It was not easy to manage to steal the show from the Hamilton-Verstappen world championship duel with just three GPs left of the season, but Fernando Alonso in Qatar he succeeded. The third place of the Asturian, at over 40 years of age and seven years after the last top-3 placement testifies to the greatness of the two-time world champion, who seems not to have lost an ounce of his talent in the two years spent away from Formula 1 If possible indeed, as the Oviedo driver himself has observed several times, Alonso seems to have returned to the Circus with an even greater degree of maturity and understanding of the races than in the past.
The Losail race is a splendid example of this. By analyzing the radio messages that occurred during the GP between the Spaniard and the Alpine pit wall, you can guess how Alonso always had under control not only his race, but also that of Sergio Perez, immediately identified as the most concrete rival for a place on the podium . The former Ferrari driver had also imagined the two-stop strategy of the Red Bull standard bearer, which was then promptly implemented by the Milton Keynes team. Below, the most interesting exchanges that took place between the garage of the French team car # 14, on a Sunday that could have allowed Alpine to secure fifth place among the manufacturers.
Alpine: “Ok man, have fun out there. We do a good job ”.
Alonso: “Yes, let’s have fun. It will be a beautiful evening “.
Alonso: “I still have a lot in the tires”.
Alpine: “Yes, received. We just had Perez in the pits ”.
Alonso: “That’s why I told you.”
Giro 24/57 (after Alonso’s pit stop)
Alonso: “I think Perez will go for the fast lap and make another stop, huh? What do you think?”.
Alpine: “Perez just stopped. They put the middle school “.
Alpine: “Ok for pushing, except in high speed corners. Just pay attention to the front left ”.
Giro 46/57 (Perez joins Ocon)
Alonso: “Tell Esteban to defend like a lion”.
Alpine (eng.Ocon): “We have to defend ourselves against Perez, ok? We need to keep Perez behind as much as you can. Spread your elbows ”.
Alpine: “Ok, Perez has passed Esteban, he is still 15 seconds behind”.
At the finish all the tension and emotion of the team and of the Spaniard himself melts away.
Alonso: “I’ve waited seven years for this.”
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