Shanghai was the place designated by McLaren to make a leap of quality very appreciable in this beginning of the season. After the fifth start of Melbourne, the English team rushed to say that it was only the tip of the iceberg of the 2018 car, the MCL33. “It’s a matter of weeks that we have an almost new car and we gain performance to leave behind the middle zone,” he repeated for more than a week.
But in Bahrain there was a setback and in the third meeting … oranges from China. The fall in benefits is confirmed. The improvements have been delayed and the doubts about the objectives that were marked in advance are skipped. It seems that they have fallen short in the concept of a car that was thought among the best chassis on the grid.
They trusted that with an engine like the Renault it would be close to Red Bull, but the chassis of Milton Keynes is light years away from the one that Fernando Alonso handles today. Instead of complaining and getting depressed, the Spaniard prefers to clench his fists and look for the best shortcut every day to come back in the race.
His 17 positions won from the start to the finish, in three races illustrate the performance he is offering this year. Today, Fernando taught another masterful lesson of piloting, with a slow car, inferior in benefits to almost the entire middle zone, with which he achieved a seventh out of any kind of calculation. As a cherry on top of a perfect performance, he managed to overtake Sebastian Vettel, in a situation he imagined in his best dreams for some time.
ALONSO PROVOKED IT
Someone might think that it is easy to overtake a depleted car, which could barely turn, but Alonso had previously passed a Haas, with many more horses and speed, to find the opportunity. On the penultimate round he used the DRS on the back straight to stick to the German’s Ferrari as much as possible and jump in on it in the first corner after the home straight, took the inside and closed the gap to the German to get in front of the Ferrari after the second and beat the seventh position to Vettel, who complained on the radio as is usual.
“His car was hit, he had steering problems, they were at a clear disadvantage and he was losing more and more, I saw that on the straight it would be impossible to overtake him, even with the DRS, he could not catch him, so as it opened a lot I thought that In the first corner I could try it on the inside and the first one went well, and I think we have to be happy, we are seventh again, adding points in the three races “, summed up Alonso.
Marc Gené illustrated better than anyone what happened: “Alonso takes oil from where there is none”. If you compare with Stoffel Vandoorne, with identical car. Fernando accumulates 20 points, (already above the 17 of all 2017), while the Belgian adds 6. They can wake up in McLaren to not always be aware of their gifts.