F1 2014 Driver Review: Fernando Alonso

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Fernando Alonso

Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Car No.: 14
Races: 19
Wins: 0
Podiums (excluding wins): 2
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 161
Laps Led: 32
Championship Position: 6th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Once again in 2014, Fernando Alonso dragged the Ferrari car kicking and screaming up the grid, giving everything he could to try and win the elusive third world title that he so craved.

And once again, he fell short. Not by the small amounts of 2010 or 2012, but by an enormous margin. With just 161 points and two podium finishes, this was by far Alonso’s worst season with Ferrari – or perhaps we should say Ferrari’s worst season with Alonso – and proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. For 2015, Fernando will most probably be racing with McLaren, but certainly not with Ferrari.

It was a year of great change at Maranello. The old regime under Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo was ushered out, with Alonso being a big part of it. Quite clearly, he was upset not to win a title with Ferrari, but still rated his time with the team as a nine out of ten. Seems quite generous, especially in light of this year’s disastrous campaign.

Alonso may not need the best car on the grid to win a championship, but when it is as dire as the F14 T, he stood little chance of winning a race. Once again, the Spaniard proved himself to be one of the most gifted drivers in F1, but he is still ‘only’ a two-time world champion. Few would have thought he would be leaving Ferrari without a third to his name, but alas, his era has ended.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

A bizarre year, really, occurred in 2014 for Fernando Alonso. The two-time World Champion had managed to finish second in three of the previous four seasons, despite not having the best car in any of the years. With the new regulations, Ferrari had a golden opportunity to make it right, and yet Alonso could probably argue the 2014 F14 T was the worst chassis he’d had in five years at Maranello.

If you look at the results achieved by Kimi Raikkonen – just 55 points and 12th in the World Championship with no podiums – Alonso’s season of 161, sixth with two podiums looks much better. Neither is anything Ferrari should be proud of, but Alonso’s season speaks volumes, once again, of him doing more with a car than should have been humanly possible.

How he managed to deliver as best he could on track given the still ongoing political machinations around him – some of which he may have orchestrated himself – was my takeaway of the season. Stefano Domenicali started the year as team principal, Marco Mattiacci took over, and now they’re both out in favor of Maurizio Arrivabene. But Alonso’s gone too – likely to McLaren – and how Sebastian Vettel compares may make the Scuderia wonder what in fact, they have lost for the future.

Robert Wickens shares more positive strides toward recovery in new video

Joe Skibinski/IndyCar
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Robert Wickens has made massive steps since sustaining a spinal cord injury in an Aug. 19, 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway.

Since the accident, Wickens publicly has shared his recovery, often uploading videos of his physical rehabilitation on Twitter.

In his most recent update on Wednesday, Wickens shared a video of him walking on a treadmill. Fellow NTT IndyCar Series competitor Tony Kannan, who competes in triathlons during his spare time, also was visible running on the treadmill behind Wickens.

“When I am @TonyKannan [sic] age, I hope to run as fast as him…” Wickens tweeted. “Today was a good day!”

Wickens, who will turn 31 on March 13, first made his return to the IndyCar paddock in last year’s season opener in St. Petersburg. Since then, he’s made a return to the driver’s seat, piloting a specialized Acura NSX prior to the start of last year’s IndyCar race in his hometown of Toronto.

In September, Wickens fulfilled a vow to his wife Karli, by standing with her during their wedding. The new husband and wife also danced together during their reception.

Should Wickens fully recover to resume racing, Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt has stated that the team’s No. 6 entry will be available for him to drive. Wickens continues to remain as a “driver coach and consultant” for the team.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter