Alguersuari: 'Alonso is making the difference'

Alonso came third in Monaco, just +0.9s off the lead ( Octane Photographic)

29 May 2012 by Ryan Wood

Fernando Alonso is the best driver at the moment, as proven by his ability to lead the championship despite not having the quickest car. That is the view of Jaime Alguersuari.

The former Toro Rosso pilot, now Pirelli test driver and BBC commentator, believes the difference between winning or losing is now down to the driver, whereas before it had been more about the car.

It's this fact, combined with Alonso's faultless drives, that have put him three points ahead of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber who jointly hold second.

"The drivers are more important this year," Alguersuari wrote in his BBC column. "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."

The 22-year-old had previously pinpointed Jenson Button to do well in 2012, but the McLaren driver has scored just two points in the last three 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.

"Jenson is the type of driver you really want in a team because he deals with every situation in the most mature way," added Alguersuari. "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."

Button has fallen 31 points behind Alonso in the championship, but Alguersuari expects him to fight his way back into contention.

"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."