Alonso: When you are the second fastest, you deserve to finish second

25 August, 2013

Fernando Alonso celebrates on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps after the Belgian GP

Fernando Alonso celebrates on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps after the Belgian GP

Fernando Alonso started the Belgian Grand Prix from ninth place on the grid; a couple of hours later he was celebrating second place on the podium against all odds, although in truth only race winner Sebastian Vettel was better than the Ferrari driver on the day. Alonso spoke afterwards.

This must feel like a victory today. You’ve never won around the Belgian Grand Prix circuit, which is surprising given that you’ve got 32 victories in your career but that was typical attacking stuff from ninth place.
Fernando Alonso: Yeah, we had to recover some places. We were not OK yesterday and everything went OK from the start and then the car has the speed to overtake some cars and it was a little bit boring. After we get the second place we are nowhere near Sebastian and not a big threat from behind.

Looking ahead to Monza, you must feel pretty much buoyed for Ferrari, going to what is the home grand prix for the Ferrari team.
FA: Yeah, definitely it’s an important weekend for us, for the team. Last year we were very close to repeat the victory that we got … in 2010, so we arrive fully motivated again and in Monza we would like to give some smiles and some satisfaction to the tifosi and we will try our best.

Obviously for you also the start was pretty decisive. Ninth on the grid, up to fifth on the opening lap. You passed Rosberg, Webber, Button, Hamilton to come through to second place. That’s quite a recovery from what must have been a very disappointing qualifying performance yesterday.
FA: Yeah, I think the weekend was more or less good for us with recovering some feelings that we lost in July with the car especially. We were a little bit more competitive – or we felt a little bit more competitive this weekend. Not for sure maybe for pole position but to be in the first four or five positions on the grid, maybe that was possible but yesterday I think were extremely unlucky with the situation in Q3 with weather and the track: where we were, in the place we were, at the time we were was wrong. So, unfortunately some times in these changeable conditions you are lucky, sometimes unlucky. I remember Malaysia very well in Q3, we were in the right place in the right moment and we were second and third of the grid. Yesterday was a little bit the opposite. So we had to plan a perfect race from the start to the pace of the car, to the strategy and everything worked fine and we could recover some places and extremely important for the championship also to get some good points again after three races not so good.

Throughout the practice and qualifying as well the Ferrari looked quite quick and looked like it had taken a step forward. Do you feel that over the course of this weekend? Is that giving you encouragement? Obviously we’re going to some very different kinds of circuits in the next few weeks but are you taking encouragement from this weekend?
FA: I’m happy. I’m happy with the feeling that I had this weekend. I’m happy with the parts that we brought here, seems that they are working fine. We need to take things very carefully because, as you say, this is a very specific circuit and we are not first and second in any practice or any qualifying or any race. We are ninth and tenth in quali and now we are second and seventh in the race. At the moment it is still work to do.

Definitely a good race for you, starting from P9 but is it also good for your championship, as Vettel finished ahead of you?
FA: I think it’s good; obviously we lost an extra seven points but when they are dominating the weekend, when they do everything better than us and they win the race, they deserve the win and we need to aim for maximum points. Weekends like this one we need to extract the maximum from the car. That is what we did this weekend, all we could in qualifying, all we could in the race. In the race, once we were second we were two to four tenths slower per lap. When you are the second fastest, you deserve to finish second. So we just need to congratulate Sebastian, Red Bull and try to get better for Monza, but in terms of the championship, as I said, we came from two fifth places in Hockenheim and Hungary, with a little bit of a not good feeling and not good performance from the car and today I think we recovered some of the optimism that we lost and I think it was a good weekend for the championship in terms of feeling and in terms of points as well.

Once again you were fast in the race but not so much in qualifying. Do you think this could affect your championship chances against Sebastian?
FA: Well, we need to improve the qualifying performance but to be honest, I’m doing what I can. I’m 8-3 against my teammate, I think. Yesterday was about qualifying but I was 0.6s quicker than my teammate, so in a way, it’s not that the races are good and the qualifyings are bad, it’s just the way it is and we are extracting the maximum from the car all the time. In the races there are more aspects, not pure performance of the car. There is the strategy, the management of the tyres, the characteristics of the cars and on that aspect, I think we are very strong. In the pure performance of the car, we are maybe lacking some performance compared to the others but as I said, I’m extremely happy with the performance we are achieving on Saturday and also on Sunday and the championship is open and we have the best example last year. I was leading with 41 points ahead of Sebastian after the Monza race and I arrived in Texas 15 points behind, so things can change very quickly. Our hopes are to keep developing, to keep improving performance and try to repeat what happened last year the other way around.

You said the team’s recovered some of its optimism. How far can that optimism take you; do you still believe you can mount a genuine title challenge with eight races left?
FA: Yeah, yeah. I think we cannot forget that in the first five races we were a very competitive team. We won two of the five races and we were in a position to fight for the podium all the time. At that point, we were a very few points behind the leader. Then there were some races in the championship where we went backwards in terms of a step in the car and we lost direction a little bit. We understood the problem, we analysed everything and all the things that we are now bringing to the races are delivering what we expected, finally, so this gives us the possibility to get our good form back but we still have to recover some of the gap, to fight for pole positions etc but the championship is very long, and as I said before, the example is what happened to us last year. If you have a competitive car and you win four or five consecutive races like Sebastian did last year in India, Japan, Singapore etc, you recover very quickly. If we are in the position to do that, we will find out very soon.


  • fools

    this man Alonso is a pure driver. He straight out came from 9th to 4th within 2 laps and takes 2nd easily.

    To bad he didnt have a better grid position or he would of beat Vettel.

    Great job Alonso on making it back to 2nd in the WDC. :)

    ALONSO FRO THE 2013 WDC!

  • Butterfly

    @fools:

    Well, people keep saying he’s the most complete driver on the grid.

    Fernando has proven his valor once again.

  • KC

    By definition “the most complete driver on the grid” is one who excels in qualifying as well as in the race. So that’s not Alonso.

  • Lol.

    @KC

    There are no complete drivers. No driver on the grid is perfect.

    They are saying Alonso is the most complete driver – that he has more pieces of the puzzle than the others.

    You once told me I know nothing of racing, when your own definition of a “most complete driver” is so lacking it makes my reception year stories look like academic dissertations.

  • Ploops

    I think that was the second best opening lap drive I have ever seen in F1 and I’ve been watching for 30 years. Only beaten by Senna at Donnington.

  • Wolf 9

    My congratulations to Alonso for his amazing performance. Balls of steal.
    Another monotonous show from the golden finger boy in Newey cheat car.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Heroic effort from Fernando – Goes a long way to salvage to weekend, Too bad Felipe couldn’t have shown better.

    Alonso deserves accolades today. For sure. Best of the rest.

    It was clear from his podium demeanor he was well aware Vettel decimated him and the rest of the field today. Don’t kid yourselves- Vettel’s opening lap was a statement maker in it’s own right. You just knew once he got past L. Hamilton it was lights out – Barring weather or some mechanical misfortune. By the time Fernando reached P2 you could have dropped the checkers right there – the race was pretty much over from that point on. That’s a big benefit leading over 2,000 laps will get you. Keeping the scintillating pace going just to make sure everyone got the message – Recording fast fastest laps with a handful of laps to go – That’s some “in your face” racing right there. No mercy.

    “Complete” can be defined in so many ways . . . . . .

  • Ukwhite

    We all fans are all pathetic… Second car on the grid should have qualified the second too. Or not? Oops… He reminds me a Spanish bull charging, but ending defeated.

    But admit he did a good race, by far thogh he needs more than that to overcome the sheer power and talent of Sebastian. Somebody compaired Seb with Massa, sour the grapes and no hope for something sweeter in the next 10 years. Dream on!

    Isn’t the right moment for all other teams to focus on 2014, instead of wasting their resources and self-esteem? Many say that will be different, but guess what, Vettel, Adrian and Christian and the beauty of girly Seb’s cars are wainting around the corner :)

  • Alonso_is__slow

    hah
    yes, top class performance, qualfying to 10th place with a top 2 car, then going straight to avoid stationary cars in the first corner, and finally pressing the drs button 3-4 times. You dont need a 30 million salary for that.

    He just cannot compensate for any car advantage held by Vettel, since he is not any better than Vettel. And off the track, he is the only one backstabbing his own team, saying dirty comments about competitors, and cheating every time possible.

    F1 does not need this man.

  • Stings

    @Alonso_is__slow
    Right!

    @Ukwhite
    Right again!

    @Wolf 9
    You will enjoy the view of that finger for some more times this year…but if you won’t…. I will….knowing how much affects you :)

  • batloun_76

    If you wanna know Vettel excellency just watch his lap time during the whole race…almost the same…This is consistency , this is what makes you a world champion, fastest lap and the end of the race means so many things that I which we could all can sit and discuss it, cos it needs a book and the world of F1.

  • Stings

    Alonso is right!
    According to him he will be (with some luck) third this year, because the second fastest is Hamilton!

  • Stings

    @thefan
    Same s… 9th or 10th.
    If Alonso would have been qualified behind Massa, they would change Fernando’s gear box….just for the fair play…right?

  • Stings

    or it would be Felipe? Again?
    Hard answer.

  • Parrot

    Ok. To all you above there: You guys all so wise with your choice of supporting the most complete driver on the grid. Vettel is unbeatable and no one can ever beat him. He is the best F1 driver in all history till this moment. He can turn any car in any team into a win & soon enough will see him walking on water. Shumi & Senna are eating their hearts out. Kimi, Hamilton, Alonso & Rosberg are nothing but complete idiots & losers…they have the fastest cars on the grid & they are getting beaten left right & center by the modest Vettel In his modest car.
    Have a nice day to you all…

  • Alonso_is_slow

    Parrot: wrong. You really talk like a parrot.

    We said that Alonso did nothing spectacular in this and has certainly no magic ability to defeat a full-blown Vettel.

    Quite the contrary he makes idiot mistakes, qualifies badly with a top car, crashes when he has the fastest car, certainly not the performance that makes a champion.

    Vettel has made 0 mistakes this year, his only DNF was from 1st place in Silverstone due to car problem, and always qualified well.

  • Butterfly

    “Quite the contrary”? Have you been reading the dictionary lately?

    And what the heck is a “full-blown Vettel”?

    Jesus man, just when I thought I knew how retarted you can be…

  • Wolf 9

    Alonso is slow, I think Parrot is trying to imitate losers like the rest of you up there. Negative people who just hate because of the stupid people around them, no true logic, and the naive media they follow.

  • fools

    no one can ever beat Vettel? Alonso won twice this year.

    FAIL!

    Alonso lost by 3points last years WDC. Taken out by KIMI and Grosjean. That was the WDC winner right there.

    Epic Failure trolls.

    Alonso for the 2013 WDC!

  • k-15-

    What the f*** these Alonso fans mean by ‘complete driver’?? Can u plz tell me which part is ‘incomplete’ for the other drivers?

  • Butterfly

    k-15-:

    * Single-lap pace – how fast you can go when you have the whole track to yourself and low on fuel.

    * Starts – the opposite of what Webber is doing.

    * Race craft

    * Consistency – If possible peak performance all time time.

    * Reading your opponents during a grand prix week-end – Looking at the times in practice, qualy, etc, and getting an idea of what’s going on.

    * Mind management – includes self-confidence, keeping calm under pressure, waiting for the right moment to attack, etc.

    * Tire management – Keeping the tires alive while going fast.

    * Car control – very important if the car is bad.

    —————————————————————————-

    Fernando is the most complete driver on the grid because he ticks all those boxes.

  • Alonso_is_slow

    let’s make this more complete:

    * Single-lap pace – Alonso:? out-qualified four times in a row by Massa

    * Starts – Alonso: Ferrari having the best launch control, and Massa on average gaining more places than Alonso

    * Race craft – Alonso: crashing into Vettel from behind in Malaysia with the fastest car of the weekend

    * Consistency – Alonso: If possible peak performance all time time. – outpaced by Massa in the most crucial closing stages of the 2012 champinship races

    * Reading your opponents during a grand prix week-end – Looking at the times in practice, qualy, etc, and getting an idea of what’s going on. – Alonso – ‘Racing against Newey’

    * Mind management – includes self-confidence, keeping calm under pressure, waiting for the right moment to attack, etc. – Alonso: talking about his greatness while loosing the championship, not talking to Hamilton when Hamilton beats him, tossing innocent stewards in Australia 2012 afters spinning out, forcing Robert Doornbos on the grass after not let pass, attacking Vitalij Petrov with the car after not being able to overtake on track. Saying Michael Schumacher will not be missed from formula 1 at the end of 2006.

    * Tire management – Keeping the tires alive while going fast. – Alonso: does not go fast, so tires can survive.

    * Car control – very important if the car is bad. – Spinning out in China 2007 wet race
    and letting Raikkonen win, and loosing the championship by this loss.

    and to make it more complete:
    * – cheating: crash gate, stolen Ferrari data at Mclaren, Mass Dampers used to win 2006 title, Massa gearbox replacement, Ferrari steward-help against Vettel at Monza 2012.

    * – anti team player: saying Renault want him to loose title in 2006, saying Mclaren cheated against him in 2007, saying Ferrari does not improve, and at the same time crashing the car and loosing test time in the last crucial test in Mugello in 2012, and finally causing Montezemolo intervention to stop.

    * – not being able to beat any decent teammate, and being the most questionable Nr 1. driver. Beaten by trulli, rookee Hamilton, and only able to win against an injured Massa and an ageing Fisichella.

    Is Alonso a complete? Yes, a complete waste of Money.

  • alonso_is_slow

    The Diary of visz963, a.k.a. alonso_is_slow.

    Part 1: The Man from Ferrari.

    Many of you may have noticed that I tend to react quickly whenever there’s talk of Fernando Alonso on this site. I just can’t help myself, the guy is so damn hawt.

    Plus, at one time I asked him for an autograph and he turned me down, so now it’s payback time.

    In my home country of Hungary, it is normal for one man to dream of another man day and night and troll the living bejesus out of everybody at grandprix247 who don’t agree with what I say about The Dreamy Spaniard(TM) from Ferrari.

    There’s nothing obsessive about that whatsoever. In fact, it’s totally healthy for the mind to yap away about stuff nobody’s really interested in, especially when I present them as “facts”.

    My fans at gp247 tend to disagree with me, but it’s a small price to pay for being so groundbreaking. Sometimes I think I’m so far ahead of them it just makes their heads spin.

    That’s enough for now, I will return with part two of this diary.

  • KC

    “They are saying Alonso is the most complete driver – that he has more pieces of the puzzle than the others.”

    They are wrong then. Alonso’s weakness in qualifying cost him at Spa, and it has cost him many times over the years. He’d have at least one more WDC if he could qualify better.

    Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a great driver. But “the most complete”? No, he’s not that.

  • the fan

    alonso_is_slow… I have come to a complete belief that you just graduated from an idiot poster to a complete retard! Alonso did not spin in china 2007, it was hamilton and hamilton lost that title for that matter… Alonso? he kept the fight to kimi in brazil afterwards… hahahaha! retard!

  • the fan

    nobody is a perfect driver in F1 today, not even Sebastian. he’s in the best car, he’s fast and he’s still learning. the good thing about him is that he is relentless in his pursuit of being the greatest ever. he’s still got a long way to go but he can beat MSC he keeps this. Alonso on the other hand, I would say is the smartest driver on the grid, the way he manipulates the race to gain an advantage over his opponents is like no other. just take a look at how he uses the DRS system like in China 2013… thats what you call thinking while racing. both of them are great drivers and unfortunately for Fernando, he’s in a ice cream van in that Ferrari, and unfortunately for vettel, he wont get the credit of being the greatest today unless he steps out of that RB and starts doing his stuff or if he is paired with another driver of his caliber in the same machinery.

  • Butterfly

    KC:

    Alonso’s only weakness is the car he’s driving and he people on the pitwall.

  • Alonso_is_slow

    yes Alonso’s spin was 2007 Japan, not china, but he did spin and did loose the title due to this and nothing else. Check out in youtube.

    Alonso waste of money.

  • the fan

    yes im aware of that you idiot, it was a wet race and he aquaplaned causing the spin, and it was the race that vettel fell asleep and crashed into the back of webber and in case you dont understand how it went, hamilton won that race not kimi so i dont really know what sport you are watching…
    nobody cares if he refused to give you his autograph, not even chilton or takuma sato would give one to a retard like you :D

  • the fan

    for the record, im not a diehard alonso fan, either a vettel fan. but I do recognize their abilities, both of them and give them due credit for their work so in case you want to call me a fanboy, think first. but i guess retards dont do that :D

  • stings

    @Alonso_is_slow
    You forgot one thing : alonso is not a Ferrari driver…he drives for some bank.
    Thank you for reminding me why I don’t like alonso.

  • Alonso_is_slow

    the fan – looks like you made yourself look like the retard

    sorry for that….

  • the fan

    Alonso_is_slow…

    talk all you the garbage you want, fact is you’re a retard with all this crap your posting and it clearly shows with your knowledge of the sport :D

  • the fan

    aberracus… spot on with the short gears, and thats the brilliance of Adrian Newey!

  • Weth

    @ the fan

    Stop pouncing on prophet Alonso_is_slow.

    @ Alonso_is_slow

    Your response to Butterfly detailing how Alonso is a complete waste of money was most entertaining and insightful. Keep on going!

    Now, here’s my opinion. Alonso has the whole team dedicated to him, Massa to bow to him, undisputed Nr. 1 status in a top team, yet the sumbitch cannot qualify well when the car’s fast, win a WDC and, most importantly, keep his mouth shut when it’s due. Alonso is the most overrated driver in F1. The media venerate him to the point of redefining the meaning of propaganda. There was nothing special about his race at Spa. The idiot qualified low with a fast car.

    This is the same guy who vetoed any possibility of Hamilton pairing him at Ferrari. Why? Because he’s a coward. This is the same guy who wants Massa to be retained year after year at Ferrari, because Massa’s happy playing No 2. This is the same guy who had problems with a rookie at McLaren, because he was being beaten. This is the same guy who needed the Mass Damper and FIA’s tacit nod to win the 2006 WDC, which should have been Schumi’s.

  • Weth

    I hope Ferrari sign Raikonnen for 2014. It will be interesting to see how Alonso responds. If history is any indication, he might rejoin Renault in 2015 lol lol lol.

  • the fan

    weth… why stop? you’re happy with crappy lies and inaaccurate details? :D prophet? alright kids, have fun playing :D

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