It’s easy to be critical of Fernando Alonso, but even the Spanish driver’s most committed detractors must acknowledge that he has probably the single most important quality required to be a Ferrari driver.

Not speed, commitment or determination - yet he has those attributes in spades – but the ability to keep his nerve and look past the problems of the moment to see the bigger picture.

You could argue that if he did not have such self-confidence then he would never have signed to stay with Ferrari until 2016.

The history books are littered with instances of drivers signing long-term deals to commit themselves to the Prancing Horse but ending up leaving prematurely.

If the day ever comes that Sebastian Vettel should append his signature to a Ferrari contract, then Alonso might not prove to be quite so sanguine about the prospect.

For the moment, though, with a question mark surely hanging over Felipe Massa’s tenure with the team, Fernando is happy to roll with the punches.

Alonso told Autosport that his own stubbornness is helping keep alive his belief that he can be world champion this year, despite Ferrari's ongoing struggles.

"We'll see," said Alonso. "For better or worse I was born stubborn and I think there is still time left, as long as you have a good car and you can beat them [Red Bull] on pure pace. Right now we don't have it and they are further in the points count, but there's a long way to go.”