Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Paul Ricard, 2018

Alonso says he can ‘feel very privileged’ despite coming last

2018 F1 season

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After winning Le Mans last weekend, Fernando Alonso has finished dead last in the French Grand Prix but says he is lucky to have done so.

Asked if he felt it was hard to take, compared with the highs of his WEC win, Alonso said “No, I’d prefer to be here last and be on on television.

“We are 20 drivers doing the best job in the world and we are not competitive today or all weekend but we are doing something, so. Yes, we are very, very bad but we are seventh in the world championship so something is happening.”

At one point during the Grand Prix, Alonso seemed furious on the radio to his engineer saying that he had “no brakes, no tyres” and was running fruitlessly out of the points.

Alonso expressed confusion that press assumed he would feel hard done by, saying “I’m surprised how negative you are because as I say, we are the 20 top drivers in the world and the questions are how I manage to be positive, how I manage to smile, how I manage to breathe, to eat – I manage quite well, you know and I feel very privileged.”

Despite his positive mental attitude, Alonso did say that he felt other racers were cutting the circuit to gain an advantage during the race and that McLaren were consequently disadvantaged –

“All the race we were on the back foot, from the start we had to avoid a lot of accidents and from the last… people seemed to short cut the circuit and nothing happened. We stayed on the circuit and came last.

“And after at the end we had a suspension problem and couldn’t even see the chequered flag so not a very competitive weekend for us but in five days we have another opportunity to forget this and I really hope that Austria and Silverstone will be better circuits for us.”

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2018 F1 season

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46 comments on “Alonso says he can ‘feel very privileged’ despite coming last”

  1. Three races in a row McLaren is breaking. This team is a joke. It won’t take too much time before they will be 7th in the constructors.

    1. The only factor I feel that might work in McLaren’s favour (no credit to them) with regards to their WCC standing is that their competition behind are:
      – Force India, who are financially hurting
      – Haas, where Grosjean seems to keep misfiring
      – Toro Rosso, who shine on a good day, but are still hampered by reliability

      Renault look to be increasingly secure in fourth, as best of the rest, which could hopefully mean their attention turns more towards 2019’s aero.

      1. Admire your optimism @phylyp. I was optimistic too, till this French Grand Prix.

        1. @pt – LOL :-) I’m not even a McLaren supporter, nor a fan of Alonso! Just trying to call it as it appears to me. Of those teams I listed, I am anxious about FI, however, as they’re a team deserving of respect for their achievements, and I really don’t want them being squeezed out of the sport due to financial woes.

  2. Robert McKay
    24th June 2018, 18:50

    One rather suspects he feels so privileged he’ll be doing something different next year.

  3. What’s happening with all those sensationalist headlines.

    1. billbranch (@)
      24th June 2018, 19:06

      Alonso is old, very old. He has not shown anyone anything since Louis showed us all what both of them were made of in his rookie season. This year he had the audacity to refer to the Haas team as “Ferrari Wannabes.” What a jerk. If he thinks we are all waiting around for his next pronouncement, he’s more deluded than we might think. Retire, Alonso, and do us all a favor.

      1. steveetienne
        24th June 2018, 19:36

        Schumacher, Prost & Mansell all won titles when older than Alonso, if he were in the Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull he would be winning races, I have little doubt that he would out perform Kimi, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Bottas and give Vettel & Hamilton a good run for their money. He wouldn’t be doing ‘ALL’ of us a favour by retiring – speak for yourself but don’t assume we all have the same perspective.

      2. @billbranch

        Alonso is old, very old. He has not shown anyone anything

        He’s not “very” old and being 2/3 of the way to the triple crown of motorsport is nothing.

        1. @davidnotcoulthard So you’re saying he’s about as good as Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve. That’s not really saying much is it?

          1. @patrickl For goodness’ sake define not showing anything. If winning races (and some would argue even getting close to titles) is not showing anything define what is.

          2. @davidnotcoulthard For goodness sake, I didn’t write “not showing anything”, I said your claim that Alonso is great because he equalled Villeneuve and Montoya isn’t saying much

            You are the one who wrote that “being 2/3 of the way to the triple crown of motorsport is nothing.”

            So I guess I do agree with you that the whole “triple crown” nonsense is just that, nonsense.

            Of course in categories with lesser drivers he can impress, but he’s not really doing it in F1 anymore.

          3. @patrickl For goodness’ sake my bad. Sorry! I mistook @billbranch for you.

            And whoops I swear I meant that the triple crown is more than nothing – I guess that leaves me rating Montoya and JV higher than you do but then at least it’s not like they’re on Inoue’s level (or that of a rather underprepared Ide)

      3. @billbranch

        He refered to them as ‘replica Ferrari’ which was a joke he picked up among his mechanics. British humour before you go around calling drivers ‘Jerks’

    2. Recently this dude Hazel is putting some “special” headlines. The other day he had one for FE that didn’t make any sense.

      1. Sorry for using the term dude, I just checked and it seems to be a female. I’m not used to this first name, sorry.

      2. GtisBetter (@)
        24th June 2018, 19:32

        I think this headline is actually a good one. The covers the interview rather well, cause everybody is asking Alonso the same question about motivation and he seems to answer it with a bit of ridicule, but I think wel can feel his frustration too, though that is hard to confirm without the visual cues.

        1. No. It is misleading. When alonso used the word priviledge he clearly meant his f1 career and being in the top 20 of best drivers in the world and being in f1. Not this race result. It is a bad title and clickbait.

          1. I think Alonso is giving sarcastic replies now. I guess you’ll only get sarcastic answers from him till McLaren improves, which seems as likely as the moon splitting in two. That’s why he should offer himself to race for a hugely downgraded salary at either of the top teams or leave F1 for IndyCar or NASCAR.

          2. Fair play it is a bit of a spicy quote – as many of Fernando’s are – but he did literally say it with regards to having won Le Mans last week and then coming dead last this week, he wasn’t talking generally about F1 although he did acknowledge that being an F1 driver is a rare privilege. Alonso has been spending time with drivers outside F1 and with junior drivers (like during his Daytona run) recently and I suspect, as much as he’s being a bit of his usual self, it has given him some perspective.

  4. Roland Grant
    24th June 2018, 18:58

    Got to say, even despite his trouble at the end, Alonso had a bad race by his standards. He got well beaten by Vandoorne and had an embarrassing spin when Vettel went around the outside of him. If he’s going to complain on the radio, at least he should be beating his teammate and outperforming the car.

    1. As far as I could see, Vettel made contact with him. I might be wrong though as I did not see many angles.

  5. Sack Zak

    1. He isn’t responsible for their plight.
      The culprit is Ron Dennis for signing with Honda in the first place.
      Zak is left holding the bag and given the task of virtually turning a turd into a diamond.
      No, this is all on Ron.

      1. It is easy to be so negative when you have the full benefit of hindsight. Nobody could have predicted honda would be so utterly horrible. And ron was right too. Only way to be competitive in hybrid f1 is to be with engine manufacturer. Back when the honda deal was announced there were lots of people who thought honda would come in and kill everybody with the best engine. The deal made perfect sense for many reasons and failed only because honda did incredibly bad job.

      2. No, it’s the fault of Whitmarsh. He’s the one who let Mercedes supply Brawn in 2009 which led to Mercedes coming back fully into f1 and McLaren losing works status. Ron was just trying to fix the mess.

      3. It should be clear by now that it wasn’t just Honda to blame. McLaren are just as much a shambles with the same Renault engine that took P2. Like they were in 2014 with the supposedly unbeatable Mercedes engine (they narrowly beat Force India with a budget less than half of McLaren’s).

        In fact, Honda’s powertrain issues were greatly exacerbated by McLaren. The car was designed way to much on the edge causing cooling issues for the engine. The car kept braking down because of other reasons way to often also cutting down testing time.

        The team is a mess and whatever engine they get, they will perform nothing worthwhile with it.

        The team, being a mess clearly is a fault of the guy leading it. Well it was Whitmarsh’ incompetence which slowly but thoroughly ruined the team, but Zak is responsbile for building it back up and he’s not getting it done.

      4. Sorry… The Honda that is now looking pretty ok and the one Red Bull are going with next year?

        I am a big Fan of Mclaren but they are dropping the ball big time. They have the same Engine as the cars that finished 2nd and 4th. Now their excuse is that their wind tunnel is not showing the right results… Ron had them organised, Under Brown they seem chaotic failures.

  6. Alonso should just end it here and now.
    No reason to fake anything anymore.

    I’m almost thinking he’s in it for the money and the doors Mclaren open for him outside of Formula 1.

  7. Alonso, rookie Stoffel Vandoorne was faster than you…

    1. @jorge-lardone How is someone with 27 races under their belt a rookie?

      1. 2018 is basically a rookie season for Stoffel – he didn’t get too much experience in 2017 due to Honda reliabilty

    2. Alonso had some issues with his car.

    3. Move on Jorge! your comment has no sense as always. give love instead hate!

  8. ”Alonso did say that he felt other racers were cutting the circuit to gain an advantage during the race and that McLaren were consequently disadvantaged”
    – Except that they had a valid reason for leaving the track and that they didn’t actually gain an advantage from it. Furthermore, the Stewards tend to be more lenient towards off-track excursions on the opening lap of a race than on the later laps for rather obvious reasons.

    1. @jerejj When he adds “during the race”, it doesn’t sound like he was talking about the turn 1 mayhem.

    2. Are you joking? Alonso was in front of Stoffel and Williams guys, and then incidents, and Alonso is suddenly last.

    3. Not sure if that was the only incident he was talking about. I watched a number of cars leave the track during corners without punishement, including Vettel…

      Also the cars cutting the corner at the start due to the collisions made a huge cut. This is partly the fault of the track as it is effectively just one huge tarmac park. They were clearly forced to leave the track but normally they would be cutting it by small amounts or even going across bumpy grass etc. This track simply let them carry on full speed across a very large part of the run off area. It is a horrible track.

      1. +1 to the point cutting across tarmac being faster than cutting across grass.

  9. I agree with Alonso on this one – the lap 1 incidents scattered cars and some took advantage by shortcutting the chicances getting unfair advantages.

    I think Charley and his crew should have taken the time to look at replays and determine which drivers were at fault and reshuffled the field. Instead he did nothing.

    F1 can’t seem to get out of their own way at times and this was definitely one of them.

    1. I am not sure what anyone could have done. Should they have drawn an arbitrary line somewhere and punished the drivers that went past it? The problem is that the track is a joke. It was designed as a test track and should stay as a test track.

  10. I think this race will be the one that makes his mind up about next year.

    He might even leave before the end of the season…

  11. He have had his luck on first lap this year, most of point were due to first lap not outright speed and on tracks with no overtake regardless of the speed in fro t of him.
    Did you notice he never finish the line when last, he even parks the car, and when Honda is now gone and same engine P2, suspension failure just before the flag:)
    He is a good driver for sure, but he thinks a little to high on himself.
    Have been at LeMans since 2003, the winning car with Alonso was NOT the highest Win as Alo claimed, no way.
    This might very well describe ALO ofset, best chassis, best driver, best LeMans win….. time to leave before making more fool out of him self.
    For many many years, ALO teams somehow did not improve, wonder why when worlds best driver?

  12. Verstappen is getting podiums again, so now the miserable pretend F1 fans are back to bashing Alonso because his team mate beat him for the first time in a long time.

  13. José Lopes da Silva
    25th June 2018, 13:53

    Williams is currently the new Minardi, and at this stage, it seems even logical that McLaren will follow them in a couple of years.

  14. I admire Alonso, He knows he is better than this and this has been a very humbling experience for him and he will be stronger because of it….in another series.

    Unless he gets a seat at Mercedes next year (extremely unlikely) then he should go to another series, forget F1.

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