F1 2014 Driver Review: Fernando Alonso

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Fernando Alonso

Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Car No.: 14
Races: 19
Wins: 0
Podiums (excluding wins): 2
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 161
Laps Led: 32
Championship Position: 6th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Once again in 2014, Fernando Alonso dragged the Ferrari car kicking and screaming up the grid, giving everything he could to try and win the elusive third world title that he so craved.

And once again, he fell short. Not by the small amounts of 2010 or 2012, but by an enormous margin. With just 161 points and two podium finishes, this was by far Alonso’s worst season with Ferrari – or perhaps we should say Ferrari’s worst season with Alonso – and proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. For 2015, Fernando will most probably be racing with McLaren, but certainly not with Ferrari.

It was a year of great change at Maranello. The old regime under Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo was ushered out, with Alonso being a big part of it. Quite clearly, he was upset not to win a title with Ferrari, but still rated his time with the team as a nine out of ten. Seems quite generous, especially in light of this year’s disastrous campaign.

Alonso may not need the best car on the grid to win a championship, but when it is as dire as the F14 T, he stood little chance of winning a race. Once again, the Spaniard proved himself to be one of the most gifted drivers in F1, but he is still ‘only’ a two-time world champion. Few would have thought he would be leaving Ferrari without a third to his name, but alas, his era has ended.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

A bizarre year, really, occurred in 2014 for Fernando Alonso. The two-time World Champion had managed to finish second in three of the previous four seasons, despite not having the best car in any of the years. With the new regulations, Ferrari had a golden opportunity to make it right, and yet Alonso could probably argue the 2014 F14 T was the worst chassis he’d had in five years at Maranello.

If you look at the results achieved by Kimi Raikkonen – just 55 points and 12th in the World Championship with no podiums – Alonso’s season of 161, sixth with two podiums looks much better. Neither is anything Ferrari should be proud of, but Alonso’s season speaks volumes, once again, of him doing more with a car than should have been humanly possible.

How he managed to deliver as best he could on track given the still ongoing political machinations around him – some of which he may have orchestrated himself – was my takeaway of the season. Stefano Domenicali started the year as team principal, Marco Mattiacci took over, and now they’re both out in favor of Maurizio Arrivabene. But Alonso’s gone too – likely to McLaren – and how Sebastian Vettel compares may make the Scuderia wonder what in fact, they have lost for the future.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.