Blog: Alonso’s dramatic homecoming?
When you think about the Spanish GP, Alonso springs to mind at the fore. Since being crowned as the youngest world champion in 2005, his fanbase in homeland of Spain and elsewhere peaked to new heights. His aggressive yet calculative driving-style won him the second championship with Renault the following year bettering the most successful driver twice in his prime.
Spain has quite been a happy hunting ground for the Asturias-born star. It took him until 2006 to stand on top step of the podium for the first time but analysing his form there – five podiums and two victories(excluding European GPs at Valencia) – would suggest that he wants to add more to his tally. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one of the toughest tracks to stick a manoeuvre on unless it’s perfectly judged. The Turn 1 comes as the ideal overtaking spot, with the aid of DRS, to make the light work of another driver.
Alonso is generally very good at making rapid starts and in 2011 he went from fifth to first down into the first right hander in no time. The Spaniard’s victory hopes faded when his hard tyres grained enormously as the race unfolded. His frenetic getaways meant that he captured the lead again from Maldonado’s Williams the next year but had to settle out only for second. Last season’s race was pretty special as it marked his second home win since 2006. He charged from fifth to jump ahead of Vettel’s Red Bull on the first pitstop and led the way to complete the four-stopping race as the victor, ahead of Raikkonen’s Lotus, much to the delight of his fans.
What a difference a year makes! The table has turned around with only four races into the calendar. Mercedes’ unprecedented dominance in qualifying and over 25 second victory margin on Sundays are hard for Ferrari to currently mortify. Only the time will tell if they can be beaten. On the upside, Ferrari put back their dreary efforts in Bahrain – where they had been overtaken by seemingly every other competitive car – and gave Alonso a much improved F 14T for China. His stellar drive catapulted him back to podium and he stays third in the drivers’ championship behind the two Mercedes drivers – 38 points adrift of the leading Nico Rosberg.
The Ferraris will have definite power disadvantage in the long straights of Catalunya but beyond anything the fight to stick around as the second-best team is getting narrower with the likes of Red Bull, Williams, Force India and McLaren are gearing up to spoil the Scuderia’s party. Alonso will play a consistent role in it and perhaps if something goes terribly wrong at the front he might definitely be there to pick up the pieces and lead home the triumph, speaking pragmatically.
Or maybe by chance an ingemination of Valencia 2012 will take place? Just can’t wait for next weekend!
Author: Suren F1
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