Disillusioned Alonso ‘tempted’ to race outside F1

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso admits his frustrations with F1 have tempted him to consider racing in other categories.


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Fernando Alonso hints at future switch away from F1 (BBC)

"With no testing, with these tyres, with these limitations, with the calendar for example of next year, there is the temptation for (doing) other categories, that is true."

Pirelli wet tyre test set for Paul Ricard in January (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"You’ve got to go to a controlled circuit where water is applied on a consistent basis. It’s one of the few places where in January it should be OK in terms of weather."

Grosjean proud of ‘miracle’ qualifying (F1i)

"We were clearly not expecting to get in to Q3. Our first mission was to get in to Q2, which didn’t seem that easy initially, and we did that and then the lap in Q2 was absolutely beautiful."

Hungaroring exposes Williams' weaknesses - Valtteri Bottas (ESPN)

"We knew it wouldn't be easy, but it's where we are for this track and we are missing still cornering grip and cornering downforce. Especially in the long corners we are missing some grip."

Kerb loading led to Perez crash (Autosport)

"The rumble strips here are so long that if you ride on them completely, you get high frequency, a decent aptitude load, that you don't see anywhere else."

Claire Williams targets wins and world title as F1 team sense sunnier future (The Guardian)

"We don’t know if Valtteri was quicker. He thinks he was. We don’t know if he was."

Lewis Hamilton's mentor Aki Hintsa diagnosed with abdominal cancer as F1 champion faces new agony (The Mirror)

"World famous Finn Aki Hintsa began chemotherapy in the last few days."

Hamilton assures Wimbledon he will dress up next year (Reuters)

"It was fun, I enjoyed the aftermath of it and ultimately I am excited that I have been invited back again for another year, or I will be invited back -- so I'm happy about that and I will make sure that I dress the right away."

The 'One' after Jules (Gabor Vajda)

"'I swear I’ll never do this again' I said when Friday was over at the Hungaroring."


Comment of the day

RogerA was not impressed with what he saw in yesterday’s GP2 race:

I hate this tyre-deg dominated racing and the predictable, uncompetitive and stupidly easy passes it produces.

I used to love GP2, I used to love seeing the truly competitive racing with proper hard fought overtaking. It’s just rubbish now a lot of the time because you have big performance differences between compounds, big differences between new tyres/old tyres and this year DRS and the quality of the racing and especially the overtaking is just not as good as it once was.

Seeing Alex Lynn come out the pits in fifth knowing that he’ll be two to three seconds a lap faster on fresh tyres and that passing the four cars in front is going to be easy just removes all interest and excitement for me and that’s just not the sort of uncompetitive non-racing I enjoy watching.

Watching Lewis Hamilton at Istanbul in 2006 for instance where he was pulling off real overtakes and he was coming up against guys towards the front like Glock and Piquet who were able to race him and come back at him when he was trying to get by them. That’s real racing and what GP2 was always about until we entered this Pirelli tyre-deg era.

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On this day in F1

On this day last year Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton suffered his second technical problem in a row during qualifying.

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62 comments on “Disillusioned Alonso ‘tempted’ to race outside F1”

  1. thank God they are finally going to do something about improving the wet tyres with a wet tyre test, knowing the luck pirelli have when it comes to wanting to test a specific tyre though it will probably be snowing and won’t be adequate, like in 2012 whenever they put test tyres into practice it almost always rained that session

    1. Well they can always claim they weren’t allowed to use a 2016 car.

  2. COTD, ALONSO, both railing against these race destroying tyres, why all this willful stupidity ? Does Bernie think that we will forget it was his idea if we wait a few more years before admitting the demonstrated stupidity of the thought process that couldn’t see past the 1st. few extra passes made on drivers helpless to defend. I won’t be watching the Hungarian GP due to the paywall instigated by Bernie and his masters at CVC to gain quick profits rather than long term growth, but even were F1 to return to FTA TV I doubt my loyalty would survive a further extension of the Pirelli tyre contract.

    1. I don’t think tyres are the biggest problem of current F1. People used to compain for both one-stop and multi-stop races regarding what’s happening. However I agree with GP2 section (in DTM it is the same and I stopped watching as it is virtually the same race every fortnight).

      1. @michael2009b, I fail to see how you can acknowledge the detrimental effect of these tyres on other series yet don’t acknowledge that exactly the same effect from exactly the same cause happens in F1, could it be that you started watching F1 when these tyres were in place but were not used in DTM and GP2, so you can see the problem in DTM and GP2 through your brand new rose tinted glasses?

          1. Well, my point was even having great tyres wouldn’t make F1 much more exciting. I think it is all system management and uncompetitive field that are responsible for boredoms we are witnessing on Sundays. I do agree though current tyres are far from being good. Are this and last year’s rubber much different from 2011-2012 when drivers – including likes of Webber and Alonso – were much much happier with them? It must be that way.

      2. The problem I have with the tyres is not the number of pitstops. It’s the fact that they have to drive like grandmothers in order to protect the tyres. They might as well give each driver a glas of water and tell them not to spill a drop. The concept of challenging the drivers by giving them bad equipment is boring.

      3. petebaldwin (@)
        26th July 2015, 12:30

        @michal2009b – You’re right. Tyres probably aren’t the biggest problem. Despite that, they are ruining the racing… As Alonso’s tweet says, there are plenty of other huge problems at the moment.
        A big name like him and possibly Button moving to WEC and lots more fans will follow

    2. Well, I think today’s race did some good against the feeling of despair for Alonso. And for quit a few of the fans watching too @hohum!

  3. Putting on my Rose Tinted Glasses again, how I long for the days when a car broke down or crashed in qualifying and the driver jumped out and ran all the way back to the pits to get into the spare car and get back out on track. How does stopping a driver from trying his best “improve the show”?

    1. It improves safty and costs which everyone whines about in every second thread. Give it another 10years and we will have perfectly safe and cheap racing that noone cares about. Tweet for overtake.

    2. @hohum While I also fondly remember watching a gaggle of drivers run back to the pitlane after a T1 Lap1 shunt jumping into the T-car, the realist inside of me also understands that it is cost prohibitive to build, maintain, pack/unpack, freight a 3rd car to every event.

      Although, with the incident yesterday, I think if the rules were relaxed so that a car that has made its way back to the pitlane (under its own steam or not) can continue to participate in qualifying. Just add the rule that if they cannot provide a fuel sample after their fastest run, that they’re penalised for that single scenario where teams might try to run illegal fuel in qualy and purposely let them run out of fuel so it cannot be tested. Simple change to the rules, it improves the show, but doesn’t allow teams to cheat, etc…

      1. I guess you missed the bit where Boellier confirmed that the car would not have been repairable soon enough to get out again anyway @dragoll

      2. “it is cost prohibitive to build, maintain, pack/unpack, freight a 3rd car to every event.”

        The teams DO build, maintain, pack/unpack, freight a 3rd car to every event. But then it’s disassembled and kept in boxes in the paddock in accord with FIA regs.

    3. @hohum The problem is that 3rd cars increases cost’s (By more than you would think) & in the end were rarely needed (Especially when they started moving away from red flags for lap 1 incidents) which just made the additional cost unnecisary.

      1. @dragoll @gt-racer Perfectly valid points in regards to the cost saving argument, but why do they keep banging on about cost saving? There are plenty of ways to save $$$ that F1 doesn’t employ and the cost saving methods they enforce are just legalities and strip the public of entertainment. There’s no spare car, but they have more than enough parts to build one on location if required probably two or three if they wanted, so it’s just a mockery, a poster, a promotion that says we are restricting costs when in reality it’s just a control measure gone horribly wrong put in place by people so out of touch they signed up Pirelli just to get a copy of their calendar.

      2. @gt-racer, @dragoll, But does it really cost that much? I ask the silly question because I’m pretty sure that the teams take a spare of almost everything needed to build a car to every race, and they also have 20 mechanics to change tyres, something they didn’t have back when teams started bringing spare cars to races, got to be cheaper than re-fueling.

        1. @hohum @funkfy I had to think about your question/points of view. I’m not 100% sure if they would carry all necessary components to build a 3rd car out of spares, but cannot categorically deny it. Would they carry a spare fuel bladder for instance? Or an entire wiring loom? I’m not sure they would, but I could be wrong.
          Regardless or not, having a 3rd car wouldn’t replace the need of needing to carry spares, because, if a corner was taken off the primary car, they would rebuild the corner and keep the T-car in case of something unrepairable, it was basically sitting in the garage collecting dust on the rare occasions when cars failed and drivers had the opportunity to jump into them.

          1. @funky-f1 didn’t tag you correctly

          2. @funkyf1 lol, not a good day, trying again :P

          3. @dragoll, but if they don’t carry a spare fuel bladder or wiring loom now how much extra would it cost to do so? I think in the past the spare car was canibalised when unforseen parts were required.

          4. @hohum I don’t recall if they canibalised the parts or not, but it doesn’t make sense to have a car sitting in the garage only to be used in highly unique circumstances like what happened to Alonso. It seems unnecessary to me, when it may happen to a team once a year.
            I could also make the argument that teams that build reliable cars should be rewarded as well. On top of that, the crews have to spend time building/preparing the t-car for each race on top of the work they’re carrying out to prepare the primary cars; remember that the cars change race by race with new/changed components and this work would have to be done to the t-car as well.
            I think the high level point I’m getting at, is there are other arguments other than cost that make T-cars an unnecessary burden.

          5. It can also be pointed out that, even in the days when third cars were allowed, the teams still couldn’t always ensure that they would be ready for a driver to use at short notice.

            For example, back in 2003 at the Austrian GP, Frentzen had a problem with the clutch in his car and ran back to the pit lane to get in the spare car.

            However, despite the fact that the actual start was delayed by much longer than usual because of a second aborted start, because the car was set up for Heidfeld, Sauber couldn’t convert the car settings over for Frentzen and he missed the start of the race anyway.

            Given the relatively short length of the individual sessions in qualifying, it is perhaps questionable whether, even if McLaren did have a third car built up, they could actually have readied it in time for Alonso to be able to use it.

          6. They do indeed carry all spare parts to build a third car including a reserve chassis (maybe not the backmarkerteams). They are not allowed to have it assembled and ready thats all, if a car gets totaled during practice they can assemble a new car over the night.

          7. It’s all good @dragoll it is Sunday after all :) Valid points about the T car, still cost cutting is a bunch rubbish. Let them just spend and entertain :)

          8. Its not even as much about the parts, all teams carry enough to rebuild a car completely and at the top end of the paddock, probably even more @hohum, @dragoll. But then when you look at it, they would a. need mechanics to actually build up the car, have an extra engine for it and test the whole bunch to make sure it works, and b. need extra space to put that complete car and “store” it.

            I think we can take it from @gt-racer that the cost was indeed quite a bit more than just having the parts there.

          9. @bascb @funkyf1 @hohum @rethla Great conversation guys, I really enjoyed this thread. Lots of thought no flames, very enjoyable…

          10. @bascb @funkyf1 @hohum @rethla The cost of a 3rd car doesn’t just come from transporting the extra bits (You need to take even more spare parts to run a 3rd car as you need spares to cover 3 cars), There is also extra engines, A few sets of extra tyres, Oils, fluids etc..

            But you also then need to take extra mechanics to run that 3rd car because you need a crew to build it alongside the other 2 & you need a crew to maintain it over the weekend, Run the engine periodically & ensure the settings are set identically when changes are made to the car of the driver who has access to the spare that weekend.

            A 3rd car & everything you need to run it would be a few hundred thousand dollars of additional cost per race weekend which over a season would amount to a couple million & if you only need to use it once or twice over a year that cost just isn’t worth it.

      3. Have a spare car is a stupid expense. UNLESS Bernie decides it isn’t and want the top 4 to supply 4 cars each. Then it’s a brilliant cost-saving move.

    4. @hohum Reliability means spare car are less necessary now than they ever have been, so it’s hard to make a case for subjecting teams to the considerable cost of building them and shipping them all around the world.

  4. Fantastic COTD. While I still like GP2 I just switched off halfway through as it looks like every race is the same. Same thing happened with DTM last year. If they must have that both-compound-per-race rule then make sure there is not a big performance advantage. Otherwise we end up watching two completely different races and not too much excitement when they cross paths. It makes for complicated watching throughout as well. It was better in Austria and Silverstone (lesser gap between compunds) although I still preferred 2013-style GP2.

  5. Must say I do agree with COTD.

    There are times in some races nowadays be it due to the DRS or more often the tyres where you may as well be watching 2 cars from different categories because of the performance differences.

    Yeah fine that has mixed up races & generated a ton of passing but with a lot of it been as COTD says uncompetitive, predictable & easy i’d hardly say that its improved the quality of the racing & I will always argue that quality is better than quantity.

    1. DRS has almost nothing with such big difference in the tyres. If someone is 3 seconds quicker DRS makes no difference. I know it’s a very popular thing to slam DRS for everything on this site but let’s stay on the ground :)

      1. @michal2009b, don’t try to change the subject, COTD is about tyres and @gt-racer says it is “more often the tyres”.

      2. Hm, @michal2009b, if you say its not really DRS doing most harm, and instead its the tyres, aren’t you saying pretty much exactly the same as @gt-racer there?

        Sadly I agree. The enormous difference in fresh and used tyres meant that drivers could just drive around other cars without much tought about whether they would be able to do it. Sure, DRS ruined it even more because it made getting by even easier, avoiding any further risk, but the tyre difference took the fun out of that race yesterday.

    2. For me it’s not so much the overtaking aspect, but the fact the drivers can’t push most of the time. Add that to the ever-increasing car weight and the cars simply don’t look as dynamic as they used to.

  6. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with short lifetime tyres as long as they provide grip that the drivers can actually use. The problem with the Pirellis is that the operating temperature window is too narrow and the performance disappears if they get too cool so to get the most out of them the drivers drive round like Jenson’s nan.
    They’re not the reason why less people are watching F1 though, that sits squarely with the promoter and their refusal to engage what other sports recognise as the key demographics.

  7. I came here for wisecracks about Alonso pushing his car, and was disappointed to find none!

    Let me set that ball rolling: “Alonso pushes his MP4-30 to speeds it has never previously achieved”.

    1. How about Mclaren-Honda reveal their true power source Fernado Alonso

    2. Alonso is a driving force behind Honda’s resurgence! :)

    3. I’d rather push a McLaren than drive a Ferrari.

    4. Alonso considers switching from Formula 1 to Flinstone 1

      1. Perhaps he’s just tired of the refined and ethereal objectives of Formula H(ybrid).

    5. “With these tyre, there is the temptation for doing other sport categories.” (BBC)

      1. This should be in the caption competition :)

    6. As part of their efforts to make racing safer the FIA have slowed Formula 1 cars down further by ruling that all power must come from the driver unaided.

  8. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

  9. While I think that the racing in GP2 at hungary was dominated by tyre conservation & DRS, I can’t help but think that Formula 1 drivers need to be able to conserve tyres and deploy DRS. In my mind I thought GP2 is meant to be the training ground. F1 drivers need to be ready to step into an F1 cockpit, not arrive in F1 and learn how to do everything again. Its hard enough for rookies in F1 adjusting to hectic PR schedules, team procedures, etc… that they really do feel like driving an F1 car is the last thing that they do, so anything to help them make that leap, and feel comfortable, the better. So in that respect, I see the sense in running DRS and having races where tyre conservation is key, because how else are we going to prepare our future F1 drivers?

  10. Lewisham Milton
    26th July 2015, 6:23

    Violins out for Fernando.
    Good on ya to the bloke who didn’t just whine and hint at doing something different, but went and did it, won it, kept doing F1 as well and starts a cunning 11th on the grid today…

    1. To be fair to Alonso, there are almost certainly clauses in his contract that would prevent him from racing LeMans. It’s probably easier for the bloke that did, because he’s racing F1 cars for an airline and his boss let him.

  11. I think Alonso’s best shot at a title in F1 is if Renault takes over Lotus and makes it a works team. Sure, Renault’s PU seems to be lacking performance as well, but it seems more logical that a PU supplier like Renault can close the gap to Ferrari and Mercedes, rather than a PU supplier that has been out of sport and unable to achieve any success in the last 2 decades in formula 1.

    The Enstone team has always proved itself as a strong squad when it is well financed, and with Renault + Alonso’s cash flow, they could quickly be fighting the front runners again.

    Mclaren are in heaps of trouble. I think Ron needs to cut his losses and become a Mercedes customer team once again. There is no point in resting on the laurels of Mclaren Honda’s legacy. I would be surprised if Honda doesn’t exit the sport at the end of 2016

    1. I honestly think that if Alonso had stayed with Enstone he would have a 3rd or even 4th title by now.
      I would also like to see Grosjean in a team with better finances, ALO-GRO at Enstone works Renault really appeals to me (as long as the PU improves A LOT).

  12. Regarding COTD, people only just realising that now? I noticed it straight from the off years a go. It’s not racing – its a time trial, almost. Also, what has tyre deg got to do with poor show? As long as it’s the same for everyone, then it’s fine. Knowing a racer come into the pits for new tyres and will be 2 seconds a lap faster against a guy who decided not to but is 20 seconds up the road with a number of laps to go is exciting.

    This is where F1 went wrong. Especially from F1 2010 – F1 2013. F1 did not need DRS. The highly degrading tyres potentially going off the cliff, 3 vs 2 pit stop strategies were enough. If a racer was great at defending, you could defend your position to the end of the race. The talents of the driver will be shown. Kers was brilliant as well.. why? because it was the same for everyone. You could strategically use kers power boost anywhere on the strack to defend or attack and get one over your rival. DRS is not the same for everyone as someone behind you gets advantage for easy overtake. Nothing you can do about it. It’s rubbish racing. Why have the rule makers not realised this yet? Because of 2 tracks a year like Catalunya where DRS is a positive?…. and that’s debateable.

    All you need is moderate-high degradable tyres and some kind of power boost like kers where you can use anywhere on the track to improve the racing, with no DRS. Imagine F1 2010 – F1 2013 without DRS. That would have been great.

  13. If you are Fernando Alonso and you are looking to join another series (I am assuming WEC or IndyCar), you are going to end up in a very top team (provided he takes a wage cut) simply based on the fact that you are Fernando Alonso. Would you prefer to do this and show the world that you are a champion in multiple categories as opposed to trundling around in a car which cannot go ten minutes without exploding? I know I would.

  14. I do wish Alonso had won in 2010, that would have made such a difference.

    Anyway surely he has to wait and see what Honda can do for next year, even though watching Lewis must be driving him insane. He must have a lot of insider info tho, so he’ll know way before us what the prospects are.

  15. Agreed with COTD, I stopped watching GP2 since it is becoming more and more like F1, a sport that is declining in popularity. I just don’t see the logic there.

  16. If Sebastian Vettel finishes 3rd today, he will have the record for most points scored in a driver’s F1 career.

    1. Points record don’t mean much as the points system keeps changing. I wish that F1 stuck to one points system (preferably the current one)

  17. Lol don’t blame you’re situation Alonso, we know for a fact F1 would be the best sport ever if you was in Merc, or maybe not if more exp Ham put you in you’re place again.

    1. An ignorant comment, a waste of space… Nice grammar, though.

  18. paradiddlesixix
    26th July 2015, 18:49

    alonso is right. Disintegrating tires, no testing, lame cooky cutter races. Teams not able to expand and improve their cars for the full season. And drivers being told not to push because they are beyond the 5 laps that their crap tires are worth. This isnt racing. More races are won from the pits than from actual racing. No wonder theyre having problems with attendance. Its gotten to the point that people are sick of the cookie cutter races, and if they loose Alonso, Button, and Raikkonen even more people will cut their losses and go watch a true more pure form of racing. And i hope these guys will be there to be able to watch.

    Hey guys, lets make self destructive tires, that will make the racing better. Whoever thought that up should go far far away.

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