Felipe, Fernando is Faster Because Of You.

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
So hats off to Mr Alonso on his win on Sunday. Very Alonso like he got himself in front and didn't crack when he was being chased down and brought it home. He also must be looking over at the other top draw drivers and having a quiet smile to himself.

His old mate Lewis Hamilton faces a season of anticipation from the F1 world. From the looks of things from the first time since 2008 he's been given a car that is at the front and superior to those around him and its instantly put the pressure on. Anything but a title will be deemed as failure by his critics who will level it at him that he's been asking for this for the last 3 season so time to produce. Add to that the Jenson Button hang over and thats a nice hefty weight on Lewis shoulders thats got heavier after not converting those poles to wins in the first 2 races.

Meanwhile Jenson too can be seen as being weighed down with the same burden of 'best car syndrome' as well as the whole you only won the title because you had the best car thing. Jenson will also feel the pressure of having to prove he can compete with Hamilton and that last season was not some sort of fluke - and after a terrible driver in Malaysia that weight will get a little heavier.

Finally Mr Vettel now finds himself in a situation where his car is not quite the fastest and he has to lead them back to the front for the first time in his career add to that the constant media analysis of him trying to prove he only won because of his equiptment and once again you see a front driver with a bit of a burden. Had he scored that 4th place at the weekend he might have been smiling but the slip up and the finish in 11th meant the pressure was on - as seen by the first time he got angry.

What of Fernando? Well there is the pressure of 'will he ever win another title' I hear you say to which Alonso will answer "What in this Ferrari?" - and there is the crux of it, that Ferrari has been slagged off so much by the media and been declared so awful that all Fernando needs to do is finish 5th or above and he's delcared a genius. No one expects him to win the title, no one expects him to compete and no one would knock him if he didn't get a good result in that car so for the first time since probably 2008 Fernando is driving with no pressure on him what so ever - and didn't it show on Sunday? Which brings me to discuss the title of this thread and address the issue people are discussing of Ferrari getting rid of Massa. Getting rid of Massa and bringing in a new team-mate will be the last thing in the world that Alonso will want. Not because, as some of you state, he's afraid of a competitve team-mate but because Fellipe is providing him with the F1 equivilant of the invisability cloak.

Firstly as long as Fellipe is kicking about in 13th or 14th it makes any result that Fernando gets look amazing. Secondly Massa's poor form hides the actual progress that Ferrari is making and thirdly whilst everyone believes the Ferrari is not a threat he can slip through the cracks. For instance on Sunday I think Mclaren were busy trying to cover off Red Bull during the pitstops and didn't even consider that Fernando might be in the race with them until it was too late. So I ask you why on earth would Fernando want a new team mate? Why would he want somone coming in and scoring 8th places and making his 5ths look less than they are?

I'm sure Mr Alonso would rather be in the best car in the field but right now he can't lose. No one expects him to win or come close to the title in that Ferrari so if he doesn't get results its not his fault and if he does then he's amazing. Meanwhile if he can quietly keep himself in contention for the title and Massa continues to hide the true form of that Ferrari with his poor performance then Alonso can edge closer and closer and maybe spring a surprise.

Either way he must be smiling.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
Let us not forget that Fernando is not an employer of F1 drivers. Some good points and a few that I also disagree with but a refreshing post. your point about the pressures and expectations on the individual drivers is particularly poignant.
 

Mezzer

A fine chap if ever there was one.
Contributor
I'm with Ninja, some good points and some I don't totally agree with. I give a wry chuckle at some of the comments in articles out there about how Ferrari have bounced back, I suggest Alonso's own comment of "It means nothing" is the best answer to that. Its the irony of the Ferrari's dry-weather weaknesses being a wet-weather strength that has to amuse, and taking nothing away from a great drive by Fernando. But turning to Felipe, I have to say its already looking pretty grim. A good driver on his day he's always seemed a little fragile to me, rightly or wrongly, and in my mind there's no doubt all the additional speculation isn't helping him at all. He knows he's not had a good season for years and that this is very likely his last season with Ferrari, IMO he needs a good performance this season to be in the running for a seat in another reasonably competitive car or his F1 career is largely over barring the acrimony of a backmarker team wanting him "for his experience".
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
Call me old-fashioned, but I expect Alonso to win - in the same way I expect other 'top' drivers to. The theory is that these are the elite, the cream of the crop and the finest drivers in the World - they are paid huge quantities of money for the privilege of doing something they love and, as such, should be capable of exceeding their best. Only mortals can exclaim, "well, I did my best".

Putting my personal preferences to one side, I'm sure they all carry a 'burden', that of self-expectation, plus a genuine regard and hope that they will do it for all the team behind them. Yes, each wants to beat his team-mate, and that is part of the 'personal glory' element; the other desire is to propel the team to a WCC (or within the top three, as a minimum). Although we all acknowledge that some drivers/teams might be pissing in the wind, one has to admire the communal spirit.

There may well be an element of truth in Raspy's theory of Alonso's comfort in the 'cloak of invisibility' provided by Massa, but I'm sure that Nando would rather have a team-mate, albeit one who rides shotgun, who is at least capable of seeing the target.

And there is also the (my) opinion that Alonso has shown great maturity over the last few years, and whereas he might be a little discomfited by a speedier and more capable companion, I doubt that we would see the same extreme reactions again.

As for the car itself, can it really be that bad?
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
How about turning it on it's head? Massa was runner up in the WDC in 2008. Now he is hanging around the middle (or even lower) of the grid with his teammate ten places above him. Surely his teammate must be fantastic.;)

However, I do also look back to 2009 when Massa had his accident. The second replacement was Fisichella, a very experienced driver with wins to his name ; he just could not get to grips with the car at all. Maybe Massa is suffering the same way, the car simply does not suit him even though it is not that bad.
 

kristi

Banned
Perhaps the situation is being exacerbated by circumstances to do with salvaging a season which, only last week, looked like it was game over for the team for 2012. Namely:

1. The desire to win a Grand Prix or two; and

2. Perhaps legitimately challenge for the WDC.

The ONLY way to do that would be to optimize everything for their most talented and consistent driver, namely Alonso.

Look at Sepang. The timing of Alonso's pitstops were absolutely perfect. Alonso's pitstop executions were just as perfect. I'm sure the car design is being optimized to suit perfectly to Alonso's preferences (and why not?). I'm also sure that Massa's race was also being utilized to gather whatever material data in order to enhance Alonso's chances of finishing as high up as possible (and, again, why not?).

Ferrari Grand Prix wins haven't come often since 2008...so you try and eek out a win whenever you can if you're Ferrari in mid March 2012.

Compare the previous paragraph to McLaren: Hamilton's (and Button's pitstops WERE NOT perfect). The timing of Hamilton's pitstops were far from perfect. And, neither driver is interested in being a data gatherer for the other.

Massa will want to be a team player now as he always has...and Alonso will want Massa exactly where he is.

Contrast Ferrari's situation to McLaren with respect to the WDC: While Hamilton and Button seek to have their races optimised in terms of pitstops, Alonso won't need such seeking. He'll already have first and optimal call to the pits in the remaining 18 races. Hamilton will not and neither will Button.

That leaves McLaren and their drivers exposed to Alonso and a resurgent Ferrari once the Maranello team brings it's heavily revised package to its F2012.

The McLaren may be the better car but I doubt they are as united in optimizing everything for one driver the way Ferrari will.

It boils down to salvaging a potentially lost season for Ferrari. Grand Prix wins (like Malaysia) and a legitimate threat to the WDC might be just the thing Italy wants. And Massa can play a part in it by being a good little boy who gathers data for their Number 1 Ace.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
That's an excellent first post kristi, and I think it's pretty much spot on.

For decades its been clear that the best way to win a WDC is to have a clear No. 1, with the No. 2 doing whatever is necessary to keep himself in that role. When Ferrari do build Fernando a world-beater, the rest of the paddock will be in trouble.

McLaren, as you alluded to, are currently handing the paddock a gift by pitting their drivers against each other. Entertaining yes, effective no.

edit - Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice.......Well I'm not gonna be fooled again!
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
Great thread Rasp, as always :)

While I don't disagree with the thesis as seen from Fernandos point of view, you have to see it from Ferraris too. The team are bigger than one driver. The team want Fernando to win the wdc, but not for Fernando, for Ferrari. They do, want the wcc as well, perhaps even more.

While the car remains uncompetitive, of course they will settle for one objective (wdc). Maybe they are too distracted improving the car right now to replace Massa and maybe its just too hard (and expensive after Malaysia's result) right now.

It doesn't serve Fernando to agitate against Felipe either, but if the team do deliver (that should be when), they will surely look to maximise their wcc position and for that objective, I think Massas goose is cooked.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
Hi Rasputin, I hardly know where to start. :thinking:
A few points to make.

1: I don't think there'e a single driver in the top 10 that would ignore the threat of Alonso regardless of what he's driving.
2: He certainly doesn't need an underperforming teammate to be made to look good.
3: Considering the superiority of the McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes, and the inability of any of their drivers to claim the win last Sunday, is there any driver currently in F1 capable of putting in a drive like Alonso did in a poor car? No wonder he's considered by many to be the best in the sport right now.

With a heavily revised Ferrari due for Spain there must be more than a few team principles and drivers wondering how they're going to stop him. Providing the upgraded car works of course. Alonso right now is driving at the top of his game and everyone in pit lane knows it. :thumbsup:
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
Hi Rasputin, I hardly know where to start. :thinking:
A few points to make.

1: I don't think there'e a single driver in the top 10 that would ignore the threat of Alonso regardless of what he's driving.
2: He certainly doesn't need an underperforming teammate to be made to look good.
3: Considering the superiority of the McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes, and the inability of any of their drivers to claim the win last Sunday, is there any driver currently in F1 capable of putting in a drive like Alonso did in a poor car? No wonder he's considered by many to be the best in the sport right now.

With a heavily revised Ferrari due for Spain there must be more than a few team principles and drivers wondering how they're going to stop him. Providing the upgraded car works of course. Alonso right now is driving at the top of his game and everyone in pit lane knows it. :thumbsup:
I don't want to take anything away from Alonso's great drive, but have you considered that the Ferrari might have been quite good on the day?
 

Kewee

Race Winner
Great thread Rasp, as always :)

While I don't disagree with the thesis as seen from Fernandos point of view, you have to see it from Ferraris too. The team are bigger than one driver. The team want Fernando to win the wdc, but not for Fernando, for Ferrari. They do, want the wcc as well, perhaps even more.

While the car remains uncompetitive, of course they will settle for one objective (wdc). Maybe they are too distracted improving the car right now to replace Massa and maybe its just too hard (and expensive after Malaysia's result) right now.

It doesn't serve Fernando to agitate against Felipe either, but if the team do deliver (that should be when), they will surely look to maximise their wcc position and for that objective, I think Massas goose is cooked.
Yes of course Ferrari want to win the Title, but currently the team no doubt feel as though they're letting the whole country down. Anyone who understands Ferrari's place in Italian culture will realize that. On Sunday Fernando gave Ferrari and Italy something very special and I have no doubt at all that although they want to win for Ferrari, more than ever they will want to give back to Fernando and do all they can to make him a three times champion. The last time Ferrari and Italy had a driver as much loved as Alonso was Gilles Villeneuve. You can be sure of one thing, if Enzo was alive he'd treat him like a son.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
I don't want to take anything away from Alonso's great drive, but have you considered that the Ferrari might have been quite good on the day?
Absolutely I've considered that Ferrari was good on the day, but I've also said very good cars don't suddenly become poor cars when it rains. The competitiveness of the cars is leveled out somewhat but good cars remain good, poor cars can normally get closer, but there's no way the Ferrari was suddenly better or even equal to the McLaren, Red Bull, and Mercedes. What we saw on Sunday was pure gold for Ferrari and we should all appreciate it regardless of who our favorites are. I've seen some great drives over the last 30 odd years but that was special and rare in a car so far behind the others in it's development.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
Absolutely I've considered that Ferrari was good on the day, but I've also said very good cars don't suddenly become poor cars when it rains. The competitiveness of the cars is leveled out somewhat but good cars remain good, poor cars can normally get closer, but there's no way the Ferrari was suddenly better or even equal to the McLaren, Red Bull, and Mercedes. What we saw on Sunday was pure gold for Ferrari and we should all appreciate it regardless of who our favorites are. I've seen some great drives over the last 30 odd years but that was special and rare in a car so far behind the others in it's development.
But the Ferrari was as quick as anything on all the long runs in the dry in practice too. Have you considered that?
 

Kewee

Race Winner
Ninja, you said you don't want to take anything away from Alonso's drive but that's exactly what your attempting to do on this thread. You know as well as everyone else the Ferrari is currently underperforming and needs work.
You probably know I'm not a big Hamilton fan but in saying that, he's put in some stunning drives and I've been the first to say so.
Recognize that on Sunday you saw a great drive from a great driver in a car very much in need of further development. It's a pity you missed it. :(
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
Ninja, you said you don't want to take anything away from Alonso's drive but that's exactly what your attempting to do on this thread.
No I'm not.

You know as well as everyone else the Ferrari is currently underperforming and needs work.
Yes it had problems with the tyres in Aus, although looked very good with it's tyres over all practice sessions in Malaysia, Quali and the Race. It lacks qualifying pace as has been evident in both race weekends. It's race pace is similar and often equal to that of the front runners as shown in both races and all practice sessions in Malaysia.

You probably know I'm not a big Hamilton fan but in saying that, he's put in some stunning drives and I've been the first to say so.
What has any of this got to do with Hamilton?

Recognize that on Sunday you saw a great drive
I don't want to take anything away from Alonso's great drive
from a great driver in a car very much in need of further development. It's a pity you missed it.
See points above
:tea:
 

Kewee

Race Winner
No I'm not.



Yes it had problems with the tyres in Aus, although looked very good with it's tyres over all practice sessions in Malaysia, Quali and the Race. It lacks qualifying pace as has been evident in both race weekends. It's race pace is similar and often equal to that of the front runners as shown in both races and all practice sessions in Malaysia.



What has any of this got to do with Hamilton?






See points above


:tea:
Ninja your missing my points.
There's not a driver or team principle currently in the sport doesn't know that Alonso is capable of extracting a hell of a lot more performance from a car than it deserves which is precisely what we've seen in the last two GP's. They always say you should compare a driver to his teammate, they are after all in identical cars. That speaks for itself.
The other point I'd make is this, and it's the reason I mentioned Hamilton. If that had been Lewis in an underperforming McLaren you'd be singing his praises for all to hear. All I'm saying is forget your favorites and biases and appreciate what we all witnessed on Sunday. :dizzy:
 

Kewee

Race Winner
If I stop replying to anyone it's because it's bedtime over here and I've got a big trip tomorrow. :blink: :yawn: :sleeping:
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Mod Comment

And I hope know that that will be last mention of Lewis Hamilton in a thread to discuss Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.

Cheers

FB
 
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