Not very successful at the start of the season where mechanical problems have not spared him, Fernando Alonso has only two points on his clock after three Grands Prix contested despite remarkable performances in Jeddah and especially in Melbourne.
In Saudi Arabia, the Spaniard was in the race for a fine seventh place before encountering an engine problem. Then in Australia, during qualifying, he seemed very well on his way to playing the second row at least before a hydraulic problem caused him to leave the track which destroyed all his chances of doing well in the race.
Anyway, and while he will turn 41 this summer, Alonso still seems to have the same steering wheel he had in his prime.
At least that’s what Alan Permane, the sporting director of the Alpine F1 team, says about him. According to him, his pilot is still evolving « at the highest level. »
« There’s no doubt in my mind. People kept asking me for the last year, and he doesn’t seem any different than when he was already driving for us fifteen years ago. »
Permane remembers the glorious epic of Renault in 2005 and 2006 and how difficult it was for Giancarlo Fisichella, then teammate of the double world champion, to exist against the Spaniard.
« I was actually the engineer for Fisichella’s car. Fernando was kind of the enemy and never, even on a great weekend, we couldn’t get ahead of him. So I know how good he is. »
« I then worked with him when I was chief engineer, we’ve known each other for a long time. He’s a great one, no doubt. »