Monday, 13 February 2012

Fernando Alonso: When will he get the car he deserves?

My next piece on the grid's top drivers is on Fernando Alonso, and when will he get a car to help him win the Championship with Ferrari?

You can ask any F1 fan who the top drivers in F1 are, and I'm almost certain that Fernando Alonso will crop up. He is a formidable talent and almost everyone does regard Alonso as one of the best. Alonso is capable of getting everything out of his car, and always has been.

And yet, despite his talent, he hasn't won the championship with Ferrari yet. It is clear just how much he loves been at Ferrari, he has a real passion, and a burning desire to win with Ferrari. The feisty Spaniard is constantly showing this, and yet despite an incredible amount of support from the team, who are clearly in love with Alonso, he's not had a car good enough to win the championship yet. He's still put everything into it, and given the Ferrari fans a real thrill with some of his driving, but hasn't got to his third World Championship with the team he wants to be at for the rest of his career yet. This is a combination of many things, but everyone knows that he has the talent, and just hasn't had the car. Alonso is like Vettel and Hamilton, in that, if you give him a car capable of winning the world championship, he will win the world championship.

Alonso just missed out on the title in 2010
2010 was his first year with the team, and he said it was the most enjoyable year of his career, with Alonso winning an impressive five races for the Scuderia. It started so well, with victory in Bahrain. But then came some problems, and some rare errors from Alonso. He was spun around at Turn One in Melbourne, before recovering to finish fourth. In Malaysia he was running very well with a massive gearbox problem, until his engine blew. Then came China, and an uncharacteristic error: Alonso jumped the start by a long way, which earned him a drive-thru' penalty. Alonso had four extra visits to the pit lane on his way to fourth place. Then came Spain, and a flawless weekend at his home race, taking 2nd place and 18 points. Monaco, and the mistake that probably cost him the Championship more than any other: In third practice Alonso binned his car, crashing into the wall at Massenet, which ruled him out of qualifying. This meant he started 24th and last, but still put in a fantastic recovery drive to finish 6th. Turkey was next, and a very disappointing race for Alonso, finishing eighth after losing time behind Vitaly Petrov. Alonso was on the podium in Canada before some horrendous luck with the safety car and drive-thru' penalties meant that he took just four points from the next two races. This is when his championship kicked into life though: Alonso controversially won Germany before a 2nd in Hungary, then winning in Italy and Singapore. His talent was shining by now and after winning a sensational Korean Grand Prix, he led the championship. A terrible strategic error from the team cost him the championship at the last race though, as Alonso completed his first season with Ferrari on a low.

Alonso took ten podiums in his stunning 2011
So if Alonso's driving was strong in 2010, then it was even better in 2011. The car was nowhere near what it was in 2010, and even in 2010 it was the third fastest car for most of the year. Alonso's driving was just sensational in 2011, which led to him being ranked 2nd in my driver rankings. He was on fire, and proved why Ferrari signed him, and why some consider him the best in the world. He wrung absolutely everything out of a very disappointing Ferrari car, which was well off the pace of both the Red Bull and the McLaren. Last season displayed his talent more than any other did, with Alonso himself saying it was his best ever year of driving. The Spaniard's overtaking was at its best, with Alonso making five overtakes which went in my overtakes of the year shortlist, with the best surely on Jenson Button at Brazil. Alonso got a better run out of Turn Three than Button, then moved across to the outside and passed him around the outside of Ferra Dura, Turn Five. This was a really great move, and Alonso made it look easy. His starts were probably the most impressive aspect of his driving last year - Alonso took the lead from fourth on the grid at Barcelona in one of the best starts I have ever seen. He then did it again at Monza, as well as making great starts in virtually every other race. His pace over one lap was also very strong - his qualifying laps in Spain and Singapore were simply breathtaking, and he has demolished Felipe Massa over the last two years in qualifying. Alonso's drives in Spain, Europe, Britain, Japan and Abu Dhabi were simply world class last season.

In short, Alonso is a wonderful driver, and Ferrari need to take advantage of the fact that they have him in their team. It is crucial that they now make the car Alonso deserves, because no-one, not even Alonso, can win the championship in a poor car. After two cars which weren't up to Ferrari's impeccably high standards, the F2012 needs to be seriously fast. It is a measure of Alonso's talent that despite no championship in the last five years he is still considered to be among the very best in the world. Ferrari know that if they aren't winning, it's their fault, and not Alonso's. Ferrari need to make a good car for him, firstly because he will then be able to win the Championship, but also because Alonso is a feisty and ferocious character, and like at McLaren in 2007, he can make things behind the scenes very frosty.

Over the next few weeks I will be looking at the six world champions on the grid, as well as three other drivers in top teams, in articles like this, as we prepare for the start of the season.


  1. Once again a great article mate and on Alonso your fav driver it's got a lot of detail. I don't think Ferrari will win the championship this year for the following reasons:

    Red Bull and McLaren ended last year faster overall and in the first test there cars look good and on the pace. While Ferrari have gone for a bit of a radical approach on there 2012 car and in testing it didn't look as good as RBR and McLaren, also it will be interesting to see how there new front suspension layout works out in a bid to help the tyre warm up problems which blighted them in Quali

    Also when you play catch up you can never really catch up because you've got to work twice as hard

    Finally yes Fernando currentely is the best driver but the signs coming from Ferrari are that the wind tunnel may still not be working effectively with the track signs until they fix this fully its hard to know whether the Nando will get his 3rd Title.

  2. Really good detail again mate, your doing a great job as always. You shouldn't really trust testing, but the Ferrari seems to be exactly like the Mclaren mp4-26, unreliable. If you can't do more then 30 laps, which Ferrari are struggling to do, then you aren't going to do well. Alonso is such good driver, and it sees to be a shame of his talent being spent dragging a team that should be top, to 3rd place.