When you think of it, Lewis Hamilton isn’t the rookie everyone is describing him as. So it should be no surprise he’s doing so well. After all, he’s been with McLaren in one way or another for ten years! He knows the personnel, he knows the way they work, and he’s learned his craft under their tutelage. Arriving in Formula 1 when the Formula itself had just gone through so many rule changes levelled the playing field a bit too.
Alonso on the other hand came as the reigning 2-times World Champion. He came from a different team, from not just different tyres but from a different manufacturer of tyres, and tyres that gave a lot more grip than this years tyres do. His previous team was French, led by an Italian; McLaren is a British team led by a Brit – a totally different way of thinking.
No wonder Alonso’s complaining he doesn’t feel at home. Of course he doesn’t. He’s moved from the Mediterranean to Northern Europe, and the difference must be as stark as the weather change. He’s compensating by overdriving the car, and that’s costing him. He’s making mistakes. And Lewis doesn’t.
If Alonso wants to start winning again, he needs to stop thinking he’s the World Champion, because this year he just won’t be if he continues driving the way he is. Instead he has to realise that he’s the rookie at McLaren, and start learning the ropes. We all know he’s got the Cajones, but does he have the brains?