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Alonso: Reputation is one thing and facts are different

Fernando Alonso has often been described as his own worst enemy, a driver who packs a bag full of polemics, not a team player and as a result the implication is that he might have attained much greater success had he made the right choices.

But the Spaniard is adamant that this is a misconception when he told reporters at the FIA Prize Giving Gala in Paris, “Reputation is always one thing and the facts are different. When you see crashing teammates, and things like that, as we saw this year and you see every year between teammates.

“Then there are my images, where you’ll see the slipstream [I gave] at Monza and slipstream in Spa. I know these collaborations. So when we talk about reputation, it is better if we look at the facts.”

Alonso was in Paris to collect his trophy for becoming 2018/2019 World Endurance Champion (WE) with Toyota Gazoo teammates Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.

The double F1 World Champion continued, “It wasn’t a problem to share with these two guys because obviously, they had the experience in endurance.

“They taught me a lot from the first day of testing. They knew about the car and you knew about the circuit, and they knew about their approach on long-distance races. I was the one always making the mistakes or making the questions.

“It’s not that I was happy jumping out of the car, because I always want to drive, but every time that I was jumping out of the car and they were going in, it was like less stress for me because I knew they were doing the right things. So it was a lot of trust between us.”

Alonso has prioritised the Indianapolis 500 for next season as he continues his quest for the Triple Crown of Motorsport but, before that, he will tackle the Dakar Rally at the turn of the new year.

He explained of his adventure in less than a month, “Do I go there to enjoy the experience? Yes. If I go there to make the most of it? Yes. But if I think of it in terms of winning Dakar, I don’t feel ready.

“I’m perfectly aware of both my lack of experience. I think you know, there are races that I attempted, like Indy, or Le Mans or Daytona, I felt quite competitive and that I could good fight for victory. In Dakar, I don’t think I’m at that level.

“But I will play a different strategy. I will not be the fastest but hopefully, I will be in a good position in the end,” ventured Alonso.