Alonso: Liberty’s American approach will be good for Formula 1

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says Liberty Media’s American attitude to racing will benefit Formula 1.

What they say

Alonso was asked about his experience of American racing culture following his participation in last year’s Indianapolis 500:

It’s a little bit more about the show, about the spectator, maybe less technical information and more about the show, the drivers, about the cars.

I think it’s a great thing and probably the direction Formula 1 will go in the future now with Liberty etc… I think the show will be the main priority for everyone.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

The driver line-up for the 2019 F1 season hasn’t been finalised yet, but one of the key questions for 2020 will be whether Valtteri Bottas can hold on to his seat:

It’s so easy to forget that if China and Baku had been different, Bottas would have been in such a more comfortable position this season. The reality is that he is being compared to Nico Rosberg, who when Bottas joined Mercedes, was the defending world champion.

As much as I like him as a driver, he has failed to ruffle the feathers of Lewis Hamilton in the way that Rosberg did. Naturally this may have been the reason Mercedes hired Bottas in the first place, as a solid team mate to Hamilton, but one who could not feasibly challenge Lewis for the championship.

Top teams often will choose one driver over the other, its natural sadly. I do feel though that Bottas will be out of Mercedes as abruptly as he was hired, and that is a shame!
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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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  • 31 comments on “Alonso: Liberty’s American approach will be good for Formula 1”

    1. That piece by Palmer is absolute nonsense. The conclusion is that Vettel is spinning because he is avoiding hitting other cars, so that when he hits them, he spins… What?
      Yes, he might be trying to avoid hitting them, but he is doing that only because he already put himself in a position where the contact is inevitable. So this whole article isn’t analyzing anything. It’s just telling you that sky is blue.

      1. I didn’t make it all the way through it… not that far, to be honest.

      2. Ha ha, thanks for saving my time from clicking through.

      3. No, you should read it again. It just explain why Vettel’s car seems very easily spin out. The main idea is this

        His car looked like it was on the edge of oversteer anyway in those couple of corners. You could see him fighting at the wheel, lacking a bit of rear grip,

        So the idea is the car is already on the very edge of oversteering that a slight bump from contact is enough to make the rear tires lost its grip hence the spin. Afterwards he just writing his idea why Vettel in that position from phycological level. I feel you totally misunderstood on the idea he’s trying to tell.

      4. Disagree Biggsy, the article is another insightful article by Palmer.
        It might be a bit long, but he describes really well how oversteer (less rear grip than front).

        And you have to give the guy kudos for being honest about his own driving; “It was a really clumsy few corners from myself at the time, and one of those moments you immediately recognise as stupid.”

        PS @phylyp, I suggest you read it and make up your own mind.
        PPS “It’s just telling you that sky is blue.” Actually, the sky is not blue (sorry to break the news). The sky has no colour (reflects all colour), but water molecules scatter the blue light more than (e.g.) red light. Hence the sky appears blue unless you look straight into the sun ;)

        1. @sonicslv @coldfly – thank you both, I’ll give it a read.

        2. @sonicslv @coldfly – thank you both, that was definitely an interesting read. And as you mentioned, @coldfly , it was good to see his honest admission of how he made a similar error, and the thinking that led to it.

        3. As Palmer’s idea of eliminating Friday Practice, we should take it to it’s logical conclusion– No practice at all, and the drivers are blindfolded until they’re in the car for Q1– and then a helicopter randomly drops caltrops on the track during qualifying and the race.

          I’m sick of this refrain that F1 needs to be more difficult, and that the drivers have it too easy. If you eliminate Friday practice, then the teams that spend the most money on their simulators and supercomputers will win. The big teams can spend their way out of any hole that the FIA or FOM tries to put them in, and the divide between the big three and the rest will continue growing.

          I can’t think of a single cost-cutting measure implemented in the last 10 years that’s improved competition, or F1 as a whole. I’m not even sure they’re lowering costs for the teams.

    2. Alonso, by constantly badmouthing every aspect of F1, is only illustrating why he’s not in a championship contender right now or next season and why every top team told him to ‘no thanks’ when he came calling.

      1. It is getting rather tiresome isn’t it, any chance of getting someone else in his car for the next three races ?

      2. @v12beard @budchekov – I have taken digs at Alonso in my past comments for his attitude and other comments, but don’t see what’s the issue here. He’s given a statement – innocuous by his standards – about his preference and opinion about “the show” aspect of motorsport in the US (ugh, as much as I despise “the show”).

        It’s probably no different from, say, Hamilton appreciating last year’s flamboyant driver introduction at COTA, while others were not as enthused.

        Or have I missed something else that he’s said, apart from the “what they say” piece?

        1. Read it again, and still cannot find anything wrong with Alonso’s comments.
          Maybe either the complainer is prejudiced or I’m becoming blind for his complaining (he has complained a lot in the past).

        2. Doesn’t need to be compared to others’ statements. It stands on its own merits and favourably so for anyone reading it objectively.

    3. I really don’t think Mercedes will replace Bottas in 2020 as long as he keeps up his 2018 level of performance.

      He’s quick, reliable, fairly consistent… and he occasionally beats Hamilton, who is one of the very best drivers I’ve ever seen and who would probably come close to 21-0 against more than half the current grid. And there’s no point trying to compare him to Rosberg because everything – team-mate relations, atmosphere in the team, penalty for a bad weekend, reward for a great weekend, outside influences, driving style requirements, pressure, key attributes, etc – is different in a two-car, one-team championship.

      Mercedes have Hamilton driving at what looks like the highest level he’s ever been at and Bottas pushing him far more than people seem to think. I can’t see the sense in changing a winning formula just to try out a guy like Ocon, who – much as I hope he’s a big part of F1’s future – hasn’t yet done anything to suggest he’d be better than Bottas.

      Unless Bottas chooses to leave, or really drops the ball in 2019, I think the next Mercedes driver change will be to replace Hamilton.

      1. @neilosjames – I’m of two minds here. Yes, no need to rock the boat, as you rightly say. And Ocon hasn’t proven himself in a “big team” way that would convince Mercedes to take that plunge. I also get the impression that he’s quite hungry/ambitious, so might not settle for Bottas’ role.

        However, the other thing that comes to mind is this – in the – admittedly unlikely – event that Ferrari take the WCC this year, or even close the gap down significantly, the Mercedes board might pressure Toto to ensure it doesn’t occur again, and that will be down to the driver alongside Hamilton.

        While Mercedes definitely appreciate Hamilton’s patronage (for advertising and building the brand), their priority will be the Mercedes brand first and foremost. It probably won’t do for the team to be strongly challenged – or trumped – in the constructors title, but only receive accolades because one of their drivers won the WDC convincingly.

      2. I agree – I suspect that their big fear is that Hamilton may elect to go to Ferrari at the end of next year (after winning WDC 6) to try to complete his carreer with a WDC or 2 at the prancing horse.

        Bottas will continue as one of their drivers unless he really drops the ball in 2019.

    4. Two of the biggest talents in F1 got there through F3’s Van Amersfoort racing. Yet somehow the team has been ousted out of the new F3 series. Clearly not enough powerful friends…

      1. @hahostolze, or maybe it is because the team is generally one of the smaller outfits in Formula 3 and the ones which have been chosen are the ones which generally are the larger and more successful teams? Must everything end up in conspiracy theories?

        1. @anon it’s not conspiracy. Sure, it’s partly down to size, but the ‘bigger’ teams like Campos, MP, Charouz, Trident and Jenzer have rarely shown any real ability at running a team competitively, subsiding on mostly pay drivers for existence. There is no real sign they would be able to succeed in F3 where they need to split their attentions. Meanwhile both VAR and Motopark have shown they can do multiple series at once and welll (as @geemac points out). Furthermore, some of these teams have survived all this time in GP/F2 by being close to the series founds and runners. It’s no big secret. But it clearly shows that those commercially involved would prefer F2 teams to branch out, rather than competitive F3 teams to move up. And that’s very unfair and makes little sense. So yeah, there is reason to gripe, without calling it a conspiracy.

      2. Not having Van Amersfoort Racing or Motopark doesn’t really make sense to me @hahostolze. They are proven competitors at this level and deserve a slot in the new series.

    5. Fikri Harish (@)
      24th October 2018, 8:37

      Now that F3 (née GP3) teams only has three cars instead of four, the odds of an all ART podium has just dropped from 50% to like, 25%.
      In all seriousness though, I do hope that Prema could challenge ART’s superiority. People like to criticize F1 for being a two-tier championship and yet that’s what GP3 was like 75% of the time, with the ART drivers fighting for victories and championships while the rest are basically fillers.
      And GP3 was supposed to be a spec series.

    6. It’s a little bit more about the show, about the spectator, maybe less technical information and more about the show, the drivers, about the cars.

      While I agree with this to an extent, the highlight of the “Alonso Indy Experience” for me was the way his first test was covered. The stream that Indycar put up on YouTube was incredible and in hindsight I can’t believe how enthralled I was watching one car go (literally) round and round in circles. Part of that was the fact that the commentators were so good at discussing and summarising the technical challenge of going racing at Indy – from the way the car is set up and how it behaves round the track in different conditions to the challenges of plotting your way through the race. It was at times unapologetically technical, but it had to be at times, and I came away from it wishing F1 commentators were the same. It gave me much more of an understanding of the challenge of oval racing and I am more interested in IndyCar now than I have been since the early 90’s CART heyday as a result.

      1. Well said!

      2. It was at times unapologetically technical,

        @geemac – could you mention an example that comes to mind? It is something I long to hear/read more of in F1, and some years ago, I enjoyed Ted’s Notebook for its behind the scenes tidbits (granted, I don’t enjoy some of his presentations these days).

        1. @phylyp Well the broadcast was well over a year ago now so I can’t remember the exact details, but the times they spoke about the different aero tweaks they make to the cars through practice and qualifying (particularly round the blockers in the sidepod and the gradual trimming out of wing levels) and the driver’s use of their weight jackers through the race was pretty interesting I thought.

          1. @geemac – many thanks, that’s good to know. It makes me wonder whether instead of having only ex-drivers as pundits in their commentary teams, channels like Sky or C4 should also try bringing in someone formerly on the pitwall, such as a race engineer or a performance engineer.

    7. I disagree with Alonso. F1 first and foremost is a sport, and that’s how it should always remain as; Racing over the show, not the other way round.

      – Regarding Keith’s tweet: No, that couldn’t possibly have been the case as the selections for which races CH4 broadcasts live were made long ago, before the season had even started, so no way they could’ve predicted the outcome of the US GP that far in advance, LOL.

      – Palmer has a point. Regarding the last paragraph of the column; ”It begs the question, is Friday practice actually a good thing, or would the show be better without it?” – Yes, it is. Removing the Friday sessions altogether would at first yes produce similar races to the US GP, but in the long-term, things would eventually go back to the usual ways.

      – I agree with the COTD.

      1. Removing the Friday sessions altogether would at first yes produce similar races to the US GP, but in the long-term, things would eventually go back to the usual ways.

        @jerejj – very true – the rich teams will just fire up another cluster of computers to better predict and extrapolate car performance, while the rest of the grid will end up having to find their way on setup the hard way.

    8. Wolff spewing more drivel again.
      What “good” team will take him other than Mercedes?
      If it’s a Merc customer the only decent team is Force India – Perez would have to leave as Stroll isn’t.
      None of the other teams, other than Williams are going to take him as a temporary unless Merc voids his contract which is not likely.
      Unless they ditch Bottas which is not likely since Hamilton knows he is his butler, it’s more nonsense from the one with the forked tongue.

    9. It’s a little bit more about the show, about the spectator, maybe less technical information and more about the show, the drivers, about the cars.

      One of my biggest critisism’s of the direction Liberty have taken the TV broadcast’s this year is the loss of some of the technical information. We used to see a G-force graphic & had the ERS deployment info in the driver battle graphic for instance yet we have seen neither this year.

      The whole presentation has to me felt significantly dumbed down compared to what we had previously & while not every change has been bad I think overall it hasn’t exactly been better.

      1. We used to see a G-force graphic & had the ERS deployment info in the driver battle graphic for instance yet we have seen neither this year.

        But all that’s been replaced with a fancy “tshiiiiiink” “drawing a sword” style of sound effect when a lap record is set, so that’s an improvement! Yay!! @stefmeister

        (yes, this is me being sarcastic, and I fully sympathize with you and echo your complaints).

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