Former F1 chief, Bernie Ecclestone, has claimed that even though Fernando Alonso won two drivers’ titles, he cannot be considered an F1 great, because he made ‘wrong decisions.’
Alonso announced his retirement from F1 at the end of the current season, after 17 long years, which took him through teams like Minardi, Renault, Ferrari and McLaren. However, Bernie feels not all of those were good decisions.
“Sometimes he made the wrong decisions. He is certainly not the greatest in other areas of life. Stirling Moss was never world champion, but he was one of the greatest,” Ecclestone stated to Bild.
He did admit to the fact that Alonso might be one of the best drivers ever. “He is definitely one of the best drivers,“ he said.
The statement by Ecclestone may seem overreached but he is not entirely wrong. Several former drivers have accused Alonso of being difficult and causing conflicts with his intra-team politics.
Rosberg had opined that top teams did not approach Alonso because of politics and Pedro De La Rosa went as far as saying that Sainz should avoid being teammates with Alonso, when the announcement was not yet made.
However, die-hard Alonso fans might argue otherwise and they are backed up by good numbers. The Spaniard took the challenge to the all-dominating pair of Schumacher and Ferrari in 2005 and 2006, winning the title in both seasons with an astonishingly quick Renault car.
He then made an ill-advised move to McLaren for 2007 and was back at Renault in 2008 before moving to Ferrari in 2010. He almost won the title with a poor car in 2010 and 2012 but ultimately lost out to Sebastian Vettel.
He did not give up hopes just as yet and again moved to McLaren in 2015 but the gamble just did not payoff, with the team being as weak as ever with a Honda engine.
Even at the age of 37, he is undoubtedly one of the best drivers on the grid currently with the likes of Vettel and Hamilton but F1 is a team sport at the end of the day.
Success can only be achieved if driver and team are in tandem which unfortunately, Alonso was not able to do much.