Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Maybe Alonso is worth 6 tenths after all

Even though there is little to question about Fernando Alonso's car development skills, last year many scoffed at his claims that his presence in McLaren-Mercedes gave them 6 tenths of a second increase in performance via his speed and car development abilities (some still scoff). This became a more dubious statement when the McLaren/Ferrari spy scandal ripped through F1 and it was revealed Alonso had access to some of the Ferrari data; it became an easy leap of logic to attribute their increase in performance to the data that was obtained, even though Alonso never trusted the data provided.

Well, maybe Alonso does know what he is taking about and simply expresses practical truths. In an interview with autosport.com, Renault technical director Bob Bell said exactly what Alonso thinks when discussing Alonso's chances in staying with the team for 2009. "We are not in this to make up the midfield - and I hope we have done enough to convince him to stay with us. I think we have. But I don't know. I think if you just look at the simple numbers – say the Q2 gap between our quickest driver and the quickest guy in Q2, we've gone from more than a second lap in Melbourne down to, we didn't get in here, but prior to this race it was down to four tenths."

Although his sportsmanship reputation has taken a beating, Fernando Alonso remains the best overall driver in Formula One.

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