F1 | Fernando Alonso: “I’m the proprietor of my future”

Fernando Alonso (Oviedo, 41 years previous) arrives on time for the appointment with AS, though the site visitors has delayed his first commitments of the day. He was the protagonist for the Press when he arrived in Zandvoort attributable to that scuffle with Lewis Hamilton within the earlier race, he had additionally been when he arrived at Spa-Francorchamps after his sudden signing for Aston Martin, from 2023 onwards. The repercussion on every part that surrounds the Asturian is gigantic, and that results in reflection: if he additionally bought right into a profitable automobile, that magnitude can be incalculable. With 32 victories (the final one, Spain 2013), 22 pole positions and 98 podiums, the subsequent milestone that the two-time Spanish champion will signal is the report for grand prizes in Formulation 1: he has 348 participations and Kimi Raikkonen stopped the depend at 350. Fernando will turn into the driving force with essentially the most races in historical past within the elite of motorsports. There begins a dialog that helps to grasp the profound causes for leaving Alpine (though he already talked about it in Belgium) and his method of understanding the game.

—How a lot does it matter to you to turn into the driving force with essentially the most grand prizes within the historical past of Formulation 1?

“When is that this?”

—Two races to go

-What number of?


“Effectively, you see, it isn’t essential to me.” However hey, I knew it was going to return this yr in some unspecified time in the future. It is a report that displays my ardour for the game and the years I have been right here, even after spending two years away. Nonetheless, it isn’t essential.

—It’s maybe one of many few driver data, as a result of victories, pole positions or titles rely extra on the automobile…

-Sure. However you want the belief of many groups for a few years in order that they imagine in your potentialities and to have the ability to compete in Formulation 1. It’ll at all times depend upon the automobile, if you do not have automobile you’ll by no means be round for thus a few years. However it’s a report that displays the work and sacrifice of the pilot.

-This summer season we’ve got seen groups that interrupt the contract with a driver, efficiency clauses… how do you survive twenty years within the ‘paddock’?

—Having the liberty to decide on what you need to do, to be the proprietor of my future. I’ve had the privilege and the luck of having the ability to select after I got here to a staff or after I left. And that is, a little bit, the key to proceed for thus a few years. Whenever you owe a staff lots, otherwise you be a part of a staff and also you get in a automobile for some type of plug or cronyism, or for the contribution of a sponsor, or no matter, it’s doable that you’ve an expiration date extra early. I’ve been fortunate to not depend upon so many individuals.

“What efficiency clause does he placed on himself?”

—That of at all times attempting to be at degree in comparison with the teammate, who is sort of the one reference. Attempt to obtain the objectives that the staff units every year. Whether or not it is the top-5 or the rostrum, or combating for the championship. Not make errors, really feel good, and likewise give an additional that comes completely from me. Many instances you go to the technique assembly on Sundays, earlier than the race, and of all of the simulations which are completed at night time they provide you a forecast ninth place. Then doing a seventh or a sixth in that race is a small private achievement that you’re doing. I’m at all times essentially the most demanding with myself.

“Due to expertise and pace, I’m one of the full on the grid”

Fernando Alonso

—Do you assume the pilot has misplaced weight in these years in comparison with the ‘primary staff’? Ferrari was structured round Schumacher, however now that may not occur.

—With Michael sure, as a result of he had that energy. However I do not assume a lot has modified. The ‘primary staff’ have been at all times revered characters and protagonists. Expertise has modified on this planet, so vehicles are actually extra technological and there are extra simulations, extra knowledge, extra sensors. All the things is extra studied. It isn’t that there was improvisation earlier than, however you went out to the race on Sunday and after lap fifteen we’ll see how issues go. Now you understand how every part goes to go. The world has modified, however the ‘primary staff’ nonetheless have that energy. Earlier than there was Eddie Jordan, Ron Dennis, Flavio Briatore. There have been very highly effective folks.

—What standards do you utilize to evaluate a rival driver? Not simply titles…

—That they do not make errors, that they’re constant. That they arrive at Spa and are within the top-10 and that they arrive at Zandvoort, a special circuit, and are additionally within the top-10. Do not have too many ups and downs. I worth that nicely.

“Do you’re feeling the quickest, or the neatest of the twenty?”

(Sluggish to reply). Arduous to know. I do not know easy methods to reply who can be the quickest of the twenty. However I do really feel like one of the full, I do not know if essentially the most full however one of the full on the grid due to the expertise I’ve and due to the combination of pace and data of the race.

-Whenever you hear him speaking to his engineers throughout the race, it appears that he’s watching it on tv due to the kind of data he handles…

—It comes from a few years {of professional} profession. I began competing after I was three years previous. (within the karting). I gained the karting world championship after I was 14 years previous. I have been at a really excessive degree in motorsport for 27 or 30 years when the engineers that we’ve got proper now within the staff have in all probability been out of college for about eight years. It’s regular that generally I’ve extra expertise than them.


Fernando Alonso (Alpine A522). Zandvoort, the Netherlands. F1 2022.ANDREJ ISAKOVICAFP

“If I win a title or two at McLaren, I’d nonetheless have stopped”

Fernando Alonso

—Alonso is remembered for begins, comebacks, victories… and massive errors?

“You at all times have errors, however not too apparent ones. In twenty-odd years of profession, there usually are not too many. Fuji 2007, ‘aquaplaning’. Spa 2010, I hit the curb at flip seven on the surface and went inside. There are errors that you just keep in mind and you then wish to repeat the race. However hey, these issues occur.

—The opposite nice champions of this era have fairly well-known accidents (Vettel in Germany 2018, Hamilton in Silverstone 2021… or Belgium 2022).

—Sure, the English discuss in regards to the ‘consciousness of the volumes’ for the beginning, the flexibility to concentrate on the place the vehicles round you’re and what area on the observe they occupy at that second. Nonetheless, in that sense, I do have that capability extra developed; and fewer developed different issues.

—Which has been essentially the most aggressive Formulation 1 that has led in these virtually 350 grand prix?

—You at all times have to have a look at the extent of competitiveness with respect to your rivals. So I’d say that the Renault of 2006, the primary a part of the yr had the very best automobile.

“However he is by no means had a ten-win-a-year automobile.”

-By no means.

“If I had, would I nonetheless be right here?”

(Suppose). Who is aware of, possibly not. That could be a good query. I keep in mind after I signed with McLaren in 2007, I had signed for 3 years and my concept was to do these three years and possibly cease, as a result of I had already achieved rather more than I ever imagined. If these three years go nicely and I win yet another World Cup, or two extra World Cups, I’d nonetheless have stopped.

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