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Autosport (UK) - - PIT + PADDOCK/LETTERS -

IT WILL RE­MAIN AN EN­DUR­ING tragedy o ft he ill-fated MclarenHonda re­vival tha ta lonso ’st alents spen tt hree sea­sons go­ing to waste. Ify o uf ac­tor in Fer­rari ’sw oe­ful 2014 cam­paign, at lea st7 9g rands prix have gone b ys ince Alons ola sts at in­aca rw or­thy of his abil­i­ties.

But hei sst ill driv­ing like the cham­pion he i s.e nthus edb y20 17’s en­hanced aero­dy­nam­ics and faster cars ,pl usm claren’s im­pres­sive rat eo f de­vel­op­ment, Alonso was con­sis­tently ex­cel­lent and reg­u­larly over­achiev ed­i­naca r lack­ing se­ri­ous straight­line speed.

There were some com­edy mo­ments o fr adio frus­tra­tion, and a few petu­lant out­bursts – in­clud­ing re­tir­ing an ap­par­ently healthy car at S pa–b utt hey are far out­weighed by the way he man­han­dled a dif­fi­cult pack­age and bent i tt ohi s iron will.

Alonso wa ssu per bo ve rt he first fo urr aces ,be fore Honda got the engine ’sw oefu ld rive­abil­ity un­der con­trol, and qual­i­fy­ing sev­ent hin Spain was out­stand­ing –a sw ere the lap st hat got him into Q3 in Brazil and put him fift hin Q 1in Mex­ico.

Amaz­ingly, Alonso almo sts cored a point in Canada, and was de­nied a big re­sult in Sin­ga­por eb yv et­tel’s start­line crash .T he way he clung to Felipe Mass ain Brazil, and beat the Wil­liams in Ab ud habi, were class ice xam­ples of a fierce rac­ing in­tel­lec tu ndimmed b yy ears of un­com­pet­i­tive ma­chin­ery.

Alonso re­mains ani rre­press­ible force t obe reck­oned with.

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