Formula One presenter Tom Clarkson shared the latest tale of the Max Verstappen-Fernando Alonso bromance on the F1 Nation podcast. The two drivers, who have been almost ever-present on the podium this season, have mutual respect for each other.
Max Verstappen has won four races this season and has two P2 finishes while Fernando Alonso has featured on the podium in all but one race. Talking about the dynamic between the two drivers, Tom Clarkson shared an anecdote that the cameras did not capture.
Fernando Alonso narrowly lost out to Max Verstappen for pole position at the Monaco GP and seemed disappointed after the qualifying session. At the subsequent press conference, Clarkson observed a touching moment between the two. He said:
“There was a lovely moment in the press conference after qualifying. So they’ve only been out of the cars, say, five minutes, they have a quick chat on the grid. Then they come to the press conference and Fernando came in first, and he sat down in his chair and he sort of was slumped a little bit – and you could see he was just, I think, reflecting on what he had just done."
"Max was the next driver to arrive, and they just sort of, I’m not going to say it was a hug, but they just sort of squeezed each other’s shoulders and didn’t say a word to each other. This is before all the cameras were turned on, and right there, I saw a mutual respect between those two that is that is not often seen, I think, in Formula 1."
Elaborating on the emotions involved in that moment between Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso, the F1 presenter said:
“As I say, no words were exchanged, but just genuine respect about what they had just done over one lap of Monaco – and I would say I haven’t seen two better laps of that track in 25 years than what we saw from Alonso and Verstappen in qualifying.”
"There’s a huge rivalry, but deep inside both of them, above all, they enjoy what they’re doing" - Former F1 driver on Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso
Talking about that particular incident, former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa said that underneath the competitiveness, there is mutual respect between Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso. He said:
"I would add that the respect was there, there’s a huge rivalry, but deep inside both of them, above all, they enjoy what they’re doing. They felt like they had a massive good time, they felt exhausted in a good way because they had just delivered their best, and they had had a lot of fun."
De la Rosa added:
“But also they know each other very well, they are good mates, I would say, or have a good relationship. Both know that they are very similar. They have very similar personalities, their approach to motor racing is similar. I think that builds on that huge respect they have for each other.”
It's been interesting to observe the dynamics between the Red Bull and the Aston Martin driver this season. However, their relationship could change if Alonso is able to mount a significant challenge for the drivers' championship.