Formula One driver Fernando Alonso believes that his 2016 F1 season is the third best of his career after the 2012 and 2014 seasons. According to ESPN, the Spaniard rated the three years to be better than 2005 and 2006, when he won both of his F1 world championships.
Although his team McLaren-Honda disappointed in 2016 by finishing away from the top spots, Alonso managed to put in some good performances over the course of the season. He finished fifth in Monaco and the US GP and ended the season in 10th place in the rankings with 54 points, which was a good 33 points more than former McLaren team driver Jenson Button.
Fernando Alonso: 2012 is probably my best season
When asked about how 2016 compared to his previous campaigns, the 35-year-old mentioned the year he almost beat Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari (2012) and his 2014 season as the ones which were on top of his list.
“2012 is probably my best season in Formula One.” Alonso said. “Then it could be 2014 my second best.
“Then probably this one (2016) will be on the final step of the podium so far.”
Fernando Alonso played up his 2016 season by talking about how he his driving has hit a very high standard, and further highlighted that point by talking about his performances alongside Jenson Button.
“I felt very confident in the car in every condition [in 2016]. Even the last 10 laps in Brazil I felt really competitive with 40-lap old tyres, things like that.
“That confidence in the car gave me the opportunity to drive at the limit on many occasions. I consider this year on a very high standard from my driving part of view.
“Jenson is an incredible driver. Last year I experienced that and saw that and this year I was able to be in front of him many, many times. Even in qualifying we are 13-5, or something like that, but in three qualifying sessions, I didn’t participate because I had the penalty already with the engine and so I did only Q1.
So that [difference] could be even higher than that.” he added.
Fernando Alonso misses feeling of title contention
Alonso also expressed how much he missed being in contention for the F1 world championship since his last few tries in 2007, 2010 and 2012.
“I’ve been lucky enough to experience that feeling five times,” he said, as reported on Autosport.
“You train, you do the simulator, you go to the factory, you do events, you do media, you do whatever you do to be competitive on Sundays and fight for the title.
“From the last four years I miss this feeling of arriving with possibilities.
“But on the other hand I feel extremely lucky to have been able to feel that pressure and those emotions already five times, winning two, because there are many colleagues that have huge talent that never even have the chance to race in Formula 1.
“Some of them appear in Formula 1 but never have the chance to experience the podium, the press conference for the top three, never experience the feeling of starting in pole position, or winning one grand prix and they are very, very talented.
“So, of course, I feel very lucky and I miss it,” he concluded.