Ho ho. Yesterday in my post I was talking about what Alonso could do about Lewis.
In formula one at the moment:
- We know that whoever exits the second corner of the race first wins the grand prix.
- We know that the race fuel is set by the team in the third qualifying session.
- And we know that all other things being equal the lighter driver will be able to get on pole.
So doesn’t this mean that to a certain extent McLaren control the race?
I think it probably does. Adam Cooper asked the question of Alonso after the race and Alonso pointedly pushed the question in the direction of Ron.
I think that McLaren do give turn about to each of the drivers. Monaco was Alonso’s, Canada was Lewis’, and Indie was supposed to be Alonso’s. The only problem was the slip by Alonso during quali. So I think part of the frustration shown by Alonso was because he felt it was his turn.
I think he would have come out and said it except for even he would know it was poor form on after your team mates first win and on this occasion it would involve him admitting his mistake.
So what Alonso needs to do is go to Ron and demand that he consistently gets the better fuel load. Schumacher, he is probably thinking, never had to put up with this. But Ron has just made these big claims about how fair he is. Why would he change this for Alonso.
Alonso and his engineer need to go away and analyse the data. They need to find some nice data which proves that Alonso is faster on a light fuel load than Lewis is. Something that Ron can use to argue to himself that he’s doing it for the team. That Alonso is more likely to win on the lower fuel load than Hamilton. Of course I have no idea that such a piece of data exists but then you can make data say anything.
Then once armed with that data you go and have a meeting with Santander. Santander is a Spanish company who presumably want a Spanish winner. The whole idea of an English winner doesn’t work as well for them because in the UK they aren’t even known as Santander, here they’re called Abbey. So Alonso knows they basically came on board to be with him (and there are a couple of other firms in this camp too) so you go to them and make nice. Hint that you wish you could do more for them but that it is difficult because Ron won’t let you win.
Ron can say no to a driver but a leading sponsor? The sponsors are the ones who pay Alonso’s salary. And they do it because they think he can sell their product. But if he’s not allowed to win then it’s going to be easy for him to sell the product. I’m not saying this is true, just what he should say to them.
This pressure from the sponsors to protect their investment may be the one thing than Ron would listen to?
Well whether it was initiated by Alonso or not Santander did have a series of meetings with McLaren recently. And the outcome? For a man worried about the privacy of his drivers Ron’s just taken an interesting move. He’s given Santander time with Lewis to make a tv ad specially for the UK which will highlight how Abbey and Santander are the same thing. And there will be a cardboard Lewis in every branch of Abbey from here on in.
So perhaps that one wildcard I thought of yesterday for Alonso has already been foiled by Ron. There’s only one thing left for it now: he’ll just have to drive faster.