Fernando Alonso’s 2019 Pole-Setting Lap at Sebring Is Still Shocking to Watch

Watching the superhuman reflexes and reaction time of drivers like Alonso never gets old.

byNico DeMattia|
Fernando Alonso’s 2019 Pole-Setting Lap at Sebring Is Still Shocking to Watch

Fernando Alonso made today's 2023 F1 season opener in Bahrain worth watching. It looked liked it was going to be another Max Verstappen-led snooze-fest—which it admittedly was anyway—but Alonso made things exciting by securing a very unexpected podium finish. He did so by expertly out-driving both Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz. To celebrate Alonso's brilliant drive today, let's take a look back at one of his most masterful performances, his 2019 record-breaking World Endurance Championship (WEC) qualifying lap around Sebring.

During the 2019 WEC season, Fernando Alonso set the fastest lap ever recorded at Sebring International Raceway in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid. His 1:40.124 qualifying lap time is still the fastest anyone's ever been around Sebring, even as cars have technically become even faster since then. In the onboard video, Alonso's heroic driving is still spectacular to watch.

Motorsport pundits often talk about Alonso's mental processing speed and capacity. Even today, during the 2023 F1 Bahrain GP, commentator Martin Brundle said that Alonso typically only uses 25 percent of his brain power to actually drive the car, using the rest for strategy and planning. I'm not sure how you quantify such things but Alonso was asking about his teammate's surgically repaired wrist while racing, so I'd say it might be reasonably accurate.

In this video, you see the superhuman reflexes it took to snake Toyota's hybrid endurance racer through Sebring's corners at speed. All the while, he was processing the avalanche of information being given to him by the steering wheel's massive screen. Just watching Alonso is exhausting, I can't imagine what it felt like to actually be behind the wheel.

Alonso is one of the most accomplished drivers in the world, having had success at the highest levels of motorsport for 20 years. But he's also one of the most naturally gifted drivers in the world and this video proves it.

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