Alonso criticises FIA rule changes

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso thinks the FIA should keep the rules stable
Fernando Alonso thinks the FIA should keep the rules stable

Fernando Alonso has criticised the FIA for making too many changes to the F1 rules. In a statement in Spanish on his official site he said:

I don’t understand the need to change the rules of the sport constantly. I think this kind of decisions can only confuse the fans.

Given the strength of public reaction against the plan to decide the F1 title on race wins, Alonso can expect a lot of people to agree with him.

Alonso extended his attack to the measures planned for next year – presumably a reference to the equally unpopular budget caps announcement:

Formula 1 has existed for over 50 years thanks to the teams, the sponsors, the drivers and, above all, the fans from all over the world, and none of them have been able to express their views in front of the FIA.

I worry, not so much about the decisions that affect the season that’s about to start, but, above all, those that affect the future of the competition in the coming years. I hope somehow these measures can be reconsidered in the short-term.

His Renault team boss Flavio Briatore echoed similar sentiments earlier.

It’s rare for an F1 driver to be so outspoken in criticism of the sports’ governing body, but it’s not the first time Alonso has made such a remark. In 2006 he famously said “F1 is no longer a sport” after being handed a patently unjust penalty during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

Will any more F1 drivers back up Alonso’s comments? James Allen reported the reactions of a few others in Spain:

Nico Rosberg: ??What nonsense is this???

Jenson Button: ??I understand the logic behind it and it?s interesting. It?s an incentive to try to win but it also looks risky to me. After 9 races you could get a driver who?s already won the title and can take the rest of the season off, while the driver in second is only 18 points behind!??

Lewis Hamilton: ??I have no opinion on this.??

(I very much doubt he has no opinion, particularly as one could interpret the new rule as a criticism of how Hamilton won the title by finishing fifth in the final race last year. I suspect this is either the McLaren/Hamilton PR machine in action, or he’s got more important things on his mind, like why his car’s not fast enough.)

I’m pretty ambivalent about the points/wins thing, but the timing of the decision, so close to the start of the year, is poor. And it’s hard to avoid the impression the decision was made to more out of spite towards FOTA than based on merit. The proposed budget cap looks horrifically complicated – potentially creating a two-tier Formula 1 system. I hope we see more F1 drivers backing Alonso.

88 comments on “Alonso criticises FIA rule changes”

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  1. Eish i just wish bernie& Max could have a heart attack and go gentle into the night(fat chance off that happening),People come on we all know lewis thinks this is a crappy idea its just that if he say’s anything bout it it ll’e suck to be him in the coming season.

  2. Unfortunately, “I have no opinion on this”, translates as “I have been told to have no opinion on this” I’m really tired of the current crop of drivers always thinking of the sponsors before they open their mouths. Mclaren are the worst offenders.

    1. If, he says he has no opinion on this, why does it translates into I have been told to have no opinion on this? It’s up to him if he wants to say anything.

  3. Well I definately agree with Fernando! He is absolutely right, there is really no need to change the rules so often, especially to something so stupid.

    Whilst I agree that the principal is correct, the person with the most wins should win the championship, I think the FIA are going about it in the wrong fashion. Making it purely on wins is too similar to Bernies medal idea which was a load of rubbish and then having the most points as a second idea (in the event of a tie) just makes it all a little shabby.

    What they should have done was have a bigger points difference between first and second, perhaps 4 or 5 points, then a 2 or 3 points difference between 2nd and 3rd, making winning more rewarding but not the absolute thing.

  4. Much applause for Alonso saying these things. He has his fair share of temper tantrums, but he is absolutely right on this one. Why do we need to change the points system at all? Last year the championship was decided in the last corner of the last lap of the last race of the season. For me, that is exactly the kind of racing I want to see.

  5. I think the FIA should keep the finishing points the same, but maybe award the winner an extra point if he completes the most number of laps as the leader, and give him an extra point if he sets the fastest race lap.

    That way if the winner dominates the race, he gets more reward for it. And it would give drivers more incentive to overtake before a pit stop and to continue pushing even though they are very far in the lead.

  6. Oooh I take my comments back regarding him having ‘no opinion’ – he has spoken out –

    “I don’t like it really,” the 24-year-old Briton told German tabloid Bild.

    “We want to be consistent, whether we come first or third. It should happen that a team and their drivers are rewarded for their performance over the whole year, not who won the most races.”

    Quote from Mr Hamilton so a couple of websites tell me! Couldnt agree more Lewis, couldnt agree more. And I apologise for criticising you for not standing up voicing your opinion.

    1. Interesting how he should change from having no opinion on the matter to then saying he doesn’t like it. Perhaps a bit too controled by the mclaren PR guys me thinks, why doesn’t he stop acting like a robot and speak out for himself like Alonso!

    2. Or, you know, maybe he was just a bit busy when Allen asked him?

  7. Martin Bell
    20th March 2009, 8:11

    re.”it’s up to him if he wants to say anything”. Are you new to F1, Lynn?

    1. Well yes I am new to f1, I have only been a fan since 1990. So I guess I am new.

  8. Or he had not head much about it and given it much thought.
    Lets face it, an English man has very polite ways of calling one an idiot without using colourful language.

  9. Lewis has just spoken. He was on his way to Toronto to see his girlfriend perform and probably wasn’t available for comment and yet the reports about him having no opinion have proliferated. Typical Lewis bashing on here followed. So what’s new eh?

  10. Mussolini's Pet Cat
    20th March 2009, 15:00

    So, to all you people who slated Lewis about not airing his opinions??? Try this:-

    This probably wont shut you all up, but it makes you lot look rather foolish….

  11. Keith, have you seen the press release from FOTA?

    Sounds like they are not taking this decision lying down.

  12. ‘The FIA has said it will defer the introduction of a new points system in Formula 1 until 2010 if teams are unhappy about it.’ – quote from

  13. It’s far too easy to wind up the Hamilton fans amongst you. Just for the record, I am quite ambivalent about him, neither love him nor hate him. Reading my earlier post in the way it was written, my gripe is more with the Mclaren team. I used to drive past the MTC nearly every day, I know people who lost their home in order for it to be built. There is an anonymous grey sign saying only “Mclaren” on it, nothing more. The building itself is so comprehensively hidden from view, that it is impossible to form an opinion about it, whether you love or hate it. This is the face that Mclaren present to the world. Grey. I just look for a little more from my heroes, more passion, more humanity. The lasting impression of the team and, sadly, it’s drivers, is “I have no opinion on this” This encapsulates much that is wrong with F1 today, as it should provoke opinions.

    1. But Lewis DID have an opinion; he had one in January, and has just released a lengthy statement. I think some Hamilton bashers would bash him whatever he said or did or didn’t say or do. There is no logic or reason or justice to it.

  14. Sorry, I had to go for a lie down after that revelation! Lewis had an opinion about something in January! I think he’s contractually bound to only have one opinion a year, so I look forward to next January to see what else he has an opinion on.

    1. Get off his back.

      He’s a newbie in F1. He’ll start to come out of his PR shell the more experienced he gets. I’m sick of this Hamilton bashing, and I’m an Alonso fan.

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