Former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari says Fernando Alonso's talent behind the wheel is the reason why Ferrari find themselves top of the drivers championship after the first six races of the season.
In a wide open campaign so far, Alonso is one of six drivers to have won a race and has picked up points in every race to sit three points clear of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in the standings – despite the problems Ferrari has faced thus far with the F2012.
Writing on the BBC Sport
website, Alguesuari said the fact that Alonso is top despite those problems is a sign of his talent and an indication that he has been the best man on the grid so far in 2012.
“The drivers are more important this year,” he wrote. “When everything is so close, the drivers make the difference. That's why you see Fernando Alonso leading the championship. His car was 1.5 seconds a lap slower than the best in Australia, a second slower in Malaysia and China. It has never been on pole position, and he is leading the championship after six races! He hasn't got the best car, but he has shown that at the moment he is the best driver out there.”
By contrast, McLaren's Jenson Button has lost ground in the title race with a poor run of form that continued in Monaco, where he failed to score after a clash with Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham.
However, Alguersuari said he was sure that the Briton would bounce back into contention in the coming races.
“I said before the start of the season that one of the drivers I thought would have the best chance this season was Jenson Button,” he said. “Jenson is the type of driver you really want in a team because he deals with every situation in the most mature way. He knows how to cope with whatever the car is capable of on a given day.
“You need to deal with that situation this season and get the best out of the car - as Alonso is proving. When the season is so close, you want a driver who does not make any mistakes, because at the end of the year the one who has made the least mistakes will be the one who will make the difference. Jenson has not had a great run recently but he remains one of the best drivers and I think this season is open enough for him to come back.”