Fernando Alonso may no longer be racing for a Formula 1 Championship-winning team — hell, he might not even be the best driver on his current midfield outfit — but he’s still here to serve as the sport’s agent of chaos.
In a recent interview with Motorsport.com, Alonso admitted that he needs “to kill whatever strengths other people have,” by which he means, of course, that he delights in absolutely flexing on everyone at all opportunities, no matter the cost.
This quote was prefaced in the article by anecdotes about Alonso clearing his grid slot before the Austrian Grand Prix and overtaking both Lando Norris and George Russell during the French Grand Prix by cleaning certain parts of the track where no one else would make a pass — no one but the masterful Alonso, of course.
And we’ve also see him play a role in this year’s chaotic driver market. He deliberately told his Alpine team that he hadn’t signed a contract for another team for 2023, allowing the team to get comfortable with the thought that they’d be the Spaniard’s home for the upcoming season.
But that’s not what happened at all. Once Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement, Alonso swooped in to take the vacant seat, leaving Alpine to announce his replacement by Oscar Piastri, who denied ever signing a contract.
Alonso credits, in part, his years of experience as the reason he can pull off those kinds of slick maneuvers both on and off the track — but he’s also apparently dedicated to making everyone miserable. From the story:
I need to make 100% of my thing, and I need to kill whatever strengths other people have. But this I do in everything I practice, when I play anything.
I used to play tennis, and when I play with someone good, I would put the ball very high. Because, like this, you stop the rhythm of them because they are used to hitting the ball very hard.
Playing with professionals, the ball arrives very strong for them so they are used to that kind of shot.
But when you put the ball high, they make mistakes, because the ball arrives very soft. So I can play better tennis when putting the ball high.
Putting the ball high is my only chance to beat them. So I do that automatically.
It’s not only on racing I just need to destroy the strengths of the others, and try to maximize mine.
OK, Fernando. We get it, you like to get aggressive. But it might be time to, y’know, live up to that — especially since teammate Esteban Ocon is beating you in the Championship and all.