Ferrari - Are they making a mistake?

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
All the press reports today lead not with the Singapore GP but with the news that it could be as soon as this weekend in Japan when Ferrari announce Fernando Alonso as the driver who will be alongside Massa next year.

There are a couple of questions that must be asked:

Have they rushed into this decision and are they making a mistake?

No one doubts that Alonso is an extremely tallented driver but at the same time he's one who carrys more baggage with him than most. This will be the first time since his debut season when he won't be the undisputed number one driver and we know how he reacts to that challenge.

Obviously Ferrari will know far more about Massa's health than will be known by press and public however, What if Massa is not fit enough to return next season. That will either leave Ferrari keeping Fisichella in the seat or looking for yet another driver. If Massa does return then will the injury have affected his confidence. Most racing drivers have had a big shunt in their careers and are able to get over it but there is always a risk that Massa may have lost a little edge when coming back from an injury. Also having missed half a season it must be very easy to loose that competative edge and with limited testing miles harder to regain it again.

Despite the rumours surrounding Kimi's attitude he has shown more than once this season that he still has the ability to perform and perform in the Ferrari. By dumping Kimi it's could cost Ferrari both in money and if he goes to somewhere like Mclaren it could also cost Ferrari in points as well.

Fernando hasn't got a contract with Renault for next year and if he didn't move to Ferrari where would he end up. Obviously, I expect Renault would love to retain his services but they couldn't give him a competative car this year and the chances are with all the upheavel they won't next year either. A seat will be available at Brawn however it will be alongside the reigning world champion and again not with the advantage over his team mate that Alonso has often enjoyed. The chances of him returning to Mclaren are slimmer than posh spice after a month on hunger strike so that would have left him with nothing.

I believe that in the long term this deal is far better for Alonso than it will prove to be for Ferrari. So are Ferrari making a mistake?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
I do find it odd that Ferrari's first confirmed driver is one who has had to sit out almost half the season due to a serious head injury and, as you say, may not even be up to racing next year.

Obviously Ferrari have been after Alonso for a while which makes you wonder why they signed Kimi on such a long and expensive contract.

Is it that Ferrari are disappointed with Kimi's performance this year and that has changed their stance?
Or is it that Alonso became available 1 year earlier than expected and it was one or the other (I doubt Alonso would drive alongside Kimi for various reasons)?
That wouldn't make much sense though as it was fairly common knowledge that Alonso only signed with Renault for 1 year as an interim step to moving to a different team.

I think Ferrari may find themselves with some problems to deal with next year if Massa isn't willing to take the 2nd driver role.
Or if, as you say, Massa isn't fit. With all due respect to Giancarlo Fisichella, he hasn't exactly made a good job of his first few drives in the red car.

As for McLaren, if Kimi and Lewis can work together well then they could have an extremely good chance of landing both the WCC and WDC, car permitting of course.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Ferrari are making an awful mistake; the last thing they need to start the winter of with is time getting Alonso used to the Ferrari, whilst assessing Massa's fitness. Then who'll do the development drives? Badoer & Gene. What Ferrari need is a first driver they can rely on, who's been successful with the team in the past and is used to the F60, so can comment on what can be salvaged from it, and who has no fitness issues. His name is Kimi Räikkönen.

Teflonso (thanks Martin Brundle) has a hell of a lot of baggage, and the last two teams he has been at have gone arse-over-head. Basically, I'd be worried about his form coming in as a non-certain ?1, since his last experience of that saw him bin the Championship that should have been his, because he let Lewis Hamilton affect his mind. I reckon that Alonso will go into 2010 with Massa as less of a ?1 than he was at the start of 2007 with Hamilton. Other than that, its the same situation!

They say Lewis might not get on with Kimi, but I feel that a Hamilton/Räikkönen combination is a winner. I doubt Räikkönen will be flustered too much by having a competitive team-mate, and I reckon Hamilton will be inspired by it. Most importantly, McLaren will have a 2009 driver to discuss car changes with.

I think Ferrari are making a huge mistake. And Alonso; you're a good driver, but get to the end of the bargepole.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I'm pretty sure Santander are providing several hundred million reasons why Ferrari don't think they are making a mistake.

I posted on another thread the other day the potential influence of Michael Schumcher in Alonso's welcome into the Ferrari team. Schumie has been Massa's guru and I'm sure this has been in part responsible for some incredible performances, which (if I'm honest) I never expected Massa to achieve, but also helped engender the family feeling Massa appears to thrive on at Ferrari. I can't imagine Kimi sort advice from MS I can't imagine Alonso doing it either. Schumie appears to still be at the heart of the team so I would imagine Alonso will have to blow Massa away to gain their respect.

Never forget though Alonso worked very well at Renault, a team with a very latin/gallic attitude. He was not quite so succesful at a very anglo-saxon team but now appears to be heading for the most latin team on the grid. It may suit his personality perfectly.

edit - isn't Alonso reputed to have bought half a second to McLaren when he joined?
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
FB said:
edit - isn't Alonso reputed to have bought half a second to McLaren when he joined?
I'm not sure anyone other than he himself had that opinion, and even if he did bring the half second, he personally is to blame for the loss of both Championships with the best car that year!

However, I still think the above applies, there is more of a evolutionary feel about 2009-10 than there was about 2006-07. And, with hindsight, is it not possible that Alonso and Hamilton could drive a car half a second faster than anyone else would manage on their good days?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
With you all the way TBY, just thought I would play devils advocate.
 

veravista

Rookie
There's no doubt that Alonso is a very,very good driver - but as mentioned earlier he has that chink in his armour with his temperament. It was all too public how he allowed Hamilton to get under his skin, which would say to me that he would only go to Ferrari as No 1. Unfortunately the only conclusion I can draw from that is that to take such a gamble means that it is doubtful that Massa will be returning next year fully as a contender - and that the powers that be at Ferrari are banking solely on Alonso for the WDC.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
veravista said:
and that the powers that be at Ferrari are banking solely on Alonso for the WDC.
Would Ferrari do that?

They strike me as a team that values the WCC more than the WDC.
 

veravista

Rookie
True, they probably would want the WCC more, but why not have both. If they aren't going to get Massa back fully (at least at the start of the season - which is what I suspect) then what they need is a proven No2 for Alonso who has had experience in the car and can get the occasional podium. Er, Fisichella...
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
veravista said:
then what they need is a proven No2 for Alonso who has had experience in the car and can get the occasional podium. Er, Fisichella...
That was kind of my point :D

I can't see Ferrari getting the WCC with Fisi as the 2nd driver.
 
I'm sure Alonso has learned from his mistakes of 2007 so i feel bringing the issue of 'Who Will Be Number One Driver' at Ferrari is invalid. Ferrari are making the best decision and that is to hire a 2X WDC and a driver who is universally regarded as the best driver in F1. Massa is a great driver but Alonso has the measure of him and would beat him comfortably IMO. Maybe he wont come back to be the Massa of old but even so head to head Alonso beats the Massa of 2008 hands down

Kimi has had his crack at the WDC with Ferrari and its time for him to move on and let Alonso show him how its done. Alonso to Ferrari is not only good For Ferrari, Its fantastic for us fans who want to see an Alonso/ (Massa) Hamilton battle next season.
This season has been a let down and i can only hope Ferrari & Mclaren get their acts together and build a WDC winning car come 2010 :thumbsup:
Roll on 2010 and the sooner this season ends..the better :goodday:
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Never thought I'd ever say this, but I agree with you KA (apart from the first sentence, oh and the bit about best driver, and possibly the bit about it being good for Ferrari ;) ) :D :thumbsup:
 

veravista

Rookie
Universally regarded as the best driver in F1? Hmm, smacks a bit of the other place that. I think he thinks he's the best in F1 certainly, but then again I think all the others do as well, comes with the territory I'm afraid.
However, only the most blinkered can't see that it is still a stain on his record that he was upstaged by a rookie, whatever conspiracy theories about who got what equipment there may be. Massa is, in my opinion, more than a match for Alonso if he's 100%, furthermore he's been too close to being WDC to let it slip through his fingers again which is why I reckon that Ferrari are resigned to not having him, fully fit, back next year.
 
Brogan said:
Never thought I'd ever say this, but I agree with you KA (apart from the first sentence, oh and the bit about best driver, and possibly the bit about it being good for Ferrari ;) ) :D :thumbsup:
lol, how many times have you edited your post? ROFL And why did you think you'd never agree with me? ;)
 
veravista said:
Universally regarded as the best driver in F1? Hmm, smacks a bit of the other place that. I think he thinks he's the best in F1 certainly, but then again I think all the others do as well, comes with the territory I'm afraid.
However, only the most blinkered can't see that it is still a stain on his record that he was upstaged by a rookie, whatever conspiracy theories about who got what equipment there may be. Massa is, in my opinion, more than a match for Alonso if he's 100%, furthermore he's been too close to being WDC to let it slip through his fingers again which is why I reckon that Ferrari are resigned to not having him, fully fit, back next year.
:whistle: :crazy:
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
King_Alonso786 said:
Brogan said:
Never thought I'd ever say this, but I agree with you KA (apart from the first sentence, oh and the bit about best driver, and possibly the bit about it being good for Ferrari ;) ) :D :thumbsup:
lol, how many times have you edited your post? ROFL
A few :D

And why did you think you'd never agree with me? ;)
Well I was only half joking when I said that ;)
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
King_Alonso786 said:
I'm sure Alonso has learned from his mistakes of 2007 so i feel bringing the issue of 'Who Will Be Number One Driver' at Ferrari is invalid. Ferrari are making the best decision and that is to hire a 2X WDC and a driver who is universally regarded as the best driver in F1. Massa is a great driver but Alonso has the measure of him and would beat him comfortably IMO. Maybe he wont come back to be the Massa of old but even so head to head Alonso beats the Massa of 2008 hands down

Kimi has had his crack at the WDC with Ferrari and its time for him to move on and let Alonso show him how its done. Alonso to Ferrari is not only good For Ferrari, Its fantastic for us fans who want to see an Alonso/ (Massa) Hamilton battle next season.
This season has been a let down and i can only hope Ferrari & Mclaren get their acts together and build a WDC winning car come 2010 :thumbsup:
Roll on 2010 and the sooner this season ends..the better :goodday:
Its funny, but I think Kimi was also supposed to beat Massa easily wasn't he?

I agree with the earlier post that Massa my not to be up to his old form straight away, but you can never tell with a bad injury, look at Hakkinen..

Universal it most certainly is not, but I suppose that is just an opinion. Remmeber, they are like arseholes..

(everyone has one)
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Sakari said:
Ahhh the Finnish pipe up at last LOL

With limited testing I think Teflonso :snigger: will have to bring his fabled 6/10ths to the party, if Ferrari have made a mistake this remains to be seen however, the real winner in all of this has to be Kimi, a huge payoff to buy him out of his contract and a competitive car next year in a team he has worked with before and who's engines (that let him down in the past) seem bullet proof atm - happy day for the lolly pop (ice cream) man.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
It has to be said the thought of Hamilton and Raikonen at Mclaren next season should make a few teams shudder. Both former world champions and both extremely tallented drivers in a team that they should be comfortable with. Providing Mclaren can actually start the season in a competative car then I think they could be "the" team next season.

It's hard to look past a season long battle between Ferrari and Mclaren. It's been a long time since we had 4 potential World Champions in what could be the best cars of the season. (Potential 2010 world champions that is).

Can Brawn and Red Bull keep up. Maybe if the rumoured ties with Mercedes happen then Brawn could be in with a chance of keeping their place at the sharp end of the grid but Red Bull must be more of a doubt.
 
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