F1 pundit explains why Fernando Alonso cannot be considered one of the best

Sam Cooper
Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso came close to pole in Monaco this year.

F1 analyst Peter Windsor believes Fernando Alonso has an inability to drive a perfect lap at the first time of asking and suggested that is why the Spaniard struggles in qualifying.

While he has not always had the car to allow him to do so, it has been 11 years since Alonso last set a pole lap.

He came close this season in Monaco with a stunning sector three from Max Verstappen the only thing to prevent him but Windsor believes there is a fundamental problem with Alonso’s driving style that means he is not good at qualifying.

Fernando Alonso’s ‘inputs’ pose quali problem

Speaking on his YouTube channel, the former Williams team manager suggested Alonso is lacking when it comes to his inputs.

“When I say rate of input, I mean steering input and brake and throttle inputs that are exactly the correct measure based on what the dynamic weights are doing at any millisecond,” Windsor said. “That’s what I mean when I say rate of input.

“That’s why I always put Fernando Alonso outside the top three or four because his initial rate of input on the steering is always far in excess of what the car needs.

“Even when he’s protecting P3 in Brazil, still that’s the only way he can drive, he needs to feel the car. He needs to generate all these dynamic weights very quickly in order just to get on top of them. Then he gets on top of them beautifully.

“But that’s why he’s not brilliant in qualifying. I’m convinced of it because it doesn’t work on one lap when everything has to be absolutely perfect. In the race, everything’s a little bit more sludgy because there are so many other variables going on.”

Windsor also discussed the recent rumour linking Alonso to a move to a Red Bull – something the Spaniard has since denied – and wondered why there was such a clamour now to see Alonso at the Milton Keynes team.

“I think if you asked the straight question to Max Verstappen, ‘Would you be afraid to have Alonso in the other car?’, of course he’s going to say, ‘No, I wouldn’t be afraid. I’d welcome it.’

“But then when they go into the meeting room with Helmut [Marko] and Christian [Horner] and a few others and they would say do you really want to have Alonso in the other car? Look what he did at Ferrari when he blew the team apart. [Felipe] Massa ended up thinking he was very disruptive to the team and we’ve seen it time and again at Renault and other places and what he is going to do is tear the team apart.

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“I genuinely think Max is not afraid to take on anyone but I also think he knows correctly that winning a World Championship is unbelievably difficult.

“It may look very easy right now but next year may be much much tighter for Red Bull and they’re going to need every bit of resource they’ve got to put behind Max potentially, possibly, to win a Championship and the last thing they need is Alonso in the other car, going in another direction or doing what he does.

“I don’t think that’ll ever happen and I have to say when Alonso didn’t get the Red Bull drive when he left Ferrari, all the people who are now saying, ‘Oh, I’d love to see Alonso at Red Bull’, where were they then? Why were they not saying, ‘This is a disgrace. What’s Bernie Ecclestone doing not allowing Alonso to go to Red Bull?’

“I don’t remember anybody saying that. I don’t remember any clamouring from the crowd at all. They all seem to have just discovered Alonso in the last year and so that’s part of the problem.”

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