Fernando Alonso is known to be quite the dominating figure in the paddock when racing for teams. In order to achieve an incredible amount of success in the world of motorsports, one needs to not only be winning on track, but even outside of it.
Playing mind games, especially with one’s teammate, is not uncommon. Alonso has quite the history of outshining most of his teammates to quite an extent. The latest one in F1 being his former McLaren teammate Stoffel Vandoorne.
Between the 2017 to 2018 campaign, Alonso outscored Vandoorne by 67 points to the latter’s 25. Did the Spaniard have an influence on the highly rated Belgian’s performance, or rather the lack of it? Former Racing Director of McLaren, Eric Boullier, provided an answer.
He said, “Not necessarily (Alonso didn’t really make life difficult for Vandoorne outside the car). He doesn’t need that, he’s obviously self-confident enough and talented enough.
“(But) you know, every driver obviously, as part of trying to gather people around him, he’s always trying a little bit of political tricks. To get attention. But not to the point where he is trying to disturb his teammate.”
What happened to Stoffel Vandoorne, the teammate of Fernando Alonso, after 2018?
Vandoorne was axed by McLaren following the 2018 season. However, he didn’t let the disappointment get to him. Instead, the Belgian turned towards other avenues in the motorsporting world.
Since his McLaren days, Vandoorne has taken part in the FIA World Endurance Series, 24 Hours of Le Mans and most recently Formula E. Vandoorne has had considerable amount of success, especially in the latter two events. He ended the 2019/20 Formula E series as runner up.
Even Boullier rated him highly and showed him some sympathy. Boullier said, “He’s (Vandoorne) definitely a very good driver, ok, very fast.
“He came at a time when the car was not at its best, the team was not at its best. And it’s not easy to deploy your wings when you have Fernando next to you.”
Vandoorne is currently listed as a reserve driver for Mercedes. Perhaps in the future we could see the Belgian return for a second stint in F1.
As for his ex teammate Alonso, the Spaniard is all set to retun to F1 next year with Renault, or Alpine as they’ll be called.
In preparation of his homecoming, Alonso has already begun putting the hard yards. He tested the Renault RS20 in Barcelona earlier this month and is due to test the 2018 spec car in Bahrain as well.
After a 2 year hiatus from F1, fans are eagerly waiting for the Spaniard to hit the track and showcase his magic in 2021.