In one of the light-hearted exchanges between Carlos Sainz Jr. and Fernando Alonso, dating from the latter’s McLaren years, which is way before Sainz went ‘red,’ Fernando Alonso came up with a cracker.
When asked what animal, according to Fernando Alonso, best described him, a question asked during a light-hearted F1 (official) videos, perceptibly rolled out for audience engagement between the races, the Spaniard said- “rabbit.”
Sainz, who instantly laughed as hard as he probably would have, was soon joined by Fernando Alonso, who you could see, was just playing along intentionally.
Though truth be told, if the Oviedo-born would’ve said “Lion” for an answer, there’s a high possibility that one would have nodded the head in approval for honestly what is it that he cannot do.
At 40, Alonso’s fighting 20 year olds on the one hand, and doing it brilliantly well, whilst demonstrating quintessential inborn lion-styled attack on drivers like Vettel (as seen at Monza) and Hamilton (as seen at Hungaroring) in a display of fearlessness that only he can bring to the fore.
This is when Alonso, albeit powered with more than a decent midfield car, is still neither in any of the exciting triumvirate up the order: whether a Red Bull, Mercedes or McLaren.
And yet, as a fan, you cannot help but think of just what might have happened if the double-world champion were to be paired with a Black Arrow, or if not, then, at least, Leclerc’s Ferrari?
Scoring points immediately after his DNF at Bahrain, as he gathered a strong P10 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso looked the part of a driver who never really left Formula 1 when in truth, we all know his 2021 return is after a two-year break from the top annals of Grand Prix racing.
A period of time where the daredevil racer didn’t really take a sabbatical, but instead, grew further in race craft and experience in stints like Le Mans and other forms of Endurace Racing.
Yet, if there’s something the man from Asturias would quite like to change about F1, at present, then it’s the predictability at the top of the order.
One race it’s Mercedes, and the other- Red Bull. Then a swap in positions and at the top step of the podium in the next GP before it becomes the same again.
So far, there’ve only been two GPs won in 2021 by a car other than a Mercedes and Red Bull, which includes Ricciardo’s Monza win in the MCL 35M and prior to that, Esteban Ocon, Alonso’s own teammate, winning at the Hungaroring.
The 2021 Hungarian GP, it ought to be remembered, is also the very venue where Alonso bagged his best or highest race finish from what we’ve seen this year: a P4.
At the same time, it continues to be the scene of the great driver’s most recent F1 podium, which came in 2014, and would be the 97th in a magnificent career.
Yet, what does Fernando Alonso doesn’t quite like about the current season or should one say, the way the battles at the top are happening?
Here’s what the driver was quoted as saying to the revered Motorsports.com :
“What I think we need to address now, and next year may be the first step in that, is the difference between the cars,” Alonso is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.
“If you are lucky enough to be in a competitive car right now, you are only fighting with your team-mate, not another team.”
“Also, in 95 percent of the races you end up on the podium, and then it doesn’t matter if you’re a 19-year-old rookie or 45 and the oldest. You’re on the podium in 95 per cent of the races that year.”