Debate: Is Fernando Alonso a good World Champion?

Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Mercedes, Sepang, 2007I’ve heard a lot of criticism lately of Fernando Alonso not being a good World Champion.

Not that he hasn’t deserved his titles of the last two seasons, but that he doesn’t do enough as an ambassador for the sport.

Alonso admits that he has no desire to be a celebrity. But many feel that, having inherited Michael Schumacher’s mantle as the top drive in F1, he should do more to promote the sport and himself.

However little he may care for publicity there is no denying his popularity in his native Spain. The once half-empty stand of the Circuit de Catalunya have been packed on race day since his arrival at the sharp end of the F1 grid.

Is he a worthy F1 champion? Was his predecessor any better?

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9 comments on Debate: Is Fernando Alonso a good World Champion?

  1. I think Fernando is a worthy champion. I personally don’t care if the drivers do a road safety campaign, or promote the sport via their sponsors or at the request of the FIA.

    (As an aside: I’m currently detesting Schumacher’s FIAT advert, and I’m sure some of us can remember Damon Hill’s Pizza Hut ad with Murray! F1 drivers should probably stay away from the cameras.)

    Fernando is a great world champion because he fought for his titles, and is continuing to do so, and to me, that is what it is all about. If the FIA want to promote the sport better, they should look within and sort out the rules, change technical aspects of the cars to improve overtaking, change the points system and organise the calendar better.

    • Sepp said on 25th July 2009, 16:41

      Fernando is better than Kimi Räikkönen.Kimi is
      from Finland and lutherian and lazy iceman.To much disappointments and better that Kimi abort himself from formula and specially from Ferrari.Better catholic super driver than fin
      nish poor loser.

  2. Nathan Jones said on 30th April 2007, 11:55

    if u ask me he isnt doing anything less than schumacher, who would spend most of the off season on holidays with his family.
    which is fair enough as the sport is about what happens on the track and he is a deserving world champion, it’s not like every other driver is accessible to the public!

  3. I don’t see the point for a debate here.A World Champion is someone who has the most points at the end of the season but to judge him by PR and what he does outside F1 is completely wrong.Besides,it was being considered “bad” for the sport that Schumacher kept winning over and over again but then Alonso won the championship,so that makes him “good”.

  4. Number 38 said on 1st May 2007, 14:58

    Good or bad World Champion? Well lads let’s focus this picture. First of all F1 motor racing is a BUSINESS, it might be ‘sport’ to those of us without money but to Fernando and the rest it is BUSINESS. Drivers are mere EMPLOYEES contracted to teams and there is without doubt some “PR” duties required in their contracts. If Fernado (or any driver for that matter) can contract for a minimal amount of “PR” then I say good for him. He EARNED the title, he doesn’t OWE us. On the other hand we should appreciate
    what public contact we get, I’ve met Sato and Pizzonia, both VERY personable, Kimi on the other hand would more likely wave a one fingered hand at you. Do we want him as Champion? To really heat this discussion up I could mention NASCAR drivers……there are no more personable drivers on earth! Last summer I went to a country fair and local boy Ward Burton was there walking among the peons, just a regular guy and no contract telling him to sign autographs for an hour! Ironically, Ward runs a 1200 acre wildlife conservation preserve and has for 10 years, but the world thinks Honda are the environmental front runners.
    I think this good/bad discussion is all PERSONAL prespective, we’re told by some stuffed shirt media type Alonso should do MORE, it’s easy to write negatives but where is that media writer when Schumacher, Coulthard, or Villeneuve make donations to noble causes?
    Just my perspective………..#38

  5. Paulo Ocampo said on 2nd May 2007, 7:18

    From how I understand this, it’s a two-edged question. Taking it literally, of course he’s a good World Champion! He won it twice in a row, over Kimi (soon-to-be Champ) and Michael (multiple mega-competitive Champ). How can you NOT be good against such competition?

    BUT, is he a good ambassador of the sport? Eh, not so much. He hasn’t really gone out of his way to promote the sport or other worthy causes using the popularity he’s achieved.

    Does he need to? Outside the required PR, no, he doesn’t. Winning is promotion enough for F1, especially in Spain. And winning, as we all know, is the bottom line in sports. We can’t expect him to be like Michael who did a lot of work campaigning for road safety with the FIA and helping out with UNICEF. Michael did it because he wanted to, not because he needed to. Fernando is a different guy with different characteristics.

    But considering how many people would listen to him if he talked about a worthy cause, shouldn’t he think about it, perhaps? But all in all, I agree with 38. Critics should focus on his driving (and his attitude to it, if ever), not on the other aspects of his life. Let him do more because he wants to, not because we want him to.

    As for 38′s thoughts on NASCAR drivers, it’s true, most NASCAR drivers (but not all) are like that. Heck, you can also say that to describe Champ Car and IRL drivers. Maybe it’s something about F1 culture that needs to be changed?

  6. Journeyer said on 2nd May 2007, 7:19

    Oh, that’s me above. Sorry! :)

  7. Isobel said on 2nd May 2007, 9:47

    I think they should do their sports and leave the advertising! I think it’s cool when they do these don’t drink n drive stuff, but otherwise I think they just wanna earn some extra money as if they haven’t got enough already.

    This one for example: WHY?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtYE8TUXZi8

  8. I find the fact that he isn’t much interested in promoting himself and does not want to be a celebrity something of a breath of fresh air.

    Worthy champion? He beat Michael Schumacher fair and square last year, anything else is just flim flam.

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