Alonso confronts paparazzi in Portugal

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Alonso warns the paparazzi to leave him alone while he’s on holiday in Portugal.


Alonso en Porto Santo (Portugal) siendo tan “simp??tico” como siempre (Youtube)

Alonso, holidaying with his wife in Portugal, told photographers: “The first photographer or camera I see in the next days, I will leave the next day and tell????? everyone that Porto Santo is a disaster. OK? So please leave us alone.”

Back to work (Ferrari)

“Today is the full workforce back at their posts. The new season beckons, with the launch of the new car planned for the final week of this month.”

Can F1 be reborn in America? (Formula 1 Blog)

“I don’t believe pulling a crowd to Austin will be a problem for [Tavo] Hellmund. The tougher job will be getting the American media to take notice. F1 is an extremely technical, secretive and political sport and for the typically unfamiliar American writer or reporter it’s difficult to get inside F1 and comfortably explain it. That will take time.”

Fernandes applauds ‘green’ engines (Autosport)

“We’ve now got the scenario of F1 being very relevant to the car industry but most importantly, F1 being very relevant to the environment.”

Comment of the day

Lots of good debate in the Mansell vs Piquet Champion of Champions clash. Here’s two comments from opposite ends of the argument:

This is tough. Piquet I rate in my top five drivers, although Mansell’s story is brilliant.

Hmm, I’m going with Piquet, purely because ’87 was an awesome season and he beat Mansell fair and square, ’86 was closer but that was marred with ridiculous incidents. It was very much a Senna vs Prost type situation, the rivalry was brilliant but Piquet for me showed he was the more complete competitor.

I’m going for Nigel. One of the purest racers ever, in my opinion. Of course, Piquet was great and won three titles. But Nigel should also have won at least one more. Besides, he won so many races. For me he is one of the all-time greats.

So I’m going for him, altough it is a very close call this time.

From the forum

More speculation over the Force India line-up as Swiss newspaper Blick claims Paul di Resta will take Vitantonio Liuzzi’s place next year.

Upcoming interview: “Senna” writer Manish Pandey

I’m going to be talking to Manish Pandey, author of the movie “Senna”, later this week.

If there’s anything you want to know about his film on the life of Ayrton Senna, post it in the comments. Here’s the review of the film which was published here last month:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Anne Lambert!

On this day in F1

I’d forgotten the debate that sprung up after traction control was banned at the end of 2007.

As this old news round-up shows some drivers claimed it would make wet-weather racing more dangerous, though Nick Heidfeld reckoned it would make races better on the whole.

Image © Ferrari spa

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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125 comments on “Alonso confronts paparazzi in Portugal”

  1. I have sympathy with Alonso, as obviously having a private life is important. Then again, his threat is quite childish and somewhat typical of his personality. He’s gonna have to accept that as an F1 driver he is not only a public figure but also a role model.

    1. Yeah but Paparazzi? What can you say to these people? I know F1 drivers are supposed to be role models but it’s not like there famous for the sake of it. They’re famous for a specific activity so they have every right to demand total privacy when acting outside of that activity.

      Also Alonso? Petulant? Never.

      1. I’m starting to think Alonso is becoming to Spain, what Senna was for Brazil… for some reason.

        His results are almost comparable and he made the spaniards look beyond MotoGP for their hero’s. Such a great driver at the moment and the people want more?

        1. Welcome to 2005. Alonso-mania has been around in Spain for quite a while.

      2. jimscreechy (@)
        4th January 2011, 8:21

        Scribe – agreed

    2. This video purely shows what a complete sphincter Freddy is. What a complete primadonna. If he wants privacy with his celebrity status he needs to go somewhere private. Idiot.

      1. jimscreechy (@)
        4th January 2011, 8:23

        djdaveyp87 – SERIOUSLY? you really belive what you wrote there? C’mon, your kidding right?

      2. Quite contrary. I’m not an Alonso fan but I think he handled this very well. But I guess no matter what you do, you can always count on devoted haters.

        1. We all except that its fine for him to ask for his privacy, but I think making a childish threat was pointless.

          1. If I were him though, I would’ve done the same threat. I doubt Paparazzi would respond at all to “would you please kindly walk away and leave me peace?

        2. He could have asked for privacy nicely but I dont think hes going to get that while he walks through an airport and what was the point of threatening the photographers? Give it a rest dude.

        3. What’s with the beard? Working on becoming the first bearded World Champion?

    3. Magnificent Geoffrey
      4th January 2011, 2:04

      I actually think Alonso’s being completely reasonable, here. He wasn’t being aggressive, just stern. I’m by no means his biggest fan but I think he has every right to speak to the paparazzi directly like this and ask them to respect his privacy, like a real man. He doesn’t complain about them the rest of the year when he’s ‘working’, so he should be allowed to enjoy his time off in peace like the rest of us do.

      1. Fair enough from Alonso he will devastated after 2010 so will need a trou8ble free 2011 with some quiet time with his family.But it was nice to see he was cool.

      2. I have to agree. As much as I don’t like Alonso, he handled this in a mature and respectful way if you ask me. I mean, how else can you get through to these guys? You can’t touch them or their equipment or face lawsuits. Ultimately, all you can do is give your fans and the city a reason to discourage people behaving poorly towards them (which he definitely did. I have to imagine locals will be loathe to the paparazzi now). I totally understand his desire to simply be left alone when he’s out to enjoy time with family. And being a celebrity is no excuse for harassing anyone (and yes, constantly taking photos of someone is harassment). They are still human, regardless of being a role model and deserve to be treated with the same respect.

        1. Not to mention the fact that he didn’t threaten any of them personally, he would simply leave the area which of course they don’t want.

          1. Gotta hand it to Alonso. He could have got very angry and made a fool of himself, but he didn’t.

      3. I think he has every right to speak to the paparazzi directly like this and ask them to respect his privacy, like a real man.

        Like this?

        “The first photographer or camera I see in the next days, I will leave the next day and tell everyone that Porto Santo is a disaster. OK? So please leave us alone.”

        What do paparazzi care if he slags off the place if they get the photo they want? What’s Alonso going to do, stop going on holiday because everywhere is “a disaster”?

        Your quote is perfectly true, but Alonso’s doesn’t exactly live up to it.

    4. I don’t know anything about the story beyond what you can see in the video. But my instincts are usually to sympathise with the person who can’t go on holiday without people pointing lenses at them. I would hate it if it was me.

      That said, I’m surprised they recognised him with that beard!

      1. OK every F1fanatic thats going to Silverstone this year, you must ask Keith for his autograph.

        1. Even that wouldn’t be the same. If Keith went to an F1 event then as his job relates to F1 he could reasonably expect to be stopped by fans (this ever happened to you Keith?).

          A better example would be, next time Keith goes on holiday, we find out where he’s going and stick a camera in his face the whole time.

          Does that sound fair? Why should Alonso be any different?

          If he was one of these people who are famous simply for being famous then I would say he’s being two-faced, but he’s not. Like him or loath him (not many f1 fans fall outside those 2 groups) he is entitled not to have a camera shoved in his face when he’s not working. As is any sports personality (or actor, musician etc for that matter).

          1. While I feel he has a reasonable expectation of privacy, he is also famous for doing something in a VERY public fashion. Many actors and musicians need as much ability and skill as Alonso does to do their job and, just like an actor/musician, Alonso is famous for entertaining others. Also, he is VERY well compensated, its not like he is a pay driver or rookie who is paid in relative peanuts. That being said, most hotels won’t allow photographers inside and there are a LARGE number of resorts that cater to privacy and have most things that people would want to do at the resort (on private property). Also, Alonso can take a vacation somewhere that he is less well known (the U.S. would probably work out pretty well or Thailand, Mexico, Carribean, insert other area that isn’t full of F1 fever). Heck, in the U.S., other than maybe the occasional fan, I doubt anyone would pay any attention to him.

        2. Ssshh!! If Keith finds out of our plan he’ll start growing a beard :P

          1. No, because then the Alonso paparazzi might think I’m him!

          2. Ssshh!! If Keith finds out of our plan he’ll start growing a beard

            I’m pretty sure Keith is allergic to face fungus!.

          3. :-) Based on that photoshop job, I think you’re more likely to be mistaken for Yusuf Islam a.k.a. Cat Stevens.

        3. Perhaps he could borrow a few of Jacques Villeneuves wigs?

    5. It actually raised his profile for me. Telling the paparazzi to bug of fair and square, I hope it worked!

      A lot better than waving fists at Petrov. And if you compare some of the celebs smashing cameras, arms and skulls up to prevent them from taking pictures it is a pretty mild and clever line.

    6. Im portuguese naturally we dont love spain we dont understand spanish we always fight with them we split the world in 2 in the 15th century for god sake anyway he went to Porto Santo to watch reportadly one of the best new year celebrations he started speaking spanish (thing that we dont understand)in the airport like he ruled the world just because other countrys media was there to watch him threatening us portuguese when other media was onto him aswell is dumb simply

    7. Like Kimi, he doesn’t seem to like paparazzi’s stress, even if to a smaller extent. But Alonso at least during the season talks to the media. But Kimi wasn’t so rude towards them.

  2. First! Alonso looks so different with a beard like that…

  3. I don’t like Alonso so I’m voting for Paparazzi even though I never saw him drive.

    1. RBAlonso likes this!

    2. Yes, we need the “Like” button here too :)

  4. Today is the full workforce back at their posts

    Looks like Alonso’s on holiday though.

    1. lol!! I thought the same thing!

    2. ‘Fernando is more deserving of a holiday than you, can you confirm you understood that message?’

      1. It will never end, lol

      2. “Sush slows the airplane down”

        “There’s a good lad, replies Rob Smedley”

        This is like Godwins Law for F1, whenever Ferrari or Alonso are mentioned, that joke gets trotted out.

    3. I think Alonso’s job was to distract the cameras away from Maranello

  5. Agree with SW6569. Oh Fernando!!!

  6. No surprises about Alonso’s nice touch. Summed up with Montezemolo’s statement yesterday, they seem to match in their dull characters, don’t they?

    1. Not as dull as McLaren and their drivers XD Especially the uneducated gangster one who cant spell.

      1. another biased and false Mclaren “diss”

      2. In my experience, these days even many educated people can’t spell…

        (Carefully checks to make sure there are no spelling mistakes in the above statement…)

  7. I read an article on the Ferrari website earlier this season that Alonso said that he thinks all interest in him should finish on Sunday evening and I can understand his point. If you watch any interview pre-2006 you will see he was one of the most shy and private sports personalitys of all time. He has changed probably due to unexpected and unwanted pressure from the limelight.

    That said, I adore Alonso and he is a role model for many aspiring young drivers and he will come to realise this one day. I remember that in early 2006 Bernie had an argument with him over not signing autographs, and Fernando responded by making more of an effort. Then Hamilton came along and almost as a consequence Alonso was poorly treated by all factions and some of his own British supporters left to glory hunt. I think he was hurt a lot more by that incident than he lets on and it is the root of outbursts like this.

    One reason I like him is that I believe that he genuinely would prefer simply to race and not be subject to the circus, I hope rival fans can accept that.

    However, I can not claim that actions like this are for his own good and probably supply ammunition to his detractors that simply either a) can’t see this or b) have forgotten who he used to be when he was the giant-killing darling of the British media.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    1. Well I have some very serious problems with Alonso’s attitude. For instance, maintaining that the tainted Singapore win counted as his victory, or his reaction to Petrov at Abu Dhabi this year, felt like poor sportsmanship.

      Despite being a fully commited McLaren fan I thought he was great, an likable enough in 05, awe inspiring in 06. I was absolutley delighted when he came to us in 07, thought we were going to crush everybody till the end of time. An without 07 shenanigans we might have done. Alonso if he’d been on point for more of 07, settled at McLaren in 08 and still with us in 10 could have been, with a little luck 5 times world champion.

      But he threw his toys out of the pram, don’t think we can really blame Hamilton for what happened. Dennis is definatley partly cupable but Alonso was brought in to drive what turned out to be two years of excellent McLaren cars, (we could have won both titles two years in a row) he should have done that and not sulked about the speed of a rookie.

      Ever since then he’s been so spiky, maybe it’s because he felt hurt but I can’t really find much sympathy for Alonso the person, maybe my McLaren bias prevents me getting over what we collectivley lost, and for bringing my team into complete turmoil. I’ll continue to appreciate Alonso the driver.

      1. I completely share your sentiments Scribe ….

      2. singapore was his victory. he had no part to play in what happened. it was the team and nelson. He CLEARLY would of had nothing to do with that for one victory he didnt need. Renault/pat/flavio and Nelson were the desperate ones cos renault wanted to leave F1 so a victory would of convinced the board. fernando with a pending ferrari contract in his back pocket was not desperate-he has ALWAYS said wins mean nothing without titles.. So he had no part to play it. anyone rational person can see that. I say rational tho…

        and he never blamed hamilton. not once. only the team. who openly ‘raced alonso’ he fully respects(tho probably not like) lewis. as many people do. Lewis respects him. lets not forget it was lewis to a small degree (in his) book and Ron to any of the press who cared to listen to his clap trap that said bad things about fernando. Not the other way round.

        no offence but you need to get facts a little bit right before u start turning EVERY thing into Alonso/lewis/mclaren.

        He never brought the team in turmoil. The lies Ron told after the race at Silverstone(i think) about not knowing about certain documents etc. was what turned the team on its head. if he told the truth. the ‘team’ would of been fine. I remember the interview on ITV like it was yesterday. it was classic Ron. everyones wrong but me. It was just total lies. and cos he had lied to important people like erm the FIA they threw the book at them.

        i never agreed with the punishment really. i dont think the team deserved to suffer down to Ron and his mens lies.

        The ‘team’ not management were amazing that year and fully deserved the constructors title for all their hard work. The management finally got someone to stand up to their bias way they had worked. Prost did it too. but DC was never going to and his career and reputation will never be anything more than a so so man cos of it. and Montoya never had the stature to do it. But fernando like Prost did and fair play to them.

    2. I’d hate to be famous and I have a lot of sympathy for any of the drivers who dislike the limelight such as Alonso. Even Hamilton was slammed by a lot of people when he said all the attention he was getting in every day life was one of the reasons he moved to Switzerland.

      Also there’s a difference between acknowledging fans signing autographs where you expect drivers to be polite with them. But the paparazzi are pathetic with their invasions of individuals private lives to sell photos to ‘celebrity’ gossip magazines. Considering the level of paparazzi interest in Alonso and his wife its not surprise that he doesn’t like them very much.

      1. While I do have a small bit of sympathy for the “stars” of today, no matter what proffession, it simply comes with the territory. It’s not like the paparazzi are new, so one should expect it when choosing a public career. I think it’s a rather small price to pay considering generations of your family tree will be changed by the amount of money being made. Just grow immune to it and get on with your life.

        1. Just because it might “come with the territory” doesn’t make it morally right for the paparazzi to hound anybody whilst they go about their every day lives whoever that might be. Regardless of the reaction of Alonso its the paparazzi that are in the wrong for even following on holiday in the first place.

          1. I agree with a lot of people that Alonso is right to ask for privacy. Especially as he seems to be, aside from races and team sponsor events, rather closed about his live – maybe it is because I don’t read many Spanish newspapers, but he seems to separate his personal live from his racing live rather well – for example, his wife hardly ever joins him in a high profile role – last year she was only a bit visible around his birthday, and she’s a singer. Compare with Hamilton’s girl :)

            I will admit that I don’t really care to know about the stuff produced by paparazzi, so that might influence my opinion against them as I would hardly miss then anyway, but even so, I think there are drivers who are less deserving of a holiday without press following every move than Alonso, but I think every driver should be left alone for a quiet holiday. If they then party big at some public place, well, that’s the time the press can go after them if they need to.

    3. I have a thought: can we please end this nonsense that makes out the majority of British F1 fans to be sheep led by whatever the newspapers are saying or the nationalities of the drivers involved? I know that is not your point but you touched on it and it’s getting very old. People dislike Alonso because he acts like a dislikeable person.

      1. Well actually yes, a lot of people do dislike Alonso because of the whole 2007 thing. But then there are a lot of Alonso fans who dislike Hamilton over the same thing.

        Anyway, to re-iterate: Alonso’s right to privacy = yes. Alonso’s right to mouth off = no.

        1. Really? Nobody has a right to ‘mouth off’? I’m pretty sure that freedom of speech covers that in quite a few places.

          1. Only Alonso is subject to that rule, because nitpicking is what they have to do to justify their hatred.

          2. Depends on your definition of “right”.

      2. Spot on Icthyes

        Living in Barcelona I can see that more and more spanish people are starting to dislike Alonso. This grumpiness is ridiculous and pathetic. You are famous, get over it.

        And it’s not just a case of him being like this outside race weekends. I’ve seen him in the paddock in Barcelona repeatedly running from the garage to the motorhome with his hat pulled down over his face in case any of the hundreds of people (his home fans!) calling his name might get a photo. There isn’t a direct translation for “Que maleducado” but it pretty much means “what an ignorant pr!ick” – that’s what everyone was saying

        1. Its far too easy for us to sit behind a computer screen and judge the character of these F1 drivers. I’ve been guilty of it myself sometimes but at the end of the day I will never and most people on here will never know any of the drivers on a personal level. Most people at best have a a 5 second chat with any of the drivers while asking for an autograph and yet some people seem to know for certain that Alonso is “childish” or “grumpy”, that Hamilton is “arrogant” etc..

          Many people better placed than me to comment have said about Alonso that he’s a very shy character. If that’s the case then its entirely understandable that he feels uncomfortable around large groups of his fans and despises the intrusion of the paparazzi.

          No F1 driver goes into racing to become a celebrity or seek attention, they do it because they love racing. The love/hatred that expressed towards them by millions that they’ve never met would understandable be suffocating for many individuals. As fans we often expect far too much from professional sportsmen and women.

          1. I need “Like” button here :)

          2. Depends though. I’m quite a shy person but I find that in the end all it does is make me more likely to go along with whatever the person wants, because I lack the ability to assert myself. If I were Alonso I’d be “Um…okay”, all sheepish-like.

          3. Great comment Ads21…

          4. I disagree with you there. While I don’t believe that athletes or other forms of entertainers should be looked upon as role models, the fact of the matter is that they are idolized. With any sport, and even more so with motorsport (high investment required), the fans are who ultimately allow these individuals to have the job and lifestyle they do. In other words, the public nature of their job is what allows for its existence in the first place. Reactions like these should really just serve to make us more appreciative of the entertainers who understand and even embrace this; as an example take a look at the NBA’s Shaquille ONeal’s actions in Harvard Square.

    4. Your comment is so biased obviously Alonso can do no wrong in your eyes.

  8. GeordiePorker
    4th January 2011, 1:02

    Nicely considered points there RBAlonso. As much as I don’t like Alonso, I do have a lot of sympathy for his point of view regarding privacy.

    Unfortunately, in this case he has overstepped the sensible bounds of complaint by basically threatening to (attempt to) ruin the local tourism industry when they do not pay for the papparazzi. It is this which will be used as ammunition as it makes him look petulant. What his detractors will forget is that the papparazzi will take no notice of anything which is not a threat to them – Alonso clearly thinks that his threat will act as sufficient deterrent. I doubt it.

    Tough one. It’s v difficult for me to have a lot of sympathy with either party here ( ;-) ).

    Overall, I think for once I support Alonso here. But I do think his threat was over the top. By some way. But that’s just my opinion!

    1. Well, the paparazzi seem quite over the top too as a matter of course, so what can he do to stop them?

      hH is just telling them: local press, if you care about me coming back and spending money, well then just let me also enjoy my quiet holiday. Basically, letting local people know not to use him for publicity. He isn’t shouting or ranting either.

      Like the beard though :-p

  9. There are a few things to be said about that Alonso video:

    1. He is so tiny!
    2. He’s become so hairy that he now looks like a darker haired version of Nick Heidfeld
    3. He’s really perfecting those blackmail tactics.

    I don’t like Fernando Alonso or the paparazzi, so I’m struggling to decide which is the lesser of the two evils!

    1. He’s the latin Nick Heidfeld.

  10. I hate Alonso, truly hate him, but he and his wife are as entitled to a private life as the rest of us.

    And Heidfeld was spot on about the TC ban making everything more exciting, 08, 09 and 10 were brilliant!

    1. as was 07 though…

      1. ’07 being an exciting season is a myth. Close, yes, but apart from the Nurburgring I’m struggling to think of any decent racing that happened on track that year.

        1. A close championship, but not many close races.

        2. Canada, Japan, China and Brazil were the only other good races that I saw.

          1. Nurburgring was pretty good that year.

        3. Exactly. The championship battle was interesting with the politics involved as well, but the racing itself war hardly close enough to be memorable.

  11. oh come on! I can’t believe people are siding with paparazzi. Doesn’t matter who their target is and whether you like the target or not, it still doesn’t change the fact that paparazzi are the lowest form of scum in an industry which is seemingly losing its integrity (journalism as a whole).

    Anyone who ever gives the paparazzi a piece of their mind (without being hysterical or randomly throwing punches) deserves our praise. I’m always happy when people call the paparazzi out and point out that they are pretty much a failure as a career and as a person.

    Its harrassment, pure and simple, and they are always in the wrong.

    1. lol, total agreement. There should be a ban on paparazzi worldwide, they serve NO useful purpose and have nothing to do with a profession called journalism, completely abusing the fundamental principal of press freedom to produce junk news (and invariably crap photos). I thought Alonso’s response was just clever, trying to find a way for them to leave him and his wife alone.

  12. BTW it seems the FI will have Sutil & di Resta as number 1 & number 2 for 2011 and Hulkenberg will be doing the duty as third driver, with some friday practice session.

  13. Just another huge reason why I can never like or support this guy as a race car driver. If these guys are bothering you, wont it be better to just articulate that, rather than threatening the whole island with what seems like a pretty childish action.
    And some think he played no part in the ‘Spygate’ and ‘Crashgate’ affairs…the guy is pure snake, always using those around him to gain an advantage.
    I sometimes think without that opportunity to subvert his teammates, the team, the team bosses to his needs he wouldnt be as successful a driver.
    Pathetic character.

    1. ha, threats are the only thing scumbag paparazzi take notice of. you can articulate all they want, but people with single digit IQ’s don’t respond to reasoned arguments.

  14. Keith, if you think of it when you’re interviewing Manish Pandey ask him for an email address to contact Universal Pictures in the US. He tweeted months ago for fans to harras Universal for a US release date in hopes of showing them that there’s interest. I’ve tried for the life of me to find an email address to contact them to no avail. I’ve tried to tweet at Pandey a few times to see if he can provide the proper email address to contact, but he has yet to respond. If you could get an email address out of him that would be excellent! Can’t wait to read the interview.

  15. More speculation over the Force India line-up as Swiss newspaper Blick claims Paul di Resta will take Vitantonio Liuzzi’s place next year.

    Oddly enough, Blick appear to have removed the article. There hasn’t been a retraction issued, it’s simply been taken down. It’s strange because the article directly quotes Willi Weber, so there’s clearly some truth to it. Even the meanest and sleaziest of tabloids – News of the World, The Sun – doesn’t risk quoting someone when they said nothing of the sort.

    My guess is that Force India requested the article be removed.

    1. Maybe they do not have the last words of those contracts quite spelled out? It does give make this more than just a rumour to me as well.

    2. The reason probably being, they can hardly announce such a deal before settling with Liuzzi somehow.
      Joe Saward comes to Tonios “rescue” (or at least highlights his rights) here, as his big fan:

  16. well at least Alonso showed that he had balls.. i would have just sat it out, and smiled for the camera, but you can understand his anger about it..

    he is still perfectly within his rights

    1. He forgot to add at the end of his sentance “Did you got the message?” :)

      1. I don’t agree. If he did it during some Ferrari event, you could say that he was demaging Ferrar’s image. But during all the PR events and in the paddock he is fine with the press and media (and better than Kimi) – that’s what he’s paid for – to represent the team when he’s ON DUTY. Here he was OFF DUTY and he has every right to defend his private life. We all work, but when we leave our work place, we are private persons, do what we want and do not represent our companies when we’re e.g. sunbathing. And so was Alonso here – a normal Spaniard on his holidays. Yes, he’s a Ferrari driver, but he was not formally representing Ferrari. You can’t expect him to be available to cameras 24/7. Nobody can stand that. How would you like it if you were being photographed by some strangers everywhere you go and everything to do? It’s easy for us, “normal people” to say that they should be used to it, but after some time of living in the spotlight, everybody would be fed up and would like some time just for themselves. Ferrari pay him to drive and represent the team on their official events and not to be photograhed when he’s cycling with his wife on hollidays.

        1. Hmm… that was suppose to be a reply to a post by Teflon Man, buut I don’t see his comment now and mine seems out of context now…

  17. I believe Alonso said these words when he first arrived at Ferrari “If I see Felipe or Rob near my car this season, I will leave the next day and tell everyone Ferrari is a disaster.
    PM – maybe Whitmarsh asked for the article to be removed, it was pretty inflammatory on his account.

    1. Ok mate enough now we all know your Jenson Button is an angel.

  18. Oh see Alonso confronted the paparazzi and instead of sticking to the topic everyone has gone onto a big Ferrari anti-Alonso hate-fest.

    How would you like it if every time you wanted to be alone someone kept flashing of a camera in your face?

    1. Personally I think I’d trade being able to drive an F1 car and travel to some of the coolest cities in the world for that without so much as a second thought. Add to that they’re paying me multi-millions per year? Where do I sign up?

  19. 1) Well done Fernando for being so sensible i.e. not violent or swearing so he gets respect for that. He should be allowed to have a holiday without paparazzi constantly annoying him.

    (Personally it would be easier if each driver had a few days of photo shoots in the winter and the summer)

    2) I sent you the Force India rumour (don’t know if anyone else did but I definitely did) :-) they say Hulkenberg will be third driver

  20. I got COTD!! (Jeez that sounds like a disease), but my first ever one so Thankyou Keith!!

  21. Fernandez’ really knows how to play to an audience, indeed an added value to F1.
    However, I don’t agree with his ideas. As I’ve said before, the new rules are too conservative in my view, would rather’ve liked a max amount of fuell and freedom for all other things. If you want to use a V12 fine, as long as it gets you there, ok with me. And road relevance automatically follows, although that is not important to me. What’s the relevance of other sports? It is by definition about entertainment!
    And the idea about tyres and wheel sizes, i think it’s just a bridge too far… Then again if it produces good racing, why not?

  22. It doesn’t matter to me if your a public person or not – you’re entitled to have your private life for yourself and not the public. One may argue that these guys are “just taking photos”, but I’d get really mad if anybody was “just taking photos” wherever I go and whatever I do. I’ve also read somebody saying that Alonso is so rich that he could choose some fancy islad for rich people where he would be isolated, but maybe he wants to go to a normal quite place like anybody else. He chose to be famous so he should accept paparazzi? He chose to be a racing driver not a celebrity and from what I know, he likes to keep his private life to himself, which I very much like. It seems much more normal and down to earth than becoming a celebrity once your famous and showing of everywhere you can. Alonso was working hard for the past few months and he’s been givng interviews and autographs, smiling to the cameras all the time in the padddock. He deserves to be left alone for some time. I, as an F1 fan, want him to do good on track next year for the sake of our entertainment, so let him have some rest in his free time, so he could come back to the track relaxed and strong in February/March.
    And I don’t consider what he said a threat to anybody. I thought he was quite reasonable and was speaking calmly – just to make sure to everybody from the very begining that he wants to be left alone. And IMO it’s not that he threatened to “destroy” the whole island, but rather told the paparazzi that if they wouldn’t leave him alone, he would leave and tell his other celebrity friends that this is not a good place for holidays, so no celebrity will come there and everybody will lose because of that. Fairplay for me. Private life should always be private. No matter how famous you are, yu should be always entitled to have some time just for yourself and your family without cameras pointed at you. Good for him to protect his rights.
    Yes, I’m Alonso’s fan, but I would say the same thing about any other driver or any other famous person in general no matter if I like them or not.

    Sorry for such a long post, but I really don’t like paparazzi and can’t understand how you can demand a famous person to always live in the spotlight just because they’re famous. It’s insane, everybody should have the right to have their private lives just for themselves.

  23. I think Alonso’s “thread” did sound childish, but what can you say to those paparazzi guys, they are just everywhere and they don’t go away if you say “please leave me alone, i want some privacy”. I actually don’t understand why all paparazzi are not arrested and send to a small lonely island where they can annoy each other instead of people trying to enjoy a holiday.

  24. Being Portuguese this was almost a non event. We heard it on the news, he said that haven’t heard anything else since.

  25. Alonso did even worse when he said that. Now every news channel are transmiting the video. And he can’t blame Portugal or the portuguese people for the paparazzi. Maybe they are italian or spanish. Did he heard what language were they speaking?!

  26. When I see paparazzi, I see roaches. Makes me want to break out a can of roach spray! And like roaches, they will probably be here log after mankind is extinct.

  27. Charles Carroll
    4th January 2011, 16:52

    As for the USGP, the pessimism surrounding F1’s success in the U.S. is not only palpable, it is understandable. That was an excellent article, Keith, and thank you for posting it. I love F1, much more so than NASCAR, but I do not see a future in it in Europe, much less the U.S. The economic and demographic collapse of each will ultimately destroy the sport as well.

  28. All these defenders of Alonso in this instance would have had a different reaction if it was Hamilton. If Lewis had done the very same thing….arrogance….arrogance would have been their response.

    1. Is that not exactly what the Alonso haters have done today?

      Kimi fell head first into a boat, and we all still love him.

    2. You can believe me or not and I can speak only for myself, but I personally would defend every single driver in this situation, no matter if I like him or not. In my case it has nothing to do with preferences and liking/not liking sb, but rather with the so called philosophy of life. Private life is private. I want to see those guys racing – that’s what I like and respect them for. They are no Paris Hilton known for being famous and nothing more really, but they actually do something to earn their fame. They do their talking on the track and they don’t need all those magazines to have fans. Thus their private lives shouldn’t be public business. I would say leave them all alone outside of the GPs/PR events and let them relax in peace if that’s what they ask for.
      I admit I like Alonso and he earns some more of my respect here for at least trying to live a normal life and standing up for his right to privacy. Thinking of that a bit more…. I really don’t like Vettel, but if that was him, believe me, I would start liking him too.

    3. I totally agree man. Which makes all these comments defending Alonso even more sad.

  29. i think we all would like you to ask a simple question to senna producer:


    insert your own country there

  30. Alonso has every right to some downtime, but he should have dealt with it by telling them they could have some pics if he would then be left alone.

    You aren’t telling me he went on holiday to somewhere he is incredibly well known and was surprised by the attention?

    On the flip side, you get paid these ridiculous sums of money to be a public face. If you don’t understand the downsides, go on holiday somewhere you won’t be under as much scrutiny.

    As for his threat, I’ll be calling him Judith chalmers from now on (one for the British readers there ;-)

    1. You get paid to drive, win races/championships, bring sponsors, represent your team on official events etc. – do things that are connected with your job and not to let everybody see what you eat for breakfast and what colour of pijamas you wear at night. It’s easy for us all to say that he should accept it, isn’t it? I, myself, and I belive many of the Alonso critics over here, would hate it if they had to spend just a few days in the spotlight. Wouldn’t you be seriously mad if people you don’t even know were trying to take your photos when your on holliday? He didn’t choose to be a celebrity – he chose to be a driver. Fame came with the job, but maybe some people are so shy or whatever else (i.e. they like to keep their private lives to themselves) that they simply can’t get used to the cameras no matter how long they are famous. That doesn’t make them any worse in their jobs.

      And do you seriously belive that letting those hyenas take a few picture would make them leave you alone? Because I think quite the opposite. Try to give somebody your hand and they will grab the whole arm. If he let a few of them take pictures, more would follow straight away to have their share as well and they would never leave him alone.

  31. Fernando Alonso has a right to push these papparrzi losers out of the way and they violate privacy rights to every celeb or an athlete.

    What a papparrzi started chasing and following you any where you and starting taking pictures of you. Would that violate your privacy rights?

    I would do the same thing to these papparrzo losers and shove their cameras down their throats.

    Papparrzi should be outlawed.

  32. This looked like it was a public place, so to me, Alonso was fair game. I don’t think he had a problem with the photographers there and then, but was just warning them to stay away when they reach a place where privacy should be respected – that’s fair enough if you ask me.

  33. I found the article on F1 in America to be interesting and on point. As much as I love F1 racing, I can see the US media jumping all over F1 politics and culture, it is the nature of the beast.
    F1 will be viewed as a very closed priviledged paddock, quite the opposite of NASCAR, which it will be compared. The truth be told, it is closed except to the well known and affluent. The Ferraris and McLarens of the world take pride in this exlusivity.
    The american media don’t understand F1 but they do understand american sports fans so you can expect very little support from them to learn F1 and explain it to the fans. Also,one race a year will be a seen as a joke by some and as an event by only a few fans.

  34. Is it me, or has Alonso drawn a lot more publicity to his holiday by making the threat?

  35. Alonso is right in showing of the paparazzi. I can understand him. Okay, he needs to accept that he has a very public job, wicht brings him so much, but he deserves to have some privacy as well.

  36. Alonso’s wife was apparently beaten by a woman in Porto Santo after chasing and take pictures to some locals.

    Here’s the google translation with some corrections I made:

    01:17 Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    New Year’s Eve of Fernando Alonso and his wife Raquel del Rosario in Madeira was undoubtedly too busy. Once, upon arrival, the F1 driver of 29 years old, which would threaten harm to Porto Santo if was photographed during his stay, his more-than-everything was attacked on Sunday by an islander.

    The Spanish singer, 28, will not have liked to be photographed and chased the man who captured their images. Arrival of the house, Rachel also decided to shoot the scene but was approached by the owner of the house. After discussion, the woman was eventually beaten by the owner’s wife (slaps). A vacation that will make the pilot did not return so quickly to our country …

  37. As somebody already pointed out, If you are a celebrity, and getting extremely well paid too you must realise you will attract attention.

    It comes with the territory.

    Do you understand Fernando?

    Use some of your millions to go somewhere really private.

    1. I see some posts are being displayed out of sequence

  38. I think the points about the sport media in US are justified, but although regaining a home round of the championship will help grow the sport immensely, there are smaller steps media can take this year. Give US fans a way to watch the sport online _please_! Even if it’s a pay service.

    F1 is a secretive, fringe sport here. It just is. It airs at 2-3-4 o’clock in the morning for many, many rounds of the championship. To ask a fan to stay up to that kind of hour and then saturate coverage with commercials that make up nearly a quarter of the time allotment is horrible. This just makes “watching” the sport here more difficult for all but the most hardcore fan base to follow. Let alone the mainstream talking head sport media.

    Secondly, sport media here in the states is dominated by two things; ESPN and sports radio. Neither of these things work in favor of the world of motorsport. Typically the interesting strategic aspects of a race or a GP weekend don’t condense into a 30 second highlight. All those nuances that we enjoy are lost and what the average viewer gets is a single car rounding the final corner and crossing the start-finish line.

    In the interim, I’m booking for a return to Montreal in 2011 this week!

    1. I’m closer to the west coast here in the US, so I know exactly what you mean. If I didn’t have the DVR set up to record I’d never catch a GP.

  39. Who wants pictures of Alonso on holiday? Personally not me (!) but fundamentally the gutter-press are there because Jo-public want to see and read about him.

    I don’t buy the argument that because he’s a public figure and gets paid loads of money that we, as the general public, can demand access to him 24/7. Itnever ceases to amaze me that people will pay money to see pictures of famous people lying on a beach or standing on a boat. Why???

    Let the guy go on holiday and relax – if you were genuine Alonso fans (again, I’m not) you’d want to cut him some slack to spend time with his family and away from the cameras.

  40. Being annoyed by photographers is a very small price to pay when the huge publicity around you is a big part of the very good living you earn (tens of millions I assume).
    The photographers do their job legally most of the time and taking a pic of someone in a public place is legal in most EU countries so criticising the photographers or addressing / threatening them is showing very little understanding of legal matters. The photographers simply fulfill a demand from editors who themselves fulfill a demand from the pubic in general, ie us. Unless you’ve never opened a magazine nor read a newspaper, criticising photographers is plain naive.
    Why is Alonso threatening the photographers of slagging off the venue ? What do they care ? Is he stupid ?

  41. I agree with most when they say everyone deserves their privacy. However, in this case, Alonso had a pretty bad attitude, because he wasn’t aiming at the Paparazi, but threatening a city. If I was a Porto Santo citizen, I would feel that this guy was being arrogant. Porto Santo is not a 3rd world country that needs Alonso’s media exposure. Imagine if someone came to your country, whatever his status, and did a similar treat. How would you feel? Alonso probably woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day. But what he said, to me, at least, sounded insulting not to the paparazzi, but to Porto Santo and their citizens.

  42. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    6th January 2011, 17:11

    so now Alonso thinks he’s a tourist agent who can tell you wher not to go on vacations? Why doesn’t he puts on his costy sunglasses and escaps in a helicopter if he feels so special? Shut your mouth and drive, cause (at least) in that you’re great.

  43. Impreza_600BHP
    17th January 2011, 15:44

    he can hold his temper we;, i would have brained one of them, i can’t think of anything worse than having my privacy invaded.

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