Fernando Alonso believes that the wave of criticism he has received during the 2021 Formula 1 campaign.
The two-time world champion has made his return to Formula 1 with Alpine this season. The opening stage of the season has not been impressive for the Spaniard as he was adapting to the A521 car and he was criticized after being eliminated from Q1 at the Monaco GP qualifying. However, Alonso thinks that criticism benefitted him.
“I knew it was a process of adaptation. I thought it would have been faster, because Formula 1 was a natural thing for me compared to the WEC, the Dakar Rally, or Indianapolis , and I thought I would be at 100% quickly,” he said.
“Take Monaco as an example: I was hoping it would be a good circuit for me, but I missed out on Q1. This was disappointing for me. I knew it was a matter of time. The criticism and the comments that were made… It’s not that I liked them, but they were a blessing.”
“They were a blessing because I knew that it was only a matter of time before people started to appreciate if I finished a race in 10th place. Had I always been in front of [teammate Esteban] Ocon, had I always been in the points, they [the critics] would have said what they’ve said throughout my career, which is that my teammate was not at the same level and that the car had more potential, but that I was missing out,” Alonso added.
“Then, if suddenly they think I am done, anything I accomplish is appreciated much more. Some races were not great, like France for example, where I finished ninth. It was a good race, but nothing special. But it was considered to be a super performance because I was starting to do good races again. It was a good thing.”