Teaching Fernando Alonso, one of the best racers in the world - arguably the best - how to drive is a waste of time. His driver coach, 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran, agrees. So you have to ask why exactly Honda has bothered to give the Brazilian the assignment.
The key to understanding why is grasping the fact that there is a big difference between an instructor and a coach. That explains why de Ferran might just be Alonso's key Indy 500 weapon, given that motorsport is a world where all too often the benefits of coaching are overlooked or even derided.
Since his Indy adventure was announced last month, Alonso has stressed that he is on a steep learning curve trying to make up for a serious experience deficit both in IndyCar and at Indianapolis. Think of de Ferran as his experience bank and you get an idea of what his value could be to Alonso.