Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017

Alonso’s rivals surprised he’ll miss Monaco

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso’s rivals are surprised he’s even allowed to miss the Monaco Grand Prix to race at Indianapolis.

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Is there any realistic alternative to McLaren bringing Button back for the Monaco Grand Prix?

He’s generally been pretty good at Monaco, and if anyone’s going to keep the car out of the wall it’s him. If I were McLaren I’d put him in the car with no hesitation.

If it was another track I’d be happy to see a rookie take the seat, but as mentioned above, at Monaco all it would likely do is ruin their career.

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On this day in F1

Felipe Massa put his Ferrari on pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix today in 2007.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 72 comments on “Alonso’s rivals surprised he’ll miss Monaco”

    1. Thanks Keith, he’ll probably crash now!

      1. if not, perhaps a drain cover will try to wreck his race

      2. @george I was thinking the same! I did touch some wood when I read it

      3. Unless Keith makes this COTD tomorrow ;)

      4. Don’t believe in superstition, it only brings bad luck! ;)

    2. There’s a mistake in the Bahrain 2017 betting preview

      “Only one driver in the history of Formula One has set more pole positions than Kimi Raikkonen”

    3. I’d also prefer Button than a rookie. But in the sense of getting someone-else’s opinion on the McLaren. Button is more likely to give a blunt response, while a rookie would be happy just being there.

      1. McLaren have 3 jr drivers of which only 1 has a superlicense, Nyck de Vries.

        However, De Vries took three years to win a title in Formula Renault 2.0. He then did finish 3rd in his rookie in Formula Renault 3.5 WSR but then made a weird transition to GP3 instead of staying or moving to GP2.
        To make things worse, he was only 6th in GP3… This year he races in Formula 2 (GP2) for team Rapax. That team has won the 2010 championship in their maiden year with Pastor Maldonado but since then have been a midfield team.

        To me De Vries has to outperform his car during the first 4 races in Bahrain and Spain to show he’s actually an F1 talent on merit.

    4. I understand why Kimi is a bit hesitant in making moves during the race, the last time he tried it was in Russia a few years ago, I remember his race engineer telling him ‘all or nothing’ he went for the move, Bottas closed the door and the rest is history. Another thing is that his car had problems in Australia which were not sufficiently solved in China. He doesn’t help himself by not being as fast as his teammate but sometimes the team simply forget about him and in any case who is the strategist on Kimis side, the guy needs to wake up during the race and his race engineer needs to listen to Kimi.

      1. The fact is that when rain is involved kimi buckles big time.. i.e. Monaco last year, Brazil, and now China.
        Kimi los this rain ability’s it seems.

        1. MG421982 (@)
          14th April 2017, 8:47

          Or never had it…!! He lost it at the 2008 Spa too… and then was in his prime.

    5. If Alonso raced at Monaco he’d be relying on luck, weather, and/or other people’s misfortune to get a decent result. And by decent, we’d still only be talking about a few points.
      If he races at the 500 he, the team, Honda, the race, and everyone else involved with it will attract lots more media attention during the build up, and even if he crashes out or finishes near the back most people will understand that these things happen the first time you race there, if he scores points it would be a good result for a first race, a podium would be massive, and a win would be the biggest story in world motorsport and set him up for the Triple.
      He’s got little to lose, and a lot to gain, and just by entering he’s generated a lot of good press for everyone involved, I think I’ve seen more articles about the 500 in the non-racing UK media this week than it normally would get in a couple of years.

      1. Agreed.

        The amount of discussion and publicity this has received is amazing! I believe it is fantastic for Alonso, F1, and IndyCar. Really, racing in general. It’s like a jolt to the whole racing world. May can’t come soon enough.

      2. If Alonso takes the Indy 500 start he’ll automatically score 11 points. Everyone has points in IndyCar.

        1. I like these socialist racing series ;)

      3. He’s setting a bad precedent. If you want to race in another series – then quit. He’s such a primadonna though he probably held his breath until the team let him.
        It dilutes the pool and shows he’s just going through the motions in F1. Quit already

        1. So Clay Regazzoni, Mario Andretti, JIM CLARK, they were primadonnas for skipping Monaco to race at Indianapolis back in the ’60s-’70s?

        2. @sjzelli, not really – it used to be very common for drivers in F1 to race in other series and to skip the Monaco GP to race in the Indy 500 (Graham Hill, Stewart and Clark to name a few). In the past, some outfits even expected their drivers to make themselves available to race in other series – Ferrari would routinely run their drivers in sportscar races when they were still participating in sportscar racing, with the likes of Surtees and Amon racing for them, and in the early 1970’s Ferrari even intentionally pulled out of several races in order to focus on their sportscar races instead of F1. It might now be very rare in the modern era, but in the past it was almost second nature for drivers to drop in and out of the occasional race to participate in races elsewhere.

          1. We’re in the modern era and I’m not concerned with what drivers did 40 years ago. Fernando’s turning his back on his duties to go race in another series. Shouldn’t be surprised though. Greedy move by yet another soulless American company. F1 will be cheapened to the point of no return and become a peasant sport like Nascar. I miss Bernie already.

            1. @SaraJ Ok then. You watch the Monaco parade and us peasants will watch cars race each other at Indy.

            2. Yeah so what’s your point?

            3. That people like you would rather look down their nose at others and watch a procession rather than cars actually racing each other because it its not ‘elite ‘ enough for you.
              I thought it was pretty clear in my comment.

      4. Seems to me Formula 1 and especially Alonso needs the attention far more than the Indy 500 does.

        1. l would say Honda need good press more than anyone else and a new American boss wouldn’t mind a bit of it either.

          1. Bingo!

            This has Honda written all over it.

        2. Someone posted the stats on here the other day and Fernando has more Twitter followers than about half of the 500 Grid combined, so I think it’s more of a mutually beneficial situation. F1 will get a big boost in the USA, while the 500 will get a big boost around the rest of the world outside of the USA.

          1. Considering the twitter followers have not benefited F1 till now I wonder how it is relevant here!

        3. Take a guess at McLaren’s biggest market for selling cars….. And they’ve now got the title sponsorship (McLaren Andretti Autosport) of the car everyone will be talking about.

      5. @beneboy As I said yesterday, this is the first time anyone has had anything positive to say about McLaren for 3 years! It’s already great PR for them and the race is still a way off!

    6. The big difference with everyone else is that Alonso haa raced at Monaco more times than anyone on the grid bar Felipe. And he’s won it twice. He’s a world champion who can only dream about scoring points at the moment, so he probably doesn’t NEED to race at Monaco again.

      He’d definetly do it if the dates didn’t clash but they do, so why not? It’s a good marketing move too, for him and the team.

      The others have a lot more to prove than him, so it’s a good challenge if oval racing is something he’s interested with. I bet a lot of the drivers don’t like the idea of oval racing in open wheelers, even Rubens hesitated about speedways when he moved to Indycars.

      1. Luis de la garza
        14th April 2017, 14:07


    7. I feel for Ricciardo and Verstappen. Knowing from the first couple of test days that your car is so far off the pace and yet another wasted year. Ricciardo in particular is trying to put a brave face on but doesn’t seem all that happy at the moment.

      Here’s hoping that RBR can close up the gap but 1.3 seconds is massive in F1.

      I suspect they will spend more than me this year fending off challenges from behind.

      I suppose it could be far worse… They could be Alonso or Vandoorne.

      1. @dbradock I really do feel bad for Vandoorne. He should have been in F1 three years ago, and now that he finally makes his F1 debut, he’s up against one of the best drivers on the grid in a car that is litterally shaking itself to death.

        I don’t really feel bad for Alonso, he could have left McLaren by now but the 35 million salary he’s receiving is keeping him there.

        And Verstappen got in a top team so early, I think it only makes sense that he has to wait a couple of years before getting a WDC winning car.

    8. What exactly is Wherleins point. He dont tell what his injury is so everyone has to speculate and then he just cancels a Grand Prix the day before qualifying and saying he aint “fit enough”.

      Hey Wherlein you are right we dont know what your condition is but our comments are based on what you said and did about it. If lacking 2 weeks of fittnesstraining is cause enough for you to abandon an GP weekend half way through its not surprising you get those type of comments.

      1. I guess Pascal just didn’t want to feed the like yourself.

      2. I trust him and his team: If he says he can’t race; he can’t race.

        But I guess some people have the right to know every intrinsic detail and can speculate freely about alternative facts :p

        1. @f1-liners
          You call the official statement from Pascal alternate facts?

      3. @rethla He did tell. He had three fractured vertebrae in the neck.

        1. @mike-dee
          If he say “I cant compete because i need to rehabilitate my musculature in the back after crushing three vertebrae” its no problem. If he sais “I cant compete because i missed some wintertraining and aint fit enough” Everyone is gonna call him out on that because everyone can see that no a serious statement.

    9. James Coulee
      14th April 2017, 1:57

      That’s just corporate talk from those drivers, they are just saying what their teams and sponsors would like them to say.
      At the same time, they aren’t in the same position as Alonso. Alonso is a highly regarded driver, with nothing to prove, and Mcladen owes him a lot. …and probably is desperately trying to keep him happy. Most other drivers are just glad they had a steep, and would give their pinky for the car Alonso despises.

      1. James Coulee
        14th April 2017, 1:58

        *just glad they have a seat

      2. McLaden initially made me think about McLada … But it’s a bit unfair because at least Ladas are reliable chassis-wise and engine-wise.

      3. Not sure many drivers as capable as Alonso would be happy with a seat so uncapable as his.

    10. I’m very surprised that Red Bull’s aerodynamics are so far off, considering they were the ones pushing hardest for these regulation changes, and considering that they have been the best with aero for many years now.

      One idea behind the regulation changes was to reduce, or rebalance, the importance of the engine by increasing the importance of the aerodynamics. In reality, what I believe has happened is that you now need both to be the best if you wish to not be far off the pace. The engines can create as much speed deficit as before, but additionally so can the aerodynamics, meaning that these regulations only favour the teams that have got both bang on, if that makes sense.

      1. Let’s therefore be very grateful that for now two teams seem to be about bang on, maybe one slightly ahead on engine, the other on aero, but very equal on balance @strontium, it could have easily been as one sided as last three years.

        1. @bosyber you’re absolutely right. I am very thankful, and more than anything, relived, that it has turned out this way

      2. Red bull had the best engine mapping and most advanced blown diffuser for 3 years then they conned their way into being able to still blow the diffuser for “reliability reasons. The red bull is great at aero myth is slowly but surely dying as we speak.
        Last year their great aeto boiled down to a trick suspension that lowered the rear of the car on straights… great aero?? I think not. Its time this myth about red bull dies.

        1. Saying that they were not good at aerodynamics because they just had a good blown diffuser is contradictory. Granted the Renault engine mapping surely helped but they were hardly the only team using the Renault engine (one of the others being Renault itself). There are several videos out there where the flows around the car are visiblessed, and it is clear that the flows of the red bull are incredibly stable both in corners and straights.

          I have the feeling that given then comments of the red bull drivers about the difficulties setting up the car (small changes leading to huge differences) means there is currently something severely wrong with their car. I think as soon as theyou find out what that is they will make a significant jump in performance. That coupled with some gains on the engine side I thing they could well be in the run for the championship.

          1. Yeah there’s something wrong – their aero sucks.

          2. They can improve half a second, but they are not on or within frontrunner level.

            1. It seems to me they have tried to make their car slippery in a straight line to combat the new rules and engine performance which is the opposite to their usual ethos.

    11. The only problem with having Button do the Monaco GP is the same as Massa still driving in f1, it breaks the illusion that they chose to retire.

      1. True, but we already know Jenson didn’t choose to retire anyway, else he wouldn’t be contracted as a reserve driver.

      2. Button took a sabbatical, he is still contracted to McLaren as an ambassador and reserve driver.

        This is the exact situation where you would use your reserve driver

    12. I’ll just put this here:
      The defending champion lives in Monaco.

      1. …and Alonso is scared

    13. Rosberg in the car?

    14. Button, easy. It is the lowest G-force track, so he should be fit enough… Being JB that he is.

      But also a track that requires most mental composure. It should be fun. And he is under contract right?

    15. Button should not be given the Monaco drive. His performance the last couple of years shows he made the correct choice to retire.

      1. We’re you watching F1 on your radio?

        1. I watch on television . Button won 1 championship in a very strange car. It’s very odd for a one off new team to win championship . Button was always a middle of the pack driver his whole career. He always blames car not his performance in race; “too much understeer, oversteer, bad tyres etc.

          1. I think his 3 years after winning the world championship deserve a little more attention.

            1. IMO he drove better in those years (overall) than in 2009.

          2. Was your TV switched on Gigi?

    16. If The contract would let’em and The car they droved was this mclaren, i bet they would try indy500 or lemans

    17. I guess Adrian Newey had finally lost his mojo? Lack of downforce in a year when new aero regs were introduced? I am surprised.

    18. It is better to win a few races and crash in a few than always be second or third and be ahead in the championship. That is my approach to racing when you are not fighting for the title.

      Sounds Wrong but Feels Right.

      1. The whole point of racing is to charge all the time.

        – Gilles Villeneuve

    19. Yeah i cant believe alonso is missing the monaco gp (the most overrated race) to go do the indy 500. Can we stop building up the monaco gp like its something special cos its not.

    20. This is just another example of Alonso’ selfishness. Anyone thinks this somehow benefits McLaren or F1, are kidding themselves.

    21. I wonder if this is going be what Alonso’s IndyCar will look like …

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