As candid and direct as usual, Fernando Alonso has given his opinion on the involvement of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in their F1 respective teams. His case is possibly the most perfect opposition to both drivers.
Alonso never had the best car on the grid, but he managed to get the best out of it. His season at Aston Martin is the obvious proof, the difference between climbing the mountain or finding yourself at the top.
“When Hamilton went to Mercedes (2013 season), he didn’t build anything to be champion. It was just a change of regulations (hybrid engines) that changed everything on the grid and pushed Mercedes to the top.
“I feel the same with Max, when he joined Toro Rosso and Red Bull, Hamilton was still winning everything. Red Bull is not a winning team because of him, it’s just that another regulation change in 2021 has meant that they now win every race,” Alonso analyses.
With this analysis, the Spaniard tries to open a debate on whether to focus the merit on the driver’s work or the changes in regulations open a different panorama: “When we say that we can ‘build’ teams around us, I don’t understand it. This is a sport where technical decisions, regulations or the inspiration of the design office make more of a difference than your input, your comments, your personality or your driving.
For the Spaniard, in Formula 1 as in virtually most aspects of life, “you just have to be in the right place at the right time. Because a lot of success still depends on luck”.
The chance to win at Aston Martin
The Asturian has never been so close to winning and yet so far away. Seven podiums in 14 races, something unthinkable after his last six seasons at Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine. Still, it looks like that will be up to Red Bull. “They would need a couple of bad decisions to deviate a bit from the good direction they seem to find in the car,” the Spaniard said.
But the British team has already made it clear that they are still excited about challenging in this battle. If they were able to take a big step forward, why not a second one: “I have a lot of confidence in this project, we already did it in winter, we can improve again”, explains the Asturian enthusiastically.
A moment to go back in time
“If I could change anything in my career, it would be to win a World Championship with Ferrari”, something he has already repeated on several occasions. But he does not only regret not winning the title during his time with the Scuderia.
“At McLaren we also came very close to winning. Just one point. But we probably didn’t deserve it because of the way we handled things. But at Ferrari, I felt we did things quite well. We were fighting maybe with an inferior car until the end. So if I could change one thing in my career, I would probably change that,” Alonso said.
That season he didn’t have the best car and yet he was on the verge of a hat-trick of championships. Will history repeat itself with a different ending?