Friday, April 11, 2008

F1 DRIVERS :: How Alonso got flattered

Alonso’s problem is that, he was made to believe that he was the best out there and the quickest of them all. After some point of time, due to circumstances, he eventually started believing the (false) hype surrounding him. When Alonso started his F1 career with the Minardi European team in 2001, his teammates were Tarso Marques and in the later part of the season, Alex Yoong. With all due respect to both the drivers, they were not the quickest of drivers out there. Hence, Alonso’s yardstick wasn’t as high as it could have been. This was a serious problem as in retrospect, had Alonso had teammates that were Champion material, he (and the F1 paddock) would’ve known where he genuinely stood. Thus, Alonso was flattered by his teammates in 2001. In 2002, he came back to Renault and sat out the racing season. He got a race drive for the 2003 season and Jarno Trulli was his teammate. He won a race that season in the R23 whose chassis was acknowledged one of the best handlers on the grid. In 2004, he was comprehensively out-paced and out-raced by Trulli before Renault fired him away. Trulli then went on to join Toyota for the remainder of the season. Despite having a better car than Trulli, Alonso finished only a handful of points higher up in the order. In 2005, Alonso drove in a genuinely measured way to clinch the Championship. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that he was not the fastest driver on the grid. Immediately after clinching the title, he shocked his team and the world by announcing his deal with McLaren to drive for the 2007 season. Year 2006 saw Alonso taking the title again. This year also saw Alonso’s whining at its best. He always demanded that the team gave all their support to him alone and not to his teammate. The ways in which he demanded things were very unbecoming of a Champion.

Thus was born the Alonso who, never used to having a teammate that consistently beat him, thought he was the best out there. He joined Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and was all smiles at the beginning. He once again assumed that he was the best out there and that all the other drivers (that includes his new teammate) were anything but useless. Then came the shocker to him in the form of Lewis Hamilton. The rookie taught quite a few driving lessons to Alonso and the rest, as they say, is history.

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