Who cuts the checks to the drivers? Ferrari. Who has the most to gain or lose? Ferrari. Who will be around long after either Massa or Alonso have left the sport? Ferrari.
Ferrari made a tactical decision. The best option for Ferrari was to have Alonso as high up the order as possible. It's not about fairness, its about winning, and winning trumps all.
Does anyone really think that Massa would be all hot and bothered about taking it for Ferrari? They just resigned him to a contract...he will do what he is required to do.
What MW says is true but McLaren's stats are not in his favor. He says that McLaren would never pull this kind of thing for a driver and that is why Alonso left. Yes its true, but is that a good thing ? Ferrari's biased treatment has stood the test of time
. McLaren's equal treatment policy hasn't fared nearly as well, not in terms of championships anyway. And MW actually wonders why Hamilton is leaving McLaren. If they can't take hard decisions for the sake of the team or its employees then that's their problem.
Sportsmanship ? Where is Red Bull's when they use STR to their advantage ? OK lets leave them out of it. When McLaren were asked whether the F-duct was movable aero they said it was their interpretation that it was not. Obviously many others disagreed. But why was it allowed ? Because it turned out to be legal by the wording of the regulations. It had no regard for the spirit of the rules. So just because McLaren chooses to cover themselves up on the track doesn't mean they are the "good guys".
Alonso likes to be treated better than his teammates, I find that quite normal. His contract is with Ferrari not Massa, who is another employee. In office my target is always to get promoted ahead of my colleagues, not to get equal treatment. Everyone else does the same whether or not they admit it. If the company doesn't treat me as well as I think I deserve then I'll jump ship and if they think I'm not good enough for them they'll fire me. Loyalty works both ways. Its life.
Anyway, the championship situation justified Ferrari's decision, and the results show that it was actually a good decision.
Has it, though? It worked for Schumacher but he was kind of unique anyway, at least in his first incarnation. Since then it hasn't really won them much, has it?
Red Bull claim not to have a clear number one policy; Vettel is simply better than Webber. And it hasn't done them much harm in the last few years with regards to the WDC and in fact has probably helped them considerably when it comes to the WCC
McLaren lost the opportunity to challenge for this year's WDC not because of any driver equality policy but because they have have had generally shocking reliability and team errors throughout the year. If they had gotten their act together from the start then it's highly likely that we would be going into the last race with a three-way finale as a prospect. Lewis has certainly driven as well as the other two contenders and his equipment has generally been competitive all year.
I agree that the results will vindicate any decision that is made. Personally, I think Ferrari made a good decision as some of the people on the dirty side had nightmare starts. Look at Kimi, who is normally a good starter. He went backwards and spent much of the first half of the race playing catch up. Now at least Alonso still has a fighting chance for the title.
It has worked all the way. It worked for Schumacher, worked for Kimi and is now working for Alonso. The only time it didn't work was when Ferrari tried equal treatment with Kimi and Massa. So they reverted back to their old system. Success is a relative term in F1. There's only so much you can influence with driver policy if your car is not up to the mark. For example, over the last 3 years McLaren have been more competitive than Ferrari in terms of the car but McLaren have never come close to winning a title. Ferrari have come very close twice and still has a chance to win a title this season. Maybe that's not all down to driver policy, but some of it is. This season they haven't come close so driver policy doesn't matter but in '10 they could definitely have given Hamilton a good chance. Red Bull can claim whatever they want. Its clear as day that Vettel is their number 1. Webber has even gone on record with it. Anyway their car is good enough and their pitstops/strategies are good enough to make such matters trivial. Right now they are in a class of their own.
Result -wise you can't really attack a biased treatment policy. It has proved too successful for too long. You'd have to bring up sportsmanship, morality and things like that.
For me, its not just the results but also the championship situation that vindicates Ferrari's decision. Even if the plan backfired I would still defend it because it makes sense to me. The clean side of the grid seemed crucial with such a dusty track. The 1 grid place was just an added advantage. Massa is out of the WDC and Ferrari out of the WCC so Alonso's WDC is rightly the sole point of concern.
Edit: I'd also like to add that McLaren has different priorities to other top teams. They prioritizes race wins over title wins. So equal treatment makes sense for them. But if you look back, when they have won titles at recent times they used a biased policy, e.g. Hamilton/Kovalainen and Hakkinen/Coulthard. So what MW says has to be taken into context.
Not sure I'd agree there. It's debatable whether Kimi was ever actually a clear number one driver. Look at USA 2007, where Felipe finished 3rd to Kimi's 4th, or Turkey 2007, where Felipe led a Ferrari 1-2. I don't feel there's any way that Ferrari would allow that to happen with the current setup. They were pretty much treated equally and that helped them win not only the WDC in 2007, and get within a hair's breadth of winning it in 2008, but also the WCC in both those years. They haven't even come close to the WCC since ad for a team like Ferrari I bet that's got to hurt.
As for Red Bull, there's no real evidence that Webber is a number 2 apart from his hissy fit at Silverstone. Even then, there were two sides to that argument as he'd originally rejected the part anyway. Other than that he's been free to race Vettel and has occasionally beaten him; he has only been made to play second fiddle in the last few races when it was clear that Vettel was the only Red Bull driver able to take the fight to Alonso. In fact, most would agree that Mark is not the type to take things lying down and if he felt that he wasn't getting a fair shake of the dice I'm pretty sure we'd hear about it.
McLaren should have won the 2007 WDC and the reason they didn't had nothing to do with their equality policy. Lewis only really needed to finish in the points for the last two races and given his form up to then you would have put money on him walking away with the title. It was silly mistakes which put paid to his title, which was very nearly repeated the following year. And I wouldn't even say that 2008 was a clear number one situation; it was simply that Lewis was much, much better than his team mate. 2008 was hardly an unqualified success for McLaren; Heikki was so poor that he pretty much cost them the WCC.
There's a difference between having a number one driver policy, where they get priority treatment with everything and the second driver has to defer to them both on and off track, to having one driver who is simply faster than his team mate. Vettel is more often than not much faster than Webber and the reason Mark is perceived as a number two is that he just can't take the fight to Seb, that's all. But the Red Bull driver policy has helped net them a hat trick of WCCs as well as at least two WDCs, and quite possibly a third this year. While it's clear at Ferrari that Hell will likely freeze over before they let Felipe challenge Alonso on track. And that has cost them dearly in the Constructor's battle.
Regarding Kimi and Massa in '07, Alonso finished immediately behind Massa twice in '10 (Australia and Turkey). So does that mean there was no favoritism ?
Anyway I think we disagree with the very fundamental issues of driver policies and we also seem to interpret Red Bull very differently. Vettel is clearly better than Webber no doubt. Butt he same is true for Alonso and Massa. Red Bull just has the luxury of a very good car so they are not forced to get their hands dirty like Ferrari.
To me, the result of biased driver policies is quite clear in terms of results. Sportsmanship and image are really more vague subjects for me.