Reading the story today that Alonso sees his comprehensive pummelling of Felipe Massa this year as a sign of the good form he was in, I got to thinking, is he about to enter a period of dominance a la Schumacher from 2000-2004?
Of course the domination of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari was in large part down to the team of Brawn and Byrne, as well as Todt and Schumacher himself - so Alonso will have to go some to match the faintly ridiculous total of 56 wins in the period from 2000 to 2006, but I get the sense he's heading into a real purple patch.
Alonso bagged five wins this season in a car that was far from the best, at times the Ferrari looked a real dog in fact, but Fernando did what all great drivers do - he transcended the car and dragged it to the front of the pack.
In the eight and a bit seasons that Schumacher had in F1 before he and Ferrari really clicked and took five titles on the trot he won 35 races, in the 10 seasons Alonso has been in F1 he's managed a very respectable (if not spectacular) 26 race wins. And that includes a season in a Minardi and four seasons in a relatively uncompetitive Renault.
Next year Alonso will hit the big 3-0, in years if not in race wins, Schumacher's era of complete and utter dominance also began in his 30th year. As it stands there are, in my opinion, a good deal more really good drivers in F1 than there were in the years 2000-2004, where in 2002 for example we had Montoya, Coulthard, Barrichello and the other Schumacher, worthy drivers but not great ones, now we have Kubica, Hamilton, Vettel, Button - a whole bunch of very, very fast racing drivers. Alonso's got a real fight on his hands, but if Ferrari can deliver him anything close to the kind of equipment Schumacher had access to in the early 2000s, he'll be standing atop the podium many more times in the next decade.