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F1 Driver Review: Fernando Alonso

Dec 16, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of China - Previews Getty Images

After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year.

Second place, but a distant second, for two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso…

FERNANDO ALONSO

No. 3 Ferrari
2013 Stats: 2nd Place, 2 Wins, 9 Podiums, 14 Top-5s, 17 Top-10s, 89 Laps Led
Average Start: 6.0
Average Finish: 5.0
DNFs: 1

DiZinno says: Expectations were raised after Alonso’s near giant-slaying performance in 2012 with a worse chassis, and a near-perfect season that only lost its title hopes at Spa and Suzuka. So when Alonso came out of the box with wins at China and Spain, the latter after a brilliant strategy to push on the Pirellis for a four-stop strategy rather than run at a slower, conservative pace, hopes were raised again. Still as the season dwindled the car’s pace dropped off, and to Alonso’s detriment he didn’t always maximize it in qualifying. But no one fought harder in the races, and Alonso remained a potent force on Sundays. He just needs a bit more on Saturdays if he is to recapture a title.

Estrada says: Don’t listen to Bernie. Alonso earned his money in 2013 by regularly defying the limitations of the F138, a car that took him to early-season wins in China and Spain but noticeably dropped off in the second half of the year. The lack of progress on the car was disastrous for Alonso’s ebbing title hopes, which were snuffed out in Sebastian Vettel’s season-closing assault on the record books. Racing’s a team sport and Ferrari must deliver for the Spaniard in 2014 if he is to truly stand a chance of breaking Vettel’s dominance.

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