Video: Best lap ever

Fernando Alonso, RenaultJenson Button this week told F1 Racing editor Matt Bishop that he thought the two laps he drove at the start of the European Grand Prix two weeks ago were two of the best ever driven in the sport.

That’s an enormously bold claim and very hard to back up without much video to support his claim.

But what I do know is that Fernando Alonso’s first lap at the Hungaroring was one of the best ever – and I’d make a case for it being the very best. Watch the video and judge for yourself:

I picked apart the lap last year in this post – to summarise, it isn’t as though Alonso leapt from 15th to sixth because he got lucky at the first corner. In fact, he was crowded out, and had to make up his places around the lap, which he did in tremendous style.

It’s just what happened to Ayrton Senna at Donington Park in 1993 – only Alonso passes even more drivers!

The video vividly demonstrates just how bold and confident Alonso was, how he flung the car from turn to turn, forcing the tyres to heat up despite the cool conditions, giving him more grip and flying past his rivals.

The coup de grace is the pass on Felipe Massa at the end. Not caring that Massa was team mate of then championship rival Michael Schumacher, Alonso dived past him at what looked like an impossible spot.

For what it’s worth, Button made his way up from 17th to fourth within a couple of laps of the Nurburgring. But with the cameras pointing elsewhere, and apparently no onboard footage, it’s hard to judge just how impressive it was.

Photo: LAT Photographic / Charles Coates

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9 comments on Video: Best lap ever

  1. If there was one race that he deserved to win based truly on his ability over other drivers that was the one!! But I somehow feel that walking out of that race with about 10 laps remaining gave him enough momentum to win the championship.
    A Toast to a awesome drive in the rain!

  2. Chris Jansson said on 3rd August 2007, 19:46

    Absolutley, now when Schumi has retired (being a Schumi fan) I can say that it is some impressive laps of Alonso.

    One thing that springs to mind is that maybe Fisichella did a better job as 2nd driver considering the fact that he made Schumacher hit him atleast two times in the 2006 season, one on the Hungaroring where he damaged his frontwing and the second time he punctured his left rear wheel (I think it was, considering that T1 at Interlagos is a left while trying to pass Fisichella on the outside). But it could’ve been Schumacher beeing hotheaded aswell, or both.

  3. Carldec said on 4th August 2007, 0:06

    When Fernando is on his game, he is one of the greats of all time. This video is proof of that.

    Chris, I love how you give Fisichella credit for hitting Schumacher… LOL. Fisichella was a terrible number 2 driver. Look at his bumbling at the race in China or his rediculous freak out when shumi came up behind him… He made a ton of mistakes last year, finishing behind Shumacher when Fisi had arguably the better car. He didnt even qualify in the top 10 in two races last year when he had arguably the best car.

    No, Flippy boy was the best number 2 in 2006. dutifully blocking when needed, qualifying well, taking points from Alonso at critical times. Micheal just couldnt overcome his crash in austrailia, his retirement in Japan and his parking job at Monico.

  4. SoLiD said on 4th August 2007, 2:11

    great driving indeed, his move on massa was great and he made it look so simple.
    Schumi did drive really great as well with bad bridgestone wets… it was obvious;.. and I’m absolutly no schumi-lover … and again last race Alonso showed why he’s a two time world champion … I don’t believe much of massa’s bad tyres, Alonso is just the better driver.
    In this video he shows his great abbilty to warm tyres (as we always see him do on warm up laps) -, be smart and a great driver… He obviously had great convidence in his car… and when that’s there noone (almos noone) can beat him)

    Great drive!!

  5. Journeyer said on 4th August 2007, 6:20

    Alonso is right there when it comes to on-track driving. He’s good enough to beat a determined Schumi, and Kimi last year! A shame he let Lewis rattle him a bit this year. I just don’t like his off-track attitude.

    As for better #2 driver, it’s easily Massa. 2 wins, picked up the points when needed, was at the sharp end more often (although he also made bad mistakes in a few tracks last year, notably Sakhir and Albert Park).

  6. Tommy B said on 4th August 2007, 11:23

    Haha jenson. Alonsos first lap was amazing and he drove so well in the wet using the karting line. He showed shumi the rain master how its done :)

  7. Chris Jansson said on 4th August 2007, 12:01

    Carldec, I didn’t say Fisichella was the overall best 2nd driver of last year. What I said was that he did actually provoke Schumacher to hit him (or whatever you like to think) two times last year.

  8. Mad_Man_Moon said on 23rd December 2007, 17:24

    All well and good, but wasn’t Senna’s lap in the rain?

    Seriously, there still hasn’t been a better lap than Senna at Donnington.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd December 2007, 17:55

    Well as I wrote last year Alonso’s first lap at the Hungaroring impressed me more. That was in the wet, just as Button’s was at the Nurburgring this year.

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