Two Times World Champion, Fernando Alonso Makes It Two Wins in a RowOctober 12, 2008
The 2008 Japanese Grand Prix confirmed two things in my mind: First that Fernando Alonso is the greatest Formula One driver in the world at the moment, and second that this season could not be more unpredictable and exciting if it tried!
So as an Alonso fan I was ecstatic, however, as a Honda fan…well do I even need to say how I felt?
Strangely, Honda chose not to announce their 2009 driver line-up at the home GP. Was this, as Nick Fry seemed to be saying, in his interview with Louise Goodman, because Honda are still holding on for the signature of Fernando Alonso?
You only need to compare Renault and Honda’s 2008 progress to conclude that Alonso would probably be insane to go from a team that has consistently improved throughout the year to a team that has gone nowhere.
Yet another race weekend started poorly for the Honda team. In practice Rubens was slow, Jenson was slower still and qualifying simply reflected this. Jenson (who admitted that he didn’t expect much) struggled to get good balance and couldn’t place himself higher than P18. Rubens, just couldn’t thrash the speed out of the RA108 and later stated that Honda were at the back of the midfield race; he only managed P17.
From not expecting much from the race Honda’s drivers managed to capitalise on the first corner madness with Jenson making up a fantastic eight places (now P10); Rubens too hurled the car up to P14. Unfortunately Jenson’s option tyres didn’t perform well and he quickly slipped down the pack. Primes for the second stint gave the car much better performance, but by then it was too late for Jens who finished 14th.
Contact with Fisichella damaged Rubens’s car and balance; he wrestled with it, holding off a faster Nico Rosberg until finally being taken. Later on Rubens battled with fellow countryman Massa before yielding with 38 laps remaining. That was about as exciting as it got for Rubens who finished P13.
Honda’s home GP, yet another disappointing one. I say it every race but…fingers crossed things can only get better.
With 16 laps to go I looked at the drivers’ positions and put myself in Fernando’s shoes. The two Honda’s were 13th and 14th, the Renaults, first and second. Where would you go given the choice?
As a Honda fan whose F1 heroes are Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, I would love to see them together and winning, at Honda in 2009. However, I think Honda’s chances of securing Alonso are incredibly small.
I also think the way Honda seem to be treating Rubens is rather cruel, it seems obvious that should Fernando join, Rubens would be booted. However, Rubens has largely outperformed Jenson this season and though Jenson is my hero, and the younger driver I’m not sure whether it is fair to do this to Rubens.
Basically Alonso has a straight choice, Honda or Renault for 2009. Renault have brought in 40 new aero designers and despite having a slower engine have pulled themselves up to the front of the grid. Honda, only really have Ross Brawn (granted they have bought others in but they don’t seem to be making the same impact).
Arguably Honda have stopped development of the RA108 in favour of next year’s car, but Alonso would still be taking a huge risk with a move there.
As an Alonso, Button, Renault and Honda fan, I would actually prefer to see both teams stay the way they are (perhaps minus Piquet) and doing well next year. Alonso owes it to Renault to stay and help and Honda owe it to Rubens and Jenson to keep them on.