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Fernando Alonso thread [merged]


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#6901 fabr68

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 17:09

Thank you for your comment.


:rotfl:

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#6902 Craven Morehead

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 17:11

Another one. :love:

http://www.f1-direct...g/jerez/071.jpg


:up: :up:

#6903 Fontainebleau

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 18:03

fernando is the most overrated driver in this decade.

I haven´t any doubt and i´m spanish

Regards

I hadn't realised that the Spanish nationality on its own guaranteed being always right, or even very knowledgeable, about F1!  ;)

For what it is worth, I fully disagree with you, and I'm Spanish too :p

Edited by Fontainebleau, 12 February 2011 - 18:04.


#6904 Lotusseven

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 18:47

fernando is the most overrated driver in this decade.

I haven´t any doubt and i´m spanish

Regards




Who/ which ones does overrate him ?


#6905 gaston_foix

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 18:57

Who/ which ones does overrate him ?

Kimi RaikKonen :lol: Sorry I couldn't stop myself.

Edited by gaston_foix, 12 February 2011 - 19:08.


#6906 Lotusseven

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 18:59

Kimi Raikonnen :lol:


:lol:



#6907 Nesto

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 19:33

fernando is the most overrated driver in this decade.

I haven´t any doubt and i´m spanish

Regards


I have a spanish name (Ernesto) and I took spanish in high school and I disagree with you.

#6908 Hole

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 19:36

fernando is the most overrated driver in this decade.

I haven´t any doubt and i´m spanish

Regards


Who the hell cares about your nationality. :lol:

#6909 GPmaster

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 19:43

you were ironic? :confused:


No shit Sherlock. :kiss:


#6910 gaston_foix

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 19:55

No shit Sherlock. :kiss:

:rotfl: :lol:

#6911 AlanWake

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 20:42

Thank you for your comment.


Good night and good luck  ;)

I guess it must hurt the fact that Ferrari with Fernando Alonso did +100 laps compared to the most overhyped team -by far- in the last decade.

#6912 GPmaster

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 20:50

Yeah, what was going on with McLaren? Only 36 laps today.

#6913 Lokt

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 20:56

Yeah, what was going on with McLaren? Only 36 laps today.


Who knows....

#6914 Smile17

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 20:57

Yeah, what was going on with McLaren? Only 36 laps today.


Pure confidence...

#6915 ferrarijon123

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 20:59

Pure confidence...

Or not :lol:

#6916 GlenP

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 21:00

I don't think Fernando Alonso is overrated one little bit. He is correctly rated by most pundits as the premier driver in F1, and I don't see that changing any time soon. He does have some flaws, obviously - no-one is perfect - but on balance he is definitely top dog in the sport.

Despite the awesome, ominous Red Bull car I would still rate FA as favourite for 2011 WDC.

#6917 Smile17

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 21:06

Or not :lol:


It's just how you want to see it...  ;)

I don't think Fernando Alonso is overrated one little bit. He is correctly rated by most pundits as the premier driver in F1, and I don't see that changing any time soon. He does have some flaws, obviously - no-one is perfect - but on balance he is definitely top dog in the sport.

Despite the awesome, ominous Red Bull car I would still rate FA as favourite for 2011 WDC.


:up: Well said, totally agree!

#6918 Skinnyguy

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 21:06

I think he´s exactly as good as overrated, a huge lot :lol:

He´s super good, a real top driver, as good as any other guy around, and is usually regarded (by some) like some sort of motorsport God. So both things.

#6919 Smile17

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 21:12

I think he´s exactly as good as overrated, a huge lot :lol:

He´s super good, a real top driver, as good as any other guy around, and is usually regarded (by some) like some sort of motorsport God. So both things.


I think you should check your sense...

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#6920 Skinnyguy

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 21:17

I think you should check your sense...


Oh don´t think so. He´s THAT good, really. ;)

#6921 AlanWake

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 21:18

I think he´s exactly as good as overrated, a huge lot :lol:

He´s super good, a real top driver, as good as any other guy around, and is usually regarded (by some) like some sort of motorsport God. So both things.


He's overrated by some and definitely underrated by some...

#6922 Skinnyguy

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 21:20

He's overrated by some and definitely underrated by some...


You´re absolutely right.

#6923 AlanWake

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 11:44

Interesting interview with Fernando Alonso today.

Here is the Google translation:

Enzo Ferrari said: "Drivers, what people!" Masters of calculation, cynicism champions, champions of the men disregard or just looking at the exhilarating thrill of victory the meaning of their lives? ". What are you?
Perhaps the latter, look for victory to feel good and enjoy life. If not in the F-1 would be in another sport. Trying to find my limits as a person and as an athlete, to win and whoever it is, for personal satisfaction.

"The victory gives meaning to your life, then?
Yes, yes. It can be said.

In your first test with a F1 car you said that it would cost to be the boss. Do you feel now the head of the sport?
It is a legend. I guess I did not say that, I do not remember saying anything. Surely I did think about the difficulty of winning in F1 because there were drivers that raced in lower categories where I had raced and there there were in low teams or midfield teams, getting the 15th or 16th place. They were drivers who had won the category last year in which I was racing, and in F1 they were at the back of the grid.

Do you feel the boss?
No. I do not think there is any boss. There is a group of pilots seated we run year after year in major equipment and then, half down, there is always movement, always get good drivers, GP2, and now in the final years of the crisis there are some teams that need pilots to provide a sponsor. I have the luck of being in the group that are safer and safer to have a seat next year.

New season, second season in Ferrari. "Winning is an obligation for you?
No, I do not think it is any obligation. You always start the season with the motivation and the hope of succeeding, but not because it is the second year at Ferrari. If you were on another team would have the same motivation, but from the outside know the expectation that exists when you race in a team with the history of Ferrari and to make second or third is a failure. When you're on a team as strong as this, you are aware of it, but you know you'll always do the maximum and, if it does not, it will attempt the following year.

This year, you said the most feared rival was Schumacher. Some laughed at you. Struggling psychological or reality?
Anything that is said in a press conference has a big impact. Now there are many ways, the ball gets older, and you say only that Schumacher is a rival or that greater respect for the record that has, and that each season you have to admire someone like Michael Schumacher for what he has done, it makes you want to say something or send a message to another driver. Sometimes we go mad analyzing what it is said.

You beat him for the championship and it seemed you would begin a new era in F1, but years past and you continue with two titles, are you afraid to stay with only 2 titles?
No, I have no fear. I know it's possible and would be extremely proud to have won two world titles, what happens is that Schumacher won seven it seems that everyone has an obligation to win seven or more, and that is very difficult to achieve. After two straight titles perhaps people expected more, but since then, every F1 championships were won by a different driver each year. It seemed that everyone was about to raze and always look for that. I won two and looked set to win many at once. After Raikkonen won one and looked set to win many at once, but not won. And the same with Hamilton and Button. Now it seems that the future lies with Vettel ... we will see. It is very difficult to win a championship, extremely difficult to win two and even more difficult to win three or more. We are fortunate to be in the handful of those who have won two and see if we get the third.

Some time ago you said you would retire after three titles.
I can not hide that, it would be one of my goals.

Why?
Because Senna won three, because I never thought I could get in F1 or I could win race and become world champion. When I got the second title, it was unreal to me then and now, when you look at the third title, it's like if you get three, you get into extreme personal satisfaction ... Surely, if someday I have the luck to get it I have no doubt that I would like more, but now I see the third as a very good goal to reach.

If McLaren had trusted in you, would you have four titles now?
If things had happened ... In the race, you make decisions for one side or another and that's going to go good or bad things. If, when I went to McLaren and McLaren this year go well, had won the third. If when I left there I had gone to other teams who had offers, as had been the champion ... but also if in 2001-2002, Flavio I had not caught before that Fisichella would continue running in Minardi. I can not ask more, I've been lucky enough to be always on good teams and get two titles, and fighting for another two titles till the last race of the season. I could have four, three, zero ... I have two and it is fair.

About McLaren, there is a theory that you can't have teammate with a similar level to yours.

That is something that was originated in England and here in Spain was copied. It was copied and pasted so it will not write anything more. I've always had very strong teammates in my career, but only McLaren my teammate got the same points that I had at the end of the year.


"Do you left Mclaren because of Hamilton?
I didn't leave McLaren due to the teammate or anything, I left because there was a big disagreement with the team bosses, because I have a different philosophy to understand the races. I have the luck that could leave a team like McLaren to any other team and feel happy, when someone else was doing the ball to stay at McLaren forever. I have not to do that.

Then two years in Renault and I ask you if you understand why someone would think you knew that Piquet was going to crash in Singapore
No, it is normal to say this, but ...

Why? Did not you know?
No, of course I didn't know that. It is normal to say such thing for all the courage that exists in internet, because you are anonymous and can write whatever you want, say what you want, then pay your Internet life and are a much more courageous and take it with you as taken with anyone when things go well. So.

"Was it a miracle that you came into the final race with a chance to win the title last year ?
No, I think it was the result of the whole team work, of confidence, of optimism, of knowing that you could do it, not think it was a miracle but serious and professional work when others also helped us because it failed and had problems, as it was the first time they were faced with that situation.

"Would you have won the title with a Red Bull?
You never know. We would have won even without errors or problems that we had half of the year. We lost many points in Valencia, Silverstone, Malaysia, China, Monaco ... I think we could have won with Ferrari.

"Last year the best car won the title, will happen the same thing again this year?
It is usually always the case, if we see the last few years, the last 15 years ...

If I had to bet one million euros for a champion for this year, who would it be?
Don't bet. I would bet in another sport which is easier than Formula 1.

This year, team orders return. Would you accept what the team did to Massa in Germany?
Of course I would, I have no problem. I've always been an available driver for the team, for what they asked me. If one day I have to do anything for the team they know I will.

Let's talk about the other Spanish driver on the grid, how about Alguersuari?

He is a young driver, with a car still difficult to be in the middle. I've also been there and you start the year with high hopes, but if the car does not respond, the year is very long for you. You get tired of fighting for the 17th or 18th place, but you must have patience and the opportunity will come.

Is there the relief of Alonso in Spain, a driver with your characteristics?
Ummm, I do not know exactly when I started, there were different times. It is difficult to compare, I do not know if there are equal, better or worse drivers ...

"So is there someone Spanish that can be world champion in the future?
The only one that I see one day winning in Formula 1 is Carlos Sainz Jr.

http://www.as.com/mo...dasdaimot_1/Tes


Edited by AlanWake, 13 February 2011 - 11:50.


#6924 PoleMan

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 13:32

Lots to like in that interview! Though Google translate fuzzed up some of his more nuanced points.

I know we'll NEVER resolve the "What really happened behind the scenes at McLaren in 2007?" question, but I found his answers about Hamilton and McLaren the most insightful.

About McLaren, there is a theory that you can't have teammate with a similar level to yours.
That is something that was originated in England and here in Spain was copied. It was copied and pasted so it will not write anything more. I've always had very strong teammates in my career, but only McLaren my teammate got the same points that I had at the end of the year.

"Do you left Mclaren because of Hamilton?
I didn't leave McLaren due to the teammate or anything, I left because there was a big disagreement with the team bosses, because I have a different philosophy to understand the races. I have the luck that could leave a team like McLaren to any other team and feel happy, when someone else was doing the ball to stay at McLaren forever. I have not to do that.

Edited by PoleMan, 13 February 2011 - 13:33.


#6925 Smile17

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 13:54

Lots to like in that interview! Though Google translate fuzzed up some of his more nuanced points.

I know we'll NEVER resolve the "What really happened behind the scenes at McLaren in 2007?" question, but I found his answers about Hamilton and McLaren the most insightful.

About McLaren, there is a theory that you can't have teammate with a similar level to yours.
That is something that was originated in England and here in Spain was copied. It was copied and pasted so it will not write anything more. I've always had very strong teammates in my career, but only McLaren my teammate got the same points that I had at the end of the year.

"Do you left Mclaren because of Hamilton?
I didn't leave McLaren due to the teammate or anything, I left because there was a big disagreement with the team bosses, because I have a different philosophy to understand the races. I have the luck that could leave a team like McLaren to any other team and feel happy, when someone else was doing the ball to stay at McLaren forever. I have not to do that.


Nothing that he hasn't said before or that we didn't knew. Just typical Alonso, honest and authentic. I like this sentence though 'I have the luck that could leave a team like McLaren to any other team and feel happy, when someone else was doing the ball to stay at McLaren forever. I have not to do that'  ;)

Google translate is terrible, but you can easily read what he means.

#6926 Mandzipop

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 14:09

At this rate I think Alonso is going to get the award for "I clocked up more miles than anyone in testing" award.

He'll certainly be familiar with the Pirelli tyres.

#6927 Lokt

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 14:10

At this rate I think Alonso is going to get the award for "I clocked up more miles than anyone in testing" award.

He'll certainly be familiar with the Pirelli tyres.


Hes like a robot :p

Wait... maybe he is a robot?!?!!?  ;)

#6928 kosmos

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 05:31

Second part of the interview.

http://www.as.com/mo...dasdaimot_1/Tes

Third part.

http://www.as.com/mo...dasdaimot_2/Tes

Edited by kosmos, 14 February 2011 - 11:51.


#6929 AlanWake

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:49

A great quote by Fernando:

"The people who speak badly about me then tremble and cry when they want to have their picture taken with me."

EPIC! :clap:

http://www.motorspor...e.asp?ID=400259

#6930 trogggy

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:59

A great quote by Fernando:

"The people who speak badly about me then tremble and cry when they want to have their picture taken with me."

EPIC! :clap:

http://www.motorspor...e.asp?ID=400259

Maybe something of the original meaning is lost in translation, but that doesn't sound great to me in English.

#6931 Oho

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:05

Maybe something of the original meaning is lost in translation, but that doesn't sound great to me in English.


Indeed more like deluded as if Alonso knew who spoke badly about him.......

#6932 trogggy

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:07

Indeed more like deluded as if Alonso knew who spoke badly about him.......

More likely a difference in meaning between languages.

#6933 prty

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:14

Indeed more like deluded as if Alonso knew who spoke badly about him.......


In the story he tells how one of his friends told him that he shouldn't attend some people during testing because he knew them from an internet forum and they were bashing him all the time (sounds familiar? :) ) but he went with them anyway, and when one of them was taking the picture, his camera hand was shaking.

Edited by prty, 15 February 2011 - 10:14.


#6934 Fontainebleau

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:19

Maybe something of the original meaning is lost in translation, but that doesn't sound great to me in English.

It is a literally translation, so maybe the choice of words was not the one a native English speaker would have used. He illustrates the point with an anecdote where a person known as an anti-alonsoist asked for a picture with Alonso, and the guy was so nervous at the idea of having the pic taken that his hands were shaking while holding the camera. Do you also say "his hands were trembling" in English, or does "trembling" carry a different meaning than "shaking"?

#6935 trogggy

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:29

It is a literally translation, so maybe the choice of words was not the one a native English speaker would have used. He illustrates the point with an anecdote where a person known as an anti-alonsoist asked for a picture with Alonso, and the guy was so nervous at the idea of having the pic taken that his hands were shaking while holding the camera. Do you also say "his hands were trembling" in English, or does "trembling" carry a different meaning than "shaking"?

Tremble's fine.
A person who spoke badly of me trembled when = anecdote.

'The people...', ie everyone = very arrogant.
As I said, these things often don't come across the same way in different languages. At least it keeps tabloid journalists safe in their jobs.

Edited by trogggy, 15 February 2011 - 10:30.


#6936 Jordana

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:30

You know, I don't like to generalise, but I've noticed from reading other forums (forocoches.com especially, it's currently the 16th biggest forum in the world so there is enough info to say this) that there is a higher proportion of people that dislike Alonso in Barcelona or Basque Country, and a lot of them also dislike other Spanish sportsmen. You don't have to be a genious to know why. I say this because Jordana is, according to her profile, from Barcelona. I could be wrong though, and also I'll leave running now because of the storm that saying this causes :)



No storm at all! I have no reason to hide where I live but I thought we were talking about F1, about sport... And I want to make it very clear that I won't talk about anything not related to sport.

I know Mr. Rubio for quite a long time and he is very much pro Alonso, no problem with that, you only have to watch Eurosport Spain, it does not matter what he is broadcasting... Alonso gets in the middle. :lol:

And there are por Alonso and anti Alonso people all over... What I noticed is that many Spanish Tifosi don't support Alonso and they are free not to do it.

As I already said, we live in a free country.

#6937 Jordana

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:33

Well, Fernando is a declared Real Madrid suppporter so don't blame them ;)


That does not help :lol: ... Now, being serious, it has nothing to do with that. I like Rafael Nadal very much and he is also a Real Madrid supporter and I can't stand Jorge Lorenzo and he is a big Barça fan so... :smoking:



#6938 Jordana

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:37

:cry: this is sure and very sad.

Alonso is amigo de sus amigos and there are very less friendchips under the F1 pilots. But Robert and Fernando are real friends. And nobody has the right to take this in the trash.



Relax! :rotfl:

If they are so close friends, good for them! And if Fernando wanted to go to the hospital to visit his "friend", good for him! And if he wants to stay overnight, what would be the problem? Don't need to get so mad! :rolleyes:  ;)

#6939 robefc

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 11:58

:up: for his words about whether he could have 4 titles. The guy seems very grounded and has managed to keep it all in perspective.

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#6940 kosmos

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 14:02

Last part of the interview.

He thinks that Nadal is the one that best represents the good things about Spain.

He believes in Contador innocence.

Cristiano Ronaldo o Leo Messi?, difficult to choose, but right now Messi because he is always a decisive factor.

About Real Madrid, he thinks that the National League is a difficult goal this year (obiously the interview has been done before the last results, R.Madrid only 5 point behind Barca), his hopes are set in the Champion League and King's Cup.

About Dakkar, maybe one day but right now he doesn't feel attracted by it.

They ask about Valentino and his chances of winning this year, he said that it will be a difficult task because Lorenzo, the Hondas are strong, Stoner, Pedrosa, but at the end the fight will be between Lorenzo, Stoner, Pedrosa and Rossi.

Are you really going to compete against Rossi in motorbike?. Perhaps someday,maybe yes (laugh).





#6941 Buttoneer

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 14:05

I've moved the 'Hamilton is the fastest' chat to the dedicated thread for the subject in an attempt to keep this one clean. Please continue any discussion on that part of the interviews there.

http://forums.autosp...howtopic=142676

#6942 showtime

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 14:11

They ask about Valentino and his chances of winning this year, he said that it will be a difficult task because Lorenzo, the Hondas are strong, Stoner, Pedrosa, but at the end the fight will be between Lorenzo, Stoner, Pedrosa and Rossi.

Are you really going to compete against Rossi in motorbike?. Perhaps someday,maybe yes (laugh).


It seems to me that lately he has became a motorbike fan. IIRW he said a few years ago he didn't follow MotoGP and now he has Ducati and giveis his own view about next season,

#6943 Gareth

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 17:22

Some posts have been moved to this thread: http://forums.autosp...howtopic=142138. Please keep discussion in appropriate threads, thanks.

#6944 fabr68

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 17:24

^
+1 :up:

#6945 Fontainebleau

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 19:24

I have translated the first two parts of the interview, trying to make it an easier reading than what we get from Google  ;) Please feel free to add any corrections, I will give it a try to the third part too either later today or tomorrow (unless of course somebody else is willing to take over that bit!)

PART 1: THEY SAY VETTEL IS THE FUTURE, BUT…

Enzo Ferrari said: "Drivers, what people! Masters of calculation, champions of cynicism, standard-bearers of thoughtlessness or just men who seek a meaning for their lives in the exhilarating thrill of victory? ". What are you?
Perhaps the latter, I seek victory to feel good and enjoy life. If it were not in F-1, then it would be in another sport. Trying to find my limits as a person and as an athlete, to beat whoever it is at whatever it is, for personal satisfaction.

"The victory gives meaning to your life, then?
Yes, yes. You could say so..

In your first test with a F1 car you said that it would be hard to be the boss. Do you feel now the boss in the sport?
It is a legend. I guess I did not say that, I do not remember saying anything. Surely I did think about the difficulty of winning in F1 because there were drivers (in F1) that had raced in the lower categories in which I had raced, and now they were in low- or midfield teams, finishing races in 15th or 16th place. They were drivers who on the previous year had won the category in which I was racing, and in F1 they were at the back of the grid.

Do you feel the boss?
No. I do not think there is any boss. There is a group of seasoned drivers that year after year drive for one of the major teams and then, among the bottom half, there is always movement, with new good drivers arriving, from GP2, and now in these last years of crisis there are some teams that need drivers who bring sponsors. I am lucky to be one of the group who are safer, with more certainty to have a seat next year.

New season, second season in Ferrari. "Is winning an obligation for you?
No, I do not think it is any obligation. One always starts the season with the motivation and the hope of succeeding, but not because it is the second year at Ferrari. If I were on another team I would have the same motivation, but from the outside you know the expectation that exists when you race for Ferrari, the history this team has and that to finish second or third is like a failure. When you're on a team as strong as this one, you are aware of it, but you know you'll always give your best and, if it does not work, you will try again the following year.

This year, you said the most feared rival was Schumacher. Some laughed at you. Psychological games or reality?
Anything that is said in a press conference has a big impact. Now there are many media, the snowball grows, and if you just say that Schumacher is a rival or the one you respect more because of is track record, and that each season you have to admire someone like Michael Schumacher for everything he has done, it turns into you wanting to say something or send a message to another driver. Sometimes we go crazy analyzing what it is said.

You beat him for the championship and it seemed you would begin a new era in F1, but years go by and you still have the two titles, are you afraid it will stay like that?
No, I have no fear. I know it's possible and would be extremely proud to have won two world titles, what happens is that since Schumacher won seven it seems that everyone now has an obligation to win seven or more, and that is very difficult to achieve. After two straight titles perhaps people expected more, but since then, only the ones that came in later have won a championship. It seemed that everyone of them was going to dominate, and that is always what people look for. I won two and looked set to win many at in a row. Then Raikkonen won one and looked set to win many in a row, but he did not. And the same with Hamilton and Button. Now it seems that the future is Vettel ... we will see. It is very difficult to win a championship, extremely difficult to win two and even more difficult to win three or more. We are fortunate to be one of the handful of those who have won two and we’ll see if we get the third.

Some time ago you said you would retire after three titles.
I can not deny that, it would be one of my goals.

Why?
Because Senna won three, because I never thought that I could get into F1 or that I could win race or become world champion. When I won the second title, it was unreal to me then and now, when you have a the third title in sight, it's like if you get three, you get into extreme personal satisfaction ... Surely, if someday I am lucky enough to get it I have no doubt that I will want more, but now I see the third as a very good goal to reach.

If McLaren had trusted in you, would you have four titles now?
If things had happened ... In a race, you make decisions that go one way or anotherand that s going to make things go right or wrong for you. If, when I left McLaren or during that year at McLaren things had gone the right way, I would have won a third title. If when I left there I had gone to one of the other teams that had made me an offer, maybe I would have been the champion ... but also if in 2001-2002, Flavio had not picked me before he picked Fisichella, I would still be racing for Minardi. I can not ask for more, I've been lucky enough to always race for very good teams and win two titles, and to be fighting for another two titles till the last race of the season. I could have four, three, zero ... at the end of the day I have two and it is fair.

About McLaren, there is a theory that you can't have teammate with a similar level to yours.
That is something that was originated in England and here in Spain was copied. It was copied and pasted so (people) didn’t have to write anything more. I've always had very strong teammates in my career, but only at McLaren my teammate got the same points that I had at the end of the year.

Did you leave McLaren because of Hamilton?
I didn't leave McLaren because of the teammate or anything, I left because there was a big disagreement with the team bosses, because I have a different philosophy/way of understanding the races. I was lucky that I could leave a team like McLaren to go to any other team and feel happy, when others would be doing anything/buttering people up to stay at McLaren forever. I don’t need to do that. .

Then came two years in Renault and at this point I have to ask you if you understand people thinking that you knew that Piquet was going to crash in Singapore
No, it is normal to say this, but ...

Why? Didn’t you know?
No, of course I didn't know that. It is normal that people say such a thing because of all the courage that exists nowadays in internet, because you are anonymous and can write whatever you want, give your opinion on whatever you want, since you pay for your Internet life and are a much more courageous person and they vent it out on you the same way they vent it out on anyone for whom things are going well. This is how it is. (Note: it is very confusing, yes, but the original Spanish version is very confusing too!)

Was it a miracle that you came into the final race with a chance to win the title last year ?
No, I think it was the result of the work of the whole team, of confidence, of optimism, of knowing that you could do it, I don’t think it was a miracle but serious and professional work when others also helped us because they failed and had problems, since it was the first time they were facing a situation like that one.

Would you have won the title with a Red Bull last year?
You never know. We would have won too without the errors or problems that we had around mid-season. We lost many points in Valencia, Silverstone, Malaysia, China, Monaco ... I think we could have won with the Ferrari.
.
Last year the best car won the title, will the same thing happen again this year?
In normal circumstances it is always the case, if we look at the last few years, the last 15 years ...

If you had to bet one million euros for a champion for this year, who would it be?
I wouldn’t bet. I would bet in another sport which is easier than Formula 1.

This year, team orders are back. Would you accept what the team did to Massa in Germany?
Of course I would, I have no problem with it. I've always been an available driver for the team, for whatever they ask from me. If one day I have to do anything for the team they know I will.

Let's talk about the other Spanish driver on the grid, how would you define Alguersuari?
He is a young driver, still driving a difficult car to be on the mid-field. I've been there too and you start the year with high hopes, but if the car does not respond, the year is very long for you. You get tired of fighting for 17th or 18th place, but he must be patient and the opportunity will come.

Is there a follow-up for Alonso in Spain, a driver with your characteristics?
Ummm, I do not know exactly, when I started, those were different times. It is difficult to compare, I do not know if there are equal, better or worse drivers ...

So don’t you see anyone Spanish that could be world champion in the future?
The only one that I see one day winning in Formula 1 is Carlos Sainz Jr.

THIS IS HOW HE SEES HIS MAIN RIVALS:
Vettel: Very fast. Very fast and precise. If he starts from pole he is difficult to stop.
Webber: experience, calmness and a lot of regularity. It is very difficult to see him make a mistake.
Button: He has a lot of instinct for difficult races in the rain or with Sc in the dry. That's how he usually benefits (from those situations).
Schumacher: He is the champion, the one we all respect and a driver who can take you by surprise
Massa: Very fast, knows the team, he spent some time at Sauber,but he was part of Ferrari and (he is) very hungry for wins.
Hamilton: He is a great driver and one of the fastest in the current F1 grid.


#6946 Fontainebleau

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 19:25

PART 2: YES THERE IS UNANIMITY, PEOPLE LOVE ME

Do you think that there is no unanimity about you in Spain?
Yes, there is unanimity, there are more than 30,000 people here (Jerez), there are queues to get here, if I go out for dinner people love me…

But there are people who speak ill of you, in some circles you don’t have a good image…
Those people I am talking about tremble when they see me, for example if they want to have their picture with me taken. And they cry.

That is what Cristiano Ronaldo said the other day.
Because that is how it works. And I am going to give you an example. I have a friend who one day, when we were at Montmelo, when I arrived to the motorhome he told me that outside there were a few people he knew from those internet forums. Some of them usually criticised me and my friend was of the opinion that, if they asked me for an autograph, I should pay them no attention. I went out and one of them was shaking (his camera) when he wanted to have a pic taken with me. So, one thing is internet and how brave you are there, and another thing is the admiration I receive from people around the world. And I think that there is much more unanimity that what it is said or written, because it sells more (papers?) to say that there are anti-Alonsoists than to say that 30,000 people came to see me, because that is the usual thing and nobody writes about it.

Sometimes I wonder why a person like you, a sports legend, a pioneer in F1 in Spain and with enough money to sustain a few generations, still risks his life on track, What are you looking for?
I would miss it, we have grown up with that adrenaline, with the need to compete, to risk our lives and when you are idle for two months you can’t wait to be back in the car. Hence I will keep on doing it for as long as I see that your (my) competitiveness or my results are acceptable, the day I realise that you (I) am not up to it I will leave it, but as long as I manage…I would miss it too much.

I don’t want you to retire too soon, God forbids, but a few days ago they told me that you would leave when you had kids, is that true? Do you think that you lose a second on track for each child you have?
No, I don’t think so. And I have not thought about retiring if I ever have kids either, that would not be a reason to retire for me.

How do you see, from the vantage point of view of a sports star, the economic crisis?
With concern. I have many friends who have lost their jobs, who are going through some difficulty, and concerned for your country, the news you hear, you read, about the politicians, about Spain...You always want the best for your people, for your countrymen, and things going poorly is sad even if it does not impact you directly.

Should sports stars be a reference in public life?
I don’t think we could do much, but whatever we could do we would be happy to do, I suppose that sports is a way (for people) to escape crisis or worries. On any given Sunday you watch a football match or an F1 race and your mind clears up, you can enjoy yourself a bit.

So do you work on making people happier?
I think so, for example the football World Cup. When Spain won it we had those 15 or 20 days of total bliss because we had won, and for a moment everything else was forgotten.

Beyond your contribution to the common happiness, tell me, what does Spain need to get out of a crisis like this one?
Patience, this is not just a Spanish crisis, this is a worldwide crisis (originated) due to different circumstances and I don’t think that getting nervous or trying to sort everything out in a few months is the solution, we need to be patient, even if it isn’t easy.

Last year you said that you needed your lifelong friends close to keep your sanity, how can you endure all this?
You try to stay a little above it all, you touch it very lightly, what goes on during these days, you live immersed in the car, in (your work with) the engineers, and then when you arrive home you call your school friends or play a tennis match with them, or go out for dinner and talk of everyday things, of Real Madrid, of things that have nothing to do with F1 and go back down to real life, to the life you want.

A lot is said about your famous quote, about F1 not being a sport. What is it then?
F1 is too much of a business to be a sport, and too much of a sport to be a business, it is somewhere in between both, it is a show but also a business for many people. It isn’t just a sports speciality pure and simple, there are many interests, many things in play (too much at stake) and hence also the greatness of this sport, otherwise it would be just like GP2 or a promotion formula, F1 is big/great because of everything that revolves around it.

Now that you know all that, what is left of that young guy who made his debut in F1 with a serious face before getting into the worst car of the grid?
I still have a serious face now..(laughs). At the moment that picture is taken you are about to get into the car, it is like seeing the face of a surgeon just before he is about to start a surgery, nobody is telling jokes. What is still left is a bit of the basis, the hope, the eagerness to live motorsports from within and the admiration for the cars, the gasoline, the engines… and the essence of that boy is still there too.

When you see your friend Kubica in a hospital, do you fear for your life?
First and foremost, I want to say that Robert is a great driver, the best of the current grid and that one day, sooner or later, he will be world champion. And about the question, no, you don’t thing, you don’t think about anything bad, but I am very much aware of the risk inherent to this sport. That’s another thing that people forget out there, usually the guy who finishes 12th receives any type of adjectives from the internet users or whoever, and the one who finished 12th risked his life just like the guy who won and did his best. But you never thing about anything bad, even if you see a colleague in that situation.

Say something to those people who travel from Asturias to Jerez to see you.
The championship looks interesting, with options to be in front, but we have to wait, nobody can know what this championship will bring along because of the unknowns/unanswered questions left. We still have some tests that will require hard work to come, the first races when we will see how things stand, and then we have a long year ahead of us for evolving the car, avoiding mistakes and be fighting. We will never stop fighting.



#6947 Smile17

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 19:37

Thanks for translating, it was a lovely interview.

On another note: I'm very happy to hear the that Contador is free to race again. Cycling needs him, the tour would be nothing without him. Let's hope he will ride it.

#6948 Fontainebleau

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 20:23

PART 3: I COULD HAVE BEEN A CYCLING DOMESTIQUE

If you win a GP (the following year) you repeat the same hotel room, dinner… do you remember everything?
Yes, I do remember.

Is it true that before the race you go through a ritual singing with your manager?
He sings and I listen

You have often said that your idol is Lance Armstrong. Would you have been a cyclist had you had the chance?
Yes, had I not been a driver, cycling is my great passion

But we are not at the level of being a Tour winner, are we?
I don’t thing (I would have been at) a high level, but a domestique – that I could have been.

They say that when you were a child you received an offer to join Celta de Vigo (Spanish football club) as a goalkeeper. Legend or truth?
That was my father.

Luckily he did not accept…
Yes, luckily. My sister was born and he declined so that they did not have to move from Oviedo and all that.

Your father built a kart for your sister but you kept it. How much do you owe to Lorena (hi sister)?
Everything, I owe her everything because had he liked karting… Probably my father would have built me one, but a few years later and we would have lost that time.

You always put your left shoe before the right one, you speculate with the room numbers of family or friends. Do you really think that much before you get behind the wheel?
Yes, yes, that and more.

Surely in the turns you are thinking if you left the shower water tap open…
I think about many things. Once, as soon as I finished the Friday practice session, I called home because I had left the heating on; I was there, in the car, thinking about whether I had switched the heating off or not and at the end I confirmed in my mind that I had left it on and as soon as I got out of the cat I called home and asked them to switch it off, I had forgotten to do it.

At fourteen you were earning 100,000 pesetas/month (about 600 euros) in karting. What did you do with so much money?
I gave it to my parents, who had (previously) put (the money) for me. Plus I had to travel twice or thrice a month to Italy and, therefore, the money was quickly gone in plane tickets.

When you got your driving license you were told that you were driving too slowly (during the driving test). Have you ever been told that in a racing track?
Yes, there is always a demanding engineer who tells you “we are going to change this, but in the next stint you have to throw a little more in” and you look at him with a funny face, to say something.

Is it true that your favourite scent is that of gasoline?
I like the smell of gasoline. It may not be my favourite one, I like coffee too, but there are people who get to a petrol station and do not like it, they feel bad, but I feel good.

You said once that you did not know how much money you had, but do you know how much a coffee is?
No. No.

Are you sure?
1.20, 1.50… (euros)

Years after your debut in F1, are you still in love with this sport? Do you have butterflies in your stomach when you fly at 300km/hr?
Uff…It is not the same feeling, now it is more your job, you have lost a bit of that feeling because it is something you do almost every day. But it has become a need, if you are a few months off the car you don’t know what to do.

You come across much better in a personal conversation, but you don’t like being surrounded by people, many people – or do you?
It depends on what people, sometimes you do and sometimes it is not necessary, but what you see at home is different. You are here, you have just driven for about 600 kms and all you see is that you are being pushed as you walk, here and there, and you cannot stop for everyone, but I try to do my best in attending to people.

Is Alonso doing well?
Well, yes. Doing well at the moment, but I have to improve.



#6949 Fontainebleau

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 20:47

PART 4: NADAL IS THE ROLE MODEL OF THE GOOD (THINGS) IN SPAIN

You said that Rafa Nadal is the best of the best generation of Spanish sportsmen in history. What does he have that others like Pau Gasol or yourself don’t have?
Tennis is a sport that is well-known worldwide, hence when you talk to a foreigner about Spanish sportsmen the first one you mention is Nadal, to boast around, to be proud of, because everybody knows tennis. Sure there are other incredible sportsmen, world champions in canoeing or in these type of sports that are not as popular, but with Nadal we have an example to tell about what is good in Spain. To be number one in tennis at the age of 24 means that he will still be it for many years and he is the one who best represents all (of us).

Do you believe Alberto Contador in his plea of innocence?
Yes, absolutely, no doubt.

Which football player do you pick: Cristiano Ronaldo or Leo Messi?
Ufff… and why not both? Messi, right now, if I had a football team I would sign the Argentinean player.

Will Real Madrid be able to come back from the current disadvantage (in points) it has to Barça in La Liga? Will they win the Champions League?
Difficult, La Liga is difficult. Real Madrid can never give up because that is part of Madrid itself, but as a supporter I have higher hopes of winning the Champions League or the Copa del Rey than La Liga right now.

Carlos Sainz said that you could race the Dakar, are you attracted by this adventure?
Not right now, but sometimes I have thought about it: what will I do when I retire? And right now it does not attract me at al, but I am not saying no to anything.

Do you think Rossi can win this year with Ducati?
MotoGP is very open. Valentino faces a difficult task because of Lorenzo, the Hondas which are stronger: Stoner, Pedrosa.. But it is clear that it should be among Lorenzo, Stoner, Pedrosa and Rossi..

Are you really going to get on a bike to race against Rossi?
Maybe someday. Maybe yes. (Smiles)



#6950 currupipi

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 23:20

went to the gym today , ran into Lobato(for those who dont live in Spain, he is the guy who broadcasts on la sexta where they show f1 here) we had a small conversation about the perception he had heard from the tests in jerez, Red Bull are strong very strong