Alonso questions F1's obsession with 'spicing up' the show

12/09/2021
NEWS STORY

Fernando Alonso questions F1's obsession with spicing up the show, though the Spaniard, a fan of single lap qualifying, admits that Fridays could be improved.

In all honesty, we can't remember exactly who it was, but a few years back a notable inhabitant of Planet Paddock, when asked about processional, boring races referred to football matches that end in a 0-0 draw.

At the time we took issue with this comment, because sometimes a 0-0 game can be the most thrilling of all, one doesn't need a 5-4 scoreline to know one has watched a good game in which two sides are at their tactical best.

From the day Liberty Media bought F1 is has been clear that the sport's owners are of the opinion that 0-0 is boring and 5-4, indeed 14-12 scorelines are the way to go.

Barely a week goes by without a suggestion as to how the sport can be "spiced up", be it silliness such as the 'Overtake Award' or the far more fundamental imposition of a budget cap and a futuristic looking (almost same-spec) car on which many reputations depend.

Fernando Alonso is one of the sport's few remaining purists, and now the Spaniard has questioned why F1 needs to keep reinventing itself with gimmicks, its constant desire to 'spice up' something that is clearly already a major attraction to fans.

"Formula 1 is always pursuing an improvement that sometimes this is not needed, in a way," he said. "I don't see any other sport being so worried about making or improving the show.

"I see football, which normally is the king of sports, and there are so many games that are so boring," he continued. "And the following week there is not any drama, there is not any change. There are no suggestions how to change the game to make the goal bigger, to play without a goalkeeper to improve the show. There are no dramas.

"The sport is at it is and Formula 1 should be happy and proud as a show because it is a very big thing."

However, the Spaniard admits that 'as is', the sport isn't perfect and is therefore open to change.

"Because we want to improve, my feeling is that the Friday is what is maybe dictating the rest of the weekend, because qualifying is made by the car performance and not by the driver input," he said.

"If qualifying is still six sets of tyres, we will eventually finish in the natural order of the performance of the cars," he continued. "So in Saturday sprint race, we will start in our position, and we will finish in our position.

"If the format in qualifying on Friday is a little bit different, just one lap or something, for example in Q2, I locked up the front tyres into Turn 1, and with that lap, I would start last, because I made a mistake. I will pay the price, start last, and maybe today I have a hard job to do. There is a sense of the sprint qualifying. It will be more spicy.

"I still think the same after Silverstone after Monza... the Friday is the thing that we need to, if possible, change the natural order of the cars."

The Spaniard admits that one-lap qualifying would be his solution.

"Imagine one lap in Monaco and you only have that lap," he said. "And there is track evo, or maybe there is weather. Maybe the leaders of the championship start first, and you make a mega lap, with the track evolution and you start on the first row of the grid, something like that. Maybe there is one weekend where you are lucky, and you can perform on something extra. Now, your hands are tied. Even if you have inspiration one day, if your car is the fifth fastest, you will finish ninth and 10th."

Asked about reverse grids, which Ferrari supports, he replied: "The reverse grid I would take it because I am in a slow car but I don't think it is fair, and I don't think F1 should make that revolution either."

Maybe when he finally retires, F1 should give Fernando a senior role, he certainly makes a lot more sense than some we could mention.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza, here.

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Published: 12/09/2021
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