Alonso eliminates the debate

The first half of the season confirms the Asturian's high level on his return to the World Cup and reaffirms his goals in view of the 2022 rule change.


Some voices from the 'paddock' sentenced Alonso already in the training sessions that opened the season in Bahrain. They argued with data and reports that "the human eye loses reflections" when one dismisses thirty. "The Alpine is like that bad McLaren of 2018," it was also heard. "Ocon is the reference of the team," said a leader. The same experts surrendered to the two-time Spanish champion after his express comeback in Baku (he passed three cars in the final rush), the magic first lap in the Silverstone sprint (he passed six drivers) and the iron defense over Hamilton that gave the victory to his companion at the Hungaroring.

Budkowski, head of the team, often speaks of "Alonso's magic" when his star driver sets off a good afternoon and so far in 2021, they have been the majority: he has scored in eight races out of eleven, the last six times in a good way. back-to-back, and no one matches that streak of consistency on the grid. It was difficult to settle in Q3 on Saturdays because there was no feeling with the power steering and the feel of the Pirelli tires, but since Azerbaijan it has been a fixed top-10 (it only lacked in Austria, when Vettel hindered it) and turned around to the qualifying duel against his teammate. He prevails 6-5 both in a lap and in the race, although Ocon adds one more point in the table thanks to the 25 that he took from Hungary.The Asturian, who turned 40 on July 29, has been answering questions about age and speed for months after missing two years from the World Cup. "That this is not like football or cycling, here it does not influence," he joked recently. In his interview with AS he slipped that his second time in F1 will not be short: "He will surely be here in 2024." He already has the applause of the critics, he has even agreed with team leaders who live in the antipodes of Alonsism: Horner applauded his restraint of Hamilton, "he looked like a Red Bull driver", and Wolff defined him as "one of the best on the run ".

More spectacular than effective

He hits her in his 2021 season. Great fights, always showing his face, but fighting for the 'stone' of the points. Eleventh gear on the table and the Alpine doesn't have much else either. Fernando usually points to the "eighth, ninth or tenth" as the "natural position" of a car that does not stand out in anything, for better and for worse, and that can consolidate as fifth car ahead of Aston Martin and Alpha Tauri. The Renault was fast on low-downforce circuits like Spa-Francorchamps, where F1 returns this weekend, but the Alpine A521 doesn't follow those patterns. The Belgian GP will look nothing like Hungary.

A loose podium seems difficult this year, although given the equality of the midfield and the recent mistakes by the 'big' cars, nothing is impossible. Ocon's triumph gives wings to the team and is the best example. However, Alonso's goals go well beyond 2021 and prioritize full preparation, plus the team's progress in the factory, garage and car, with a view to changing the rules from 2022 onwards, when he does consider fighting for podiums and victories under normal conditions. His philosophy is simple: "From the second, everyone loses; the only thing you do if you don't have a winning car is prepare for when that moment arrives."

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