#F1 : How On Earth Is Alonso Leading The Championship? Here Is Your Answer
You may be asking yourself, how it came to be that half way through the 2012 F1 season, Fernando Alonso finds himself 40 points to the good ahead of second place Mark Webber.
Very good question…the answer isn’t as difficult as one might believe it to be.
Let’s start with Ferrari form:
Before the season commenced, there were a lot of question marks over who might have the best overall package, not unlike most seasons. It was pretty safe to say that Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes would be among the stronger teams, with a few surprises. Ferrari however, having abandoned half of last season to concentrate on the F2012, had most of us thinking they would come out with fire spitting out of the black stallion’s nostrils as it stomped about and out of the gate. That wasn’t the case at all. In fact, many were left scratching their heads after the Australian GP when it seemed Ferrari got it all wrong again. Some of my fellow writers and I joked about a horse put out to stud with erectile dysfunction in need of Viagra.
Since the start however, Ferrari have worked very hard to close the gap and have done an incredible job in the race to catch a moving target. They have not yet found that sweet spot but with more updates coming for Spa and beyond, they might be close to matching Red Bull and McLaren in pace.
On to Alonso then:
A surprise win in a wet Malaysia that was almost taken away by a charging but over exuberant Sergio Perez had Alonso miraculously in the lead of the driver’s championship ahead of rival Jenson Button. Alonso has done two things very well. He has consistently finished in the points and has driven the wheels off of a Ferrari that has yet to be convincingly the fastest car on any given GP weekend. I would wager to say that Ferrari have the third fastest car on the grid (behind McLaren and Red Bull) and sometimes the fourth or worse when Lotus, Mercedes and Sauber are on their game. Yet somehow, the Spaniard is able manipulate his F2012 and switch on his Pirelli tyres to get more out of the package than rivals are able to get out of theirs, making very few errors if any.
The nature of the 2012 F1 season:
Certainly one contributing factor is the nature of the season thus far. Pirelli tyres have been an enigma to many teams, engineers and drivers. How to switch them on and when to pit to avoid the sudden drop off in performance which many have termed “The Cliff” has been key and yet has been a mystery. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that we saw a history making start to the season with 7 different race winners in the first 7 races. It wasn’t until the 8th race that we had a repeat winner which happened to be Alonso. This lack of a clear leader and dominant team has helped Fernando in the points race as his rivals all take points from each other.
Alonso’s Formula For Success:
To conclude, we put all of these factors together, Ferrari’s development, Alonso’s skills added to an uncharacteristically spastic points race for which the sum to this equation is a steady Fernando Alonso slowly pulling away with a 40 point lead by the summer break.
It’s not over:
Only half the season is done and dusted. Anything can happen and it most likely will. McLaren and Lewis Hamilton are coming on strong. Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus seem to be getting faster and are ever more threatening. Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull sit second and third and will not sit idly by. The best thing for Alonso to do right now is to hope that Kimi, Grosjean, Lewis and others take points away from Webber and Vettel while he keeps adding to his points total.
There is no secret to his success, however, love him or hate him, you have to respect what he has been able to accomplish.
Author: Ernie Black
From → Formula One