Few drivers command as much respect and adoration as Fernando Alonso, formerly with starry teams like Ferrari and McLaren. For someone who has no fewer than two world titles to his name, it’s actually hardly a surprise that the Oviedo-born racer actually has a museum in his honour. He was, it mustn’t be forgotten, the only driver who could challenge the authority of a certain Sebastian Vettel in a Ferrari with the German charging in his marauding Red Bull days. And what’s more? It took Alonso just a single season to get the measure of someone like Kimi Raikkonen when the two were paired alongside in the 2014 season, wherein the Spaniard claimed 161 points to Kimi’s paltry 55.
A driver who brings a certain kind of relentless energy to succeed and pure passion, Alonso is widely respected for being among the grittiest men on the grid. So it was only natural that his comeback to the highest-form of Grand Prix racing was celebrated and widely looked forward to.
Just that having a solitary point against his name in two races with his brand new Alpine F1 team has soured the hyped comeback somewhat.
But then, one mustn’t forget that the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship is a long season with 21 more races to go. And even as Esteban Ocon has seemed more competitive in the A521, it would be silly to discount Alonso’s daring and guile.
As a matter of fact, a similar sentiment was echoed by Alpine F1 team’s racing director Mr. Davide Brivio who came out in full support of the man celebrated as the “Spanish Knight!”
So the point is, what was said in support of Fernando Alonso and what does a key member of his racing team feel about the veteran driver’s chances?
In an interaction with GP Blog, here’s what Brivio had to offer:
To be honest, in general, I think with Fernando, the ability is there, the talent is there, the motivation is unbelievable,” said Brivio.
“I really enjoy, and I can really see somebody great as a driver and a sportsman – everything.
“After two years, my personal feeling is it is not easy. I think we need a few races, in my opinion, to get back to the grip so it is not like..”
That being said, it’s also fair given the fact that not everyone can strike gold at the end of a single race or two. This, mind you, is Fernando Alonso who’s made a comeback to the top annals of racing after a gap of a couple of years.
Also, a key thing to note that one cannot cover everything in a single race weekend; often it takes two to three weekends to strike rich form, a sentiment also echoed by Mr. Brivio.
What Fernando Alonso will surely be keen about is to enjoy the upper hand in his tussle with the young Frenchman Esteban Ocon, who’s beaten the returning world champion fair and square thus far.
So will Alonso be on top of things come the next round at Portimao? For that we shall have to wait for another weekend. May the force belong to the towering persona of Formula 1!