Departing Alonso’s factors deficit to Ocon is not any reflection of his efficiency · RaceFans

In a profession of soon-to-be-record-breaking longevity, Fernando Alonso has hardly ever skilled being out-scored by a crew mate.

Even throughout the notorious season he shared a crew with Lewis Hamilton, the pair ended the 12 months tied on factors, Alonso trailing within the standings as a result of his crew mate had scored extra second-place finishes. Solely Jenson Button can lay declare to having out-scored Alonso over a season, doing so in 2015 when the pair shared the woefully gradual and unreliable McLaren-Honda MP4-30.

Is Esteban Ocon about to hitch Button on that quick listing? After the primary 13 races of 2022 it’s a transparent risk. Ocon, who completed simply seven factors behind Alonso final 12 months, leads him by 17 at this stage.

This has prompted some to counsel 41-year-old Alonso’s abilities are waning. May it even counsel his Alpine crew wasn’t troubled on the concept of letting him slip off to rivals Aston Martin subsequent 12 months? However this could be an entire mis-reading of his season so far. Alonso’s performances have been greater than as much as scratch, he simply hasn’t had the rub of the inexperienced – and that’s seldom been all the way down to him.

Technical hassle wrecked Alonso’s qualifying run in Melbourne

Each Alpine drivers have had reliability issues, however a few of Alonso’s have been spectacularly ill-timed. Such because the fault which struck whereas he was threatening to place his A522 on the entrance row in Melbourne, or the glitch that prevented him beginning the dash race in Austria, leaving him final on the grid for the grand prix.

Alonso has all the time been a driver whose explicit strengths lie on race day. That’s to not say he habitually under-performs over a single flying lap, as his comfy 8-4 lead over Ocon on Saturdays exhibits (most strikingly demonstrated by his exceptional lap to bag a front-row begin in Canada).

Alonso vs Ocon: Race by race

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Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Alonso retired after profitable Jeddah scrap with Ocon

However even in his fifth decade Alonso’s race tempo is as relentless as ever and his wheel-to-wheel fight simply as tenacious. His drive in Jeddah was a high quality demonstration of this: After prevailing in a tricky scrap with Ocon, Alonso was on target to bag the lion’s share of the crew’s factors, then was sidelined by technical hassle.

An excessive amount of of this has left him on the incorrect facet of the factors divide at Alpine. But it surely says so much that he leads on two of the opposite metrics, and retirements largely account for the rationale he trails Ocon 6-4 when it comes to which driver has completed forward on Sundays.

None of this detracts from Ocon’s strong efficiency within the different Alpine. On the identical time, it wouldn’t be truthful to Alonso to name the factors distinction between the 2 an correct reflection of how effectively they’ve carried out, or a sign that his greatest days are behind him.

Alonso vs Ocon: Outcomes abstract

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Alonso vs Ocon: Lap instances

Unrepresentative comparisons omitted. Unfavorable worth: Alonso was sooner; Constructive worth: Ocon was sooner

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