Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Silverstone, 2017

Alonso says he isn’t paying attention to the F1 driver market

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says he hasn’t been paying attention to which F1 teams have confirmed which drivers yet.

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Is F1 short-changing most fans for the benefit of a few with its two-seater car?

At Silverstone a good amount of time was given over to the two-seater track experience car. Normally there would be more support races, qualifying or practice for other formulas. Instead we, the paying public, got to watch a few people being driven round in the two-seater. A great experience for those taking part – but deadly dull for spectators.

Fun for a few very wealthy or lucky visitors – or sponsors. But this is not a step forward for F1 and certainly not a way to engage a mass audience.
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Keith Collantine
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  • 31 comments on “Alonso says he isn’t paying attention to the F1 driver market”

    1. Vandoorne handed 35 place grid penalty for home race

      If the Honda power unit upgrades are as good as claimed then he should finish the race with points.

      1. Yes, It could be a good thing, considering where they would naturally qualify at spa

    2. That Honda RA300 should be a treat for the spectators that list engine sound as the most important aspect of F1 enjoyment.

      1. I don’t think I have heard that Honda RA 300, @hohum I am sure it would be something to savour!

        On the subject of sound though, it is simply not the case as far as I know that the sound is the ‘most important’ part of F1 for those of us that consider it significant. Certainly, at the circuit, it is a very big part of the visceral appeal of F1 (or was). However, to me, there are other issues also in need of attention. I HATED clown tyres and still feel very frustrated when any driver is hampered by any kind of excessive ‘management’. The chronic over dependence on aero and consequential difficulty following and racing other cars is an ongoing irritation, and any mention of ‘list and coast’ and ‘fuel saving’ makes me want to turn off, go outside and cut the grass.

        Well, actually, I am away from home currently and also have a gardener, but you know what I mean.

        1. @paulguitar, so presumably you hated the fuel saving in the 1970’s and 1980’s then, even though quite a few present that era as a mythical golden era for the sport?

          1. @anon

            I did indeed. I always hated fuel saving, it was and is an embarrassment. Do you remember the cars regularly running out of fuel back then? Just so ridiculous………..

            I well remember Keke Rosberg saying how embarrassing it was to have to drive way off the pace and look like you were a total tool, and he wanted to be able to say to the spectators ‘I can go faster than this, you know’. Total joke, fuel saving…

            1. @paulguitar, sorry, should have said very rather than most, totally agree with the rest of your post, enjoy your travels.

    3. “Without doubt, some of the defensive moves Verstappen made against Räikkönen and others were dangerous, but he’s clearly highly intelligent and, like Senna and Schumacher before him, he’s willing to push the rules to the absolute limit.”

      I’d say he’s pushed the rules well past the limit on a number of occasions, but has been given very lenient treatment by the race officials.

      1. “Like Senna and Schumacher before him”.

      2. I’d say Verstappen pushed the rules beyond the limits once: at Spa last season on the straight. He was punished. A new, draconian rule was introduced and it quickly turned out that it was too restrictive. So rules are intangible and fungible.

    4. Those 60’s cars were absolute beauties

    5. Duncan Idaho (@)
      25th August 2017, 2:38

      I like that Max offered Daniel a beer to go with his T-bone.

    6. With Fernandos luck.
      As soon as he leaves McLaren Honda will provide a top engine and Vandorne or other McLaren driver will become Champion.

    7. Vandoorne handed 35 place grid penalty for home race

      Starting his home race in The Netherlands, poor guy..

      1. In Belgium, you mean ;-)

        1. Tommy Scragend
          25th August 2017, 10:06

          I think he meant that Vandoorne is starting so far back on the grid that he is almost across the border!

    8. What I really liked about that Motorsport analysis of Verstappen’s driving (as indeed in every professional analysis of his driving style) is the emphasis on how his actual driving style is incredibly smooth and collected. I won’t debate those who argue his overtaking and such can be labelled as ‘aggressive’, especially because that’s a subjective, but understandable label, but I always chuckle when people describe his actual driving style as aggressive, as a potential car/tyre breaker, when it’s anything but. Even when he was driving next to Sainz, whose entire style of driving is based on pushing a car, Verstappen’s aggressive image helped foster this idea that he was too. Love reading from experts about how ridiculous that is. Driving style analysis is such an eye-opener.

      1. Actually, when you look at how Verstappen’s driving style is explained, I reckon F1 should beware. In his first season he was up against Sainz, whose driving style is based on pushing the car to a point, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. This explains why Sainz, for all his merits, has always been an inconsistent driver: extremely fast on his day, but prone to mistakes. (See also his FR3.5 title season). However, this style should, and does, translate to quali pace. Yet by the end of the season Verstappen’s style had developed to the point he was beating him in quali too.
        I don’t know enough about Ricciardo, but Verstappen is beating him now too. If that’s Verstappen at a point where he’s not yet fully done developing his style, it’s pretty astonishing.

    9. Re COTD At the Melbourne race, which has had the two-seater F1 car for years, there are still plenty of support races such as the V8 supercars they just run the two seater really early in the morning – which seeing as its an old V10 is really popular with the local residents around Albert Park ;-)

      1. I do think the COTD makes a good point @wombat1m about how at some tracks having the 2 seaters running can hurt the other support races, as it did in Silverstone, but you are right to say that is more to do with how and when than with running them per-se.

        In my view, the best way to do these things would be if weekend ticket holders can sign up for a lottery to get a ride themselves during the thursday! That way you’d entice fans to come on Thursday and make them look forward to this part of the program, instead of just seeing VIPs beeing hauled around.

        1. @bascb that is what they do in Australia in the past at least there has been a draw for GP Advantage members – you get membership if you buy your tickets before beginning December and you get extras such as a pit lane walk on the Thursday, and are included in a lucky draw for the two seater, as well as the usual sponsor guest type people riding in it.

          1. @wombat1m The problem at Silverstone was that the support race practice sessions (F2, GP3 & Porsche supercup) that usually takes place on Friday was instead moved to Thursday. This meant there was less of that competitive track action on the Friday & Saturday so we were left sitting in the stands with a lot less to watch on those 2 days.

            The 2 seater & other demo runs that were there were fine but i’d just rather they not have taken away so much of the competitive running that i was there to watch as there was far too much sitting in the stands watching very little when in the past we would have had support cars on track.

    10. I must commend @KeithCollantine for leaving the Andrew Benson article out of this round-up.
      Once more BBC’s prime #fakenews (I never thought I would use this term) journalist shouts something in his headline and first paragraph as if it’s a quote without any evidence that anything like that has been said.

      I’m very disappointed that the BBC is keeping somebody with such poor journalist skills on their roster.

      PS link to the article if you want to check for yourself

      1. Eh, why mention an article you think is not worth our time and then include a link to it to tempt people to go and read it anyway?

        1. “if you want to check for yourself”

    11. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      25th August 2017, 9:12

      Regarding CoTD, there were no less support races than previous years. The 2 seaters went out straight after every official F1 session and only took 15 mins. I was glad to hear an old v10 personally. I would love more support races like we used to have but that is nothing to do with the 2 seaters.

      1. @rdotquestionmark There was the same number of support events but in the past on Friday we would have had a 45 minute F2 practice session between F1 FP1 & FP2 &, A 30 minute F2 qualifying session after F1 FP2 with a 45 minute GP3 practice session after that followed by a Porsche supercup practice to end the day. And the Saturday would have started with a GP3 qualifying session, F1 FP3 & the Porsche Supercup qualifying session.

        This year with the 2 seater taking some of those spots we were left with big gaps with no ‘competitive’ track action to watch.

        I’ve no issue with them doing the 2 seater runs as long as it doesn’t take away what i’m there to watch which is competitive track action in the form of practice, qualifying & races & at Silverstone that wasn’t the case as we were left with far less competitive running on the Friday & Saturday to make way for the less interesting demo runs.

    12. “Alonso says he isn’t paying attention to the F1 driver market”

      Yes I believe you Fernando but I bet plenty out there don’t.

    13. There’s something I don’t get about Alonso. Why didn’t Liberty pull all the ropes to get him to Mercedes for 2017 or now for 2018? As good as Bottas is, a title fight between Hami and Alonso would be awesome for tv-ratings and provide Liberty with a much better product, which in turn attracts more sponsors, attendance at races etc. I know they can’t dictate what the teams do and who they sign, but didn’t Ecclestone broker tons of deals over the years? Surely Liberty could convince or at least try to convince Mercedes that a pairing like that would be huge for the sport. Alas, one can only hope…

      1. Liberty “pulling strings” to get Alonso at Mercedes is two steps away from fake hitting people with folding chairs (that’s a US wrestling reference, btw).

        His situation sucks, but maybe if he started to pay attention to the driver market in the second half of the season… (that was an over simplified comment, btw).

        Let the teams choose who they want in their cars… Alonso has made his bed, now he gets to sleep in it.

    14. Alonso will never make the right choice unfortunately, he could have been in Vettel’s red bull during those dominating years, he could have then gone to Mercedes from there but he went the wrong way with Ferrari, don’t feel bad for him though, he makes at least 300k a week.

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