“Only in Imola”- Fernando Alonso rewatches his iconic battle against seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher from the archives.
Fernando Alonso, 16 years ago, was a rising star in Formula 1; meanwhile, Michael Schumacher, the veteran of the sport, still had it but was past his best, yet more dangerous than anyone on the track.
This resulted in a scintillating battle between the two at Imola in 2005, where Alonso reveals what it took to defeat the already seven-time world champion in Italy.
He began by saying that his team Renault that weekend was not aiming for a win, rather a top 5 finish, but disaster struck McLaren, who were clearly faster, as Kimi Raikkonen lost power after the first eight laps.
Which gave Alonso a golden chance to pounce on the opportunity of leading the race. But soon, he was contested by Schumacher, who was holding on to the Spaniard’s tail.
This led to a dramatic battle, Schumacher on multiple occasions, was about to overtake, but Alonso held his defence and warded away Schumacher for a while.
Used the traffic, which was only possible in Imola
Alonso then shared his secret that he used the traffic ahead to slow Schumacher down, which prevented him from defeating Alonso on pace and space.
The 39-year-old F1 driver claims that the track design at Imola is the only one that could allow this level of a gamble. Nevertheless, in the end, it paid off, and Alonso kept his fine margin intact.
Imola roared with Alonso’s win, as it was the tiniest of margins that decided the victory. Several years later, Alonso competing for several teams in the various competition, is back in F1 with the same team– a veteran indeed.
On the other hand, Schumacher’s son Mick Schumacher is now a rising star and is competing against Alonso. Life is a circle.