Pat Symonds is one of the people that know them best to Fernando Alonso, because not in vain it was one of the heads visible of Renault at the time that the Spanish competed for the French training.
until a few weeks ago, the Technical Director of Williams has reviewed his career in an interview granted to Motorsport Magazine and, during the same, obviously Fernando Alonso has had his share of limelight.
To Symonds, discover Fernando Alonso was a shock, and soon realized that I was with a young pilot very special. “I Thought: ‘wow, this guy is different’. It was faster and consistent than our pilot number 1 of the moment (Giancarlo Fisichella) and I rang Flavio tonight to tell you that this boy was very special,”, said Symonds.
The veteran british engineer has worked with riders such as Ayrton Senna in the Toleman or Michael Schumacher in his time with Benetton, and, along with Fernando Alonso, constitute the podium of Symonds. “Fernando was incredibly competitive, it had the same self-esteem of Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. They know that they are the best. He was a great pilot, maybe not as much as Michael, but very, very fast anyway. During the time I worked with them, I would say that Michael was the fastest, then Fernando and then Ayrton. But it was the first year of Ayrton, and I’m sure that the people who worked with him when he won championships would not agree with this assertion”, recognizes Symonds, with the three riders worked during its first phase, in the Formula 1.
But, Symonds acknowledges that certain aspects of the attitude of Fernando Alonso prevented him from to fit in with the Spanish in the same way it did with Michael Schumacher, ensuring that Alonso was not delivered to 100% in certain moments of your stay in Renault. “If the car was not on your site, sometimes Fernando gave it all. As a team player, he got carried away at times and never created a bond with him like I did with Michael, nobody in the team did, it was a bit of a loner. Is well adapted to this era of racing to the sprint because it was relentless, but don’t underestimate their ability to adapt. With the right coach, could still win titles,”, says Symonds confident that the spaniard can still shine in their career.
One of the most eye-catching Fernando Alonso in his beginnings it was his aggressive style of corner entry, something possibly influenced by the Michelin tyres of the time. “When he was with us, he had a riding style very distinctive, had a turn of steering wheel initial very fast. Not currently, maybe it was for the features of the car or the tires. I used to wait too long to jump into the vertex, and then, very quickly and very aggressively, getting into the car. In this way he killed the understeer to the average curve that is inherent to a Formula 1 car”, ” says Symonds rightly, it affects how different is the driving style of Alonso current.
Symonds also spoke of the episode more embarrassing of his career and one of the worst in the history of the races: the accident intentional, of Nelson Piquet Jr. in the Grand Prix of Singapore 2008, which led to the victory of Fernando Alonso. “Never try to justify what Singapore, but certain pressures were indescribable. FLavio told me that we had to win a race this year, or Renault is going to go. I regret deeply because it changed everything and shattered me. He had a career of which to be proud and he was nothing by an incident that was very complicated to restore”, recognized a Symonds who was disbarred for a time and returned later as a consultant to the Marussia and Technical Director of Williams.