In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says he hopes to make a second bid to win the Indianapolis 500 next year.
Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more from hundreds of sites across the web:
Fernando Alonso at Daytona (Racer via YouTube)
"If I can fit the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, that I'm not doing the Indy 500, that will be great, and hopefully the following year the Indy 500 can be in the plan again."
Williams finalising Sirotkin 2018 drive (BBC)
"Sirotkin has a bigger budget than Kubica by a factor of about two, but the team insist the decision is primarily performance-based."
Piquet: Alonso has made a mess of his F1 career (ESPN)
"He's a fantastic driver but he's very political to work with any team. So much chance to be maybe three, four, five time champion, but he always made a big mess where he is and created a lot of problems."
Renault reveals plans for ex-FIA recruit (Autosport)
"The situation is he will actually be under our payroll from January onwards, but not involved in any Formula 1 chassis development."
Williams' 2018 Formula 1 car 'a lot more aggressive' (Motorsport)
"You will have Renault that will improve,
Haas like an F3 team in F1 - Magnussen (Racer)
"I think it's just that we don't have to deal with people you don't want to deal with. There's no one here that I don't really enjoy working with. You don't have to do stuff that doesn't have anything to do with racing, it's all racing and none of the other stuff."
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Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:
Alonso on the difficulties of sharing a car with two other drivers:
"The biggest [problem] so far has been the seat belt. The one that goes between our legs. I need longer…"#F1 #Roar24 pic.twitter.com/ufcAkBxADL
— F1 Fanatic (@f1fanatic_co_uk) January 5, 2018
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Comment of the day
Formula One’s television viewing figures for 2017 contained some ammunition for Ferrari:
16.7% increase in Italy. Well that would definitely put more strength into Marchionne promise to quit F1 if Ferrari do not get what they want, I would think.
It would be interesting to know how much of the increases in Mexico and the US is down to the improved Ferrari performance.
Happy birthday to Sparckus, Martin Rasmussen, Dion and Sparckus!
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On this day in F1
- Chris Amon won the non-championship New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukukohe for Ferrari after Jim Clark’s Lotus hit engine trouble on this day in 1968
60 comments on “Alonso hoping for Indianapolis 500 return in 2019”
6th January 2018, 0:10
“The biggest [problem] so far has been the seat belt. The one that goes between our legs. I need longer…”
Is that a joke? surely he is not saying he has bigger…..?
6th January 2018, 5:44
6th January 2018, 9:50
It does mean he has a longer torso – requiring more belt length to reach the buckle.
6th January 2018, 12:58
Lol…love the last comment from the woman speaking “#metoo”
6th January 2018, 17:31
Actually I didn’t like Fernando’s appologist attitude in that one, as if discussing sth to do with men’s body was sth to have to apologize for. Come on man!
If this was a women’s sport and a female competitor mentioned sth that was an issue for women, we – as men – would be forced to be comfortable with it.
6th January 2018, 18:19
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
6th January 2018, 0:50
Sure he could have 2 more, maybe 3, but I’d not call Alonso’s career as a “mess”. He’s fought hard for 5 championships, won 2 and took the other 3 to the very last race… also, remember, at the time, most of his decisions were not bad, it just turned out to be bad moves… who’d have thought back in 2009 that Ferrari would be such a mess come 2014? who would’ve thought Honda’s partnership with McLaren would end up THAT badly?
It’s like 2 championships aren’t enough… we’re used to Vettel and Hamilton taking 4 each like it’s so easy…
6th January 2018, 3:00
Who you know is more important than what you know
Finding the right team, and working with it, is critical to winning, especially at the highest level.
I remember a long article by Buxton, back in 2014, discussing Hamilton’s (and Rosburg’s) personality. He wrote Hamilton was personable and engaging. I wondered how helpful that was in getting and evaluating the Merc offer. Sure, Hamilton might have gotten lucky. He might also have gotten really good information.
I’m inclined to dismiss lots of the negative buzz around Alonso. Dramatic quotes bring viewers, and
we’d all find driving for McHonda maddening. So I’ll call these last few seasons bad luck.
6th January 2018, 8:08
Hamilton got a little lucky with the timing of his move to Merc, but if he didn’t move in 2013, he would surely have done whenever Schumacher eventually retired. He’s always been his natural successor in my view.
7th January 2018, 0:54
Excellent – couldn’t have stated it better!!
6th January 2018, 8:06
@fer-no65 @slotopen +1.
6th January 2018, 8:15
Vettel and Hamilton so different in their personalities on engagement with their profession, and yet so alike. One thing about both comes to mind when they have to make big decisions. Alonso prefers mavericks in managing their affairs, perhaps the Latin temperament coming into play. (Sometimes it works other times it’s a disaster) Hamilton like a core group of advisers, who judge the wind based on experience. Vettel on the other hand prefers his close relationship with his family (especially his father) and no doubt trusted advisers as well. I think we can all agree, though, he is his own worst enemy, but when he smells a win, there is no one better and fitting for every scrap going. Surely, that’s what team principal like about him.
6th January 2018, 1:50
After 3+ decades of loyal Williams support, I can see myself cutting the cord. And I thought 2013 would be the low point, but this pairing is so uninspired. They really had to go out of their way to find someone that Stroll might be able to beat. How very sad to see what was once the pride of the paddock.
If this really comes to pass, I want to hire that actress from GoT and get her the costume and bell and pay her to follow Claire around at every race saying “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
6th January 2018, 10:45
I know he’s just a troll nowadays but Jacques was partly right about Williams selling their soul.
8th January 2018, 11:40
6th January 2018, 11:19
uninspiring to you maybe but i am willing to give them a chance.
stroll should be better in his 2nd full season (he isn’t as bad as his critics make out, he did win the f3 championship by showed exceptional pace & racecraft afterall) and sirotkin has always showed good pace and was very impressive in the abu dhabi test.
i know everyone wanted robert kubica but just face it he wasn’t that fast in the test relative to sirotkin and it isn’t just williams saying that as it was widely reported at the time that robert’s pace had not been that impressive. given that then surely the kubica/stroll pairing would have been far less inspiring if you care about performance.
6th January 2018, 11:42
Well, I also wanted Robert Kubica to make a comeback, but if he wasn’t fit or capable enough, then I expected something more talented than Sergey Sirotkin. Daniil Kvyat was my choice if Kubica was not fit enough. He has talent and might’ve flourished in Williams lower pressure environment. But they’re just chasing money. I don’t know, what they’re thinking, but it’s not going to lead them anywhere. It’s like they’re think just about present and next year they’re gonna choose whoever has the most money and at least average talent. I am thinking that Claire is not good team principal, because she is making bad decisions for the team. Look how thing’s improved/looks more promising when Sauber replaced Monisha Kalternborn with Fred Vasseur. I am not saying women can not lead F1 team, but these two can not, it seems.
7th January 2018, 17:16
Well, Claire is not leading the team now. Its more of Paddy’s job now, isnt it? And Paddy knows his job.
8th January 2018, 11:39
“if he wasn’t fit or capable enough”
do not worry – he is ready
just dirty games to prove now that he is not
“Kubica was immediately quicker than Sergey Sirotkin, the Renault test driver.”
6th January 2018, 12:53
It doesnt really matter what Stroll has done before as right now hes the worst on the grid by a large margin. I sure hope hes better in his second season but i cant imagine he will be good enough for anyone to pay him to drive. Kubica would have been a nice story but right now they are only looking around for the largest paycheck. If they where actually after performance it would be Strolls seat they where looking to fill not Massas, its clear as day.
6th January 2018, 14:37
Sirotkin isn’t that bad. I’ve seen him doing very nice things in gp2. At the same time he’s hot headed and overdrove at times too. Hopefully he has ironed out this aspect and I’m sure he will give Stroll a run for his money.
8th January 2018, 14:47
I agree with that @spoutnik, I think there is enough talent in Sirotkin to not be an embaressment. And if he did let the pressure go off a bit and stops overdriving, it doesn’t have to be that bad for the team
8th January 2018, 11:41
Julian (Mr. Sakura) (@xiasitlo)
6th January 2018, 2:17
Alonso as a professional – apart of his race-craft which is amazing – in ethics is a bloody disgrace, Piquet knows it, if he or #33 become WDC I’ll stop coming on this site, that’s how sure I am about those two but enough of that.
One thing I forgot last week;
I remember during my successful rants about Palmer being a disgrace to every steering wheel over the world opting Sirotkin should replace him immediately and finally it seems to happen, although not the team I wanted. Again a moment where I was right and people will never admit. Oh god I actually miss @peartree
But my question is, why on earth would someone – who isn’t just growing something every time they hear the name Kubica – be against Sirotkin? Just stop with the nonsense already.
This is a kid who drove quite poor cars in GP2 two times to fantastic positions in the championship… at which point everyone above him has already debuted in F1 or has won the Indy 500… or one won the Masters of Formula 3 (Verstappen fans were lyrical about that one, so why not include it).
Yes he had small hic-ups in GP2 but he would help the sponsoring-gap for Russia that Torpedo left (ha), and he out qualified and out-raced Kubica last full-performance test day. He is certainly capable and nor merely a pay-driver (which is a ridiculous term of it’s own as 90% of the grid from the new millennium onwards has brought in more backing then Sirotkin will ever bring and which is needed in this business model we all agreed on. Don’t say no, you’re still watching.)
And don’t forget: he’s driven every hybrid engine for the 3 big suppliers only Magnussen did the same while down-talking the difference, ask most engineers off the record how enormous the impact of the hybrid engines is in the development of the car and you’ll realize Magnussen is telling white lies just like the FIA did with saying the 3 engine were all within 0.3s of each other. So that knowledge could make the combination of him and Paddy very useful for Williams now that all mid-table teams will trade places being best of the rest. I’ll not even discuss this. I’ll wait till march. Sirotkin could easily out-score Scroll by 25 to 30%.
John H (@john-h)
6th January 2018, 11:27
What’s the big issue here?
Do you mean people saying that Sirotkin won’t make it to F1? Or do you mean the part about you saying that Palmer is no good? Because most people agree with you on both those counts don’t they? I don’t understand.
Sirotkin has proven to be quicker than Kubica and will rightly get his chance. All is well.
8th January 2018, 11:28
“Kubica was immediately quicker than Sergey Sirotkin, the Renault test driver.”
6th January 2018, 13:11
Lol…”successful rant?” What determines the success of a rant? It got past the moderators?
“Again I was right.” Except for the team.
“Who isn’t growing something every time they hear the name Kubica …” But yet… “stop with the nonsense?” Lol
I question this ‘knowledge’ you attribute Sirotkin as having regarding hybrids, as being of any real value to Paddy.
7th January 2018, 17:26
Sirotkin just got his engineering degree, and has experience in car development (although in lmp2 and lmp1, but still). He was also praised for feedback by renault. Paddy might be after those qualities at the moment even more than speed. Also, paddy must know a few words in russian, so they should get along more or less))
6th January 2018, 14:27
It’s not so much that Sirotkin doesn’t deserve a chance, more that a team like Williams shouldn’t be fielding one rookie and one who might as well be. Kubica would have been my preferred choice just because of his status, he’s a clear #1 driver, now they don’t have that.
6th January 2018, 14:43
@george If Kubica is slow I wouldn’t take him. He can’t be behind the #2 driver.
6th January 2018, 14:58
You think he would be? It’s not like we have concrete evidence on how he performed. Frankly if he thinks he’s still good enough then I’d believe his word over Williams. His motivation to get back to F1 isn’t as pressing as Sirotkin’s to get his foot in the door.
I just wish we could have a Kubica/Sirotkin lineup instead, that would actually be a pairing worthy of the Williams name.
Julian (Mr. Sakura) (@xiasitlo)
6th January 2018, 18:16
The leaking staff at R.S said Sirotkin out performed Kubica. There are also articles (concrete evidence) that revealed the time of the race-trim for the two and Stroll as well. Search engine my friend.
But I agree that Stroll should be the one to go if that was an option finance-wise. Wouldn’t it be fun If we could actually pay a driver off the team….
7th January 2018, 21:01
Kubica has a neural injury of the like which even he cant overcome with all the determination and class in the world to get back to f1 levels. Yes, he is slower, is kinda unavoidable. And that doesn’t detract from his previous success one ounce
8th January 2018, 11:33
George – you are right. Kubica confirmed that he is ready and Williams use Abu Dhabi test for dirty games with performance (different set ups etc. ) to prove that SIR is quick. If it is true – and bringing 3 times more money – why they are waiting 2 months with announcement? Why think to take Massa back? Why Renault “sent” SIR to Williams if he is quick?
8th January 2018, 11:49
check the evidence…
In AD Kubica was driving on Massa setup. They are drivers with completely different driving style. You can also read that Kubica was driving with higher fuel loads and weaker engine mapping. Also in Williams car the HyperSoft tyres was slower compound because FW40 tendencies to overheating the rears.
You can also read that Sirotkin payed for the test day and Kubica tested tyres not knowing that he is in shootout with SIR. Having already made a preliminary agreement.
Williams is listed on the stock exchange and cannot say we are choosing slower driver or driver with bigger amount of cash.
If you are open minded you can read comments from Mark and also another analysis from Abu Dhabi test: authors claim that if you want to do the math like Benson and others Sirotkin would be faster in Williams than Hamilton in Mercedes :) But we know that Williams was about 1.3 second slower than Mercedes around Abu Dhabi track.
The only time when Sirotkin and Kubica was driving in the setup they like was in Renault test. Kubica was faster and didn’t crash the car. After Kubica–Sirotkin shootout Renault decided to test Robert further and dropped idea of Sirotkin as a second driver.
Why Renault should want to give they rivals such advantage?
We are evaluating times from test that was only tyres test for Pirelli that was Paddy Lowe official claim.
For me it’s difficult to believe almost everything that we can read or hear in podcasts or internet. It’s noise and rumours.
F1 it’s not black or white you can see a lot of gray areas. ;-)
About 7 millions for 7 races. It’s like a poker game. It’s all in from Kubica – he (or his management) believes that he is the right person to do the job and stay as a Williams driver for whole season after 7 great races.
7th January 2018, 0:57
I will praying Alonso or 33 win the WDC…
6th January 2018, 2:54
The problem with Piquet’s comments is that nobody was able to replace Alonso.
Unless Fernando left Malware on the computers of Renault, McLaren and Ferrari. Maybe that’s what the bitter Brazilian was on about?
His own son did his share of blackmailing then went on to get done for ‘offensive and derogatory’ comments in NASCAR.
6th January 2018, 10:30
At doing what exactly?
He left McLaren they won the championship, he left Ferrari and his best results have been matched.
When he got back to Renault he won a fixed race, that for some reason still stands.
Don’t really get what you are on about.
6th January 2018, 10:55
@johnmilk, if you question that race, then you’d have to question a large chunk of races from the 1970’s and 1980’s given that cheating was fairly endemic at the time – I believe that Jenkinson, the famed motorsport journalist, described the world of motorsport as being “rotten to the core” in that era due to the cheating that went on, and we know that race results from that era still stand even though they were won by teams fielding cars that systematically broke the rules.
6th January 2018, 13:08
Yes of course, lets excuse the cheating of today, because it was common practice in the past?
Can I do that for other things in life or it just applies for this particular one? It could make it a lot easier you know
6th January 2018, 13:29
I think Piquet is using the luxury of hindsight, while at the same time FA doesn’t have a crystal ball that I’m aware of. McLaren? Unique circumstances that were not originated by FA. Ferrari? The team became in upheaval and heads were rolling and they needed reorganizing and they still haven’t won a WDC. McLaren again? Nobody predicted Honda’s poor performance and they’re gone from the team. Is that on FA?
FA hasn’t made a mess of his opportunities.
6th January 2018, 13:31
Also anyone with any knowledge of strategy backing the fuel days realises Alonso was on the best strategy for someone starting at the back in a fast car. Michael used the same one at Monaco in 06. And the red bulls did that day too. So it is clear Alonso had no part in it. Why would he risk his career for a win he didn’t need? he already had a Ferrari deal pretty much sown up. Renault bosses, Flav and Pat needed the win because Renault were about to pull the plug if they didn’t get results and fast.
Anyone that thinks he played a part on it is just bitter and biased. Or can’t be bothered to do a bit of research.
6th January 2018, 13:52
q85 I think you are not understanding and putting words in my mouth I didn’t said. Regardless of taking part in the charade or not, that win wasn’t achieved through cheating, therefore the result should not stand. Clear enough now?
Anyone that thinks that result should remain after it was proved the race was fixed is just bitter and biased. Or can’t be bothered to do a bit of research.
@robbie missing the point too, I’m just offering another view on the argument that Alonso hasn’t yet been replaced as said by BigJoe. The teams he left managed to achieve the same results, more or less, that they had when he was there. It is completely unrelated to his decisions and career.
6th January 2018, 14:14
@johnmilk Mine was a stand-alone comment really. Can’t really wrap my head around what ‘replacing FA’ is about so I was just expressing my reaction to Piquet’s remarks. Perhaps Piquet is bitter that nothing stuck to FA over the crashgate fiasco and that it was actually his weak son who made a mess of his opportunity in F1.
7th January 2018, 23:59
@q85 Best strategy? Are you serious? That was incredibly incredibly dumb strategy that could have worked only if there was a safety car at the right moment
8th January 2018, 0:07
“The teams he left managed to achieve the same results, more or less, that they had when he was there.”
Such as Renault’s success after he left for McLaren (after winning 2 WDCs)?
7th January 2018, 12:50
All that yapping and you cant name a driver who replaced him? Lewis lucked the title for McLaren but was already there and actually performed worse than he did in 2007. Anyhow, Lewis wasn’t Alonso’s replacement.
So if Alonso made a mess of his teams, just name one driver who did better at Renault, Ferrari or McLaren?
7th January 2018, 12:58
7th January 2018, 13:18
“When he got back to Renault he won a fixed race, that for some reason still stands.”
How bitter are you? We are talking about Piquet’s comments yet you’ve turned it into a hate Alonso thread. Piquet also said Alonso was a ‘Fantastic driver’, that wasn’t in debate. Take your hatred over his abilities to a lesser forum, it’s not wanted here.
The reason Singapore result stands, is probably because Schumacher manipulated races by purposely crashing. It’s not something that’s easy for the FIA to control.
Also, let your hate for Alonso deal with the fact that there was a second safety car at Singapore which allowed all the faster cars to catch Alonso, yet he still pulled away from them. Schumacher’s old management only manipulated the first part of this race because of Alonso’s troubles in qualifying. He has always been awesome at Singapore and would have won that race anyway. Not that makes it right, only you really need to get over it.
He was totally awesome for the 2nd part of that season, outscoring Lewis in the last 8 races. iirc. In a far lesser car.
7th January 2018, 13:36
You’ve made a total f@ol of yourself claiming McLaren’s performances improved after Alonso left with Lewis winning the title there in 2008.
For almost half the season in 2008 (last 8 races) Alonso beat both their drivers in a far lesser car and lower budget team.
6th January 2018, 8:10
Just announce already, Williams. We’ve waited long enough already, LOL.
6th January 2018, 10:17
@jerejj absolutely, this is getting farcical
John H (@john-h)
6th January 2018, 11:30
Aren’t they finalising a contract though, you can’t announce it before you agree terms. There could be lots going on, these are private discussions.
6th January 2018, 12:49
8th January 2018, 11:36
But who? They are chasing for money, Kubica chasing for racing, Sirotkin having money… Very though choice
6th January 2018, 14:59
As to “Alonso hoping for Indianapolis 500 return in 2019”
#metoo That was a blast to watch. He did great.
6th January 2018, 16:15
This whole Williams-seat unending saga is really getting old now. I always rooted for Kubica to get the seat, but now I have a better option for the heads at the team if some of them ever read this: hire Kubica to drive every FP1 for at least half of the season, maybe the full season, even. At some point you will realise who of the three has to go. You have Sirotkin for the first half of the season at least, but give the chance to Kubica to warm his foot and hands until he gets to 100% again.
6th January 2018, 17:00
I would also hire both.
And undoubtedly VDG will pay to make it a foursome.
8th January 2018, 0:09
+1 True that…
8th January 2018, 11:35
Comments are closed.