McLaren were typically the sixth or seventh-quickest team during 2016. So it speaks volumes of Fernando Alonso’s performance than he finished seventh or better on seven occasions while his team mate, a fellow world champion, did so only once.
|Beat team mate in qualifying||15/19|
|Beat team mate in race||7/12|
|Laps spent ahead of team mate||612/950|
When opportunities like these presented themselves Alonso could usually be relied upon to exploit them. He did so after the lap one mayhem in Russia and when the rain fell in Monaco. Incredibly, Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes was one of the cars following in Alonso’s wake at the principality.
The other two wet races were missed opportunities. He spun at Interlagos and Silverstone. He had been revelling in his car’s new floor during the latter but after badgering the team on the radio to find a strategic advantage which didn’t exist he went off at Abbey. This wasn’t typical: usually if Alonso’s race went awry it was because his car had let him down.
He took seventh in Hungary with only the Mercedes, Red Bulls and Ferraris ahead of him – cars that were vastly quicker than the MP4-31. He finished in the same position in Belgium despite starting from last place following a power unit change.
Singapore was an Alonso masterclass From ninth on the grid he drove a canny race, nursing his tyres early in the stints before unleashing his pace on demand to work his pit stops to perfection. Another seventh place.
Austin offered the chance for Alonso to get his elbows out and he did, barging Felipe Massa aside and taking Carlos Sainz Jnr for good measure on his way to another fifth place.
By the final race Alonso had amassed more than twice as many points as his team mate. A tremendous effort which didn’t get anything like the reward it deserved.
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Over to you
He has dragged that McLaren in places where it didn’t belong. He is always there in the top 10 when you least expect it. Massively outperformed Button in the second half of this season.
What’s your verdict on Fernando Alonso’s 2016 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.
Add your views on the other drivers here:
The F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings are produced by referring to:
- Race-by-race notes on how they performed (see below)
- How well they performed compared to their team mate
- How competitive their car was
- Other data on the 2016 season
View race-by-race notes on Fernando Alonso
Australia – A race which ended with a spectacular crash had begun more promisingly: Alonso moved up to tenth at the start and was hunting for points. After pitting he was several seconds quicker than Gutierrez and it was that speed difference combined with a split-second misjudgement which launched his McLaren into the barriers. Fortunately he was unhurt.
China – Returned to action despite some rib pain but was disappointed by the red flags in Q2 which ruined his and Button’s hopes of making the final ten. Having stayed out of trouble at the start the Safety Car allowed him to run third, but his pace on two medium-tyre stints wasn’t quick enough to deliver his first points of the year.
Russia – Cautious about McLaren’s prospects after a solid Friday, Alonso wasn’t quite on Button’s pace in qualifying and lined up 14th. However he made great gains from the lap one confusion and emerged in seventh place. The car had the pace to stay there as well, and instead of being consumed by rivals on the straight Alonso finished a place higher up after Verstappen dropped out. He entertained himself with a few ‘push’ laps at the end, recording the fifth-quickest time.
Spain – Grabbing a place in Q3 represented progress, even if it meant he was the lowest driver on the grid who had to start on old tyres. He slipped behind Button at the start though and that confined him to his team mate’s pace until a power unit problem forced him out.
Monaco – Snuck his McLaren into Q3 but didn’t follow his team mate’s early switch to intermediate tyres in the race, the result being he maintained position through the first round of stops. The second pit stop played into his hands beautifully as it jumped him in front of Rosberg an Hulkenberg. He weather pressure from the Mercedes driver for the rest of the race and saw him off, holding on for an excellent fifth.
Canada – Said he might be better off if he missed a place in Q3 and started 11th with a free tyre choice. However thanks to a tow from his team mate he did get a place in the top ten. He couldn’t produce the same in the race, but after a radio request for a late pit “stop” he at least entertained himself by passing Kvyat.
Europe – Didn’t think a place in Q3 was possible but was disappointed to qualify as low as he did after a yellow flag meant he couldn’t use DRS on his last lap. Had it not been for his gearbox problem he would probably have taken 11th but the McLaren wasn’t quick enough for points on Sunday.
Austria – Not best pleased after Q2, when he did his initial run on a set of used tyres then on his new tyre run had to back off for a yellow flag. It had been caused by his team mate. His bad luck continued in the race, which was hampered from the early stages by a battery problem and eventually led him to retire.
Britain – Was the first to run McLaren’s new floor and looked committed from the word go, consistently taking the car into the top ten. He delivered on that potential in qualifying, but was bumped back a couple of places after losing his fastest lap due to exceeding track limits. He produced a brilliantly combative performance in the wet but wanted his team to take be more aggressive with the strategy. Given the lack of options available to them it’s doubtful that was a possibility, and Alonso’s costly spin at Abbey left him out of the points
Hungary – Was ‘Mr Seventh place’ at the Hungaroring and it’s unlikely the McLaren could realistically have finished higher. His slip-up in Q3 was the only blot on an otherwise very strong weekend.
Germany – Was held up by Vettel in qualifying but later admitted it hadn’t cost him a place in Q3 at a track where McLaren believed they should have been more competitive. However he moved up two places at the start and then overtook Massa’s hobbled Williams to run behind his team mate. There he remained until the final laps when, struggling with worn tyres and a shortage of fuel, he fell prey to Perez and Gutierrez and lost his grip on the top ten.
Belgium – Wasn’t able to run in qualifying after problems with Honda’s new power unit meant Alonso’s had to be replaced more than once. However having started last he was as feisty as ever at the start and took advantage of the chaos to move into the points by lap three. A free tyre change during the red flag period also aided his cause. Remarkably, he’d also got ahead of Hamilton in the opening laps but the Mercedes inevitably came past when the race resumed. He was powerless to resist Perez and Vettel too, but seventh was a huge reward.
Italy – A single run on new tyres in Q2 was not enough to gain a place in the top ten on this power track. A typically great start put him in the hunt for the points, but a hesitant getaway from his pit stop when the traffic lights failed to change crucially dropped him behind Hulkenberg. After that he took the curious decision to put on a fresh of soft tyres at the end of the race and set fastest lap.
Singapore – Consistently the quicker of the two McLarens, Alonso got his car into Q3 and qualified ninth. He made his usual combative start and was up to fifth early on, then managed his pace very carefully in order to be sure he could make a two-stop strategy work without giving away track position. That done, he brought the car home seventh having only lost places to two considerably quicker cars.
Japan – Spun off at Spoon on Friday doing some damage to the car. He was McLaren’s only representative in Q2 and found the race highly frustrating: early on he spent several laps edging closer to Massa in the hope of making a pass, only to be thwarted by yellow flags at the chicane. Two-stopping meant he spent more time in traffic and despite quick stops on both visits he finished one place lower than he had started.
Malaysia – Used Honda’s new power unit but 45 places of penalties meant it wasn’t worth doing a proper run in qualifying. The first corner kerfuffle was a gift which moved him into the hunt for points, and a decision to use an attacking strategy paid off when another Virtual Safety Car period handed him a free pit stop and allowed him to finish in front of Button.
United States – Said the car wasn’t quick enough to reach Q3 and took consolation from starting 12th on new tyres. However a good start – taking the outside line at turn one as usual – moved him up into the points positions. He spent the race in pursuit of Sainz until the VSC period put Massa between them. But Alonso first barged Massa aside with an uncompromising move, then took Sainz in a more straightforward fashion, and equalled McLaren’s best result of the season.
Mexico – Alonso’s run in second practice came to an early end due to a problem with his braking system. He took 11th on the grid but celebrated as if he’d taken pole having gained the highest new-tyre starting position. After his delay with Sainz a slow second pit stop wrecked his chance of points.
Brazil – Bounced back from a technical fault in second practice with a fine performance in qualifying. He beat Button by half a second in Q1 and went on to reach the top ten. He pounced on Perez superbly at the start and beat the Force India to the line. However his switch to intermediates a few laps later dropped him back into the pack. By the final restart he was back up to eighth, but he blew his chances of a better points finish with a spin. He salvaged the final point by taking Button, Magnussen, Wehrlein, Bottas, Kvyat and Ocon in the sprint to the flag.
Abu Dhabi – After spending first practice working on McLaren’s 2017 developments Alonso put his car 11th-quickest in the second session. He went two better on Saturday, crediting the improvement to some bold set-up calls. With no cars retiring in front of him, and Massa’s Williams much quicker in a straight line, tenth was probably the best he could do. But a Vettel-esque final stint on super-softs meant he was pressuring Perez and Massa as the race ended.
2016 F1 season review
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- Your favourite F1 drivers and teams of 2016
- ‘Well done Baku’? No, it was 2016’s worst race
- F1 Fanatic’s must-read highlights of 2016
- Watch the top ten non-F1 races of 2016
84 comments on “2016 F1 season driver rankings #4: Alonso”
Willem Cecchi (@)
15th December 2016, 11:40
Still the best driver on the grid IMO.
15th December 2016, 11:48
David Browne (@dvb78)
15th December 2016, 11:57
Krishna Reddy (@krishna)
15th December 2016, 12:08
15th December 2016, 13:51
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
15th December 2016, 14:39
@willemcecchi and by a long way, IMO. Give the man a chance, and he’ll fight till the end.
Ian Bond (@ianbond001)
15th December 2016, 14:42
The best race day driver.
15th December 2016, 15:00
15th December 2016, 16:08
@willemcecchi Based upon what ?, what has Alonso shown that makes him the best in your opinion ?
15th December 2016, 16:58
If you didn’t see it this season than nothing we could say would make you think any differently
15th December 2016, 18:21
How could anybody rate Lewis Hamilton higher than Alonso this year is beyond my imagination
16th December 2016, 3:25
@EagleMk1 Because Hamilton is simply better then Alonso.
16th December 2016, 8:06
Of course, the starts say it all :/
16th December 2016, 3:24
@rike I saw the season and i saw nothing special so please enlighten me..
16th December 2016, 22:10
The only thing Lewis Hamilton did better than Alonso in the whole season was cross-country driving at Mexico
Strangely Brown (@irukaviking)
15th December 2016, 23:34
15th December 2016, 11:51
#4? Granted he’s good but I think thats a bit generous. Stoffel did better in 1 race without previous experience….
15th December 2016, 12:27
So vandoorne getting a 10th without experience means he’s atleast number 3 in the season? is that what you are saying @boli ?
Okay so what would you make of lewis’s debut on the podium or vettel’s 7th or Gilles victory?
15th December 2016, 12:48
would he have done better if Alonso was in the race?? maybe stoffel would be #3 in this ranking if he drove the whole season, don’t try to tell us Stoffel is better then Alonso because of one race where Alonso was not in the race.
15th December 2016, 13:04
We will find out in a few months.
But yes we cannot compare because of that, you are right.
15th December 2016, 14:42
you cant judge “anyone” on one race, take Mag for example
15th December 2016, 15:28
Stoffel did a decent job for his first race, but tenth was well below what Alonso would have achieved; i think sixth or seventh was possible that race; even for Button.
15th December 2016, 16:50
I think he got But and Alo mixed up in that race.
15th December 2016, 11:52
Sooo for the Record: alonso screws up 2/3 wer Races in a Major fashion and it’s “Apart from that he’s Perfect” and rosberg screws up 2/3 wet Races by losing One Position each while still on the podium and 1/3 Really struggling but still hauling in Points (only 5 in it at the end, Member?)and it’s enough to Say his season was pretty meh. Is that correct?
15th December 2016, 12:16
Alonso massively out performed his car and teammate. Rosberg didn’t.
15th December 2016, 12:49
A big factor in these analysis is what they did with what they had. Nico had the best car and so was expected to do what he did or better. FA has ranked where he has today because of what he did with something no where near top level equipment wise. The RBR drivers will be in the top 3 here because they started to take the fight to Mercedes and make it less of a given that each race was just going to be a Mercedes cakewalk.
Methinks it’s going to be DR in #1 for being best behind the two Mercs, and for dealing well with the onslaught of Max, LH in #2 for having squandered a few opportunities yet having much success too in amongst the reliability issues, plus his sense of entitlement and accusations of conspiracy toward his team have been a real turnoff for many, and in #3 Max for being so darn exciting to watch and for doing what he did coming into a car unfamiliar to him partway into the season and immediately keeping DR on his toes.
15th December 2016, 15:55
@mrboerns, I’ve been a big Alonso fan since 2003, but I agree with you 100%
Like I wrote in the comments section of this site, in the article where Rosberg was ranked (only) #5: despite the universal consensus that he does not have Hamilton’s talent (and x-factor), in 2016 he was simply the better man (driver). During the times when it mattered the most in the season, Lewis did not perform as well as Nico. So, surely the German deserved to be at least #2, if not #1 altogether since he is the World Champion after all. Whether people like it or not!
Going back to Fernando…. (McLaren) GIVE THE MAN A COMPETITIVE CAR! I think the last time he raced one, that was legitimately capable of fighting for the title, was way back in 2007. I’m not sure about the outright competitiveness of the F10 (2010), it was probably more flattered by the inconsistency/unreliability of the RB6 and the chaos of 2010, along with Alonso’s speed and consistency. Likewise with (and especially) the F2012!
15th December 2016, 16:11
@mrboerns Alonso is always getting overhyped but if you ask what he did to be labled the best they can’t tell you proper..
15th December 2016, 17:01
They tell you, you just don’t want to hear it
16th December 2016, 4:22
@rike & @zhaviator Well Alonso spun in Silverstone and Brazil. Personally i believe that the best drivers are the ones who can race good in the wet which Alonso is simply poor at bar one good performance in 2006, i can’t just rate him that high, i’m sorry. TBH i think your opinion heavily influenced by media hearing week in week out how so called good Alonso is while he’s nothing special, he needs preferential treatment to perform proper.
16th December 2016, 7:46
If I recall correctly your beloved Hamilton spun badly in 2007 European GP, while Alonso managed to keep himself on track and won the race… with the same car. Hamilton even got preferential treatment being taken back to the race by a tow truck while the other drivers just DNF.
And I am not even saying that Hamilton is a bad driver. He’s a top driver. Just that under rain conditions ANYONE can spun off, and cherry picking bad results to back up an opinion is a very bad practice.
Saying that Alonso is overrated is the same nonsense that saying that Hamilton is overrated and that every expert in the field in the last 10 years is badly mistaken except me.
16th December 2016, 8:43
I don’t think there’s any chance of changing your mind even if hard facts were produced to you. Clearly you know something on Alonso that the entire f1 paddock, f1 community, f1 journaliists, f1 experts and f1 fans don’t.
Clearly your ground breaking logic of 2 spins you mentioned trumps everything else
16th December 2016, 11:24
@todfod I’m not supporting the theory that two spins in wet races in the wet makes you a bad driver, I’m simply speaking up in support of the idea that lots of people believe Alonso is no overhyped (not least by himself). He was an amazing driver…a decade ago, I was a big fan of young Alonso back in 2003. I also happen to think that Raikkonen was also as good a driver as Alonso at one time and probably declined more and earlier so in that sense Alonso has done well. I don’t doubt that he remains a decent driver but to claim that the “entire f1 community” and everyone else associated with F1 agrees with you and not @patienceandtime is rather fanciful. Lots of people with lots of knowledge don’t agree with that assessment of Alonso and I’m one of them.
The point is that everyone likes to state “facts” when in reality none of us really knows, it’s all opinion and opinions differ. I’m of the opinion that Hamilton would have had a walkover with Alonso as teammate should Merc have signed him for 2017 (from a racing perspective, not from a political perspective!), but sadly we will never know so there is no fact, only opinion.
15th December 2016, 17:41
This isn’t the first time i read your bs, on both Fernando and Nico, just stop it, you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind.
15th December 2016, 17:54
@patienceandtime I’d love to see you do it for any driver. And just like you, I’ll be ignorant and comment driver X is overhyped and overrated and Alonso was better for any reason.
Guybrush Threepwood (@guybrushthreepwood)
15th December 2016, 11:55
Can’t wait for Stoffel v Alonso next year.
I think it might be a surprise.
15th December 2016, 12:18
I hope so. I expect Stoffel to have the edge in qualifying as alonso has never been the best in that regard but alonso to be better in the race.
Ben Needham (@ben-n)
15th December 2016, 12:36
It depends what you’re expecting. It’ll certainly be one of the most exciting things about 2017, as Alonso has had his feathers ruffled by a young McLaren protégée bearing the No. 2 before (precisely 10 years ago in fact!).
Personally I fully expect Alonso to beat Vandoorne, but not by the same margin as he did Massa/Raikkonen/2016-spec Button. I very much hope it’s close between them and that the car is at least good enough to challenge for podiums occasionally.
15th December 2016, 12:12
Hmm OK. Though i dont think the bullie drivers did anything better than Alonso this year considering their equipment.
15th December 2016, 12:50
I think Ricciardo drove the best of the rest, picked up the pieces when Redbull had the chance to win (in Spain, Monaco and Malaysia) – he should have had 3 wins like he did in 2014, if not for team errors (strategy in Spain, pitstop error Monaco)
15th December 2016, 12:15
Still the king. Only he could do this to Button, the guy who outscored Lewis, the other master, over three years at the same team.
16th December 2016, 21:42
Alonso, unlike Button or Massa in recent years, is still hungry for a WDC (despite his age and despite the odds) and acts like it at every race. Doesn’t matter if the car’s a dog, he races like he’s in it for the win. You gotta respect him for that, for sure Jenson does:
“In a race situation, Fernando is the most difficult to beat… if you have a great race, Fernando is right on your ass, and you don’t know how he’s still there. And if he has a great race, he’s in front of you. It’s like he’s always there, you can’t get rid of him.”
17th December 2016, 18:26
Your count over 3 seasons makes no sense. There is no 3 years long season in F1 history.
But let’s use it for argument sake. Hamilton as more victoires and more points over the 4 years he spent with Rosberg. What does it say about Rosberg’s championship?
Hint: nothing because Rosberg scored more points this years. As did Hamilton in 2010 and 2012.
15th December 2016, 12:16
I think it’s worth pointing out that he finished ahead of Massa in the standings! Absolutely unbelievable. Back in the Ferrari days people were wondering how much was Massa being demotivated or disadvantaged by having the whole team focusing on Alonso, and whether Massa was much better than he was showing. Turns out, it probably wouldn’t make a difference whatever the team did. Massa ended up a worse bet for the WDC standings even when he was in a faster car and having the team which isn’t focused just on his teammate.
15th December 2016, 12:16
Hard to place him precisely due to his equipment… the old problem with all driver rankings… was he better than one of the Merc/Bull quartet, two of them, three of them or all of them? Impossible to say.
But it’s safe to say he was definitely among the best performers of the year.
15th December 2016, 16:54
15th December 2016, 12:18
I’m not getting the praise for the Austin race. He clearly drove a different version of the track than anybody else and his overtaking moves were questionable at best…
15th December 2016, 12:29
Have to agree there. If he can’t stay on the track even after using Massa as a doorstop, then that wasn’t a good overtake.
15th December 2016, 12:45
Though I thought his overtaking was fine, part of me agrees regarding the ‘different track’.
But… the other part of me gives him credit for making the most of the tarmac he (and everyone else) was allowed to use. If the FIA aren’t going to enforce track limits, the drivers have every right to take advantage.
15th December 2016, 16:55
But… the other part of me gives him credit for making the most of the tarmac he (and everyone else) was allowed to use. If the FIA aren’t going to enforce track limits, the drivers have every right to take advantage. – +1
15th December 2016, 16:12
15th December 2016, 12:24
Considering Button was doing a decent job given the car he was in, that just shows how well Alonso performed in that he got over double the points. How people are saying he’s overrated is beyond me, definitely in the top 3 drivers on the grid, probably with Ricciardo and Hamilton/Vettel. Did such a good job, outperformed the car on so many occasions, best of the rest quite a lot, and even though he got better luck than JB he’d still have considerably outperformed him, which is hard to say as Button’s my favourite driver, and it just goes to show how good of a job Alonso did that he made him look pretty terrible. Think he should’ve been in the top 3 this year, instead of Hamilton, but hey, not my job to make the overall rankings, just to give my input.
15th December 2016, 16:13
@hugh11 Alonso always got the first updates and stuff so collecting more points then Button was a must.
15th December 2016, 17:57
@patienceandtime Was it really? Please get off this forum. if you think some minor upgrades are worth as much as Alonso beat Button, you must be delusional. But then again, you are.
16th December 2016, 0:16
I really don’t mind anyone saying what they like here, you can skip over stuff, or go do something else if you don’t like the chat. But telling someone to go away for expressing an opinion is plain ugly bullying.
15th December 2016, 20:46
I clearly found that you have some personal problems with alonso
8th January 2017, 22:50
No they alternated who got the new parts like every partnership in McLaren’s history except one. (Points for guessing which one broke that run).
Spain for example JB got the new floor.
Strangely Brown (@irukaviking)
15th December 2016, 23:37
Hughey, the only people who say that Alonso is overrated are people who don’t know anything about F1. Best to just ignore them :)
15th December 2016, 12:24
I love to see that from Alonso. A year in an off-colour car looked to turn him into an off-colour driver. He told us he was in “economy mode” in 2015, but we all thought his focus and performance level was on the slide. Our miscalculation: painting Alonso with the same brush that we use for mere mortals.
The fact that his tenures with Ferrari and McLaren have coincided with some of those teams’ greatest depressions in form in their history mught start to weigh on the performances of a lesser competitor, given a car that puts him once again in the fight and that gritted teeth intensity is back better than ever. In qualifying trim especially, I think he may have just had his most competitive year of Saturdays since 2010. But it is his feel for Sundays that makes him one of greatest performers of this generation.
I know the midfield is more about maximizing opportunities than absolute performance, but the fact that he scored more than twice the points of Jenson is telling versus the inordinate margins he outscored Raikkonen and Massa by. With the exception of one, Alonso has an uncanny knack of making immensely respectable teammates look decidedly average. The nuts and bolts of driving performance aside, I think he is one of the greatest competitors this sport has even seen.
15th December 2016, 12:28
Agreed. Give him the car and he’d have so many more WDC’s, he almost got 2 more with terrible cars at Ferrari. Just unlucky with the times he went to teams.
15th December 2016, 16:14
with a measly 8 points he would be a 5 WDC…
16th December 2016, 23:19
@william-brierty and @hugh11: I’ve been wondering for years about all those “coincidences” and cases of “bad luck”. I like the quote Webber used to repeat: “You make your own luck”. Yep, most of us know that Alonso’s driving skills are otherworldly, but we also know that those skills, as amazing as they are, are still not enough in F1. After ten years missing chance after chance I can’t still believe it’s just bad luck. In order to waste such a vast amount of talent and hard work with so much consistency, you must be doing something else very, very wrong.
17th December 2016, 9:23
The fact he was unfavoured by McLaren in place of their new poster boy, and then was in the pretty poor Ferrari instead of the dominant Red Bull doesn’t make him a bad driver. Looking at how he’s finished compared to his team mates should be enough to show how good he is, especially against well respected people like Massa, Raikkonen and Button this year.
17th December 2016, 21:42
@hugh11: Yes, I’m not disputing that. Just trying to understand how he failed to get the WDC for ten years in a row in spite of that amazing quality. My wild guess is that it is a problem of personal relationships. In a word, if I was a member of an F1 crew, I think Alonso would be the last driver I would want to work with.
David Browne (@dvb78)
19th December 2016, 10:24
Agree WilliamB, you only need to see Vettel’s performances and motivation, in the ferrari, tosee how good and motivated Alonso is
15th December 2016, 12:52
Way, way too high. Some mesmerizing drives, I can give you that, but hardly enough to warrant place from TOP-8 even. Monaco was brilliant, but he made a lot of mistakes elsewhere and the biggest of them all, a crash in Melbourne isn’t even mentioned on this article! Also it baffles me why Vettel’s attitude has been questioned various times while Alonso can easily get away with his extremely snarky radio messages. Monza comes to find for example – that’s not how to lead and motivate your team.
15th December 2016, 15:57
Drivers don’t tend to do their motivation during periods of frustration of a race with adrenaline flowing.
Is it me , or do we hear more frustrated drivers on the radio these days?
John H (@john-h)
15th December 2016, 16:04
I think it’s the way you say it. It’s the same with Kimi’s somewhat rude radio messages, but its taken with a pinch of salt. With Vettel, there’s clear anger there that at times is not really called for. Here’s a message for you @huhhii.
17th December 2016, 21:17
In Australia it was not his fault,he was just trying to pass guti at the high speed corner and guti braked early and they took of each other .it was a pure racing incident
15th December 2016, 13:27
IMO he is the best driver on the grid on any given Sunday.
As the man him self said, i may not be the fastest in one lap, but i am the more consistent on many laps.
Consistency makes him the best on Sundays.
Next year the cars will be more hard to drive, more demanding, to find the limits of the cars will be more complicated on a race, and drivers like Alonso and Hamilton will thrive . I expect some younger drivers and the rookies to find it more hard next year.
I only hope Mclaren and Honda delivers a competitive car, because its truly a shame to see Alonso so far back , and its hurting the whole sport. I can Only Dream of Alonso Hamilton Verstapen Ricciardo Vetel and Raikkonen all racing close to each other next year.
15th December 2016, 13:57
Enough said: Nico’s lower ranking is justified here, being passed by a car that’s 6th or 7th best. We saw the same pussyfooting in Brazil. Rain always reveals a driver’s true set of skills, and HAM, VES, and ALO.
15th December 2016, 14:32
Still by far one of my favorite drivers to watch in action. Difficult to point to another driver, certainly among the active ones, as consistently incisive over the course of a career.
15th December 2016, 21:27
@maciek Simply put and spot on. I too always find him exciting to watch.
15th December 2016, 14:56
All credit to Alonso for maximizing most of the opportunities, but (while an often used term) I don’t really like this “car being higher than it’s supposed to be” thinking. A driver cannot make a car go faster than it actually is capable of (or then a driver is breaking the laws of physics); if a driver finishes seventh in a race while his teammate is last then surely the car is not the slowest car of the field but rather capable of finishing well in the points (at least in the right circumstances).
15th December 2016, 15:41
It literally just means he’s maximising the potential of the car and doing much better in it than an average driver would, and going faster than is expected? That’s pretty easy to understand… It’s a figure of speech, “driving faster than the car can manage” isn’t meant to be taken literally. If you take everything how it’s said then I’m very worried for you in this world.
15th December 2016, 16:18
15th December 2016, 17:59
@kaiie Please learn the difference between literal and metaphorical.
16th December 2016, 23:27
@hugh11 and @mashiat: Even if you are right, that’s not a good reason for being rude or condescending.
15th December 2016, 21:32
I don’t think Ham deserves a podium place for 2016, and as in 2014 I don’t think there should be more than one position between Ham and Nico.
15th December 2016, 22:48
Alonso is the Best Driver. He can beat anybody in Equal Machinery.
16th December 2016, 23:32
Yeah, but that’s the problem: Equal Machinery is a different sport. Equal Machinery is GP2, it’s cycling if you will, but it’s not Formula 1. So that’s the problem with all these debates: Is he the best driver? Probably yes. Is he the best FORMULA 1 driver? Definitely not.
8th January 2017, 23:44
What’s the difference?. Not being in the best car is often a matter of luck. The best a driver can do is get himself into the biggest teams with the most resources and hope they come up with something others don’t rather than the other way around and Alonso has done that just like Seb,Lewis,Dan and Max(And now Stoff).
Today’s F1 without testing leaves little room for a driver to build success with their teams as the list of winners and winning cars show since the testing ban. They are all cars that had specific concepts or strengths from inception the others either couldn’t replicate quickly or good enough without testing or didn’t know what exactly the winning team were doing until it was too late.
You can certainly blame Alonso-at least in part-for not being in position to challenge for 2008 but since then the drivers have become completely interchangeable unless anyone thinks they came up with the concepts that created the best cars which ultimately proved unbeatable.
09-Brawn Double Diffuser
10-13-Red Bull EBD,Flexi-Wings
14- Mercedes pre-chamber combustion technique and Hydraulic Active Suspension
Great driver performances like Lewis(09/10/12),Alonso(09/12/13/14),Seb(15) and Dan(14/16) just aren’t enough in the face of such cars, especially if one of the top drivers are already there and having a good season like what actually happened.
I don’t think we could have realistically expected more from Alonso or anyone since 2007 without being in one of those cars.
1st February 2017, 0:15
Drivers can do much more than that. To see it in a different light, imagine it’s 2012 and you’re Ross Brawn. You know that in two years you will have the best car on the grid and you want to hire a top driver to round your plan. Leaving contracts stuff aside, your choices are, essentially, Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso. Do you call the driver who has a name for blackmailing his own team and making it lose a hundred millions bucks and both world championships (whether that fame is deserved or not)? Certainly not! You call the guy who has a name for standing by his team rain or shine. That is (or used to be) Hamilton. Regardless of who is a better driver, the fact is that Hamilton put himself in the position of driving for a WDC winning team, while Alonso put himself in the position of driving for the runner up (at best).
Would the current Alonso beat the current Hamilton if he had a Mercedes? I’d say yes. But first he would have to get that Mercedes, and that’s the problem.
15th December 2016, 23:54
It seems in today’s Formula 1 it is very hard for the driver to make a real difference to the car’s performance but Alonso is one guy who can definitely do this. His absence in a fast car is a real loss for the spectacle that is F1.
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