Nearly ten years have passed since Alonso was last crowned world champion, but even now there are few who would bet against him adding a third title given a car capable of the challenge.
The very nature of Formula One means winning championships is as much about being in the right car at the right time as it is about having raw driving talent.
Fernando Alonso says Mc Laren should target being regular points finishes after the Spaniard and team-mate Jenson Button broke their duck for 2016 at the Russian GP.
The Spaniard crossed the line in Sochi in sixth place after an impressive drive while Button - who had started two places ahead of Alonso from 12th on the grid - fought back from a difficult first lap to claim tenth."We were lucky in the second and third corners but we saw last year that after good starts we couldn't retain positions and today was different," Alonso told Sky F1.
I didn't find any more motivation and I felt that they will not win soon -- and they are not winning.
I found new motivation at Mc Laren, I am happy and I am enjoying this project.
The theory goes that the best drivers end up in the best cars, but the last three seasons of Alonso's career suggest otherwise.
So how did such a highly-rated driver end up in such a slow car?
The very short answer lies in Honda's struggles with turbo-compounding, but the long answer cannot ignore the decisions Alonso made after his two world championship victories in 20.
Despite driving for Mc Laren, Renault (for a second time), Ferrari and Mc Laren (for a second time), his time at some of the biggest teams in the sport did not yield that elusive third title. "I try always to find new motivation, to find happiness in the moves that I make between teams -- and obviously a more competitive car than what I had in that moment," Alonso explained to ESPN.
Instead, he returned to Renault -- a team in decline that would ultimately leave the sport two years later -- while Red Bull went on to dominate the sport between 20."Obviously if you had a crystal ball you would change some things," Alonso says (take note of the use of "you" and not "I").