F1 newcomers “need no preparation” – Alonso

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says F1 newcomers like Lance Stroll need little talent and no preparation to make the step to the top flight.

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Tim isn’t convinced Mercedes really have extracted the maximum from the current set of regulations:

The skeptic in me thinks that Toto is sandbagging it a bit here. I do wonder how much faster their engine will be compared to their rivals without the token system in place. They’ve shown they can make decent chassis and aero, and even without the token system, I’m thinking that they’ll still have the fastest engine.

I suspect that they’ll be battling a bit with Red Bull, while Ferrari and McLaren duke it out behind them for third place in the constructors’ championship.

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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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52 comments on “F1 newcomers “need no preparation” – Alonso”

  1. Maybe F1 doesn’t require fully prepared drivers, but also because testing is so limited, there’s no other alternative other than go racing these days. People with big pockets want track time, and that only happens during race weekends. Back in the day, Alonso and many others spent years testing and testing, gathering miles in experience and preparing themselves for the task.

    These days, simulator work, a couple of friday practices and (in Stroll’s case) a lot of milage in an old car does the trick.

    1. And bags of cash backing you

  2. I dissagree about drivers needing preperation before f1… and i think Alonso would too, if he wasnt busy playing backmarker. A couple times of having an 18 year old kid torpedo you while you fight for the championship neck and neck with 2 races left, juuuuuust might change that opinion.

    1. I think what he’s saying is there’s no more heroes in F1. No one to look up to who had to claw from the bottom up on raw instinct alone. Nowadays it’s hop in the sim and the pencil-pushers will do the rest.
      Speaking about the steady decline of F1 heroes… Can i imagine my son ever looking at me and saying Lewis Hamilton is my hero? Not a chance in..

      1. Why? What’s so wrong with Hamilton that you’d be so angry if your son said that? Did he somehow cheated his way into F1?

        Surely if you wanted your son to look up to anyone it would be him, given his background & the history of a sport that was only meant for the wealthy elite of society. Whatever your dislike is for him, don’t pass it down to your child.

        1. SaraJ said nothing about being angry at their son, rather that it would not be a probable situation, because the level of grit and courage that used to exist in F1 isn’t there anymore like it was back in the day. Kgn11, you are pretty touchy whenever anyone even remotely seems to criticize your hero. Lewis is great, but because of how the sport is, he will never be seen as heroic as a Jim Clarke or a Nikki Lauda who drove in eras when just getting behind the wheel was a matter of life and death.

          1. @Ferrox

            Role models comes in various forms, they don’t have to he ‘heroic’ and drive in an era whereby just getting into the car, was a matter of life or death like you’re trying to make it out to be. It’s 2016, not the mid 50s to 80s.

            How about he could view him as a role model from the point of view of his background, his struggles, his work ethic and all the things he has sacrificed to get to where he is?

            “Not a chance in …..” signifies that she is angry.

          2. Thanks @ferrox-glideh

            Glad you understood the meaning

          3. Heroes are not necessarily role models, and “not a chance in…” doesn’t signify anger, it signifies that the word “hell” has been left to the imagination.

        2. I could see someone who was part of a minority regarding Lewis as a hero (in a deeper sense than “the driver I cheer for”), because he was a trailblazer for black people entering F1. Admittedly that hasn’t been followed by many black people making a big impression in the racing scene, but at least nowadays it seems like a perfectly reasonable, if rare, event – before Lewis, a black racer trying to succeed in motorsport would likely have been regarded the same way as a woman trying to succeed in motorsport now.

          Someone who isn’t in a minority? Probably my first instinct would be that any such declaration would be based on aspirational lifestyle (and, perhaps, the ability to be awake until 3 am and still be at optimum skill level the next day – something pretty rare in F1 circles unless you are a mechanic), rather than the “started from virtually nothing and scaled the heights of glory”. Yes, Lewis did that (in as much as any racing driver could in his formative years), but until professional-level sim racers become something that an average home can buy – probably a few years down the road – I don’t think his story would be repeatable.

      2. Personally @sjzelli, I find Mansell a bit of a pratt (I am not from the UK, not sure if it matters for this), but I can still say he was a great driver; Hamilton is a bit like that too, but at least he’s not denying Verstappen has talent. On hearing older drivers talk about how easy it now is, some make sense, but Johannson, increasingly even Sir Jacky, Mansell, and here Alonso too, feel like it is easy for them to talk, they aren’t just now getting into F1.

      3. That’s probably more about you than Hamilton @sjzelli . If we had the metric I think we’d find he’s as many boy’s hero as Hunt or Moss.

        Anyway Nando is obviously annoyed by Max, Stroll & co, but the young ones make a lot of mistakes.

      4. No Alonso isn’t saying that hes saying they are easy to drive, not demanding and you need no supernatural talent to drive them on the limit. He probably knows better than all of us.

        As for the Lewis comment, totally un necessary but I guess if you have an agenda… He certainly is a hero for millions of kids globally. So many more than any other driver which again makes me wonder why you picked out Lewis. Don’t tell me, you don’t like him

  3. I think the intetesting thing about almost all cars, is that they have gotten faster easier and safer, whereas F1 hasn’t gotten any faster in the 20+years i have been an avid follower. Reasonable road cars of the 90’s are now slower than a cheap modern hatchback. If it stays this way, roadcars will match F1 in another 30 years.

    1. Indeed. Today’s minivans in America are pretty much as fast as a Ferrari 308!

      1. Lol…. shots fired

  4. the robbie williams and verstappen video is epic!!

    1. Agreed @djdapimp. Totally cringe! :-D

    2. “I’m sure he’s a lovely man but I have no idea who he is”

      ROFL!!! :-D

  5. So, I guess all that shouting about leaving F1 that was done by Mateschitz, Marko and Horner was just a bunch of hot air, eh? Since RBR dug their own hole, then screamed and cried about it, I’m glad neither Ferrari or Mercedes bailed them out.

    On the other hand I am truly glad that the Renault engine is better this year and that RBR have been more competitive in 2016. For two reasons, one we don’t have to listen to any more to their extremely loud crying gasbags and two, it makes for much better racing with RBR being competitive.

    1. I suspect Dietrich was unpleasantly surprised how little people cared :)

    2. Yes @bullmello, and that is the very irony of all those professing not to care had Red Bull chosen to leave. The fact that it was widely regarded as a hollow threat underpinned the kind of indifferent enmity @lockup talks of. In reality, reprehensible discourse aside, that indifference was as hollow as Red Bull’s posturing. The thought of losing drivers of the quality of Ricciardo, Verstappen and Sainz or a team as operationally excellent would surely be unthinkable for any genuine fan.

      1. Not if they believed that losing them might be necessary to preserve the sport (as distinct from the psuedopolitical mess). No sport, no point following any of the teams or drivers and therefore no point worrying if any of them has a future in the psuedopolitical mess.

  6. Thanks for the CoTD, Keith! I hope to be surprised, and see some close competition for the WCC, while the teams race to out-develop one another.

  7. I now have an image in my mind of Robbie Williams being tied up, shoved into the back of Verstappen’s car and dragged around Yas Marina for three days, kicking and screaming that he wants to go home, all the while being filmed by a grinning TV host.

  8. When I was at school there was no Internet. I had to go to the library. Nowadays kids can just “look things up”! Waaahhh! It’s just not fair!

  9. I’m not really hearing as many “Giovanazzi to Haas” rumours as I would like. Saying that, the report that Force India is set to overlook Nasr in favour of Ocon is very good news. Gasly to Formula E is probably also a report that will start popping up…

    1. Gasly to FE will only happen if a seat opens up mid-season. He is however linked with Super Formula.

      I also want more Giovinazzi to Haas rumours, especially as he’s just rejected the Audi LMP1 test to focus on the GP2 finale.

      1. @craig-o I haven’t heard anything about Gasly going to Super Formula, but it would make sense if he was to have a Vandoorne-style stop-gap before a 2018 promotion. Saying that, if Gasly isn’t on the 2017 grid I’m not sure we will ever see him in F1 because it’s not like he has a Vandoorne level junior career and a paddock filled with key figures uttering his name in hushed tones.

        Formula E, possibly as a replacement for Nico Prost, would be a good option for him. With Audi’s exit from the WEC removing the aspirational peak from sportscar racing, and with IndyCar seemingly only interested in American drivers, the opportunities for super fast drivers outside of F1 are diminishing…especially with Sebastien Buemi hogging all the best seats!

        In that regard it is probably good news to hear that Giovanazzi has quickly recoiled having dipped his toe in the WEC pool in the past months. Good news for the likely limited chances of seeing him on the F1 grid that is…

        1. @william-brierty @craig-o Indeed. I was also expecting more especially after that simulator test with Ferrari. But let’s not be pessimistic and wait for the championship I’m sure he’ll win. Maybe opportunities are on the table if the trophy is in his bag, and why not Haas through a link with Ferrari. A young talented Italian would only do good to its academy. Note that if Gasly looses he’ll have the option to stay another year in GP2 but I don’t see how to change the reputation of being beaten by a rookie in the same machinery.

  10. If anything that video of Williams proves a bit what Alonso is saying in his interview. A rock star like Robbie Williams should know the gladiators that risk their lives every other weekend in cars that go over 300kph.

    1. I honestly had no idea who Robbie Williams is. I had to Google him….

      1. Come on, everyone knows that he is the comedian from ‘Good Morning, Vietnam.’

        1. Wrong, that’s Robin Williams in that role

  11. Evil Homer (@)
    8th November 2016, 13:02

    I think the ‘no prep’ comment by Alonso is not quite right but yes the young guys these day get in easier with less physical work required to drive and more sim work.

    Lets hope next year reverses that a lot.

    As for the Gladiators of F1, I would love to say Senna, Mansell, Piquet & Prost, but we all know its Moss, Fangio, Hawthorn, Stewart and may others!!

    1. Evil Homer (@)
      8th November 2016, 13:26

      Also the Robbie Williams clip was classic- yes he done the Jackie Stewart video some 15 years ago, but not a fanboy it seems. I am sure Max couldn’t care less lol- but I hope he gets to a race, gets into the pits, see’s the cars, does a few interviews on the grid with MB answering “well I don’t have a favourite, I hope they all do well” to show again you can be an F1F but if you don’t have fame then singers/celeb’s care FA about our sport will see more than us! Hmmmmmm………. Is BE still in charge??

    2. @evilhomer, and yet, those figures would have also seen teenage drivers like Ricardo Rodriguez and Chris Amon competing in Formula 1 in the early 1960’s, an era looked back upon as particularly difficult and dangerous.

      Are you saying that it did not require a lot of physical effort to drive the cars of the early 1960’s at, for example, the old Monza track (in the sopraelevata configuration, and in the same race where von Trips was killed after clipping Clark’s car)? Bear in mind that this was the same race where Ricardo set a record for being the youngest front row starter that held for 55 years (until Verstappen broke the record at the Belgian GP this year).

  12. That cardboard SF16-H is sick.
    restecpa Igor P. !

    Also, nice comments from Lewis about Kanye West. It’s one genius being inspirational to another genius.

    1. Ferrari should invite him to a race. He deserves it 1000x as much as Robbie Williams.

  13. Whats the excuse for the super fantastic talent as OCO? Then he should have shown his speed from the first race against WER…or…? Think ALO is right…you only have to have one thing for winning in F1: a superlicence and lots of money..

    1. Crash, so, let me get this straight – you are complaining that Ocon, who is part of Mercedes’s junior driver programme, is an undeserving pay driver, but Wehrlein, who is also part of Mercedes’s junior driver programme, doesn’t have money backing him up?

    2. That’s two things, Crash

  14. Regarding Giovanazzi, I think it would make sense for Renault to sign him as a development driver. Renault have connections to Ocon, but ultimatly he belongs to Mercedes. Renault have indicated they want to develop their own champion of the future, and Giovanazzi might just fit that bill. The talent seems to be there, and with a Vandoorne-style combination of Super Formula and regular Formula 1 FP1 outings he could be made ready for a race seat in 2018.

  15. Damn right the whole Liberty Media thing should be investigated. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it will only lead to a total removal of F1 on terrestrial TV. Not that I would ever subscribe to Sky, but in the block of flats I live, residents aren’t allowed to put up a dish. And to be honest, I have no intention of paying for TV that I simply won’t watch, just for F1 even if I could afford it. Just Googled it:

    “To watch Formula 1 in standard definition, you need the Sky Sports Bundle, which is an amalgamation of Sky’s Original Bundle, with the Sports channels on top of it. At a cost of £45.50 a month, it works out at £546.00 a year. The price over the year is down £6.00 compared to January 2015.”

    It pains me to say it, but I’d rather try and pick up a dodgy stream online and watch it that way. At worst, C4 or another channel should have the same amount of coverage as the current situation allows. At best, a return to all races being shown in full (although maybe a few hours later or even a day later?).

    All that said, I’m not 100% against paying to watch the F1. I just don’t want to do it through Sky as it would be a huge amount. I’d be happy to subscribe to a F1 channel on Freeview or something. That just isn’t an option currently though. I’m sure I can’t be alone in this.

  16. Alonso reached that time in his career where the end is coming, and he not achieved everything he wanted, so he will talk trash about F1.

  17. Is the 40 million dollar salary keeping Alonso in this sport that no longer gives him the feel he wants? Holy I’m almost sick of hearing him talk about how good the old days were. We all know it was tougher 10 years ago to drive a Formula One car but there have always been, and always will be drivers who bring money and get a seat because of it. And because of the degrading tires and safety improvements you will see younger kids making the jump because it’s not as extreme of a car as 10 years ago. But it seems Fernando is a broken record every single week now. Time to live with what we have instead of living in the past Fernando. I’m a North American F1 fan and have been for 10 years, do any Europeans feel how I do? Maybe some of you are 100% behind him? Just wonderfing because I know it’s a more European form of Motorsport.

  18. Some advice for Liberty – get out of the deal before it’s too late.

    I don’t think they get it – F1 is a shadow of what it used to be and for all intentional purposes dead. It will never reach it’s past glory.

    There are many factors as to what caused it’s demise – too many regulations, high ticket prices, charging TV viewers, boring races and greed (think Bernie) among many others.

    Alonso has it right – it’s not about racing skills as much as tire and fuel management but detractors here can’t accept the facts because of their prejudice towards him and self denial that their sport is a shadow of it’s former self.

    Liberty must realize that it isn’t by coincidence F1 has lost approximately 30% of viewers over the last several years. Even European countries (other than the Brits) have largely lost interest.

    Don’t be stupid Liberty – bail!

    1. F1 needs Donald Trump, let’s make F1 great again! Or maybe Hillary. She could cover up Crashgate, but then I guess Donald would probably spend most of his time making F1 great again in the Amber Lounge groping women’s……………..

  19. But Alonso’s comment flies in the face of all the Verstappen fans – “He’s only young, he needs time”, “You’re comparing his performance to a driver that’s been racing F1 for five years, it’s unfair” etc. etc. If a driver is in F1, he needs to deliver. Simple.

    1. Not sure if i understand you correctly.. doe you have the impression Verstappen “does not deliver”?

      1. If the 2016 season of F1 had one headline it would be “Max Delivers!”

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