Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso, Melbourne, 2018

Losing Alonso “shows how bad F1 is” – Perez

2018 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso’s imminent departure from Formula 1 reflects badly on the sport, says Sergio Perez.

The McLaren driver will call time on his F1 career after next week’s season finale in Abu Dhabi. Perez described his rival as “a great driver, a fantastic personality and a great character.”

Alonso won the Le Mans 24 Hours earlier this year, moving him one step closer to claiming the ‘triple crown’ of motorsport which he hopes to complete by winning next year’s Indianapolis 500.

“He loves racing,” said Perez. “I have a lot of respect for him for what he has achieved in the sport but also for what he is trying to do out of the sport, with all the other titles that he is chasing. I think he’s definitely a great character for the sport and it’s a shame we lose him.”

Alonso has gone more than five years without winning a race in F1. “It shows how bad F1 is,” said Perez, “you have one of the best drivers in the world fighting in the midfield, trying to get some points every weekend. You put him in another car and he wins the championship.

“That’s just where F1 is at the moment. We are all in that boat.

“He has also been very lucky in his career that he had some very competitive cars and was able to win some titles, he has massive talent and he deserves the success he has had in his career and I wish him all the best. Maybe he will come back, who knows.”

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53 comments on “Losing Alonso “shows how bad F1 is” – Perez”

  1. @johnmilk again
    15th November 2018, 8:29

    you have one of the best drivers in the world fighting in the midfield, trying to get some points every weekend

    Doesn’t that show how good F1 is though?

    1. Indeed. Alonso’s demise is his own fault, not ‘F1’. He burned far too many bridges and continuing to have Flavio as his manager was not a smart move either.
      In terms of the team hierarchy, F1 is not a spec series and never should be. The best midfield drivers have to perform to get noticed by the best teams at the time, for example Leclerc and Verstappen.
      The problem with F1 is not the current set of drivers which are much much better than 25 years ago (overall), but the distribution of wealth being too wide, the overdependency of aerodynamics, and the stupidity of the tyre rules. It has nothing to do with the drivers.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        15th November 2018, 10:16

        Agreed. F1 is too political and dominated by money and marketing (Ugh!). So many of Alonso’s problems have been out of the car. This is the bad side of F1.

        If the cars were more equal, Alonso could compete for the championship in any car and that’s the way it should be.

        If the same team wins 5 years in a row and the best two drivers are not in that team then the F1 Drivers World Championship means NOTHING!

        F1 has become a big money spending technical exercise and nothing more. The magic has gone.

        1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk I’m pretty sure the best driver for the past 5 years *has* been in that car, given how said driver is the one who has accrued more points that his rivals.

          Oh wait, it’s because it’s Lewis Hamilton who’s won 4 out of those 5… Gotcha.

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            19th November 2018, 8:37

            I’m a Hamilton fan. I think he’s the best. I’d just like to see him challenged in more equal machinery more often.

          2. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk

            Challenged? Verstappen made him look ordinary 3 times this season. Albeit experienced and ordinary.
            You must be the only Hamilton fan who wants to see Verstappen in a car equal to the Mercedes.

      2. Alonso’s unfortunate choices or “burnt bridges” theories don’t hold water and are either out of ignorance or disdain for Alonso.
        The fact is there were only 2 teams out of 10 this year that had a legitimate shot at a WDC/WCC championship and they were the ones with the deepest pockets. Exciting.
        The top two teams each had a championship driver who “influenced” their honchos to select a rear gunner in order to prevent a “toxic” environment which is nothing more than a way of saying they didn’t want competition.
        If my math is correct, only 2 drivers out of 20 had a legitimate shot at a WDC. In fact, from 2015 until this year only one team had a legitimate shot at a WDC/WCC championship. At least their drivers were matched closely enough to keep it semi interesting.
        There is something terribly wrong when 16 drivers out of 20 have a snowballs chance in hell of standing on the podium let alone win a race.
        As far as Alonso goes, to say he is leaving F1 because he burnt bridges with 2 or 3 of the top teams is an indictment of how sad F1 is. If all or even several other teams were competitive at the top he wouldn’t be leaving and F1 wouldn’t be losing arguably their best driver.
        So stop already with the “it’s Alonso fault” BS. The fault lies solely and squarely on F1 and it won’t be changing anytime soon.

        1. Yeah, but it’s his fault though

        2. Whilst I respect your opinion, I am not sure that you actually debunked the “burnt bridges” theory…

          1. @mog @mick The whole burnt bridges “theory” (a theory requires proper evidence) is just a popular an lazy way of analyzing the Alonso situation. I don’t think it needs to be debunked because it’s not a theory. Like trying to prove a negative. The fact that he’s back with the only team that should actually have reason to not like him make it all the more ironic. But hey, as @johnmilk, it’s just easier to say “it’s…his fault.”

          2. I like to look at it this way: Alonso has twice walked away from top teams, criticizing them on the way out. In both those teams, Alonso had the opportunity to fight for the championship right down to the final race of the season (2007 McLaren, 2010 & 2012 Ferrari). In my opinion, he’s not allowed the defense of complaining about where he’s driven, as he’s pretty much dictated that until VERY recently. If there’s one chink in Alonso’s armor, it’s his qualifying. He’s just not gotten the best out of any car over one lap for the duration of a season. In 2007 he was only on pole twice (to rookie Hamilton’s 6 times… 6 for Massa as well. Kimi got 3, so Alonso was worst of the best). 2010, twice again. 2012? You guessed it… twice again, & he hasn’t been on pole since. In fact, I don’t recall Alonso ever pulling off qualifying upset, snatching an unlikely pole. In a way, he’s lucky that Felipe wasn’t the same after his accident: Massa has 16 poles to Alonso’s 22, & while they were together at Ferrari Felipe was the number 2 driver. Felipe even managed to fling the Williams on pole once in 2014. Basically, Alonso could easily be a 5 time champion if he’d stuck it on pole a few more times. That’s been the difference more than him not being in WDC capable machinery.

          3. What’s confusing?

          4. I guess you must be disagreeing with me saying he’s never gotten the best out of the car over a season. In my defense, there should have been an “always” in there. I wasn’t trying to dismiss his championship winning years, just was more focusing on the times it got away from him. If that’s not it, then I’m confused… ;)

          5. The burnt bridge theory is legitimate if one accounts for how he has spent the post-title-winning years that might be called the Hamilton era, though the same analysis shows it is not the only legitimate theory:

            – Fernando fell out so spectacularly with McLaren in 2007 that he had to leave during the last time it could legitimately fight for the title, probably losing 2007 due to the tensions involved and 2008 through not being McLaren’s lead driver (both possible had he played his political cards better). I see two lost titles there.

            – I will concede Fernando had no realistic shot at the title for 2009. I cannot see any method by which he could have obtained himself a Brawn because it wasn’t looking for a new driver in 2008, and any driver change for 2009 would have been for a cheaper upcomer rather than an established champion (for it did not see itself as a title contender until after its drivers were selected). Red Bull were too far back to be viable title contenders that year, whoever was in there.

            – The people who had to pay 50% of the fine that resulted from the 2007 fracas now lead Mercedes’ purse-strings. Even if Toto wanted Fernando, it is unlikely he could get approval for it. This blocks one of the two title-contending teams of the moment.

            – Fernando and Red Bull considered each other for 2008 and 2009 (before the latter’s young driver program got properly going) but got rejected. Had this happened, it is likely Fernando could have won 2010 and 2011, maybe even 2012, before having to make way for upcomer Daniel Riccardo (Red Bull likes to push upcomers). I don’t think this is a burnt bridge (as Red Bull’s repeated offers since that day indicate), more like a regular opportunity missed. Serially, perhaps by both parties (there must be a reason Fernando keeps saying “no”…). It could be argued that the bridge got burnt when Fernando demanded an apology from Red Bull for pretending none of the offers happened – but who burnt it? That could just as easily have been Red Bull.

            – Ferrari was definitely a burnt bridge, due most likely to exhausted patience. Had he managed not to antagonise Luca di Montezemelo, or even held his ire for another 6 months, he would have found his team being led by a different boss, who could demonstrate improvement (sometimes a lot, sometimes a little) each season. I think, had he done so, his patience would have been rewarded with a shot at the title in 2016 due to the Mercedes drivers taking points off one another, another in 2017 (albeit in both cases a Mercedes driver would probably still have won) and an actual title in 2018. I doubt Fernando would walk out of the series if he was its current champion – he is not Nico Rosberg.

            – Nobody else has been a title contender in the era of Lewis Hamilton.

    2. Not if you have midfield drivers at the pointy end.. the Finns come to mind.

      1. @johnmilk...again
        15th November 2018, 10:09

        Or Fisichella

  2. But that was always the way of F1, one team would be far afront a senond team near that but the rest way back. Alonso had a nose for picking the wrong teams that why he was last (with Williams) this season. yes he got some points but he never looked the best of the rest which i would expect from him.

  3. You being outraced by a 22 year old with no money but keeping your seat and gaining another well-moneyed teammate shows how bad F1 is, Sergio.

    1. ‘Matched’ would be more accurate than ‘outraced’. Ocon has a firm upper hand in qualifying, but in the races Perez makes fewer mistakes and has given as good as he’s got.

      1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        15th November 2018, 12:58

        @exediron accurate.

    2. Nail on the head

    3. “With no money”
      Like Mercedes isn’t paying for that seat in one way or another.

    4. Perrz deserves a seat, but the fact that he is keeping this one due to financial considerations over a faster driver is frustrating.

  4. I wouldn’t blame the whole of F1 for Alonso’s situation.
    Most would have put money on McLaren recovering within 5 years, whilst few believed that the Brawn GP team could win 4 successive titles.

    Not sure if this is fact or rose-tinted stuff, but it feels that in the ol’ days drivers moved between teams more often (until Schumacher married Ferrari), which kept the drivers market much more open (and interesting).

    1. Not sure if this is fact or rose-tinted stuff, but it feels that in the ol’ days drivers moved between teams more often (until Schumacher married Ferrari), which kept the drivers market much more open (and interesting).

      I think it is another part of how the teams now operate, in combination with the idea of having a brand identity that has to be consisten with a focus on “influencers” @coldfly

      With the amazing technology available development projects are running far enough ahead of what is on track that you really cannot afford not to be in the loop (as you would be after moving teams) for most of the time. On the other hand, brands try to create far more of that brand identity with longer term relationships with (sports)stars, so they are more willing to sign contracts that make that possible.

    2. It is not rose tint. Watch old F1. For example, right now I’m watching 1986 Jerez. The cars wiggle a LOT on exits. They can follow. They are really racing and passing without DRS. Over next few years, Prost, Senna, Berger, Mansell, etc will be team jumping here and there, Mansell will even jump to CART and back.

      Reminds me in some weird way of original Star Wars trilogy (dirt, grime, texture, depth, sweat) vs newer Star Wars (homogenized, pastuerized, distilled). There was some good in good ol days. But some very bad too (1994 San Marino).

  5. So Alonso not having a drive in #F1 next year, is solely down to the sport and nothing to do with the him? Ok Perez

    1. Not having a “competitive” drive is what Perez is getting at.

      1. @todfod And Alonso having burned all the bridges to competitive drives is what KGN11 is getting at.

        1. Glad you understood what i meant.

        2. @rethla

          Regardless of burnt bridges and old history… Would Mercedes pair Alonso alongside Hamilton ? And would Ferrari pair Alonso alongside Vettel?

          Regardless of whether bridges are burnt or not, Mercedes or Ferrari wouldn’t sport 2 roosters in the same team. There needs to be more ‘rooster worthy’ teams. That’s what Sergio is getting at.

          1. @todfod But then we all know if Alonso had held his tongue, he would have been in the Ferrari for 2015, not Vettel…

          2. @optimaximal

            I thought Alonso wanted to leave Ferrari, not the other way around. Spending 5 years with the red team was more than enough for him.

          3. @todfod No. I also can’t imagine Mercedes having an Alonso-Bottas pairing given that Hamilton has taken the title and it has a shortage of berths for the talents in its development scheme …but I think Ferrari would have paired Alonso with Leclerc for 2019 if its relationship with Fernando had gone differently. (In that version of history, Vettel would never have joined Ferrari, since his skills would have been redundant alonside Alonso’s).

          4. @alianora-la-canta

            but I think Ferrari would have paired Alonso with Leclerc for 2019 if its relationship with Fernando had gone differently. (In that version of history, Vettel would never have joined Ferrari, since his skills would have been redundant alonside Alonso’s).

            Not sure about that. 2010 to 2014 was an era where Ferrari as a team was miserable, any driver who was driving for them in that era (Vettel included) would have been done with the stint and looked for a better opportunity. The whole Ferrari team was in for a reshuffle, and which is why Massa was done with in 2013 and Alonso quit in 2014. I doubt even if he left on good terms, they would dump Vettel and get him in for 2019. Highly unlikely especially considering the Leclerc is the horse they’re betting on for the future.

          5. @todfod Ferrari definitely wouldn’t have dumped Vettel for Alonso in 2018 – in any version of history. My take assumes that with Fernando in place and at least reasonably OK with things, they’d have retained him. (Look how long they retained Raikkonen when there were alternatives they could have selected).

            Had Alonso gone to Red Bull in 2008 or 2009 when the opportunity was there, it would be easy to resolve this entirely legitimate issue you see with the “Alonso at Ferrari” theory. Had Fernando arrived in 2013 or 2014, following a couple of titles for Red Bull, he’d be in his first or second year at Ferrari when the changing of the guard happened, with no opportunity to get jaded.

            As it was, I think Fernando’s patience broke six months before the point at which the guard change completed. Had it held that extra six months, I think he’d still be at Ferrari now. I agree with you that Vettel almost certainly wouldn’t have been patient enough for that. On the other hand, I think Ricciardo would (he’s leaving Red Bull because of perceived favouritism, which generally isn’t something that worries #1 drivers in a #1/#2 team where the #2 isn’t threatening to overturn expectations). As would Hamilton, if no better seat came along (as was the case for that particular scenario, assuming Mercedes would not hire a driver straight from Ferrari unless they already had some sort of link to the Mercedes system).

  6. I disagree with him.

  7. While I will surely miss Alonso being on the grid, I would also much rather have him be competitive in other series rather than suffer in F1. He really lost his peak years in terrible Ferraris and Mclarens and did not deserve that. He should instead show how he is one of the better racers in the world by succeeding in other series. Agreed, there’s absolutely no competition in WEC at the moment but he had an amazing debut at the Indy 500 in 2017 and I hope he wins it next year, because that is what he deserves.

  8. Alonso’s problems are all his own. Many leadership lessons to be learned from his attitude and working as a team, take the almost opposite case, Hamilton.

    It would be fascinating to hear from someone who has seen inside of teams while they are there.

  9. Alonso has been in F1 for seventeen years, he has driven for some of the biggest teams in motorsports in the form of Ferrari and McLaren, he has had a good run. Its time to move on for him and for the sport!
    Spygate did a lot of damage to F1, both in terms of image and potential sponsorship, and Fernando Alonso was involved in that scandal to a certain extent. I am certain that no one
    involved in Spygate was thinking about the ‘image of F1’when obtaining stolen Ferrari data, or by blackmailing certain people in order to further their careers.
    Pay drivers have always been an issue in F1 for decades, that does F1 no good either when talented drivers cannot afford or get backing to compete in F1. Thanks to the billions of Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, Sergio Perez has never been in that boat. And should be gratefull he is not!

  10. Comments like this annoy me.

    At some point in their careers, top class drivers are going to have to retire. No team will fire them
    All this concern about what Formula One will be like with the Hamiltons, Alonsos and Vettels is silly, because in the not to distant future, we will have an F1 without them.

    Same as we’ve had an F1 with the Hakkinens, Prosts, Laudas and Schumachers.

    These people have to move on, so we can have new ones. In fact, in my opinion, some of these people simply hang around for too long. How much talent have we lost to WEC and FE etc because there’s no where for people to go in Formula One.

  11. I don’t see Fernando’s retirement as anything other than what one should expect. F1 is a physically demanding sport, which is why people retire when, presumably, the painful effects and cramps become a bit too much. Even if Alonso was in Mercedes, returned to Ferrari, or in Red Bull Racing, he’d still be thinking about retiring. Maybe he’d have done a couple more years, but he’d still be finding the consequences of the races “uncomfortable”.
    As others have said, Alonso has been near some very important events in the history of F1, the most notable ones that come to mind are “crashgate” and “spygate”. Maybe that was coincidence and maybe he was an innocent bystander. I didn’t like the way he left McLaren at the end of 2007 and returned to Renault, but that’s ancient history.
    When Nico Rosberg unexpectedly announced his retirement from F1 weeks before the start of the 2017 season, one of the people Toto rang to tell was Fernando. Surely that gives you an indication of his status, but Fernando said he couldn’t break his contract with McLaren. Even then he didn’t like the Honda engine, so why not jump? I would be surprised if McLaren wouldn’t have released him with the right encouragement. So there were other factors involved. Maybe Fernando wanted things written into his contract that Mercedes weren’t happy with, e.g. he had the option to go and race in another series, or maybe he wanted “Number One” status in the team, or maybe it was the one year contract.
    Regardless, decisions have been made, contracts will be fulfilled, payments made. And next season Fernando won’t be at the Australian GP.

  12. When backmarkers driver their car into the leader it shows how bad F1 is.

    1. That was his teammate.

    2. Someone has to take over the “blame Ericsson” meme, just like how eventually, every driver in F1 gets replaced…

  13. At least Alonso can take a little F1 “class and sophistication” to Indycar. So we might expect suspicious crashes, misplaced documents, sunbathing on the infield and shouts of “Indy Lights engine! Indy Lights! Arh!”

  14. The fact that Alonso’s F1 career has lasted so long shows how bad F1 is. He should’ve been kicked out right after Spygate.

    1. Forget Alonso for a minute.
      Driver contracts that let them choose their team mates should be banned under EU employment law.
      Riccairdo’s career could be pretty much over now, when he should have been at Ferarri or Mercedes. Their Divas couldn’t handle him.

      As for spygate. Teams are spying on each other all the time and copy each other as much as possible. The interesting thing is how Mercedes CEOs are rumoured to have vetoed Wolff getting Alonso at the same time they were getting fined for price fixing and emissions che@ting. Mercedes have zero moral high ground as a company. No wonder they hated him blowing the whistle with Ferarri then lapping him up.

  15. Well, look on the bright side. Alonso is getting to retirement age anyway, this way he leaves without needlessly prolonging a career and falling into obscurity, which is an honour.

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