F1 2015 Driver Review: Fernando Alonso

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Fernando Alonso

Team: McLaren Honda
Car No.: 14
Races: 18
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: 5th (Hungary)
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 11
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 17th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

If you would have told any discerning Formula 1 fan ten years ago that Fernando Alonso, newly-crowned world champion for the first time at the tender age of 24, would have just two titles to his name by 2015, you would most probably have been laughed out of the room.

And yet here we are, analysing the ashes of his worst season in F1 since he debuted with Minardi back in 2001 and trundled around at the back of the grid.

The failings of the revived McLaren Honda project are naturally at the root of Alonso’s woe, limiting him to just two points finishes in 2015. In truth, had the British and Hungarian Grands Prix not been as eventful as they were, there’s a good case for Alonso ending the year level on points with the Manors on a big fat zero.

Alonso has been said to have the heart of a lion, and that shone through even in the most troublesome of years. The Spaniard battled hard and vented his frustration, but still appears to have faith in the McLaren Honda project. Indeed, 2016 will be the true test of just how desperate Alonso is for that elusive third title.

And as for #PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe? The answer, at times, looked to be ‘anywhere but here’.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

I’m struggling to think of a driver whose talent is so great and yet got his timing so terrible as Fernando Alonso. His first move to McLaren in 2007 should have brought a third straight World Championship, but the team made a mess of its chance with how things were handled. Then his return to Renault failed to bear fruit; his time at Ferrari coincided with a downturn in car performance and needing to make miracles happening.

And yet somehow, you wondered if Alonso’s luck could get worse. Courtesy of “McLaren Part 2: Alonso Returns,” the sequel was even worse than the original.

Signs were ominous from the off in preseason testing, when Alonso’s mysterious accident in Barcelona cost him the season opener. He never recovered, although so much of that was down to the car. Even Alonso – renowned as one of the best of his generation in exceeding the machinery at his disposal – couldn’t make things work, and the moments of frustration that did bubble to the surface publicly made it clear how trying a time it was.

Part of the problem with modern day F1, and particularly the current regulations that limit the amount of engine development you can make during a year, is that the car at a driver’s disposal sometimes hides driving talent. No one in their right mind would consider Alonso the 17th best driver on the grid but the results said he was this year. It was sad, painful, and brutal to see a two-time World Champion so far down the order… but we got #PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe out of it, so the year wasn’t a total loss.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Detroit


The focus of the Detroit Monster Energy Supercross round was on the mid-pack battle while Aaron Plessinger pulled away from the field, but when he crashed after hooking his foot in the dirt, the results once more looked like we’ve come to expect, with Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac sharing the podium for the fifth time in 10 rounds.

Supercross Results Detroit
Justin Barcia was part of an exciting, four-rider battle in the middle of Detroit’s A-Main. – Feld Motor Sports

For Sexton, Plessinger’s late-race crash was a vindication of sorts. Several times already this season, Sexton has crashed while battling for the lead and the points that has cost him keeps him sporting the red plate. He lost points in Detroit for a different reason, however.

Sexton was allowed to keep the win, but was penalized seven points for jumping in a red cross section of the course. As a result, he dropped four points to Webb and two to Tomac. Sexton is now 17 points behind Webb in the championship hunt.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

One week after snatching the red plate from Tomac for the first time in 2023, Webb stretched his advantage by two. With his second-place finish, Webb holds a three-point lead over Tomac, which essentially means both riders control their fate in the coming weeks. Webb continues to have a sweep of the top five this season with his sixth consecutive podium.

Coming off his worst finish of the season, Tomac rebounded to finish third. His eighth-place result last week was partially attributed to a stiff neck that hindered him in traffic and he still suffered some of those same effects in Detroit. Before Plessinger’s crash, he was destined to be the only rider in the three-man title scrum to finish off the podium in Detroit.

It is surprising what one position can do for one’s confidence.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Justin Barcia scored his fourth top-five of the season. He was part of the exciting four-man battle that dominated the middle stages of the race before Sexton and Webb gained a little separation. Finishing less than three seconds behind Tomac, he kept that rider honest for the entire race.

Coming off his first win of the season, Ken Roczen finished fifth. It was his seventh top-five of the season and it elevated him to fifth in the standings.

Plessinger’s fall took the wind from his sails. He attempted to right his bike after a hard crash, but as it smoked and pinged, he dropped to 13th in the final rundown.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

Hunter Lawrence tied his brother Jett Lawrence with 10 wins each after another dominating ride in the Detroit Supercross race and the results in the points continue to widen. With his fifth win in six rounds and a worst finish of third, Lawrence now has a 35-point advantage over Nate Thrasher with four rounds remaining. Finishes of 14th or better in the final four mains will give him his first 250 championship.

Supercross Results Detroit
Strong starts have been one of the keys to Hunter Lawrence’s success in 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

Jett will have an opportunity to retake his wins’ lead as Supercross heads west for the next two rounds in Seattle and Glendale, Arizona.

Nate Thrasher earned his third second-place finish of the season with a gap of 7.6 seconds to Lawrence. He won the overall in Arlington earlier this season, but a 15th-place finish in the opening round in Houston and 10th in Daytona hurts his championship chances.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Haiden Deegan scored his second podium and fourth top-five in six rounds of his young career. On his way to that finish, he rode aggressively against his teammate Jordon Smith in the heat race. Fans are getting a glimpse of what his on-track personality might be.

Jeremy Martin continues to be the model of consistency. He has not finished worse than sixth or better than fourth in six rounds now and that has allowed him to close to within two points of third in the 250 East championship standings.

Rounding out the top five is Chris Blose, who was pressed into service at the start of the season because of a rash of injuries at Pro Circuit Kawasaki. This is Blose’s first top-five of the season, although he’s steadily improved over the past five rounds.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 East Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

Max Anstie entered the race weekend second in the points, but a hard crash in heavy traffic early in the main forced him to retire after two laps. Earning only one point for the round, he plummeted to fifth in the standings.

The news was worse for Smith, who was dropped out of the top nine in his heat after the altercation with Deegan and failed to advance through the LCQ. In the last chance race, he stalled his engine and had to mount a determined charge. He got only as high as seventh in that race after crashing while attempting to make a pass on fourth-place Jack Chambers.

2023 Results

Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s