Fernando Alonso is known for his ability to pull a team to his side when it comes to racing. He was recently accused of this trait by his former Formula 1 team-mate at McLaren, Stoffel Vandoorne.
“There were always two or three people on the team who made sure everything went as Fernando wanted it to,” Vandoorne said a few days ago in the press.
Alonso doesn’t want to hear about such accusations and counters them with examples from both the WEC and Formula 1. When he joined the Toyota factory team in the Endurance World Championship (WEC) during his Formula 1 time with McLaren to form the #8 Toyota driver trio together with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, it was he who made the mistakes.
“It was no problem for me to exchange information with these guys because of course they had a lot of experience that I didn’t have,” said Alonso and continued: “I learned a lot from them from the first day of testing. They knew the car, the track and the approach to endurance racing. I was the one who made the mistakes and was the one who asked the questions.”
The Alonso/Buemi/Nakajima collaboration was a great success over the course of one and a half years. In addition to two overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2018 and 2019), the trio also clinched the World Championship title in the 2018/19 WEC season.
But Alonso does not only counter the accusations that he is “stubborn” with the example of WEC. The Spaniard also cites Formula 1 as an example to underline the opposite.
The facts are different,” says Alonso, alluding to this year’s team battle with his former employer Ferrari.
“When you see teammates driving into each other’s cars” obviously referring to the Ferrari collision between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Alonso then references the Italian GP at Monza saying:
“Or comparing other things with each other, and then comparing them to the shots I made during my time, you see that I was giving slipstream at Monza and Spa.
“I know how it works. So when you talk about reputation, you should check the facts first.”