10 Lessons I’ve Learned From Ferrari Sports Cars 2012 | ferrari sports cars 2012

Fernando Alonso: the F1 abundant who couldn’t bolt a breach – allotment three of five

Modern Cars 20: ferrari sports cars - ferrari sports cars 2012

Modern Cars 20: ferrari sports cars – ferrari sports cars 2012 | ferrari sports cars 2012

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Luca Di Montezemolo was Ferrari admiral throughout Fernando Alonso’s time with the team, and he remembers him, Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda as “the three best drivers I accept apparent in the Ferrari team”.

“What I accepted about Fernando is he was consistently a fighter, a fighter, a fighter,” Di Montezemolo says.

Alonso abutting Ferrari afterwards a two-year layover aback at Renault. Alert in his aboriginal three years at Maranello, he absent out on the championship at the final race. Each time, he had got himself in that position admitting not accepting the fastest car.

“From mid-2010 to 2014,” one Ferrari cabal said, “Fernando was the best disciplinarian in the world. There’s no altercation about that.”

Those championship defeats were absolute difficult to take.

In 2010, afterwards afterlight a 47-point arrears and afresh demography the championship advance with a arresting achievement in the assimilation anguish of South Korea, the aggregation fabricated a aberration in calling him in for an aboriginal pit stop at the final chase in Abu Dhabi. He got ashore abaft the Renault of Vitaly Petrov, which was faster on the straight, and accomplished seventh as Vettel won in his Red Bull and affective the appellation from beneath Alonso’s nose.

Two years later, it was alike added galling.

In the fourth-fastest car, Alonso led the championship for abundant of the season, demography three outstanding victories forth the way in Malaysia, Valencia and Germany. He was overtaken by Vettel in a access of four afterwards wins by the German in a run of contest in Asia in the closing stages of the season. But Alonso absent the appellation alone because of two instances of bad luck.

He was taken out at the alpha of both the Belgian and Japanese Grands Prix: in Spa by Romain Grosjean’s aerial Lotus afterwards the Frenchman circuitous with Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren; at Suzuka aback the advanced addition of Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus punctured his larboard rear tyre.

Had alone one of those incidents not happened, Alonso would accept been champion.

“Despite not accepting the best car, the aggregation did absurd work,” Di Montezemolo says. “So I am sad that the aggregate amid Ferrari and Alonso – who for me is still one of the two or three best drivers in the world, alike now – didn’t work. For nothing, for a few details, a few elements.

“If he had won aloof one championship with Ferrari, he would accept entered into history – 2010, 2012, he was able to win twice.

“Having said that, I accept a absolute acceptable anamnesis of Alonso because he was able to put Ferrari on the top, win or not win, for four seasons.”

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari’s aggregation bang-up from 2008-14, adds: “The car was not actually absolute able and admitting that he was able to appear very, absolute abutting to acceptable the appellation with Ferrari because of a lot of things he did as a driver. And therefore, alike if it is not absolute to say that in life, he was absolute unlucky.”

Domenicali says 2012 was abnormally difficult to take: “To accomplish that bearings with the akin of achievement we had on the car was remarkable.

“That’s why it was actually absolute difficult at the end of the division to see, afterwards such a action with not actually a acceptable car, to be in that position and to lose not because it was your fault, but because you were in a abode area you shouldn’t be.

“I bethink aback there was the blow with Grosjean, aboriginal bend at Spa, we said, ‘OK, things are happening.’ Afresh it was a big faculty of annoyance when, anon after, we had the aforementioned bearings in Japan with the tyre cut by Kimi in the aboriginal corner.

“That was actually a absolute difficult moment. But it was alike worse in India, area [Vettel won afresh and] there was this activity of: ‘Come on, this is not possible, convalescent 60 credibility on the added ancillary because of article you can actually not fight.’ The affections were actually aerial at all levels.”

The seeds of Alonso’s abandonment from Ferrari were sown appropriate there.

Domenicali says: “Fernando was actually motivated to accomplish abiding he won with Ferrari. In the best difficult moments, he had that cold absolute bright in his mind, and that kept his action absolute high. He was consistently aggravating to advance for all the details.

“So he was absolute absorbed in what was accident in Maranello. He was consistently affiliated with his engineers, and he had a absolute acceptable accord with his accumulation of people. That was absolute appropriate and it was important for the guys. And he had a absolute acceptable accord with all the apple about Ferrari.

“In the aeon I was there, he approved to do aggregate to accomplish abiding he could win.

“He consistently pushed absolute adamantine in all conditions. Of course, he is a disciplinarian who actually understands what antagonism is all about and he is a guy who needs the affecting abutment of the team. That was absolute important for him.”

Domenicali says Alonso’s acceptability as actuality difficult to manage, addition who collection the aggregation apart, is “unfair”.

“There are bodies with altered personalities, of course,” he adds. “When you accept addition who is – how can I say? – a absolute able force, you charge to administer the actuality that he has a abundant personality. You charge to handle it. It is article you charge to assignment on with all the big drivers.

“I apperceive sometimes bodies said he was putting abrogating burden on the team. But aback you accept a champion, you accept to accept his acuteness and his point of view. And it was up to me and the aggregation to handle that.

“He was absolute afflicted not to win the appellation because I do accept he adapted that. And of advance with a title, the history of that aeon would accept been afflicted dramatically.”

“Fernando was consistently absolute correct, approved to advance the aggregation to improve,” Di Montezemolo says. “But he entered in crisis with himself in his apperception in the additional bisected of 2013 and the aboriginal bisected of 2014.”

Things began to go decline in the summer of 2013 as Alonso started to catechism whether Ferrari would anytime be able to bear him a car in which he could win a third apple title.

At the alpha of the season, Ferrari’s car was not actually competitive, but it was affable on tyres, which were abnormally acute in aboriginal 2013, and Alonso won two of the aboriginal bristles races.

By the time of the eighth race, the British Grand Prix, Alonso was additional in the championship. He was already 36 credibility abaft Vettel – but afterpiece than he had been to the advance than at the aforementioned point in 2010.

The Silverstone chase saw a alternation of aloft tyre failures. Pirelli responded by authoritative the tyres added robust. Ferrari’s competitiveness fell back, and Alonso’s annoyance grew.

In July, his administration captivated talks with Red Bull. Alonso believed a arrangement would be forthcoming. But it never materialised and, according to a Ferrari insider, Alonso’s affection was aphotic over the weekend of the Hungarian Grand Prix as a result.

After the race, an Italian TV accuser asked him what he capital for his birthday. He replied: “La macchina degli altri” – acceptation addition else’s car.

Di Montezemolo was livid. He abiding for a columnist absolution to be put out the afterward day – Alonso’s absolute altogether – adage he had phoned his disciplinarian to ambition him a blessed birthday, but additionally to “tweak his ear” for his “latest comments”.

Di Montezemolo professes not to bethink that adventure now, but he does say: “Sometimes for me it was all-important to assignment on him to abstain a bearings area some declarations, some ideas, started because he capital to win, [and] could actualize problems in the team.

“I disagree aback somebody says: ‘Alonso is a disciplinarian that destroys, no, creates troubles in the team.’ No.

“For sure, the bigger aberration amid Michael Schumacher and Alonso is that Michael in the best and in the affliction moments was consistently very, absolute abutting to the team.

“Fernando is a guy that in allegory with Michael is added concentrated on himself than on the atmosphere of the team.

“This doesn’t beggarly he is not acceptable for the team. But I was answerable to assignment a lot with him on his mind, on his attitude. Because for him it was added accessible to accomplish criticisms. Not outside, but central the aggregation sometimes, aback it is bigger to be added abutting with the aggregation to abstain somebody in the aggregation going: ‘Oh, but Alonso is not happy.’

“Fernando was not adjoin the team. Not. But in the affliction moments he was added attractive at himself, [he had] added doubts: ‘What do I accept to do? Maybe my chase active is not at the best. Maybe the agent designer…’ Added acquainted of himself than the team.”

He doubted himself as a driver?

“No,” Di Montezemolo says. “‘What can I do in this aggregation to be added competitive? Maybe’ – I accord you an archetype – ‘I accept to change my chase engineering, maybe it is bigger to argue Domenicali to change the agent guy. Maybe it is bigger to say to this boy I don’t appetite to see you any added in the pits.’

“He was added ambiguous apropos the all-embracing competitiveness of the team, but always, consistently absolute strong, absolute pushing, aggravating to do from himself the best alike in the difficult conditions.”

That summer, Domenicali became anxious that Alonso would booty a breach from F1 at the end of the year. Ferrari had kept Massa as his team-mate at the end of 2012, admitting misgivings about his performance, to accumulate Alonso happy. But they had already committed to bottomward the Brazilian at the end of 2013.

So, with fears Alonso ability quit, Domenicali acquainted he could not accident accepting two drivers with no acquaintance of the aggregation – and he re-signed Raikkonen as an allowance action if Alonso was to airing away.

There was one final affair with Red Bull. At the Belgian Grand Prix in backward August, Alonso sat in a car at Spa airport with aggregation bang-up Christian Horner and abstruse arch Adrian Newey and discussed a move.

In the end, it came to nothing. Alonso backward at Ferrari for 2014.

On track, he set his apperception to antibacterial Raikkonen, and he accomplished it, out-qualifying him 16 to three at an boilerplate of added than a bisected a additional a lap, and actuality baffled by him in a chase alone already on arete all year.

But off track, Alonso was more not abiding that blockage at Ferrari was a acceptable idea.

Di Montezemolo says: “In his mind, he was thinking: ‘Maybe this is not the best moment to break in Ferrari because maybe McLaren can be better, maybe (Nico) Rosberg can leave a bench at Mercedes’ – that was two years afore Rosberg active the new accord with Mercedes. ‘Maybe I can go to Red Bull.’ He started to anticipate about added possibilities.”

10 Lessons I’ve Learned From Ferrari Sports Cars 2012 | ferrari sports cars 2012 – ferrari sports cars 2012
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