Some of my friends have noticed me being critical of Alonso. So let me use this opportunity to explain why. I am not asking anyone to adapt my opinion of him. Im only going to give you my reasons and then you can judge for yourself.
This has of course nothing to do about Alonso entering Ferrari in 09 and Kimi leaving. In all honesty, I am disappointed in how Ferrari handled Kimi back then. But Alonso had nothing to do with that. That is something the brass at Ferrari and Santander are responsible for. And far from everyone agreed: https://f1bias.com/2012/04/05/truth-about-kimi-ferrari-santander-2008/
However, its not the first time this sort of thing has happened in Ferrari. It happened with Prost. And it happened with Schumacher and lastly with Kimi. As for Kimi, he is happy with how things turned out in the end, so I am not complaining, nor am I bitter.
I may be oldfashioned but I cannot only support a driver because he is good. He has to be likeable and a nice guy. Thats why I love Kimi. Because what you see is what you get. No politics. No cat and mouse with the press to try and boost your image. Perhaps that is what you need to do today in the F1 world. But Kimi doesnt play that game and I like it.
As for Alonso, I remember 2007. It wasnt that long ago actually. But lets turn back time shall we. Alonso had just joined McLaren. Mike Coughlan had gotten hold of several hundred pages of Ferrari data from Nigel Stepney of Ferrari. And Alonso and De La Rosa (McLaren test driver at that time) used that data freely. How do I know this? Because I followed the case extensively. I have read all the transcripts from the hearing. Every single page. And from that, I know what Alonso, De La Rosa, Hamilton, the engineers and so forth said. This includes all the emails and texts sent. So what follows is a summary of what really happened according to their own testimonies.
Alonso, De La Rosa and their engineers were corresponding heavily about what solutions on the Ferrari car they should test or look into on the McLaren. The braking system. The weight distribution. Wheelbase of the car and so on. They even knew on what lap Kimi was pitting during the Australian GP, as the Ferrari dossier also contained strategies for the first race. (They were off by one lap due to Kimis extremely smooth driving style that made it possible for him to go a lap longer than Ferrari initially calculated.)
As you know, during 2007 Alonso had his hands full with Hamilton and he didn’t think he got the treatment he deserved as a world champion. That is why he went up to Ron Dennis mid-season and demanded no 1 status or he would go to the FIA and tell them about the Ferrari IP they had in their possession. Which was later confirmed by Ron Dennis and Max Mosley. This is called blackmailing. Ron Dennis did the only thing he could do. He went to Mosley and the FIA and told them what had happened.
The FIA then reacted swiftly and sent out an email to the drivers in McLaren – asking them to come clean with everything they knew and hand over every email and textmessage concerning this. If they did so, they would have immunity and not be disqualified. And so they did. Because they had no other choice.
From the transcripts it comes across that Hamilton were kept out of the loop and the partners in crime were De La Rosa, Alonso and the engineers they corresponded with. As you know, McLaren were found guilty and stripped of constructors points and Alonso and Hamilton were allowed to race on because he submitted all the information they had and Alonso came clean about trying to use the data to his advantage. This is the official report from the World Motor Sport Council hearing:
“The emails show unequivocally that both Mr Alonso and Mr de la Rosa received confidential Ferrari information via (Mike) Coughlan,” read the report.
“Both drivers knew that this information was confidential Ferrari information and that both knew that the information was being received by Coughlan from (Nigel) Stepney.”
Water under the bridge you say? Well, it should be. But I cant help react when Alonso comes out and says the following in an interview from the 23rd Feb, 2010: “With the spy history I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I was very happy to help the FIA discover everything.”
Now hold on a minute, Mr. Alonso. This statement of yours tells a lot. Because first of all, it’s a galling way of twisting the truth. Its not just being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” when you actively try all you can to benefit from Ferrari data that wrongfully were in their possession.
Second, the “happy to help” bit implies that he was on the FIAs side the whole time, helping them uncover the entire seedy affair. Like some kind of hero. That is also a severe bending of the truth. The reason he was “happy to help” was because he was summoned by the FIA to explain himself in the hearings in the spy case. Because he himself was guilty. It’s nothing more than a clever way of lying.
If you support him, thats great. He is an amazing driver and I wish I was able to just look at his driving abilities and appreciate those alone. But I’m not put together that way. I have to be able to admire his personality. And that I dont. But like I said. That’s me. Perhaps you will argue that I may be trying to change peoples minds by reading this. That is actually not my goal, believe it or not. I just want people to know what really went on and why I am critical of his behaviour. The above is documented information that can be dug up by anyone with the time and inclination to do so.
I have my views on the Singapore crashgate affair in 2008 as well. For someone who prides himself and is known for being completely involved in the team, I find it more than peculiar that he supposedly knew nothing about the plans to crash Piquet in the Singapore GP in 08. I read recently that the key- and only evidence that was provided to the FIA kangaroo court to decide on Alonsos involvement was sourced by Flavio Briatore himself! Hardly an impartial witness, would you say? Everything points to Alonso knowing all about the planned crash in Singapore 08. Don’t be naive.
I will add the words of my friend, wrcva who has done some research on the matter and 2008 in general:
“Alonso was in the center of two of the biggest scandals in the history of F1. He received 2 (not one but two) get-out-of-jail-free cards from Max (Bernie) for his testimony in Spygate and Crashgate. He was the only person materially benefiting from both scandals without losing even a single point. How is that possible?
In fact, most people – looking at forum posts — even (still) think that Alonso was investigated but exonerated from any charges as it relates to Singapore crashgate even though there were reasonable and significant questions about his role. He was radioed in to stop early, under normal circumstances this would be a disadvantage to his position in the race but he did not even say a word. As an experienced 2xWDC who normally would scream bloody murder if a team makes that kind of mistake. This is a guy that didn’t even blink an eye when actively trying to blackmail his boss because he was not elevated to #1 status in the team. And here he wouldn’t even make a single statement when he was asked to make an unscheduled, early, and potentially disadvantaging pit stop in Singapore? Reality was that, any and all investigations about his involvement were blocked by FIA, in exchange for his testimony, IIRC… So, he was not even investigated whatsoever… Why? Where does this amazing power comes from?
My guess is that because he is the king of marketing (big money & ROI)… which makes him pretty much untouchable in the FIA court because marketing power trumps sporting/racing. More power to him… but we all should be able to question things from the racing/sporting perspective. Kimi’s ice-cream, and motivation stories were circulated/propagated maybe 1000 times more than those scandals… and that should make everyone wonder why (and appreciate what active PR can do for perception management, spoon feeding fans their version of reality).”
-end of quote-
Lets just hope the days of questionable behaviour is behind him. One would also prefer for him to not comment on the spycase instead of trying to appear innocent. Because it tears up old wounds for a lot of people. But it can only go up from here. Perhaps in time I can enjoy his driving skills alone. I hope so. But so far – no.
Here is a recent article by Dave Jorgensen that underlines some of the points I have tried to make:
Anyway – if you are to comment, keep it civil. Thank you 🙂