F1 boss praises Alonso’s Qatar F1 performance

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso’s drive to third place in the Qatar Grand Prix drew high praise from Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn.

Brawn, the sport’s managing director of motorsport, declared Alonso his driver of the day in Losail after ending a seven-year podium drought.

The Spaniard headlined a strong weekend for Alpine, which netted 25 points to move into a clear fifth ahead of AlphaTauri in the constructors’ championship.

“Fernando is my driver of the weekend,” Brawn wrote in his latest column on Formula1.com.

“Like Lewis [Hamilton], he dialled into the track very quickly and got the car working well.

“That Alpine looked good all weekend. He’s just enjoying himself so much. He’s in his element.”

A two-time world champion, Alonso returned to F1 this season following a two-year hiatus.

He’s done so seemingly with a more relaxed outlook and has demonstrated a strong working relationship with team-mate Esteban Ocon.

That became evident at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Alonso defended against a charging Hamilton in what proved a decisive moment in enabling Ocon to win.

The pair then appeared to again work towards a common goal in Qatar, the Frenchman doing his best to fend off the fresh-booted Sergio Perez to protect Alonso ahead.

“I’m a big fan of Fernando and I’ve always felt frustrated he only won two world championships for someone of his talent,” noted Brawn.

“He’s a man who is still in love with F1 and it shows.

“He’s hugely talented. Maybe the perspective he’s got now, after some time away from the sport, might be helping.

“It’s brilliant to see him up there on the podium and brilliant to see Alpine doing so well here this weekend.”

Alonso is set to hang around for at least one more season, having confirmed he and the team exercised an extension clause in the 40-year-old’s contract.

Beyond that it’s unclear, with Alpine’s newly appointed reserve driver Oscar Piastri waiting in the wings.

“I think we all want Fernando around for a while,” Brawn said.

“He’s driving very well. He deserves to be there, there’s no question about that.

“It’s great for the sport, great for the fans, great for everyone.”

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