Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Singapore, 2013

Alonso stronger than Schumacher was – Massa

2013 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Singapore, 2013Fernando Alonso is an even stronger team mate than Michael Schumacher was, according to Felipe Massa.

Massa, who has two races left with Ferrari before leaving the team, is the only driver to have partnered both seven-times champion Schumacher and twice-champion Alonso in F1.

“Schumacher was as quick, but in terms of intelligence, Alonso is better because he manages to put everything together perfectly,” said Massa, who was Schumacher’s team mate in 2006 and has partnered Alonso since 2010.

Massa also paid tribute to Sebastian Vettel following the Red Bull driver’s fourth world championship victory last month.

“It is one hundred percent down to him and his car,” said Massa.

“Because it?s true he drives the quickest and most consistent car. But then it?s he who manages to extract its potential, who takes pole, who puts six tenths over on everyone, including his team-mate. He?s a fantastic driver.”

Asked about his own world championship near-miss in 2008, when he lost to Lewis Hamilton by a single point, Massa said he agreed with team principal Stefano Domenicali’s view that he deserved the title:

“One hundred percent yes. I deserved the title, taking into account the season and everything that happened…”

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Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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134 comments on “Alonso stronger than Schumacher was – Massa”

  1. Sorry Felipe, but when it comes to 2008, you were a worthy contender, but you did not deserve the title ‘one-hundred percent’.

    Sure, you lost some points due to bad luck in Hungary and Singapore, but you also gained a few due to some pretty dodgy stewarding decisions that year.

    You did a superb job in that final race at Interlagos – utterly flawless drive. But, overall, I think that Lewis did deserve it more than you.

    1. overall, I think that Lewis did deserve it more than you.

      Neither man deserved it. They brawled for it! They had a knock-down, drag-out fight, a season-long slug-fest, and one final spin of Fortuna’s wheel gave Lewis the title. Felipe would’ve been just as “deserving” a WDC. He conducted himself with great dignity on the podium, btw. That he laments not winning now is hardly something he can be faulted for, especially in light of the disastrous 2009 season and how the accident hindered his Ferrari career.

      1. I share this sentiment… but IMO Massa deserved the WDC more than Hamilton; sure he made a couple of erros but Hamilton himself is no less error-prone (Montreal 2008 immediately spring to mind) and couple that with losing a probable podium in Singapore and guaranteed win in Hungary, I believe Massa would have been more deserving of the title with all due respect to Hamilton :/

        1. No one is deserved anything in any sport.

      2. I completely agree!!

        Except that I think that @woshidavid95 is right about Massa :P

    2. @magnificent-geoffrey They both deserved it well. Massa really deserved it, so did Hamilton. Neither were absolutely perfect, but that’s the way that year went… ups and downs for everyone, including the title contenders.

      I wanted Massa to win it. I think we all were a bit surprised to see him so well placed for the championship, and I expected Hamilton to be contender in the years to follow. To think he was just meters of winning it !

      1. I was indifferent but pulled for FM as that last race took place because I felt it was LH’s WDC to lose and he did everything to lose it, while when the pressure was at it’s greatest FM did everything right, everything in his power to win it…and nearly did. ie. I think of it as FM ‘stamped his authority’ that day particularly by winning the race…nothing more he could do on his side, and LH almost threw it away.

    3. @magnificent-geoffrey

      Sure, you lost some points due to bad luck in Hungary and Singapore, but you also gained a few due to some pretty dodgy stewarding decisions that year.

      The former far outweigh the latter.
      Massa would have been champion comfortably in 2008 if it wasn’t for points gained and lost due misfortunes.

      1. I have just had a look at that @kingshark and while its interesting, it doesn’t adress why Bourdais got a penalty for being cutoff by Massa (who should have gotten penalized) and other dodgy things. Not to mention that different point standings would have meant a completely different season as Kimi was better places, so maybe he would have been challenging Hamilton more.
        Neither had a clear or clean season like Vettel had so far this year. Both made mistakes, their teams messed up and they had a good share of bad luck and some dodgy stewarding thrown in. In the end Hamilton won by a point, so he deserved the championship.

    4. Sure, you lost some points due to bad luck in Hungary and Singapore

      OMG, I laughed out so loud it wasn’t even funny. So, what happened in Singapore that year was “bad luck”.

      1. You laughed out loud, but it wasn’t funny?

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    6th November 2013, 17:38

    Massa keeps jumping on and off the PR car. And about 2008, I would say the championship was 50 /50 for any of them. How ironic to think that if it weren’t for Flavio Briatore’s scam in Singapore, he may be the 2008 champion now.
    But with or without the champion crown, I think the flying spring in Turkey robbed us the best Massa we’ve ever seen.

    1. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
      6th November 2013, 17:46

      I don’t think his compliments praising Alonso are strictly PR speak, he has no reason to toe the line as far as Ferrari is concerned and doing so is not going to get him his job back. It sounds like he truly respects Alonso’s talent. It is odd that whenever one driver says anything positive about another driver it is always perceived as being nothing but PR, see: anytime Hamilton says anything positive about another driver. Why do people think that talented individuals are not capable of genuinely complimenting one another?

      1. You forget that he doesn’t have a drive next year. That, right there, is his reason to toe the line and talk up his teammate.

        If Alonso is “better than Schumacher”, and yet he’s struggled and only won two races all year — well, that must really be a dog of a car. Seen in that light, Felipe’s eighth place with only one podium all year doesn’t really look so bad, does it?

        And look, he’s outqualified a driver who’s “better than Michael Schumacher” eight times in 17 races. Why, that Felipe chap must really be rather good, it’s such a shame the car’s letting him down and he keeps getting team-ordered aside.

        But if — as I personally believe — Fernando is actually overrated (and the regularity with which Felipe betters him in qualifying — including five of the last six races — suggests I’m right), well then… Felipe doesn’t look so special either.

        Realistically, they have one of the best three cars on the grid at their disposal (arguably, one of the best two over the whole season), and yet their results have been underwhelming. Fernando holds second in the championship largely due to reliability / consistency rather than outright pace, and Felipe has been even more disappointing. (Which isn’t surprising — he has been ever since Ferrari broke his spirit by treating him like Fernando’s doormat on his return from the near-championship and injury.)

        By talking Fernando up, Felipe’s talking himself up at a time where he desperately needs a job. It’s pretty simple.

        1. Not the first time Massa says something like this, in the past, when he had a drive, he was saying the same thing.

          They have one of the best two cars over the whole season an their results have been underwhelming? I don´t know what season are you talking about because this season Alonso is second in the WDC and Ferrari is probably the fourth best car right now.

        2. underwhelming? Right. The ferrari between Britain and hungary was behind lotus and mercedes. While before the tyre change, it was arguably second best (more consistent than lotus) after it, it’s definitely behind lotus and merc.
          Yes Massa has had brilliant qualifying sessions, but he managed those against Kimi and Michael. What was lacking was consistency then, and he still doesn’t have it now.
          Very fast but error prone.

      2. I’d like to think that as you, but put it this way, giving too much credit to Alonso doesn’t make him look that bad, and he is looking for a seat for next season.
        Personally I think it is quite difficult to draw a comparison between drivers of different eras. It is already difficult to compare drivers from the same era because of the different cars, let alone compare drivers which drove under other rules, other cars and uff other tires.

    2. The spring was in Hungary y but I do tend to agree

    3. @omarr-pepper

      I think the flying spring in Turkey robbed us the best Massa we’ve ever seen.

      I’m Hungary for some Turkey.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        6th November 2013, 20:28

        They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”
        seriously @david-a stop doing whatever you’re doing :P

        1. @omarr-pepper – I was giving you a clue as to where the incident actually happened :P

  3. Lewis did NOT deserve the title in 2008. I do believe he is a better driver than Massa, but his goof up by slamming into the back of Raikonnen after going through a red light, amongst other silly errors that year, to me is not the makings of a World Champion.

    That incident alone is enough to make any driver unworthy of a World drivers title. Especially considering the fact he only won by a point.

    1. And what about Massa’s performance in Silverstone?

      1. Excellent reply :)

        Lewis’ brilliant drive in Silverstone alone was worthy of the title.
        And they took his victory in Belgium, which was pretty unfair imo (and many ppl’s).
        If we look at the years after that title Lewis has shown he is more worthy of the title as Massa is a good driver but not on the Vet-Ham-Alonso level.

        1. I still believe de stewards were right to penalize Hamilton that day as he did gain an advantage by cutting the chicane. If he hadn’t cut the chicane, he would have never been in a position to challenge Raikkonen in the first corner and Raikkonen might have been a bit more careful during the lap that followed.

          I understand that the penalty gave the victory to Massa, who wasn’t fighting for the victory that race, but it is not his fault Raikkonen spun out of the race, nor was it his fault that Hamilton gained an advantage by cutting the chicane. If it would have been a DT, Massa would’ve still won the race.

        2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          6th November 2013, 21:00

          @solidg Lewis was not “robbed” from victory. It’s the same situation as the one when Vettel passed Button outside the track. Hamilton didn’t give position back completely (by completely, I mean, he just left the throttle for a milisecond and overtook Kimi again) . Rules are rules for everybody, even when you can think it’s unfair with the heat of the moment. (And to be honest, I didn’t know Massa was given the 1st place until some days later, so I had in mind that Hamilton’s victory had been unfair).

    2. The one who gets the title is the one that gets the most points, period! If the driver has the most points, who cares if he slammes his car against his pit wall!?!?!

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        6th November 2013, 21:02

        So Schum trying to hit Hill and Villeneuve is fair? This is not a Machiavello book, it’s still some sort of sport, But what I agree with you is that yes, if you cleanly get the most points, you are the worthy champion

  4. Oh c’mon. Schumacher is certainly better than Alonso. Unlike Alonso, Schumacher managed to put around his team and together make it the strongest team on the grid by a big margin. Meanwhile Alonso joined Ferrari almost 4 years ago and haven’t managed to make it a championship winning team. Besides, Schumacher was better qualifier than Alonso.

    1. @osalvdas31

      The same Fernando Alonso that came within a few points of the World Championship in 2010 and 2012,? or are you thinking of a different Alonso? :-)

      1. A few points off winning the title” isn’t “championship winning@full-throttle-f1 ;)

        1. @vettel1

          I’d say he has done pretty well considering has had a worse car than Vettel and you, Max, said that Alonso was better in 2012 than Vettel ;-)

        2. That wasn’t the point being made though – I’m not denying his ability to drive the car and I still maintain I think he was the best driver of 2012 but he still hasn’t turned Ferrari into a championship-winning team, that is a fact @full-throttle-f1 ;)

          1. Why are we… ;-)? xD

            No, but if you look at the Shumacher days, there were much better people in his period than Alonso’s, plus the FIA were basically in favour of Ferrari anyway. Its not Alonso’s job to hire staff is it? @vettel1

          2. @full-throttle-f1 It’s not Alonso’s job, but it wasn’t Schumacher’s either. And yet Schumacher did it anyway, because he knew it would help him and Ferrari win.

          3. @vettel1

            but he still hasn’t turned Ferrari into a championship-winning team, that is a fact

            Some people always try to find something about Alonso, that wasn’t his job anyway or are you thinking differently ??,

          4. I don’t believe MS hired staff. I think a deal was orchestrated between Brawn and Todt, Bernie and Max, which left Briatore high and dry and moved a strong portion of MS’s side of the Benetton garage over to Ferrari because post-Senna Max and Bernie felt they needed to create a new chapter in F1, that being to promote MS since Senna was no longer alive to be F1’s icon, and end the Ferrari 16 year (at the time) WDC drought. Otherwise it’s still a question to me why MS would voluntarily leave a team where he had just won 2 WDC’s to go to a team that hadn’t won one in 16. Answer…because he was handed the mega sports deal of the century that included a contracted non-competing teammate, which gave them the green flag to build the car strictly with MS in mind. An extra 100 mill annually to Ferrari didn’t hurt either.

            For me, any driver who won their WDC(s) vs. MS/Ferrari deserves huge accolades. They went up against an orchestrated elephant in the room.

          5. @tifoso1989
            It certainly isn’t in his job description.
            But neither was it in Schumacher’s, when he signed for Ferrari. He just did it anyway. I think that is exactly the point.

          6. @mads
            Back in the 90’s Jean Todt carried the project of bringing back Ferrari to the top of F1 with a grate support from Luca Di Montezemolo and of course Gianni Agnelli, there was also a similar plan regarding the road cars division
            So that lead to the rebuild of the factory in Italy (a new structure with a new wind tunnel designed by Renzo Piano ) and closing the one in england
            Michael Shumacher himself was part of that plan and with his move to Ferrari Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne moved also to Ferrari and he was respected for the fact that he accepeted the challenge and was a decisive part in the success of Ferrari but not the only factor like some people are pretending

          7. @tifoso1989
            Oh absolutely. We can’t give Schumacher credit for solely reviving Ferrari. It is, as always team work.

          8. @tifoso1989

            Meanwhile Alonso joined Ferrari almost 4 years ago and haven’t managed to make it a championship winning team

            Quoted from @osvaldas31, not me.

    2. @osvaldas31

      Schumacher managed to put around his team and together make it the strongest team on the grid by a big margin

      Funny this story of building the team !!!!!!! So Shumacher recruited Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and all the others, if a driver in Ferrari has this kind of power then i think think Fernando would have recruited Adrian Newey, Paddy Lowe and all the best engineers in the paddock

      Meanwhile Alonso joined Ferrari almost 4 years ago and haven’t managed to make it a championship winning team

      Another good comparison !!!!!!! Shumasher spend 4 years in Ferrai without winning any title

      Besides, Schumacher was better qualifier than Alonso.

      He was not as good as Roseberg how about Alonso !!!!!!!!!

      1. Monaco’s PP last year shows everything my friend. Because it is Monaco…

      2. @tifoso1989
        Ah. yes. As if Schumacher was the same driver in his first career as when he came back in 2010…

        1. @mads
          I know that but i was trying to be provocative, but i do believe that speed isn’t relative with age, Ross Brawn himself said that according to the telemetry Michael didn’t lost any of his speed, the fact that he was fast in qualifying shows that , maybe his consistency in races has been affected by the age, Mark Webber now has proved to be near the best Sebastian Vettel we have saw in term of speed in qualifiyng i know that he only beat Seb twice but in the other occasions he was not very far he was something like a couple of thenths and that is bloody fast compared to other drivers

    3. @osvaldas31 lets remember schumacher joined ferrari in 1996, and didnt win a title until 2000, if alonso was to be champion next season then him and schumacher would be identical in finally winning a title for ferrari in their 5th season for the team

      1. exactly and the season before both of them joined ferrari only won 1 race.

        And both times they were in transition

    4. I am sure you know alonso much better than massa and your opinion as expert is even more relevant.

  5. Well I do agree that the 2010-2013 Alonso is better than 2006 Schumacher. Overall I think Schumacher is better though.

    1. I also think that is the point. Alonso in the last couple of years has been a tougher opponent than Schumacher was when he was teamed with Massa.

  6. Schumacher&co. put Ferrari together, he is the prototype of today’s F1-drivers, like it or hate it. Alonso is lacking that kind of managing and developing skills.

  7. Alonso is a brilliant driver, particularly with regards to his racecraft. But better than Schumacher? No, I wouldn’t say so. Put both in a midfield car and I think the argument could hold water: Alonso I think is better in traffic. But give both a car that can run out front and Schumacher would win, I’m almost certain. His ability to relentlessly bang in fast lap after fast lap in any conditions is why he won the small sum of 91 Grand Prix in his career and I would say he was a better qualifier than Alonso also.

    Purely out of interest, I’m going to present my list of the top 10 best drivers in F1 history, subject to discrepancies of course:

    1 – Ayrton Senna
    2 – Michael Schumacher
    3 – Alain Prost
    4 – Juan Manuel Fangio
    5 – Sebastian Vettel
    6 – Jim Clark
    7 – Jackie Stewart
    8 – Niki Lauda
    9 – Fernando Alonso
    10 – Nelson Piquet

    1. Its nice to know there are people that can beat Vettel in your mind @vettel1

      Piquet only in tenth?, Clark in 6th?, right my list!

      1 – Alain Prost
      2 – Aryton Senna
      3 – Michael Shumacher
      4 – Jim Clark
      5. Juan Manuel Fangio
      6. Jackie Stewart
      7. Nelson Piquet
      8. Fernando Alonso
      9. Mika Hakkinnen
      10. Sebastian Vettel

      1. Vettel behind Hakkinnen? Ok then.

        1. OK, swap em round.