Former Formula 1 driver, Pedro de la Rosa, believes that Fernando Alonso’s reputation as a difficult man to get on with is perhaps a little unfair.
De la Rosa was recently announced as an ambassador for Aston Martin, with whom Alonso has signed as a driver for the 2023 season.
Team principal, Mike Krack, previously asserted that the 41-year-old will challenge the team to improve and climb further up the grid.
The Spaniard famously fell out with McLaren boss, Ron Dennis, in 2007, and he was never afraid to keep his criticism of Ferrari to himself while he was trying to win the title with them either.
The occasions sarcastic comment can be heard now at Alpine, the team with which the Spaniard won both his world titles in 2005 and 2006 under its Renault guise.
As one of the most competitive drivers on the grid, the 32-time race winner is persistently encouraging his crew members to push themselves to the limit, and that can perhaps come across a little offensive.
However, so long as the team he is with are striving for success as urgently as he is, Aston Martin will enjoy a solid relationship with him.
“I don’t think that Fernando is a difficult guy to handle, he’s just very genuine, very honest,” de la Rosa said.
“The fact that English is not his native tongue sometimes makes him a bit harsh when he tries to describe things.
“But he’s very honest, and what he tells you is what he feels about the car, about the team, about how to be competitive.
“So as long as you always tell him exactly what’s going on, and what is the truth, you will never have a problem with him.
“But the moment you try to hide information or he feels you are trying to keep some information aside, you will have problems.
“He is just a very competitive individual. That’s the reality. If you are as competitive as him, you won’t have any problem with Fernando.”
Despite having entered his forties last year, Alonso remains one of the sharpest and fastest drivers on the grid.
“I’ve always said there are possibly three drivers that are special in Formula 1, I won’t say which names, I’m pretty sure you all know, it’s not that difficult,” explained de la Rosa.
“But Fernando has always been there, I’ve always said that Fernando is one of the best drivers in the history of Formula 1, and when I said this a few years ago, everyone thought I was crazy.
“But I’m still crazy because I think he’s unique, and he’s fully motivated, which is also a very, very, very important detail in the life of a Formula 1 driver, especially when you get to 40 years old.
“I’ve been 40 as well, so I know a bit, that’s why I think Fernando arrives at the best of his talent and his peak of performance.”
Alonso has four races to complete with Alpine, who are leading McLaren by 13 points in the battle for fourth in the championship.
The two-time champion will replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel next season.