Alonso, a premonition, a promise to his grandmother and a victory for history

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“At Renault they have a long-term strategy planned. For 2003 they wanted some podiums, they thought that in 2004 maybe they would be in a position to win some victories, and in 2005 the time came to think about the title. Fernando allowed them to significantly shorten deadlines and also with remarkable ease…”. Does the story have a bell? This is what you read in Mundo Deportivo almost 20 years ago, in the opening paper edition, about the historic event that took place the previous day, on August 24, 2003, when Fernando Alonso achieved his first F1 victory in the Hungarian F1 GP, at the Hungaroring Circuit. 20 years later, Alonso wants to repeat the film.

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Now, 20 courses later, with 2 F1 world titles in his pocket and 32 wins, among other excellent statistics, returns to the magical Hungarian track after the start of the season reminiscent of the start of that chronicle. At that time, Fernando and the diamond team were able to “significantly shorten the deadlines” in Renault’s plan, as the legendary journalist wrote. Raymond Blancafort in one of its 6 pages dedicated to the work of the young Asturian. And now, Almost 42 (July 29, 1981), the man from Oviedo arrived in Hungary with the vigor of that boy. and the same goal of making his current team a winner after a surprise start to the campaign at Aston Martin where the green team also made giant steps earlier than expected.

That day, Alonso became the youngest driver in history to win F1 at the age of 22 years and 26 days, a record broken by Vettel in 2008 (now held by 18-year-old Verstappen).

Circuit marked in red for this 2023

Almost 20 years later, Fernando wants his 33rd win. Aston Martin has been pointing out that this track is favorable for his car for months, as it works well in slow corners. Also, this track has only one straight with DRS, a great strength of Red Bull. Verstappen is the great favorite, but Aston Martin hopes to be closer than the tracks in opposition to Budapest such as those recently in Silverstone or Austria, where the native of Oviedo suffered in a car with less speed.

The Silverstone team has already warned that they may have more options Monaco, Hungary and Singapore. In the Principality, Fernando is close to pole position and victory. Now, in the so-called ‘Monaco without walls’, the green car should work, even if there are fewer options because Monaco is more extreme in that sense.

For now, Alonso started as a favorite to lead the chasing pack, waiting for something to happen to Max. On Saturday it could rain and change things. Alonso wants to win, just like he did 20 years ago at the Hungaroring. This is his first in F1. Now he wants the first in Aston Martin.

The story of a historic day

20 years later, in Mundo Deportivo we recall below the narrative that opened this newspaper 20 years ago, where Raymond Blancafort explained Fernando Alonso’s historic feat in Hungary. His first win. “Qué F1iera”, Mundo Deportivo headlines on its pages 2 and 3, after a cover in which Mundo Deportivo headlined a great “Great!” and the photo of Fernando Alonso at the wheel of his Renault in Budapest 2003. This is the account of that race:

The impossible has been done. For miracles, it just takes a little longer. Yesterday, in Hungary, Fernando Alonso achieved the Spaniard’s dream and long-awaited first victory in F-1, becoming the youngest winner in the history of the category.

At Renault they have a long term strategy planned. For 2003 they wanted some podiums, they thought that in 2004 they might be in a position to win some victories and in 2005 it was time to think about the title. Fernando allowed them to shorten the deadlines considerably and also with remarkable ease.

From the beginning of the year, at Renault they know what their weapons and opportunities are. They have a very aerodynamically efficient car and the best launch and traction control systems in F1, but their engine is the most powerful of the lot. It is clear that their chances, if they are to be had, will have to go through Monaco and Hungary. In the urban circuit of ‘attractiveness’ things did not go well, at least not as expected. But Fernando is one of those who make the same mistake only once: the first and the last. And in Hungary it is clear that he will fight for victory. It was something noticeable in the environment, noticeable in the faces and eyes of the team members, even if, as a spell, they didn’t want to admit it or mention it.

Intuition

Only after taking pole position did Fernando dare to say: “I’m closer to victory than before”. It was a kind of premonition, enhanced by his clarity of analysis: “Ralf starts on the dirty side and we have the best starting system. You have to get out there.” Yesterday, on the Hungaroring track, there was only one pilot: Fernando Alonso. The others surrendered to him, no one could keep up with him. If he didn’t finish with a hat trick (‘pole’, victory and fastest lap) it was only because he didn’t have to go for the fastest lap and it was absurd to take the risk.

When he finally called Michael

Schumacher, the great five-time champion, opened the door for him as if recognizing that the man to retire him was inherited, something that Michael may have already felt from the Spanish GP, when the Asturian forced him from from start to finish second on his wheel.

The race in Hungary was controlled by Fernando from start to finish. He started in the lead and opened an incredible gap in the first few laps: almost two seconds per lap. And he managed to reach the first of his three fill-ups with enough of an advantage to get back on track in second position… only to regain the lead a lap later, when Raikkonen pitted for fuel. From there, his margin ranged from 25 to 30 seconds. And he knows how to hide it. Is there a trick? Yes, two: having a clear bet on being the best in the third sector of the track, and the fact that Webber started well and was ahead of Raikkonen, Barrichello and Williams. Jaguar was slower but they couldn’t catch up until refueling. The championship thus remains more exciting than ever, with three drivers close at hand. The last three GPs will be a total heart attack.

Source: La Verdad

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