Fernando Alonso, Zak Brown, United Autosports, Daytona, 2018

Brown is ‘doing great things for motorsport’ – Alonso

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says McLaren CEO Zak Brown is putting the sport first.

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It’s not just American drivers who are finding it hard to get a place in F1, says Sven:

The testing ban, just 20 cockpits in total – some of which are blocked for the monetary needs of survival of the respective teams, some by established drivers – there really isn’t much room for experimenting with potentials in current day F1.

For any new driver to get into F1 on potential, he really needs to force team bosses into seeing him as a future great. So much so, that even with Leclerc, who utterly dominated and demolished his opposition in junior series, we are relieved he got a drive.

Sorry, but the way things currently are, there is no US driver I see joining F1 soonish. That said, I’d obviously prefer a situation where we had more cockpits, fewer of them blocked for pay-drivers, and that bit more room for experimenting.
Sven (@Crammond)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 47 comments on “Brown is ‘doing great things for motorsport’ – Alonso”

    1. Woahh! What a colossal series! F1 had casted 964 actors!
      Hoping they won award for Best Ensemble on Television Series soon.
      Wonder which driver shone in the red carpet.

      1. @ruliemaulana written by Jean Todt, directed by Charlie Whiting, produced by Bernie Ecclestone

        1. @strontium Now we knew if F1 ever got cancelled, just check Nielsen rating.
          Abu Dhabi should be fine if F1 hired good writer to create better cliffhanger series finale.

          1. The only thing sillier is that liberty spent the team’s prize money on hiring the personnel to populate the imdb database – which is basically unchanged from its 1996 format. Let us estimate three to four hours per episode of data input, and without counting the research and accumulation of data — 997 episodes X 4 = 3,988 @ $100/hr (including salary, benefits, office costs) for an estimated total of $398,800. Which would be $39,880 per team, equally distributed, which is not but for ease of comparison we’ll go with it. Thank you very much then, for the dubiously credible imdb entry rather than the steering wheel upgrades!

    2. The idea of referring to past races in the format “S67EP08” is already growing on me …

      1. You can be the first to edit the plot of episode 15 season 61 at IMDb.
        2010 Singapore Grand Prix.

    3. MB (@muralibhats)
      14th January 2018, 0:59

      Alonso wearing a hat that has kimi written on it? 😂

      Just kidding.

    4. There is probably more than enough money in F1 that all ten teams could comfortably enter three cars each, meaning 30 cars in each race so more opportunities for drivers, if only they would not spend so much money on carefully sculpted aero pieces, sophisticated computers/simulators and massive motorhomes, all of which either do nothing for the racing or make it worse.

      If the FIA had changed the rules back in the late 90’s or early 2000’s to allow teams to enter three cars, at a time when many teams actually did bring three cars with them to each Grand Prix, then maybe F1 wouldn’t be in such an isolated position with regards to motor racing as a whole in that it is so massively expensive for what it is. I find it a complete joke that over the last 20-30 years in F1 that the amount of money being made in the sport has increased substantially and at the same time the numbers of cars in the championship has reduced from 30+ to barely 20.

      Instead of having 20 cars that struggle to race against each other properly entered by teams that are more like secretive corporations, it would be much better to have 30 cars that can actually race entered by teams that are much more accessible and have a more friendly feel to them, like you see in other motor racing series. I for one would like to see this happen but I find it hard to believe that this can ever be a possibility for F1 in the future because the people in charge will probably never see it this way, they just want to have more street races in America and put on more pop concerts inside the circuits because apparently that will increase the amount of money fans will be spending and therefore improve the bank balance for the shareholders.

      1. What is it with this weird fascination that more is better? Another 10 back-markers at Monaco isn’t going to make the racing better. Just look at the amount of DNFs, DNQs and poor results for the majority of the field during the season when there were 30 plus cars from smaller teams. There were still only a handful of front-runners. Sure having the bigger teams with an extra car makes for more fast cars up front, but also pushes down the teams that can get up the order on a good day, like Force India.

        2 per team for 20 to 24 cars is perfect. The only thing that needs to be improved is the accessibility, which Ferrari is the worst at, yet has the biggest fan-base. So even THAT doesn’t hurt the success of F1 that much.

        1. @selbbin I couldn’t agree more with you, +1.

          @Robert ”There is probably more than enough money in F1 that all ten teams could comfortably enter three cars each” – I rather highly doubt the smaller teams could comfortably manage to achieve something like that.

        2. 30 cars might not make it better but 3x Mercedes fighting with 3x ferrari fighting with 3x redbull might give us a bit more variety especially when one team is dominating…..

        3. @selbbin, I think that perhaps it is because there are those who have vague memories of the early 1990’s when there were a lot of teams on the grid, but have forgotten quite how uncompetitive most of those teams were – you don’t exactly hear people fondly reminiscing about the likes of Forti, Pacific or Fondmetal, some of the teams at the back of the grid in that era, whilst some such as Andrea Moda are famed for how dreadful they were.

          Equally, in more recent times, some did tend to look down quite harshly on the newer entrants, complaining that HRT, Caterham and Marussia didn’t deserve to be on the grid (though Manor was looked on more favourably during its revival).

        4. I don’t like 3 cars per team, I would indeed like more teams. Not indefinitely more, but at least a full grid of 26 cars. And besides the question of whether we cared for the smaller teams (I certainly did care about Minardi and Zakspeed, and I know how uncompetitive they’ve been at times), the cotd (thanks, Keith) was about the effect on the driver market.

          Now, besides the grid growing smaller, we also have the careers of those who established themselves being longer in years, which makes drives for rookies rarer. And on top of that, the testing ban means every rookie needs to learn on track a bit more, which takes at least a couple of races, further discouraging teams from risking anything.

          Why do I miss teams taking a chance on rookies? History has shown that some drivers surprise you, do quite a bit better than their junior careers would indicate. And that’s not only some upper-midfield-runners that I individuably find likable. Names as big as Michael Schumacher would probably just not get a drive today. He was beaten in a national F3 championship by Frentzen and Wendlinger, he sidestepped into Group C (equivalent of nowadays WEC) where he neither won Le Mans nor the championship and the same guys who were faster than him in German F3 were again faster than him as teammates, in his guest-appearance in DTM he crashed out a championship-contender in a very Kvyat-Torpedo reminiscent move at the start, he was effectively out of a drive in motorsport in ’91, just made guest-appearances in the midfield of the japanese F3000.
          And he is by far not the only example when you go through past champions (Lauda? Mansell? Not F1-material today).

          1. @crammond, it has to be said that those who tend to care about the smaller teams at the back of the field tend to be rather smaller in number though, even though they do play an important role (not just for the drivers, but also for designers as well – Newey, for example, started out in the now long ago defunct Fittipaldi team).

            That said, I’m not sure whether established drivers really are staying in the sport for significantly longer than before, or whether it just feels that way because, with the growth in the length of each season, drivers can quickly rack up a large number of starts in a short period of time. One example given is that, in terms of the number of starts, Kvyat and Clark have the same total (72 starts) – however, in the case of Clark, he achieved that total over 9 seasons when Kvyat achieved that within four.

            It is true that some drivers are entering the sport at a younger age, but on the other hand it wasn’t uncommon for drivers to continue their careers until later on in life than is common today, so overall the length of a drivers career isn’t that different now to in the past.

            Kimi and Alonso are currently the two longest serving drivers on the grid, and it is true that their careers are on the long side, but the length of careers that Hamilton and Vettel, the other two championship winning drivers on the grid, have had so far is not that long by historical standards. They have both had 11 seasons in the sport each so far, which matches up with figures like Hakkinein, but less than others such as Prost or Piquet Sr (13 and 14 respectively).

            Even amongst the midfield pack, there were a number of drivers in the 1980’s and 1990’s who had very long careers, such as de Cesaris (his career spanned from the tail end of the 1980 season through to 1994) and Alboreto (1981-1994), let alone that of Patrese (1977-1993). I don’t think that drivers are necessarily staying in the sport for significantly longer these days, and the picture is perhaps skewed because you have a handful of long lived drivers when the rest of the field have had relatively typical length careers in terms of number of seasons they’ve raced in.

      2. Why stop there? I suggest 1 team with 20-30 cars; financially even more viable.
        Just call it SpecF1.

        F1 is a team sport and if you want true competition, then you need various teams.

      3. Thanks, Robert – great insights!!

    5. So that settles the “Is Formula 1 sport or entertainment?” debate.

      I know the dispute isn’t going anywhere, but I wonder if this will have any impact on the Indian government’s tax dispute where they wanted to levy entertainment tax on the Indian GPs.

      1. All sport is entertainment. If it wasn’t we wouldn’t watch.

        1. @selbbin I disagree. I don’t really watch F1 because of the ‘entertainment’ factor. At least it isn’t the primary factor for me.

          1. @jerejj, like it or not, but if you watch a sport then you are being entertained.
            The only variable is how much spectacle vs how much sporting achievement is being presented to you. That World Wrestling stuff is probably only ‘spectacle’, whereas Test Cricket must be purely ‘sports’ (at least I cannot see the spectacle).

        2. Aren’t actors supposed to be paid a royalty when someone watches a re-run of old episode?

        3. The problem is, is F1 a sport that happens to be entertainment or is it entertainment that happens to be a sport.
          In my opinion some where late 90’s early 2000’s it went from a sport that happened to be entertainment to entertainment to happens to be a sport.

          The rules changed in stead for safety to make try to make it more entertaining for the viewer (DRS Kers Spec’ed tires etc). For cost saving they changed backup car, refueling, tire war’s, Friday qually, testing, choice of engine concepts (V8, 10, 12) etc And what did we get back a way to expensive v6, and fuel restrictions so viewers have to wonder whom has to lift and coast.
          I am surprised we haven’t seen stats on how much fuel is left and whom we can give a fan boost.
          Well at least we can vote for driver of the day (if you do not block cookies)

          It is now all for entertainment….

      2. @phylyp, I was under the impression that the main reason why the Indian authorities wanted to classify the Indian GP as an entertainment event is because the tax rate on revenues from entertainment events is higher than on sporting events, so reclassifying the event meant they could levy a higher tax on all parties.

    6. Alonso “zac brown is more than my boss, we are lovers also.”

      Only way to explain how they insist on publically praising each other all the time

      1. More like the only team principal of a well-funded team who hasn’t publicly said “no” you Alonso.

        1. Not a single driver has replaced Alonso in any team and taken that team higher.

      2. If you look on a certain other F1/Motorsport (theres a hint) website that Zak may or may not have something to do with, he has taken quite a hammering over recent days given the content and also his comments.

        The website has been saturated with articles about the Daytona 24hrs race, with approx 20 articles on what is a bonafide practice weekend, the majority of those being about Fernando Alonso and United Autosports. Who owns United Autosports again? Its nothing more than self interest dressed up as journalism.

        While the articles were bad enough, Zaks comments about some form of digital message board/ticker (consistent with the stock exchange) running across the halo as a commercial property offended and infuriated many. Perhaps a marketers dream, but this annoyed many. How about you fill those existing empty spots on your car first Zak?

        Some of the comments as a result of the above were pretty nasty. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is in reaction to that, as Zak has made it well known in the past that he visits (and comments) on that site regularly.

      3. Alonso gave great praise to Briatore, too — so he’s not exactly a great judge of character.

    7. 997 ‘episodes’, wow. Got me thinking how many I’ve seen. I started part way through ’92, so if I say an average of 17 or 18 races a season that’s in the region of 450!!! Mind blown. No wonder I’m struggling to remember races from the last few seasons, my memory has reached full capacity.

      1. Or they haven’t been memorable.

        The human Brain has the capacity to easily store up to 3 million years of memories

    8. Not that I’d really care, but what’s the point of having an IMDB page for something that technically is neither a movie nor a TV series?

      1. @jerejj it puzzles me as well.

        Be it fiction or a real-life documentary, a common theme for the majority (if not all) of what is featured on IMDB is that they are scripted. Not the sort of association I’d personally want with a competitive sport.

    9. Can’t fault that comment, really! I’d much rather watch on TV having watched from general admission at Spa and Silverstone. The latter being the most expensive of the two. Sat on some grass at 6am waiting for a 1pm race with very little on track action can be terribly dull!

      Surely I’m not the only one who goes to GPs only to watch the full race afterwards on TV again? You don’t go to a race (any series) to fully understand and see every little bit. You go to be with friends, drivers and watch the cars go through one of your favourite corners. You go see and smell the atmosphere that hangs around the paddock.

      You can argue about the cost whatever you like yet both Monza (thanks to Ferrari) and Spa (thanks to Verstappen) saw record sales. I’ve been to both last season and I enjoyed both weekends more than sitting at home watching the race alone afterwards.

      1. Same here, I go to 1 race every year for the atmosphere etc., not to see the race better.
        During many years I even went to the (Thursday,) Friday and Saturday sessions just to be in front of the TV on Sunday (and sell my weekend pass for a profit).

    10. Brown is ‘doing great things for motorsport.com’ – Alonso

      There, fixed it…

    11. Re COTD:
      Or blocked by pensioners.
      Honestly, I don’t really like having drivers going for 15-20 seasons. I really like Massa, Button, Kimi, Alonso, but they are already past their golden days, and I’m quite happy that 2 of them already not racing in F1, even if I really-really like them.
      Having 1-2 really experienced driver in the field is always a good thing, but let’s not forget that VET&HAM is also 10 years already in, and actually their experience in the field won’t help any young guns off track, as they won’t mentor anybody, bc they both are pretty fearful of any possibility of teammates growing over them. On track battles are won’t help the young either, as they have an ultra-slim chance getting a drive in a top team in their early years, where they could fight these drivers…
      As far as I remember Alonso helped Sainz Jr, and afaik Massa tried to mentor both Bottas & Stroll.

      1. @leventebandi

        Massa and Kimi I can definitely side with you on. Ferrari could have been far more courageous after his disastrous 2014 campaign and I can’t help but think Williams could have capitalised on their 2014 and 2015 cars considerably more with a better driver at the helm.

        Button was still on occasion mixing it with Hamilton in 2012 though, and he more than held his own against two supposed promising challengers in 2013 and 2014. Alonso is also still as feisty as ever, his outright pace may have dipped a fraction of a percent, but his cunning in a race only seems to improve each year.

        Hamilton is set to begin his 12th season this year and is arguably the best on the grid, I’d find it hard to agree with someone who didn’t think he still had a good 5 seasons left in him as well. As for mentoring, Hamilton and Vettel weren’t exactly mentored as they were considerable threats to the drivers they were paired with. Ricciardo and Verstappen also haven’t needed mentoring. Ocon is doing just great taking on Perez. Great drivers don’t need it, they thrive on the challenge of dethroning the defacto top dogs.

      2. @leventebandi, in terms of the length of their careers, Hamilton and Vettel currently don’t even make it into the top 50 – they’ve not lasted as long as figures like Prost (13 years in the sport) or Piquet Sr (14 years), and currently have lasted about as long as figures like Hakkinen or Villeneuve.

        You might complain about the sport being “blocked by pensioners”, but Vettel and Hamilton are having fairly normal length careers by historical standards. After all go back to, say, 1990, and you had Prost, Berger, Mansell, Patrese, Piquet Sr, de Cesaris, Alboreto: all of those drivers had been at least a decade in the sport by then, and most of them kept on going for quite a few years longer. They might not have the same number of starts, given the seasons were shorter then, but in terms of years you’ll find that there have often been a lot of supposed “pensioner” drivers in the sport over the years.

    12. Been asked not to go into details about this for the time been but something has recently come up that may put Liberty’s plans for F1 this year on hold.

      1. is this a teaser-trailer then?

        1. @johnmilk Possibly, In which case its now time for the full thing.

          Liberty pushed through the introduction of the new logo before conducting all the necessary checks & it’s come to light that 3M use an a near identical ‘F’ design on some of it’s products.

          They have now found themselves in the midst of a legal dispute which looks set to force them to put the re-branding on hold & which may see them have to go back to using the old logo.

          Whatever ends up happening it could cost Liberty…. Well more precisely FOM/F1 Group a significant sum of money either in legal fee’s, Some sort of settlement or in having to forget about the new logo, Throw all the stuff they have done that uses it out (Merchandise, Promotional things etc.) & go through another re-branding exercise first back to the old logo & then to find a new one.

          I was told earlier that this is a completely avoidable mess if all of the proper research into existing branding trademarks etc.. had been done. They rushed it through because they were desperate to re-brand in Abu Dhabi, They were apparently advised to hold off but opted to ignore that advice & go ahead anyway.

          1. Oh almost forgot.

            3M applied for there trademark early in 2017 & it has been accepted since then by the various authorities. Despite Liberty already having the new logo everywhere it still hasn’t been formally accepted by the required authorities (I believe the EU trademark office) so technically they shouldn’t have rolled it out as hard as they have.

            They have basically got themselves & F1 into a potentially really big mess.

            1. Was about to ask this
              Every name, logo, slogan, etc has to be accepted by the authorities that govern image rights.

              What an absolute mess. I actually saw that 3M logo somewhere, probably tweeter…

          2. So the previous logo is taking a leaf out of the Felipe Massa Playbook? Retiring and then returning for the following season?

    13. I wasn’t aware of Graeme Lowden’s artistic skills. That’s a really good sketch.

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