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Analysis | Fernando Alonso, the two faces of a champion

In his long career as a pilot of Formula one, Fernando Alonso always maintained a critical attitude towards their own teams and to many aspects of the competiti

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Analysis | Fernando Alonso, the two faces of a champion

In his long career as a pilot of Formula one, Fernando Alonso always maintained a critical attitude towards their own teams and to many aspects of the competition that saw improvement. He was a great champion and so credited to their two world titles in 2005 and 2006, fighting against a genius of the calibre of Michael Schumacher and his incomparable Ferrari. Alonso won without that your Renault out, probably, the best car of the grid. And that is something that not only demonstrates his quality as a rider, but that happens on rare occasions.

MORE INFORMATION “Fernando Alonso finish so it is a pity,” Alonso: “I would like to be invisible until the Monday,” The career of Fernando Alonso in Formula 1 Fernando Alonso: “The door to return to the Formula 1 is not closed”

on A sporting level, his achievements are unquestionable. Leaves the World with two titles, 32 wins, 97 podiums, 22 pole positions, and 17 seasons at the age of 37. But at the human level, was a pilot controversial, hateful to some and admired until idolatry by many, many more. It was and remains one person with two faces, to which you do not mind sacrificing their public image if it gives you any benefit competitive.

In one of the many interviews that I could do, I asked him directly: "How is it possible that a person so warm in the short distance provides an image so distant and controversial in his public image?". Her response was one of perplexity. I was not aware of it. And then you told about some facts that acreditaban. "People don't understand you when you say that if you're in your house in Oviedo and comes to visit a cousin, you tell your mother who will respond that you are not. That breaks your charism". But his answer was surprising: "Is that you can't imagine the cousins I go out when I'm in Asturias".

"it will Not understand that, when liderabas the World of 2005 with Renault, said on several occasions that the team don't had helped much to get it". And, again, it turned out that that responded to a strategy. "If I said that was to spur on the team, not to sleep, because only in this way could end up winning the title." It was difficult to assimilate, also, that in the time theoretically happiest of his life, when he had just achieved his first world title in 2005, among her first words went something like "do not owe anything to anyone." "How is it possible that in a time of so much happiness you could say something like this, knowing that it was not true?", I asked him a few years later its manager, Luis García Abad. "Fernando is grateful," I responded. "And to the people who helped you already called them personally".

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Probably true. But, then, why not explain all of this in one fell swoop and avoid misinterpretation? Fernando is so. And it proved once more when in his second spell at Renault, the team invited Spanish journalists to a dinner. I was by his side, talking amicably to all. Approaching Christmas and at the end, I asked if I could do there same survey that THE COUNTRY carried out every year among the elite athletes to choose the best of the season. It was a minute. But his response was incredible: "of that I can not answer. Before you will have to consult the head of the press and if she gives me permission I will answer." "Very well, and where is it?". “In Paris”. So weeks later I received the answers.

in Their struggle against the elements at McLaren

however, the most difficult moments of his career he lived in 2007 when he signed to great fanfare by McLaren and was placed as team-mate to Lewis Hamilton, no one knew. That young pilot had two key elements to his favor, it was English in a british team and had been protected by Ron Dennis, the owner of the team, since it triumphed in go-karts. So Alonso had to fight against the elements to get ahead.

In the first race, in the workshop they applauded like mad when Hamilton overtook the Spanish in the first turns. What caused that José Luis Alonso —father of the Spanish— and their manager to see the following races in the pavilion of Renault. In the dining room of McLaren's, the atmosphere was unbreathable, even to the point that on one occasion, Jose Luis told Fernando that does not listen to Norbert Haug, director of Mercedes— because "you have nothing more to say to you". The final burst of that situation was the trial reopened against McLaren for spying on Ferrari, and the sanction that resulted in the loss of points and about 70 million euros. At that time it was stated that the case was reopened for a few emails between Alonso and Pedro De la Rosa. But that is something they should clarify. The consequence was the loss of a title that should win Alonso and he let out Ron Dennis to favour Hamilton in the decisive moments. Won by Raikkonen with Ferrari.

There he was able to win Alonso his third world title. Instead, it was fired at Renault, who welcomed him with open arms. It seemed then that the doors of the two big teams had closed. And as I've mentioned in several articles. Until Garcia Abad opened my eyes. "You're wrong", said to me one day in the paddock. "We are in a Ferrari". In 2010, he arrived to the team most emblematic of Formula 1. And only a strategic error from the team in the last race prevented him from winning the World cup. The third title will be resisted. And, although he was second twice more, as there were no more opportunities. Ayrton Senna, with his three titles, he is still in the horizon. But Alonso is leaving an image of honesty with himself, despite his two faces, and still one of the best pilots of Formula 1.

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