I definately conccur with you and Belatti that many times Magic Alonso is driving the hell out of the Renault car, and that's a real pleasure to watch. And I admire him as a pure racer and a proven champion.
But, I do have a impression that he's not fully supportive...as much as Renault deserves...or as much as I would like to hear. Here is how I see it (and sorry for the length):
At Hungaroring, in 2004, I had a short interview with Fernando after qualifying. It was my first race as a reporter so you bet I was naive, did not understand how to get answers I want, and thought that there is still some sentimentality in this sport. So, at the end of the chat, I asked Alonso how committed is he to Renault, since he established himself as a hot star of that brand. I asked that much more as a fan, much less like a reporter. And he replied that Michael Schumacher and Ferrari are a good example that commitment in F1 exists, that the relationships he builds inside Renault are very important to him, the he owes them much for his results, so he sees his affirmation and future in this team.
But, a year later, the first hit came – the revelation of the deal with McLaren, the bitter opponent from that very season. I bet Renault felt betrayed, at least a bit. Then, towards the end of the next season, the second hit – shocking accusation that the team leaves him feeling alone, that the team is not helping him enough in the fight against Schumacher, that Fisichella is not helping him....I mean, accusing the team that is not giving it all in that fight (which they did won and compromised next year’s car) was really low in my view.
Then McLaren...I would not comment it. And now back to Renault. I’m following his interviews regularly and I see he’s blunt and frank....but already in Malaysia or Bahrain (can’t recall exactly) he says that his patience would not be long with that car and results. That sounded more like a threat, rather like a motivational push. All the time he’s been critical of the car, its weak points, the strategic errors of the team...And that’s obvious, honest, it’s the reality, we see that....and even though he said racing in the midfield is a new challenge which would make him busier and better driver, one can clearly sniff the frustration (which he admitted in Bahrain). I got the impression that he really can’t stand fighting for the small points like he did in the early years with this team, and has no intention to swallow that and wait for better times = to grow with the team again.
I’ve recently read Martin Brundle’s half-term report http://www.itv-f1.com/Feature.aspx?Type ... e&id=43189
and he has putted what I’ve been writing with much less words, but also much harsher. Our impressions relatively match.
Michael Schumacher used to thank his team all the time (like a parrot), I remember him even buying presents for all the members of the race team....something Fernando is lacking I guess.
If he shows his team some more faith and patience parallel to his pushing / demanding, then I’ll correct this opinion. Until then, he’s not the greatest team – player in my eyes.