the team?

“Any conversations between any of the drivers and any of the parties are always going to remain confidential,” Horner gently batted back. “But of course there’s been quite a few drivers who have expressed an interest in the seat, as you can imagine.”

f1  Hungarian Grand Prix: Epilogue

The question came in once more: was Alonso an option?

“Is he available?” asked Horner with feigned innocence. “I don’t know. You ask him.”

Pushed further, he joked: “I had Nigel Mansell offer his services at Silverstone. He’d be a surprising candidate. We’re going to take a bit of time to make sure we make the right decision. We’ve got some great options. There’s no need to rush.”

But Horner was deadly serious about the criteria Red Bull has in replacing Webber.

“We want to run the strongest team that’s won the world championship for the last three years, and we want to make sure we’re in a position to compete and fight for world championships in future years,” he said. “There’s never been any pressure that we must take a junior driver. It’s a matter of fielding the best team, at the end of the day. Of course the junior drivers are under consideration, but there’s no prerequisite that it has to be a junior driver.

f1  Hungarian Grand Prix: Epilogue

“Obviously you want to put the strongest drivers in the cars, and Mark leaves some big shoes to be filled.”

At this point, Motor Sport chipped in. What would he think about the dynamic of managing Vettel and Alonso in the same team?

“It would be interesting…” he said with a smile. “At the end of the day we have to think about what’s right for the team. Last week I was being asked about Kimi, this week it’s about Fernando. For us we have to make sure that nothing waivers in our mind about putting the right team package for next year, with the two fastest drivers that we can, that will work well together and achieve the best results for the team.”

Was Horner simply stirring? Or is there something in this? Alonso himself said he was “happy” at Ferrari during the course of the weekend. But is he really? How much longer does he have to win that third world championship? New rules are on the horizon for next year. Is Ferrari convincing him that the team will have a competitive package for the new turbo era? Or would a Renault powertrain offer greater potential?

f1  Hungarian Grand Prix: Epilogue

Ayrton Senna moved heaven and earth to place himself in the best car on the grid throughout the 1980s and early ’90s. Alonso is cut from the same cloth. It’s not that much of a stretch to think he might have some big career thoughts to chew over during this forthcoming summer break.

Perhaps Red Bull will confirm Ricciardo as Vettel’s team-mate in the coming weeks. Then again, perhaps the team will go for Räikkönen. But if you had the choice of a driver who would be guaranteed to fight for a championship, who would you choose?

As we head for the August shutdown, the prospect of a move that would be F1’s most significant since Michael Schumacher left Benetton to join Ferrari – or Senna quit McLaren to join Williams – is tantalising for anyone caught up in the sport. Vettel vs Alonso? That’s one duel we’d all want to see.

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f1  Hungarian Grand Prix: Epilogue

Add your comments

38 comments on Hungarian Grand Prix: Epilogue

  1. SB, 29 July 2013 09:45

    Can’t go wrong with Mansell..

  2. zantimisfit66, 29 July 2013 10:20

    Second vote for Mansell (may need a slightly wider car?)

  3. Martin.01, 29 July 2013 10:42

    Damien, doesn’t writing an epilogue mean you comment on a play you’ve just seen for example, or, in this case, a F1 race? Or so my English class 101 taught me. Not much on the race or the winner but more a fairly in depth report on Red Bull, Kimi, Fernando etc. Quite another drama, but not the race in hand.
    Always enjoy your writing. Just think another title would have been more relevant.

  4. Michael Spitale, 29 July 2013 12:11

    All this Kimi and now Alonso talk and in the end it is 99% going to be Ricardo. Alonso surely is locked in his Ferrari contract and even if he is not he did not play well with Hamilton the only time he had a top teammate. In fact Hamilton was a rookie and was not even locked into the McLaren F1 team yet. Whereas a move to Red Bull put him next to perhaps a 4 time Champ that is the very heart of Red Bull.
    Next year is new rules and new cars across the board and Ferrari has tons of resources. There is no chance Alonso leaves, I think this is him getting Ferrari riled up and Red Bull loving helping him do it.

    As for Kimi……. I think he really likes Lotus, but they gotta start paying him on time.

  5. Bill, 29 July 2013 12:26

    Allison joining Ferrari must be the only + for Alonso but even then:

    - Allison hasnt been confirmed yet.
    - Likely no influence on the 2014 car.
    - After the umpteenth reorganisation the updates from Maranello still do not deliver performance.
    - Rumours that the Ferrari powertrain for 2014 has problems with fuel consumption

    Alonso will be 33 before he sits in an Allison designed 2015 Ferrari and he will be 34 at the end of that season.


    - Adrian Newey designed car.
    - Well oiled design team.
    - Well oiled upgrades department.
    - Well developed powertrain.
    - The chance to polish up his image against the current top dog of F1 Vettel.

    You know if Ferrari had delivered a good car this year and ironed out their development program problems id say its a tough choice. But how many times does he want to keep hearing the same song from Domenicali, who now says on a weekly basis that he expects a reaction from his team? I think Ferrari is a sinking ship.

  6. Bill, 29 July 2013 12:47

    In addition, maybe Fernando leaving Ferrari is better for them, too. He has flattered the results so much maybe thats why Domenicali and especially Montezemolo havent really acted more vigorously.

  7. The Original Ray T, 29 July 2013 16:31

    Poor Kimi, we should all take up collection to help him out, c’mon lads, a million euro each should cover it.

  8. The Original Ray T, 29 July 2013 16:33

    BTW: no way will Alonso will go to RBR as long as Vettel, or any other competent driver is there.
    Nigel Mansell?? Might as well bring back Sir Sterling Moss. Surtees is free right now.

  9. hamfan, 29 July 2013 16:40

    This is just RB’s way of putting pressure on Kimi to sign now and not hold out for more money. And Fred’s way of putting a rocket down Domenicalli’s trousers.

    Also, when interviewed by the BBC, Seb was unequivocally blunt – said he’d prefer Kimi and implied he’d have problems with Fred and his personality outside the car (and after the 07 meltdown, Singapore crashgate and ‘Fred is faster than you’ episodes, who can really blame him?)

    I would personally like to see them together though – at least we’d find out Seb’s true level (tbh, had they been paired with Webber in the Newey rocketships, I’d expect Fred, Ham and maybe Kimi to have done at least as good a job since 09, but we’ll never know…) But it ain’t gonna happen.

  10. Bill, 29 July 2013 17:29

    Montezemolo rebukes Alonso for his criticism on Ferrari this weekend

    Has ldm lost his mind?

  11. Rich Ambroson, 29 July 2013 18:30

    Bill, Montezemolo might be about to imitate his predecessor Lombardi, who fired Prost for calling the 643 a truck. Look where that got the Scuderia.

    I’m in the minority on this one, especially among the Tifosi, but I’m not all that impressed with Montezemolo’s reign.

  12. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 29 July 2013 18:48

    I’m sure Horner and Mateschitz and good ‘ole Helmut are having a good laugh!

    I am too! (Hehe)

    Basically, the “Spaghetti Culture”(A Lauda~ism) is returning to Maranello and the Red Bull hierarchy have sent in the proverbial Fox Into The Henhouse to destabalise the House That Enzo Built.

    Red Bull will go into the Summer holiday with a smile on their faces and come out nice and relaxed and rejuvinated, having milked the publicity of their brand to the Nth degree!

    Meanwhile, the knives wull be out at Ferrari amid a poisoned atmosphere.

    But, then, having poison in the atmosphere isn’t nothing new where Alonso is concerned.

    Nothing will come of this of course. But it’s a good laugh nonetheless. At Ferrari’s expense…and, as a result, Fernando’s WDC hopes.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch!

    LOL :)

  13. Bill, 29 July 2013 20:15

    Hey Rich, and with reason, so it appears!

    I was one of those staunch Montezemolo-supporters but I must admit after today, this revelation, I must wonder whether Montezemolo is part of the problem rather than the solution. How on earth he can earsmack the one thing that isnt broken in the Ferrari team is beyond me.

    Gerhard Berger said the same thing as you 6 months ago btw; Ferrari is like pre-Todt era. It really is such a shame.

  14. Pat Kenny, 29 July 2013 20:23

    I would be surprised if RB would doing this other than to force Vettel to sign a long term agreement. On the other hand if they know Vettel is going to Maranello then they are right to tout the seat – an end of year swap on a knock for knock basis with Ferrari (Alonso for Vettel) might work in that case. Webber’s seat could then go to whoever Alonso wants (not likely Kimi).

  15. David H, 29 July 2013 20:36

    Interesting thoughts Damien. For myself, I don’t think it is up to Kimi or Alonso to decide. Pivotal players to my mind are Vettel and Marko, and cannot imagine either of them allowing anyone but a “junior” driver.

  16. Peter G, 29 July 2013 22:14

    I can’t take Riccardo seriously, as anyone who smiles all the time and wears stupid caps cannot be taken as a serious driver. :-)

  17. Bill, 29 July 2013 22:27

    Vettel was asked after the race what he felt about the idea of Alonso joining Red Bull.
    “I’d prefer Kimi,” said the three-time champion. “I have to be careful now, nothing against Fernando. I really respect him a lot as a driver.
    “I respect Kimi on track and off track because he has always been really straight with me. From that point of view, it might be a bit easier.”

    Fair and honest answer from the current world champion. Still, I can see Alonso and Vettel together in one team. The former isnt the arrogant guy who started life at mcLaren in 2007 anymore, and the latter is a soon to be 4 times world champion, and its gonna take Alonso 2 years just to get alongside Vettel in number of titles.

    For Red Bull, these must be tempting times. Many regard Alonso as the most complete driver in F1 and with Montezemolo apparently adamant to wreck his team, Id be suprised if Mateschitz, Marko and Horner arent currently debating whether to buy the Spaniard away from Maranello. With 2 of the best drivers, Red Bull would be very hard to beat. Still, I think Kimi would be a great chocie as well. Its gonna be an interesting few weeks.

  18. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 30 July 2013 13:47

    Horner must feel like he’s won the lottery!!!

    He must have a huge grin on his face for exposing Alonso’s disloyalty to di Montezemolo.

    (And I haven’t stopped laughing since Sunday night! LOL!)

    Horner knows that there’s no place for Alonso to go…And he must be laughing his brains out as he sees the back-stabbing soap opera unfolding at Maranello!

    I think Horner has played this like a fiddle!

    I’m also quite sure that the engineers at Maranello are fed up of Alonso belittling them and Bigging himself Up every chance he gets, especially since they know he’s not always gotten the best out of their cars in qualifying and that they gave him a car good enough to win the 2010 and 2012 titles … and a car that was good enough to be leading the points after Spain in 2013.

    But Fernado made a lot of mistakes in 2010 and he imploded after the summer brake last year whilst Massa was out-scoring Webber 2-1 during the same time.

    It must get tiring to hear Alonso moaning about the car when he’s been far from Hamilton-like or Vettel-like in qualifying whilst making his share of race-ending mistakes.

  19. Rich Ambroson, 30 July 2013 15:10

    Bill, I’ve taken a LOT of heat from several of my Tifosi buddies for my strong stance in my conversations with them against how LdM is handling this. Even if Alonso made errors in judgement (euphemism) in how he handled things, good leadership doesn’t air more dirty laundry to the public. Any rebuke that Alonso merited should have taken place behind closed doors.

    The way LdM is handling this is providing a field day for the media, and those who would take advantage of any perceived (and these days, “perception becomes reality” in sports as NFL great Steve Young says) acrimony within the Scuderia.

  20. Rich Ambroson, 30 July 2013 15:13

    And as I also told my Tifosi friends, look where sacking Prost got the Scuderia in the early 90s…

    What immediate alternatives are there for Ferrari if they push Alonso away? Will a new driver of any caliber provide the uplift they need? Will disrupting all continuity move them forward? Massa will surely not be back next year (much as he’s my favorite driver on the grid, he’s not up to his former self by any means), so it would be especially problematic to have to replace Alonso as well…

  21. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 30 July 2013 15:41

    As I said, this is why Horner is the best Team Principle in F1.

    He’s destroyed Alonso’s and Ferrari’s hopes of challenging for this years Championship.

    Plus, Red Bull – a publicity machine to begin with – is milking the publicity for all it’s worth: “Kimi Or Danny Or Nando for our other seat….?…?…?” and keep ‘em hanging and guessing for another month…

    …All the while knowing that they would never have Alonso there while they already have Vettel. Horner said: “right driver alongside Sebastian”.

    Alonso is more poison than he is”right”, given all the bad baggage he’s carrying with him.

    On the other hand, Kimi is Drama Free, fast, cool, just gets on with it, is a points Vacuum Cleaner and makes very few mistakes. And, he gets along well with Vettel.

    Basically, Alonso has no where to go…and he’s resigned to hang out in the poisonous atmosphere he and di Montezemolo have just created…courtesy of one Mr Horner!

    Love it!

  22. Martin.01, 30 July 2013 16:02

    Sure, it may work. Who knows. I can’t for the life of me imagine Vettle, under team orders, over taking Alonso as he did Webber earlier this year, and getting away with it. Well no obvious team orders since anyway, but Vettle won’t as easily rule the nest if Alonso joins him as, if he throws his toys around when thwarted, they have the option of letting him go. Alonso would love this.
    Quite like Vettlel but can’t dispel the sight of Webber after Mark was told to turn his engine down only to be overtaken by Vettle who decided to ignore team orders. I don’t like team orders any more than you lot but its a bit cruel for another team member to take advantage of it. That’s not true racing. But, now there will be a chorus of comments trying to whiten Vettle’s name so hang on tight guys. It’ll be a rough ride of nonsense. Vettle was wrong in this instance and damaged his reputation. Hence the booing.

  23. Martin.01, 30 July 2013 16:09

    What baggage is Alonso carrying? Sure Massa has had a rough ride but its management who want to let Massa go. Alonso likes him. Sure Alonso gets preference i.e. track position, engine parts etc. But so does Vettle. Lotus Seem the fairest. I get the impression Kimi and Grosjean have similar cars. Just different set up.

  24. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 30 July 2013 17:34

    What baggage is Alonso carrying?


    Ask McLaren. They hate him…to the tune of $100 Milion which they were fined because Alonso threatened to hand over the SpyGate emails.

    And what about that odiferous 2008 Singapore GP which he shamelessly counts as win…You know? The one where Piquet Jr. purposely crashed the car for him.

    Have you forgotten?

    Let’s not forget what Boullier said about him when Alonso was at Renault at the tail end of 2009. That he wasn’t a team player.

    Alonso ain’t exactly the ‘white man’. He got a boost at Hockenheim in 2010 and at Austin in 2012…at the expense of Massa.

    When was the last time a Brazilian purpously crashed the car for their teammate or was purpously grid-dropped so that his teammate could start higher and on the clean side?

  25. Bill, 30 July 2013 18:30

    I think people should not overestimate Vettels position in this, and underestimate Mateschitz wishes. If Massa did to Alonso what Webber did to Vettel at the title deciding race in Brasil, what do you reckon the odds are the Brasilian would still be in a red car? Webber and Vettel didnt get along for along time but Mateschitz (and Horner) managed to keep it together.

    The more I think about it, the more it would make sense for Red Bull to try and get Alonso (and if he has any brains left, he should do the same).

  26. Rich Ambroson, 30 July 2013 18:47

    It’s sad to say, but some of the reactions of my fellow Tifosi regarding my concerns about LdM’s approach to this situation completely play into the media stereotypes. On some Ferrari-based forums, voicing such opinions w/o any name calling or such “merits” a ban from such sites.

    What a disgrace.

  27. John Read, 30 July 2013 20:06

    It looks like Hamilton may have a run at Vettel for the title. RBR now have a delicate job to do with Webber. They would love him to take points off Hamilton but not Vettel. That becomes quite difficult if Hamilton runs at the front………..

  28. David H, 30 July 2013 20:28

    BBC quoting “Di Montezemolo also insisted that “this is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility….”
    Applies to all but him apparently. Risks having someone point out where the corporate responsibility ultimately lies. If only one of the them were to leave Ferrari, wonder which one the fans would choose.

  29. Rich Ambroson, 30 July 2013 21:23

    David H, excellent quote/reference.

    I completely agree with your assessment. Not at all well handled by LdM, and could prove a bit difficult mid-to-long term.

  30. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 30 July 2013 21:57

    Fans of Alonso and more recent fans of Ferrari don’t know their history.

    Alonso is an employee. He, as a result, is replacabe…especially since he isn’t even a Ferrari World Champion.

    Alonso has now proven to be disloyal. He will be dealt with accordingly.

    Lest I remind people what Ferrari have done to their more recent World Champions Raikkonen and Schumacher: They paid them to sit out of Grand Prix racing for a season or more, specifically 2010 and 2007-9 respectively. Prost wasn’t one of their Champions but they also paid him to sit out 1992 after sacking him at the tail of 1991.

    Ferrari will throw Alonso under the bus when his time comes too (unless he does it to them first).

    Look at Ferrari’s history:

    - Refused to pay Ascari what he thought he was worth after 1953

    - Fell out with Fangio

    - Fell out with Lauda

    - Betrayed Villeneuve

    - Fired Prost

    - Sent Schumacher of to the stud farm before he was ready

    - Dumped Raikkonen

    Alonso is nothing in comparison to some of those names. Nothing. Not in the grand scheme of things.

    O, he may have his big fans out there now a days…but he isn’t the be all end all and there are others who are faster.

    Lastly, Red Bull don’t need Alonso, They have proven they don’t need him – or his disloyal ways – to win Championships. Kimi will help them win those Championships without any drama whatsoever.

    All Fernando has done is cook his own goose as he won’t have endeared himself to those that matter at Ferrari. The Tifosi will turn against them too.

  31. Rich Ambroson, 31 July 2013 15:06

    Ray, your history is correct but the fact is that Alonso is the best resource available to Ferrari, and to publicly berate him does the Scuderia no good. Sacking Prost in ’91 did not help things, nor will sending Alonso packing. As well, the dissension that is being sowed does not move the team forward.

    Regardless of the history, the Scuderia would do well to keep their own best interests (short, mid, and long term) as their focus, rather than trying to “save face” with a driver who may or may not be as “disloyal” as you say.

    I don’t know any driver these days who is loyal. I recall a beneficiary of Ron Dennis’s largess going on about staying at the Woking squad forever. Said beneficiary is now at the competition from Stuttgart.

    Loyalty? I’m all for it. It just doesn’t exist in F1™ in this day and age. A shame really, but that’s the reality. It won’t come back to the sport, or even one team, by the means LdM is employing.

  32. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 31 July 2013 15:48

    Hi Rich.

    Nice to hear from you as always. I don’t know if I can agree with everything you’ve said there.

    Firstly, it seems as this 1 Driver Focus Policy being employed by Ferrari for Alonso isn’t paying off. And, because it hasn’t paid off, di Montezemolo is tiring of having an employee dictate who will be in the second seat beacuse it’s been costly in terms of WCC points (i.e. Massa not delivering).

    So, apparently, Raikkonen was offered Massa’s seat for 2014 two days before this mess started. And, Alonso didn’t like it so he sent his manager (a Senor Garcia) to make a very public move for Webber’s seat…and then told everyone that he wanted an RB9 or one of the other’s car for his birthday.

    How did you expect the CEO of a company to react to such a public display of disloyalty?

    In 2010, the F10 could have won the title. But Alonso made some costly errors in Australia, China, Monaco, Silverstone and Belgium before fully agreeing to cover Webber at Abu Dhabi. He was involved in that decision.

    In 2012, Alonso had a huge lead at this time last year. They improved the car after the Mugello tests and Massa out-scored Webber about 2 to 1 starting in August…but Alonso choked inspite of Massa’s help (Austin grid-drop, Internalgos).

    Ferrari feel Alonso hasn’t been getting enough out of the car in qualifying and it must get tiring for the engineers to hear they’re chumps, especially since they gave him a car that should have been leading the 2013 Championship after Spain.

  33. Rich Ambroson, 31 July 2013 17:27

    Ray, likewise—good to converse with you here. Especially nice to have a civil (and minor) disagreement.

    I hadn’t heard about the offer to Kimi from the Scuderia prior to the visit to Horner from Alonso’s manger; interesting.

    Even though Alonso is no Fangio (no one ever will be) or Villeneuve (again, an Immortal with no comparison) I do believe some things are best handled behind closed doors. OR, if they’re to be aired publicly, then statements such as “this is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility….” seem to be inconsistent with the rest of LdM’s approach on this one.

    I heard a good quote about MLB’s Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin dealing with Yoenis Céspedes not running hard on the base paths the other evening. Rather than rebuking him publicly, or even in response to an interviewer’s question, Melvin’s perhaps had some paternal words with Céspedes in the clubhouse. Later in the week, whether there was a private discussion or not, Céspedes showed a lot more hustle on the basepaths.

    I’m a believer in closed door conversations about stuff like that, or how Alonso has mishandled several things at the Scuderia. Others do have different approaches. Some performers also react differently to different approaches. I just believe that overall, the private dressing down is better than the public one.

    As for how this plays out for Ferrari, “wewillsee”…


  34. Bill, 31 July 2013 19:04

    “How did you expect the CEO of a company to react to such a public display of disloyalty?”

    Probably the way Horner has dealt with Vettel afer Malaysia. Dressing him down in private would have been more than enough. Dressing Alonso down in public sends a different message.

    You may not like Alonso and im sure he wasnt always the best, but compare his stats vs Massa and you wonder who exactly needed a dressing down and who didnt.

  35. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 31 July 2013 23:40


    Massa? Who gives a rat’s behind about Massa in this instance?

    Bill, my friend, you can’t have it both ways!

    You – Bill – can’t keep saying that the only reason Massa is there is because Alonso wants him there as his subjugated, submissive Number 2…and, then, turn around and be hugely critical of him WHEN YOU WELL KNOW that he’s getting the type of Number 2 treatment that Webber has never had at RBR (like being grid-dropped purposely, for instance. Or being asked to purposely block for Vettel like Massa did for Alonso at Interlagos.)

    Which one is it?

    In addition, and with all due respect to you, you’re totally off base comparing Alonso’s public display of disloyalty to Vettel ignoring team orders during a heated fight for victory.

    Alonso’s manager went to Horner IN PUBLIC…And, then, told the WORLD (again, IN PUBLIC) that he wanted another driver’s car/RB9 for his birthday.

    Di Montezemolo responded in kind. IN PUBLIC. Di Montezemolo had little choice. He has to think of the other 600 – 700 employees and the shareholders, especially when one other employee is tainting the image of his brand so PUBLICALLY!

    Lastly, I don’t care how many points Nando has in relation to Felipe’. He works for Ferrari. He’s an employee, and is as replaceable as Ascari, Fangio, Lauda, Villeneuve, Prost, Schumacher and Raikkonen were before him.

    If someone working for me had shown a publc display of disloyalty, i’d fire them with cause.

    Ferrari can’t quite do that. Not yet.

    Alonso’s time will come.

  36. Bill, 1 August 2013 10:52

    I wouldnt put Massa. In the same sentence with Webber. ;)

    What I ment was that Massa is a number 2 driver in ability, thats why Alonso likes him. Hes no threat. The gearbox thing and moving over at Hock are exceptions that prove the rule.

    I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on judging LdM’s actions.

  37. John, 5 August 2013 17:19

    “if you had the choice of a driver who would be guaranteed to fight for a championship, who would you choose?”

    The one they already have -and the one who has won the last three drivers title and been runnerup the year before – Vettel. He’s the key component of the team so one thing a good manager would not do is unsettle him or force him to leave.

  38. John, 5 August 2013 17:27

    “Quite like Vettlel but can’t dispel the sight of Webber after Mark was told to turn his engine down only to be overtaken by Vettle who decided to ignore team orders.”

    Mark did not “turn his engine down”. This is a complete fabrication.

    And Mark has a long history of ignoring team orders himself, one of the most notable examples being Brazil last year. Or it WOULD be a notable example if the press was not so determined to pretend it never happened.

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