fIa foRmula 1 woRld chamPIoNShIP
Widely regarded as F1’s most complete driver, Alonso is now hoping Ferrari is – at last – F1’s most complete team.
IF FERRARI’S F138 IS UP TO THE TASK, ALONSO MAY BE DESTINED FOR TITLE NO. 3
waiting to eXCeL
Steve Etherington/la T
It’s much too simplistic to say that, had
Ferrari built a quicker car from the start
of 2012, Fernando Alonso would have
easily won the Formula 1 World
Championship. But look at how off the
pace the F2012 was this time last year,
and how far behind Red Bull and McLaren
it was by season’s end…and still Alonso
lost the title battle by just three points.
Given the encouraging lap times and
opinions of Alonso’s teammate Felipe Massa,
it appears the new F138 is in another
league altogether. So in the Scuderia’s
“On many websites [last year] they
considered me the best driver.
But the goal is, of course, to win”
fourth season of trying to win the title
with Alonso, there seem fewer reasons
than ever for it not to happen. The
team’s sheer consistency (and Massa’s
improved form in the final third of last
year) yielded second in the Constructors’
Championship, its best result since
clinching it back in 2008. Plus, strategic
errors such as the one in the 2010
season finale that cost Alonso the drivers’
title have been almost eliminated.
Felipe Massa is lucky
to keep his seat at
Ferrari after three
winless years. Will a
year of driving as he
did in the latter
stages of 2012 be
enough to keep his
ride for ’ 14? Or is
Nico Hulkenberg on
his way to Ferrari?
The Lotus E21 has impressed Grosjean (SHOWN) and the usually taciturn Raikkonen.
LOTUS IS AIMING TO BREAK INTO F1’S “BIG THREE”
ambition reigns at LotUs
malcolm Griffiths/la T
“We have pretty much the full tool set
that a team needs to be competitive,”
said Lotus technical director James
Allison at the launch of its 2013 car, the
E21. “There is no reason why this team
should not compete at the front.”
Allison’s confidence speaks volumes
about a team that last year took Kimi
Raikkonen to third in the Drivers’
Championship – ahead of both McLaren
drivers and one Red Bull entry – and
finished fourth in the Constructors’ title
race. For this year, Lotus’ budget has
increased and the E21 has been quick in
testing (with all the usual provisos, naturally).
On the driving front, the team can have
no complaints with Raikkonen who, by the
second half of last year, had blown off the
rust. He also has a superb ability to avoid
trouble (he was the only driver to complete
every race last year), and the E21’s power
steering has been adjusted to give him the
front-end feel his driving style demands.
Romain Grosjean remains in the second
Lotus. If he’s learned the difference
between ambition and overambition while
retaining his impressive pace, he can win
races, as he has in all his previous formulas.
In that context, then, perhaps Lotus’
aims don’t look so far-fetched.
34 SPRING 2013