Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

China was “one of my best races” again – Alonso

2017 Chinese Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso believes he has produced two of the best performances of his career in the opening races of 2017.

The McLaren driver described the Chinese Grand Prix as another highlight after spending much of the race in seventh position before dropping out with a technical problem.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017
2017 Chinese Grand Prix in pictures
“I don’t want to repeat myself after Australia but it was one of the best races I’ve ever done today, the first 30 laps,” he told the BBC.

In Melbourne Alonso said he had driven “one of my best races so far”.

Following today’s race Alonso predicted the team wouldn’t run as high again for the race of the season. “We were P6 after five laps and probably we will never repeat this race again,” he said.

Asked how difficult the wet conditions were in today’s race he replied “ask the others, they were spinning off.”

“They were very tricky,” Alonso added.

As the track dried Alonso was overtaken by Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jnr, then retired with a suspected driveshaft failure.

“We started to lose a little bit of performance in dry conditions,” he said. “Nevertheless we should be proud of what we have done in the first ten laps of the race.”

“A lot of fun seeing people spinning off left and right so that was tricky.”

“But I think we are paying a high price of the lack of testing. So the reliability is not in place. We didn’t have a normal winter in Barcelona. Hopefully we can improve our situation as soon as possible.”

Alonso’s team mate Stoffel Vandoorne also retired from the race with a technical problem.

2017 Chinese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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64 comments on “China was “one of my best races” again – Alonso”

  1. Annoying when people keep saying that about themselves; but respect as well as he is driving superbly.

  2. He should just stop giving himself praise because it’s partly his fault for staying at under-performing team. Pretty sure he had options in at least last 2 years and running 7th without serious teammate challenge isn’t exactly showing great performance in my eyes.

  3. I have not heard the team radio, but apparently Alonso was told at one point that the guy in front was the quickest in the race. Fernando replied that that guy was only quickest on the straights as he kept catching up to him in the corners.

    The Samurai showed his true skill again this weekend. I wish he was driving for a better team.

    1. It’s just posturing. He drove well but there’s no evidence he was actually the fastest in the corners at that point

      1. Well, Seinz was doing fastest laps.. If he was faster in the corners…

  4. let it be, but his defence move against Sainz looked embarassing.

    1. yeah, and that was around the ‘corner’ that he was apparently the quickest.

    2. He is allowed to have some fun, sadly he did retire after that. Guess Mclaren needs that mercedes engine desperately.

    3. Let it be….once again he showed why he is considered the gold standard.

    4. Neil (@neilosjames)
      9th April 2017, 16:12

      I thought it was great. Didn’t come off, but can’t fault a guy with a mind quick enough to try a counter-attack like that.

    5. Actually, he assumed he was driving like an animal…

  5. Ferrari, Seb fan
    9th April 2017, 9:36

    Not bad for a f2 engine

  6. Alonso in full on self marketing mode. Are any of the top teams listening though?

    With only 6 seats worth having and Alonso being 1 of 5 drivers on the grid no one would question deserves one it seems despite his talent there’s a toxic element to him teams won’t touch.

    His bridges with Ferrari are burnt, Red Bull has a healthy stock of it’s self developed drivers, and Mercedes already have Hamilton to manage without throwing another cock in the henhouse.

    Seeing out his career with McLarens demise has got to make Ron Dennis chuckle.

    1. I find it interesting you left out Renault…perhaps an oversight on your part?

      1. Mark Zastrow
        9th April 2017, 15:11

        He listed the “6 seats worth having”…unless you think a Renault is a seat worth having right now?

        1. You didn’t read it closely enough mate.
          He said there are only 6 seats worth having RIGHT NOW. That means presently the last I checked.
          Next year will be a different animal. Renault have made huge strides with their new engine and will continue to improve.
          They have a good driver in Hulk but Palmer is not showing promise.
          Ghosen also covets Alonso – if he wants the seat….

          1. Any up-and-coming team with hopes of future glory would covet Alonso. The OP’s point (or how I took it) was that his stock is not high enough for any of the current top teams to take a look.

          2. Anyway, nobody said “right now” except me, so you can leave your Webster’s on the shelf.

            I don’t dispute that Alonso could end up at Renault, or that Renault could improve next year, and I’d be quite happy if both things happen!

          3. @Mark
            I’d be quite happy also..

      2. Well Renault, Williams and Force India all seem to be falling under the same banner of, they might get a podium once in the season. And since Ferrari now seem to be challenging Mercedes much more than previous seasons, the chances of the getting podiums have been reduced. It’s a better car yes, but is it worth having for Alonso who wants to be on the podium consistently? I don’t think so.

  7. He is in a tricky situation now, as the Ferrari seems to be able to challenge Mercedes for the title, but who knew that 2-3 seasons ago? And I suspect he would have totally burned out if he stayed at the Italians. The contract of Vettel and Bottas will run out this year, so this might give Alonso a chance to make a move to a top team for the end of his career, as McLaren is clearly not the team that will jump the whole grid to fight upfront any time soon.
    I can’t blame him for pointing out how superbly he drove in possibly the second weakest car, maybe not all the viewers noticed it, but key people that matter in top teams, surely did.
    I don’t think it matters that his teammate is a rookie, as the difference is not much bigger than against world champion Button, what matters is, that he simply outclassed drivers in much more competitive cars.

  8. If it was other driver we would be saying his teammate is making him look good, fortunately almighty Alonso is here to tell us otherwise.

    1. Yea, even for Massa’s Australian GP, people kept on saying that just because Stroll was driving poorly, Massa’s drive was glorified.

      Another instance includes Bottas’ 2014-16 seasons where people were saying because Massa wasn’t up to mark, Bottas was being made out as if he was fast.

      @johnmilk

      1. Well despite his mistake in this last race, Bottas doesn’t seem too far behind Hamilton. He’s closer than many expected actually. And considering how his performance was very close to Massa before their last year in the same team together and how Massa must be past his best by now, it looks very interesting. People love to compare drivers across teams based on common teammates. In that regard, Massa doesn’t look bad to me at all.

  9. Alonso is driving like 2012 season. The best driver

  10. Alonso is the kind of guy that would give his own restaurant a 5 star review on Yelp.

    1. @aqualyn ahaha, I think he’s the kind of guy who would make a museum about himself.

      Oh hang on…

  11. Well, he clearly appears to be “pushing like an animal” and doing all the right things..

    But was he better than Hamilton who was flawless all weekend?

    Was he better than Verstappen who went up to podium form the back?

    Was he better than Vettel who reined in 3 ace drivers?

    When a car is that bad.. It is hard to say.

    What can be said is… Any team that signs him wont win a championship.

    1. Jeez… a tad harsh.

    2. I believe that Alonso’s team always won the WCC when he won de WDC.
      That’s not what all active WDC’s can claim :p
      @jureo

      1. That just means he had the best car

      2. Vettel will beg to differ with four consecutive titles.

    3. Thanks for sharing your factual insights.

      1. Could also be said, he always won WDC when he had the best car?

        1. Most championships are won with a better car.
          But he beat Schuey twice. Who else can say that?

          1. Villneuve, Hakkinen, Rosberg..

          2. Vettel and Rosberg beat him three times then!

  12. Fernando must drive a Ferrari or a Mercedes or a RBR next year. It’s obvious that these are the teams that will challenge for the championships till 2021 (next big rule change). If he can’t get one of those seats which is very likely, he should find himself another thing to do other than F1. It’s just a waste of talent.

    1. Do you think Ferrari ever want him back (regarding arrogance of Ferrari). They will sign Sainz any day instead and tell him be Nr.2 driver until his time comes (and for mere 3-4mln a year). Mercedes may sign him but that would be stupid, unless they specify in contract that he will obey in anycase to any command during race. Otherwise they will face what mclaren faced. Look what problem they got when they unleashed ROS and HAM. It was out of control last season. Luckily no team was fast as they were.

      1. arrogance of Ferrari? They offered a contract the arrogant Alonso said no. So please spare me the Ferrari hatred. Alonso has made his own bed time and time again.

        1. AceAce, Motorsport Magazine claimed that once Montezemolo was driven out of Ferrari, Marchionne wanted Alonso out of the team as he thought he was too closely aligned with Montezemolo’s old management team and no longer fitted the marketing image he wanted for Ferrari, whereas Vettel fitted the bill better.

          To that end, they claimed that Mattiacci was brought in by Marchionne to make sure that Alonso would leave by offering him a contract with terms that they knew he would not accept – which is what happened next.

          1. Well put anon.. AceAce is just taking things at face value.. good luck with that in Italy. The Ferrari team now is entirely changed from the team that was with Alonso. Only a fool would compare them.

        2. Ace Ace
          I agree

          Anon
          As if Motorsport has any credibility in the first place!!

    2. Persona non grata at Ferrari but then again McLaren took him back. So who knows.

  13. This is sad, a driver of his calibre having to blow his own horn…
    Leave F1, many other categories are there. He is too good to not have success elsewhere.

  14. I don’t think Alonso is hyping himself or exaggerating the situation. The car, as a whole, is really horrible as this video proves:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLyHr5bwX-E

  15. ‘I don’ t want to say this again after Melbourne but I’m going to anyway’

    Self praise is no praise at all.

    Merc won’t take him nor RB. His only option is to get on his knees, beg, kiss Arrivabenne’s rear end, drive for free and burn a McLaren road car as a sacrifice to get Kimis seat.

    1. Considering that Merc called alonso after rosbergs retirement it’s too early to say that. If Ferrari are at least equal with merc this year merc will do anything to retain WCC in the future. But again, I won’t pay alonso >30mln a year as he is also desperate to get into competitive car.

  16. Give this guy a museum.

    1. Don’t worry mate, he already has one in Asturias, Spain.

      1. I know :)

        1. It’s part of a karting foundation to get kids into motorsport. The track is one of the best in the world. Was a good idea to have his stuff on display for the kids and not locked away in a mansion.

  17. I was hoping he won’t say this again!

    Too bad.

    Anyways..he’s just talking himself up to get a better drive next season. As much as it pains me to say this, but Fernando should just retire. He may be the best driver, but he isn’t going to get a fair shot anytime soon.

    Better to quit than having to blow your own horn to be a footnote in the post race media coverage.

    I have a knack for supporting drivers who never win World Championships (I only started supporting Alonso in 07, Montoya before that, Irvine and Villenueve (after 97) way before). Big fan of Danny Ric and Stoff now…oh dear what have I done!

    1. That move Vettel pulled on Mr.Colgate today was beautiful. Danny boy needs to up his game.

  18. Alonso was superb today and no one can take that away from him. So what if he is talking himself up, I guess some people have never watched boxing.

    1. I think it’s OK to talk as long as you back it up and he does although it is not necessary.

      Having said that, I think the frustration he has been going through has finally gotten the best of him and in fact broke him.

      Shame on Honda.

  19. Good to hear his number one fan was out in full force again…Himself

    1. Here’s what my mind coach told me when doing motosport, how about you?

      .Choose and maintain a positive attitude
      .Maintain a high level of self-motivation
      .Use positive self-talk
      .Use positive mental imagery

      1. Exactly..

  20. – McLaren was the SLOWEST car through the speed traps according to the FIA figures
    – He still managed to qualify 13th
    – He was as high as 6th in the race and was in 8th when his car failed him (surprise).

    He can do the talking he wants.

  21. Alonso should take a crack at Le Mans and indy 500.

    Meanwhile, both kimi and bottas are underperforming. Alonso should start making friends there asap.

  22. A waste of talent was Sir Stirling moss never taking the WDC. Alonso has two to his name and a raft of poor decisions. I fail to see he can develop a car – yeah he can drive but I feel he’s more trouble as King alonso deserves the best….. – Hamilton, Vettle, Ricardo – a bit early to tell but- Verstappen make a team around them – and Riakonnen is the ultimate development driver – black and white no bs. Everyone else on the grid not on the list above are not top team talents. Ocon and Stoffel have a lot to prove.

  23. Not to praise Honda or anything, but at least on Alonso’s side, both retirements are beyond Honda’s control. Suspension failure in Australia and Driveshaft failure in China… A potential point is AUS and maybe a couple in CHI.

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