2017 F1 driver rankings #4: Alonso

2017 F1 season review

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Perhaps Fernando Alonso could have driven an even better campaign than the three remaining drivers ahead of him on this list.

But his McLaren-Honda let him down so often it was seldom possible to tell. So much so that he even took the unprecedented step, in the modern era, of missing a round of the world championship to drive in the Indianapolis 500.

Fernando Alonso

Beat team mate in qualifying15/18
Beat team mate in race5/7
Races finished11/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate475/639
Qualifying margin-0.26

Alonso isn’t one to merely let his driving speak for itself. As well as talking up his own contributions he even took periodic swipes at other rivals in more competitive cars. This included Valtteri Bottas, who before the season began landed in the Mercedes seat Alonso coveted but could not have because of his ‘history’.

But in between regular stoppages to have yet another Honda power unit component exchanged for another, Alonso drove beautifully in 2017. Despite a horrendous slog through pre-season testing he was running in the points at the very first race before the inevitable breakdown occurred.

When the opportunity presented itself he almost always delivered. At home, on a track where engine performance was less critical, he qualified an excellent seventh. He emerged from the chaos of Baku with the team’s first points of the year in spite of his car’s vulnerability on the track’s long straights. In a damp Q1 at Silverstone he risked slicks and headed the times sheet.

Three tracks offered McLaren their best chances of success in 2017. Although he was absent in Monaco, he was ‘best of the rest’ in Hungary after passing Carlos Sainz Jnr (the only such result for McLaren all year) and qualified strongly in Singapore before being taken out at the start.

On other occasions it was simply a case of taking the best result available. Power unit grid penalties sent him to the back of the grid at Suzuka, but from there he nearly made it into the points.

He was seldom troubled by rookie team mate Stoffel Vandoorne, except in Malaysia. After that Alonso reasserted himself over the final races, scoring in all of the last three.

His attempts to resist Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton’s far quicker cars in Mexico were only every going to fail, but he put up a tough fight against both. In Abu Dhabi, despite his straight-line speed deficit, he was one of few drivers to complete an on-track pass.

Alonso relished F1’s return to more durable tyres and higher downforce cars in 2017. He gave every indication that he is ready to deliver with a more competitive car next year.

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Over to you

Alonso has a remarkable way of coming out of poor situations with a better reputation than he started with and his second McLaren spell has been no different. The Honda engine somehow got worse between 2016 and 2017 and it was a usually surprise to see Alonso cross the finish line, let alone in the points. He’s almost always been faster than Vandoorne, dragged the McLaren to heights it has not deserved and it would have been interesting to see where he ended up in Singapore had he not been wiped out. 2018 with Renault engines opens the door for Alonso to at least be battling the Red Bull’s, so we should see more of him.

What’s your verdict on Fernando Alonso’s 2017 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than him? Have your say in the comments.

Add your views on the other drivers here:

2017 F1 season review

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Author information

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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100 comments on “2017 F1 driver rankings #4: Alonso”

  1. I always have an issue with ranking Alonso this highly, especially this season. Essentially it’s a confidence game, you have to assume that he is good and extracting the most out of his car. Look at Massa, for instance. Massa beat a rookie more convincingly than Alonso did. But we assume Massa didn’t get the most out of his car, and with Alonso we (actually, I don’t) assume that he did. I don’t buy that. I want to see him in a better car, for sure, but I am not convinced that he was special enough this season to be ranked fourth. His reputation proceeds him…

      1. “Driving wise, he makes almost no mistake and is able to extract the quintessential performance of the car from the very first lap at the wheel. This is something I had never seen with any other driver before. From the very first run, you know you can use the telemetry data because the limits of the car have already been explored.”

        Eric Boullier

        “He has been a fantastic asset to the whole organisation for the past three years, is an incredible individual and is one of the most accomplished and talented racing drivers of the modern era,”

        Zak Brown

        1. “our cola is the best” – Pepsi

          1. worse comparison ever. McLaren’s management look at data they don’t need a driver like Kimi to sell merchandise and sit behind a number 1. McLaren and Red Bull have far better management than Ferrari or Mercedes hence both have the best driver pairings possible. Look forward to how you spin that.

          2. @bigjoe

            McLaren and Red Bull have far better management than Ferrari or Mercedes hence both have the best driver pairings possible

            McLaren’s management sent Lewis Hamilton packing to Mercedes back when Mercedes seemed like the end of his career, not a 4 time championship winning team… Obviously things have changed but I wouldn’t call their management far better than any team’s other than Sauber’s maybe.

            I think Zach & co, though, seems to understand that Fernando’s frustration and is trying to find ways to keep him inspired. One of the highlights of 2017 has to be Fernando racing at the Indy 500.

            I can’t wait for the Daytona 24 hours!

          3. The team bosses also voted Alonso the 6th best driver of 2017. And 6th in 2016. And 6th in 2015. McLaren was pure crap in those years, yet Alonso managed to convince three years in a row that he still got it.

            He also managed to be 2nd in 2014 in the bosses ranking despite finishing 6th in the championship. But surely the team bosses are a bunch of F1 ignorants.

    1. you should give McLaren a call before they renew his contract, you could demand 10% if you’re right and save them 40 odd million. oh wait…. they renewed his contract based on him earnign his salary back with his performances……
      I guess they looked at the data. would seem reasonable.

      1. A team renewing a driver as a sign that he’s doing well is non-argument. Look at Kimi.

        1. Totally irrelvent to my point. Please just phone McLaren for a job

          “Driving wise, he makes almost no mistake and is able to extract the quintessential performance of the car from the very first lap at the wheel. This is something I had never seen with any other driver before. From the very first run, you know you can use the telemetry data because the limits of the car have already been explored.”

          Eric Boullier

          “He has been a fantastic asset to the whole organisation for the past three years, is an incredible individual and is one of the most accomplished and talented racing drivers of the modern era,”

          Zak Brown

          1. It’s interesting, no one else in F1 seems to want Fernando (and certainly none of the top teams) yet McLaren are (supposedly?) still paying top dollar for his services. Is this a sign of desperation at McLaren as no other top driver would want the seat and they’re desperate to keep up their reputation of only signing top-drawer drivers (when they are not actually in a position to do so) or do they genuinely rate him highly enough to keep paying his salary when Honda are gone despite their more pressing need to develop a better car? Or perhaps Fernando is taking a huge post-Honda paycut but it suits both sides to keep up the pretense.

            The team bosses ranked Alonso 6th which suggests they still see him as a decent driver even if they wouldn’t want him driving their car – but how much of that is the lingering effect of his peak years and his own shameless self-promotion which clearly has an impact on fans also (see K Raikkonen who polled only just behind Alonso).

            I hope that McLaren/Renault can produce a decent car next year so we can finally get a proper benchmark of Alonso against his peers again, however there aren’t that many scenarios in which that will happen:

            Alonso wins the WDC – he will tell us he won it by overcoming the car/engine deficit to the others, no credit given to the car.
            Alonso fights for but loses the WDC – he would have won it but for the car/engine letting him down
            Alonso is not in contention – the car/engine was rubbish
            Vandoorne is in contention but Alonso is not – about the only outcome which gives a clear conclusion (unless Alonso has worse reliability/luck – cue fierce argument in the forums)

          2. I listened to Buillon talking up the Mclaren, the progress from Honda and the incoming sponsors for way too long to take him seriously. As of Zac Brown, he’s a business guy. Of course his asset is best asset-
            @jerseyf1 Well say what you want about Kimi but his ranking is certainly not due to self promotion, that’s for sure ;-)

          3. “or do they genuinely rate him highly enough to keep paying his salary ”

            McLaren’s increase in income by approx 20% was largely due to Alonso dragging the car home higher than anyone expected.
            Zak Brown confirmed Alonso earns back his salary with his performances and they obviously saw enough in him to con him away from ferrari. Honda/McLaren was the biggest partnership in F1 and Renault are bigger than Ferrari, so the Alonso h#ters can keep whining, and I’ll leave it to the big boys to replace him with someone quicker. Only Hamilton, Vettel or Vestappen could have taken his sewat hen suddenly youd have Mercedes and Ferrari needing his services if they lost those drivers.

            “Alonso wins the WDC – he will tell us he won it by overcoming the car/engine deficit to the others, no credit given to the car”

            Which would have been correct for 2010 and was correct for the last 5 races of 2008 where he beat the world champion in the best car in the 5th best car.
            Alonso is the only world champion in the last 2 decades to win a title in a non dominant car

          4. @Bigjoe: I agree that alonso is doing a really good job etc., but you are taking credit away from schumacher, you said alonso is the only one to win a title in a non dominant cars in the last 2 decades, assuming you mean since 2000, schumacher won without a dominant car, in fact even with mclaren in 2000 and even with williams and mclaren in 2003, and not only him, in 2008 hamilton won with the 2nd best car (slightly), 2007 raikkonen won with a slightly best car (not dominant).

          5. @esploratore also the RB 6 is debatable with regard to being dominant, but the rb8 was definately NOT a dominant car. Also this years merc is slightly debatable, i actually feel it was almost like late 90ies/early 00s where you never knew before a weekend wether Mclaren or Ferrari (or Williams sometimes) would turn out to be the car to beat this week.

      2. Maybe McLaren should split the salary more evenly with Stoff, since there are only 4 points between them

        1. @Joas

          You are way beyond stretching the truth.

          1. Alonso had 12 DNF’s to VAN’s 6. Two of VANs were his fault (hit the wall) and Maasa crash. None of ALO DNFs were his fault although one race he supposedly quit.
          2. Out qualified VAN 14-5

          1. Not the one saying Alonso’s performances are paying the bills though

          2. +1

            The only weekend where Vandoorne was comprehensively quicker than Alonso was in Malaysia. Yet, when the haters/fanboys speak, it’s as if that was the only race of the entire 2017 season.

          3. @johnmilk

            They paid their bills with Alonso/Button last year with a 20% rise. They wont be paid for this season until next year iirc.

    2. We all know Stoffel is much better that Stroll.. so it makes sense that Massa outperformed Stroll more that Fernando outperformed Vandoorne.

      1. Alonso haters were betting that Vandoorne would ‘beat’ Alonso this year. I sat on the fence and claimed it would be 50/50 given that Button did ok against Alonso and Vandoorne looked quickier and hungrier.
        However Vandoorne seems to have dissapointed too many people that appear clueless to how strong Alonso really is. They obviously wern’t around in 2010 when he was driving the 5th best car (yes, there are 2 cars per team)

        1. Or 2012 where there were arguably 6 quicker cars – both Mclarens, Red Bulls and Lotus’.

          1. I sat on the fence and claimed it would be 50/50 given that Button did ok against Alonso and Vandoorne looked quickier and hungrier.

            I said Alonso would beat him convincingly, but even I didn’t expect him to thrash him.

      2. Well, I agree that Stoffel is better than Stroll, but Stroll is 17th and Stoffel 14th this season, and Alonso is 3rd and Massa is 13th. It’s about how we rank them.

    3. +1

      Alonso didn’t impress me this season at all. I can’t remember any real special moment on track (except the way he hold HAM back for a few corners) other then him being n the radio and wining about the car, the engine, the track and the other drivers. Everybody was doing things wrong except for this little macho fellow from Spain. I can’t think why McLaren pays him so much money and then destroying their reputation or that of their engine supplier. Maybe he will be special again in 2018 but in my opinion he wasn’t special in a positive way in 2017.

      1. Maybe because he had 12 DNFs?

        1. Yes I know. And sometimes it almost looked like he wanted the car to break and to retire. But the point is: in the races he did finish or the rounds he drove before his car broke there was almost nothing special that stood out and showed a reason to put him on position 4. He was a great driver, maybe he will be a great driver (again) in 2018 but in 2017 the only reason why I think Keith put him on 4th is his reputation, not his driving this season.

      2. You say that snowflake, like Vettel and Hamilton would have been happy bunnies with the Honda engine. They have plenty to say in privileged psoitions, never mind being hoodwinked by Honda
        McLaren pay him roughly their increase in performance bonus. Confirmed by Zak Brown

    4. I made a similar comparison to this about Hulkenberg – saying that if they’d had the exact same seasons just the other way round, Alonso in the Renault, and Hulkenberg in the McLaren, Hulkenberg would probably be ranked 10th and Alonso 3rd or so. This is true for all the drivers from 10-6, I just used Hulk in my example. Reputation plays a big part – however we do all know how good Alonso is, and can safely assume he did very well. It does make it a lot harder to gauge how well people are doing in poor cars with poor reliability, the only real teller anyone has is the telemetry data that McLaren have, which of course the public don’t have access to, so we just have to take their word for it.

    5. @hahostolze

      Except Massa was up against a driver who has bought his way into F1, and the points tally doesn’t reflect a convincing trouncing, that’s a conclusion we are drawing more from the appearance of Stroll lacking talent.

      Alonso was up against a GP2 champion. Also despite them both being victims of reliability, Alonso was typically in better points scoring positions than Vandoorne when it struck, he lost a lot more points than Vandoorne did.

    6. @hahostolze I would put it this way: consider how many times Alonso qualifies his car in a position higher than the machinery would normally warrant – i.e. relatively high, yet then followed by inevitable overtakes by faster cars over the course of a race. I won’t claim I’m looking at the numbers, but from memory anyways I don’t remember another driver doing that more often than Alonso and to me that’s a sign of a driver managing to squeeze more out of his car than others. And when he did get passed, he rarely if ever gave up a position without a calculated fight – again, from memory, but that’s what I kept noticing over the course of this year.

    7. Your his reputation proceeded him remark gives the game away. He is so highly regarded over Massa because, we’ll, is the Williams car better aero wise than the McLaren? I don’t think so. Image that McLaren with a Mercedes in it. I think with Alonso at the wheel, even a red bull would be beyond him. The number of times he dragged than lump of ££££ to position it should never have been speaks for itself. He will fight just to remind Lewis and Vettel that with a better car, and power unit he is a match for them, and they know it.

    8. (@hahostolze)
      Yeah, you might want to look at the rookies they’re being compared against…

      Jesus, Vettel fans really can’t comprehend context.

    9. See f1metrics, which nobody says it’s perfect, but at least is 100% objective and free of human bias. Well, Alonso ranks 3rd this year, btw higher than Hamilton (4th, although there’s very little difference among the top 4). It’s hard for most people to discount the Merc vs. McH factor, but remember, >80% of the score in F1 goes with the car, not the pilot.

    10. ALO – agree just hate him for his arrogant style.. and just can’t figure out how good he is.. a rookie as VAN should be punished by a veteran…but did he?

    11. Haters gonna hate

  2. “Mercedes seat Alonso coveted but could not have because of his ‘history’.”

    Mercedes gave the game away when they admitted they can’t cope with two drivers banging wheels for N01.
    Not that journalists would ever consider there are alternative sides to a story when there’s sensationalism to be had. Especially when it concerns * ‘crybaby’ *

    It should be clear to most F1 fans that Mercedes and Ferrari are not in the same driver management league as Ron Dennis and McLaren who gave us Senna v Prost, Couthard v Hakkinen, Montoya V Raikkonen, Alonso v Hamilton.

    Shame on Mercedes really. With their dominance locked in for the whole current hybrid era, they should have been at least forced to take either Riccairdo, Verstappen or Alonso to make the title fight worth watching, instead the organizers are already trying to big-up 2021 to stay relevent whilst motorsport is losing audience in droves.

    1. @BigJoe I can’t agree with that assessment at all, given that they had contracted Nico for 2017 and 2018, therefore but for his retirement they willfully had given themselves at least two more years of an extremely volatile rivalry.

      Your last paragraph…ridiculous. Force a team to take a certain driver? Ever hear of contracts? They can’t all be bought out you know. Instead things are written in stone until 2021? What a strange argument you make.

      Don’t get me wrong, I too want the rivalry at Mercedes you wish for, but their hand was forced and I’m still quite confident they’ll get back to a better rivalry there after 2018. I don’t think you’ll find an actual quote from TW or Mercedes that suggests that they are no longer capable of handling, nor no longer desire, a strong rivalry there. I think a lot of assumptions and speculations are being made around the topic.

      1. “Your last paragraph…ridiculous. Force a team to take a certain driver? Ever hear of contracts? They can’t all be bought out you know.”

        condescending much,
        You obviously wernt born or was still in diapers when Bernie Ecclestone made or at least tried to make these things happen. Ron Dennis certainly would have done, but then nobody at Mercedes are anywhere near the same league as Dennis was.
        Alonso was free and Mercedes needed a driver who could fend off a Vettel. By all means think Bottas was the man, but if Ferrari hadn’t thrown it away they could have done with Hamilton being matched by one of their own.

    2. they admitted they can’t cope with two drivers banging wheels

      What are you referring to here?

      1. Wolff putting big focus on the ‘dynamics’ between the drivers being ‘good for the team’ when re-signing a dissapointing Bottas (the opposite of Ron Dennis who gave us fireworks) but still, I’ll be an F1 fan reminiscing of 2007 being one of the last great seasons, and others can be Mercedes fans and get their kick out of the assumption they didnt want Alonso and pretending that they(Merc) even considered it.

        1. @BigJoe Sorry but you are just talking nonsense and are not supporting your argument with anything of any substance. Too hard to have a conversation when you’re all over the map with assertions and assumptions that just don’t relate to what is actually going on and what has been said. You haven’t provided convincing quotes from TW or Mercedes. And you’re saying shame on Mercedes while also asserting that they should have been forced…so how is that shame on Mercedes? Isn’t that shame on whomever you think it was, post-BE, who should have been forcing Mercedes into a different driver pairing, but didn’t?

          1. Why don’t you show me where Mercedes after signing Lewis have looked at bringing in someone else on his level? there are 4 others to chose from. This is what McLaren are renowned for, that’s the substance for you, other teams going out of their way to ensure they have the best two drivers. The reality is the substance.

            People like you have revelled in the fact that Mercedes apparantly ‘snubbed’ Alonso, which is the real nonsense. It was never their intention to put pressure on Lewis with Vettel or Alonso. Until they show those intentions you have no right claiming I’m talking nonsense.
            I happen to agree that a No1 driver policy is the best way to go but the reason Mercedes need to give something back afetr being gauranteed both titles until 2021, is dropping audiences, which will be costly to them. They have already fallen woefully behind with EVs.

          2. @robbie

            News link just posted on this site showing Wolff is hoping Hamilton doesn’t decide to leave and ‘upset the structure Mercedes has in place’. Seems a bit strange. They bought Bottas out of his contract, only gave him a 1 year deal, renewed it after he didnt really impress but are also on record as saying they ‘are more relaxed as a team’ then there’s the ‘kitchen discussion’ where Lewis had issues with his rivalry with Nico.
            Then we are supposed to believe they would even entertain the idea of having another top tier driver there by celebrating the apparant snub of the ‘crybaby’

          3. @bigjoe Will respond later, just don’t have the time at the moment.

          4. @bigjoe To start with I do not agree with your premise that there were/are 4 other top drivers available for TW to choose from. Bottas was the best they could do given the timing, and he is only on one more year while TW feels out the market for 2019. I disagree that because BE has helped orchestrate driver moves in the past, that therefore must mean TW must not be willing to do the same, as though he has the power and can just waltz over other teams and their drivers contracts like they are mere fodder to be discarded at his whim, and like the drivers would simply pick up and leave their situations. There is nothing I can show you of TW’s moves for another top driver, because one simply isn’t reasonably available to him in the short term. You will see him make a move next year I expect.

            Next, you sure haven’t noted my opinions on FA and Mercedes from the time between Nico’s retirement announcement and VB’s announced signing last year, for I was amongst the most vocal around here hoping FA would be available and be signed. Why you think I would revel in seeing LH not challenged on the team is beyond me. I want and expect to see him with a much stronger teammate in 2019.

            That ‘need to give something back’ comment?? Bizarre. That comment about if LH leaves? Irrelevant, we are talking about a rival for him at Mercedes. You’re trying to sell me that they now love the peace and quiet on the team without the tense rivalry of before, but nowhere will you be able to confirm for me that they prefer it that way. Just because they have stated it’s different doesn’t mean they’re saying it’s better in every way.

            They failed to have their drivers come 1-2 this season, and Ferrari won 5 races and RBR a few too. TW has acknowledged that for VB to improve and fight for the WDC the gloves will have to come off vs LH. No different than the gloves having to come off at some point with any and all drivers within a realistic WDC shot.

            TW’s options are a) to keep a driver who is not going to provide any strife, who will also not guarantee him his domination and will be a chink in the armour to the competition as we just saw, and who would just have to take the gloves off to make any waves anyway, and hence a rivalry would ensue, or b) he can and will get a top driver beside LH to help shut out the competition more effectively, as he was doing with Nico there, and then the inevitable rivalry with it’s occasional and manageable strife will be for more poles and more wins and more assured titles and less chance for resurgent Ferrari and RBR to breach the armour.

            As hopeful as I was that FA would be signed, and still not knowing only but the vaguest of reasons, namely supposedly the history between he and Mercedes from 2007, but not between he and TW, I’m guessing Merc just couldn’t bring themselves to have him, whereas it would not surprise me if TW would have had him but has to tow the Mercedes line. There was also the suggestion that FA’s contract with Mac was not breakable, at least I’ll assume not without some ungodly sum being paid. That is, if FA even wanted to go to begin with.

  3. Hopefully next year he will be battling for podiums and more!

    1. Obviously, he’ll be fighting Hulkenberg, for sure.

  4. Coming back to the discussions we had 10 months ago – How can you not love McLaren’s 2017 livery?!?
    It’s absolutely stunning!

    1. Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder… for me, without exaggeration, it’s easily one of the worst liveries in memory and I’ve been watching since the early 80s, although I may hate it also because it’s so clearly designed to include the shark fin, which for me is pretty atrocious visually to begin with. But anyhoo, just saying, can’t argue with taste I guess.

      1. Most F1 liveries of the past are only great through rose tinted glasses. we all have our favourite colours though which is likely to influence.
        I’ve noted how Brawn GP’s design was ahead of its time, with those colors becoming more and more fashionable in many areas including today on Australian cricketer’s gloves.

  5. Got it that this is Driver Rankings… and not Car Rankings or so, but I think he’s positioned a little too high. Dunno, but it’s kinda hard to place RIC below ALO, even tho RIC lost the battle in general to VER. Let’s not forget that ALO benefited too from some special treatment from his team. Let’s be fair, VAN was more like a no.2 than equal terms team-mate. I remember at least 1 race where VAN was told to resume racing behind ALO and not try to overtake him. Plus, I may be wrong, but I think VAN had more tech issues. Anyway, ALO deserves to be in top 6 for sure.

    1. @mg1982 12 car related retirements for Alonso vs. 4 for Vandoorne. Also, Alonso overall did do a better job than Ricciardo. DR struggled more this year, and he was generally meh in qualifying.

      1. Cool, thanks!

        But VAN doesn’t seem to be VER either… I think RIC still is quite a strong driver and he deserves 1 champ before retiring.

  6. Alonso drove the McLaren Honda to its limits most of the season, using every trick he knew to counter the lack of straight line speed, I especially liked the tactic of using DRS not for passing but for losing less time. 4th is about right, but one can only imagine what he could have achieved if he was in Merc/Ferrari/Red Bull.

    1. Short, but sweet. Agree with every word.

  7. What a yoke, #4 is a yoke, a yoke!

    Fernando you will still won’t have a non-championship contender car next year!


    1. My English was a yoke too, jeezus

      1. Great analogy, @johnmilk.
        The exceptionally talented and powerfull Alonso pulling the broken down McLaren Honda forward with a yoke around his shoulders.
        I can see why you would have rated him higher ;)

    2. If you consider 40 million dollars a year Karma……

  8. It was just reported that Alonso is part owner of F1 fanatic. It explains the ranking.

    1. I’d have put him in front of vettel tbh and I’m not an alonso fan, preferred schumacher.

  9. This ranking is obviously based on Alonso’s past performance and the fact that we know how he performs. Does he deserve P4 based on his performance this year? He deserves it as much as Massa, Hulk, Sainz and maybe Checo and Ocon do.

    That being said, Alonso has proven again and again that he’s one hell of a driver and also extremely consistent. I think we all know that he is as good or better than the people mentioned there over a season or a single race although I would love to see how he would do against 2 super fast drivers like Hulk and Sainz. Would he be able to outqualify them or at least outrace them? Damn you McLaren and Ferrari! Damn you! :-)

    Although the fight between Hulk and Sainz has to be one of the highlights of the 2018 season – I just hope Renault’s reliability doesn’t screw it up for us.

    1. @freelittlebirds. No, I do not believe the ranking is based entirely on his past performances, in fact I would say very little.

      1. @baron well, in that case let’s look at some stats for the 2017 season.

        Alonso was only able to finish 11 of the 19 races that he entered so we didn’t see his final results. He missed Monaco because of Indy. He had 8 retirements of which 1 was a DNS. His best finish was P6 – however Stoffel scored 2 P7s which is not that far off Alonso’s best finish and offset his P6.

        He outscored Stoffel by 4 points but in Fernando’s defense he was compromised twice as often in races, if not more and was much better than Stoffel all year long.

        if he were a rookie, would you have put him in P4? I think he would have ended in P7 or P8. He got a 3-4 spot bump because we know what he’s capable of and he’s demonstrated it all these years and we have no reason to suspect that he didn’t perform as expected.

        1. @freelittlebirds If he had been a rookie, he would have been in the top 2. Simply because we expect this from Alonso, but it would be incredible for a rookie. Look at Ocon, many people rate him very highly, although if it were say a Grosjean instead of him, I guarantee he would have been ranked 3-4 positions lower.

  10. He’s never been my favourite ‘personality’ but how many ‘top’ drivers would have endured these past 3 seasons as stoically as Alonso? He could have taken a Sabbatical and McLaren would still have had him back. Add to that his dogged performances and it’s not hard to see why @keithcollantine has rated him so highly. It is said that the Secret of Success is the Capacity to Survive Failure, and Alonso is still swimming strongly. And yes, I can see another WDC for him if the car comes good. So I agree with the ranking..

    1. ‘Stoic?’ Mind you, I’m not sure I would have behaved any better under the circumstances, but the last three years have been an uninterrupted toy-flinging tantrum compared to the actual stoicism of VanDoorne. Loudly criticizing his team and engine supplier (however deservedly) during the race in a manner calculated to embarrass them, repeatedly retiring the car prematurely when he wasn’t in contention in order to register a DNF rather than a poor finish isn’t exactly ‘stoic.’

      It’s nearly impossible to assess Alonso’s ranking this year. A top driver in a bottom car. I will say this, though – I saw him on ‘carb day’ at Indianapolis and he was spectacular. I imagine 2018 will be a better indicator as to whether his skills have survived these tough years.

      1. So let me ask you would Hamilton, Vettel or even Vesteppen have handled it as well? Or Schuey, Senna or Mansell? Hell no!!
        Alonso is a champion only wanting to win. All these snowflake, politically correct arm chair racers wanting him to be a submissive, humble backmarker don’t understand the mindset of a champion or are more likely Alonso pundits.
        Of course VanDoorne is quiet – he wants a seat next year. When/if he blossoms and becomes a champion he will act the same way.

  11. Since the ranking of 4th is for this season (2017), I don’t understand how you can say it was for his reputation in previous seasons.

  12. I’d have placed him in the top four too… I don’t hold his radio rants/past/often unhappy demeanour against him, so for me it was a coin-toss between him and Vettel for third because both drove extremely well with occasional ‘off-days’. No question that he’s still one of the very top drivers, and his driving in 2017 only enhanced his reputation in my eyes.

    Hopefully he’ll get a car worthy of his talent next season.

  13. 4th. Lol. He beat a rookie by 4 points. He quit races. Alonso is the Tupac and AC/DC of F1. Overhyped and overrated.

    1. Did you check how many points they lost through reliability? If you didn’t, your criticism doesn’t make much sense.

    2. Put it this way, he got 36% more points than his teammate.

  14. I’m unsure about the allegations that he retired a car that wasn’t defective at the Belgium GP. If the allegations were true then he shouldn’t be rated as high as this. If, on the other hand, there was a reliability related problem with the car itself or the power unit, then he does deserve a place as high as this.
    Regardless, this is Keith’s list and he was aware of the allegations because he mentioned them recently. We should know by the end of next season whether or not Alonso does deserve a rating as high as this.

    1. That story is old hat and debunked by the pit radio conversation.

        1. @drycrust

          McLaren made the decision to retire the car not Alonso. Your link has nothing to do with my point.

  15. I think you have to put a lot of faith in Alonso’s continued ability to rate him this highly. We can only assume the pace he was getting out his car was the max. Alonso does have a great reputation that could lead you to think this, but he’s now spent 3 years in an uncompetitive car with a so-so team mate so in all honestly it’s hard to say how well he’s still doing. All we really have to go on is his performance relative to his team-mate; who, while he did comfortabley beat him, didn’t humiliate him in a way which would justify him being this highly ranked. Ultimately I think that if another driver had done the same season in that car we’d describe the mclaren as “not too slow when it actually works” and they’d be ranked no higher than 7th

  16. Well this is absurd now isn’t it? I would get it if it was 14th but 4th? No way, no way. Alonso was much faster than Vaandorne at first half of the season but Vandoorne was closing the gap when the season was about to end and was ahead of Alonso a couple of times. Massa fared better versus a rookie and gets way less praise. I don’t get it. Do we have any proof that Vandoorne is mightily faster than Stroll?

    Alonso’s overall attitude, lack of interest towards race result, constant complaining and skipping the best weekend for point-scoring chances doesn’t help.

    I claimed I get it if he was 14th on this. I take back my words. Even that is a stretch.

    1. @huhhii
      Well, alonso was consistently better than massa for their whole career, there’s no reason to assume massa is now as fast as alonso.

      So alonso > massa and alonso > vandoorne, and massa >> stroll, so:

      Alonso > massa\vandoorne >> stroll

      Makes sense to me.

      1. @esploratore 2017 rankings shouldn’t be affected by former year’s results. What’s the point of yearly rankings if order is decided even before the season began?
        @john-h I’d like to hear meaningful explanations. “Alonso deserves to be in TOP-4, because he is Alonso, and because he is the greatest and best of them all” is the analogy of all the replies written by people who think his position is justified. I’m afraid that’s not good enough for me. Seems to be working for the majority of this site visiters, which I find weird to be honest.

    2. @huhhii Because he rookie Massa beat is almost certainly the worst driver on the grid. Whereas the one Alonso beat was supposed to be a future multiple-world champion just 9 months ago.

      1. @mashiat We can’t be sure of that until Vandoorne and Stroll go head-to-head in similar level of cars. Maybe Stroll is actually faster than Vandoorne? Then it should be Massa who should be 4th.

        There was no stand-out moments by Alonso other than Spanish GP quali and Singapore GP start. This 4th place was given to him thanks to his old merits and accomplishments. Sure, he didn’t have a car to prove his skillsy, but did any other midfielder have any better situation? How is Alonso so much higher than any other midfielder?

  17. We’ll I completely disagree with Huhhii above I’m afraid, I think Alonso was fantastic again this season and deservedly 4th. Voluntarily missing a race though means he shouldn’t be higher than this, but overall he’s been mighty. I don’t particularly like him at times, but he’s just a class driver.

    1. Missing a race is ok IMO, if he didn’t, his motivation could’ve decreased and THEN we’d have a reason to rate him lower.

      Mclaren honda was horrible this year, so can’t blame him for wanting a race out, however monaco would’ve been a good chance to score points, although I think the penalty button got in qualifying would’ve applied to alonso as well as it’s his car, if that is the case, he didn’t miss any points opportunity there.

  18. Alonso behind Vettel is intolerable.
    In my opinion, it’s like saying a fist punch is more devastating than a nuclear bomb.

  19. Yikes… No 4.
    Not even close. Put him down 10 more places.

    Alonso cry-baby, go to LMP1 and leave room for a new kid.

  20. Alonso is the best driver out there. Hope he can prove his talent next year when theoretically Renault, RB and McLaren have the same speed.

  21. Alonso with a Mercedes or Ferrari would be in first or second position in this ranking

  22. In 2008 Alonso was driving a Renault rumoured to be 90HP down on power that ended up 4th in the championship.
    Renault had more retirements than the top 3 teams (McLaren, Ferrari, Williams) put together.
    The champion was Lewis Hamilton.
    Alonso beat him in the 8th and 11th races and outscored him 48 points to 40 in the last 8 races (including 1 retirement for Alonso) (this was almost half the season)

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