Revealed: Three reasons why Fernando Alonso is playing ‘Mr Nice Guy’

Oliver Harden
Fernando Alonso leaps into the arms of his Aston Martin mechanics after finishing third in the Miami Grand Prix. Miami, 2023.

Fernando Alonso leaps into the arms of his Aston Martin mechanics after finishing third in the Miami Grand Prix. Miami, 2023.

F1 commentator Peter Windsor has put forward three potential reasons behind Fernando Alonso’s willingness to be “Mr Nice Guy” at Aston Martin in 2023.

Having made the move from Alpine over the winter, Alonso has been among the star performers of the season so far and has finished on the podium at all but two of the opening eight races.

The two-time World Champion has charmed his new employers in the process by displaying a preparedness to support team-mate Lance Stroll – son of team owner Lawrence – who has struggled by comparison and scored just 37 points to Alonso’s 117.

Fernando Alonso is enjoying the attention and focus

Speaking via a recent YouTube stream, former title-winning Williams team manager Windsor feels Alonso is relishing in the increased attention his return to the front of the grid has brought, having previously gone seven years without an F1 podium between 2014 and 2021.

And with Aston Martin keen to emerge as a title-contending force in the coming years, having last month agreed a deal to run Honda engines from 2026, the Australian believes Alonso – set to turn 42 next month – will do everything he possibly can to elongate his stint with the team.

He said: “I think Fernando at the moment is being Mr Nice Guy because, A) it’s so nice to be back on the podium again; B) everybody’s around him again telling him how wonderful he is, when in the past – three years ago, four years ago – it was only Peter Windsor and [fellow journalist] Nigel Roebuck saying that.

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“And now everybody’s jumping on the bandwagon – ‘Fernando, what a great megastar he is’ – and we’re just saying: ‘Yeah, he is, always has been, never went away.’

“And thirdly, I think he’s very wary of being Mr Perfect for Aston Martin and trying to extend his longevity at Aston Martin into the next two or three years.

“The more Mr Nice Guy he is and the more helpful to young Lance he is, the better. That’s what you’re seeing with Fernando at the moment – at the moment!”

Windsor has previously warned that team owner Stroll will be dissatisfied by his son’s deficit to Alonso, having measured up well alongside four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel in 2021/22.

As well as remarking that Stroll’s struggles alongside Alonso don’t “say much about” Vettel, who retired at the end of last season, Windsor warned that the team owner will not be “that happy with everything” and will be “cracking the whip” to bring Stroll up to Alonso’s standard.

Stroll finished ahead of Alonso in Spain earlier this month but has failed to reach Q3 at three of the last four rounds in Miami, Monaco and Canada – all races where his team-mate reached the podium.

Read next: Lawrence Stroll will be ‘cracking the whip’ to get Lance Stroll on Fernando Alonso’s level