Ferrari’s Felipe Massa says his teammate has had a “perfect” first half of the season and there are few who would argue with him. Even Michael Schumacher was praising the Spaniard this week as the best driver on the grid at the moment. If you consider this is the man who beat Schumacher back in 2005 and 2006, then it’s an interesting road Alonso has traveled since then.
Alonso had success at Renault F1 but he also had failure over the last 6 years. Crashgate of 2008 and the misfire at McLaren have all left him somewhat overshadowed as Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen have stole the show for past few years. Even while toiling away in less-than-competitive cars, Alonso hasn’t forgotten how to drive and he is still the guy who beat Schumacher.
“Fernando had an incredible first part of the championship,” Massa said. “He did a fantastic job. Even at the tracks where we didn’t have a competitive car, he was able to finish in a better position than he should have finished.
“He did a perfect job with the car that we had at some tracks. At some tracks, we had a good car but he had a perfect first part of the season.”
As for Massa’s role, he needs to convince Ferrari that he is the man for the job in 2013 but many consider a separation with Ferrari as a forgone conclusion that has already been made. Massa is stil lfighting for his role:
“With me, in many, many races something has happened so I couldn’t finish in the position that I was supposed to finish.
“Now I need to concentrate on going in the same direction that Fernando has done. That’s the only thing I’m looking forward to.”
Even though Alonso is leading the championship, his position isn’t unasailable according to McLaren’s Paddy Lowe answered AUTOSPORT:
“They are certainly not the frontrunner of the four [leading] teams,” said Lowe
“So that gives us cause for some encouragement. Of course Fernando has the points lead in the drivers’ championship but, with 25 points for a win and without the quickest car, then they are exposed. And that is the opportunity that we want to exploit.”
He’s got a point and the question that remains is can Alonso cling to the lead and has Ferrari spent the last 4 weeks making the right changes to their car? Do you think he can hold off a charging McLaren and Red Bull?