Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Suzuka, 2018

“Shame on you, Formula 1”: Alonso’s unheard mid-race tirade

2018 Japanese Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso launched into an angry tirade against Formula 1 on his radio during the Japanese Grand Prix after being given a five-second time penalty.

But unlike his famous mid-race description of his Honda power unit as being like a “GP2 engine” at the same event four years ago, the McLaren driver’s furious criticism last weekend was largely unheard as it was not broadcast on the world feed.

Alonso was given a five-second time penalty for cutting the chicane after he was hit by Lance Stroll, who was also penalised. While Stroll was given a penalty for causing the contact, Alonso was penalised for cutting the circuit and gaining an advantage.

He was notified of the penalty as he came into the pits. As he left Alonso said on the radio: “Shame on you, Formula 1. Shame on you.”

“Well done. We can push people around,” he added.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting said Alonso could have avoided a penalty by giving the place back to Stroll. Alonso did yield a position after going off the track following another incident with Pierre Gasly.

After the race Alonso said his penalty “shows how bad Formula One is”.

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Fernando Alonso Japanese Grand Prix team radio excerpts

Alonso:The Williams pushed me in the gravel into the last chicane and I cut the chicane but I didn’t gain any place. But he pushed me in the gracel.
To Alonso:Fernando please confirmed who it was that pushed you off.
Alonso:The Williams, braking for the last chicane and I had to cut the gravel. It was really unsporting.
To Alonso:Understood.
Alonso:The same thing with Gasly he pushed me again off the track in the last chicane. Tell me what to do with the position but if they push you into the gravel what can I do, man?
To Alonso:OK Fernando go back to your previous position, maintain your previous position.
Alonso:OK, done.
To Alonso:DRS is enabled again.
Alonso:It doesn’t work like this, we spoke in the briefing, you cannot push people out of the track, on braking especially.
To Alonso:Fernando we think that’s a very fair point, we are reporting it to race director now.
To Alonso:Fernando we have a five-second penalty at this pit stop for the incident with Stroll. It’ll be a five second penalty. We are box this lap, please confirm.
Alonso:OK, box.
To Alonso:Box now, stay right of bollard. This will be a five-second penalty.
To Alonso:Launch map, launch map.
Alonso:Shame on you, Formula 1. Shame on you. Well done.
To Alonso:Careful, Stoffel will be exiting alongside you.
Alonso:Well done. We can push people around, well done. Shame on you, Formula 1.
To Alonso:OK Fernando we share your frustration.

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Keith Collantine
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64 comments on ““Shame on you, Formula 1”: Alonso’s unheard mid-race tirade”

  1. He’s not wrong…

  2. Atleast Stroll had decency to apologize post race to Alonso for misjudging braking into last chicane on 1st lap.

  3. With radio messages and comments to the press like this, I just get the impression that Alonso is rather switched off from F1. He may feel a bit excited by a little challenge, but overall, he feels sour towards F1, and just can’t wait for this season to end.

    1. @phylyp I am slightly surprised that McLaren don’t release Alonso to just get on with sorting out what he wants to do in 2019, they’ve stopped bringing anything new to the car, it’s just research for 2019. Stick Norris in for the remainder of the season to give him race weekend experience.

      1. @ju88sy – fully agreed. There’s no reason for them to drag this on. Unless they are hoping to stay ahead of Force India in the WCC, for which they probably would want Alonso.

        1. Peter Scandlyn
          9th October 2018, 20:46

          @phylyp There is reason. It’s called saving face.
          Do you think that after all the pandering Brown has done to Alonso he’d want to show the racing world he was wrong by cutting Alonso free?

          1. Peter – you make a very good point, and that might very well be the reason behind it.

            Then again, Zak has to balance saving face by keeping Alonso to the end of the season versus enduring statements like McLaren is lacking ambition.

            If Zak does opt to release Alonso, it could still be spun by Zak the marketing man as a win-win – letting Alonso pursue his (non-Honda powered) dreams, while letting Norris and the team get better acquainted with one another in a racing context. Alonso will naturally put his spin on it as well, but that would probably be the last interaction.

            PS: I do not receive a notification at your use of @phylyp since you’re unregistered, please do consider signing up.

  4. After been pushed wide by Stroll he cuts the chicane like a maniac. I assume that the stewards saw in the data that he gained time (must be, since Bottas didn’t get a penalty after cutting the chicane because he didn’t gain time), the penalty must be justified.

    Not saying that Alonso is wrong, but he is not really objective (remember Karma Palmer!).

    1. To be fair, Bottas braked for the chicane but locked up. So he was always going to lose time. Alonso was pushed off the track so could not brake in the same way due to being on the grass. I see this as a stupid decision by the stewards.

    2. @matthijs Alonso is definitely pushed off, but he has ‘previous’ on turning these chicane cutting moments into big gains, sometimes at the slightest touch. I kind of assumed that happened in this case. Does he think nobody has noticed?

      Still it’s a sad way for a great driver to leave the sport when he’s arguably still near his peak. I really hope he can make a return somewhere with a decent car in 2020 and go out with a bit more style.

  5. This was what Alonso said in the 2006 Italian GP:
    “I love the sport, love the fans coming here – a lot of them from Spain but I don’t consider Formula One like a sport any more.”

    Not the first time he thinks F1 is a shame.

    1. For context, he said that after he was penalized for impeding Massa on his qualifying lap. He was a few seconds ahead of Massa, around the distance teammates are when they give each other a tow around Monza.
      I’m glad Alonso won the WDC after that moment of Ferrari International Assistance.

    2. He just says that when he is not winning. Never saw a more opportunistic political driver than Alonso. Overall he got what he deserved, though his skills could have gotten him many more WDC’s. Very strange to see that Sainz wants to copy this behaviour.

  6. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
    9th October 2018, 16:23

    I think finding out that the McLaren chassis is a dud has pushed Alonso over the edge. He had occasional outbursts but was a fairly sunny character all things considered the last few years, this year he’s massively over it all.

  7. This is why when given 2 weeks notice, many employers won’t let you work those last 2 weeks… they know you don’t give a damn, which Alonso clearly does not.

    Just go away already fernando. You were a great, but now your just a crybaby.

    1. I’m disappointed to say I have to agree with this…

    2. You are spewing utter nonsense.
      Frustrated yes and rightfully so but he is still giving it his all as obvious from his overachieving results this year as usual.
      He’s had a rough 3 plus years and has handled it as well if not better than any other champion would including HAM and VET.

      1. Agreed. He’s STILL the best driver in F1 and he was correct with how he called things Sunday. Anyone that wants him gone is ridiculous.

        1. He’s STILL the best driver in F1

          In your opinion….

          1. Not just mine. He gets more out of a car than ANY and I do mean ANY driver since Senna.

          2. It’s still your and these ‘others’ opinions. BTW typing in capitals doesn’t make your ultra support for Alonso fact.

            Anyway there is plenty of evidence on the contrary to suggest he isn’t the best driver on the grid. Eg his 1 lap pace isn’t the best, something that even Alonso himself admits.

          3. Also…

            He gets more out of a car than ANY and I do mean ANY driver since Senna.

            . This is highly disputable given he has always had #1 status, and the 3 seasons he came up against a formidable team mate, Alonso was defeated in 2/3 of those seasons. Very easy to look good when you have Massa and a team throwing all their resources at you isn’t it.

        2. I’d rather be ridiculous than arrogant… lmao.

      2. WEll said Mike! #:)

    3. Let’s see how many races (let alone seasons) in an uncompetitive car it takes for the likes of Hamilton, Vettel, and Verstappen to start moaning about their car and everything else. We can see it with Vettel and Max already this season. Yes, Alonso has made poor team choices over the years, but nobody, I mean nobody expected the great McLaren team to fall to the dismal depths they have, fallen over the past 4 years.

      1. Screw your arrogance, Blazz. I remember hearing a few years ago that he, Alonso, was worth close to a half second. So you might want to disagree, but there’s nobody in the paddock that doubts the extreme skill set he has.

  8. He isn’t wrong. Think about it. This man has raced wheel to wheel against some of the greatest of all. No DRS BS to get him passes Schumacher 12 years ago at the same track it took balls and hell of a lot of talent.

    Now we have DRS to make the passes totally predictable and boring and if someone does try to over take you just get driven clean off the road, and then get penalty yourself.

    Not having a good drive is partly his fault. But again in the past drivers like Senna and Mansell made bigger outbursts or attacks against their teams yet were still welcomed with open arms. Williams took Mansell back twice and Senna had a one race contract in 93. Totally unheard of now.

    He is of the old generation where he is the driver. Now almost all the drivers are linked to a manufacture. You either race with them or no one. It is not a good place for the sport to be in. If Sebastian and Ferrari implode(and they will) he could find himself also in no mans land if he can’t go back to RBR.

    1. @q85 ”Now we have DRS to make the passes totally predictable and boring”
      – Wrong, far from how it actually is. DRS is rather ineffective these days and has been more or less since the beginning of the hybrid era. Most of the time, it doesn’t guarantee an overtaking move to occur.

      1. I am not wrong. When seb caught Alonso in the old days that would of been a really good battle. Sunday he just drove past him like he was on the motorway.

        If you watch Suzuka 05 you will see a pass into that same corner by Kimi that is mind-blowing. It just wouldn’t happen now.

        each to their own but you say guarantee an overtake. If that is what you want from DRS I think we have different opinions to what makes a race and a sport. To me that is just time trails, for that I can watch Rallying or TT.

  9. Looking at the video (a brief one is available on the F1.com website) it seems to me Alonso’s problem is after he was pushed off the track he went down an “escape road” and then across the grass, he didn’t stay on the escape road surface. As the race commentator says, “… Not the safest way to rejoin a race.” This doesn’t mean Alonso didn’t have a right to feel aggrieved at being pushed off the track by Stroll, I think he did, but that doesn’t give you the right to take a short cut across the grass. It seems to me Alonso wasn’t going so fast that going over the grass was his only option, I think he could have stayed on the authorised escape route. Yes, the’d have been delayed and lost time, but then Stroll would have been the villain, not him.

    1. Nicely said, @drycrust

      Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    2. Well, Coulthard said he shouldn’t have been punished so of course I value his input more than yours.
      The fact of the matter was he was pushed off the track by Stroll, and rejoined the track ahead of Stroll, who instigated the incident.
      If he would have rejoined ahead of others, he should definitely have been punished if not giving those positions back.
      Quite simple really.

      1. Well the marshalls did give him a penalty and they surely have more experience enforcing the rules, so of course you should value more their input instead of Coulthard’s

        1. Not very good logic but nice try:)

          1. I know Mick, it was just help you out understanding that yours was that great either, glad we have taken that out of the way

        2. Marhsalls issue penalty’s now?

          1. Grammar mix up, you got the point

    3. It is that simple.
      Don’t get all the fuss about it

  10. I think he was just frustated that the Williams breezed past him on the outside of 130R.

  11. Someone take the matches away from Alonso . He’s back to burning those bridges.

  12. These penalties are becoming a disgrace. It’s not racing anymore, it’s politics. Can’t wait for Whiting to leave as this dinosaur is defending it.

    1. Hear hear, its getting all so old an boring. Please leave

  13. Just go away. Just saw the onboards, the guy cuts the chicane like a maniac two times. Got frustrated because Stroll passed him outside of 130 R.
    Of course he had been pushed, but Stroll got the penalty for that, didn’t need to go flying across the gravel to make a point.

  14. The problem is also how the penalties are applied. Currently, it’s a time penalty applied to the driver’s race time. Before that change, it was a drive through penalty that had to be served within 3 laps. With the way the penalties are now, drivers who commit infractions to stay ahead can remain ahead and keep impeding a driver they should not be in front of, or even build a gap to make the penalty meaningless.

  15. Alonso is right on his remark F1 is a shamefull event. Randomness punishments. Selective punishments etc. Decisions are most always made in favor of Ferrari. It really has to change. Consistency. Any ideas? like cutting a corner is 5 sec no matter what.

  16. It’s gone a bit quiet on the “Alonso to Indycar” rumours – but is have a theory:

    He can’t find a way in while maintaining his employment with Mclaren, with Honda refusing to run a McLaren car and it being difficult/impossible for the Andretti-linkup to work out (as they are a Honda team for 2019 at least).

    So instead, he’s just going to quietly run out the season and let his Mclaren contract end. I have not heard anything about his contract status for 2019, but perhaps there’s a performance-based break clause but it can only be invoked after the full season ends. Then he’s free to negotiate with any Indycar team he fancies talking to – Honda or Chevy – without any Mclaren baggage. I don’t think he gives a monkeys about Mclaren, even if they were dangling the Indycar project in front of him to keep him within the company for 2019.

    I’d imagine most Indycar teams would jump at the chance to bring him aboard, even if it meant dropping an existing driver. Does AJ Foyt really think he’ll get more out of Tony Kanaan, or RHR with Takuma Sato, than they would with Alonso?

    I am certain we’ll see Alonso on the Indycar grid in 2019, and it’ll be a full time ride.

  17. Stroll has not shown me anything on track that could account for his remaining in an F1 seat next year, considering the drivers that he might be keeping out of F1.

    Yeah, money, money but isn’t doing the sport any good to have him out there. Sorry if this seems harsh but I have to tell it like I see it.

    1. If you think about how Masa outperformed Stroll, it was six to eight tenths every lap…Add that performance to the Williams today and its a mid-field car. The idea of buying seats is not good for F1, even though it has been that way forever…

  18. I will miss Fernando’s spirited driving, but I won’t miss his petulant attitude, hissy fits, or expectations of preferential both from his team and the stewards.

    Stroll was wrong to get rough with Alonso and overtake off track. He was punished accordingly. Fernando was wrong to throw a tantrum and cut the track for revenge. He was punished accordingly.

    Fernando is not above the rules. There is no shame on F1 in his thinking otherwise.

    1. He was pushed off the track and ended up ahead of the driver that caused the incident.
      Alonso was right – no penalty should have been given.
      At the very worst they could have told him to forfeit the spot back to Stroll. Even that would have been unfair though.

      1. I take it you haven’t seen how he cut the track a second time but for no apparent reason and gave no positions back. He is just annoyed at the situation, he knows full well that what he did was wrong.

      2. It would not have been unfair to have Alonso hand the position back. Read what I wrote more carefully: Stroll was given a penalty for what he did to Alonso. If Alonso hadn’t acted out, Stroll would have likely been ordered to return the position. Even if he hadn’t, the time penalty would have effectively handed it back.

        Regardless, cutting a substantial portion of track to gain advantage has never been acceptable in F1 and is consistently penalised. Your argument doesn’t hold up.

  19. I tell you what if someone isn’t preparing “The Little Book of Fernando Alonso Team Radio Rants” (RRP £9.99, available in all good bookstores) then someone’s missing a trick.

  20. He blatantly cut the chicane twice in the race, both times gaining an advantage. Alonso can be lucky he only got 5 seconds penalty.
    Sometimes Alonso should really just look in the mirror. It’s not always Honda’s fault, or Magnussen’s fault, or Ferrari’s fault, or F1’s fault…

  21. But unlike his famous mid-race description of his Honda power unit as being like a “GP2 engine” at the same event four years ago

    I believe this was 3 years ago, in 2015 (Alonso was still driving for Ferrari in 2014).

  22. What I don’t understand is why such position corrections don’t work both ways.
    If an errant driver knocks another driver to the back, that driver suffers the rest of the race fighting to make his way forward. But if a driver gets pushed forward through an accident, he is forced to give the position back, as if he deliberately cheated.
    A driver who causes another driver to fall behind, should also be forced to join the other driver behind.

  23. He’s been very negative the last couple races. Feels like someone leaving a party and instead of just going they’re making sure to let everyone know how boring the party is.

    It’s good that he’s speaking his mind but if he’s not more constructive in his criticisms about the Formula 1 brand as a whole and specific about the criticisms he’s just going to be written off as someone bitter. Not much of a surprise this message didn’t pass the censors.

    1. Feels like someone leaving a party and instead of just going they’re making sure to let everyone know how boring the party is.

      @skipgamer – that’s a beautiful summation. And I agree with your comment.

    2. Surely Alonso has been one of the “life of the party” attendee’s , and now he’s shunned purely because he wears an orange out of size jacket and looks a bit of a dork?

      1. He still dances just fine !

  24. Hahahaha! Nail on head.

  25. I wish he would leave now….rather than have to put up with his endless whining for the rest of the season.

  26. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    10th October 2018, 18:56

    Williams need to sign Alonso and kubica as their race team drivers for 2019

  27. Tough corner to miss the apex on – Stewards wise,

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