Why would Aston Martin invest in a 41-year-old driver who has not taken a race victory in almost ten years and whose last world championship came before Lewis Hamilton made his grand prix debut?Fernando Alonso continuing to race such a high level in Formula 1, the right question to ask would be ‘why not?’.
Alonso’s reputation as one of the elite drivers in the field has been influenced as much by Alonso himself and his army of adoring fans as it has his genuine prowess on the track. But looking at Alonso’s 2022 results on paper, it might be difficult to tell why he deserves such a high ranking – especially so far above his team mate. However, Alonso’s second and final year as an Alpine driver was one where the regular laments over misfortunes that has become such a trademark of his was fairly justified.
It was not the strongest opening to the season for Alonso. Despite heading into Bahrain benefiting from Alpine’s first set of upgrades before his team mate did, he could not match Ocon’s pace in the race and was fortunate that Red Bull’s retirements enabled him to take any points at all.
In Jeddah, Ocon out-qualified him by less than a tenth and then proceeded to fight so hard to keep Alonso behind him in the early laps of the race it was as if the pair were fighting for the championship. After eventually clearing his team mate, Alonso was struck by his first car failure of the season when his Alpine overheated, forcing him into retirement.
In Melbourne, Alonso was just plain fast. In the top five of every session from second practice onwards, he breezed into Q3 before setting a purple middle sector on his first flying lap of the final phase. Then, his hydraulics failed him under braking for turn 11, ending his session in the gravel trap and leaving him tenth on the grid. In the race, his ambitious strategy on the hard tyre was heavily compromised early on, a Safety Car scuppered his chances of a recovery and he was forced to pit a second time, dropping him to 17th.
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Alonso was comfortably quicker than Ocon across Imola but dropped from fifth on the sprint race grid to ninth for the grand prix. When the grand prix began he was hit by Mick Schumacher at the first chicane, wounding his car so much that Alpine called him in to retire.
But after three weekends of misfortune, he was entirely to blame for missing the points in Miami. After missing Q3 he gained four places off the line, bumping into Hamilton along the way. After getting stuck behind Pierre Gasly for over 20 laps, Alonso lost patience and made a careless lunge at turn one, hitting the AlphaTauri and earning a five-second penalty. Then late in the race after the Safety Car restart, Alonso cut the chicane at the back of the circuit twice in a not-so-subtle bid to stay out of DRS range of the cars chasing. He was investigated and penalised for one of those incidents, demoting him out of the points after the race.
At home in Barcelona, Alonso suffered from being the first driver to be hit with a power unit grid penalty in the season – just six rounds into a 22-race season. Despite starting from the back of the grid, he did a commendable job in the race to rise up into the points in ninth, despite a small delay on his final pit stop. In Monaco, Alonso crashed out of Q3 but he almost got away without anyone noticing due as all eyes were on the melee further down the road. In the race, he again demonstrated his disregard for convention by deliberately backing off after the restart to effectively hold up half of the field at will. After finishing as ‘best of the rest’ in seventh, he later claimed to be trying to help create a buffer for his team mate to negate a penalty, which proved unsuccessful if so.
Alonso’s on-track eccentricity surfaced again in Baku, when he made a suspicious mistake in qualifying following a red flag that just happened to ensure the cars behind him had to back off under yellow flags. He finished seventh in the race, leading the two McLarens and his team mate home.
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When F1 rolled into Montreal, Alonso rolled back the clock by storming onto the front row of the grid with a brilliant qualifying effort in the wet in which he was second in all three phases. It was inevitable that he would be passed by the faster Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jnr in the race, but Alonso was cursing his bad luck when he started to experience an ERS failure 20 laps into the race. Despite losing straight-line speed, he fought hard to keep himself in contention for points – perhaps too hard, as his obvious weaving on the back straight on the final lap to keep Valtteri Bottas behind cost him two places after the chequered flag. Again, he came away with fewer points than Ocon despite having driven better across the weekend.
In another wet qualifying session at Silverstone, Alonso was again several rows ahead of Ocon on the grid. In the race, he took advantage of the late Safety Car to jump ahead of Norris and then held him off in the final laps to claim ‘best of the rest’ honours in fifth. But there was yet more frustration in Austria when an electronics failure in prior to the sprint race left him rooted to the back row of the grid for the grand prix. Despite this, he fought back up the field, overcame an extra pit stop due to a loose wheel and ended up taking the final point by passing Bottas on the final lap to salvage some reward from an aggravating weekend.
When things outside of his control were not falling apart, Alonso was consistently beating Ocon. But his team mate was not offering him any concessions out on the track, leading to a second major flare-up of the season between them on the opening lap in Hungary. Alonso fumed that he’d never been treated by a team mate on track like he had by Ocon, but got revenge by promptly announcing he would leave the team at the end of the season to race for Aston Martin in 2023.
Alonso had rare good luck in Spa, surviving contact with Hamilton on the opening lap and inheriting fifth after Ferrari botched their late fastest lap attempt. He was solidly best of the rest in Zandvoort to take sixth, but then the car troubles began to strike again. He retired with a water pump failure in Monza and another power unit problem forced him out of the Singapore Grand Prix while running in sixth.
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His performance at the Circuit of the Americas was one of his best drives of the championship. Without the updated floor offered to his team mate and taking yet another power unit grid penalty, Alonso comfortably reached Q3 over Ocon to start 14th and was as high as seventh before the Safety Car was deployed. At the restart, he made the mistake of not leaving ‘Stroll space’ while in his future team mate’s slipstream and was sent bouncing into the air and into the wall. Despite the scare, Alonso managed to pit for repairs and recovered all the way to seventh by the flag, with his right-hand wing mirror flapping loose and eventually dropping off later in the race. (For a while it seemed that detail would cost him the result, though he ultimately avoided a penalty.)
In Mexico, he suffered his penultimate retirement of the season within a handful of laps from the finish. Then in Interlagos, his on-track rivalry with Ocon reached its boiling point with the pair clashing twice on the opening lap of the sprint race. While Alonso could have been aggrieved by the lack of space he was offered exiting Descida do Lago, running into Ocon on the pit straight was his fault. After a stern telling-off from his soon-to-be former team, Alonso rose from 18th on the grid to take a strong fifth place and 10 vital points in Alpine’s battle with McLaren in the constructors’ championship.
It was almost fitting that Alonso’s final race at Alpine in Abu Dhabi would end with a failure with his car – the fifth time he had been forced out of a race early through no fault of his own. Added to all the other problems he had faced through the season outside of race day, he could be forgiven for being keener than most to put 2022 behind him and look forward to yet another new beginning at Aston Martin.
While his final placing in the standings did not show it, Alonso had been one of the outstanding drivers of the season. Aston Martin may have lost a four-time world champion whom they dearly admired from their team, but based on Alonso’s showings through this last season, they must have a good feeling about who they will replace him with next season.
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2022 F1 season review
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55 comments on “2022 F1 driver rankings #4: Fernando Alonso”
21st December 2022, 7:27
Let the controversy begin
21st December 2022, 8:19
“You have rights to your opinion but my rights say they are wrong.”
– Every fan in some point.
He really deserves 4th place in your list and even though I am his fan I don’t know how long can he be up there. This season he was there and I think next season won’t change much.
21st December 2022, 8:27
I would almost agree with this. To me, I think this has been one of Alonso’s best seasons ever in F1. He drove terrific all year and if not for so much misfortune, he would have had better results.
21st December 2022, 8:30
21st December 2022, 10:00
I think Leclerc has been too inconsistent and messed up too often to be in the top 3. Yes, he finished 2nd in the championship, but Lando and Nando performed better imo with lesser material. Also destroying their teammates, while Leclerc had more trouble with Sainz.
21st December 2022, 11:10
Where did Leclerc mess up?
If not for Ferrari blunders he could easily have won 7 of the first 11 races with 2 second places and a race starting from the back in Canada. That is sparkling form. Sainz inherited a lot of points from Charles unreliability.
In quali he beat him 15-7 with a lot of the 7 being with grid penalties looming anyway. 9 poles is the most for a Ferrari driver for nearly 20 years and the most since 1975 excluding Schumacher.
Those performances are worth a lot more to me that Norris beating a woeful Ricciardo. Alonso made a similar number of errors they were just less high profile.
21st December 2022, 13:48
Lesser cars, better cars. All of this is subjective lol. Sainz literally beat Norris every year when they were teammates driving the same machinery at McLaren.
21st December 2022, 18:12
So people already started turning Ferrari’s reliability issues and nonsensical strategies into skill issue on Leclerc’s side. I mean he only made 2 noticable errors this season (Imola, France) That’s pretty standard from any driver. Max also spun in Spain which would have cost him the chance of winning that race if Leclerc’s engine didn’t blew up. He spun again in Hungary but Ferrari getting the strategy soo wrong ment that he could overtake Leclerc twice on the track. So Leclerc did well to salvage p2 in the championship because Red Bull eventuelly outdeveloped Ferrari or the technical directives hurt them considerably while Red Bull were pretty much uneffected since they didn’t have porpoising even in the first few races and you have to take into consideration that Red Bull in general is a more organized team and they know what they are doing while Ferrari at the moment needs (much) faster car to win because there are too many mistakes on their side with the strategy, the pit stops, the reliability.
21st December 2022, 23:01
That’s exactly what I keep saying: in terms of mistakes verstappen and leclerc were similar, hell, leclerc looks even better.
Are people telling me verstappen is definitely faster than leclerc? Cause what we saw is car performance difference imo, see how close they were early on and how verstappen flew away and perez closed in on leclerc later on.
21st December 2022, 8:30
I’d have put him at P2/P3, certainly higher than Norris.
Lando had a decent season but didn’t have those flashes of incredible stand out performances that Alonso could produce.
21st December 2022, 8:51
I think I’d agree with your bit about Lando, to be honest. Though perhaps often through circumstance, I think Alonso has just found himself in more positions where his individual drives could shine (think Austin – he wouldn’t have been nearly as impressive had Stroll not sent him flying and forced a recovery drive). I know Lando had Imola, and those who have been watching his season more closely can tell me if I’m missing a good deal more, but he just didn’t wow me nearly enough this season to get 2nd or 3rd in the rankings. There’s a lot to be said about quiet and consistently quick drivers, but there’s something about the ones that constantly seem to end up in the spotlight that impresses me more.
More generally, and I’m not sure about this 100%, I wonder if these individually impressive drives should be a factor emphasized more in driver rankings (over, say, general pace). Sure Lando couldn’t realistically have done much better in a lot of races, but for whatever reason, even if through no fault of his own, he wasn’t in a place where he could put in drives as impressive as, say, Verstappen in Belgium. Same goes for Hamilton in many races in the later 2010s. Contrast this with his performances in 2021, for example – maybe he wasn’t any better of a driver in 2021 versus 2020, but 2021 threw certain scenarios at him that brought out more obviously impressive drives. This kind of consideration would see Hamilton’s performance ranked higher in 2021 than 2020, even though his level as a driver might not have changed much. Something to think about I guess.
21st December 2022, 9:01
Hamilton was woeful in 2022. One of his worst seasons. Maybe only 2011 and 2014 can have an argument for being worse.
21st December 2022, 23:04
I agree it was one of his worst seasons, but as a non-hamilton fan currently I would say his standards are pretty high when a respectable season is his worst (to me there were grounds to rank him as high as 4th, behind only verstappen, leclerc and norris).
21st December 2022, 8:51
Lmao, nope. Norris absolutely smashed Ricciardo, while Alonso smashed OCO only during media interviews – not on track.
Avg race results for Alpine:
Race H2H: 8-8
Race pace: -0.100% (median: -0.047%) to ALO
Points H2H: 71-71
Avg race results for McLaren:
Race H2H: 15-5 NOR
Race pace: -0.321% (median: -0.290%)
Points H2H: 103 – 37
That gap in McLaren is an actual display of domination, but that in Alpine shows that ALO did not dominate his teammate. What’s more, this Alpine racepace gap is even closer than in Mercedes – and I’m not talking about skewed full season comparison, because we all know that HAM was using excessive amount of sensors – avg season gap was 0.018% to RUS (with median: -0.117% to HAM), but an actual delta between Merc drivers after Canada was avg -0.131% to HAM.
ALO did NOTHING fancy this year, except for his PR performances – especially in Brazil, when he blamed OCO for incident he was later penalized for. That was pure ALO.
21st December 2022, 13:55
I think most people, and even Ric himself, would admit at least half of Lando’s ‘dominance’ over him was due to Ric just being completely lost over the last two years.
21st December 2022, 18:24
“ALO did NOTHING fancy this year”
Well, having an airborne crash in the USA and then coming back to the points from last place with a broken car would disagree. Besides he was the only driver outside of the top 3 teams who had a front row start this year. And while I would agree that he was at fault in Brazil, you also have to look that Ocon from the very beginning of the season defended against him like if they were fighting for the championship, while with other drivers Ocon was much more gentle. Just look at Hungary for example, two times in that race Ocon was willing to go so far that he would rather lose a position to drivers from other teams (Hamilton, Ricciardo) than let Alonso through and keep their rivals behind. It was pretty shocking and knowing Alonso I was more surprised that he didn’t get more upset and didn’t start an all out war in the media.
21st December 2022, 19:52
after 19 Grand Prix [incomplete data]
ALO vs OCO [times quicker than teammate]
FP1 A13 O6
FP2 A16 O3
FP3 A14 O4
total A33 O13 out of the 57 sessions
A58% O22% [rest due 2x SprintWE, TireTest Sessions, 1xNo Time set [Q1R10]]
Q1 A13 O6
Q2 A14 O5
Q3 A10 O6
total A37 O17 out of the 57 sessions
A65% O30% [quicker than his teammate, both alpines did not make it to Q3 for 13 times, of which A4 O9 <the lower, the better obv.]
Sprint a tie
Races A9 O10
FRL [fastest race lap] A11 O8
[better pace, faster time set during FP, Q, Race + race results]
A14 O2 Ties3*
ALO crushed it during FP, Q and FRL .. but initially had terrible luck during many races
OCO only crushed ALO on two occasions, from start to zero.
Final Results after 19 GPx
If we gave extra points for being faster than the teammate
ALO would get 91+14 [total domination we] points +3* = +108
OCO would get 51+2 [total domination we] points +3* = +56
ALO closed the gap and overtook OCO … despite the season standings and the 6? DNF + countless unlucky YP moments, Pitstops errors.
ALO was close to 60% times faster during Free Practice and 65% times faster during Qualifying. If we ignore FP, final tally would be ALO +75 points and OCO +43 points.
F1 2022 Drivers’ Standings after United States GP + Performance thru a WE
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine 78 + 43 = 121 points
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine 71 + 75 = 146 points
Missing last three Grand Prix [FP, Q, Sprint, Race, FRL]
21st December 2022, 20:03
Just a small add. info.
One could remove the FRL tally, as they were set during diff. times, condiftions. But we also should not forget, that one of Ocons total domination weekend was Race 2, were he beat Alonso on every session.
But in reality pace wise Alonso was much faster than him during the race.
21st December 2022, 23:07
While it’s good to see such statistics, as another person also said, it’s very clear ricciardo wasn’t performing, just think about it: wasn’t ricciardo the one who destroyed ocon at renault? And now he isn’t able to do ANYWHERE near ocon’s points in a fairly similar car? Something strange going on, ricciardo performing at 25% of the car’s potential.
21st December 2022, 8:40
This is roughly where I’d put him. I think it’s difficult to gauge Norris’ performance as Ricciardo was so awful. Russell winning a race and being ok par with Hamilton for example is equally impressive to me as trouncing someone ranked second bottom.
Fernando did make some silly errors this season as Will points out. But on the whole I think his pace was phenomenal. Throughout his career the main criticisms of him have been qualifying and wet weather running. He was tremendous in Australia and Canada qualifying. His wet weather skills were solid also. He made Q3 18 times from 21 possible compared to Ocon’s 11.
His drive in COTA was world class and reliability robbed him of large points scores in Austria among many others. I think this season was as close to Ferrari Alonso that we’ve seen since 2013 – incredible racecraft.
21st December 2022, 10:51
Alonso was really magical many times this year.
Putting his car on the front row ahead of multiple faster car in wet conditions was mighty impressive.
Also take his COTA comeback. Sheer pace.
Holding off Verstappen at Brazil as well.
Multiple very high points.
21st December 2022, 23:11
I would disagree alonso had quali and wet weather skills as weaknesses, he said it himself, he’s 9,5 out of 10 in all areas, and as I recall he was always pretty strong in quali and in the wet too, while not like senna in both of those areas or like schumacher in the latter.
22nd December 2022, 8:39
Schumacher was one of the all time qualifying greats
22nd December 2022, 15:13
No he wasn’t. During his career it was openly touted as his weak point. His record versus team-mates pre 2000 was very strong but his outright one lap pace was never considered noticeably better than JPM, Kimi or Mika.
Michael’s strength was his ability to do quali style lap in succession without much drop off. Hugely impressive but not a qualifying specialist as his stats bear out.
23rd December 2022, 3:11
You got to be kidding me. Michael is way better than Mika, Kimi or JPM in qualifying. Mika only beat Coulthard 68-31 in quali, Michael beat Irvine 55-4 and Barrichello 78-23. Mika was similar in age to Michael but he had a massive decline in the 2000’s in terms of qualifying way higher than Michael. He only beat Coulthard 19-15 in quali in 2000-2001. While Michael was still dominating Barrichello 31-3 during these two years.
As for JPM he got outqualified overall by Ralf and Kimi destroyed him. As for Kimi he Didn’t keep his level for too long and struggled and even got beaten by Massa. Even in 2003-2006 his qualifying prowess wasn’t higher than Michael during his prime years which I consider to be 1992-2001(or 1994-2001)
23rd December 2022, 9:39
I’m not saying that any of them are better qualifiers than Michael, I’m saying that he didn’t have a huge dominance over any of them during the era. The stats bear it out, 68 poles to 91 wins when reliability was a factor prove he was stronger in races.
But to compare quali records: in 95 he dominated the championship – 4 poles. 97 and 98 – both 3 poles. 2002 another hugely dominant season 7 poles. 2003 – 5 poles but the last 6 races in the title run in are 5,6,8,1,7,14.
Schumi’s highest was 11 poles in 2001, but that equalled Mika’s 1999 total.
I’m not saying Michael wasn’t a good qualifier, as one of the great he obviously is. But it was not a strong suit of his game compared to a Hamilton, Vettel, Senna, Mika who at their peak smashed everyone around them. That was common knowledge during his career – beating Lehto, Herbert, end of career Patrese and Brundle and Ferrari number 2 Irvine don’t change thay
27th December 2022, 19:41
Malith, not even close.
Schumacher has 306 starts total from 308 entries vs 161/163 for Senna. From around double the number of starts, Schumacher has just 3 more poles (4 if you include Monaco 2012 where he was fastest but carried a 5 place grid penalty from the previous race – which would have made him the 4th oldest pole sitter all time had that counted). % poles per entries, Senna is way beyond at over 40% vs just over 22% for Schumacher. Lewis is at 33.23% so nearly 1 in 3 races he’s started on pole. Vettel is just behind Schumacher on 19% pole positions from 300 starts with 57.
Schumacher is in the top 10 but all time greatest? The stats don’t back up that statement.
21st December 2022, 8:49
Insanely overhyped. Lol. His Montreal performance wasn’t any better than Magnussen’s in Sao Paulo. His normal performance level isn’t the most impressive since his comeback. He only beat Ocon 11-9 in qualifying and got beaten fair and square many times. I mean sure if Ocon is a future World Champion Alonso’s performance level maybe still as good as ever but you can’t rate Ocon as a mediocre F1 driver and rate Alonso as still operating near his best. Period. A good comparison would be with Sergio Perez. Alonso’s performance level was still better than Perez’s against Ocon. So if Perez can win races Alonso can win races too 100%.
21st December 2022, 11:22
Magnussen’s lap was a moment of magic at the right time. Alonso was consistently on it in Canada throughout quali; they’re not comparable.
Of the 9 races Ocon qualified ahead, one was Australia with a technical issue when Alonso was on to qualify ahead. The other 8 he was the car directly behind on 4 with one car separating them on 2. His average q position was 8.3 to Ocon’s 10.7 and he was in q3 18 times to Ocon’s 11.
With regard to Perez versus Ocon in their last season together Ocon beat him 16-5 in quali. Alonso beat Ocon the year so that comparison is no use in my opinion.
21st December 2022, 13:45
You are deluded. Magnussen’s teammate was P20. And had the same strategy as Magnussen in Q1 and got the slicks first. Magnussen’s pole is way more impressive.
Lol. I didn’t even count Australia. If we count Australia it would be 10 qualifying dubs to Ocon. I used the Perez comparison to say Alonso is still operating at a very high level. And is beating a teammate Perez found hard to beat. Alonso is still 100% better than Perez. It’s obvious imo.
21st December 2022, 20:04
You are the one who is deluded if you can’t see the difference between a driver setting top times lap after lap in the same conditions every body else was driving and a driver hitting the track at the perfect moment in quickly changing conditions.
The data shows that Alonso was away of where he should have been based on the car’s performance. SEVEN TIMES his car died on him while he was running high in the points. If he had gotten all those deserved points, the paper results would look very different.
And even when he did finish there were so many points lost due to bad reliability and team strategy.
Austria: Case Study of an Amazing Drive Ruined by Alpine
Austria for me, stands out as the most frustrating and preventable example.
Let’s walk through it and after seeing the facts, consider what FA could’ve done given half a chance (e.g., even just starting from his damage effected P9 quali let alone likely a higher spot via quali sprint after his car failed to turn on for the sprint race):
1. FA was almost .5 quicker than Ocon in P1 and was showing top 6 quali speed in quali until his floor got damaged in Q2. But P9, no biggie w/a high chance of gaining at least 2 places on lap 1.
2. Too bad though: car DOA for sprint
3. Storming drive: He goes from last to P5 despite a terrible strategy that never gets him in clean air to do something w/his amazing race pace and stuck in DRS trains. Maintaining pace on ancient tires, FA pulls off a miracle drive from LAST to P5
4. Just when Alonso SEEMS to finally get some EARNED luck w/VSC providing an opp to make what should be his first + only stop and lose just 2 places
5. Emerging P7 w/new softs AND a lot of competitors ahead on worn rubber the sky is the limit here…
6. Or it should have been…except this is Alpine and they botch the stop and force him into a third stop. He drops to P14 w/9 laps to go.
7. But Alonso’s drive gets even better and he delivers a miraculous charge:
* At this point, not only is there a 20s gap to P10 Bottas w/just 9 laps remaining, there are 3 cars to pass before he even gets to his gearbox.
* Despite a DRS train, he not only passes all of them, he’s closing Bottas at 2+ seconds a lap for 9 laps straight
* And amazingly gets Bottas for P10…
However, what most people took away, having not paid attention and Sky not helping by inexplicably not even noting his charge, is that Ocon out did FA despite the fact that FA came out next to EO on fresh rubber after his stop (the botched one) even though Ocon had got to drive in mostly clean air, faced no extra pit stops and didn’t start from last.
How many drivers on the grid could go from 15th to 9th with a 20 second gap to p10 in just 9 laps like he did at Austria + makingup 20 seconds while also having to pass cars
Guy qualified 2nd in Canada while Ocon was 2 seconds a lap slower and I believe didn’t even make Q3. He’s also a guy who somehow manages to never hit anybody, unlike Ocon and so many other drivers in the field. A good example of this, is he allowed the team to get a win by holding Hamilton up for 8-9 laps in a car that was two seconds a lap slower by sheer race craft and ultimate car control. He makes superior strategies on the fly.
Also, don’t forget that multiple times he’s allowed Ocon to get higher up by intentionally ruining the tires or the cars behind him.
22nd December 2022, 8:44
I like Alonso. And he is still operating at a very high level. But there are a lot of question marks over Ocon. And Alonso isn’t consistently beating him. I would pick any version of Alonso from 2005-2014 and 2016, 2018 over the current version.
21st December 2022, 23:15
Terrible argument, schumacher was doing as well or better than magnussen in q1, he just had the timing wrong with the conditions in the end when everyone improved.
22nd December 2022, 8:41
Nope Schumacher got the slicks first before Magnussen at the same time in Q1. He was destroyed.
Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
21st December 2022, 9:31
Subjective fun. I don’t dispute many rankings this year. For me Leclerc, Hamilton, Russell and Alonso were all a similar top tier level. All left a little bit on the table here and there but very impressive overall, I think there are arguments for swapping and changing any of these. I think Verstappen and Norris are the 2 that left almost nothing on the table so to speak.
21st December 2022, 23:17
Leaving stuff on the table means losing points? As verstappen made more mistakes than leclerc but only paid for singapore points wise.
Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
22nd December 2022, 12:15
Points and off days.
21st December 2022, 10:45
If anything, there have been some scratches visible on Alonso’s armouring but he remains a formidable force with exceptional race science – and entertaining to say the least. First classified airborne-crashed car I can recall !
I think some saturdays could have been better and would have made his life less difficult but he almost always delivered, even when everything around him was falling appart.
One of the greats for sure and this year again deserves to be up there, 3rd, 4th or 5th who cares.
21st December 2022, 10:48
Top 3 will be Verstappen, Norris and Leclerc.
Will’s Ratings averaged over an entire season confirm that.
From @jff’s comment after the AD GP
Full year average of @WillWood‘s ratings (1st half – 2nd half):
Max Verstappen: 7.3 (7.2 – 7.4)
Lando Norris: 6.7 (6.6 – 6.8)
Charles Leclerc: 6.6 (6.8 – 6.3)
Fernando Alonso: 6.5 (6.5 – 6.3)
George Russell: 6.0 (6.4 – 5.6)
Lewis Hamilton: 6.0 (6.2 – 5.7)
Sebastian Vettel: 5.8 (5.4 – 6.3)
Esteban Ocon: 5.8 (5.5 – 6.2)
Carlos Sainz Jnr: 5.7 (5.7 – 5.8)
Sergio Perez: 5.6 (5.8 – 5.4)
Valtteri Bottas: 5.6 (5.8 – 5.2)
Kevin Magnussen: 5.5 (5.7 – 5.3)
Alexander Albon: 5.5 (5.4 – 5.8)
Pierre Gasly: 5.5 (5.5 – 5.4)
Lance Stroll: 5.0 (4.8 – 5.4)
Zhou Guanyu: 5.0 (4.8 – 5.1)
Yuki Tsunoda: 5.0 (4.8 – 5.1)
Mick Schumacher: 4.7 (4.5 – 5.0)
Daniel Ricciardo: 4.6 (4.5 – 4.8)
Nicholas Latifi: 3.9 (4.0 – 3.7)
21st December 2022, 16:28
Not sure why they switched Perez and Sainz though.
Mr Fabulous (@mrfabulous)
21st December 2022, 11:06
21st December 2022, 11:35
This is stretching things a bit, especially given how harshly some others (Bottas, for one) were rated for a handful of lacklustre races. Alonso is a great driver, of that there is no doubt, but he’s also an almost comical believer in his own hype. And why not? Fair play to him, but you’d think this would be well known by now. As noted above and in the earlier article, he wasn’t really that far ahead of Ocon – although he did have a couple more stand-out moments – and some of their infamous tangles were Alonso’s own doing.
If anything, this part of the ranking just proves how badly Norris needs a proper teammate to evaluate if he’s actually doing something special. Because that wasn’t apparent when he was paired with Sainz.
21st December 2022, 13:26
Reading the article again in detail, I’m more puzzled than before about this ranking.
To briefly summarize the points made in the article, he was slower than Ocon in Bahrain despite having an upgraded car, he ran the wrong strategy in Australia, collided with Hamilton and Gasly in Miami, blatantly skipped the chicane multiple times resulting in a penalty, crashed in Monaco qualifying, broke the safety car rules during the race, engaged in further ‘shenanigans’ in Azerbaijan, was penalized again in Canada for dangerous driving, and collided with Ocon in Brazil on a straight. If you compare that to for example Bottas’ list of ‘wrongdoings’ (i.e. being a bit anonymous in a couple of races) it’s surprising to see this long list seemingly ignored for the purposes of the ranking.
While Alonso undoubtedly had impressive high moments and plenty of solid performances, his average finishing position is worse than Ocon’s (even if you take out every race where one of the Alpine’s didn’t finish, and also scrap the results from Canada where he had a technical issue). While his qualifying position was better than Ocon, there is still nobody in between them, basically lining the two Alpine’s up side by side on the season-average grid.
21st December 2022, 13:39
Alonso has had many better seasons than this one. I would even rate his 2004 season as better than this one.
21st December 2022, 12:08
“Stroll space”!! Probably the dumbest take of the entire 2022 F1 season.
21st December 2022, 12:42
At best he should be lower than Russell.
50% of his achievements this season are in his head. Things he didn’t do but could’ve done IF…
21st December 2022, 13:08
This is the issue I had throughout the season with Alonso’s rankings, he was never penalised for the car failing where as other drivers were heavily penalised for their cars failing.
Take the last race of the year where they gave Hamilton a 4 and yet Alonso got a 5. The crime for Hamilton that race was driving a damaged car that eventually had to retire through a failure. Sure he made a small error in leaving the track to avoid contact with Sainz which wasn’t needed but he beat his teammate in qualifying and looked better until his car finally gave up. Did that deserve a 4, not really yet had he been rated on the Alonso scale he’d have got at least a 6 because the car was the problem.
That’s the main issue I have with the ratings Will did this year, some drivers seemed to be rated on different rules to the rest of the field.
25th December 2022, 22:39
Yeah, I also feel there’s inconsistency in how bad moments are rated (and while I hesitate with Bottas a bit, he was pretty harsly done with for example, while indeed Alonso seems to be teflon in comparison) @slowmo
But perhaps I tend to underrate Alonso, not sure.
21st December 2022, 16:29
Some things never change…
21st December 2022, 18:24
how did Alonso outperform Russell?!
22nd December 2022, 15:00
He didn’t, must be a figment of Will Wood’s fevered imagination.
Which driver had a good relationship with his team mate – Russell
Which driver finished ahead of his team mate – Russell
Which driver had fewer unnecessary incidents – Russell
Alonso is clearly one of Will’s favourites, but objective witnesses can clearly see who performed better
22nd December 2022, 22:33
@frasier. That’s rather unfair.
Russell had a superb start to the year but post Britain it makes grim reading. Out qualified 6 races in a row making Hamilton 13-9 overall.
In the 11 races between Britain and Brazil Hamilton finished ahead in 7, Russell 2 where they both finished. Each contributed to their 1 retirement a piece with silly first lap errors. Hamilton qualified ahead in both and was ahead in both when the accidents happened. The 2 Russell was ahead in were Zandvoort where Hamilton was ahead, but was given a different strategy and Monza where he out qualified George but started last.
Russell had a strong start and a great pole and win. But there’s a very barren patch mid season where he was convincingly beaten by his team-mate. Alonso had nothing like that, no matter how cordial they were to one another.
23rd December 2022, 7:03
Alonso was more closer to Hamilton in 2007 than Russell in 2022😁
22nd December 2022, 19:49
Absolutely agree superman. All things considered car age team mate, and the way he drives the wheels off anything he is given, He’ll I would put number 1!!
23rd December 2022, 1:45
For crap’s sake. Not again. Totally overrated driver…
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