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.