GP GERMANIA F1/2013

Fernando Alonso. In my humble opinion, he is an enigma, pure and simple. He has won two F1 world titles in his time, both in 2005 and 2006 with Renault, but since then he has been on a downward spiral.

His move to McLaren and then back to Renault ended in ignominy. It did seem that heading to Ferrari in 2010 would have given him a new lease of life. But, despite some incredibly impressive drives with uncompetitive cars over the five years, another world championship was never really within touching distance.

Now, he’s gone back to McLaren again, at the ripe age of 34, a decade after winning his last world championship. And as we reported earlier, he is currently the best-paid driver on the grid, raking in €35m (RM165 million) every year. But still, one can’t help but feel like Alonso is acting like a lost soul, almost as if he has some karmic debt to repay, after creating the fiasco in McLaren, back in 2007. Nonetheless, this may be all wishful thinking, as it might have just boiled down to money at the end of the day.

Well, fast forward to the present, and we have Alonso telling CNN’s “The Circuit” that he should have left Ferrari earlier. “Probably, yes. The car was not competitive at all and things were getting more and more sad. So probably one or two years less was the best thing, but you know we tried to do our best and we fought until the end of every single race,” he said.

“After five years in Ferrari, being second all the time, I think it was enough for me,” he added. He went on to say that “with Ferrari sometimes, you win or you lose depending on what the mood of the team in general, of the group in general. It’s a very big team, with some good things, some bad things, and as I said it’s good to experience and to live once being in Ferrari.”

Lying in 15th place in this year’s championship, Alonso has made no secret of his distaste of the current crop of Formula One cars. He feels they are too slow, and that the sound that emanates from them just doesn’t hit the sweet spot. Speaking to CNN, he feels that the current F1 cars really are going in the wrong direction.

“I’m sure that the grid has changed around 50% over the past two or three years so they (current F1 fans) don’t know the Formula One that myself and Jenson and other drivers have experienced,” Alonso said. “There’re the past cars that were maybe 10 seconds faster in our day, so when a young driver arrives in F1 now, they are surprised about the car, but we are disappointed.”

Nonetheless, he believes the McLaren Honda can still be a realistic contender for the world championship next year. “McLaren was a risky project because they were completely new, but we are one team. We win and we lose together,” he said speaking to CNN.

Fast forward to the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, and there seems to be hope on the horizon for the team. Speaking to Autosport, Honda motorsport’s chief Yasuhisa Arai said that the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 will have a revised internal combustion engine, with changes to the combustion chamber, intake, exhaust layout and gear train system. Arai believes the power output “will take it closer to the Ferrari,” and the team aims to meet the Mercedes unit in the 2016 season.