Alonso unlikely to leave F1 until he sees someone “beating me on pure ability”

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso, the oldest driver in Formula 1 today, says he is motivated to continue in Formula 1 as long as he feels better than the competition.

In brief

Alonso will stay in F1 until “I see that I’m not good anymore”

Following his early retirement from the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, Alonso said he remains keen to stay in F1 as long as he feels competitive.

“I feel better than the others,” said the 40-year-old two-times world champion in response to a question from RaceFans.

“When someone comes and I see that he’s beating me on pure ability, I see that I’m not good anymore at the starts, I’m not good in preparing the car or the other side of the garage is one second faster than me, and I cannot match those times et cetera, maybe I raise my hand and I say ‘this is time for me to think [about] something else.’

“But at the moment I feel the opposite, so I love racing.”

Quote: Claire Cottingham

Willaims had an updated rear wing that improved fight

After finishing 11th, ahead of Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton, in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Alexander Albon explained that a new rear wing on his Williams had paid dividends.

“I’m really happy with the result today,” he said. “We maximised the opportunities and overtook some cars on track with the pace we had. We had a new rear wing configuration for the weekend which really helped us hold position, and was particularly important in the second half of the race when battling with Gasly.

“It’s a shame that we missed out on points by one place, but we are taking opportunities, doing things differently and showing that we can battle higher up despite not having the fastest car.

“I was hoping DRS would be enabled a little earlier. We had six or seven laps where we were faster than the cars ahead and, with our downforce levels, we could have got past straight away if we’d had DRS. By the time it was enabled I was wishing it hadn’t been.

“Overall, another weekend with plenty of positives for the team to take onwards to Miami.”

Boschung and Campos have found ‘trick’ to F2 starts

After quickly moving into the lead off the line, from fourth, at the start of the Formula 2 feature race in Imola, Ralph Boschung said that his incredible starts this season are down to a ‘trick’ he and his team have discovered.

“I don’t think experience has anything to do with it,” he said, in response to a question from RaceFans. “Campos and I have done a really good job because I think we found a little trick that makes our starts pretty good, actually. So I welcome you guys try and find it out.

“I think only one start was pretty poor, but that was my mistake. Otherwise, I think we proved it, our starts are – we’re just a rocket. So I’m enjoying the trick.”

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Comment of the day

On the topic of porpoising, Bernasaurus weighs in with whether it’s a horror show for the drivers

I really don’t think he’s just having a moan for the sake of it. It looks genuinely unpleasant at the very best, at worst the base of his spine is taking a pounding. That car wouldn’t pass a basic road car MOT jumping around like that. Yes, they could raise the ride height, but they’re not. Until they sort it, him and Lewis are going to have some sore bones.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Andrewf1, Christopher and Christopher Rehn!

On this day in motorsport

Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari, Imola, 1982
Bad blood between the Ferrari drivers at Imola today in 1982

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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16 comments on “Alonso unlikely to leave F1 until he sees someone “beating me on pure ability””

  1. I don’t think the Aussie supercars would do that well as an f1 support outside of Australia as i just don’t think there is as much interest in it.

    When it supports F1 in Australia the crowds turn up for it because its there national series but given how most F1 fans don’t stick around for the support races that are more relevant to f1 (F2/F3) or the porsche supercup i just can’t see them been any more likely to stick around for the supercars that doesn’t have that big a following worldwide.

    It’s also not as if most of the F1 racesin that part of the world outside of Australia & Japan are that well attended as it is so the supercars would likely just end up on track with empty grandstands which would do nothing for its image.

    Its a cool category and i can enjoy it when i watch but they need to be realistic and understand that been an F1 support category outside of Australia won’t work as well for them as it does at home.

    1. You don’t have to know anything about the series to get entertainment value from it.
      It’s loud and aggressive, the pack is tight and the racing is usually pretty decent. Bonus is that the cars look like something that normal people could have themselves on the road. That’s enough for car lovers.
      The main problem they would face is that F1’s audience are not generally car lovers. Not attainable cars, anyway – often comically expensive European exotics.

      Regardless, it won’t happen. Supercars tried to expand internationally over a decade ago, and found that it’s simply too expensive.

  2. I noticed the Wlliaims rear wing, looked shallower than normal, at one point during the weekend AWS had a graphic with Albon being by far the best on the straights, unfortunately this is partly because everyone went with higher downforce for Imola, too many slow corners I assume.

  3. If Alonso wants to stick around, where does that leave Piastri? I’d love to see Alonso go to McLaren to replace Ricciardo who just doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with Norris, I wonder if Alonso could…

    Australian Supercars international expansion is such a crazy idea, they’ve already tried it so many times and nobody is interested, it’s empty stadiums time and time again. I think FIA needs to rethink its tin top championships. There should be a premiere Touring/GT global championship with similar calendar to F1 if not following it outright, they could use Australian Supercars as a basis for that, but it would need completely new branding I reckon, there’s just not enough prestige with the Supercars brand, despite the ATCC heritage. Plus it’s just confusing when these “supercars” are nothing like the regular supercar nomenclature.

    It’s just weird that there’s MotoGP and F1, but then the options for tin tops are smaller regional touring car cups or endurance which is a completely different beast… Or NASCAR I guess.

    1. @skipgamer I can see Williams as an option for Piastri, especially if Latifi keeps on losing to Albon.

    2. I think a direct comparison with norris would be useful for alonso, since norris could well be verstappen-leclerc level, so that way we could see how good alonso is still (or not).

    3. @skipgamer

      I feel Alpine dropped the ball by signing Ocon to a long contract. Alonso has been the better driver since the mid part of last season, and I can see him giving Ocon a proper kicking this year as well, once his luck turns around a little. I’d honestly much rather see Alonso against Piastri, than a mediocre talent such as Ocon continue in than second Alpine seat. I mean, if Ocon at the peak of his powers cannot match the oldest driver on the grid who is far from his best, than what’s the point of hanging on to a driver of that calibre? Might as well wait for Alonso to throw in the towel and get either Gasly or Albon in that 2nd seat.

  4. Putting the damp circumstances to one side, yesterday was testament to the pure, real excitement of racing without DRS up to the point it was deployed.
    Organic fighting with no gimmicky rear wing allowing the drivers close fighting skills to come to the fore. It was a glimpse of the brilliant racing of the past based on the drivers talent, cunning and opportunism instead of requiring an artificial aid which imho dilutes the spectacle.

    1. Completely agree

  5. Fair enough & ultimately, he’s right to continue if he wants to.

    Unsurprising since Williamses topped the speed trap in the race, although the S/F straight end would be a better location for the speed trap as that’s where Imola’s highest speeds get achieved.
    Albon & Latifi were 9th & 10th respectively (at 282.2 kph) in the maximum timing line speeds, although judging approach speeds into Tamburello based on these is difficult.

    Yet another song I got introduced to by Mclaren that I had never heard before. I wonder what’s next?

    Hamilton & Russell will merely have to endure the pain until Mercedes sorts the porpoising issue for good.
    Raising ride height (even more than they already have) would be an easy fix, but understandable why they don’t do this since this would only penalize them more in lap time.

    1. I should’ve typed ‘his’ right. Silly me for being inattentive.

  6. I think if Fernando ever finds himself in one of the top cars again, he’ll have a difficult time matching the likes of Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris or Russell. If he’s happy to trundle around backwards in midfield then maybe he should stick around but I think its time for him to give up the ghost, be happy for a career with 2 WDCs, some epic challenges in lesser machinery and fans around the world and allow Alpine to give some new blood a chance.

  7. It’s difficult to get a true idea of what kind of level Fernando is performing at currently – He is generally qualifying well, but a lot of bad luck and a car that is either not as good on race pace, or just not being setup properly for Sunday’s, has left him well below where he should be in the WDC… Hope his motivation stays up and he can get a couple of clean weekends in!

    1. Wait, what? Why are there yachts next to the circuit?
      Where is this?

  8. I’m not his biggest fan, but I do respect Alonso for all the effort he’s still putting in at his age.
    Such a shame he hasn’t had a decent car in years.
    We had such high hopes for his McLaren years, but it didn’t work out.

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