Fernando Alonso: A profile of the Ferrari driver

Fernando Alonso only reached the top step of the podium once in 2011

Ferrari started the season with their worst car in nearly 20 years - and yet they are better placed after the first eight races than they have been since 2008.

There is one main reason for this - Fernando Alonso has driven stupendously, underlining why so many of his rivals consider him to be the best driver on the grid.

Alonso has not put a foot wrong, while at the wheel of a car that, at the start of the season at least, was very difficult to drive, and has not let a single point go begging.

The same cannot quite be said of the team - there is the suggestion that even better results could have been obtained at a few races had the strategy brains on the pit wall been a little more alive.

All the while, the car - and the results Alonso has been delivering with it - have been getting better and better.

If Ferrari can maintain that upward trend in performance, Alonso will be very difficult to beat this season.

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