Accolades pour in for ‘flawless’ and ‘extraordinary’ Alonso 24 July, 2012 Fernando Alonso with fans in Germany Jul.24 (GMM) Fernando Alonso is Formula 1′s highest paid driver, worth every penny, according to just about every pundit in the port who have only praise for the Spaniard’s mighty weekend in Germany where he outclassed his rivals in both extreme wet conditions in qualifying and in the dry on race day. That is the view of Brazilian correspondent Livio Oricchio, who said after Hockenheim that the Spaniard’s estimated EUR 25 million salary is “a bargain” for Ferrari. Another observer told the Times newspaper: “Whatever Ferrari are paying him, it is not enough.” Former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari told El Mundo: “If you’re a team manager, you want a driver who is fast consistently, adding many points and committing few errors. That is exactly what Ferrari has in Alonso.” Alonso, the only driver with three wins to his name in 2012, is now so far ahead of the field that even if he stayed at home instead of racing in Hungary this weekend, he would return even after the long August break with a healthy lead. Niki Lauda, who interviewed the 30-year-old on the podium at Hockenheim, said he thinks Alonso’s latest win was “a provisional decision” in the 2012 world championship. “He is doing a flawless job so far and he’s not going to forget how he’s done it in the second half of the season,” the triple world champion told Die Welt newspaper. F1 legend Lauda insists it will be a “difficult task” for any of Alonso’s pursuers – chiefly the Red Bull and McLaren drivers – to beat him now. “We are talking about an absolutely extraordinary driver,” former Ferrari driver Patrick Tambay told France’s RMC Sport. “He was opportunistic with a less efficient car at the beginning of the season, and always getting the points or even the win when he could. “He is exceptional at motivating the team, and being consistent in always scoring points at every race, even when it’s just a few points, he still collects them,” he added. Jenson Button, buoyed by McLaren’s return to form in Germany, acknowledged that he needs to start stringing race wins together in order to get back in the title hunt. He also warned Alonso that things could “easily turn around for him but he is doing a great job and he deserves to be where he is”. But Alex Wurz, a former driver and now commentator for Austrian ORF television, agrees with Lauda that Hockenheim was a “preliminary decision” for the 2012 outcome. “Ferrari have caught up with the car, so that on the bad days they are losing far fewer points than they were, and they have Alonso who at the moment is in perfect form and putting the team in a good mood,” he said. “In this respect,” added Wurz, “the points lead that Alonso has now is definitely worth a lot.” Italy’s sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport insisted: “Ferrari is now in a position to dominate the world championship.” “Alonso has never been so strong,” agreed Tuttosport. Related NewsAlonso hints that Raikkonen must improveAlonso: Hockenheim best race of season so farAlonso: Ricciardo was very, very smart – a great fightRed Bull and Ferrari considered protesting MercedesFerrari: We pushed to the limitFerrari: Qualifying was disappointingFerrari: A very busy day of testingRaikkonen: I am not worried about my futureAlonso: I haven’t talked with any other teamDe la Rosa: Ferrari not giving up on this year muddles It must be the new girl, he’s been Russian to get back to the hotel with her after the race. LOL. dimitris Well, without taking anything away from Alonso’s performance and his worth as a driver, he just did what he had to do to defend his position and did it well, as any top driver would. Nothing more, no heroics, just flawless driving. But when Sebastian last year put in race after race, qualifying after qualifying, countless perfect and flawless rounds and races, he was not really given credit for it since it was not the driver, but the car since anybody could do the same with the RB8. I really think that the best driver in the last race was Kimi who fought his way from tenth and provided three of the best hi lites of the season with the passes he made on Hulkenberg, Di Resta and Schumacher. The last one was indeed a piece of art. Clare @dimitris you forgot Nico Rosberg he did a better job then. dimitris @clare Not only Nico, but both Sauber drivers, Perez and Kamui had outstanding races. Any one of the four would qualify for driver of the race. The only reason I picked Kimi was for the three outstanding passes. We had not seen the likes of them, with the KERS and the DRS, for some time. fools @dimitris just stop. Read the article and quit giving finger boy credit when he again lost his home race. Alonso drove perfectly wet n dry son. Andy – London Up until this GP I (and others) regarded Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton as the 3 standout drivers but it seems to be emerging that we only have 2, in Alonso and Vettel. Even though Vettel had a great car last year, to achieve what he did was also the driver, and he has proved that he is world class this year. I like Hamilton but his head has slipped back into 2011 mode. I don’t like the radio messages “there’s no pace in the car”. You never hear that from Alonso or Vettel. If you look at the first few races, the Ferrari was much further behind the McLarens on pace than the McLaren is now behind Ferrari. Both McLaren drivers should stop blaming the car and get on with it. They only scored 1 win when they had the best car at the start, because Alonso has craft, and Vettel has bags of skill.