Fernando Alonso weighs in on relationship between F1 driver and engineer

Henry Valantine
Fernando Alonso with race engineer Chris Cronin. Austria July 2023.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso in discussion with race engineer Chris Cronin. Austria July 2023.

Fernando Alonso has said the relationship between a driver and a race engineer needs to be “like a friend”, given how closely the two work together.

Alonso currently works with Chris Cronin on the Aston Martin pit wall, having made the move to the Silverstone-based team in time for the 2023 season, and the pair have enjoyed considerable success so far this year.

With six podiums, Alonso sits third in the Drivers’ Championship as Formula 1 heads into its summer break, having celebrated his 42nd birthday over the weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso: A race engineer needs to be ‘like a friend’

Sat alongside Aston Martin brand ambassador and former Formula 1 driver Pedro de la Rosa in a new instalment of Aston Martin’s content series ‘A Pitstop With’, presented by Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%, a question from a fan was sent in about the best qualities of a race engineer.

With two decades of experience to fall back on, Alonso responded: “I think they need to become nearly a friend of the driver.”

De la Rosa added: “You know, when I met my race engineer races every season when I was racing, I needed to have the feeling that after work, I could go for a beer with him and that we would get on as friends because, if that feeling is there, I know that the trust will happen.

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“And then when when your race engineer feels that you’re not having a good day, he needs to be able to transform that mode into performance.”

Alonso agreed, adding that the engineer’s voice is an extension of the driver on the pit wall: “They’re your continuation outside the car, 100%.”

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