Former F1 Rival Astonished by ‘Magician’ Fernando Alonso’s Performance This Season

Published 10/16/2021, 2:29 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


There were high expectations building upon the return of Fernando Alonso to F1 earlier this season. And the Spaniard has certainly lived up to it. After a shaky start in Bahrain, Alonso managed up his game by securing two back-to-back top-10 finishes in Emilia-Romagna and Portugal.

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Now, 16 race weekends later, he stands tall as the fastest driver of Alpine. He even had the chance of gaining big points in Turkey last Sunday, only for Pierre Gasly to spin the 40-year-old off the track around turn 2, and his race was pretty much compromised.

Hence, former F1 driver, Mark Webber, reckoned that the 2-time world champion is still a magician in Formula 1. The Australian further lauded Alonso’s race starts this season which has been quite exceptional with respect to reaction time.

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What did Mark Webber say?

As reported by Soy Motor, Webber opined that the Alpine driver is still going strong despite spending over 21 years in the field of motorsport.

Fernando is driving well. Does he have those last two tenths of a second that Max and Lewis have in qualifying? I don’t think so. Does he have the knowledge, does he know how to put it all together in one race? Incredible,” he said.

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 24, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The guy is still a bit of a magician. We know that. His starts, if you see all his onboards … he is the last rider you would like to meet on the track.” (Translated via Google Translate)

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Crucial race weekends ahead for Fernando Alonso & Alpine

McLaren and Ferrari have been flying high since the start of this season, managing to pull away from the rest of the mid-field pack with ease. As of now, the gap between fourth-placed Ferrari and fifth-placed Alpine is 128.5. And the scenario of Alpine defeating Ferrari by the end of this season is almost impossible.

Hence, Alpine’s focus will entirely be on the ones behind them in the table, including AlphaTauri. Gasly’s consistency has helped the Italian outfit inch closer to Alpine, with the gap now being 12 points.

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Alpine’s Fernando Alonso arrives at the circuit ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

At the same time, both the Alpine drivers are busy in their own battle for P10 in the driver’s standings. While Alonso is safe in P10 at the moment, Esteban Ocon has been regaining his form over the past couple of weekends. The gap now is down to 12 points, and the Frenchman will be eyeing his teammate’s position.

Hence, amidst such an intense battle cooking in Alpine, who is ultimately going to finish ahead? Will Alonso be able to fend off the potential Ocon threat over the rest of the season? 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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