Massimo Rivola: Fernando Alonso left Ferrari pit wall feeling 'like idiots'03/07/2022
Fernando Alonso made the Ferrari pit wall “feel like idiots” at times such is his ability to read a race, says Massimo Rivola.
Alonso joined Ferrari back in 2010, the Spaniard seeking a third Drivers’ Championship title and Ferrari’s first since 2007.
It was not to be despite the driver claiming 11 race wins and thrice finishing runner-up in the standings.
Arguably Ferrari’s biggest strategy mistake when it came to Alonso was at the 2010 Abu Dhabi season finale.
The driver went into the race leading Mark Webber by eight points, he left trailing the other Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel by four.
Ferrari made the call to cover Webber with both cars, Alonso and his team-mate Felipe Massa, first pitting Massa in the hope that he could block Webber and, when that didn’t happen, pitting Alonso.
He, like Webber, lost several places that he was unable to recover, both drivers stuck in traffic while Vettel won his first World title.
However, former Ferrari sporting director Rivola says there could have been even more disappointment during their time together had those on the pit wall not listened to the driver.
“Nobody read races like him,” he said told Italian newspaper Il Foglio.
“Many times he made those of us on the pit wall feel like idiots because he could see beyond.
“We were in front of the computers, he was doing another job, but he understood things before the others.
“There are drivers who teach you a lot.”
But it is not just his ability to read a race in which Alonso has earned praise, his race craft said to be amongst the best on the grid.
Returning to Formula 1 last season Alonso impressed Daniel Ricciardo at the start of the British Grand Prix’s sprint qualifying.
Alonso produced an epic first lap, overtaking six cars at the start of the shortened ‘race’, moving himself up from P11 to P5 in the early stages.
“I actually congratulate him for making [sprint qualifying] pretty exciting,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1.
“His start was phenomenal, kept us on our toes. I think as well, it’s cool to see there’s always the question, like with any sport, is age a factor?
“I think his race craft this year has probably been the best on the grid – at least at times. It’s cool to see that. If you’ve still got a passion and a real drive for it, you can keep doing it at a very high level.”
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