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.