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Mentality-wise, Alonso `not the complete package`.

Fernando Alonso may 'belong' in a Ferrari or McLaren-Mercedes, but 'mentality-wise he is not the complete package' in Formula 1 – that is the view of British former grand prix star Derek Warwick.

Alonso has triumphed in the last two races in succession – in Singapore and Japan – in a car that, back at the start of the campaign, languished more than a second shy of the leading pace. Whilst asserting that such performances are testament to the fact that the Spaniard double F1 World Champion deserves to be back in a regular front-running outfit once more, Warwick contends he is still 'damaged goods' to a certain extent – as he proved again in the immediate aftermath of his Fuji victory.

“Just imagine what he could do if he was in a Ferrari or a McLaren, where he belongs,” the former Toleman, Renault and Arrows ace wrote in his column on Champions365.com. “The only disappointing element was when he said afterwards that he would do everything he could to try and help [Felipe] Massa win the drivers' championship [see separate story – click here].

“He is obviously still bearing a grudge – whether it is against [Lewis] Hamilton, McLaren or both I do not know, but whoever it is it is unnecessary. Pound-for-pound Alonso is one of the greatest drivers out there, but when you hear him come out with stupid comments like that maybe that explains why he isn't with one of the top teams, as mentality-wise he is not the complete package.”

Warwick – a self-confessed Hamilton fan – was also left questioning the mental state of the world championship leader following his elementary first corner error in Japan that led to the disastrous chain reaction that would ultimately destroy his race, though he added his voice to those questioning the consistency of the penalties meted out by the race stewards to the Briton, fellow title contender Massa and Scuderia Toro Rosso's Sébastien Bourdais.

“I am angry at Hamilton because the move was unnecessary,” the 54-year-old underlined, “and went completely against the story Lewis was spinning before the race about how he would drive conservatively and with the championship in mind. What he did was not the performance of a champion, [but] it was a genuine mistake and he didn't mean to do it and he got a drive-through.

“The reverse is the case with the Massa incident. I replayed the incident many times and Massa had no intention of going through the corner or sitting behind Hamilton, and he ended up hitting the rear wheel and the side barge pods of the McLaren and there and then destroyed Hamilton's race.

“I couldn't see any reason to blame Bourdais, nor has anybody else I have spoken to, including ITV's two commentators Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle. Again Ferrari appears to have benefitted from the decision.

“The FIA needs to put an end to the rumours and speculation by clarifying and explaining these decisions fully. It is a bit like in football when the referee makes a mistake or a vital decision – if he came out and explained his reasons afterwards, or held his hands up if it was a mistake, surely it would bring to an end all the pundits' analysis and tabloid criticism. The FIA should release a statement explaining the reasoning behind all these controversial decisions this year.”

As to the destiny of the drivers' laurels, finally, whilst Warwick acknowledges Canadian Grand Prix winner Robert Kubica as 'the unsung hero of the season in an underperforming BMW', he argues it is Hamilton's 'championship to lose' – providing key lessons have been learned from this time twelve months ago.

“Surely he, and the team, will have learnt from Japan,” the British Racing Drivers' Club board member contended, “and China last year where his title hopes slipped away literally after he was allowed to run far too long on worn tyres and eventually slid off the circuit.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28, Japanese F1, Fuji, 10th-12th, October, 2008
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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Tim Burr - Unregistered

October 16, 2008 11:55 AM

How come it is OK for any old muppet to have their say on this and other forums about the merits of a driver and yet when someone who has actually raced at the highest level says something in an interview or for a column they write,they are told they are not in a position to criticise? I would much rather read what Derek Warwick's views are than the great majority of the garbage we have to put up with on here!


October 16, 2008 12:19 PM

Agreed Tim. Can't understand so many posters say "you can't say that, who are you to say *insert whatever*". If an ex-racing driver can't comment, who the hell can? All the armchair racer know-it-alls on this forum?! Maybe JYS says a lot, but he's still a 3 time world champ. Alonso - Awesome driver, prima donna, wants a Ferrari badly. Still a great driver :D

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