Marcin Budkowski, the Executive Director of the Alpine F1 Team, says Fernando Alonso’s race craft during his first half of the season has blown him away, and he says the Spaniard is very professional in his approach to racing.
Alonso made his return to Formula 1 at the beginning of the season after two years away, and he has shown himself to still be at the top of his game, even when he has recently turned forty.
Budkowski has seen first-hand how good many drivers have been during his time in Formula 1, but he says Alonso has opened his eyes with some excellent displays, such as in the Sprint race at Silverstone and in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix where he plays a starring role in a car that is not the quickest on the grid.
In the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, Alonso played a huge part in team-mate Esteban Ocon’s maiden victory with impressively defensive display against Lewis Hamilton, with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver unable to find away ahead of the Spanish veteran for more than ten laps at the Hungaroring.
“I’ve worked with a number of drivers a bit more than 20 years in F1 and he is extremely impressive,” Budkowski is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “He’s impressive in his approach, which is very, very professional.
“The other thing that blows me away is his race craft. And I think we’ve seen it in the [Silverstone] sprint race, we’ve seen it in Baku, they were great opportunities to see that.
“What Fernando did in Silverstone was effectively forming a DRS train behind him, because he wasn’t afraid of [Lance] Stroll but he was afraid of [Pierre] Gasly and therefore he eliminated any possible attack from Gasly by putting him in Stroll’s DRS. For me it’s mind blowing almost because we’re sat on the pit wall, we have all the data, we have full visibility on the race.
“He is in the car driving at full speed and he has almost the same analysis of the race that we have on the pit wall with nowhere near as much data and an ability to take a step back. That’s I think the thing that impresses me the most in Fernando.
“I guess it’s 20 years of experience driving Formula 1 cars but not many drivers, even with 20 years experience, will be capable of that.”