Another Win for Alonso
So Fernando Alonso has extended his lead in the Championship by winning at Silverstone. I did my best to mix things up a little by predicting a win for Raikkonen but the best he could manage was third. Such is life.
But Alonso now runs the risk of what I call “PWS” – Perpetual Winner’s Syndrome. This is the effect on many of us when a driver wins too often, creating a feeling of inevitability about the outcome of each race and encouraging us to want someone else to win for a change. I make no secret of the fact that PWS is one of the reasons why I dislike Mickey the Shoe so much – he has ruined whole seasons by the boring predictability of his wins.
Of course this is unfair but we can’t help it; that smug grin of the Perpetual Winner brings out the support for the underdog in us and we cry out for someone to spoil the party. This is especially true when we know that the win was in large part due to the superiority of the car.
It is PWS that makes me cast doubts upon the greatness of Fangio (always in the right car at the right time), Andretti (who wouldn’t have won in the Lotus 79?) and Prost (another man whose genius seemed to be in always having the best car). Compare these with the way in which Piquet and Senna won their races; they were hard-fought battles, sometimes against superior equipment, and they went to the wire. Who can doubt that they were worthy of their championships?
For illustration of my point, have a look at this account of Senna’s European Grand Prix held at Donington Park in 1993. Included is a video of the first lap in which Ayrton goes from fifth to first place.
I know that, just because a driver wins a championship in the best car, he is not automatically less than the best driver. But how can we tell, if we don’t see him win races in less competitive equipment? To give M. Schumacher his due, many of his early wins were with Benetton when they were still less than the best. So we know the man can drive; but better than anyone else? Case unproven, I think.
Alonso is now the one who flirts with PWS and, if he carries on winning monotonously, we might well transfer our sympathies elsewhere. But, for the moment, his peers are close enough for us to forgive him. The Renault is an excellent car with superb balance and good speed; yet the Ferrari is on a par with it and the McLaren not far behind. And I am being honest when I say that Fernando ran a good race and deserved to win.
Watch out if Raikkonen gets a Renault for next year, however…