I have watched this sport for almost 3 decades, but I have never seen a driver (except Trulli) being kikced out of team in the middle of season when he has done better job than his teammate, just because of one mistake in one race, that is totally absurd. Everybody - and I mean EVERYBODY - could see it was nothing more or less than Briatore wanting to keep his goldenboy out of misery and humility about getting beaten by team mate, he needed to sack Trulli before season was completed as he didnt want to have statistics in history books where mediocre driver like Trulli ends up higher in standings than Alonso with same car.
Would you think it as a clever move from Mercedes, if tomorrow Rosberg would be say, 3rd, in last lap but someone would pass him and he ended up 4th and he would then be fired because of it? Thats what happend to Trulli, he was ahead of teammate in points, used to outqualify him, then suddenly - BANG - he was out of job because he lost a one position in one corner in one race... it wasn´t even that important because it was not a battle of WDC anyway, just one f¤#king mistake - not a biggie. Would you really like to see for example Rosberg kicked out if he would lose one position tomorrow in last lap? Seriously? Is there no limits how fan one can be?
You guys can stick your fingers in your ears and keep repeating "na nana na na, Fernando is the greatest" as long as you want; I couldn't care less. But when you try to convince those of us that genuinely love this sport - as opposed to idolizing a driver just because he happens to hail from the same country as us - that Briatore's treatment of Trulli in 2004 was normal or acceptable, that is when I feel obliged to protest.
Such a bizarre course of action was
unprecedented, and can only be explained in the context of an understanding of how the sport started to change after Mosley and Ecclestone decided to overhaul Balestre's corrupt regime by making it ten times more corrupt and a hundred times more lucrative. This quickly began to attract the wrong types, of whom Briatore - whom most would have quickly dismissed as a lovable spiv were it not for the fact that he was unhappily a convicted fraudster and fugitive from justice with known links to the Mafia - was just the most sinister.
This creature has always had the archetypal parasitic Mafia mentality: "where's my cut"? Whether it's earned or unearned, Flavio wants a cut of the action. Call it 'protection money' - call it what you like - Flavio doesn't care. He's richer than you are and even though he looks like a beached whale he still screws supermodels. When Trulli, by considerably improving his performance from the previous year, began to pose a threat to his latest meal ticket, there was only one thing Alonso's older and less marketable teammate - a fellow countryman of Flavio's but what does that matter when money's at stake? - could do to make it right: sign the management contract which Flavio liked to insist upon all his driver's signing, despite the obvious conflict of interest with his role as team boss. It was the least Jarno could do to offset the negative effect his beating Alonso was having on the value of the Spanish TV rights he owned and whose value to the likes of Telecinco were dependent on mass public interest in Alonso as a future superstar - the type of driver who doesn't get beaten by a a journeyman like Trulli.
When Jarno refused, he had to go - in fact he can count himself lucky he wasn't involved in a serious on-track "accident" - and the "yutaw taw, he's not a f*cking driver" playacting over that meaningless incident that Briatore presented to the world as the ostensible reason for Trulli's sacking could commence. Flavio loves playacting, but - like so many brilliant actors - it's not at all clear that he knows he's acting. He was so genuinely pissed off at what he saw as Trulli's unreasonableness in refusing to sign the management deal, that projecting that anger onto that incident with Barrichello seemed entirely natural - and almost genuine.
Yet the very same people who defend this treatment find ways to attack Ron Dennis as a bad sportsman. Someone who deliberately hampered Alonso. Quite simply, you people haven't a clue. If Dennis shared your ethics, Alonso would have been out on his ear immediately after he tried to blackmail McLaren to get his precious no. 1 status. Instead, he continued to give Alonso the equipment to win the title right up to Brazil. And to this day I am happy he did despite the fact it cost McLaren the title.
Believe - or pretend to believe - what you like. My own firm conviction since 2007 has been that Alonso will not win another championship. His character flaws stood out so starkly then that it became clear that he is only capable of winning the title under such conditions as obtained at Renault in 2005 and 2006. Any hint of a strong teammate who is free to race against him, or capable drivers in comparable equipment that are not having to play catch up but are right there with him all the way, and he is revealed for what he is: fast, but paranoid ("manipulated race" after Valencia) and mentally weak ("the only thing you should do throughout the race is to talk to Charlie about Hamilton" and similar comments in Valencia rather than concentrating on getting the best out of his own race).
Hamilton in the Ferrari Alonso is driving would probably have more points than he currently has as a McLaren driver; yet Alonso's deluded fans are climaxing on the back of second on the grid in what looks like the best car at this track - and hailing as the best driver on the grid their idol who has been making schoolboy error after schoolboy error this season, with the result that he's nearly fifty points shy of the championship lead held by a guy driving a car that's been no better than his. Oh well. Let's hope Santander soon finds another horse to back. The one they're currently backing looks lame.
Edited by Buttoneer, 24 July 2010 - 22:50.
removed references to Alonso fanbase - no flaming please