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