Alonso and Lee Harvey Oswald

Fernando Alonso is at the centre of every rumour known to man. He’s going to Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus and Williams and, because he hasn’t denied being on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963, he is also thought to have been one of 13 shooters who assassinated President John F Kennedy. He may also have been responsible for the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland in 1985 on the basis that he once wore flippers.

Honestly, the stories one hears about Alonso… and it does not seem to matter if he denies them because it seems that few believe a word he says since the McLaren revelations of 2007 and, of course, Singapore 2008. I do actually feel sorry for the bloke sometimes, but as a farmer or a priest will tell you, you reap what you sow in life.
Anyway, whether he is believed or not, he is respected as a great driver and he continues to show his extraordinary abilities at each and every Grand Prix. He does not let the slow Ferrari get him down, he just drives the wheels off it, never gives up and currently lies fourth on the Drivers’ World Championship in z car that is good for ninth or 10th. The fact that he has still won only two World titles is astonishing, given his ability, although he has been rather good at being in the wrong place at the right time.
In theory, he’s going nowhere next year because of his Ferrari contract, but, as a pal of mine remarked recently, an F1 contract has as much value as toilet paper in this day and age. McLaren would now love to have him (ain’t that ironic) and the only team that seems not to want him that much is the one he currently drives for. Down Maranello way, they are into five-year plans and five years from now Alonso will be 38 and, according to F1 thinking, he will be over the hill.

He has been talking of late of buying a professional cycling team and is currently waiting to hear if he has been granted a licence by the Union Cycliste Internationale (the FIA without the horsepower). The funny thing is that I am now hearing the Alonso may also be considering buying himself a share of a Formula 1 team, for investment purposes. There is some sound logic in this as some of the teams have all you need but simply lack the money to run properly. If the running budgets can be found then there are assets to be had cheaply at the moment. F1 will eventually wake up to real world realities that there must be budget capping of some sort and when that happens the teams will all rise in value in dramatic fashion. It would be guessing to say which team might interest Ferdy, but the teams looking for help include Lotus (for which he won two World Championships), Sauber, Caterham and Marussia. He might also be interested in Toro Rosso as the word is that after five years being co-owned by Red Bull and Aabar, the time is coming when options must be taken up or dropped. Being a business partner with Dietrich Mateschitz might be a smart move for Fernando, and might perhaps one day open the door to a Red Bull drive…
Then again he might soon be arrested for Dallas 1963, so one must not take rumours too seriously…

(Oh, and for those of you who do not have a sense of humour, the JFK stuff is a joke, so please don’t write in saying that Fernando was not born until 1981.)

169 thoughts on “Alonso and Lee Harvey Oswald

  1. I’d just like to point out that Fernando wasn’t born until 1981…..No, hang on a minute. I believe he was re-incarnated then, so it IS quite possible that he WAS on the grassy knoll….having just been ejected from his Roswell UFO.

  2. Seriously Joe…he was born after 1981…how could he be responsible for Kennedy’s death?? 😉

    Is there any truth in the rumor there is a clause that allows Alonso to terminate the contract if he isn’t within xx amount of points of the current WDC leader? I keep hearing about that on racing forums and that he used that clause to exit Ferrari.

    1. I had the same thought. What a nice article, I didn’t smile, I even laughed.
      I have to say though that Alonso didn’t always say the truth in the past. Please don’t tell me that he didn’t know about crashgate or spygate. He was well aware and he was very luck to escape without being harmed. So, for me, Alonso can say what he wants, there’s always the question if he is telling the truth. He lied before, is he today?

  3. A little known fact is that JFK’s driver was named Phillip Massing. The Secret Service driver had been mysteriously told the night before to slow down just after entering Dealey Plaza because “Fernando is faster than you.”

    Adrian Nel

    Joe Saward posted: “Fernando Alonso is at the centre of every rumour known to man. He’s going to Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus and Williams and, because he hasn’t denied being on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963, he is also thought to have been one of 13 shooters who assassinat”

  4. Incidentally Joe I have it on very good authority that Alonso helped fake the moon landings. I’d imagine though that before he bought into an F1 Team, he’d ensure there was a place for his business partner, and surprise comeback designer after many years out of F1, Colin Chapman, with whom he shares a house in Bolivia.

    1. Lol, Nik

      Good to “hear” your voice, after too long a while! I am still months behind with anything not practically clinging to my leg for attention 😦

      Anyhow, NVIDIA seem to have a angle (literally) on the moon landings:

      http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/18/NVIDIA-proves-moon-landing/

      But, of course, NASA saw that one, ahead of time.

      The original mission was to establish a legal outpost for Search for Lost Extraterrestrial Counterintelligence, but was cancelled, because Johnson could only afford general access tickets.

      Are you sure this doesn’t involve a oleaginous former team manager, the kidnap of a certain soon to retire designer’s wife, a plan to run cigarboats at speed carrying Columbian Marching Powder to pay off a tax bill and a side bet on QPR? All under cover of a America’s Cup challenge, of course. Naturally, it’s all quite above board, and we’re promised a great show. There’s a secret code word, arranged with the coast guard, too, to ensure you pass the territorial 12 mile approach, I believe it is “Él es más rápido que tú.”…

  5. LMAO! Loved the headline!! I confess I’ve never put much weight on Fernando rumours on his leaving Ferrari. Next year’s Ferrari will be the first one designed under Allison. He worked miracles for an under budgeted Lotus, I would think that he would wait for that. But it’s just my feeling and what do I know? Silly season.

  6. Only born in 1981? Doesn’t matter. Dave Lister wasn’t born until 2155, and he ended up on the grassy knoll helping JFK to shoot himself. Alonso could have easily gone for the ride.

    More likely than him driving for Williams anyway.

    1. Ah wonderful, time travel paradox & Red Dwarf references. I forgot how good that show was, where did I put that box set…

    2. Joking aside, I really don’t understand Williams locking up Massa when potentially they could have paired Bottas with (in order of realism) Hulkenber (Bianchi?) OR benefit from a potential Mecedes implosion and take either Rosberg or Hamilton or sign Alonso.

      Massa is a great guy and a good driver but man, I thought it was a bit conservative to just go for the ol’ never change a winning team when they are not winning just yet.’

  7. But you do know that he is one of the aliens that crash landed in Roswell and had to shoot JFK since he was planning to expose Alonso’s true identity. Stands to reason you know, they say aliens don’t age… Therefore it must be true. 😉

  8. You left out the killings of Richard III, Admiral Nelson and the plot to assasinate Hitler. I heard a rumour… 😉

    1. Oh dear Martin. Richard III wasn’t killed in the way we were led to believe by the Tudors. There is now clear evidence he was simply standing behind one of his army supply lorries in a car park, helping it reverse, when it accidentally drove over him as he stood in the blind spot. Although I suppose the driver COULD have been Spanish…

  9. They keep the grassy knoll stuff secret as long as Neil Armstrong gets credit as 1st man on the moon. The two are not unconnected.

      1. This must be one of those messages that accidentally fly around the universe, through accidental wormholes, and accidentally insult someone in their own untranslatable language, about their lifestyle.. I think they’re Traps.

  10. Joe,

    I see a whole new business opportunity opening up for you, with a new blog http://www.f1conspiracy_theories.com

    Here is one to start you off. “Max Mosely and Ross Brawn were spotted coming out of St Peters, after a meeting with the Pope. The Vatican is all set to buy out Ferrari from FCA (Fiat-Chrylser Automobiles), with sponsorship from the Vatican Bank. Mosely is to be president and Brawn, CEO”

    Wilson

    1. Formulaconspiracy.com seems free

      I have often wished, and started some work on causing this to happen, that you could have a parallel discussion on blogs, a separate column or such arrangement, for silly talk for kicks and giggles, and social greets and friendly nonsense. Niftily running away from commenting on how wordpress is “built”… must dash…

    1. Whenever I get reminded of that now, I imagine a cross dressing sister wielding a sequined handbag dangerously, her six foot some stance sweeping a pretty floral print across furry CND tattooed limbs, “pour sauver la planete? je ne regrette rien!”

  11. You may be onto something about JFK. GP drivers have fabulous eyesight, work well under pressure, are able to focus very intensly on what’s important while other stuff is processed subconciously. Ideal characteristics for a hitman…

    I’m sure Ron’s on the phone to the FBI already!

  12. Hi Joe,
    Is FA as unlikable in person as his public image tends to show him. He really seems to be really full of himself. Thanks for blog.
    All the best,

    1. Both Alonso and Vettel come across like great dudes imho whenever they are in some sort of off track feature (rather than interviewed in the media zone or drivers press conference). Their public immage however is completely different somehow.

  13. You should have let the mud-covered peasants comment that Alonso wasn’t born until 1981 just to flush them out.
    An F1 team as an investment? Now that’s funny.

  14. The idea of Fernando taking a long position in F1 is very appealing. I think he undoubtedly can manage the politics and talk, and talk straight if he wants to, and underlying his ability to drive the wheels of that red rubble tub, there must be a mind analytical enough to tell far more of what a car needs than many a engineer can deliver.

    Maybe he is better off doing that now, not waiting, and getting stuck in?

    Consider his position, for he must be privy to a awful lot that is vital to survival during the upcoming wars. And there will be wars. All the generals are off the field, planning.

    Becoming a truly good team owner manager would be a accomplishment beyond even another WDC. Needs hardly saying, he carries weight to get doors opened other owners cannot.

    Very possibly, he seeks greater intellectual challenges, and only having the entire toy set will provide that for him.

    It’s a bit moot, that whatever FA does, will surprise some, for all the contradictory rumors abounding now, but it would be genuinely surprising, if he plain quit and took on a venture with a team. I give that some credit, because a clean break often comes from extended exposure to politics. Then he can really stick it back, to those plying their trade before him now. It’s another way of showing how it’s done on the track. Running a good team, I mean.

    I still think he’ll take the final tour with Ferrari. Because to drive that thing so well, it just must be personal. Talk of other interests, even as investment, suggest that if he wants a fresh challenge, he’ll look about, not to another F1 team. Thing is, though, if he quit the holy game, for a career change, now, he will not be leaving behind anything but the highest opinion of him as a driver. I think he’ll quit whilst ahead, the only question is how much more ahead he can get. (my bet that he’ll stay put and be joined by Hamilton, feels a bit unsettled by the way Mercedes are running, but I deeply suspect shenanigans at that team, deliberately or otherwise, which is a slickly the effect of plain disarray and confusion. Sticking to my bet, anyhow, Kimi is doing nothing for them enough I don’t think.)

    1. “Consider his position, for he must be privy to a awful lot that is vital to survival during the upcoming wars.”

      Fernando Alonso currently has to manage his love life, his driving career, his simulator track time plus time with engineers, attending 19 races and his long term personal finances. Every Tuesday between 15:00 and 17:00 he has time for parking his bum on a park bench to reflect on life.

      Perhaps the racing calendars of Bruce McLaren and Jack Brabham permitted time for personal thinking, but those blokes were racing all over the place. Maybe there was less thinking going on — outside Brabham’s and McLaren’s heads.

      In 2014, an F1 team makes thousands of minor changes of which the driver is unaware. Other teams make changes, unspotted by competitors. Nobody can keep track.

      Jackie Stewart, Ken Tyrrell and Derek Gardner trusted each other to talk about their cars honestly. The cars were simple enough for everyone to understand. That ain’t F1 2014.

    2. “Needs hardly saying, he carries weight to get doors opened other owners cannot.”

      True enough, but they also said that about Stewart and Prost…

      1. True, Yuppie, but FA seems to manage to not shoot his mouth quite so indiscriminately as those two, a virtue cared for around boardroom types.

  15. Fernando Alonso a victim of Ferrari incompetence. Historical statistics will obscure his talent. The Renault Wdc’s were first class and earned, somewhat even cars with exceptional driver input.

    1. They were not the best cars, either. I thank the heavens for FA, for those wins, as I was a wholly jaundiced MSC fan, at the time.

    1. If he bought into a team in the near future, he could actually run Merhi and Sainz Jr, thus ensuring there will be Spanish drivers to succeed him in F1. They might be able to bring some backing as well. A Spanish team not based in Spain might work out better?

        1. Indeed, Basque country is not too far from Asturias.. always baffling how HRT/Campos was picked over Epsilon Euskadi.. or not so, for the Cosworth-pledged runners won out.

          Perhaps another round of new Cosworth teams soon, if the current backmarkers fall by the wayside?

          1. I think there’s going to be lots of shake up at the periphery ‘tween now and the long winter… because someone has to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Best bet: Kolles.

  16. The marenello five year plan, Nationalistic Italian management throw the team into chaos for five years after multinational top tier talent builds a dynasty.

  17. “Oh, and for those of you who do not have a sense of humour, the JFK stuff is a joke, so please don’t write in saying that Fernando was not born until 1981.”

    As you have pointed out, he is economical with the truth from time to time, so maybe he was born earlier and did visit Dallas on that fateful day.

  18. In my view Fernando Alonso is one of the modern era greats, and it’s not just his speed but also how he is perceived by people that do not know him (ie me) to be someone who has the right mentality to get stuck in and do the best possible job with whatever is under him. His brand, if you like, seems strong.

    I wonder if he could use that in another way, perhaps with the FIA and the online gaming world, to engage people that race regularly but have not been developed (or even ignored) by F1’s lack of strategy in this area over the years.

    I know the FIA seem to have started to go along this route, but having someone as influential as FA involved must be beneficial, and could be a gateway to more F1 interest from the younger generation in the future.

    The more that F1 audience figures go up, and the more that the younger generation are engaged and hooked then it might follow that the more attractive F1 becomes to the larger automobile manufacturing group boardrooms.

    1. Re promoting F1 in general, I think FA is smart enough, that if he did buy a team, or start a team, he would do so well promoting that, it would benefit F1. But to lay himself with the Muppets, I can’t see that, it would be like wheeling him out as they do film stars for “UN ambassadors”, and he’d hate it. Hmm, there you have the punishment, if he ever does anything truly naughty…

  19. Two of Nando’s other famous quotes; ‘Formula 1 is not a sport’ and ‘How is Felipe?’

    Alonso, Flavio B and Mark Webber have to be the oddest combo.

    (actually, Joe, JFK jokes don’t go over so well here in the states. Teddy Kennedy jokes? Oh yes)

      1. More than that. It darn near proves hands down there is a God. And I can sympathize with Fernando’s 2007 imbalance. He was lured in by “We’ll build you a car that’ll make you champion again”; which (unknown to anyone) should’ve included the addendum, “and pair you with a rookie who’s so fast he’ll humiliate you.”

      2. Not on Teddy, I hear he was a great guy..

        Okay, sorry…

        But the fact of Flavio’s continuing management is a very slippery tentacle, in F1. I don’t think they could have banned him in any practical or legal way, from management, but he is clearly of value to some. He’s like the wasp in the room, you want to know where he is. Even if mostly he is buzzing about, making a nuisance of himself, and diving for all the jam.

        1. I wonder why Alonso continues to be associated with Briatore. He seems like the most politically and media-savvy driver there is, so you’d think he would give that guy a wide berth. Especially around the anniversary of crashgate…

          1. Actually, why does FlaB not come under more scrutiny, form the racing press? Is his touch with Bernie the cause of a omerta? Indeed, there is something very fishy, how that man wields so much potential influence. Not in his defense, but good management can have nothing to do with being a good guy, sometimes the opposite, but he’s a kind of Jabba The Hut character, mysterious and you don’t know his reaches. All you know is that he’s repulsive. And potentially vindictive. Some otherwise good people have been broken, and that is a sadness we forget in the crashgate affair. Despite it is naïve to think people will not be lumped together, then. When FlaB is still trotted out by Bernie, to “liven up” the sport or whatever, you don’t think that is just Bernie being kind.. least I don’t. It’s a disturbing cameo, at best.

      3. Fair? Well, it’s not true… except among rightist extremists who deceive themselves enough to think themselves conservative when they’re anything but…

        1. I’ve been advised against it, but I am much tempted recently to start a blog just illustrating the tortured WTF – worthy self serving twisted logic of a smorgasbord of interactions I have in the line of business. sometimes I think I am a older school of more naïve MBA style practitioners, given to trying to apply rationale and logic, but I am faced daily with contortions that sometimes simply stone me, to which I am unable to even start a response, for unraveling the convolutions and presumptions and innate internalized justifications, to a point I fear I shall myself become twisted. The fun of starting over in business and herding proverbial kittens to get things going. Try this for size: whilst being pitched for seed money on a project, and replying after much thought, if it is okay, I see a angle to combine that because there’s a overlap, if the other party wishes to work a specific way, after three weeks of debugging the crossover operation, and effectively supporting the other thing, dropped into conversation was “Of course, I’m tied up in this _other thing so you can’t come in on that” and carries on as if nothing was said… yet none of that will happen without the seed money from me! (and I’m pretty sure of that, and that was just a land grab, for deaf ears of mine)

          Right wing extremists are more readily defeated than frustrated business types, I think! I shall avoid doing so, but I could build up a world picture in which I am disappointed every so called endeavor is not elected candidate for a Darwin Award.

          1. Whoa, that was tortured, for what tuned out to be a ruse to get someone’s mate’s wife a job… these things are maddening and oh, spare the “logic” of any of it… total mess… you just cannot apply any logic to illogic. It would require a parallel universe of thinking, to achieve the desired result..

    1. ‘Formula 1 is not a sport’ This words (and they have enough sense) may be procured the eternal hostility of Bernie Ecclestone and Charlie Whiting, with fatal consequences for him.

      1. Surely the drives get fed up, too, of button pushing and dial tweaking. Even sim games have a “just play” mode. Maybe we need that mode finally in F1? Seriously, it won’t make life easier. I once tried to get really good at the official game, and on “just play” mode, you could never get the times… so why not allow it?

        This is one area that real talks between games makers and the sport’s true designers, could bear fruit. Both ways, there is something to learn.

        I am totally struck now, thinking how much you could lever having F1 as a new “broadcaster”, technically.. I think you could do massive things in the gaming industry for one.. and people pay for subscriptions to games, too, very handsomely…

  20. I am not sure why but Alonso seems a much nicer bloke now than he used to be. Of course when at McLaren last time he was the devil incarnate, but that was a long time ago. The slings and arrows of not winning, despite the huge advantage his team has, have tempered him. Is he as good as Schumacher was at his height n the same car? Close I think.
    Vettel also seems to have grown up and is less of a boy with temper tantrums and now able to offer sad bemusement at the thought that he was comprehensively beaten by his ever smiling team mate over the first half of the season.
    Could Jenson retire in a Lincolnshire way? Which is basically “I’m ok, there is plenty of time, I don’t need to do anything, everything will be allright. Nah it’ll be fine!

    1. Maybe you’re just looking at Alonso and Vettel differently. Alonso’s pit lane politics work a lot better for a Ferrari man than a McLaren bloke, plus Fernando is a few years older. It’s my impression that both Alonso and Hamilton regret their actions as McLaren team mates and have serious questions about advice from the team.

      Vettel was never a bad guy but he acquired some inappropriate body language during his winning years. On occasions, acting under competitive fever, he made some poor racing/team decisions. Vettel was likeable when he acted as himself in his formative years, which is why he is likeable today.

      If Jenson Button leaves McLaren this year, we probably won’t have heard the last of him. He’ll be around the sport; just like with his dad, it is under the skin.

      Motor sport history is very forgiving of drivers with difficult personalities — as long as they got results. Euphemisms abound for some stars of the past. Alonso and Vettel are saintly in comparison.

      1. Thanks, Phil, very well put. We forget how forgiving F1 is. I think a lot of that forgiveness is not possible, in lower echelon sports. I find the way characters develop, and I am in agreement broadly with your and rpaco’s views of FA, the most interesting aspect of following F1. My hope is always for the biblical approach of rejuvenation and remaking of vows, that should accompany any great sportsman’s travails, in highs and lows. That is what makes for the catharsis of accomplishment and wins, sometimes howsoever small, that are think the reasons we better get this back of grid situation sorted out. The potential to lose too many deeply satisfying story arcs is too dangerous, and this entire argument is much too overlooked.

    2. None of them haven’t changed all that much. What has changed is the way the media reports on them. “Slings and arrows” indeed

      1. In terms of how drivers behave or how we view their behaviours… I’m quick to remind myself that in my early 20’s I could be a bit if a jerk, as could most of the guys I knew. I think young drivers, especially those that get success or attention early grow up the public eye. However Vettel, Alonso, or Hamilton have acted at times I think I and most I know would have been worse. For any of us to have our characters defined by how we act or acted in our early 20’s is pretty harsh. As time goes by we see these young drivers mature, develop a broader understanding of the world and their place in it. I actually think they do a pretty amazing job acting as well as they do. I haven’t always enjoyed it, but given the lives they lead I am surprised we don’t see more tantrums.

        Re Alonso/Hamilton/McLaren – my opinion, as misguided as it might be, is that McLaren haven’t been good at driver management for a long time. My spectating only goes back to the mid 90s, so perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I saw Coulthard/Hakkinen as a fractured pairing that Coulthard only started to recover from at Red Bull. I developed a strong opinion than that Ron Dennis and the McLaren structure he put in place doesn’t generate harmony. It’s as if he relies on driver disunity to push them to greater heights. Alonso/Hamilton was one of the worst examples of this, and I think led to them throwing away the WDC that year, losing Alonso in the process. I don’t think things improved under Whitmarsh, and I doubt they will be any better under Ron next year. Given I’ve lead 0 teams, won 0 Championships, I appreciate I probably have no idea.

  21. This is going to sound awful but Alonso could also be compared to JFK if I can piggy back on your excellent piece Joe: promised so much but didn’t get to deliver …
    Seriously, it seems from what you say that Alonso has a lot on his plate just now! Good luck to him, any normal person would have given up ages ago in the face of all his years of waiting for it to happen. I don’t know why but my perception of drivers is that there are those who go out every time and wring the cars neck whilst others do so only occasionally – JEV or Button for instance. And for me Alonso is in the 1st group. It’s the group I prefer.
    Is it inconceivable to imagine him in a MB following all the post Spa fallout? If I were Ferrari and wanted to change my lead driver, I’d be going for Hamilton not Vettel, who seems to have suffered a similar season to Raikkonen with regard to all this rubbish about “driving styles” etc. But if I were really Ferrari, I would keep Alonso, get Bianchi and use the money saved on Raikkonen to help the car build side of things, no?

    1. Fair mention of JEV there. Well said, Ced, sort this grid lock already, so viable valuable talent can be afforded. Hand to mouth is no way to run things, if the promise of FOCA is to be believed, form way back when. If not, let in the “wolf packs”, through opening rules and returning to PQ on Thursdays. If we keel trashing the investment in a career, there will just be left … I don’t think the driver programs can deliver what is needed alone. It’s all looking like Perry McCarthy’s career, only with mob style controlled casino money, not wellwisher seat of pants all heart or nothing just keep trying son, attitude.

  22. I’m able to keep any sympathy for Fernando well under control. To think if only he’d managed his emotions in the summer of 2007 and studied history (Lauda 84); there’s a fair chance he would have been a 4 time champ by November 2008.

    1. And barring some minor pieces of luck in 2010 and 2012 a 6-time champion, only 1 behind Schumacher. Alonso really has led the way for the last ten years, it has to be said.

  23. Is Fernando so rich that he can risk the sums of money?

    Let’s say that he buys £10 million of shares in a struggling team. Because it is a struggling team, it is finding it hard to raise an operating budget from team sponsors or sponsors who will back a particular driver. So the team asks for loans, with little chance of paying back in the short term, from share holders. That £10 million investment quickly turns itself into £20 million.

    1. Leverage.

      Alonso’s ten million would be multiplied as much as fifty times, whilst still controlling most everything. His bank sponsorship was and is quite personal. Borrowing is epochal cheap. Even fifty is not a insane multiple lately.

      If you look about at the craziness of the investment world, if any such words still have dictionary meanings, you might perceive a very strong influence to move now, this year, for investments that require securing long term debt facilities. My own microscopic outfit is concentrated on swinging for home runs, for precisely this reason. If I had Alonso’s position, and he is smart enough to cover his losses with a stop, and at his age also, I think I would be twitching to make a investment. Many reasons fit, for there is about to be a storm, a clearance of dead wood, and a very different environment afterwards. Both in F1 and generally, economically, not that you can guarantee anything on a short horizon. But buying now, assets cheap, money nearly free, if you have the ability to secure long term facilities, I could see him parlay that into a massive holding, inside a few years only.

      1. “But buying now, assets cheap, money nearly free, if you have the ability to secure long term facilities, I could see him parlay that into a massive holding, inside a few years only.”

        I am not convinced that this is an F1 driver deal — unless the F1 driver seeks more in life.

        1. I don’t think I meant to argue it was a F1 driver deal, Phil. Not quite sure what you mean by that, but I didn’t mean FA would do a deal to have himself a seat, if that’s what you mean. I suggested if he did do such a thing, he’d arrange to step down quickly, after using his name to drive for a inaugural season.

  24. Let me ask this straight.

    Who thinks Alonso knew about the Singaporegate?

    Just so you know, I don’t believe that somebody that is on a transition year, with 2 recent championships will get anywhere near something so fishy…

      1. Joe wrote: “nor would an experienced World Champion adopt a strategy so stupid” So you really think he wasn’t aware of what was going to happen when he started the race in Singapore in ’08? On the one hand, I think he would indeed be stupid to adopt such a strategy, on the other hand: it would seem unlikely that he knew nothing.

        By the way, I am really itching to hear more of Fernando’s precise involvement in the McLaren-Ferrari case (imagine something like that today: a bit like Lotus/Enstone stealing drawings from Marussia). But I’m not holding my breath. If he was really naughty back then, maybe there is some sort of Karma to his career.

        Oh, and wasn’t he the Lindbergh baby?

    1. Pitting on lap 12 guaranteed dropping to the back of the field, unless the safety car came out of course. It’s difficult to believe that neither Fernando or his race engineer (witness X?) didn’t realise this.

      1. It’s a fair point, but drivers who aren’t expecting many points out of a race are often willing to use strange strategies, especially at races where a safety car is likely. Singapore didn’t yet have its history of safety cars, but everyone knew there was a higher than average chance of an opening-lap crash that would bring it out. If you didn’t qualify well, it wouldn’t be too weird to base a strategy around that.

        1. Given the race was at Singapore, I would think it entirely conceivable to expect a safety car… whether it was likely to be in the window of opportunity to reward the pit stop is probably the question. It’s a street circuit, you can almost guarantee a safety car on a street circuit. Also, who calls the shots, the team leader or the driver – of course this varies depending on the team and driver concerned. Pat Symonds said something recently in an interview that made me wonder how many people knew what was happening that day, and maybe Alonso did know, but he didn’t say that, or mention Alonso in the same breath. It was something along the lines of there were people that day who knew who haven’t been found out… If this is the case though it should be in the sports best interests if it was all revealed and dealt with.

          However, I’ve never seen anyone provide evidence that Alonso knew, I’m not aware of any evidence that he knew, I’ve never seen anyone involved with the team say that Alonso knew. I don’t see or read everything though. Did Piquet ever say Alonso knew? Has anyone in the team come forward and said Alonso knew? What evidence aside from speculation is there ? If there is no evidence but people use Singapore as a justification for saying Alonso lies then I think it’s a bit rich. I’m not being deliberately naive, maybe I missed some damning evidence along the way, apologies if I have. I just loathe the idea that his reputation is questionable based on circumstantial thinking alone.

    1. Can’t be, Gman, DB’s holed up with Bigfoot(aka Sasquatch) and Elvis in the forest near, well, somewhat near, my house. Nice guys. Likes their bourbon and the local microbrews.

    2. It is more likely that the hijacker was Bernie Ecclestone. “D.B. Cooper” parachuted from a plane with US $200,000 in November 1971. In 1972, Bernie Ecclestone bought Motor Racing Developments and the Brabham racing name for £100,000.

      Search elsewhere for Bernie Ecclestone, mastermind of the 1963 Great Train Robbery.

  25. Joe, I do hate showing I disagree with you on your own turf, however, I will take a chance.
    If you want to compare the Union Cycliste Internationale to something with a motor, I suggest you better try with FIM than the FIA. To some humouruless chaps the number of wheels means a lot. 🙂

  26. Out of curiosity, why would Alonso risk wiping out the many millions he has made from F1 by investing in a team? Of those investing in F1 teams over the last ten years (e.g. Malaya; Fernandes) have any of them actually made any money?

    1. Because, unlike them, he can get serious deep pockets to take the rest of the deal. I would really not want to go alone in this sport, or in fact any endeavor of the similar scale. VJM appears to have substantial friends, but they are not equivalent. He would benefit from a multiplier effect on what actual cash capital he put in.

  27. Ah…at last…thnak you Joe, I was beginning to wonder if we we would be treated to some sanity at some point. But one small error in your Dallas theory…I think you’ll find that if you look at two pictures side by side, FA’s mono-brow IS the grassy knoll…the current one is simply a historic representation.

  28. Careful, some of the Internet ‘Journalists’ may take this scoop and run with it. It’s not April 1st therefore it must be true!

  29. If he’s going to buy a team maybe Toro Rosso would be a good call. Doesn’t Cepsa have a shareholding in it – a good spanish connection. Although Enstone would be more fun!

  30. FA’s deal to buy the ailing Euskaltel-Euskadi Team (he had 5mill pounds) is now off, therefor to secure a License means he still has to wait for the Permit for the Tour de France, which he may or may not get, to pursue his passion. This may be good for F1 or bad depending on how future cookies crumble – Good Luck Fernando with getting your license and buying into a F1 Team. It seems to me that there is glaring necessity for a few more Ex Drivers like Niki actually needed on the shop floor and not just commentating on TV.

  31. As usual, a well-reasoned piece. Thanks. It’s hard to disagree with the fact that it really IS baffling how Alonso ‘only’ has 2 WDC titles to his name. I think he’s one of those unique drivers that, when people look back retrospectively at his career, the stats on their own will kind of fade into the background and it’s all the other qualities that he’ll be remembered and admired for and the statistics will merely be side issues. Let’s be thankful for one thing – that he hasn’t been in a Red Bull for the past few years. Methinks the rest would have given up a long time ago…………

  32. You may be on to something here Joe. ’63, ’85, ’07. According to all the police shows, sociopaths follow distinct patterns.

  33. Fernando was offered by Red Bull in 2007 but he refused. Looking back on 2008 season, he admitted in an interview before The Monte Carlo GP, with Ted Kravitz for ITV, that he liked driving at Renault ahead of other teams he was offered by, Red Bull being one of them. Than they went to Singapore…..

  34. Of course, Fernando may have already offered Ferrari a 5 year plan…………. as Team Manager – Let’s face it he has 1000 times more Racing qualifications than Marco Mattiacci.

  35. Joe, as a general question : why do so few former F1 champions get involved with owning/managing teams? Prost is the only one I can think of in recent history.

  36. Rumours keep putting Alonso in an RB or a Merc or staying put….personally, I think the lure of Honda power still places him in a McLaren next year.

  37. If we’re going to talk silly rumours, then I’d like to add – “I don’t know if you’ve heard but … CVC have been talking to Fernando as a replacement for Bernie”

  38. Sure, Alonso was born in 1981, but that *would* make him a proper age for chasing a motorcade in 1997… (tongue so firmly in cheek I can taste blood)

    It seems like a bad decision from this distance, but that’s the same thing we thought about Hamilton leaving Mclaren when he left. How many drivers have collected this much visibility into how multiple F1 teams are run over such a (relatively) short period of time?

    Is there anyone else currently in F1 who has jumped teams as often as Alonso? Some mid-manager Pat Fry type guy who’s been around for 20+ years?

  39. Rumour has it that the 2015 Ferrari will be so slow it will actually travel backwards in time… so don’t rule anything out yet!

  40. Joe

    I love the frivolity but it seems many if not all have missed your comment.

    “McLaren would now love to have him (ain’t that ironic) and the only team that seems not to want him that much is the one he currently drives for.”

    There seems to have been a massive change of sentiment in Ferrari. Is it a case of inferior bosses being wary of a very capable subordinate and feeling that they are not in full control.

    It would not be the first time in pretty much any working environment.

    SD

  41. Nothing along these lines has been said out loud, but this is the solutíon:

    Alonso buys Dauber

    With Haas as a junior partner

    And Santander parking some equity to distribute to HNIWs

    One of those HNIW’s will have some options, because he’ll be driving..

    So FA controls it,

    And Haas – Ferrari take on:

    Initially Fernando himself, and his intended replacement, as some like to nickname him, Hollywood Hamilton.

    After a year, “Nando steps aside,

    **we will know for certain that without any doubt, that will be a absolute no holds barred test of both drivers, and that FA’s every inch of life would be at stake if he did not set that up fairly**

    F1 fans desperately need to see two top drivers duke it out.

    This would put a new team on the map, absolutely guarantee coverage every weekend, and do amazing things for the respect we already allow both those drivers.

    It would be a wonderful break from politics and all that.

    The logic of sponsorship and profits to be gained, will be beyond anything either of them want.

    They will contract a very unusual company, with close links to competition sailing, for consultancy,

    And many long links in the banking system at Hinwill will be smoothed over and made hoot, into the bargain.

    —–

    I don’t think I’m actually speculating so much, any more.

    One of those teams in danger needs a massive Hail Mary Touchdown save.

    Please don’t think I’m oblivious to the incredible amount of horse trading necessary to do such a thing, but call me a idort ( you’re a idiort joj ) and I know it, I am a silly, but this is very tempting in theory, and the levers exist to do much of this. Consider Hamilton, as part owner of his own team, well powered, with a team mate who sets a retirement date soon who is prepared to go head to head and maybe even share a lot, to make the show work. Consider where Lewis’s management like to operate, and how much else might fiat at the peripherals… I think it would also be a wonderful up yours to the whole system, and those two might make a very interesting double act, yet, and I merely salivate at what they’d be like, in terms if interview subjects, if they co owned a team.

    Why not?

  42. On a different point, the last top F1 driver – and World Champion to boot – who bought into an F1 team, found that driving an F1 Car and running an F1 team were two different talents…

    1. It is at least 3 top drivers I can think of who found that running an F1 team is very different from driving – Niki Lauda (Jaguar), Alain Prost (Team Prost F1) and Emerson Fittipaldi (Copersucar Fittipaldi). In the latter two cases, they also owned most or all of the team. None of those adventures ended well. Jackie Stewart, on the other hand, did start an F1 team, co-managed it for several years, and sold it on, even winning a race along the way. So a former driver can be successful with team ownership, but the overall record of ex-drivers is not a good one.
      (NOTE – I left out Jacques Villeneuve, who may have owned equity in BAR while he was still driving for them, because he nominally did not have any management role in the team).

      1. On the other hand, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney, John Surtees & Graham Hill, all ran good F1 teams and the first three named won races while Black Jack won Titles too, so a driver can be a winner as a team owner too.

          1. In some respects it was, but the drivers mentioned, would all be quite competent at running a race team in this time period, as they were in the past times. The ability to lead, to focus, to work hard, think and operate at speed and be disciplined, is common to the best team principals of today….and there are not many good ones of those about!

  43. And now rumors about Hamilton replacing Alonso at Ferrari? Please confirm that the guy spreading those rumors are as unreliable as he is insecure!

  44. Its entirely possible for Fernando to be present in 1963. Have you seen his eyes flash yellow sometimes?

    To elaborate further, Mystique was sent back in time by Kitty Pryde and Magneto to save Kennedy (a mutant). But she went rogue and killed him anyway and masquerades as a Spaniard driving an Italian car in the present.

  45. I often wonder if thoughts about the events of 2007 keep Fernando awake at night? Knowing what he knows now, might he have tried harder to tolerate others in order to stay in a competitive car?

  46. A note to Alex, if you are a twice world driving champion the only thing that will keep you awake at night is, a) money, and b) money, and if they have a lot, which Alonso has, then its about which car will get him more, for either the fee or winning. They are not programmed to tolerate. If you strap yourself into a vehicle that is capable of killing you, you blank out the things that concern mere mortals such as you and I.

  47. According to a certain twitter feed, it is 100% certain that Alonso will be a McLaren Honda driver in 2015.

    Good move I think. Also Hamilton would be perfect at Ferrari!

    1. No one is perfect at Ferrari, the current reality is its a second rate car that happens to be Red. Unless someone is strapping a rocket booster to their helmet there is no hidden speed to be unleashed by a different driver.

      1. Ferrari are now firmly back in the world of the also rans, hopefully they don’t languish there like the pre-Brawn era.

  48. If there is some sound logic in Alonso buying a share in a cash-strapped team because its worth will rise in dramatic fashion with the eventual real world realities of budget capping, then it must necessarily follow that it would be sound logic for anyone else to invest too. But no-one appears to be rushing to do so. I am unsure if this indicates that Alonso is the world’s sharpest investor or the logic is not so sound after all.

    1. Maybe Alonso is attracted to the idea of buying a sinking F1 team, as it would be a good place to have a big tax loss? Companies do similar things all the time, as do High Net Worth Individuals…..

  49. Mr Saward , when you wrote about LDM’s departure from Ferrari I asked you if you ever had the opportunity to interview LD – you replied that your were never that fortunate…….can I now ask if you ever had the opportunity of sitting down with Fernando Alonso and having a one to one with him ?

  50. Mr Saward , when you wrote about LDM’s departure from Ferrari I asked you if you ever had the opportunity to interview LDM – you replied that your were never that fortunate…….can I now ask if you ever had the opportunity of sitting down with Fernando Alonso and having a one to one with him ?

  51. Acknowledged as one of the finest drivers in the field today Alonso is being pressured to resolve his three inherent dilemmas. RB; McLaren & Ferrari. (1) Notwithstanding the intense weekend rumouis, based on the balance of probabilities it is highly unlikely that RB would be seriously interested in his services at this time. He’s is high maintenance; craves the centre of attention; too political; and his strong personality would not easily fit into RB’s culture. He is not as fast as Daniel R. But more importantly RB’s feeder group system has a significant pool of qualified candidates comparable to the young Turk Daniel R – all of whom are ready to move into a race seat.

    (2) The McLaren courtship. This would be a risky move for Alonso. It is unknown how good an engine Honda will produce and how well McLaren will be able to synchronize its chasis with the new engine. Two inferior teams to McLaren have excelled using the powerful MB engine; while the mighty McLaren is struggling mightily notwithstanding its MB engine. During the phase when Honda operated its own team; it did not not once produced a competitive engine, so there is no guarantee that it will do so now.

    (3) Ferrari is widely perceived as, and consider itself, the preeminent team in F1. Thus, most if not all racers aspire to drive for Ferrari. Once chosen, Ferrari expect unbridled loyalty from its drivers. Alonso has entertained courtships for his services. He also has not reiterated his complete loyalty to Ferrari. In addition, he has been quite aggressive in his demands for extending his current contract. It would appear that Alonso has overplayed his hands on all fronts. Variou reports indicate that Ferrari is very displeased with Alonso’s perceived disloyalty and excessive demands. Under the new command at Ferrari the team comes first and no one will be coddled anymore. JA reports that recently “…Mattacci … said cryptically… Alonso was set to stay with the team for the moment.” This is portent indeed.

    So Alonso may need to quickly publicly repudiate all external interests, reiterate his loyalty to Ferrari and constrain his overly optimistic demands before Ferrari make the decision for him.

    1. I agree in some part with your statement. However, I should think that Renault carry some clout at RB, and Renault would surely have great respect and fondness for Alonso. He is also demonstrably, the most relentless driver in the field, and RB seem the 2nd best team this year, so not a bad place to be a driver. And, DR has won races this year, so it would be logical to assume that FA could have won one or two more.
      A move to McLaren would not be risky, as the team is being reshaped by RD and will undoubtedly be winners again. The Honda engine has proven to be highly competitive in the past, Honda are masters of the ICE, as can be seen in MotoGP too. In F1 they were never too good at chassis, however JB was a very good 3rd in 2004, against Ferrari, and Mac won in 2008, since when only Brawn ( Honda with MB engine ) RBR and now Merc, have won.
      As for Ferrari, they have let FA down every single year, and have not produced a car that was better than 3rd or 4th best, in every season he has worked there. The relationship is clearly over, and if FA stays, he is unlikely to have a better year in 2015, than he has had this year.
      To summarise, RBR seem happy with what they have, Ferrari seem in chaos and have got rid of anyone who could help turn them around, so can be written off for at least 2-3 years, which leave Mac as the best seat outside Merc. Mac is hungry, restructured, new aero team, and Honda have the engineering capacity and knowledge, to propel Mac to the top again. They might even storm F1 next year, and if they don’t they should be better than Ferrari and provide bigger pay cheques…..what’s not to like about driving for them?

      1. Hi Damian

        I do agree with you that Renault does have some clout with RB. But as we have seen teams often make decisions based on what’s in their own best long term interest. So notwithstanding the fact that Renault was the engine supplier during Williams glory years; Williams in the past few years, did not hesitate to dump them. RB has an enviable record of developing championship calibre racers as well as receiving outstanding dividends for promoting from within. They currently have a very good cadre of Ricciardo – calibre type talents ready to move into a race seat
        .
        Alonso is an outstanding racer but as a result of the afore-outlined RB does not need his services at this time. I’m one of McLaren’s biggest fans and I’m a huge admirer of RD. I know McLaren will win again. I, just like you, want them to win asap.But Mercedes & RB are very far ahead of McLaren; and Ferrari is working deligently to recapture their winning ways.

        It took Renault a few years after re-entering F1 to achieve success with Red Bull. If history is a guide, it is going to take Honda a few years to achieve optimum success with McLaren. So we have to be realistic; it’s going to take McLaren a few years to get back to the top. Unfortunately Peter Prodromou did not joined them early enough to have any significant effect on its 2015 contender

        (An aside: We are all aware of the fact that credit for the formidable 2014 Mercedes F1 car belongs to Ross Brawn and the team he assembled. This exclude Toto & Paddy. Yet still, Paddy recently stated that he has already taken Mercedes to the next level. So should McLaren somehow produce a world beater in 2015, hopefully Peter Prodromou does not have Paddy’s ego and seemingly claim credit).

        Now Alonso, in view of his expressed aspirations, is fast approaching the transgenerational phase of his racing career, so a move to McLaren may not be the apt decision at this time in view of the consraining time available to him

        Joe why did Ross Brawn leave Mercedes ? Is their any truth to the rumour that he was elbowed out?

  52. In a few years time will the beheading of folk who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time be as amusing as drowned photographers at the hands of people who park their re-election team in well payed boondoggles like CSI,
    FIA. and Olympic Committees???

    1. I presume this is an oblique attempt to chide Joe for lightheartedly alluding to the Rainbow Warrior (drowned photographer). The ‘logic’ seems to be “well you wouldn’t laugh at someone killed by IS terrorists so why is it OK if they were killed by French politicians via their shady spooks”.
      Is that it?

  53. I rate Alonso as one of the best drivers (Albeit the Ferrari is far more competitive than they give it credit for, Kimi just cant drive it), but as a McLaren fan I’m horrified that these rumours might actually pan out to be true.

    What Alonso did at Mclaren his teammate, but the victim Lewis is now in the ex-Mclaren camp as well, and I have much less sympathy for fellow Judas’s 🙂

    There is still a lot of smoke blowing about this rumour Joe – are you sure there is no fire?

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