Alpine F1 Race Engineer Reveals Why Working With Fernando Alonso Is Much Easier Than Daniel Ricciardo

Published 10/30/2021, 5:40 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna


Ahead of the 2021 F1 season, Alpine made a rather convincing offer of giving up Daniel Ricciardo for Fernando Alonso, although the former decision wasn’t theirs in the first place. Instead, it was McLaren that lured the Australian using the Andreas Seidl signing and Mercedes powertrain deal.

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Hence, the French outfit had no choice but to call back the two-time world champion, who had just enjoyed a round of outings in other racing series, including Endurance racing as well as the Dakar Rally.

However, one might wonder, was it worth replacing Ricciardo with Alonso, considering the fact that the Honey Badger ended Renault’s massive podium drought at Nurburgring in 2020? Well, Alonso’s race engineer, Karel Loos, thinks so.

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What did the Fernando Alonso race engineer say?

As reported by Formule1, Karel compared the two and also revealed that the Spaniard is the only driver who chooses to remain in contact during both race weekends and non-race weekends.

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 looks on in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Fernando uses far fewer words than Daniel,” he said. “Although you get to know each other better and better. And you understand better what someone wants. He is very focused on the details.” (Translated via Google Translate)

Prior to Alonso, Karel has also worked with several other F1 drivers, including Jolyon Palmer, Carlos Sainz, Kevin Magnussen, and Daniel Ricciardo.

Fernando never imposes anything: Karel

The Alpine race engineer reckoned that Alonso is not what the outside world thinks, a driver who doesn’t hesitate to out-speak and impose orders on his team.

Well, instead, Karel praised Alonso’s attitude and claimed that the former Renault world champion never imposes anything, rather expresses his opinion and backs off.

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IMOLA, ITALY – APRIL 18: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Alpine F1 Team looks on in the Pitlane during a red flag period during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 18, 2021 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Fernando gives his opinion but does not impose it. If he finds something, but someone from engineering says: ‘It is different, and that’s why’, he accepts that and fully supports it,” he said. “Fernando is very good at reading a race. That helps enormously.

Overall, Alpine seem quite pleased with the presence of Alonso. Unlike the past, the Spaniard is looking very much calm and is seemingly enjoying this F1 stint with hardly any pressure. And this strategy is working, as Alpine have made a giant leap in performance since the start of this season.

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So, will Alonso continue to offer the much-needed assistance and set Alpine off to a commendable position by the start of the 2022 season? Well, only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

1426 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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