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Alonso: F1 media does too much thinking

NEWS STORY
08/06/2017

It's fair to say that bad news sells, and that is as true of Formula One as it is of almost every other aspect of the media's coverage of the news.

Whenever things went quiet on the actual racing scene, the media always had the likes of Max Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and the numerous other personalities that have populated the paddock over the years to keep the sport in the headlines. Let's face it, over the years much of the sport's coverage in the mainstream media has related to the scandals as opposed to the on-track activity.

Even last winter, over a period that is traditionally quiet and scandal free, the F1 media was given an early Christmas present when Nico Rosberg retired just days after winning the title.

Speaking in Montreal today, ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso, when asked what he felt was the major difference between IndyCar and F1, admitted that the American series is more relaxed, that the drivers are treated differently.

Pushed a little harder, he admitted that one of the main issues he has with F1 is the media and the desire to create stories especially those that are negative.

"The whole atmosphere there is more relaxed, more happy, everyone... the events we had, everyone is proud of that event," he said. "They've been there for many years, they are proud and they expect to have fun.

"I don't say that here (F1) is different," he continued, "but with all the business that is around F1, where everyone is trying to find some word, some thing you say or do that is maybe a thing tomorrow for the news. There, it is about 33 drivers doing the race and just racing, here it is more.

"Formula One is bigger, in every sense, and because it's bigger there are other things. But I guess it's like that in all other sports, before the Champions League final a small comment maybe creates a polemic. There (Indy) you are more relaxed because the environment is more relaxed. It's not the pressure and everything that Formula One has."

Asked about the difference in the media's attitude, he continued.

"There are things that are difficult to change, so difficult to consider if they are good or bad, because Formula One is the biggest motor sport category in the world.

"For a reason, whatever that reason is, maybe it's about this thing," he continued, gesturing to the assembled media in front of him. "An example is this press conference, there's not one single question about this race weekend, not for me, not for Lewis, not even for him (Jolyon Palmer). It’s all about next year, about September, about whatever.

"There is not enough focus on this race weekend, because the positions more or less we know; we can put on paper the first 15 positions for qualifying and the first 15 for the race, and 99 per cent we will match every single position.

"This lack of uncertainty, this lack of an unpredictable race generates too much thinking, too much guessing. Obviously some parts of the sport will benefit from that as it will generate a lot of talk in the media and a lot of fan interaction but you miss a little of what will happen this weekend.

"It's not about being more relaxed or less relaxed at a weekend," he continued, referring to his time in IndyCar, "when you come here you focus on the engine, you prepare for the race, you prepare the strategy, the tyre temperature, whatever... then you come to the press conference and it's all about next year, what Zak said, what Toto said, so you freeze a little bit."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Montreal, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by edllorca, 09/06/2017 4:59

"A revelation that once it slaps you in the face is so clear and obvious. This - F1 - should be about racing when so often it is not. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 08/06/2017 20:29

"Interesting way Alonso has put it, that the racing has predictable results (boring?) therefore the journo's need to go away from the actual racing. That is quite a keen observation and actually, I think he has a good point. We really should first and foremost have information about the event itself, at least while the teams are getting into their weekends work. Plenty of time for the other stuff during the week really. I'm sure there could be a good balance however if the assembled media aren't even asking questions about the race that they are attending then what is the point in them being there at all, the media I mean?"

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