Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jerez, 2014

No less emotion driving slower cars – Alonso

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jerez, 2014Fernando Alonso says the pleasure of driving Formula One cars hasn’t been diminished by the cut in performance this year.

Kevin Magnussen’s quickest lap time of the test so far is almost five-and-a-half seconds off the best time seen at last year’s test.

Alonso remarked that today’s cars are ten seconds off the pace of those he drove earlier in his Formula One career.

“The cars are slower, nothing more than that I think,” he said, pointing out he lapped Jerez in 1’16 with the V10-engined cars in 2004 and 2005. “I ran today 1’26 so I was ten seconds slower than ten years ago.”

Alonso said the demands of driving Formula One cars have changed: “When you go ten seconds slower it’s not the same in physical point of view as well. These cars are a lot easier than what Formula One has been. There are less G-forces, less speed into the corner.

“But on the other hand there are more parameters to control, there are more buttons on the steering wheel, more criticality in terms of driving or in terms of having control of the car in high speed corners and also in traction. So just different.”

However he doesn’t feel any less enjoyment at the wheel: “If I feel less or more emotion driving these cars I feel the same.”

“Because when I drive go-karts I am 20 seconds slower or half a minute slower than Formula One and I sweat so much and I enjoy so much and I have the same emotion.

“As far as you drive at the limit, the timed lap you do or how quick or slow you are in a timed lap I think it doesn’t change the emotional point of view or the nice feeling driving.”

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32 comments on “No less emotion driving slower cars – Alonso”

  1. The last paragraph or so pretty much echoes my comment on the other article about his views on the new formula.

    And I’m glad for that as what I said was just pure speculation, brain-storming and trying to be more emphatical towards the driver experiences.

  2. I completely agree. I would have just as much fun racing in a GP3 car as in a Toyota Prius. Erm…Ok maybe not.

    1. @mashiat racing is awesome. Even racing a Prius must be epic.

      Laptimes afterall doesn’t count in terms of the emotions it brings to the driver. If you’re racing at the limit, you’ll enjoy it.

      The spectators… well, I doubt a race full of Prius is really that exciting.

    2. RaceProUK (@)
      31st January 2014, 15:24

      You can have fun racing anything, so long as you put in the effort ;)

    3. I find it’s fun to drive slow cars fast. Low rolling-resistance tires, maybe around 100hp? I’m sure you could have fun in Prius, even if other drivers make it look like you can’t. =)

      My daily driver has ~110hp and I still manage to have fun with it.

      1. It’s on GT86 tyres isn’t it?

        1. Yep, they put the same tires on the GT86/FRS! I think they did that because it’d be tough for the small engine to break traction with really grippy tyres.

      2. Not in a straight line!

    4. Don’t worry..not everyone is good in lies.

  3. There may be no less emotion on the part of the driver. But a big part of being the premier racing series in the world is that you can also claim to be the fastest – and certainly considerably faster than your feeder series’.

    The FIA are already severely limiting the technical development side of the sport with promises to further restrict it in the future. Jenson Button has recently said that GP2 will be much closer to F1 lap times on certain tracks this season. I don’t think it’s healthy for F1 if the perception becomes that it’s not that much faster than something like GP2.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      31st January 2014, 15:15

      They don’t race on mutual tracks so it’s hard to tell but I wonder what the lap time difference between the current F1 cars and the DW12 IndyCar is. The DW12 certainly appears a few seconds a lap faster than the current GP2 car…

      1. I would still think that cornering speeds in this year’s cars will be faster than an Indycar, but that’s just a guess.

      2. @jackisthestig they don’t push the aero to the limits in Indycars tho… F1 has the freedom within the rules, Indycars are just given the kit and they have to work with the setups only.

        Roughly speaking…

    2. Might be close with the sports cars. WEC 2013 pole time in Bahrain was 1:42, 10 seconds slower than F1 (on the GP track, strangely – if they’re not using the Endurance layout, who is?!)

      The F1 cars still won’t be fully up to speed in Bahrain; but the tyres will be warmer, they change direction almost as quick as before, and the straights are longer there, so they may open up the revs more than at Jerez. And WEC prototypes have their own brand-new engine & hybrid rules this year, which could slow them down to begin with.

  4. Does less downforce mean higher maximal speed?

    I heard someone saying we could see cars going at 360 kph at top speed on Monza.

    1. Not perse, because less downforce also means less speed coming from the corner before the straight. Wouldn’t mind them topping 360 again though :) .

      1. Someone did say, they – at his team – expect higher top speeds overall.

    2. Don’t really think so. Might. But people are more likely to max out at 340 or so as they have fixed ratios for the season.

  5. Maybe he should be a little more “emotional” because McLaren’s and Williams’ best times are like 2 seconds better than what Ferrari achieved in this test.

    1. I wouldn’t read anything into the times. McLaren could have set a couple of fast times to get their name on the top of the time sheets to attract sponsors while Merc and Ferrari weren’t worried about that. I think it was last year or the year before last that Lotus was the fastest almost every day and Red Bull were back mid-pack. Without knowing exactly what work each team was doing, the times are meaningless.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        31st January 2014, 15:25

        I’m thinking of setting up a company called MP4-29, it would have free F1 sponsorship for a year.

    2. Usually the fastest times on testings go to those that are still to find some sponsors :)

  6. Still wish F1’s new engines where V8… 3.0L and turbocharged. 1000+ bhp together with ERS. How great would that be, seeing them go round, at SPA in qualifying!

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      31st January 2014, 15:28

      Just watch 2004 footage on youtube.

  7. Early days, I know, but in the spirit of mulling (what else is there to do till Melbourne)… I wonder if extra 10s / per lap could mean a race like Singapore may not be completed in allotted 2hrs…

    1. Not 10s at the end of testing. It’ll be like 5s or less, i believe. And hope.
      But yeah, we will have trouble finishing races.

  8. Makes me think we’ll never see a chequered flag for full race distance at Singapore ever again!

  9. The 2004-2005 era required more physical performance from the driver. More athleticism. Nowadays the driver must put in more mental performance. More management. This helps explain how women drivers are coming up in the ranks.

  10. So in 10 years we lost 10 seconds and ‘gained’ more parameters. Less speed, more complications. Perhaps in 10 years time we will lose another 10 seconds but the drivers will have to go around the circuit with a hand tied behind their back, to compensate the loss and make it more of a challenge.

    1. Hhahahahahaha

      Good one. Laughed my ass off

  11. I think fernando concludes it well.
    F1 at least in my view is supposed to be balls to the wall performance & tecnology & to be loud. The 2014 version is nether and on top, silly looking cars. Added more, the best drivers should excel in eco drive and tyre management. FIA really managed to kill the pinnacle of motor sports. Sad times :-(

  12. if F1 on certain tracks is going to be just a bit faster than Gp2… then i’d have to believe they’d barely be faster than an Indycar……………, now, I love indycar, f1, nascar, dtm, basically all motor-racing, but the F1 I watched in the 80’s and 90’s, was always way faster than anything else……………., not ‘just a bit’ …

    this is sad … 30 years been watching F1, and now they’re 2-4 seconds faster than Gp2

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