The notion that things and people cannot substantively change their innate nature is expressed in the well known idiom about a leopard and its spots.
Fernando Alonso has become known for a number of years as someone who speaks his mind, with little regard to others and his team’s sensibilities.
During the Japanese GP, the Spaniard described his Honda engine on team radio as being like “a GP2 engine”.
Following the race Alonso was equally direct.
“I feel embarrassed when I’m racing sometimes because it’s frustrating when you see the other cars making mistakes, going off the racing line, getting sideways,” said Alonso.
“You look in the mirror on the straight to look for them and they are already side by side with you.
“The deficit we have on power is like another category.
“It’s tough to race like this and it’s frustrating, but on the positive side both McLarens finished the race so hopefully we have some useful information from that mileage.
“Next year we must change a lot of things on the power unit and on the structure so it will be a medium-term job and for next year, not the next races.”
Given McLaren and Alonso’s turbulent relationship back in 2007, it was no surprise Ron Dennis was less than impressed with his driver’s comments.
“I’m not going to condone those sort of things. It doesn’t show the professionalism I would like all our drivers to show.
“He is in the car, he is frustrated, and his remarks to the technical staff were not a particularly constructive way to communicate with everybody.
“The way for me to deal with drivers is through the management channels of Eric [Boullier, racing director] or in certain circumstances to talk to them myself.
“But whatever I choose to do, however it is done, it remains a team matter.”
In one interview, Alonso cast doubt on whether he would still be driving in F1 next year and Dennis responded, “I don’t know what he means by that comment.
“I spoke to Fernando earlier today, he’s got a contract, he understands the contract. I’m surprised at the comment.”
It appears that big Ron’s punishment paddle is not as effective as the one Sergio Marchionne used on Sebastian Vettel following his outburst in Spa, because the Spaniard is again being publically negative about the future progress Honda will make for the rest of the season.
“Right now we have to be patient and understand in the five remaining races there’s not much you can do”, adding pessimistically, “there is not room to improve much”.
“All our hopes are for next year, but a lot of things have to change – the structure of the power unit and everything is a problem.
“But I’m optimistic. The first results of next year seem OK, so let’s wait and see.”
Alonso is now ‘Optimistic’ but not confident.
“Let’s wait and see…”
The rhetoric has changed significantly at MacHonda and even Alonso’s declaration of hope sounds shallow given that Dennis himself admits, “Yeah, we’re all demotivated,”