Fernando Alonso has said a lot of things in Formula 1 and will likely say a lot more. For instance, he once said the McLaren car given to him during the 2015 season had the drivability of a “GP2 engine.” The frustration was evident. We know it.
Fernando Alonso, who hung Kimi Raikkonen to dry during the duo’s time at Ferrari also called the Finn, “A very good man” and shared, “I will miss him.” The latter was when his former teammate announced time on a career that’s successful but perhaps not as stellar in comparison to the great Spaniard.
Moreover, Fernando Alonso who admires Carlos Sainz Jr., the only other Spaniard on the grid has always said positive things about Vettel and Hamilton, except when there’ve been on track altercations, not the ones that involve a fist fight obviously.
But if you were to ask about Fernando Alonso to anyone remotely aware about F1, then chances are, eight in ten will call him a true legend. It really doesn’t increase the price of fish to note that the number of times Fernando Alonso has demonstrated grit and thrill on the tarmac is equal to the number of times a foreign tourist has visited Spain.
Surely, data crunchers can have it in numbers. But it doesn’t make much sense to keep talking about Fernando Alonso as this veteran when the 42-year-old is making drivers just over half his age look bad. Either they’re that bad or non performing much too suddenly or Alonso is a generational great whose talent makes the so called brilliant drivers look mediocre.
Whatever might be the case, many will say that the oldest driver on the grid isn’t done yet. At times, it feels that the way he is going, Fernando Alonso can even win a race on some planet outside the Earth that has a race track on it.
No wonder then that as the Las Vegas Grand Prix looms large on our world, there’s considerable belief that the man from Asturias, Northern Spain will have his say. For sure, someone who didn’t exactly have a great time in contests like Mexico City recently, where he DNF’d, Fernando Alonso fought back at São Paulo.
His valiant third that saw him snatching the podium from Perez by a margin as tiny as 0.053 seconds just ahead of the checkered flag was a checkered end to the race. Senna would’ve been proud. Not being over imaginative. Alonso’s that good.
Moreover, there’s reason to believe that F1’s brand new destination, where the sport is all set to debut will see Fernando Alonso as a hot contestant. Not because he’s the ladies man; before the likes of Leclerc, Norris and Sainz came along, there were the trio of Kimi, Vettel and Alonso who were the favs- weren’t they?
The two of them have retired with Alonso still backing his good looks with raw pace and that unremitting energy. Located in the heart of the Las Vegas city, the track punctuated by 17 turns offers an exciting street course to the drivers to excel.
But how hard will it be for the Aston Martin racer to win? Surely, it’s a no brainer to say that the double world champion will drive like the wind as he’ll steer past what could well be epic parts in the making, whether one speaks of the Bellagio, the Venetian or Caesars palace.
All of that would, however, depend on the main function before the first ever Las Vegas Grand Prix: the qualifying, and it’s where Alonso has his task cut out. He might not win the race, but purely going by his intensity and consistency and that desire to race the wheels off that Aston Martin, it’ll be a fool’s errand to discount him.