Formula 1 pundit Peter Windsor has warned that “it’ll all come crashing down” on Fernando Alonso at some point as his Aston Martin charm offensive continues.
Having arrived from Alpine over the winter, Alonso has made a fine start to his Aston Martin career by finishing in third place at all but one of the opening five races of 2023.
With the team owned by Lawrence Stroll, father of Alonso’s team-mate Lance, the two-time World Champion was potentially faced with striking a difficult balance at Aston Martin – concerns that only grew following their collision at the 2022 United States Grand Prix where Alonso’s car was launched in the air.
Rather than positioning himself as a direct threat to Stroll, however, Alonso – who has a history of falling out with team-mates including, most recently, Esteban Ocon at Alpine – has made a concerted effort to support the younger man.
After suggesting a change of brake balance over team radio during the recent Azerbaijan GP, Alonso complimented Stroll on an overtake during the race in Miami having seen it unfold on one of the big screens surrounding the circuit.
Those remarks came after Alonso hailed Stroll as “my hero” at the first race in Bahrain, where the latter recovered from injuries sustained in a pre-season bike accident to finish sixth.
Asked by a viewer during a recent YouTube stream to evaluate Alonso, former Williams and Ferrari team manager Windsor claimed the Spaniard’s treatment of Stroll is merely a facade designed to win Aston Martin’s affection.
He said: “I think he’s as good as anybody in race day.
“I don’t think he’s as great a qualifier as four or five other guys out there at the moment but very, very good on race day.
“A very difficult driver politically to run in the team and you can see that already at Aston Martin, the way he’s over the top [with] comments about how good Lance is and helping Lance – none of which the true Alonso would really be interested in at all.
“You can see he’s just trying to build up a whole sort of ‘we love Fernando’ thing at Aston Martin and one day it’ll all come crashing down probably, knowing poor old Fernando.
“We’ll see how that goes [but] maybe it’ll work?
“Maybe the Stroll/Alonso tie-up is the strongest bond ever in the history of humanity…”
Describing his treatment of his team-mate as “iffy”, Windsor suggested the memories of Alonso’s clash with Stroll in Texas – for which the latter was penalised – won’t ever be far from his mind.
“It’s getting a little bit over the top, I think, Fernando – all these comments about Lance all the time, ingratiating [himself], the Alonso side of the garage, the whole Stroll thing,” Windsor continued.
“‘Who is Lance racing with? That was a great pass into Turn 1!’
“That’s a bit over the top, I think, bearing in mind Lance was the guy that took him out in Austin last year.”
Alonso has featured on the podium four times across the opening five grands prix of F1 2023, his tally of 75 points placing him P3 in the Drivers’ standings, with Stroll sat on 27.