Domenicali: Alonso better than Schumacher in some ways

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes that Fernando Alonso is not only the best driver in Formula 1, but that in some ways he is better than Michael Schumacher - who won five world titles with the Italian outfit

Domenicali: Alonso better than Schumacher in some ways

Domenicali, speaking at the Wrooom Summer 2011 event at Madonna di Campiglio, said that Alonso has bonded with Ferrari much faster than Schumacher did when he joined in the winter of 1995

"For me, Fernando is the number one driver in F1 at the moment," said Domenicali. "I see a lot of similarities with Michael Schumacher, a driver who made his mark on our history. In fact, in some areas Fernando is even better, for example when I think of the speed with which he integrated himself into the team and the way he became its leader.

"In this he was much quicker than Michael who took a while to do that."

When told of this Alonso responded: "I don't know what to say, except that I immediately felt comfortable at Ferrari.

"But it would be very difficult to repeat what Michael did, because things are very different now to what they were a decade ago. Having said that, I am currently experiencing the best years of my career and that makes me very optimistic for the future."

Domenicali added that he believed Felipe Massa was also turning his season around, having come in from criticism earlier in the season for not matching Alonso's pace.

"I have seen that he was clearly on the up in the last three races and I am sure he will do very well in the second part of the year," said Domenicali. "Felipe has to stay calm and make the most of his talents, of which there are many: he is a very quick driver over a single lap, but maybe he needs to improve a bit in terms of his consistency in the races.

"It is definitely not easy being paired with someone like Fernando, but that should be a motivation for him not an excuse. For us, it is vital for Felipe to be on top of his game, given that for at least another year and a half, he is one of our drivers."

Alonso added that he was very happy to be driving alongside Massa, but added that he would not be concerned about being teamed with anyone - including his old McLaren nemesis Lewis Hamilton.

Asked what he thought of Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton's remarks that they would not rule out joining Ferrari at some point in their careers, Alonso replied: "It seems a normal thing to say: all drivers want to race for Ferrari. Some might say it openly, others deny it even if they are thinking it.

"For my part, it makes me feel even more privileged, because I am at Ferrari now and I will be for many years to come, at least to the end of 2016. I am very happy to have Felipe as a team-mate and we work very well together.

"If the day arrives when someone else was to come here, that would not be a problem for me, even if it was Hamilton."

Domenicali though said he thought it unlikely that Hamilton would be a part of the Ferrari set-up anytime in the near future.

"I am pleased he said never say never on the subject of Ferrari, in fact it is logical that everyone aspires to come to Maranello sooner or later, given what we represent in the history of this sport," he said. "Having said that, I don't think the question will arise, neither in the short nor in the long term.

"For the Ferrari of the future, I believe the right combination is to have one well established driver with great experience, alongside a talented youngster on the way up. I do not think that, with the pressure we are under, we can consider having two youngsters in the team at the same time."

shares
comments
Ferrari is set to switch its development focus to its 2012 campaign from September

Previous article

Ferrari is set to switch its development focus to its 2012 campaign from September

Next article

Fernando Alonso hasn't given up on world championship title hopes yet

Fernando Alonso hasn't given up on world championship title hopes yet
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021