I have to destroy no matter strengths different folks have

Regardless of, at 41, being the oldest driver on the grid, he has proved all through 2022 that he stays on the high of his talents – including the advantages of expertise to the uncooked pure expertise that he has carried via his profession. 

One side that has been particularly fascinating this 12 months has been observing the eye to element that the Alpine driver has relating to discovering each aggressive benefit he can. 

On the Austrian Grand Prix, for instance, he famously hung out clearing his grid slot throughout Saturday’s morning free observe session – hoping his actions would give him a greater begin in a while (unluckily it didn’t as his automobile failed to start out earlier than the dash). 

However that’s not the one time he has gone the additional mile to eke out an edge. 

In the event you watched him fastidiously in the course of the laps to the grid earlier than the French Grand Prix, Alonso was alone in driving very slowly down the pit lane exit. 

That lack of pace gave him the power to show close to sharp left on the finish to then clear the monitor and get some rubber down on the within to Flip 1, after which the skin of Flip 2. 

His mindset was that he had each intention of passing folks at these areas off the beginning whereas others although the circuit can be too soiled there.  

And that’s precisely what occurred, as he pulled off a superb getaway and sliced previous each Lando Norris and George Russell on the bits of monitor he had cleaned minutes earlier than. 

Alonso confesses to taking nice pleasure from these little moments being seen, as he says it’s all a part of the sturdy aggressive streak he has – in each exploiting his strengths however hoping to open up weaknesses in others. 

“Yeah, I imply, I am that kind of man,” he smiles in an unique interview with Motorsport.com that befell earlier than his Aston Martin transfer was introduced. 

“I have to make 100% of my factor, and I have to kill no matter strengths different folks have. However this I do in all the things I observe, once I play something.  

“I used to play tennis, and once I play with somebody good, I’d put the ball very excessive. As a result of, like this, you cease the rhythm of them as a result of they’re used to hitting the ball very laborious. 

“Taking part in with professionals, the ball arrives very sturdy for them so they’re used to that sort of shot.  

“However if you put the ball excessive, they make errors, as a result of the ball arrives very tender. So I can play higher tennis when placing the ball excessive.  

“Placing the ball excessive is my solely probability to beat them. So I do this mechanically.  

“It is not solely on racing I simply have to destroy the strengths of the others, and attempt to maximize mine.”  

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Pictures

Alonso is obvious in his head that have in F1 has introduced with it clear benefits, which permits him to have a greater total judgement on which areas he must concentrate on. 

“I feel expertise for positive helps in some ways,” he mentioned. “Begin; consciousness of issues, tyre administration, pitstops, the way in which you strategy the mechanics.  

“Additionally, the way in which you strategy the weekend: free observe, the significance of it, the non-importance of it, typically.  

“While you’re younger, you pay a lot consideration to each lap you do; even FP1 is like the ultimate lap of the championship. So I feel you perceive this stuff.  

“Quite a lot of enchancment has been finished in moist circumstances and damp circumstances. Usually moist races are a protracted shot, you understand, issues are altering in a short time, there are lots security vehicles, a whole lot of dry strains that can seem in a while. So there are extra alternatives.  

“Not each lap is the final lap. These sorts of issues I used to make errors, early within the races that now I attempt to keep away from. And this solely comes with expertise and with your personal errors.” 

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Alonso doesn’t really feel age has led to any negatives, particularly after a two-year break from F1 that allowed him to recharge his batteries.  

“By way of the downsides, it is troublesome to say something as a result of I do not really feel that I am lacking something that I had once I was youthful,” he mentioned. 

“Possibly in 2018, I felt that I used to be exhausted mentally by all of the advertising and marketing and touring and issues like that. And I wanted these two years out.

“Now I really feel okay. So I do not know whether it is simply these two years that helped me out. Or it is only a completely different strategy that I’ve now.” 

Above all else, Alonso thinks that he’s a significantly better model of himself in his F1 comeback than he was when his first spell within the sport got here to an finish. 

He thinks that sitting on the sidelines for a bit additionally helped him higher perceive the larger image of F1: and he has introduced these positives with him. 

“I feel watching races from the skin, you do not perceive typically various things and completely different behaviours of the race, wanting from the skin and taking a look at 360 levels,” he mentioned. 

“It’s not solely your personal cockpit and your personal technique, so perhaps I’ve a greater understanding of how the race develops. And likewise the completely different classes that I drove: I feel they educate me various things.  

“There are completely different philosophies of racing, completely different driving methods. It is not that they’re relevant to an F1 automobile, however if you lose the automobile, you could have an oversteer, perhaps my palms and my ft are doing one thing that I did not know earlier than, as a result of I used to be simply driving F1 vehicles.  

“So in a method, I really feel extra accountable for issues now.” 

Based mostly on what occurred on and off monitor this 12 months, Alonso has by no means seemed extra accountable for issues in F1 than he does proper now. 

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