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Alonso's undercut on Vettel - Masterstroke or Mistake?


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#1 gillesthegenius

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:26

Alonso:
I think the pace of the Lotus was very good, but nothing that we could not do. They had a very clean race, with no traffic and a very good strategy but the pace was nothing out of reach.


Inspite of his innacurate claim that Kimi did not have to encounter traffic in Australia, Alonso's claim that the Ferrari was as good as the Lotus makes me wonder whether he actually lost the race to Raikonnen because of being preoccupied in his quest to beat his nemesis Vettel. Given that he would have had track position on Kimi Raikkonen's all conquering Lotus hadnt he decided to pit so early, there is good reason to believe that his much hailed undercut on Vettel was actually a mistake in hindsight. So was it a materstroke as it appeared at that time or was it a terrible mistake that cost him the race win?

Discuss...

Edited by gillesthegenius, 22 March 2013 - 06:28.


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#2 jey16

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:42

he was stuck behind Vettel & Massa though (thus his tryes would have suffered). The question is would Vettel & Massa pitted as soon as they did if Alonso did not pit, if they did pit then it gives Alonso free air (although Vettels/Massa's pace on fresh tyres would have basically forced Alonso onto a two stop at this stage to stay ahead of them)

also, it seemed like Alonso had to drive quite hard to pass Hamilton and Sutil while in comparison, Kimi did it quite easily from what i remember which would have saved his tryres

#3 Kingshark

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:52

If Alonso didn't pit, then Vettel probably wouldn't have pitted for another 3-4 laps either.

I think that where Alonso really lost the race in Melbourne was the 3rd pit on lap 40. His tyres were still in great condition, and Raikkonen was still behind Sutil and being held up. I believe that Fernando should've waited another 5 laps or so before pitting, or perhaps try to go to the end. Either of those would've been better IMO.

#4 fdspd

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:58

If Alonso didn't pit, then Vettel probably wouldn't have pitted for another 3-4 laps either.

I think that where Alonso really lost the race in Melbourne was the 3rd pit on lap 40. His tyres were still in great condition, and Raikkonen was still behind Sutil and being held up. I believe that Fernando should've waited another 5 laps or so before pitting, or perhaps try to go to the end. Either of those would've been better IMO.


He couldn't do that because Massa had pitted a few laps earlier which then forced Vettel to pit, so by staying out longer Alonso would've risked getting undercut by Vettel.

#5 Kingshark

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:14

No he wouldn't.

The gap between Vettel and Alonso on lap 36, one lap before Vettel pitted, was 5.060 seconds.

After Fernando Alonso pitted, on lap 40 the gap between himself and Sebastian Vettel was 5.020 seconds.

The gap did not change the slightest. That means Alonso on old tyres was as quick as Vettel on new tyres!

Vettel's race pace throughout the entire Grand Prix was slower than Alonso's.

That means Ferrari could easily have pitted Fernando 4-5 laps later without being jumped by Red Bull.

Source: Lap Time Chart

Red line is Alonso, blue line is Vettel, yellow line is Raikkonen.

Edited by Kingshark, 22 March 2013 - 07:15.


#6 Alondra

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:27

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

~~~Billy Wilder~~~

#7 crespo

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 13:49

I think Alonso had already lost the race before his second pit stop, having been stuck behind Vet and Mas for so long (20 laps?). If he had been able to execute this three-stopper without having had that traffic, he'd have been a lot closer to Kimi.

The fact that he was stuck for so long was reason enough to go with the early second stop. In that situation, it was definitely a good call to make.

#8 Hanzo

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 14:52

Inspite of his innacurate claim that Kimi did not have to encounter traffic in Australia



You are being quite innacurate yourself, since in the quote you mention he did not say that Kimi did not have to encounter traffic, he said Kimi had a very clean race.

As for the race, I think he lost more by not being able to overtake in the start than for the pit strategy. The only way he could have won in Australia was if he was not behind Massa and Vettel for so long.

#9 Cool Beans

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 15:15

You are being quite innacurate yourself, since in the quote you mention he did not say that Kimi did not have to encounter traffic, he said Kimi had a very clean race.

Oops.

Alonso: They had a very clean race, with no traffic and a very good strategy


Edited by Cool Beans, 22 March 2013 - 15:15.


#10 discover23

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 15:18

Ferrari had planned for 3 stops and Lotus for 2 before the race started. They didn't know to switch to 2 stops - it was too risky for them because it was not planned.


#11 boldhakka

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 15:56

It's really weird that the leader did not have a mechanical DNF. Alonso was running in 2nd place after all.

#12 crespo

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 16:03

It's really weird that the leader did not have a mechanical DNF. Alonso was running in 2nd place after all.

good one, original.

#13 tvianna

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 16:03

If Alonso, and maybe even Massa, weren't stuck behind slower cars for so long, they could probably have made Kimi's life much tougher.


#14 boldhakka

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 16:31

good one, original.


You know it! Alonso's raw speed usually forces the leading driver to turn up his engine or overdrive the car until it blows up.

#15 Rikhart

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 22:45

I love how everyone here is assuming raikkonen didnt have traffic, when in fact he was stuck, and losing time, behind the first three as well. He had to pass hamilton, and then he had sutil for a bit as well. Raikkonen/lotus combination was just about unbeatable in australia.

#16 scheivlak

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 22:51

Maybe Fernando just should have stayed with Renault after 2009 and waited for this opportunity :p

Edited by scheivlak, 22 March 2013 - 22:53.


#17 Skinnyguy

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 22:56

I love how everyone here is assuming raikkonen didnt have traffic, when in fact he was stuck, and losing time, behind the first three as well. He had to pass hamilton, and then he had sutil for a bit as well. Raikkonen/lotus combination was just about unbeatable in australia.


Räikkönen had a much easier race than the Ferraris. He spent less time trapped, but in fairness it was only because he wanted to, as he could have been on the claxon queuing behind Vettel, but just chose not to.

I agree with Alonso, I think they could have done something similar (not talking about stops number, talking about total race time) without so much traffic in their face.

#18 Enzoluis

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 22:58

neither Masterstroke nor Mistake, FA didn´t the undercut to pass Vettel, if he were behind Vettel he could pass him in straight with DRS. He needed the undercut to pass Massa, and off course the undercut jeopardized his chances to fight for the first place with Kimi but the alternative were stay stuck in fourth place.

#19 Fontainebleau

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 23:36

Maybe Fernando just should have stayed with Renault after 2009 and waited for this opportunity :p

Well, the switch worked fine in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Let's wait for the 2013 season to unfold a bit more before we advise him to jump teams!  ;)

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#20 discover23

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 23:54

It's really weird that the leader did not have a mechanical DNF. Alonso was running in 2nd place after all.

Alonso was running 2nd because for the past few years ferrari does not have a dominant car that can score poles and lead the race from start to end. Last time that happened was back in 08.


#21 Kingshark

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 03:59

You know it! Alonso's raw speed usually forces the leading driver to turn up his engine or overdrive the car until it blows up.

Or you know, Alonso's raw speed forces the leading driver to push so hard that he locks up multiple times before his suspension fails due an enormous flat spot! :lol:

Edited by Kingshark, 23 March 2013 - 03:59.


#22 Realyn

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:05

Or you know, Alonso's raw speed forces the leading driver to push so hard that he locks up multiple times before his suspension fails due an enormous flat spot! :lol:

And all of that only on lap 2!

No .. I'm not serious. Just for the record.

#23 fabr68

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:07

You know it! Alonso's raw speed usually forces the leading driver to turn up his engine or overdrive the car until it blows up.


How many cars have Alonso pushed to distruction?

I lost count.