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F1 paddock veteran insists ONE driver on grid has '3D thinking' superpower

F1 paddock veteran insists ONE driver on grid has '3D thinking' superpower

F1 News

F1 paddock veteran insists ONE driver on grid has '3D thinking' superpower

F1 paddock veteran insists ONE driver on grid has '3D thinking' superpower

Former F1 physiotherapist Josef Leberer has revealed how ‘incredible’ Fernando Alonso marries an old school mentality with new school abilities, making him the perfect F1 unicorn.

Leberer holds a legendary status in the sport, having a career spanning over 36 years and spending 27 of them at Sauber, before deciding to step away at the end of the 2023 season to take up an ambassador role with the team for 2024.

During his illustrious career, the Austrian has worked with many F1 champions such as Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Josef Leberer joined McLaren in 1988 after he was recommended to Ron Dennis by Niki Lauda
Leberer went on to work with the likes of F1 icons such as Ayrton Senna

Leberer lauds 'incredible' Alonso mentality

Leberer sat down with motorsport.com to reflect on how much the sport has changed since he started in 1988 with McLaren.

When asked how the modern machinery has impacted driver preparation, he said that those with the quickest brains are able to get the edge over the competition, singling out Alonso as the prime example.

"In Formula 1 the technology has been changing so much, it's incredible. But on the other hand, the demands on the drivers are more or less the same, even if they are applied in a different way," he explains.

"I would say these days it's very hard for young drivers on an intellectual level. You have all these systems, strategies, all this technology to get on top of with so little time or testing. To combine all that with your own driving style to bring the performance on the track, this is not easy. They are under a lot of pressure.

The former physiotherapist explained how Fernando Alonso gets the edge over his competitors

"There's so much information coming in while they have to drive and talk on the radio. Just the lap to the grid is a lot. The cognitive taxation these days is extremely high. Initially, some young drivers can completely freeze.

"A good example is Fernando [Alonso]. This guy is incredible. He's from the old school, but he has an incredible capacity. He knows where the other cars are, he knows how long the tyres will last, he knows what everybody's strategy will be.

"You have to have a three-dimensional understanding of what you are doing. If you have to start thinking, it's already too late. And this makes the big difference between the best drivers and the others. They make the right decision at the right time, under pressure.

"This is why they get paid 30 million or more, and others have to pay."

READ MORE: Wolff reveals how Hamilton told him of SURPRISE Ferrari switch

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