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Shadow of Alonso hangs over Ferrari drivers

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Jonathan Legard | 09:33 UK time, Monday, 23 March 2009

So which current driver's getting this big build-up for the new season? "He's one of the most naturally talented racing drivers you've ever seen. More so than Lewis Hamilton, more so than Michael Schumacher."

Aha, Fernando Alonso, you say. When I tell you that the compliment came from a former McLaren insider, you may want to revise that answer. But keep the Alonso name in mind.

Red Bull's rising star Sebastian Vettel? No. BMW Sauber's highly rated Robert Kubica? No. The answer is Kimi Raikkonen.

Given the Finn's fall from grace after his 2007 championship success, you can understand why Alonso is relevant.

Raikkonen can inspire and infuriate in equal measure, inside and outside Ferrari, and his performances last season reflect the arguments which bedevil the team's current pairing of Raikkonen with Felipe Massa.

The two of them are not strong enough, the doubters say, to match the gold standard set by Michael Schumacher. His successors suffer from too many limitations which Alonso, for example, does not share.

Alonso to Ferrari has become a familiar storyline, with the strongest - and very credible - report last Christmas in the much respected Italian paper, Gazzetto dello Sport, that the Spaniard had already struck a deal to join Ferrari in 2011 - with an option for 2010 should a vacancy arise.

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The whisperers claimed it as proof that the Ferrari hierarchy, unconvinced by its line-up, had made their decision. Ferrari's response was inevitable: Massa and Raikkonen are contracted until the end of 2010, thank you very much and Happy New Year.

And that's exactly what Raikkonen himself is working towards in 2009, and surely needs to, having been outclassed last season by Massa, who was revved up in the form of his life.

Talent is not at issue. Nor is speed. If you had watched Raikkonen fly down a mountain, in the dark, on a snowboard, on a trickiest, unfamiliar run, as I did earlier this year, you'd see what I mean. No fear, no problem, no contest.

Clearly you're no slouch if you've recorded the third highest number of F1 fastest laps, behind Schumacher and Alain Prost. Ten of them were reeled off last season in a car he struggled with, although not enough came in the heat of battle.

But the same former McLaren insider who was so complimentary about Raikkonen, who drove for the team from 2002 until moving to Ferrari for 2007, also raised the prospect of a similar season of frustration and disappointment if the Ferrari F60 showed the same handling characteristics which so flummoxed him in 2008.


Ferrari say the new car is much more to his liking, a picture supported by one rival team official at the Barcelona test who was hugely impressed by Raikkonen's performance - more so than by Massa.

But consider the contrast in the pair's responses to the lack of testing and how teams will work to compensate in their quest to improve the cars under these new conditions.

This is Massa, at the team's pre-season event at the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campilgio, "I will work more with the team, be more present and work more on the simulators," he said. "My mentality will change. I will be more efficient at the (race) weekends."

For Raikkonen, driving a simulator sounds like it's on a par with speaking to the media.
"I don't like it. Some people get ill," he said. "I have no plans to be there every second day."

It's classic Raikkonen. He does things his way. Like it or lump it. Nothing will change him.

Until last season, that approach had served him well. But when you're not performing as expected, comments like that only add to the suspicion that the appetite is no longer so keen and the mind contemplating another challenge.

Try a question about rallying, by contrast, and see how the brightness suddenly burns through.
His disinterest in matters technical doesn't make recovery from problems as dynamic as it would with a driver more involved and plugged into a team.
Hence the unfavourable comparisons with Schumacher and the speculation around Alonso.

Massa, meanwhile, exudes bounce and confidence. "I feel very strong. I'm in my best position in Formula One," he said recently. "I've always been under pressure to perform, at Sauber and at Ferrari. I don't need to prove anything."

How much, you wonder, did he prove to himself last season, as much as to his critics? And how much will that count in 2009?

His display in that title finale in Brazil, for example, was stunning. Needed pole. Got it. Needed victory. Did it. Under the most intense pressure, he delivered. His stock within F1 has risen, without doubt, not least for his dignity in defeat.

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That said, for all his impressive dominance at tracks like Bahrain and Turkey, a driver with genuine championship ambitions shouldn't go spinning five times, like he did in the British Grand Prix, nor go off the road and out of contention when lying comfortably second, as he did in Malaysia.

While his team-mate is under far greater scrutiny to show the "real" Raikkonen in 2009, Massa's response to his much anticipated return to form will be revealing. His self belief could be put to the test early on if the Finn gets off to a flier in a car with which he feels at ease.

If "Kimi-lite" continues in Australia like he did through much of 2008, however, prepare to hear the Alonso drums growing ever louder.

Ferrari's defence of their 16th constructors' championship has as much to watch out for as any they've won in the last 10 years.


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  • 1. At 2:37pm on 23 Mar 2009, KimiRa1kkonen wrote:

    Thank you so much for an article about Kimi Raikkonen being awesome. There's been far too much negative media about him since last season. Yes, he had a shocker in 2008, but anyone who does any proper analysis of his career can see that his statistically unbelievable - Mark Hughes has some pretty decent info on this. Last season was compounded by handling difficulties and rain - the Ferrari had no downforce in the wet and lost points that way in a particulalry rainy season. Had it rained three minutes later at Spa he'd have had 10 more points. Raw pace was there - he just couldn't get heat into the tyres quickly enough to qualify high enough and so ended up behind a slow BMW for the first stint, then released with a larger fuel load would set the fastest lap before having to just breeze to the end of the race. Last season was all about qualifying - hopefully with KERS this season things will change a bit. (i.e. we shouldn't see him dropping off on the penultimate lap and then getting the fastest lap on the final lap just as 'something to do' because overtaking is impossible.)

    I'm fully expecting Kimbo to be on it this year. All credit to Massa and Hamilton for having a great 2008 but I really thing that Kimi will be back this year providing the F60 handles ok and is there or there abouts on the pace.

    It's funny how fickle people are in F1 and how quickly they forget, but if you analyse his Mclaren years he was just amazing. The Ferrari's clearly a different car philosophy, even in 2007 he wasn't exactly on it - I just hope that it oversteers nicely this year (something Massa probably wont like).

    Anyhoo. Thanks Mr Legard for an awesome blog. I feel much better now having read some nice stuff about Kimbo. Haven't for a while!

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  • 2. At 3:37pm on 23 Mar 2009, t_young wrote:

    interesting and informative...

    I suppose in a way though the way Kimi reacts is also why fans of him like him, its like he simply can't be bothered somwetimes and its somewhat hilarious

    keep up the good work...these blogs are good


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  • 3. At 4:13pm on 23 Mar 2009, Dave wrote:

    I can see Ferrari having a good season.... I think Massa will have learnt from mistakes such as the ones mentioned in your blog, Jonathan, to be honest I seen Malaysia as a "rookie error".

    I'd hope, as a Ferrari fan, they get off to a good start. Let's hope Brawn don't dominate!

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  • 4. At 5:17pm on 23 Mar 2009, asia423 wrote:

    Massa, Raikkonen and Alonso. The 3 best drivers in F1. Although I predict this year an outsider could be in with more than a shout at the title. It could be a year for Vettel or Kubica to really light up F1.

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  • 5. At 5:22pm on 23 Mar 2009, gentlemankimifan wrote:

    Agree with the first comment - good to see something good written about Kimi.

    Im sure with all other fans of Kimi I cant wait for Australia to see the old Kimi back where he belongs, the top step of the podium.

    Others may question his desire but the rallying over the break was really to get Kimi more driving practise and I personally believe it will work for him. He has also been training hard for the new season and has lost weight (According to an article in F1 Racing mag), although Kimi himself said he was not counting calories - but that is just vintage Kimi not saying anything. So the people that doubt his drive and desire will be proven wrong this year.

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  • 6. At 5:30pm on 23 Mar 2009, Stuart wrote:

    Great blog and I agree completely. Kimi really does have what it takes but it is all down to everything having to be right in place. He is unable to develop a car or do the hard graft. But in my opinion is probably the most naturally gifted and best driver out there... Perhaps just not the best all round package.

    Interestingly Kimi has an excellent ability to drive around problems in a race. Such as in France 2008 but has an inability to do so if the problem is inherent in the car. As was the problem last year. It wasn't necessarily the fact that Massa was a better driver than Kimi just better dealing with developing and setting up the car.

    Stuart Gray -

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  • 7. At 7:39pm on 23 Mar 2009, ketchup wrote:

    It can be really frustrating being a Kimi supporter, he has so many reliability problems and so much bad luck it's unbelievable.

    Hopefully this year he'll finally get the semi-fast, reliable and drivable car that he deserves.

    It was cruel when McLaren got that car when Kimi left, I think he could have won 07 & 08 if he had stayed.

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  • 8. At 7:44pm on 23 Mar 2009, gilles_v wrote:

    A great piece, though of course it's totally impossible to get into the psyche of Kimi Raikkoen..

    It might sound blatant but I feel for the Ferrari drivers it'll all be down to the car. Last year the car suited Felipe perfectly and together with the fabulous motivation from Rob Smedley it all came good for him.

    However this year the cars are far more likely to oversteer which from the outset would appear to suit Kimi more. Indeed while there is so little techinical feedback from the car performance due to the radical regulations, Kimi will come to the fore. Whenever it's a case of "just get in and drive as fast as you can" Kimi is the one who excels. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's Raikkonen who leads the points table after the first few races.

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  • 9. At 8:40pm on 23 Mar 2009, TheamazingMrWhite wrote:

    Im a fan of Kimi, I think him, hamilton and alonso are the most talented drivers (and perhaps vettel or kubica will put in a performance this year warranting that joint title). But it really didnt click for him last year. You get the feeling hes not committed to this sport in the weay that alonso, massa and hamilton are. He may give another underwheling season, or he may prove himself to be one of the greats. Who knows. Kimi knows?

    Sorry Ham, your car just isnt fast enough this year....

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  • 10. At 00:31am on 24 Mar 2009, rayracer wrote:

    We hear a lot about various teams favouring one of their drivers over the other, but I think that any team will get behind the driver who performs the better of the two or at least who they think will perform the best. Raikkonen was employed by Ferrari because they saw someone they reckoned could win many races and therefore championships. His alleged much superior wages compared to Massa is proof of that. They had got used to Schumacher who would devote extra time to resolve car issues and blend into the team. Raikkonen seems more of a "just give me a good car and I'll drive it fast" kind of guy. I don't know what his abilities are on the technical side but his 08, season long results shortfall would indicate either a lack of interest or ability to get the car set up to his liking. This is where he fell short of replacing Schumacher as Ferrari's No 1 driver. His 07 championship win even had a degree of luck in it, because Mclaren had a disillusioned champion and a rookie who got over excited. If Raikkonen fails to win the championship this year, look for Alonso getting employed very quickly. He is seen as a guy who can get his head down with a team to resolve car issues and that is what Ferrari are more used to.

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  • 11. At 01:26am on 24 Mar 2009, Icecream-Man wrote:

    I agree with the point that it can be frustrating being a Kimi supporter. What frustrated me most last year was the slating he got when it was simply a case that the car didn't suit his style at all. Ok so more adaptable drivers will get the best out of any car regardless, but they can't touch Kimi when he's in a car that really suits him. I really hope this year will be a year when he disappears off in the distance again as he has many times in the past (but without the reliability problems).
    I just wish he'd joined another team cos I really can't stand Ferrari, but hey ho
    Aside from his speed, the one thing I love about him is the fact he never moans, whines or goes around slating others (unlike the certain other driver mentioned in your article who I absolutely hate for reasons that lie at the opposite end of that spectrum...) even when he has a McLaren implanted up his posterior at the end of the pit lane and has every reason to be furious. He just shrugs it off, keeps his head down and gets on with it. Shame there aren't a lot more people like him around both inside and outside the sport !
    In stark contrast, at several points a couple of seasons ago I thought I'd picked the wrong channel and was watching 'Kindergarten Races' lol
    Go Kimi :-)

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  • 12. At 03:32am on 24 Mar 2009, sufc63 wrote:

    Great to have the F1 circus back in town and good to see you back in the commentry box Mr L.
    Whilst i'm loath to add to the speculation that Kimi's days at Ferrari are numbered before a piston's been fired in anger this season - you can't ignore the fact that it's make or break for him with the prancing horse.
    How nice then would it be to see Kimi get on the front foot and silence the doubters from race 1.
    It'd be great to have him back on form, fighting hard with Lewis and McLaren rather than dealing with the distraction of constant speculation about Alonso... does anyone really want to hear the drums (for) Fernando ?!

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  • 13. At 08:57am on 24 Mar 2009, The_Oncoming_Storm wrote:

    Ferrari may well be encouraging the Alonso rumours to give Raikkonen a boot up the backside. There's no doubting his talent, but he went AWOL far too often last season. Letting him know that he's in one of the most sought after seats in F1 should focus his mind.

    I wonder if Ferrari could suffer from having 2 drivers with an equal chance at the title? Last season Raikkonen started as number 1 but his early performances disappointed whil Massa shone. In the middle of the season Ferrari threw their main effort in behind Massa but Hamilton was too far ahead by that time. Hamilton and Alonso are the undisputed number 1's in their respective teams and I wonder if Ferrari would be better giving priority to one driver from the off rather than waiting for one to shine in the early races when it could be too late again.

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  • 14. At 09:16am on 24 Mar 2009, rockhopper284 wrote:

    Massa is very quick of that there is no doubt but he just doesn't have the excitement factor that Kimi has on a good day. I don't think any driver will compare favourably to Schumacher - who was both an enormous talent and had a superb team wrapped around him. Kimi is unpredicatable and just gets on with his racing, never bothering with the sports politics - pity there's not more like him. Let's see what the new season brings, if all the intentions about overtaking are brought to fruition Kimi might well be back on song - especially if Mclaren are struggling. Give the man a chance!

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  • 15. At 1:00pm on 24 Mar 2009, KimiRa1kkonen wrote:

    Couldn't agree more with Tintin696. The fickle, negative press surrounding Kimi last year was ridiculous. He wasn't even particularly bad. He scored 10 fastest laps equalling a record that Schumacher got in a car that won him the world championship half way through the season! If Hammy hadn't taken him out in Canada, and if it had rained 3 minutes later at Spa, if his exhaust hadn't ruptured in France, and if Hamilton hadn't booted him off the track in Japan he'd have had a load more points, not to mention if the weather had suited the Ferrari. Essentially in what was a dreadful season he was still pretty awesome... I'm expecting him to be amazing this season. I guess the media will then change their tune. I'm already waiting for the sudden rise in interest in Button and loss of interest in Hamilton...guess that's part of the sport though.

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  • 16. At 2:51pm on 24 Mar 2009, Ben-Parker09 wrote:

    Excellent blog post Jonathan. I agree with the points made earlier in the comments. Kimi (who is my favourite driver) had way too much negative publicity aimed towards him last year. Sure he had some bad races, but he was unlucky in some (as always it seems for Kimi =/). I really can't wait for this season as I expect him to have a resurgence and be back to his best. :)

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  • 17. At 3:56pm on 24 Mar 2009, amyfulton wrote:

    When people write off Kimi to me I remind them of 2005. It is my favourite season by any driver that I've seen in a long time. Pity the reliability of the McLaren wasn't there because I think he outdrove Alonso all year.

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  • 18. At 4:01pm on 24 Mar 2009, tmac wrote:

    I agree with comment 6 from Stewzer. Kimi does have talent, no one denies that. But he wants everything to be just right, so all he has to do is show up and drive. When it comes to having to put in the effort to get the car set up right, or develop the car to his satisfaction, he doesn't seem to want to get involved, as his comment about the simulator shows.

    It was the same when he was in McLaren, the car wasn't good, but he didn't put in the effort to try and improve it. Compare that to what Alonso done at Renault. Turned the team around to be Championship winning, and before Alonso, Schumacher did the same with Bennetton. Even with the troubles Alonso had at McLaren, he still helped the car to improve.

    I think that modern F1 drivers have to be far more than just a driver. They have to be able to help develop a car. Not just leave it up to the engineers to produce a car that they then drive. Massa and Hamilton, and others, have that attitude and it's paid off for them.

    Perhaps we have seen the best of Raikkonen, and that he doesn't have more to give, unless the car is completely under him. If Ferrari aren't on it with the pace and reliability this year, then I don't expect much from Raikkonen.

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  • 19. At 5:10pm on 24 Mar 2009, Suren1982 wrote:

    I think messyheads comment isnt fair. Kimi and his engineers have to Taylor the car to every track they race at. He has won enough races and had enough fastest laps to prove that he does know how to set up a car and develop it to his satisfaction.
    To turn a team around to a championship winning team takes more then one person. I doubt alonso managed that all on his own, he had a lot of very good people around him. Alonso does seem to drive the team and make it his own.
    this year is definately kimis last chance at ferrari, i really hope he does well.

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  • 20. At 7:15pm on 24 Mar 2009, KimiRa1kkonen wrote:

    Agreed Suren1982. I think that it is unfair to say that Kimi's not a developer of the car. That he's scored so many fastest laps, never wears down his tyres, and, with the exception of some of 2008 (though remember he was actually still faster that Massa on most race-days), goes faster than his team-mates, shows that he's great at getting a car to work for him in terms of set up. I don't see how he could have developed the F2008 into a car that worked for his driving style while it was clearly geared towards understeer. His problem was an inability to adapt his style for qualifying. Had he got a few extra tenths out of the car he would have sailed away from pole. As it was there was no chance in cool temperatures and there was little overtaking generally last season. I'm so surprised that so few pundits seemed to appreciate that last season was all about qualifying - but I guess that had they admitted it, it would have been like admitting that F1 was all about qualifying and raceday counted for nothing. Next season will be different. Kimi will be as he has ever been - the results will be more like 2001-2007 though.

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  • 21. At 02:40am on 25 Mar 2009, CorraRosso wrote:

    F1 drivers these days dont really have much of a say in car development, that is why a team has around 500+ engineers, and only 2 drivers. Especially these days with even less testing, everything depends much more on the engineers and other technologies. But a good person to ask about Kimi's development skills would have to be Alex Wurz, he worked closely with Kimi and he is known to have some good technical abilities himself; and he has often praised Kimi for his technical abilities and understanding.

    But for me atleast it is really difficult to say or to prove for that matter, that Kimi can only drive cars that are perfect. Throughout his F1 career he has often drove very well in cars that where far from perfect. And not only F1, any driver that can be fast in the first ice rally he ever entered without practice or win snowmobile races against professional snowmobile racers, are very skilled and very adaptive. I doubt many of the other current F1 drivers would be able to do that.
    Kimi's 2008 season is a bit of a mystery, I suspect we will properly never know the real or full truth behind it. Perhaps it was motivation, I have even heard some speculation about marriage troubles. Or perhaps it was just a lot of problems at the same time.

    But whatever the case may be, the fact that Kimi is still in F1 this year shows he is determined to redeem himself (eventhough he will never admit it to the press). Kimi could easily have done what Mika did - retire after a bad year, and no one really would have thought of it as too strange. Kimi is a person with a lot of pride, he knows he has to perform this year not just for Ferrari but also for himself, the fact that he didn't just quit or give up, after the bad year shows his intentions. And going by Kimi's past history this has often been the type of situation that he thrives in. And by using past history as a guide for future behaviour, I will predict that Kimi will once again prove his critics wrong, just like he did when he entered F1 against all odds with almost no experience, or when he did eventually win a championship when many people have thought he never would. Then again who knows I could be completely wrong, lets wait and see what happens.

    Kimi also isn't as complicated as many people would like to think, he is first and foremost just a racer; he loves racing, fair competition and winning; and will race almost anything as best as he can in any situation, according to his judgment. That is the essence of Kimi Raikkonen the rest are just secondary, he is more then often just misunderstood.

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  • 22. At 08:49am on 25 Mar 2009, joesepangKL wrote:

    For me Kimi still hang the fastest man on earth.F1 now days quite bored,So many thing to control in order to make all driver can become a champion,Even the Mr Spin like Massa.

    Lets see past few years, where rpm cut off over 21000rpm.I dont believe driver like massa,even Alonso,even hammy good enough to put full throttle in high speed SPA eu-rouge,Monaco tunnel or even silverstone chicane(where's massa spin 5 times last years).But i really believe in Kimi ability to do that-in maximum speed all the way.
    In order to cut-cost maybe the rpm limit will go under 15000rpm for the next 5 years maybe.Then everybody can be F1 driver.F1 now days totally rubbish,no more excited just like years of senna,prost,mansell,hakkinen.
    Kimi enter the F1 in a wrong decade.

    Are ferrari brave enough to kick kimi from their side?Let say tommorow Ron Dennis say " McLaren are open the door to Kimi in 2010".

    I really believe in myself.....No.

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  • 23. At 3:17pm on 25 Mar 2009, tmac wrote:

    @Suren1982 and KimiRa1kkonen - I'm not denying that Kimi can be a quick driver. He's proven that. But I think he's only been quick at circuits that have suited his driving style in the Ferrari, and where he found it easy to find a set up.

    So many times in the past we've heard him say that he couldn't get the set up right. He has also indicated in other comments that he doesn't seem to have the drive to go over what he is contracted to do as far as testing goes, just to make the car better. 500 engineers might be able to produce a car, but only 1 man can tell them how it is to drive.

    Drivers like Alonso or Schumacher would be able to tell the engineers, 'it feels like this', or 'when I turn in it does this' etc and the engineers can then make adjustments to fix that. They'd put in the extra simulator or testing hours to improve the car.

    With Kimi, I just don't think he has that drive. He never seems to show that he's truly passionate about what he does, and he's not in it for the long haul.

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  • 24. At 5:36pm on 25 Mar 2009, KimiRa1kkonen wrote:

    He certainly has a reputation for being like that, but actually I'm not sure that it's true. Mark Hughes spent a day with the Ferrari testing team before the start of 2008 and Kimi was supposedly great - listened to everything the engineers had to say, gave good input, and was there well into the night. I think that what you get with Kimi is a media perception that they like to enhance. i.e. Kimi's a hard drinker, Kimi's mind's not in it, etc, etc, etc. Whilst he's clearly a hard drinker, that he doesn't care, or looses interest is, I think, unfair. He's said that he finds it boring following other cars in processional races, but the media has twisted this sort of statement to suggest that he doesn't really care about being an F1 driver and everything that goes with it. i think deep down he's happy to do the job, is capable of doing it well, but doesn't really have the motivation or interest in promulgating a perception of himself to the media just to content himself. He doesn't care about that stuff. He'll be back on it this season, and I suspect that subsequently a lot of the rumour misconception surrounding him will cease to exist.

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  • 25. At 7:54pm on 26 Mar 2009, WezManf1 wrote:

    Nice blog jonathan. im a huge kimi raikkonen fan to and im glad that you havent been draged on to the lewis hamilton band-wagon. I look forward to hearing yours and martins commentary on sunday and over the course of the season.

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  • 26. At 9:47pm on 26 Mar 2009, cilurnum wrote:

    I often wondered why Lewis Hamilton talked so much about Raikkonen last year. He made a comment regarding overtaking and he said something to the effect of "I don't care whether you are Raikkonen or anyone else..." and I felt it was odd he referred to him by name. I also see various McLaren people refer to Raikkonen as 'Kimi', and they never referred to Alonso or anyone else on a first name basis like that after they had left the team.

    He's an oddball Raikkonen. That's the problem. It's difficult for anyone to get an insight into what he's really like. The problem last year was that he and his engineers spent all year getting the car to do what he wanted, and they just couldn't, and I think those problems were there even when he became champion. It's difficult to change a car like that once it's been built, especially now.

    Alonso to Ferrari? Bah. Alonso blotted his copy book far too much last year and proved to be less than infallible against a driver who went up against him. Had Alonso been in Raikkonen's position last year he would have thrown all the toys out of the pram.

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  • 27. At 10:05pm on 26 Mar 2009, WebbyFoxes wrote:

    I wouldnt be suprised if Alonso is the one which will be Ferrari's achilles heel.
    Not signing Alonso in 2010 will be Ferrari's downfall, they know he is a Schumacher in the making and to turn him down was silly.
    Alonso will use the Renault to clip Ferraris this year and I wouldnt be surpised if he tried to take on Kimi and Felipe to show Ferrari what they are missing

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  • 28. At 08:19am on 27 Mar 2009, Crazyteknohed wrote:


    I'm inclined to agree with you about Alonso: he had the car to match his ability in 2007 yet, like Hamilton, he bottled it in the last race. As it was Hamilton's first year in F1, for him it is excusable, but for a driver and with such experience and pedigree as Alonso, buckling under such pressure is inexcusable. In addition, his behaviour at McClaren in that season was abysmal.

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  • 29. At 08:56am on 27 Mar 2009, LeeBJames wrote:

    Kimi is an enigma.
    He had a shocker last year and to talk about handling issues as an excuse is absolute rubbish. The number 2 in the team challenged for the title for heavens sake.
    KR needs a good season otherwise Ferrari will look elsewhere next year, contract or no contract.

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  • 30. At 09:54am on 28 Mar 2009, GFasulo wrote:

    Hi Jonathan,

    Commentary verdict: Very good! You have the enthusiasm of Murray, but not the blither of James Allen. I think you did very well indeed.

    Best of luck for the rest of the season.

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  • 31. At 10:33am on 30 Mar 2009, bigcods wrote:


    Terrible F1 commentary on your behalf, easily the worst I have ever heard. Do yourself and the general public a favour, and give it up.

    Truly atrocious, Martin must be irate!

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  • 32. At 11:18am on 30 Mar 2009, Mike wrote:

    Like the article on Kimi, great driver but Im not convinced he has the motivation any more. I hope he does because it would make the prospect of this season even better, the more who are competing the merrier for me.

    On the commentary, I thought it was good, lacked a bit of emotion and speaking over Brundle is probably a bad idea but overall not too bad. I sometimes wonder if you guys have the same pictures as us because I often see things before you do, I assume you are getting slightly different pictures or multiple pictures because to me the things are obvious and although Im a long term fan with a strong grasp of the technical I'm not an expert

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  • 33. At 3:46pm on 30 Mar 2009, paulsf1fix wrote:

    Hi Jonathan,

    You did a nice job of the commentary, much better than James Allen!! Maybe ask Martin more questions and gave good factual information from Past races, Yeah I wonder how much you guys get to see compared to what we see at home. Mr Allen made too many mistakes when things were obvious and got over excited about Hamilton, Please Jonathan don't do this too often.

    So far, Good!!!!!!1

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  • 34. At 3:09pm on 31 Mar 2009, serilana wrote:

    Did you notice that Brawns did not feature in any of the top speed lists for any sector, which is not typical of front runners. Last year Hamilton featured in each sector and speed trap lists.
    This may occur if you have significantly better downforce and concurrent drag, restricting your top speeds but increasing your average?? intruiging yes? It supports the view that Brawn are very fast in both slow and high speed corners.

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  • 35. At 3:21pm on 31 Mar 2009, serilana wrote:

    Coverage team ratings
    Jake poor
    David not bad lacked emotion
    Eddie mistake
    Martin great but didn't seem comfortable except in pit walk?
    Johnathan good
    Pit lane girl mistake
    Pit lane boy great use more

    Overall too much punditry, too much front end flash
    Big mistake not to do more with starting weights
    Dont like tickertape bottom of page want positional list total on page to review

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  • 36. At 5:03pm on 05 Apr 2009, Nadaliator wrote:

    Yes.........Alonso SHOULD be a concern for the Ferrari drivers especially now. Ok, he had a bad race today, but there is no-one who comes close to Fernando in ability, motivation and class.

    If Fernando had a Brawn or Toyota between his legs right now, he'd be right where Jenson is............what a tantilising thought!!!!!!!!

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  • 37. At 07:37am on 06 Apr 2009, Nadaliator wrote:

    And can people STOP going on about Alonso at McLaren. It's history. Fernando has redeemed himself after a 'hiccup' season in 2007 so get over it!!!!!!!!

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  • 38. At 1:11pm on 07 Apr 2009, Nedders wrote:

    Jonathan, pls pass onto Martin when you next get together in the com box that 'crucial', 'important', 'vital', 'acute', 'momentous' or 'pivotal' to name a few, are all perfectly good alternatives to 'CRITICAL'.......

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  • 39. At 4:00pm on 20 Apr 2009, Melscott wrote:

    Sorry Jonathan, must agree with (No 31) bigcods, your commentary needs a lot to be desired, and you are not giving Martin a chance. You need to realise that you are on TV and not radio. The obvious we can all see!!

    I am sure that you will improve as time goes on, but in the meantime, listen more to Martin, he is an expert.

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  • 40. At 5:00pm on 20 Apr 2009, seisteve wrote:

    I think the truest comment in this blog is the hint that Kimi doesn't really enjoy F1 racing like he used to do. Truth be told he has lost the will to race, although probably not the will to win. His relationship with the wall over the last few years seems to point at a lack of focus or should that be 'conviction'.

    Great article and I can see Kimi not being in any car after 2010 and onto something newer, maybe even easier.

    Now a word or two about the commentary, if I may. when the facts about the cars are running it is brilliant, mainly accurate :-) and shared with Martin which makes you guys a treat to listen to. But (sorry) can I remind you that we see the pictures that you do and sometimes just watching the cars in action without an emotional running commentary about the car, the speed, the driver the track and rain... is sometimes the best commentary. I understand that we need to have a detailed 'picture' when listening on the radio but I have to admitting to politely requesting some silence at times as I listen to the race commentary.

    Look forward to the whole team becoming more comfortable with the new challenge.


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  • 41. At 5:08pm on 29 Apr 2009, Carlonso wrote:

    Ferrari had a winning dynasty with Schumacher which they want to replicate with another driver.
    Alonso is that man.
    Though can Alonso do it with the prancing Horse that is without Brawn and Todt remains to be seen.
    Alonso's dynasty with Mclaren was quite simply hijacked with the arrival of Hamilton and the ensuing dirty politics that became prevalent within.
    As a result, it stopped Alonso adding at least a further world championship to his belt.
    Raikkonen is indeed talented, yet his commitment and application is forever questioned.
    Massa is not in the same league as Alonso (European Grand Prix 2007 paid testament to that)
    So - who is going to lead Ferrari out of the doldrums post Schumacher? Neither Ferrari Driver.
    The question is not whether the shadow of Alonso hangs over Ferrari but whether the present duo can deal with the shadow of success Schumacher has left behind.
    The quicker Ferrari get Alonso driving Scarlett Red the quicker their fortunes will change.

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  • 42. At 11:05pm on 25 May 2009, WebbyFoxes wrote:

    Its all seems to be about Alonso all this stuff that he will drive for Ferrari and also adds to the speculation about the future of some of Spain's sponsors such as Satander and Telefonica, they follow Alonso around and will try and get their name splashed on the car he drives.
    Look at Mclaren, Santander says they may go and sponsor Ferrari from 2010.
    We shall see but I can see Vettel taking a seat at Ferrari in the future but would Alonso want to work with a team where success is everything?

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  • 43. At 12:42pm on 26 May 2009, fearlessferrari4eva wrote:

    It may seem hard to beleive, but for some reason I can never see Fernando Alonso in a Ferrari. It looks to me like his loyalties will always be else were, at Renault. After his very difficult 2007 I think he will be very causious about choosing a new team, but at least with Renault he doesn't have that insecurity.

    Renault will always have a there or there abouts car, and I think THAT is why Alonso will stay.

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