When Michael Schumacher chose a change of direction towards a Ferrari drive many were bewildered. After many successful years at Benetton there was a worry that he’d lose his focus and ability to triumph in a team who hadn’t fronted the pack for a good few years.
Of course that move transformed his career and his team to newer unfathomable heights. It proved to be a spectacular revelation.
It’s sometimes hard not to compare Fernando Alonso to the German driver as the double world champion resembles Michael in a variety of ways. Fernando mirrors the good, the bad and the ugly. His uncompromising attitude whilst at times destructive can at the same time seem determined and revolutionary. His pace is electric, and when Fernando is reaching peaks, he’s practically unbeatable.
The Spaniard’s redefinition of the sport was inspirational. As Schumacher edged into retirement Alonso lead the way for the future of the sport and portrayed the energy and excitement that many thought would be lacking upon Michael’s retirement.
His second title victory which prevented a final Schumacher success allowed an optimistic vision to emerge in the aftermath.
Yet he was simply undone in a clumsy move to Mclaren where the team unashamedly and obviously favoured Lewis Hamilton, leaving Alonso tempted into controversy and the accompanying team in fighting.
His rapid return to his title winning Renault team however suffered upon his return as without Alonso his team had lost their sparkle and dominance and were now evidently relegated to a mid field battle.
So now the former world champion heads to Ferrari in the most enticing and sensational transfer seen in Formula 1 in recent years.
A proven champion and arguably best driver in the field moving to a team known to create champions is definitely a mouth watering combination.
You really hope that despite his slight arrogance and stubborn nature that Fernando will return to former glories and show what the Formula 1 world has been missing from a talented driver stuck in an under-performing team.
Renault this season have been frustratingly weak. Fernando has raged behind his machine and pushed the car to its limits. He has forced an output from his car close enough to the possible in a car which has shown little race pace this season.
You know that another season of underwhelming scenes would do much to further reverse the former successes of seasons gone by. He had no choice but to look elsewhere for the resurrection of his title winning credentials.
The expectant following for Formula 1 expects Alonso and Ferrari to demolish the competition, providing Ferrari can elevate themselves back to the forefront of the field. Fernando’s skill and track record should provide the inspiration for such an improvement, as for a driver who outperforms his car on most occasions the progress begins the second he takes to the track in pre-season testing for 2010.
He has an added incentive that the number one drivers seat is more achievable in Ferrari compared to his ill-fated move to Mclaren. He will be driving for a team where the team itself focuses equally on both its drivers.
It may not be an instant success when Fernando begins his preparation at the close of this season.
He will be required to regain the effortless composure and stunning brilliance seen in his two seasons of accomplishment at Renault, which may have somewhat been dented since his failure to find himself in a championship winning car.
His bold qualifying displays and edgy performances this season have shown however that the Spaniard does not want to fly a white flag; instead he is working as tirelessly as ever to keep himself a fixture at the forefront of the sport.
It is clear that no-one will be able to avoid the name Fernando Alonso.