Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Sochi Autodrom, 2017

F1’s predictability is a turn-off, Alonso warns

2017 Canadian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso has warned the lack of competition in Formula One is sapping the sport’s popularity.

The McLaren driver made his comments during today’s press conference at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and drew attention to the nature of the questions he, Lewis Hamilton and Jolyon Palmer had been asked.

“An example is this press conference,” said Alonso. “There’s been not even one single question about this race weekend. Not for more, not even for Lewis, not even for him [Palmer]. If the future will be OK, if the updates will be OK… it’s always thinking forward too much, about next year, about September, whatever.”

“So there is not enough focus on this race weekend because the positions more or less we know. We can put in a paper the first 15 positions for qualifying and for the race and 99% we will match every single position. This lack of uncertainty, unpredictability, generates a lot of thinking forward, too much guessing.”

“Obviously some part of the sport will benefit from that, because we will generate a lot of talks in the media, generate a lot of fan interactions. But you miss a little bit what’s going to happen this weekend.”

Alonso believes there should be a greater focus on each race weekend rather than what’s going to happen after it.

“When you come here you focus with the engineers, you prepare the race, you prepare the strategy, the tyre temperatures, whatever. [Then] you come to a press conference and it’s all about next year, what Zak [Brown] said, what Lewis said, what Toto [Wolff] said. So you freeze a little bit the emotions about the race this weekend. So it’s probably what it is.”

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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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  • 34 comments on “F1’s predictability is a turn-off, Alonso warns”

    1. Interesting choice of drivers for the presser, it’s as if they tried to balance the amount of talent by including Palmer 😜

      1. Alonso has had a four weeks break out of F1 and he already has forgotten Palmer’s name? ;)

        1. Or maybe he wants Renault seat and take up the spot of “nobody”.

        2. Most would like to forget Palmer. If you added Hamilton and Alonsos talent together as a positive value adding Palmer in results in an overall negative value.

    2. And yet I can’t win the weekend’s F1Fanatic predictions. Jeez

      1. Ahaha, I too have suffered the bad luck of always getting the 1% of incorrect guesses.

        1. So did Alonso actually.

    3. Yeaaa I don’t think so. I think the only really predictable thing right now is McHonda is going nowhere. That’s probably what makes him say this too. Not surprising among his various threats about quitting if they are not winning or if there are a couple of more races etc.

      I like this season very much. Sorry Fernando.

    4. I agree with him. That two teams can lap the rest of the field is a problem and means the story lines are concentrating on an imagined future when that might change. Well said, Fernando.

      1. I agree. Before the weekend has even started, we already know that it’s probable that either a Mercedes or Ferrari will win. The only realistic possibility of a car from another team winning is either rain, accidents, or Mercedes or Ferrari car failures.

    5. He was so happy at Indy, now its back to this torture. Please quit F1 and move to Andretti’s team full time next year. You’ll be glad you did.

      1. His Indy race was exactly the same…his Honda engine broke and he did not finish the race. Predictable.

      2. That’s what I would like too!

    6. Some people seem to be taking his hyperboles fairly seriously.

      1. I’m not talking only about this site.

        1. I mean should we be taking him seriously with his “I’ll quit if X happens” comments? “I’ll quit if there’s this amount of races”, “I’ll quit if we are not winning races by summer” etc. That one about winning races soon is especially ridiculous. Hard to believe he’s being serious about the stuff he says nowadays.

          1. Alonso’s contract is up st years end.

    7. I seem to member people being quite cross at f1 betting too unpredictable. The word lottery comes to mind. That’s what people were moaning about a while back.

    8. I have to disagree Fernando.

      I can’t predict exactly when your engine gives out.
      After the Indy it is unavoidable, not predictable.

      1. It is getting very predictable

    9. Alonso may have a point. Too many restrictions and similarities these days. Giving teams a freer hand might produce more unpredictability.

      I realise that ‘lesser’ teams have financial limitations to be able to do extensive research etc. But some flexibility that can be applied to all teams would help; for instance, a free tyre choice including any manufacturer, freedom to set-up their cars optimally (within certain rules, of course) right up to the race etc.

      1. @loup-garou
        You don’t seem to get what predictability we are talking about, mate. There’s 1 single team dominating = always winning, there is 1-2 teams always coming second etc. and there are teams who are never able to be competetive. Right? The qualifying/finishing order is always the same.

        “Too many restrictions and similarities these days. Giving teams a freer hand might produce more unpredictability.”
        Just the opposite! The restrictions stop the most econimically powerful teams from producing even a larger advantage over the weaker teams. Hello!
        F1 needs more technical restrictions for the field to be leveled.
        You get unpredictability from COMPETETIVENESS.

        1. Well, restrictions might make McHonda’s job easier for them to at least get ahead of midfield teams though. ;)

        2. You get unpredictability from COMPETETIVENESS

          Agreed. What i said was that if the lesser teams had more choice, they may be able to compete on a more level field. Ans I agree that technical restrictions should be the same for everyone.

          I mentioned tyres, for instance. At present everyone is using Pirelli tyres with certain specifications for the race, right? The top teams have the funds and facilities to direct their research so that they cam maximise the benefit from the tyres that they have to use but the lesser teams might not be able to do so. If on the other hand Sauber were allowed to use Michelin tyres of whatever spec that suits their car, they might be able to perform closer to the top teams.

          In other words, teams like Ferrari and Mercedes are better able to work with restrictions than Sauber or Force India.

          1. “If on the other hand Sauber were allowed to use Michelin tyres of whatever spec that suits their car, they might…. ”
            No. Because whatever Sauber does, Ferrari will do better and only enlarge their advantage.

        3. There’s 1 single team dominating = always winning

          Eh? While that was certainly the case during 2014-16, we finally have more than one team winning this year. In fact we have what might reasonably be called a competitive season.

    10. It’s a turn off because his not winning.
      Otherwise he would not be saying a word.

      1. Of course. How would it not turn off anybody seeing the best driver not being able to win?

        1. @damon,
          Verstappen’s time will come.

    11. He totally has a good point. Even winter testing already told us most of what was going to happen.
      Ferrari the best, Mercedes close. Stroll crashing. McHonda has a useless engine.

      1. He was happy in 2005 when we knew it was Renault or McLaren for the win. 2006 Renault or Ferrari. 2007 McLaren or Ferrari. Whats changed Fernando?

        Oh yeah due to your dumb decision to join McLaren you are a back marker.

    12. He had such a great time in IndyCar. He’s starting to compare every difference to it and F1. Even the questions at the drivers press conference. It’s painful to watch. His personality was so different at Indy. He’s got to quit F1 and move to IndyCar where he can have a real chance to compete, and smile again like at the 500.

      1. Well said. His participation in an F1 weekend seems so pointless.

    13. I don’t have an answer but, I have a question for those who are F1 only fans ? Which do you want ,excellence or competition -you can’t have both.
      As a comparison, in pre-salary cap football you had two teams ,the Cowboys and the 49ers who were usually head and shoulder above the rest of the league. You got to see truly great football when they played, especially when they played against each other because their owners had the money and spent it to buy the best teams possible but, when they player lesser teams it was no contest and when the other teams played each other the lack of stardom was obvious and one knew only the two top teams had a chance to win it all ( sound familiar ?).
      The NFL decided to have parity and so the salary -cap era began.
      No longer will you see the best quarter back throwing to the best receiver or the 2nd best quarter back throwing to the 2nd best receiver and some times in the same game . The talent is now spread around the league. One no longer sees the great exhibitions of the past but, there is always competition and many teams have a real chance to win.
      The question is : do the F1 fans of the world want to see dominations through excellence as Mercedes showed us in 2014-16 or do we want completion through balance as in Indycar racing where on any given race day more than half of the grid has a chance to win but, you don’t get to see a dominant car with a great team and a driver who will not make any mistakes supported by unlimited funding and thus know that you are watching the best that money can buy ?
      If parity and thus competition is desired than institute spending and or other caps like limiting the number of people who can contribute to the preparation of a car.
      Mercedes spends ( it has been reported) over a billion dollars a season on its two cars. No one else can match that and only Ferrari and Red Bull can competed with that capital expenditure .
      Mercedes has 1,500 dedicated employees at Brackley . No one else is even close and so Mercedes can out perform the competition by out spending and preparing the competition.
      The reality of it is that the teams without the resources of the top three can never catch up so one must ask : do we want to force parity by holding back the top teams ? This will create competition but, not by pulling the bottom up but, rather by pulling the top down .
      To me the auto racing world now has both models in high end open wheel racing . F1 represent the unlimited spending and thus excellence by the rich but, only the rich while Indycar represents spending-cap sameness , balanced competition but, with an artificial ceiling .
      I say keep things as they are and watch both circuits but, as the Lewis Hamiltons of the world look down on Indycar and I am sure other join in that opinion one must ask if F1 should change .

    Comments are closed.