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Maranello's marriage of convenience: Alonso and Ferrari need each other

Maranello's marriage of convenience
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E s is a strange situation. Fernando Alonso is the most complete driver in Formula 1. But he is difficult to convey. He can't go back to McLaren after what happened there in 2007. There is no vacancy at Mercedes until 2015. Red Bull will not team up Sebastian Vettel with Alonso. There would be war from day one.

Lotus cannot afford the Spaniard. The rumors that Alonso would join Lotus with Santander are part of the usual Formula 1 summer theater. Does anyone think that Santander and Alonso can just quit Ferrari just because they don't like it anymore? Alonso is second in the World Cup. Is that a prerequisite for an exit clause?

Alonso like Schumacher - but not in crisis

Alonso's fate stands or falls with Ferrari. The other way around. Ferrari would only let Alonso go if Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton were free. But they are not. Kimi Raikkonen is no substitute for the Spaniard. He's maybe just as fast, just as constant and just as boiled as Ferrari's number one, but he's not someone who develops a car with the engineers and drives the team with his presence.

When Kimi was chased from the farm in Maranello at the end of 2009, one of the reasons for this was that he communicated too little with the engineers and did not motivate the team.

Ferrari was happy to have someone like Michael Schumacher again with Alonso. The only difference: Schumacher didn't play games in times of crisis. He expressed criticism internally. When things went bad, he stood behind his troops. He saved the head of race director Jean Todt more than once.

Alonso at the wrong time in the wrong place

Alonso is a different guy. More like Alain Prost. He also liked to put pressure on the team through the media. Alonso does this quite subtly and not with a mallet. The public criticism of the slow development of the car was always objective. But it hit the Italians in the heart.

And when manager Luis Garcia showed up at Red Bull, emerging rumors were not denied energetically enough. That's why there has been a crisis between the driver and the team since the summer break. Because Alonso noticed after the bankruptcy races at Silverstone, at the Nürburgring and in Budapest that the world title will probably go to Sebastian Vettel again this year. Then the German would havefour and Alonso only two.

Even after victories, Vettel almost caught up with his big opponent. It stands at 32:31 for Alonso. A driver of the class of an Alonso can get frustrated. He's in the wrong place at the wrong time. Worse still, he could have signed with Red Bull in 2009. It failed because of the exaggerated demands of the two-time world champion.

All paths to the competition blocked

In the meantime Alonso noticed that his ways to other teams are blocked. He has to come to terms with the situation. Ferrari, on the other hand, knows very well that Alonso is needed. The race at Spa showed it. From 9th place to 2nd place. Only very few do Alonso.

Nevertheless, the 32-time GP winner looked serious at the award ceremony. Because he noticed that the combination of Vettel and Red Bull is faster at the moment. At least when both have free travel. It may look different in traffic. The Red Bull suffers more than the Ferrari.

The only problem is that Vettel is rarely stuck in traffic and Alonso is usually separated from his arch-rival by a few places at the start. This time through my own fault. If Alonso hadn't left the track in Q3, he too would have got an extra lap at the end of the top ten final.

Raikkonen would be playing with fire

Allegedly Alonso spread on Twitter that his Ferrari didn't have enough fuel in the tank for another qualifying lap. And allegedly Ferrari asked him to delete the message. If true, it would be another indication that Alonso and Ferrari are not a happy family right now. More like a marriage of convenience for a limited time.

It is therefore not to be expected that Ferrari will further annoy its star driver by choosing the second driver for 2013. That limits Raikkonen's chances. One of the Finnish commitments would be to play with fire.


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