Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Baku City Circuit, 2016

Disillusioned Alonso eyes Le Mans and IndyCar

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso sent a clear message about his dissatisfaction with the current F1 rules by praising IndyCar racing – where engine supplier Honda also competes – and Le Mans.

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How optimistic should we be about Sauber’s salvation?:

While it’s great that the future of the team, at least in the short term, looks fairly secure, I concur with everyone above that’s not fully convinced that this is a good step for them.

I’d rather see the team being bought by a company that knows this business and it’s ready to improve from a very good basis, despite the current situation. Genii was probably the only financial group that sort of worked, but that imploded after three years, and the situation was very, very bad at the end of their tenure as F1 team owners.

I’m worried it could happen again with such an historic team in this sport. I suspect they didn’t have many options… and that’s a bit sad, not just for Sauber but for the state of F1.

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Happy birthday to Dirceu!

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On this day in F1

The Scottish Grand Prix, a non-championship race held at Winfield 65 years ago today, was won by Philip Fotheringham-Parker at the wheel of a Maserati 4CLT.

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  • 48 comments on “Disillusioned Alonso eyes Le Mans and IndyCar”

    1. Alonso I thought you were going to win championships with mclaren?

      what’s this? no backbone on your previous comments?

      1. FA has contributed flair and drama to F1 over the last 15 years, but I think the truth is he wouldn’t be so disillusioned if he was winning, or on podiums, or able to attack, or do anything other than pootle around the midfield; faster than Manor, Sauber and Renault, slower than Torro Rosso and Haas. I don’t know which is more embarrassing – being beaten by a freshman team or a team with engines that are obsolete.

    2. Is it just me, or does Fernando Alonso look a little bit like Robert Kubica in this picture?

      1. And I am just cringing at that cheesy tweet from Hamilton. Are you serious Lewis?

        1. Thanks for sharing

        2. Jelous? I am

        3. Couldn’t agree more, Hamilton is really becoming a classic rich twit – and let it be known that I am a great fan of his racecraft.

          1. Anthony Blears
            21st July 2016, 5:05

            If you had the money, you probably would. Why the hell not?

            1. He should spend more time studying the user manual.

            2. Mark, you means like Nico did?

            3. If I had the money, I wouldn’t go on social media taking topless selfies, because it looks stupid and Hamilton is not the only one who does it, which annoys me. He is a racing driver, not a brainless pop star.

        4. By ‘cheesy’ I guess you’re objecting to so much status. I mean, omg, he looks rich or something.

          1. No, not at all. I have no problems with how rich he is or anything. He has worked hard for his money and deserves it. However, he does look a bit of a fool in this tweet.

            1. You look like a bit of a fool, Lewis has millions of Twitter followers who want to see what he posts…
              But omg you didn’t like his post! What ever will Lewis do!

        5. Unsubscribe if you don’t want to see it, that’s how social media works, maybe you should read the manual?

          Lewis is keeping it real, living and loving his life, if that annoys you, you should look at your own self as a basis of that problem.

          1. Hahaha, Hamilton fans make me laugh!

            1. You can’t explain yourself though. You toss these vague epithets around like ‘looks a bit of a fool’ or ‘cheesy’ but you can’t explain what’s wrong with a pic of himself relaxing on a boat. Now you try and denigrate his fans with the same snide tactic. But it’s yourself you’re posting about really, that such an innocent pic irritates you.

    3. There is a pretty good article (I think it is anyway) over at GPToday that pretty much nails the way that I feel about the current state of F1. It appears that Alonso shares some of the same sentiments. http://www.gptoday.com/full_story/view/574056/Stefan_Johansson_drops_hard_truth_bomb_on_F1/

    4. Great racing in that DRS free link, I suspect from the way the cars were able to follow so closely and attack that it was also a crap-tyres free race.

      1. The teams were running special aero kits for minimal downforce / drag on the ovals, which allowed them to follow closer, and the red tires are absolutely designed to fall apart faster than the blacks. And each driver gets an additional 60 HP on ten separate occasions lasting 20 seconds each, that they can use anywhere they want.

        I know it’s “only” ten uses, but usually, no driver gets more than one or two successful DRS passes in a race– and in spite of many fan’s antagonism, using DRS, at best, will normally only allow you to maintain a gap, not pull off a pass.

        Having said all that, IndyCar has had some good racing this year, and lacks the self-destructive governing policies of the FIA.

        1. You were looking at a different race to the one I was commenting on, different formula, different continent. Grat.

    5. I sympathise entirely with Alonso but I don’t suppose Bernie is worried, I imagine he is looking forward to the day FOM can hold an annual auction for the 20 “seats”. ” Ferrari number 1, come on let’s have a bid, shall we say 30million to start”.

    6. Its too bad Alonso wasted his prime years chasing his third championship. His time at Ferrari was a mess and who would have imagined this almost unbelievable situation at McLaren. What I get from his comments is that he would rather drive a real race car and not a technological circumvention of the rules. Some will say that the playing field is the same for all drivers but I bet most would rather have a racecar that truly tests the limits of what a driver can do, a racecar that performs at the highest levels, a racecar that generates interest from the teams, from the drivers and most important the fans.

      Drivers like Alonso may not get that chance anymore….

      We’d like to think the future will bring better racecars but i wonder if weve gone too far down road and guys like Fernando realize it and feel their only choice is to do something else.

      He could have been a Five Time Champion..,..

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        21st July 2016, 4:54

        Ted Bell, if Alonso had been more mature in 2007, he wouldn’t have fled away from the McLaren team, no matter how biased he thought they were. I’m sure almighty Fernando would have produced an even more interesting 2008 season. He lost his best chance to be 3WDC then.
        He wasted 2 precious years in Renault. He became forever stained by the rumors he knew about Crashgate (rumors that will follow him, like him or not, even if you tell me he wouldn’t care less about it), and by the time he arrived in Ferrari, the rules and the power had already taken another direction (Red Bull / Vettel). Had he become champion in 2008, he would have been in a good position to negotiate a place in Red Bull for 2010. He knew the team was becoming stronger. Damn, I would have raced for Red Bull for free in 2010.
        His talent let him be so close in 2010 and 2012.
        He hasn’t lost the talent, but has lost his peak time. Any team would now choose a young gun (and still cheap one) as Verstappen or Wherlein, instead of spending tons of money for Alonso and diminishing the budget destined to the car. And needless to say, even when hw has 2WDCs that entitle him to ask for preferential treatment, it is up to the team (and not to him) to decide if it’s worth it. Not every team is Ferrari with a clear number 1 and number 2. Look at how successful Mercedes is, letting their drivers destroy the cars once in a while. And how Red Bull makes Dani sweat after getting Max.
        Even if Fernando doesn’t want preferential treatment anymore, asking for that back in 2007 defined all his path until now.

        1. @omarr-pepper I agree 2007 is the most career defining moment from him, part of maturing experience, only too costly for him. I think he already accepted he has lot share of the blame back then, hence why he happily moved from Ferrari back to McLaren. I don’t think he will do that if he still hold a grudge to McLaren and Ron Dennis because after all staying in Ferrari seat can’t be that bad. 30 millions is helping too ;)

        2. I read somewhere that RB actually chased Alonso when he returned to Renault. At the time, he thought that Ferrari was a top team and RB only had promesses.
          It’s such a shame because an Alonso-Vettel showdown would have been terrific (an autrian remake of 2007).

          1. promises*

        3. alonso was right to leave McLaren …..he couldn’t beat hamilton when lewis was a rookie , and he knew he wouldn’t beat him after that

      2. “He could have been a Five Time Champion…” Yes, but he also could have been no champion if Renault (and Michelin) weren’t the team to beat in 2005 and 2006. You win some you lose some. I get the impression that Alonso feels that he ‘failed’ his career if he ends up with ‘only’ two titles. I can understand that, but he will still be one of the lucky few.

        1. that’s quite true , in 2005/6 michelin designed their tyres specifically for the renault car , both companies being french not a problem , whereas the bridgestone/ferrari winning streak involved a ferrari team in japan and a bridgestone team in italy
          that’s why I personally would hate to see a return to tyre competition , it always ends up with a couple of teams have tyres to their taste and the others struggling , even though unlimited testing has been change to almost no testing

          bet pirelli are glad they will be allowed to make more durable tyres next year , much easier to make than the trick tyres that the FIA have specified in recent years

    7. Mark Webber felt the same when he decided to retire. Part of his reasons to move on were his discontent with the path F1 was following, and the new era that was just about to start. He felt it wasn’t the way to go for the series, if I remember correctly.

      Maybe Alonso feels the same now that his carreer is close to the finishing line. I’m sure a lot of people will say that he’s only unhappy because he’s losing, but I think for a guy like him having conquered the world in the elite of the sport and approaching a certain age now, it’s fairly reasonable to be considering other series. He’s done everything in F1 already.

      I, for one, would love to see Alonso at Le Mans and Indycar (even if I don’t like that series). It says a lot about his desire to move on that he’d be ready to stretch his legs in America’s top open wheeler series given the specific skill needed to be sucessful there.

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        21st July 2016, 5:08

        @fer-no65 As clear as it is your admiration for Webber, he definitely retired having the best car available. He was unable to tip the balance on his favor, in an almost similar way we see Rosberg now: Nico has won races every year Hamilton has been his teammate, but it’s impossible for him to beat him in the long-term, And I believe this year it will end up in the same way.
        Webber got tired of trying to beat Seb, and add to that the fact that he was definitely the oldest racer back then. His dislike about the rules sounds to me as a veiled excuse, half true, half not admitting he left defeated.
        Just as Seb’s final year at Red Bull. He couldn’t match Dani, it was the first time it happened to him, and I think it must have had a big weight at the time of deciding his move to Ferrari.
        It happened after Hamilton’s terrible 2011, and due to the way his team ruined his 2012 campaign, that a change was necessary.
        Champions move when the discomfort makes them lose pace. Alonso tried McLaren again, but it seems to be to late for him to keep waiting Ron’s promise of glory becomes true.

        1. @omarr-pepper, it also has to be said that Webber had the luxury of then walking into one of the top teams in the WEC, and moreover being in their leading car (i.e. the one getting priority treatment by the team). His position in the world of the WEC is quite privileged – I am not sure he would be quite so happy if he was, say, in Heidfeld’s shoes and racing for a privateer that the current regulations ensure cannot compete with the factory teams.

    8. On COTD that was pretty much my first thought… when a finance company buys out an ailing venture talk of a secure future sounds hollow methinks.

      1. Yep, the COTD is spot on.

    9. Alonso might be one of the 10 greatest F1 drivers of all time (I would put him at #10, behind Villeneuve, Moss, Lauda, Stewart, Schumacher, Prost, Clark, Senna and Fangio, in that order), and he should have won 4 F1 world championships by now. But quite honestly- with F1 at an all time low in almost every concievable way, and IndyCar and the WEC at real highs at the moment, any top-level driver who wants to be in a competitive series should really consider those 2 series right now. Whether it’s bad luck or bad decision making, Alonso just needs to be competitive- doesn’t matter what series, as long as its top-level.

    10. Most drivers dislike Formula H(ybrid) aka F1 racecars. Vettel, Button, Hulkenberg off to WEC / Le Mans next.

    11. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      21st July 2016, 4:35

      Nice cap Lewis. Is that motto a message to Nico?

    12. I don’t like how Alonso always is annoyed about the sport as we have had three round-ups in the last year with him moaning that the sport is boring. I’m looking forward to Hungary, where will have some good battles between Mercedes and Red Bull, and the 2017 rule changes which could spice the order up a bit.

      1. From reading the text, I am not even sure how recent the interview it is based on was, because in the mean time we have had Pirelli mention that they will make (or at least attemt to make) durable race tyres for 2017 @lolzerbob.

        Maybe the order will be hassled a bit (Mercedes not being on top, instead Red Bull being back there?? – would be just as meh for me), hopefully by then McLaren will be back in the mix for podiums at least too with the new rules. But I doubt the racing will be all that better. Remember they will still be passing using DRS.

    13. Hm, so Imola is doing Bernie a large favour there. I wonder what they will get in return? A money losing race?

      Didn’t earlier reports mention that the way the law is written the funding is designated for Monza? If that is the case I doubt any court would decide on stepping in. But let’s see.

      And Monza not having a deal surely is because of funding (Bernie wanting more money) or paddock updates right now. From what i have last seen of Imola, they would certainly have to invest a whole lot too to get at the level Bernie wants from Monza. Do they have the money?

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        21st July 2016, 9:31

        I don’t like this. This can only end one way with the Italian GP losing it’s place on the calendar. Not that Bernie would care particularly

    14. Following an organizational restructure of Honda (Yusuke Hasegawa), the engine has been progessing in a steady level and Mclaren is now on par with mid-fielders.
      Changes in regulation next year mean opportunity is present. Even for Mercedes, after returning to Formula 1, it took 4 years to prepare a winning car.
      I think Mclaren could hit back strong next year. Alonso could stay and see how competitive his car will become.

      1. I hope so @wok03. McLaren’s performance is encouraging. They are in Q3 on merit in the wet. They had good pace at Silverstone, an aero track.
        Honda changed the man in charge, and then seek for external help. They made good progress and Hasegawa is hinting that more is to come next year.
        With Vandoorne behind the wheel, this could be very interesting.

    15. Hmmm. If I was Silverstone I would see how the zero free-to-air times work out before ordering any new stands. I can easily see F1 crowds reducing in the UK over the next 5 years. Having said that, one precedent that gives me hope is cricket, where test match crowds have remained strong despite Murdoch.

    16. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      21st July 2016, 9:25

      I’m glad I found this clip. This is how I will always remember Jules: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsnFbthTuck

    17. I’d give Stefan’s critique of F1 more credit if it had some basis in reality. It’s apparent he’s never been in a V6 hybrid F1 car, and has no idea what he’s talking about.

      Prior to the new rules, it’s true that the drivers would occasionally be told to use a more beneficial “strat mode” (in the case of Mercedes), but on the whole, the drivers know what the modes are, and how to use them for maximum benefit.

      All the real fans wanted was for the engineers to stop telling the drivers how to enter / brake / exit corners. The rest of this is just the FIA proving their lack of mental competence.

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