Fernando Alonso admits his game plan includes ‘destroying other people’s forces’: PlanetF1
Fernando Alonso has admitted that part of his modus operandi as a driver is to “destroy other people’s strengths” – to increase his own chances of success.
The 41-year-old Spaniard is regularly given the phrase ‘cunning old fox’, largely due to the vast F1 experience he has accumulated during a career which began in 2001.
But he’s also become associated with what some would call ‘sh*thusery’ tactics – a phrase often used in football about a player who sometimes goes to extreme lengths to liquidate his opponents and gain a potential advantage for his side. crew.
An example of this sort of thing compared to Alonso was when he drove much slower than he was capable of in this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, knowing it would be very difficult for those behind to overtake, in order to protect his tires before accelerating. when he felt he could push through.
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Rather than the football analogy, the two-time former world champion used the example of a different sport to describe the kind of effort he’s willing to make to even things out when he feels at a disadvantage.
Alonso was speaking in response to a suggestion that during this season’s French Grand Prix he had deliberately put down rubber before the race on a certain part of the track in the first corners to try to generate additional grip for overtaking. potential – what worked. , as he passed Lando Norris and george russell.
“I have to do 100% of my thing and I have to kill all the forces of others. But that’s what I do in everything I practice, when I play anything.
“I used to play tennis and when I was playing with someone good I would put the ball really high because like that you stop their rhythm because they are used to hitting the ball very strong.
“Putting the ball high is my only chance to beat them, so I do it automatically.
“It’s not just in racing that I have to destroy other people’s strengths and try to maximize my own.”
If not, how does extensive experience help Fernando Alonso?
Of course, being the veteran of the F1 grid means Alonso is able to deploy his immense know-how acquired over 346 Grand Prix starts – he should surpass Kimi Raikkonen for that all-time record at the Singapore Grand Prix this year.
“I think experience helps in many ways,” he said. “Starting, awareness, tire management, pit stops, the way you approach mechanics.
“Also the way you approach the weekend – free practice, how important it is, how unimportant it is sometimes.
“When you’re young you pay so much attention to every lap you do. Even FP1 is like the last lap of the championship. So I think you understand those things.
“A lot of improvements have been made in wet and wet conditions. Normally wet races are long, things change very quickly, there are a lot of safety cars, a lot of dry lines that will show up later. There are so more opportunities.
“Every lap is not the last lap. Those kinds of things, I used to make mistakes at the start of races that now I try to avoid. And that only comes with experience and with your own mistakes.