|© AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
Fernando Alonso’s reserve to battle against Red Bull – which has won the last three titles – is nearing depletion after Ferrari has time and again failed to provide the Spaniard a consistent race-winning car.
This season, Sebastian Vettel and Alonso are the only two drivers to have registered multiple race victories – two each – but while the German is leading the championship, the Ferrari driver is 29 points adrift in third.
“The irony is that while Ferrari's car is more competitive this year than it was in 2012, they have lost their ability to maximise its potential,” the BBC reported on its website. “Red Bull, by contrast, are not as quick as they were last year - although the car is still out-and-out faster than the Ferrari - but Vettel is so far showing Alonso-like levels of consistency.”
Dogged by reliability issues in Bahrain and a poor strategic call in Malaysia, Alonso’s frustration may have resulted in an uncharacteristic drive in Monaco.
In the Principality, Alonso lost two positions on the track; one to Force India’s Adrian Sutil and the other to Jenson Button of McLaren, both of whom were driving an underpar car to that of the Ferrari.
The Italian team later confirmed that there was not only a plastic bag stuck on Alonso’s wing but a debris lodged in his car cost the Spaniard a few tenths in lap times.
“You have to go right back to the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix - more than two years ago - to find a race in which, on pure pace alone, Alonso has finished lower than he started,” the BBC said.
A former Formula 1 driver, who preferred to remain anonymous, believed that Alonso – who will be 32 this year – may be at the start of a downward spiral in his career.
"Of course he is still phenomenal," the driver told the BBC. "But there are just the odd signs, little things here and there, perhaps a slight dimming of commitment, stuff like that."