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Fernando Alonso

Discussion in 'Drivers' started by RayInTorontoCanada, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Suprised there's no thread (although I had one for his blogs), so i'll start off:

    A double world championship vs Raikkonen and then Schumacher in 2005 and 2006 respectively elevated Alonso's status but, apparently, no one told his rookie teammate at his brand new team of a theoretical 'pecking order' the following season ... and the Spaniard was 'seen off' by the young Englishman, Hamilton, into two years of Wilderness while both Hamilton and an even younger Vettel began to make their mark through '08 and '09.

    Arguably, Alonso was in the Top 3 of all the Formula One 'Aces' in the 2000s following Hakkinen's retirement - up there with either Schumacher/Raikkonen and, then, Raikkonen/Hamilton - and remains so in the early 2010s along with Hamilton/Vettel...with only Kubica knocking on the door until the Pole's horrible Rallying accident.

    A question mark initially over 2004 during which Trulli lead him in the standing until the Italian fell out with ex-manager and team boss Flavio Briatore (Alonso's then business manager) under dubious circumstances after the French Grand Prix.

    Another question mark is...Who has progressed more since the end of 2007: Hamilton or Alonso?

    A fan. Then came the unfortunate blackmail allegations against McLaren boss Ron Dennis on the morning of the 2007 Hungarian GP which came to light at the highly costly FIA 'Spy-Gate' hearings before Spa...followed by the odour of the deliberate crashing of the Number 2 Renault car at Singapore in 2008 which lead to Alonso finishing 1st in the event and ended in the banning of Briatore and Pat Symmonds a year later.

    2009 was a poor year with 'Nando's' mind likely on the prospect of Santander paving the way to better prospects at Maranello one year earlier.

    2010 was a fresh start at Ferrari (who no longer had Schumacher walking through the premises regularly) but first half season mistakes ultimately cost him a title inspite of being infamously aided by a Team Orders switch w Massa at Hockenheim (which lead to more world-wide criticism).

    Relatively fast, relatively consistent but prone to mistakes and a possible insecurity complex (*) based on wanting sole focus from a team and being only happy with a Number 2 in the other car running behind him. Anything else and it seemingly rattles him.

    (*) This is my own personal opinion.

    ..and so to 2011...

    He's underperformed only at Malaysia (hit Hamilton) and China (invisible while Massa challenged McLarens and Red Bulls) and, arguably, Canada...but has maximized his chances in the other 6 races culminating in the British GP win.

    He said in his post-Monaco blog that 'Silverstone would be the WDC cut-off'...and so, after some major upgrades, the Ferrari looks a winner again. It might be too late for 2011 given Vettel's finishing rate...but the 2012 regs means they should keep the hammer down at Maranello.

    He's signed on through to 2016...So hopes are high of a WDC at some juncture...but not yet.
  2. ExtremeNinja

    ExtremeNinja Karting amateur Contributor

    Perhaps his achilles heel has become his strength. We all have traits that can either be the making or undoing of us. Sometimes it takes us a while to make the most of who we are and to turn our traits to our advantage. Fernando is clearly doing this right now where he has struggled in the past. It could well be his undoing again in the future but right now he is turning this to his advantage and seems to be fitting in very well at a team that knows how big his talent is. They said as much.

    I know that some of the things that used to get me into trouble at school are now the things that make me a strong leader in my proffession. It took a lot of growing up to figure out how to do that and I see the same in Alonso. I am also equally aware that if I don't keep myself in check, I could destroy myself in a fraction of the time it took for me to build myself. I see that in Alonso too. For now, however, he's on a good path and it's refreshing to see.
    RayInTorontoCanada likes this.
  3. I like your comments. FYI, I changed my "Achilles Heel" sentence upon reflection prior to reading your comment. I changed it to "insecurity complex". Does that term apply? Or should I change the intention of that sentence back to "Achillles Heel".

    I do understand your point about turning a negative flaw in earlier life into a positive strength in later years. I believe I've done it myself in my own profession as well to good effect...while also - like yourself - realizing it could screw me over in an instant.

    I suppose none of us are the same in our early-to-mid 20s as we are at 30 or older. Cheers, Extreme.
    ExtremeNinja likes this.
  4. ExtremeNinja

    ExtremeNinja Karting amateur Contributor

    Well not so much insecurity. I think Achilles heel is closer to the mark. Probably not flaw either. Just takes a while sometimes to figure out how to harness your strengths. Some people find it very easy to adapt to situations. Others are more comfortable at adapting situations to themselves. It is learning to have patience and to be flexible and realise the values of others and of teamwork and collective effort that pays off if you are the latter. If you don't learn these things then you end up creating dead ends for yourself. I've been frustrated with Alonso in the past. He still has the potential to be his own worst enemy, but he seems to know that now and play a more measured game. You know what? He looks a more content man in general for it too.
  5. I think he's content for three reasons:

    1. Hamilton - his nemesis - is doing no better v Vettel (in terms of wins and points); ;)

    2. He's the highest paid driver on the grid (which is a measurement in the business world and one measurement in F1); and

    3. He's made Ferrari his team on merit (i.e. being mighty quick and relatively consistent).
    ExtremeNinja likes this.
  6. Brogan

    Brogan Leg end Staff Member

    When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.
    But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

    Alonso for me is another one of the greats and definitely one of the top 3 drivers on the grid today.

    Yes he has his flaws, but all drivers do.
    Give him the tools to do the job though and he rarely fails to deliver.
    F1ang-o, dave, Cookinflatsix and 3 others like this.
  7. Sarinaide

    Sarinaide Banned

    Perceptions may justly or unjustly be created by Alonso in his F1 career, and I will say that 2007 was probably the major blemish not so much on performance as he was close to winning the WDC, but tarnished his reputation as a person.

    I would say he has by and large gone a long way to reparing that reputation, reading from sources has worked hard in trying to get Ferrari back to the top. We can make character judgments on speculation and one time events and situations but undoubtedly he has proved to be one of the best operators of the tools given, his stand out moment for me happened to be last year claiming he will win the WDC being 41 points off, not many would venture to make such a vow and that is testiment to self-belief and determination.

    Along with all the flaws and perceptions is one of the most dependable drivers in F1 and hopefully that will remain for a good while yet.
  8. RasputinLives

    RasputinLives Not dead Contributor

    This article could have done being written by someone who doesn't dislike Alonso but hey ;)

    Have to say Fernando ranks up alongside the greats that I've seen has a Senna like ability to be in the right place at the right time to capitalise on others mistakes and even make people make mistakes.

    I wouldn't say he was the quickest driver on the grid at the moment but he's in the top 3, I wouldn't say he was tacticaly the best driver on the gird at the moment but I'd say he was in the top 3 and I wouldn't say he was the best overtaker on the grid at the moment but I'd put him in the top 3. There in lays his secret - He's a brilliant all rounder.

    Has a Spanish temper that we've all seen and likes to have things his own way - but then tell me an F1 driver who doesn't? Gets the same media treatment that Senna did before he died - including this thing about him not allowing the team to have a competitve team mate (Senna did just the same after the Prost thing). The guy also has racing patients though - he's not afraid to wait for the race to come to him. A great example of this was at Silverstone just gone. Lewis went past him at the start of his second stint but instead of panicing he just let him go knowing that as long as he didn't wreck his tyres trying to fight it that he should reel him back in towards the end of the stint - which of course he did and went past Lewis - which actually turned out to be the most important part of the race because it mean he got in front of Hamilton coming out the pit and allowed him to build a lead up whilst Lewis held up Vettel.

    One of his greatest races for me and one he gets very little credit for due to what happened the race before is Japan 2008 - That Renault should have been nowhere near the front of any Grand Prix and for him to take that victory was immense.

    Anyways - Mr Alonso - will always rank in my top 10 of all time I think - even if he has done some terrible car adverts
  9. Sarinaide

    Sarinaide Banned

    That is the long and short of it, I would not say that Alonso is anywhere near being the quickest or most adventurous of all the drivers past and present, but his racing style is something he has made work for him. I may not have said top 10 of all time, but like everything it is subject to change, though I do say when it comes to race craft if you got the car and you want a solid win Alonso is the way to go.

    I particularly enjoyed the Singapore GP last year, when a streaking Vettel chased him round and round and got no jam despite having arguably the better car set up wise. My particular interest in Alonso comes from his development in F1 from test driver to upstart, to World Champion, to fall from grace, to redemption (for some atleast) it is an interesting tale which hopefully has some more highlights to come.
    ExtremeNinja likes this.
  10. VanChallis

    VanChallis Points Scorer

    You can't dispute the fact that he's one of the 3 best drivers on the grid. 2007 left a blemish on his personality (especially with blinkered British fans LOL) but it was understandable for him that season. He was getting into a winning car against a new kid with no experience, who gave him so much more than he bargained for. I think most people would have difficulty adapting to that situation, and his bad side emerged that season. But he has dealt with that now, got himself firmly in to the team with the greatest history on the grid, he has a team that are behind him totally and he'll only get better and better from now I think. He's not one of my favourite personalitiesin the sport, but nevertheless a great driver and a great champion. I think he'll grab at least another one before his time is up. (that is if RB don't keep going as they are :whistle:)
    F1ang-o and ExtremeNinja like this.
  11. RevMaxPower

    RevMaxPower Banned

    Fernando Alonso appears to be a different person this year. I think his new cool 'keep below the Radar' approach could work well for him. Roll on next weekend...:snacks:
    ExtremeNinja likes this.
  12. Slyboogy

    Slyboogy World Champion Contributor

    I agree with the rest of your points, but not the last two ;)

    The Renault back then definitely was quicker than the BMW, we all know BMW stopped development way back, plus the two Ferrari's and McLaren's had to comeback through the field after thier tangle, leaving Alonso and Kubica to sprint away.

    That is why I don't rank as it's best, a lot of good fortune and a bit too much credit.... Imola 05 however....
    ExtremeNinja likes this.
  13. Incubus

    Incubus Champion Elect

    Renault had indeed by then made important improvements on the car's front-end, which mostly resolved the lack of balance that had been a problem for them throughout that year. But I agree this one of his most impressive wins because of the way he improvised and effectively dictated the team's tactics from his cockpit, as heard on radio: "Can you short-fuel me and get me in front of Kubica?
    -OK Fernando, but you'll have to push now, give it all you got"/

    Cue, four fastest laps in succession, all within a tenth of each other.
  14. Slyboogy

    Slyboogy World Champion Contributor

    Is that pro for refuelling then? ;)
  15. Raikkonen did it from further back in 2007 and he was actually successful.

    The points changed in 2010...so 41 points in "old money" (2003 - 2009) is much less than the 26 points Raikkonen was down in mid 2007.

    Raikkonen was down the equivalent of 2 Wins + 1 Third...Alonso was down 1 Win and 1 Second.

    Last year Alonso got 25 points for a win. In 2007 Raikkonen was getting 10 points for a win.


    You don't find it to be a balanced, lucid OP? There wasn't a thread for Nando and I wanted to discuss the British GP winner.
  16. Slyboogy

    Slyboogy World Champion Contributor

    Looking at it that way 41 points doesn't seem that all bad sure he wasn't behind by more?

    I really don't like this points system, exaggerates things a bit too much....
  17. It could have been but Raikkonen was still much further back in 2007...and the Finn actually won. Alonso didn't win.

    Too many mistakes in the first half of the year...and then in Belgium and also Abu Dhabi where he lost position to Button (who was on the dirty side) and then deciding to focus on keeping Webber behind as opposed to chasing Vettel.

    His tactical ability is poor and based on Brundle praising him at Singapore 2008 which we all now know was Renault cheating so Alonso could win. Briatore, Symmonds and Piquet Jr (all now banned from Formula One because of the cheating) were the 'tacticians' that helped him 'win' that day. Shameless!
  18. Bill Boddy

    Bill Boddy Professional layabout Premium Contributor

    Are you implying that Alonso had a hand in Trulli's dismissal from the Renault team? If so, have you any evidemnce? Does it not seem to be more likely that Trulli went out of favour becaue he no longer had Briatore as his manager?

    imo Alonso shows more maturity these days, I'm not certain that Hamilton does. But that's the way Hamilton's fans like it, so who are we to argue?

    I think that you should think a little more deeply about what happened first of all at Monaco and then Hungary. One place to start is at http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2007/08/05/the-stewards-verdict-on-mclaren-alonso/ . Despite being written by an admitted Hamilton fan it does include the events that weekend leading up to the furore. As to Singapore 2008 the FIA hired a team of professional investigators who came to the conclusion that there was no evidence against Alonso. Of course you may know better.

    It might even be due to the Renault being a poor car.

    What mistakes would those be? Winning his first ever race in a Ferrari?

    The team orders broadcast used exactly the same form as words as was given to Kovaleinen in the same place two years earlier. Maybe Ferrari felt that what was sauce for the goose was sauce for the gander. I presume that when Webber and Vettel were running in that order in Turkey and Webber was told to slow down whilst Vettel was told to speed up did not come under the classification of a team order.

    There is a saying that anyone who has not made a mistake has not made anything. All the drivers make mistakes, they are all human.

    As I wrote in another thread, if Ferrari really are faster than Red Bull by the amount that showed up in the last part of the race at Silverstone they need to get Massa working again. Alonso first and Massa second in the remaining races would give Alonso the WDC. But I do not expect this to happen.

    By the way, what happened to the "blown away" bit in the original article?
  19. Incubus

    Incubus Champion Elect

    "he decided to focus on keeping Webber behind"...
    The entire world apart from you knows didn't decide anything and the guy who did subsequently got removed from his post.
    Sometimes I wonder why you bother posting Ray...
    slyboogy21 likes this.
  20. Webber hit the barriers and wasn't in position to beat him in the title during the race. The big threat was the RBR driver on Pole and in form and leading the race. Besides, Alonso got out-gunned by Button off the line from the dirty side of the grid and that's where it started to unravel.

    Let's keep this polite and civilized, Incubus my old friend. :)

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