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Time for Alonso to deliver

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Jonathan Legard | 16:47 UK time, Friday, 10 September 2010

Ferrari may have claimed victory in their FIA team orders hearing this week in Paris but another triumph on the track at Monza this weekend is absolutely critical to their championship ambitions.

Fernando Alonso, who was at the centre of the storm over Ferrari's tactics at the German Grand Prix, cannot afford another pointless race like the one he endured
in Belgium a fortnight ago, when he failed to finish after crashing in the closing stages.

Alonso, the team and the famous Ferrari fans - the tifosi - all know that the Spaniard's title dream demands fresh impetus at their home circuit, where the spotlight always shines more severely and more expectantly on them.

What was a 20-point deficit on the leading championship driver before the race at Spa has now more than doubled - and another failure to bag a big points haul here could spell the end of Alonso's challenge for the year.

Alonso and Ferrari can draw hope from the new points system, with 25 points for a win, which means that 150 points are still up for grabs over the final six races.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso

Alonso needs to produce results in Monza if he wants to resurrect his title ambitions. Photo: Reuters

But his problems in qualifying and during the race in Belgium showed how quickly a driver can drop out of contention.

Ferrari have admitted that their overall performance there failed to live up to expectations, and claim that they've found the answers.

The only proof of that, however, will be in Sunday's results.

And if after this race the gap between Alonso and the leader has climbed to more than 50 points (the equivalent of two race wins), those final five long-haul grands prix, where Red Bull's drivers are expecting to dominate, could become a disheartening slog into November.

On the positive side, if there's one man on the grid with the expertise and experience to take the fight to the front, it's Alonso.

Confident of the team's backing, he can demonstrate supreme race-craft. He can read the race brilliantly from the cockpit, understanding what he needs to do to make the most of his opportunities.

Significantly, he's taken the road to the championship twice already so knows the pressures and pitfalls, as well as the rewards.

And he's with a team who possess an enviable range and depth of resources to deliver the maximum performance. Maybe not as effectively as McLaren, who made a much better recovery last season than Ferrari, but impressive nonetheless.

The downside to the season, however, has been the number of mistakes by Alonso himself.

Even the Spaniard has admitted he's surprised by his errors, particularly the crash he had in practice in Monaco which ruled him out of qualifying.

Ferrari had promised to deliver a big performance that weekend. He'd been consistently fastest until his accident which left him playing catch-up from the back of the grid in the race.

His jump-start in China was also most uncharacteristic.

He appeared to be caught napping when Jenson Button overtook him in Canada, and when Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi did the same thing in Valencia.

Alonso's drive-through penalty at Silverstone for cutting a corner when overtaking Robert Kubica's Renault could have been avoided if he'd only handed back the place as the regulations demand.

And the way his performance dropped off in Spa from qualifying onwards was most un-Alonso-like. He blamed the tyre choice in the final part of the session - yet both Button and Lewis Hamilton improved their times on the same softer tyre, whereas Alonso
stayed 10th, more than a second slower than team-mate Felipe Massa.

At times this season Alonso has seemed at odds with the F10 car, fearing that Ferrari were drifting out of contention.

Red Bull's dramatic advantage at the Spanish Grand Prix certainly rang alarm bells. Ferrari's version of the F-duct initially made the car slower not faster, and possibly contributed to him over-driving at Monaco.

The new blown diffuser in Valencia and the new front wing at Silverstone re-ignited the spark but until the German Grand Prix, where the furore over team orders completely obscured their team's winning performance, the improvements weren't reflected in the results.

It's as if Alonso knows the car is still not as quick as Red Bull's RB6 and is attempting to compensate by pushing it to, and possibly over, its limits - and even his talent can't bridge the gap.

One of the Ferrari's great strengths, though, is its braking performance. That was shown at the chicanes at the Canadian Grand Prix and it'll be crucial at the three chicanes at Monza.

The car also responds well through medium-speed corners such as the two Lesmos, so there is renewed optimism within Maranello that the tifosi will be seeing red near the front of the grid this weekend.

But for all the teams, getting the best out of Monza depends on finding the right balance between low downforce and high straight-line speed.

With no pre-race testing these days, it's a major challenge for the engineers. Do they run the usual Monza specific rear wings, or is there a speed advantage with the F-duct system and a slightly higher downforce setting?

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Highlights from second practice at Monza

For example, in second practice, Hamilton's car ran with a conventional Monza set-up without the F-duct aerodynamic device, while Button's car continued with the F-duct. Their best times were less than 0.06secs apart, within 0.4secs of a second of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull.

Both Ferrari drivers, meanwhile, tested two different rear wings - both 'blown' by the F-duct - and now have to weigh up which provides the more efficient balance. Alonso edged Massa by just more than 0.1secs as the second and third fastest cars.

It left Alonso with a positive verdict for the weekend ahead.

"We are confident, we are happy with the job today", he said after practice. "We know McLaren are favourites for pole and we've seen the potential of the Red Bull all season.

"It will be difficult but we are there, we have nothing to fear and we will fight."

The forecast is for a dry weekend so that eliminates the weather variables which so damaged Alonso's last race outing.

Winning the Italian Grand Prix in a Ferrari ranks as one of motorsport's finest jewels.

Doing it first time out at Monza for Formula 1's most famous name, as Alonso needs to do, would be a spectacular re-launch into the title battle.

Comments

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  • 1. At 6:03pm on 10 Sep 2010, TheScuderiaAndy wrote:

    I quote

    "And he's with a team who possess an enviable range and depth of resources to deliver the maximum performance. Maybe not as effectively as McLaren, who made a much better recovery last season than Ferrari, but impressive nonetheless"

    Weres the logic in that statement? Ferrari are the most successful team in F1 buy quite some margin. More Pro Mclaren veiws by the BBC. Not everyone in the UK follows Mclaren you know

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  • 2. At 6:10pm on 10 Sep 2010, tranquility2k9 wrote:

    Jonathan - do you have any idea why McLaren did not improve when they swapped to the soft tyres in practice 2, whereas Ferrari and Red Bull improved significantly. Both Lewis' and Jenson's best times were set on the hard tyre.

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  • 3. At 6:19pm on 10 Sep 2010, Lord_Lancashire wrote:

    In reply to comment (1) by TheScuderiaAndy.

    I'm sorry, but the statement is entirely true as of late. When McLaren hit trouble, they always fight back. When Ferrari hit trouble, they often stay troubled.

    Don't let yourself be blurred by the team's successes during the first half of the 2000s decades, when everyone else fell flat. It may be a hard statement to take for a Ferrari fan, but it's true.

    And tbh, Alonso was never going to win this title from very early on. It'll have to wait for this year. Niether he, nor Ferrari are in a fit state to win titles at present.

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  • 4. At 6:28pm on 10 Sep 2010, riiseuk wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 5. At 6:31pm on 10 Sep 2010, Estesark wrote:

    When Fernando Alonso was busy winning his first and second World Championships, I was a big fan of his, though that may have been largely due to the fact that someone was finally beating Michael Schumacher.

    Everything he's done since then has made me dislike the fellow. This season has really confirmed that the "big baby, throwing toys out of the pram" image he picked up in 2007 was accurate.

    It's good to have villains in the sport - for the excitement and stories they create - but I sincerely hope he doesn't win this race or the Drivers' Championship.

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  • 6. At 7:01pm on 10 Sep 2010, Mancun Ian wrote:

    It could indeed be the last chance for Fernando "Jessica Fletcher" Alonso* to reignite his championship chances - but I think his mistakes this season will ultimately cost him, as they will Vettel.

    *There was always a crime where Jessica was residing - yet she was never the guilty one - I am not for one second saying that Fernando is a cheat or dishonest, but the 'teflon' name seems to stick more than any charges against

    Fernando at McLaren - the team punished - Alonso and Hamilton not
    Fernando at Renault - team and seniors punished - Alonso keeps the win
    Fernando at Ferrari - well I guess you get the picture

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  • 7. At 7:09pm on 10 Sep 2010, Nickynak wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 7:11pm on 10 Sep 2010, AOD wrote:

    In reply to [1]

    While Ferrari may be the most successful team in the modern era, this has not been reflected for several seasons now. To claim previous results somehow give them an advantage over McLaren, who have shown admirable fighting spirit of late, is nonsensical. Nobody claims that Lotus are underperforming just because they used to be an incredibly successful team (albeit in name only).

    Incidentally I am a big Alonso fan and am hoping he can get a few of the results I feel he deserves and has missed out on this season. The general view appears to be that his mistakes early this season arise from pushing a slightly underperforming car past its limit.

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  • 9. At 7:19pm on 10 Sep 2010, Fed_Borg wrote:

    Jonathan, you seem to really want F.A. to win the championship. Ever since you talked up his move to Ferrari, you make it look like he is the greatest driver around. C'mon, if that had even a semblance of truth, he would be leading the championship, as it is he is struggling, blaming everyone but himself for the situation. He even needed the team to give him a win.

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  • 10. At 7:26pm on 10 Sep 2010, Tamburello wrote:

    There's such a lot of anti-Alonso sentiment aired on the comments on this blog and I can't decide whether this is good or bad. I suppose it's good cos there are people out there who feel passionately about their heroes, which is better than indifference, but I tire of some of the negative comments I read. Alonso has won two WDCs, he beat Schumi, he's exciting to watch but, alas, he's Spanish. Hamilton is a brilliant driver, also exciting to watch, and may well win the WDC this year, and he's English. I wish them both the best of luck tho I'd rather Alonso won due to what I consider to be a healthy patriotism rather than an unhealthy xenophobia. But I don't go bad-mouthing Lewes just because I'm an Alonsista. And I don't lose sight of what is really going on in the sport.
    Rather than sniping at personalities we should be revelling in the rivalry between the Brit and the Spaniard. This is not football: let's not talk like football fans. Anyone who has followed F1 for as long as I have may have been fans of Clark, Villeneuve, Lauda, Prost, Senna - their nationality never used to matter. Now there seems to be a them and us mentality, at least among the fans of the two countries I know best: Spain and England.
    PS: Anyone remember Innes Ireland?

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  • 11. At 7:47pm on 10 Sep 2010, laughingdevil wrote:

    It's as if Alonso knows the car is still not as quick as Red Bull's RB6 and is attempting to compensate by pushing it to, and possibly over, its limits - and even his talent can't bridge the gap.

    --------------

    Has been my thought all season, despite the errors he's still way ahead of Massa with the same car, personally I think without the right on the "edge" driving he's done he would have been out of contention ages ago.

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  • 12. At 8:12pm on 10 Sep 2010, Jackie wrote:

    Tamburello, intelligent post, I'm with you even though I'm a Macca fan. But it's not xenophobia, I admire Alonso as a driver, especially with the 2 x WDC at Renault, and generally he's hard but fair (ironically, like Lewis!) but I do hate this spoilt child syndrome that he seems to have adopted ever since, and he DOES seem to be mysteriously bullet proof. How on earth he didn't get penalised during 2007 with Spygate I'll never know - he and his buddy Pedro were actually discussing the Ferrari set up between them, and whether 'The Management' knew or not, surely that set them up for a penalty too? So - it may be very superficial and inconsistent of me, but I'd hate it if he got the WDC this year, I'd rather it would be someone who has driven with dignity and fairness throughout - Webber, Lewis or Jenson - and it's not just because they're English (well, Mark's an honorary Brit!) But I DO think Fernando should get another WDC just as a reflection of his talent. Just not yet!!

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  • 13. At 8:13pm on 10 Sep 2010, Jackie wrote:

    Oh and I don't remember Innes Ireland!!

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  • 14. At 8:20pm on 10 Sep 2010, TheJudeanPeoplesFront wrote:

    #6

    Agree with all but one of your sentiments. I don't believe it's possible he could have got in the cockpit of the Renault at Singapore NOT knowing his team-mate was instructed to crash... Otherwise we'd have caught transmission of him saying "pit now? Are you mental? It's way too early" to the team, or some such. Or you'd have seen him kicking toys out of the pram at the start line because he'dbeen given such a risky strategy based on someone having a foul up just after his pit-stop...

    Disgusting that win stood, disgusting Flavio's ban was overturned, and digsuting Ferrari got away with a cynical breach of the rules and lying about said cynical breach of the rules... What happened to McCLAREN'S Hamilton when he did such at Melbourne... Oh right! Deduction of ALL his points!

    FIA = Very dubious organisation

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  • 15. At 8:34pm on 10 Sep 2010, Hippasus wrote:

    Yes.

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  • 16. At 8:39pm on 10 Sep 2010, correct kane wrote:

    Jonathon, mission impossible for Fernando surely and he does seem to lack a little composure behind the wheel.
    Being a big respector of all F1 drivers I find it tiresome that people need to articulate just why they wish someone to win whilst they drive under the flag of their home nation, only here in PC World GB could this occur. Come on Lewis, come on Jenson.

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  • 17. At 8:48pm on 10 Sep 2010, Tamburello wrote:

    Jackie - I hear this 'Alonso is a spoilt child' stuff regularly and I don't know where it comes from. As for bullet proof, he was penalized for blocking Massa (Monza?)in qualifying 2 years ago when he was a country mile away from him, he was penalized when he held up Lewis (his teammate!) in the pits after Lewis's dad protested (read Alonso's comment on that - it's a hoot), he was pushed nearly into the wall in Germany by Vettel (no penalty for Vettel - cf Schumi-Barrichello), his race was ruined when he was penalized with a drive thru after passing Kubica off the track and the arch-ditherer Whiting waited so long to make a decision that Kubica had retired before he could order him to let him pass (and I'm doing this from memory so there's probably more). The take here in Spain is that the British dominated FIA and Charlie Whiting have it in for Alonso and Ferrari. So sometimes he gets a tad grumpy...

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  • 18. At 8:49pm on 10 Sep 2010, MediaOverreaction wrote:

    Alonso just isn't likeable as a sporting hero. He moans far too much. True greats to me are the drivers that rise above their constraints to produce something special.

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  • 19. At 9:18pm on 10 Sep 2010, livpoksoc wrote:

    I have to share with many of the sentiments on here so far, but for me I don't dislike Alonso for being Spanish, I dislike Alonso for the same reasons I went off Lewis last year.

    It's the spoilt brat thing, Alonso did it in 2007, and is doing it now. Lewis did it somewhat in 2009 when he was moaning to the team and giving off bad vibes when things weren't going his way, thankfully Lewis appears to have used that experience to galvanise and get the team to work around him again whilst acknowledging Jenson's presence.

    Going back to Alonso, I do have major respect for his 2 WDC's at Renault, I was in absolute awe when he went round the outside of Schumi at the 130R and was glad that finally someone had caught up with him. But as for this year, his efforts appear lack lustre, his two victories this year have been somewhat gifted to him. I could bang on about team orders for days but I think they should be removed, but what Ferrari did was against the rules and quite frankly took the biscuit. Either way that victory, Alonso was driving at 95% and couldn't get past Massa without him backing off for him. Bahrain was the same, happy to tour round and hope Vettel's red bull broke down.

    A majority of the other races this season Alonso has either been an also ran with no real answer and lack of effort. When Alonso has been on it, he's been trying too hard so the car can't handle it or he's trying so hard he's not using his judgement correctly and is making error's that Sebastian Vettel still hasn't eradicated.

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  • 20. At 9:38pm on 10 Sep 2010, priesty_lfc wrote:

    Really hope Alonso wins on Sunday, it will be great for the Championship but overall I think he's the best driver!

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  • 21. At 10:20pm on 10 Sep 2010, steveblack1000 wrote:

    @ #20

    If he's the best driver, why couldn't he overtake his teammate in Germany without team orders?

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  • 22. At 10:31pm on 10 Sep 2010, F1Rookie wrote:

    @Jackie

    I fully agree with you Alonso should have been banned for spygate and Mclaren should have been suspended for a few years for their part in the scandal and then Lewis should have been banned for Liegate and Mclaren suspended again for a few more years for their part in it.

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  • 23. At 10:35pm on 10 Sep 2010, Jackie wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 24. At 11:00pm on 10 Sep 2010, Simon wrote:

    "My name is Simon and I'm British and an Alonso fan" was how I started my first meeting at AA (Alonso Anonymous).

    I think Alonso is a cracking driver and a good ambassador for the sport. He might not be as genial as Jenson, as much of a good bloke as "MAAAAAAAARK" and not as chipper as Rubens (who is though?), but he's still a great world champion.

    Just thought I'd let Tamburello that there's at least one British Alonso fan.

    PS. I know of Innes Ireland. Aside from him being a

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  • 25. At 11:37pm on 10 Sep 2010, bajantom wrote:

    TheScuderiaAndy - post 1

    This is a slightly bizarre comment. Other than the most red-tinted-goggle-wearer, everything i think recognises and has observed that over the last couple of years Ferrari have not recovered from set backs as quickly as other teams (McLaren being one, RBR another) - the second half of last year being proof-in-point.

    This is more factual rather than to belittle the fantastic Ferrari history which (apart from a couple of extreme fanatics) even non-Ferrari fans fully respects and generally admires.

    I feel you have been slightly over-sensitive to the commentary / blog with your comment!

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  • 26. At 11:39pm on 10 Sep 2010, RidRed wrote:

    As someone who considers himself a F1 fan before being a fan of any particular driver or team (thought I do have a soft spot for Williams), I love the battle between Hamilton and Alonso, who, despite anything the Red Bull drivers may achieve this year, I regard as the best two drivers in the world at this time.

    They are different drivers with different strengths, but both incredibly talented.

    As someone who speaks both English and Spanish, I find it amusing that both the Spanish and English press are very happy to take quotes and information regarding the drivers out of context, in order to show how the other driver is a "spoilt brat".

    The truth is both hate losing, and get upset about it.

    When you hear the full interviews of Alonso speaking to the Spanish press, and Hamilton speaking to the British press, they are actually very similar. They also display far more respect for each other than their respective press would acknowledge, preferring the "hate" option.

    I am just enjoying the racing, but I do understand that in order to attract the more casual follower, the media have to have a good guy and a bad guy.

    Long may their rivalry continue. And if Adrian Newey (or anyone else) can develop better cars than either Ferrari or McLaren, so much the better.

    I just hope Charlie Whiting can come up with better, more defined, regulations, which can produce more overtaking.

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  • 27. At 00:38am on 11 Sep 2010, gohavesometea wrote:

    Fun read but a little redundant - "Time for Alonso to deliver"? - yep, because there are plenty of times when he can afford not to? It was a little bit l;ike reading "Button targets podium". Really? I thought he'd be happy strolling around at the back of the pack...

    Maybe the blog should have been titled "Can Alonso balance on the edge?" since that was definitely an interesting point, are the mistakes from pushing too close? I think you've hit on an excellent point. Probably the same thing for Vettel only his reason is being challenged by his team-mate as opposed to by the car.

    Is it just me or is Lewis immensely more likeable this season? The influence of Button maybe?

    Hoping for a Button, Hamilton, Alonso 1 2 3 with Vettel :-)

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  • 28. At 00:58am on 11 Sep 2010, gohavesometea wrote:

    oops - re my previous post was going to put something cheeky about Vettel taking out Webber in a bizarre overtaking manouerve but then decided against it since that seems far too implausible...

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  • 29. At 05:15am on 11 Sep 2010, BullRun wrote:

    I think it would be great for Red Bull to win the championship, good for F1, even though I'm a long time Ferrari fan. Alonso has the ability and the motivation to be another Ferrari champion, but this year a few too many mistakes, as the article pointed out. One point that always is a source of irritation is the fact F1 allows teams to continue to use former F1 team names and add to previous glories.. When Bruce McLaren died, that should of been the end of McLaren as a team, not to mention Lotus and Jack Blacks team. The additional insult is when the new teams even take the old teams wins and points, as if they contributed.

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  • 30. At 08:05am on 11 Sep 2010, Peter wrote:

    I think that, to be fair to the other championship contenders, Vettel has to take out Hamilton in this race...

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  • 31. At 08:40am on 11 Sep 2010, Flux Redux wrote:


    Off topic....
    Why on Earth is Amanda Davies in Monza, reporting live for Breakfast News?
    Surely the Beeb have enough other personnel there to do that job!
    I thought cost cutting was the order of the day.

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  • 32. At 08:45am on 11 Sep 2010, sp4rk8 wrote:

    @RidRed: totally agree, the press has a lot to do with this anti Alonso, anti Hamilton feelings. What they say is almost always manipulated by journalist seeking for fresh blood, like those in the press conference after Germany and before Monza, it is outraging. I've read many people here saying they were FA fans until 2007...what a coincidence, the moment he went into trouble with THE English team.

    you know, I'm waitinng for Fernando to retire, I hope it will be the moment to know many many things. Bad for Ron, bad for Charlie, Max and maybe many others. Until then lets enjoy him without beliveing that this absolutely unreal, unfair image of him press has built is real please!

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  • 33. At 08:59am on 11 Sep 2010, priesty_lfc wrote:

    @ 21

    'Fernando is faster than you' what does that mean?, he would have over taken him in the end however the move would have been quite risky and with Massa leading and not wanting to be overtaken there would have been a high chance of the drivers coming together, get over the team orders excuse.

    I really like Massa but since his accident (understandably) he's not quite been the same, I really hope he can get back to his very best as he fully deserves another chance to be champion but this season Alonso has far been the better driver.




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  • 34. At 09:51am on 11 Sep 2010, VettelDRFC90 wrote:

    I can't see Alonso performing well this weekend. Even in front of the Tifosi he will be affected by the Court hearing this week. Alonso isn't mentally strong enough to win this year. I predict Vettel will win, and expect Hamilton to write his car of for the second Italian GP in a row. Something about Hamilton that I just don't like.

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  • 35. At 10:45am on 11 Sep 2010, Nadaliator wrote:

    Alonso was never going to win the title this year and the reason there's so much fuss surrounding what has happened this season is because Alonso has actually surprised Ferrari by being a contender.

    2010 was an installation season for this F1 marriage, a chance for Alonso to adapt to his new team, pick up a few podiums or even a few wins, and then all of a sudden a one-two in Bahrain and good points following, Ferrari drivers are leading the WDC and Alonso is growling at anyone who gets in his way.

    Regardless of whether you're a "new" fan (i.e. since 2007) or old school like a lot of us here, you cannot deny that Fernando Alonso is the best driver of this generation and has been since 2005, those who deny it are not true fans of this sport.

    And for those who go on about his temprement; so what?? Senna was worse than Alonso but is hailed for his greatness - less hypocrisy please!!

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  • 36. At 11:17am on 11 Sep 2010, tiggerspp wrote:

    I have very little time for Alonso and feel he has made a lot of mistakes of his own making not to mention the fact that trouble seems to follow him around, but some of the blame here lies with Ferrari itself.

    I was a Ferrari fan for many many years and finally when Todt arrived and employed Michael, Ross, Rory etc. I got my wish of seeing the Prancing Horse ascend back to the top and in some style. Now with all those great people gone the team is sinling back once again into its disorganised and peculiar ways. The sackig of Kimi being a prime example of those and really has Alonso done any better than Kimi would have?

    As for Alonso he was equalled by Hamilton in 2007 and Hamilton is twice the driver he was then.... I think Alonso has a chip the size of a small planet on his shoulder over Lewis (witness the complete dummy spit in the car over Hamilton's drive through earlier this year) and deep down inside he knows the guy is better than him. Until he channels those feelings positively to become a better driver I doubt he will ever win another championship.

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  • 37. At 12:13pm on 11 Sep 2010, OccitaniaLev wrote:

    Must say I'm a bit fed up with all this Alonso bashing in the UK media. And I would hope that similar minded people in Spain feel the same about the Hamilton bashing there. It's really a bit childish all round.

    Both are great drivers who are always going to be chasing world championships. There will only be one champion each year, so of course it's going to get tense between the contenders. ALL top sports people desperately want to win, if they didn't they wouldn't be at the top. No big surprise if they get a bit petulant when things don't go their own way. Both of them have shown signs of it from time to time as have many others now and in the past. Get over it.

    I've never been a Hamilton fan, but I give him massive credit for going up in my estimation this season. Seems like he's grown up a lot since he ditched his dad as manager. Good for him. I'd sooner he wins this year than either Red Bull driver if only because he has got on with it quietly and won well when the opportunity arises.

    Alonso has made too many mistakes this year, probably because he has been pushing too hard, but people need to remember what's been said about him since he arrived in a Minardi. He's got the ability that only a few have ever had to win or get big points in races where most other drivers wouldn't. And a "whinging little cry baby" wouldn't have had the big whotsits needed to go around the outside of Schumacher at 180mph round 130R at Suzuka.

    But to make the end of the season interesting, I'd love to see a Ferrari 1-2 at Monza with Kubica's Renault 3rd...won't happen of course but few/no points for the top 4 would make those last races fun!



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  • 38. At 12:30pm on 11 Sep 2010, northernrail wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 39. At 3:12pm on 11 Sep 2010, Lord_Lancashire wrote:

    Interesting - Alonso on pole, after what was a thrilling qualifying session. It was quite clear that Lewis Hamilton made the wrong call regarding set-up, as 5th is not good enough. He's an aggressive enough racer, however, and will no doubt make up time during the race.

    This race will be a good test for Jenson Button. With Massa behind him, and Hamilton in 5th, it is he alone (for the first few laps at least) that can topple Alonso. He was gave Michael Schumacher too much respect in Spain, and then pulled the age-old "you just can't overtake" excuse. I just hope those days are behind him tomorrow.

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  • 40. At 3:57pm on 11 Sep 2010, fastlane66 wrote:

    Who will be Kamikaze Vettel's victim in Monza? I hope Mark will have good start and will win the race. Go Mark Go!

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  • 41. At 5:53pm on 11 Sep 2010, TheScuderiaAndy wrote:

    A bit lost with jensons set up choice, it worked in qualifying but surely hes going to get eaten down the straights in the race? even if he gets ahead of alonso at the start he will only be repassed again on the next big straight. Also i dont really fancy his chances if Hamilton or Massa find themselves right in his slick stream. yes he will be quicker in slower areas but i cant see that making up for be the slowest down the LOOOONNNG straights, or am i missing somthing?

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  • 42. At 8:30pm on 11 Sep 2010, Lord_Lancashire wrote:

    Well we don't know, which makes it an absolutely fascinating set-up for tomorrow. All will soon be revealed. I can't wait. McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari battle it out again :)

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  • 43. At 11:23pm on 11 Sep 2010, steveblack1000 wrote:

    #33 - 'Fernando is faster than you' what does that mean?

    It means you're annoying spoilt brat of a teammate has been on the radio throwing his toys out of the cockpit again because you're driving too fast and he can't get by. Would you kindly get out of his way because it's too risky for him to try to overtake you.......sorry.

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  • 44. At 1:24pm on 12 Sep 2010, Campo-Espana wrote:

    Jonathan, that's interesting!

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