Wheels24

Fiery Ferrari feud brewing

2013-04-03 10:34

The fiery F1 pairing on every Formula 1 fan's lips right now is Sebastian Vettel versus Mark Webber but another fascinating battle is brewing over at Ferrari.

The sport's journalists are poring over statistics, wondering if there was ever another time when Fernando Alonso - Ferrari's undisputed and imperious No.1 - had been out-qualified by his team mate so many times on the trot.

A NEW RIVALRY

Some referred to Jarno Trulli at Renault in 2004, others to Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2007, but - actually - the five-times-in-a-row defeat in China next weekend would be historic.

In short, after a long slump punctuated by a near-fatal 2009 crash, Felipe Massa is back in the sort of form that almost saw him win the title in 2008. On the record, Spaniard Alonso insists he is happy that Massa is strong again. "It's the best news for the team," he said, "because we need to have competition between the two drivers and now I think all the data that we have is very useful to compare and to analyse to make ourselves better.”

Behind the scenes, though, the situation could be more volatile. Former F1 driver Sir Jackie Stewart said: "Fernando is exceptional but he does not cope well when his teammate is beating him."

At the very least, Alonso can count on the full backing of the Italian team which has put him on a pedestal rivalled only by that of Michael Schumacher a decade earlier.

Ferrari's president Luca di Montezemolo said: "In the race, Alonso is the best driver I've ever had.”

He added that a one-lap pace was more difficult to quantify through the eras, but "in the race itself, yes, he (Alonso) is the best".

'SOMETHING HAPPENED IN HIS HEAD'

However, barely since their partnership began in 2010 has there been another time where Massa was leading Alonso in the Drivers' points.

Referring to the Brazilian, Montezemolo continued: "It is true that at the beginning of last year (2012), something happened in his head and he could not go as (well as) Fernando did.

"But now he is very relaxed, he has been very good, but we should not forget that there were times when he was even faster than Michael (Schumacher).

"If I have any problems, it is not with the drivers.”

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Formula 1 season – fresh reports every day.

GMM

Comments
  • Kwashirai Chigodora - 2013-04-03 15:14

    Alonso is not all he is cracked up to be. Last year's car was not as bad as was claimed. Second half of the season he could have done better but due to partly bad luck and partly his lack of composure he didnt win the championship. He needs a shrink to settle his thinking and he needs to stop thinking the sun shines for him alone! Just saying what most are afraid to say.

  • Nico Basson - 2013-04-03 16:00

    Good. Hopefully they can push each other.

      Chris Summers - 2013-04-03 17:19

      As Michael Schuhmacher used to say, you're either giving pressure, or taking pressure. A little bit of rivalry in team will get the best out of everyone.

  • Justin Rose - 2013-04-03 20:22

    Just remember, no points are won on Saturday

  • Graeme Stockwell - 2013-04-04 07:21

    I don't think Alonso has anything to worry about! As nice a guy Massa is, he ain't no world champion. Someone just keeping Ferrari in the news.

  • ronald.ragadza - 2013-04-05 17:43

    Alonso is right. When both drivers are brining the points to the table it is good for the team. Last year he got so many points but because Massa was not collecting points Ferrari lost out on the construction trophy. We must remember that Formula 1 is not only about the drivers alone but the teams as well to claim constructors trophy.

  • pages:
  • 1