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Last Updated: Monday, 4 October, 2004, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Fernando Alonso
The anti-Schumacher

Fernando Alonso
Born: 29/7/81
Nationality: Spanish
First GP: Australia 2001
Wins: 1
2004 position: 4th
Previous teams: Minardi
Big things were expected of Fernando Alonso this year following an excellent first season with Renault.

And while he clearly remains a future champion, he was put in the shade by team-mate Jarno Trulli for the first half of the season.

This was more a case of Trulli finally delivering on his potential than Alonso deteriorating.

Nevertheless, some wonder why Alonso seems to struggle to match his brilliant race form in qualifying.

As one of the few drivers capable of being on the pace every lap of every race, the youngest winner in F1 history remains one of the very best drivers in the sport.

Alonso also has a rare talent for driving around major problems with his car while losing minimal lap time.

So it remains a mystery why he was so often beaten in qualifying by Trulli in 2004.

If Alonso can up his pace on Saturdays to match his speed on Sundays, then a true successor to Michael Schumacher will have emerged.

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