F1 »

Top ten F1 drivers: Third place.

After asking you to vote for your leading drivers from the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship season, the time has come to start the countdown to the driver you voted the top star of 2008.

Over the next ten weekdays, we will be revealing the top ten in reverse order, with the winner being revealed on Friday, 28 November.

More than 45,000 votes were cast in the F1 poll, with each driver's average score out of ten then being calculated to decide the winner.

F1 Driver of the Year – Third place:

Name: Fernando Alonso
Team: Renault
Car: Renault R28
Wins: 2
Podiums: 3
Pole positions: 0
Fastest laps: 0
Championship points: 61
Championship position: 5th

A handful of races into the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship, Fernando Alonso was publicly bemoaning the lack of competitiveness of his Renault and describing it as only the eighth-quickest car on the grid – out of ten.

Fast forward several months, and the same Alonso notched up more points over the second half of the season than any other driver – meaning had the title been determined by the final nine races alone, he would have clinched his third championship crown. How times change.

Qualifying a lowly eleventh for the curtain-raiser Down Under in Melbourne was an indication of just how much work lay ahead for the Régie over the balance of the campaign, and only the Spaniard's determination and canny ability to stay out of trouble enabled him to claim fourth place at the chequered flag. The problem was, until the Hungarian Grand Prix almost five months later, in terms of results that was about as good as it got.

More happily, whilst Renault's fortunes took a while to improve, the pace did at least step up a gear, with Alonso pulling arguably the lap of the season out of the bag in front of his adoring home fans in Barcelona to line up a barely-believable second on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix in April, ahead of title protagonists Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica and eventual world champion and former McLaren-Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Though the engine would go on to let the 27-year-old down during the actual race, it was nevertheless a sign that things were on the up.

Indeed, only three times in 18 outings did the man from Oviedo fail to make the top ten on the starting grid – and on one of those occasions, in Singapore, it was completely out of his hands, with some observers having even tipped him to steal pole position. What's more, Alonso was the only driver in the field to out-qualify his team-mate – rookie Nelsinho Piquet – in every single race. If anyone had any remaining doubts about just how well the 21-time grand prix winner performed in 2008 and how strongly his motivation continued to burn with an uncompetitive car at his disposal, that statistic alone should have put them firmly to bed.

Whilst on-track results were relatively sparse over the first half of the year – Alonso counting a paltry 13 points from the opening ten grands prix – over the remaining eight he notched up 48, never finishing lower than fourth and in Singapore and Japan in particular producing two of the very finest showings of his glittering F1 career. In the former the double world champion refused to let an engine failure in qualifying sway his focus, as he took full advantage of a safety car period in the sport's inaugural night race to bring himself into play using all of his guile, experience and speed.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28, Japanese F1, Fuji, 10th-12th, October, 2008
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, 3rd place Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 pole position and 2nd place Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, 3rd place Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 pole position and 2nd place Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 pole position and 3rd place Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 pole position and 3rd place Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, 3rd place Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Scuderia Ferrari SF70H, detail
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.