FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem believes that Fernando Alonso sets a great example for young talents. He also shared details about a phone call with the ‘angry’ Aston Martin driver.
Ben Sulayem is amazed by the performance of the 42-year-old Alonso, who has been competing at an excellent level since his return to Formula 1. Despite taking a break from the series in 2019 and 2020 after a tumultuous comeback to McLaren, Alonso has not lost any speed or his desire to succeed.
He remains as determined as ever and has reaped the benefits of his move to Aston Martin this year. The two-time world champion left Alpine after two years and joined the Silverstone squad, which has so far led him to seven podium finishes.
Aston Martin’s Alonso astounds FIA president Ben Sulayem in F1
At the beginning of the 2023 season, Aston Martin emerged as Red Bull’s closest competitor, with Alonso aiming to win his first Grand Prix since May 2013. However, the team was unable to achieve this victory and has since fallen back in the rankings. Despite this setback, Alonso managed to secure six podium finishes in the first eight Grand Prix races.
Out of the seven podium finishes achieved this year, three were second-place finishes in Monaco, Canada, and the Netherlands. Alonso secured third place at the Bahrain, Saudi Arabian, Australian, and Miami Grand Prix races. His impressive results have positioned him fourth in the drivers’ standings, ahead of the United States GP.
Alonso had a great time outside of Formula 1 as well. He won the 24 Hours of Daytona and claimed his second victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2019. The Spaniard’s WEC journey in the 2018/19 season with Toyota also earned him the drivers’ title after he secured five race wins.
Ben Sulayem opens up on receiving ‘angry’ phone calls from Alonso
FIA President Ben Sulayem is stunned by what Fernando Alonso has achieved since his return to Formula 1. The former Emirati rally driver considers Alonso, the 2005 and 2006 champion, to be a true example for young drivers aspiring to make it to F1.
Alonso’s ideas also add enormous value to the sport. However, when things aren’t going well in Formula 1, Alonso will call Ben Sulayem and make his feelings known.
In an interview with AS, the FIA chief revealed that the Spaniard is a true inspiration for young drivers, having left and returned to F1, and is now as strong as ever despite the extreme nature of the sport.
“He is not just a champion, he is also smart. I am not implying that others aren’t, but Fernando is a truly intelligent champion who is good for the sport. Whenever he gets frustrated, he calls me and says, ‘Boss! President!’, while using some swear words.
However, we are all pilots, and I understand the frustration that comes with the job. Fernando is truly skilled in this sport, and he is vocal about his thoughts, ideas, and suggestions, which adds immense value to the sport. Besides his incredible speed and the improvements he brings to the team, his contributions to the sport are undeniable.”