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Does Alonso have regrets?


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#1 le chat noir

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:19

There's been a lot of talk about Honda possibly having regrets over the timing of their exit, but how do you think Alonso feels? He was offered the drive, for considerable money at the time (tho perhaps this would have been cut in the winter) to drive a dominant car under brawn's tutelage - tho admittedly against button (not piquet). all the options were on his side (bar, perhaps, being able to leave after one year).

did he make a monumentously stupid decision, or
was he not made aware of the full capacity of this year's effort by Honda?

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#2 SevenTwoSeven

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:26

Interesting post! Id quite forgotten about this...i guess though at the time there was no way he would say yes, even being offered all the money in the world. And even if he had seen the car (on the drawing board or whatever) he wouldnt have anything to compare it to surely given the rule changes? Other than whatever data renault had at that time on the 2009 car based on whatever simulations/CFD/Wind tunnel experiments they were engaging in.

In fact did Honda/Brawn have any idea just how quick the car would be until they got to the first test with it?

Would Honda have quit so abrubtly if Alonso had signed? They wouldnt have had the merc engine though, however much a part its playing in Brawns pace so far....

#3 Willy_Wonka

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:32

Who could have known apart from honda/brawn, they would have had a very very good idea through there simulators that the car was a massive step up, i dont see how alonso could have gone there though based on recent history.
Never has a team made such a massive improvment like honda/brawn have this year.
With renault, it is a safe bet they will be there or there abouts.
Plus we know how alsonso reacts to having a strong team mate, see trulli hammi.
And in my opinion, he wouldnt be able to do his thing in a team that concentrated on two drivers and not one.
Iam not taking anything away from him, but he does seem to need to be in a one driver only team.

#4 F1 Tor.

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:35

hindsight is great, isn't it? :wave:

#5 le chat noir

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:39

Originally posted by SevenTwoSeven
Interesting post! Id quite forgotten about this...i guess though at the time there was no way he would say yes, even being offered all the money in the world. And even if he had seen the car (on the drawing board or whatever) he wouldnt have anything to compare it to surely given the rule changes? Other than whatever data renault had at that time on the 2009 car based on whatever simulations/CFD/Wind tunnel experiments they were engaging in.

In fact did Honda/Brawn have any idea just how quick the car would be until they got to the first test with it?

Would Honda have quit so abrubtly if Alonso had signed? They wouldnt have had the merc engine though, however much a part its playing in Brawns pace so far....


Sure, there was no direct comparison to be had at that time, however, there were definite good signs.

Development began on the car in 2007, before any other team. They were running research programs down several avenues at the same time, persisting with some where others would have to call it quits (seeing dividends later, when previously there were none).
Consider also, how much development was put into the Renault and McLaren at the end of the season last year. Its no coincidence they are now trailing Honda/Brawn who had/have the largest chassis team of any. On the engine side he had nothing to lose either, both Honda and Renault were due an upgrade to catch up.

Brawn would certainly have had an idea of it. I thought, though I can't link to any post, at the time that the claim on it being a top 3 car was underselling them.

Then there's the fact that Alonso has shown foresight of this kind over a much longer time period on signing with McLaren.

There's no answer to whether they'd have stayed or not, or what the difference would have been - they'd be down a Merc engine, but up an upgrade, further development and testing. And Alonso.

#6 fnz

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:39

He might have regrets but at that point he made the correct choice imho

#7 niallmckiernan

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:40

Originally posted by le chat noir
He was offered the drive, for considerable money at the time (tho perhaps this would have been cut in the winter) to drive a dominant car under brawn's tutelage -


Yeah that's right, after Honda's two previous seasons who wouldn't have thought they'd be leading the way in '09 :drunk:

#8 undersquare

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:45

Alonso must have regrets, but he couldn't have known at the time, no-one else did.

And if he had signed, would Honda have pulled out?

#9 le chat noir

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:48

Originally posted by niallmckiernan


Yeah that's right, after Honda's two previous seasons who wouldn't have thought they'd be leading the way in '09 :drunk:


This is the thing tho. I actually did - tho I can't link to any claim (not sure if I ever made one, can't be bothered to look). For all the reasons explained in the above post. It was looking good up until the pull out. In an understated, Japanese way, certainly, but the signs were there for those that were looking.

And yes, hindsight is great, that is the purpose of the thread I suppose. Interesting, nonetheless, that Alonso (and Massa) are the most vocal of the non-Brawn drivers about the Brawn car, diffusers and clawing back deficit.




Funny thing is, I suppose, that by resigning for Renault, he seems to be driving a Honda!




Perhaps the problem was that they tried to get him for 2008 and proceeded to have a terrible year. But instead of seeing that Renault could achieve great things in 2008 from a terrible start and that Honda could make similar, more impressive, strides for 2009 by killing 2008 - while Renault were killing 2009 by continuous development of 2008 - he saw how bad a year he could have had in 2008 had he signed previously to the new offer.

#10 rolf123

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:56

If I was Alonso, I would not regret it.

He is in the leading pack of racers, perhaps the best of them all. Took Renault to 2 championships. Nearly won another one in a McLaren despite the world being against him (in his mind anyway), produced some sterling drives last year and won against the odds and is still on his journey to bring Renault back to the big time.

He's got 2 years to do it and then he's off to Ferrari.

Why would he want to go to Brawn and suddenly have the best car again? He's already had this with McLaren. Sounds more gratifying to turn a team into winners than just have a pile of gold fall into your lap.

Besides, in 2 years he'll be off to the greatest team in history anyway.

#11 SevenTwoSeven

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 19:57

Assuming, then, that things looked good on the car front from Alonso's point of view, and the money was right, then maybe the team-mate thing was the sticking point? If he discounted the dismal seasons Honda had had up to that point, knowing that they had been working on the 2009 car since 2007, plus what he knew about the 2009 Renault.....not knowing just who his team-mate would be (a-la McLaren) may have put him off. I reckon personaly Button could well be a match for him in the same car, and Rubens wouldnt be that far off. But a rookie, from GP2, may have been more to his liking, But wether Senna would be a Hamilton-esque team-mate, i dont really know. I suspect not.

#12 Man of the race

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 20:33

If he had chosen otherwise and were driving a Brawnie now, he would have been declared as a saint. It is a funny world.

#13 brunopascal

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 20:34

Indeed an interesting post le chat noir, I too had forgotten the talks about Alonso joining Honda.

I don't think he regret his logic behind deciding to stay w Renault, although he might be dreaming "what if..." by now.

Don't remember all the details from that time, but I think at the time it was right to choose Renault. They managed to update and develop during 2008 to close the gap to the front, and this ability should have made Alonso feel he was in a team that could develop a decent car for 2009 aswell, especially as Ferrari and McLaren focused on 2008 until the last race.
Honda on the other hand had nothing to indicate they'd benefit (other than Brawn's proven skill, perhaps) from switching focus to 2009 early on during 2008. Could've ended up like McLaren, when they were early in the development of the 2004 car, but that was a flop, so starting early was no garuantee.

#14 stonebutter

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 20:43

Originally posted by le chat noir
did he make a monumentously stupid decision, or
was he not made aware of the full capacity of this year's effort by Honda?


He would have needed a crystal ball - so given honda's performance in 07 and 08 it was a no brainer to tell Honda to go take a piss. It was definitely NOT a stupid decision at the time.

Brawn is fast now - their car is solid, but the cream always rises to the top in F1. It will be a matter of a few races before Jenson and Rubens will really have to start driving flawlessly if they hope to maintain their positions (and in my opinion I don't think either of them has what it takes to do that on a consistent basis). So in this regard I still don't think Alonso's decision is dumb. Renault have resources that Brawn doesn't and they have proven they can develop the hell out of their car over the course of a season. Renault is one of the most desirable teams in the paddock - Brawn is the hot team for right now...it will not be that way for very long I feel.

Also le chat noir - you are in the minority if you were so sure the honda would be a top car in 2009. Even the company that developed it didn't think that way...so much so they pulled out of F1.

Just my opinion.

#15 DLaw

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 20:46

Originally posted by le chat noir
There's been a lot of talk about Honda possibly having regrets over the timing of their exit, but how do you think Alonso feels? He was offered the drive, for considerable money at the time (tho perhaps this would have been cut in the winter) to drive a dominant car under brawn's tutelage - tho admittedly against button (not piquet). all the options were on his side (bar, perhaps, being able to leave after one year).

did he make a monumentously stupid decision, or
was he not made aware of the full capacity of this year's effort by Honda?



I think you are making something out of nothing. :cool:

#16 Ferrim

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 21:34

Let's thank God Alonso didn't join Honda. By now he would be named the absolute genius at car development and the forum would be full of Alonso-maniatic trolls.

#17 LuisPena

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 21:47

i think he did the right thing.
Any top driver with this offert would have rejected.
Taking in consideration what Honda did last few season no one could possibly imagine they could have perform like they did last weekend in Australia.
He decided Renault so he can have something safe, because he lost a lot of time (2007 and 2008).
I am sure dad he and Renault will step foward this year, look what he did last year.


I think Alonso only have bad luck, no matter the Formula 1 Records, he is possibly one of the top 3 drivers in Formula 1 History. :up:

#18 Hacklerf

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 21:54

The could of, should of, would of club, is the biggest club in the world

#19 Zippel

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 22:19

Originally posted by Man of the race
If he had chosen otherwise and were driving a Brawnie now, he would have been declared as a saint. It is a funny world.


But would have the current engine supplier been so willingly to help out?

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#20 Chicken McNuggets

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 22:29

It's the nature of life that good decisions can have bad outcomes sometimes, and bad decisions can end up producing good ones, even if vice versa is always exceedingly more likely. Button was being criticised by a few on this board for not leaving what became Brawn GP, and just imagine how he'd be feeling now, had he made the jump to an STR or Force India. At times, you just can't win when it comes to making decisions like these, and who knows whether Alonso would've liked the ambience at Honda/Brawn. It was always an outside option for him to move there anyway, given how thoroughly his fingers had been burnt at McLaren.

So no, I think he made utterly the right decision, given Honda's track record of talking the talk but repeatedly failing to back it up, and certainly he surely can't be feeling that regretful yet. Who knows, he could've easily been walking into an Arrows '97 situation had he signed. Or, for that matter, a BAR 1999 one. Or BAR 2000. Or BAR 2001, or BAR 2002, or...

#21 Zarathustra

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 22:34

It didn't really look like a choice at the time. Unfamiliar team with poor history and potentially challenging teammate or team he knows inside out, plenty of race wins behind them and teammate who will never be a problem.

#22 Dalek Caan

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 22:39

Originally posted by Chicken McNuggets
Button was being criticised by a few on this board for not leaving what became Brawn GP, and just imagine how he'd be feeling now, had he made the jump to an STR or Force India.


Good grief! It really puts it into perspective when you write it like that! Button could have been known for a career of bad choices, in the wrong place at the wrong time - but not anymore it would seem. :smoking: Even if the diffuser is banned (it won't be) he will still need no inferiority complex fighting with the likes of KERS-less Kubica and Vettel. I expect Brawn to lose its advantage pretty soon, even with the diffuser, but as you say, he could have been in a Force India. ;)

#23 pongkai

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 22:55

Ha, I was just about to say that. I don't think Alonso wanted to risk pulling a Villeneuve-1999. That road needed no more traveling. :) Alonso made the right decision based on available information.

Originally posted by Chicken McNuggets
It's the nature of life that good decisions can have bad outcomes sometimes, and bad decisions can end up producing good ones, even if vice versa is always exceedingly more likely. Button was being criticised by a few on this board for not leaving what became Brawn GP, and just imagine how he'd be feeling now, had he made the jump to an STR or Force India. At times, you just can't win when it comes to making decisions like these, and who knows whether Alonso would've liked the ambience at Honda/Brawn. It was always an outside option for him to move there anyway, given how thoroughly his fingers had been burnt at McLaren.

So no, I think he made utterly the right decision, given Honda's track record of talking the talk but repeatedly failing to back it up, and certainly he surely can't be feeling that regretful yet. Who knows, he could've easily been walking into an Arrows '97 situation had he signed. Or, for that matter, a BAR 1999 one. Or BAR 2000. Or BAR 2001, or BAR 2002, or...



#24 David Ricardo

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 23:23

The 2007 season showed Alonso that a fast car ain´t everything in racing. The option offered by Brawn was a dream with many unanswered questions:
Would the car be as good as promised?
Would Honda keep in the sport during the financial crisis?
Even in the case of the car being a bullet in the beginning of the season, would Honda/Brawn have the resources to be able to keep up with the other teams?
Would there be trouble between workers inside the team / one pilot being helped over the other / etc?

Those where a lot of things he wouldn´t have to worry (or at least not so much) in Renault. A team he knows how they work, Piquet is a non issue, they have been world champions before...

I think he made the right decision.

#25 Menace

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 02:29

Originally posted by undersquare
Alonso must have regrets, but he couldn't have known at the time, no-one else did.

And if he had signed, would Honda have pulled out?


I think the second part is more intriguing here, as their development process through out the season would be much stronger under Honda backing.

Can you imagine the threads hailing Alonso as the messiah who once again, single handedly brought the crap Honda team to these levels of World domination? :lol: I think we are better off this way, otherwise we would never hear the end about his Godly ability to develop a car better then anyone else, even the engineers. ;)

#26 Kooper

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 02:41

Originally posted by undersquare

Alonso must have regrets, but he couldn't have known at the time, no-one else did.

And if he had signed, would Honda have pulled out?



could have worked out a lot of ways, but think about this


And if he had signed, would Renault have pulled out?