Fernando Alonso did not have the easiest of restarts to life in Formula 1, but it was the criticism which helped his situation.
The Spaniard came back to Formula 1 in 2021 after two seasons away, joining the Alpine team which had helped him to the 2005 and 2006 World Championships in their Renault days.
But it was a slow process of adaptation for the Spaniard, who scored points in only two of the opening five rounds.
Since his new upgrades arrived though, Alonso has thrived, and now boasts a six-race streak of points finishes.
However, Alonso says that only through the early criticism did people eventually start to understand what was actually a good result for him.
“I knew it was a process of adaptation. I thought it would have been faster, because Formula 1 was a natural thing for me compared to the WEC, the Dakar Rally or Indianapolis , and I thought I would be at 100% quickly,” he told SoyMotor.com.
“Take Monaco as an example: I was hoping it would be a good circuit for me, but I went out in Q1. This was disappointing for me. I knew it was a matter of time.
“The criticism and the comments that were made… It’s not that I liked them, but they were a blessing.
“They were a blessing because I knew that it was only a matter of time before people started to appreciate if I finished a race in 10th place.
“Had I always been in front of [team-mate Esteban] Ocon, had I always been in the points, they [the critics] would have said what they’ve said throughout my career, which is that my team-mate was not at the same level and that the car had more potential, but that I was missing out.
“Then, if suddenly they think I am done, anything I accomplish is appreciated much more.
“Some races were not great, like France for example, where I finished ninth. It was a good race, but nothing special. But it was considered to be a super performance because I was starting to do good races again. It was a good thing.”