Alonso, Minardi, Paul Stoddard discussed on The Autosport Podcast
Completely circumstances, I'm sure the second person on this list would have done exactly the same thing in that position, but the point is it was Mark Weber, who was there and who got that result. And I think it's just such a big, it was such a big day from an Arduino fans. And it's so equal across the rest of the rest of the criteria. We're looking at, I would nod Jim into second place, even though I was doing a list of great Grand Prix drivers, there's absolutely no way I would be arguing these two around. Well, let's do let's do our second place now, which are going to give away our first place, but let's argue amongst between two and three. In second place, James you perts Fernando Alonso. He didn't score any points for minardi. He started 17 times, yet you put him above Mark Webber. So give us your reasoning for that and I think Kev might ever an argument against it. Well, I mean, you know, Alonso like Weber he's a rookie when he comes into Formula One, but minardi is in such a worse position at the start of 2001 than it is in 2002, so it's just been taken over by a Paul stoddard who's kind of rescued the team from certain collapse because it was owned by gabriele rumi, who was a. He owned the fond myself Formula One team and the form meta wheels company, but he had he had a terminal illness. So he was kind of desperate to offload this asset. They had already been one sale to the PSN telecommunications company that had fallen through. Start art sort of picked it up and this story is fairly well known that the mechanics worked around the clock to get cars built up and shipped out to Australia. Poor old tarso marques we've mentioned him a couple of times. He comes back in to drive the second car and it's kind of a bit of a bit of a brick really of whatever pieces they can pull together. So it's fair to say that Alonso probably did have the better of the two cars, but my word does he make the best of it. I found a quote from the San Marino Grand Prix report issue where the designer Gustav brunner is commenting on Alonso qualifying 18th ahead of both the benetton drivers. Button and visit Keller, and he was saying, well, our car shouldn't be able to do that lap time, so I can only assume that it's from the driver. With the worst car in the field, he frequently embarrasses faster machinery, so he beat both benetton's imler, Barcelona and the a one ring. Where he was 18th each time, he also out qualified both arrows, so Verstappen and Enrico bernardi in Monaco, Hungary and Suzuka. It often be a Jaguar and a Prost as well. At the U.S. Grand Prix, he was 17th, and that's right towards the end of the season. And he had qualified Jacques Villeneuve's BAR, which I just found absolutely astounding. As Kevin mentioned, he only lost his 100% qualifying record to sort of factors outside of his control, so there was a gearbox problem in Malaysia and in Canada, he was ahead of Marquez, but he had his times disallowed because of a front wing that was below the regulation height. Alex soon comes in for the final three races to bring a bit of money to the team and Alonso blows him away. But Alonso also has to his favor in a really strong race stripes. And the one that everyone sort of points out is Suzuka where he beat Olivier panis BAR both arrows and hunts Howard for instance Prost. He finished 7th he finished 11th at Suzuka. Just a really strong drive that people at the time may not have noticed, but just summed up Alonso's relentless pursuit of any position available that you still see now driving in machines that aren't quite at the forefront scrapping for any position it doesn't matter what it is. I'm just going to kind of argue and get myself ready to agree with James, but Alonso's entire career really is about being he's one of those rare drivers that can make a car be a level higher than it actually is. And I don't mean it can go faster than it can because that's impossible. But in the worst car in the field, he managed to get it into the midfield. When he was at McLaren, that had a midfield car he dragged it into the points. When he was at Ferrari, it should have been a podium finisher, and he managed to almost win a couple of world championships with it. And so thank goodness for everyone else that he was never in a dominant F one car, you know, Lonzo never had a Red Bull that Vettel had or the Mercedes at Lewis Hamilton had. And that's really the difference between him having two world championships Lewis having 7 and as we talk now and Sebastian vet will have in full. I think he's absolutely right up there. I think I'd have him ahead of head of Vettel in terms of his career relentless performance. Yeah, I completely agree with everything that James has said. I just think if we're just looking through the sort of the minardi magnifying glass, if you like. It comes down to the waiting of Melbourne and probably if I was making this. If I've been writing this list, I probably would have had Alonzo number two as well. But as I'm being the devil's advocate person, I keep thinking about Australia 2002. So whether it's second in the Lonzo therapy, if you're doing the best drives you'd ever sat in the minority, then Alonso's number one, isn't he? Yeah. Well, let's get on to number one then a name, synonymous with the team, Pierre Luigi martini, started 92 times. Scored 16 points, best finish fourth. He would start second on the grid. It was a front row starter in 1990 in Phoenix, and when we talked to him for a 2006 auto sports piece, a series that we called the masters degree. Not short of any confidence or assessment of his own standing. He said, after 20 years, I'm the driver that drove for minardi. Nobody remembers Alonso or fisichella, everyone remembers martini. A few people remember a chap called Alonso, not sure of a bit of confidence there, but number one on your list, James. I mean, this is probably the only list that we'll ever make where Pelosi martini comes top. But there is just no question about it by every metric. He's the most important driver in minardis history because you mentioned how many starts he had. He had three different spells with the team. He was its original F one driver in 1985, where the car was just absolutely hopeless. We talked before about Nani's poor reliability record, a terrible in 1985 as well. When he comes back to F one after a spell in form of 2000, which he kind of needed to rebuild his career, frankly. We mentioned earlier Luis Perez sala, he comfortably had the measure of him, and pretty much every teammate that he had at minardi. He was the stronger driver. He's also helped by the fact that he drove for minardi at the point when it was at its most competitive. So he was able to get that front row start in Phoenix. He also led its only ever race lapidus to really 1989. Which sort of roughly coincided with Nigel Mansell decided to reverse in the pit lane, so that was kind of hidden from the broadcast at the time as everyone was watching Mansour and this piece of history was being ignored. But he has just so many glittering moments in qualifying and strong race drives. I mean, he scores its first ever point in Detroit 1988, and the thing that I really wanted to talk about was the end of the 1989 season where he'd had to miss Suzuka due to rib pain.