Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Alonso saddened by state of F1, Hamilton admits it’s ‘broken’

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Two F1 world champions have made frank admissions about the increasingly dire state the sport is in.

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Comment of the day

It’s been an encouraging start to testing for Manor:

I’m really impressed by the amount Manor seems to have progressed. Regardless of what tyre they were running, a 6.2 second improvement over last year’s race weekend when most teams have made gains of around three seconds is quite outstanding and hopefully a sign of some good things to come.

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On this day in F1

Today in 1986 Ivan Capelli won the second round of the Formula 3000 championship at Vallelunga.

Today is also 80 years since Jim Clark was born.

46 comments on “Alonso saddened by state of F1, Hamilton admits it’s ‘broken’”

  1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    4th March 2016, 0:11

    That McLaren flow-viz livery is stunning

    1. Almost everyone replying to McLaren’s tweet seems to feel the same way.

      There’s no way Ron would ever countenance using such a livery, of course. Personally, I think it would look even better if it was just one colour, maybe McLaren’s “rocket red” (orange). Their full-black livery is just too dull and too similar to other teams. Not that I plan to watch much F1 this season anyway…

      1. I like the whole port and starboard vibe they’ve got happening. Cool.

    2. I agree, best livery in years.

      However on a technical note, and obviously its hard to see much from that angle, but the flow-viz is pretty mushy – ie not what you’d really want to see

    3. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      4th March 2016, 1:30

      @fletchuk @estesark

      I always think McLaren are waiting till their car is performing respectable before they release a killer livery but all I see is grey/black/chrome, then again I don’t see a respectable performance.

      Yeah I imagine up close it’s a bit tatty but the long shot in that article is a beauty.

      Surely McLaren management can hear public opinion? It’s like they wear ear defenders outside of board meetings

  2. Id love to see how the teams analyse the car after a flow vis run. As all we see is just a car with some paint on it.. What happens when that car gets back into the garage?

    1. They just take pictures! Then it’s cleaned.
      Then the engineers back at the factory compare them with simulations to see if the two correlate.

      In fact we can also see a lot for ourselves by looking at the patterns created by the paint you just have to know what to look for.

    2. they don’t go into massively detailed analysis, but more use it to confirm what they’re previous wind tunnel and CFD work has told them.

      They would be comparing it to the data that they have already generated

  3. That’s the best a McLaren’s looked in ages.

  4. Avoiding a potential death is more important than an opinion about how a car should or should not look. Regardless of any nostalgia or personal sentiment. Hell, look at the 70s, F1 cars were changing massively year on year compared to what we have now, which has essentially been the same shape for 15 or so years. They’re simply trying out solutions and I say why not.

    1. Keith, this was meant for other article, feel free to delete…

  5. “Hamilton was asked in a news conference if the sport was fundamentally broken, lacking direction or in rude health.”

    Problem with this question, as Bernie has repeatedly stated: It’s not a sport, it’s entertainment. As much as people don’t want to admit it’s the WWE of the motorsport world. The sooner people wrap their head around that, the sooner so many decisions make sense. Get people talking, keep people interested, whether they “like” it or not, that’s the goal.

    1. Sorry, just want to clarify, not the WWE in the sense that “everything’s rigged” because that’s the common counter-argument which is entirely valid, there is no way the F1 storyline is written and everyone’s just acting. Rather it’s WWE-esque entertainment than a sport in the sense that “unfairness” or crazily upsetting and overturning the rules and the status-quo are fair game in the interest of generating compelling story-lines that keep the viewer hooked.

      Looking at all the other sports in the World, think olympics, there’s rules that are stuck too, or with only minor tweaks here and there. F1 is all about generating a story through constant change. The current subset of the rules might be broken or lacking direction, but overall looking at it as an entertainment product, rather than a sport, I think it’s definitely achieving the goals it sets out to, and hardly broken in the slightest.

      1. There’s an entertainment aspect to every sport – whether the Olympics or badminton or Aussie rules football – and yes motorsport is a sport.

        Do you think your comments offer some sort of insight by comparing F1 (or any motorsport) to wrestling?

        You might want to rethink your reasons for visiting motorsport forums, and not WWE as you say.

    2. “It’s not a sport, it’s entertainment”…….. confirms that the sport IS* fundamentally broken. We need to get back to basics, no gimmicks, the fastest driver in the fastest car should win ! Then it can be a sport again.
      *Where has the toolbar gone?

      1. Yeah, I want to get my entertainment from watching a sport called F1. I just want to see the drivers allowed to be gladiators out there, so that I can see them as athletes stretched to their limits like in many sports, and THAT will entertain me. DRS does not. Staged tires does not. Changing quali does not. Simplify amidst beautifully advanced, complicated PU’s. More grip. Less air disturbance. Driver vs driver. What have they got to lose? Has what they’ve been doing worked? There’s obviously no fooling the fans when it has now come to more and more key people within F1 itself pulling no punches on how they feel about F1’s state and their concerns over direction. There wouldn’t be this momentum of concern, aired publicly, if the fans were enthralled and climbing on board the F1 train.

        1. “There wouldn’t be this momentum of concern, aired publicly, if the fans were enthralled and climbing on board the F1 train.”

          Why not? It’s something to talk about, “is the sport in trouble? What needs to change?” It certainly generates great conversation regularly around here. If anything that invests people the most, thinking about the sport in great depth and what could be better about it. People vote on polls about this issue or that… They interact with other people about F1… Again signs of investment.

          If the question of “can anything be improved” is answered by a flat “no” and then silence from all around – Then that’s a lot more worrying… If instead of talking about F1’s issues and generating discussion about it, the best drivers were just up and leaving to another series – Then THAT’S a lot more worrying… Anything else is indeed just “fooling the fans” as you put it.

          When even the boss of F1 can openly criticise F1 to generate interest in it, there’s absolutely no reason the drivers wouldn’t be allowed to do the same.

          1. Not saying the drivers shouldn’t be allowed to express their concerns…just saying that in an atmosphere that apparently has them having to be pretty PC about the crappy tires for example, they seem to lately by less concerned about being negative about F1 in general, which to me really supports what the fans have been saying for a while now. I just don’t recall this much public talk about wholesale changes needed, from so many within F1, and I hope it really does make for real change that fans want, not fake change like quali alterations that don’t mean anything with respect to the real problems.

  6. I love them, respect to them, but let’s not overlook the fact that we’re comparing Manor’s 2016 challenger to their undeveloped 2014 one, with 2014 Ferrari engines (probably the worst of the lot back then). And probably a better driver than last year.

  7. That F3000 race would have been so much better with mandatory tyre changes and Pirelli clown tyres. Not.

    1. Don’t forget about DRS to rob the race of any actual passing.

  8. I agree with Alonso’s assesment of the Qualifying debacle. The whole thing is complex, unnecessary and pointless.

    The shootout format of qualifying is brilliant. It was easier for the viewers to focus on one car at a time and it added a lot of excitement due to the do or die nature of that single lap. If I were to choose a format, I would keep Q1 and Q2 in the current format, and keep Q3 a shootout among the top 10 drivers, where each of them get one hot lap on tyres that they will begin the race with.

    1. @todfod

      I completely agree with you about qualifying. There really is a lot to be said for having the top 10 go out one at a time for their laps. the tension builds, and the best thing of all, we actually get to see all of them doing the whole lap, whereas now it is all a bit crazy at the end and also frequently messed up by very poor TV directing as well.

  9. Well, it looks like just about everybody in F1 is moaning about it. Great! Just the type of mood we need going into a new season.

    It appears that they are hoping that by doing the same thing over and over again, the end result will be different. Conventional logic would suggest that’s not the case, but they seem to be headstrong.

    I think they should just shut up and get on with it. The powers that be in F1 is too self serving to be bothered. The voting system in place is rigged to favor those who dont want change. Is F1 really in such rude health? Well if it is, we can be sure that Bernie will be the first person rigging up the changes, because he’d want to preserve his generous cut. His cut has obviously not taken a hit (yet), and as long as thats the case, Bernie couldnt care less.

    The big players in F1 are all getting their keep, so why bother? The only way this sport is going to change is when the rich start seeing their bank balances in an unfavorable light. Would Red Bull be complaining if they were winning? No chance. There is no interest in the greater good, because that type of thinking has long vacated the corporate arena.

    The current scenario that F1 finds itself in is akin to standing a tree branch while sawing it off. If the current climate persists, it will get bad, and thats probably what needs to happen. Its needs to crash as this will then wake the complacent self entitled arrogant individuals that are the so called powers that be who govern the sport.

  10. Just one question, how are the drivers going to see the start lights with that big black triangle in front of their face?

    1. They’re probably gonna fit some in-car LED display for the start lights.

  11. When two of the very top drivers in F1 publicly admit that this sport is broken, I think alarm bells should begin to ring at those who run this circus.

    1. @kingshark It’s not surprising to hear Alonso admit this – he isn’t winning after all and in the same way that Red Bull have spent two years complaining about the sport that often happens with former champions who can’t find a way to win. On the other hand, the fact that the winner of the last two championships and a driver of what looks like being the dominant car again this year is willing to admit things are broken, that’s a strong message.

      1. And LH was still trying to be PC about it but that’s ok and I hope (not holding my breath) some real change may result. From LH going back to the last races of the season he sure was vocal about being handcuffed to get by Nico in his dirty air.

  12. Sport or entertainment is always a stupid argument. It can be both. The problem is everyone has a different version of what their F1 look likes.
    Personally I’d like more of the teams to be closer performance wise so that I am “entertained” with tight racing and not knowing who is going to win Sundays race on a Friday. This has happened in F1’s history but constant rule changes means one team always has an advantage in the short term.
    If F1 wants to change the rules every few years and still wants to to entertain the masses then the cars need to be visibly fast, scary for the drivers to go fast and most of all loud.
    F1 has rarely been a fair sport and has lost the plot in recent years. At no stage should I ever think that I could drive one of these cars. I should envy the drivers and be jealous instead.
    Get back to basics please.

    1. @Old School “F1 has rarely been a fair sport and has lost the plot in recent years.”

      They have a plot, it just doesn’t happen to be performance motorsport and competitive racing. It’s “sustainability.” And “efficiency.” And more efficiency. And then some more.

      You might think I’m joking, but that’s precisely and exactly what the FIA declared F1 to be in 2014.

  13. To be honest, I’m fed up of the constant complaining from drivers, teams and the guys running the sport. Were just starting to get hyped for the new season and all of a sudden some of the best drivers say “you will turn the TV off”. As an F1 fan, I will never turn the TV off during a race. I don’t mind any off the new changes and even if I did I will still watch the races. However for other more pessimistic people this negativity from drivers will ruin the races and their damaging their own product. I agree with Jean Todt about this and I believe the reason Formula 1 isn’t attracting new fans is the constant moaning from everybody

    1. I agree @lolzerbob.
      I’m quite excited about this season. Based on the testing performance, and the driver quality in the field, it could be a very good one. More teams, 21 races, no embarrassing back-marker, midfield very close, Ferrari (and maybe Williams) closer to Mercedes. RBR, McLaren, and even Renault starting from a decent point from where they can develop.
      Yes I am very excited about this season. And as a bonus we know that Pirelli has been instructed to develop performance tyres for next season.

      Why is everybody complaining? Even Todt is complaining about Bernie complaining.
      The FIA should take charge and develop a crystal clear rule-book for next year already and let this season go without trying to make any erratic changes.
      Teams, and drivers, should not be allowed to write the rules. You let them state their desires and ideas once, but from there the FIA should take charge.

      1. I think it has just come to this, perhaps particularly with the out of the blue talk of changing quali when that is the last thing they needed to change amongst many things. I suspect even the drivers are finally having enough of this, and probably are buoyed by the well known fact that some changes at coming for 2017 no matter what, and so the time is now to express concerns over what said changes should constitute, and it’s not changes to Quali. Much more real change than that need to occur.

        1. Don’t get me wrong, I am always excited about what a new season may bring, and I hope it is closer racing this year, but t I suspect the dirty air component will be just as damaging to the racing for 2016.

    2. In defense of the drivers, I don’t think theyre are getting much of a look in in terms of decisions. When Alonso and Lewis are a bit fed up then something must be up

  14. Interesting read with that article about Jordan King (and his father).

    What I took away from it (apart from seeing that its hard to fact check for some magazines, GP2 is more expensive than IndyCar for example) is that you do not just need money, but also a priviledged contact book. It worked for Max Verstappen becouse of Jos, it works for the guys Red Bull (or Mercedes and McLaren) picks up it works for the ones having Nick Todt to broker the contacts etc.
    A very nice contrast to Button saying the sport should be unreachable for most drivers, as it shows it IS unreachable for many but for the wrong reasons.

  15. i can’t really agree with mr bianchi’s comments about the halo device. it was horrible and tragic what happened to his son but there is always going to be a inherent risk to this sport. the halo device appears to be a sensible way to diminsh (but NOT eradicate) some of this risk. he says the halo would not have saved massa and justin wilson’s casualties but it might have. it certainly would have reduced the risk of head injury. it almost certainly would have saved henry surtees.

    had the rules regarding waved yellow flags been better enforced in the months and years before suzuka ’14, that would have been the biggest chance of saving his son’s life and i believe the FIA/race stewards are thoroughly culpable in this regard.

  16. Lore Solaris
    4th March 2016, 10:50

    Formula 1 is a political mess and the biggest problem is Bernie Eccelstone and his cronies who own the commercial rights. Eccelstone is so desperately out of touch and so blinded by his own self interest and greed that he can’t see or admit he is the cause of all this problem. He created the situation where the teams negotiated individually for their commercial agreements and gave various teams special status, he makes contracts with Pirelli and other corporations purely on the financial gain he and his cronies get, he holds historic and massively popular circuits/races to ransom dues to fights over a few million dollars, that mostly goes to Eccelstone and his cronies. its pure greed. few in the sport will criticise him because either they have a special deal with him like Mercedes and Ferrari and Red Bull or they are too small to matter or they are afraid of the getting targeted with payback. its disgusting. the whole thing is in deadlock, it’s become a snake pit of vested interests.

    Eccelstone and FOM are stuck in the 80s with the way they view marketing F1. This old story that no-body can do a better job at running F1 that Eccelstone is so ridiculous when you look at this current mess, and realise that the people who say it are the ones with the special contracts with Bernie that give them favourable status.

    Please lets get rid of Eccelstone and his mafia. its obvious this is the biggest toxic stink in the game here. He’s got no idea how to market to the fans and to grow the fan base. he’s not focussed on that, he’s only focussed on increasing revenues for himself and his cronies, the commercial rights holders, everyone else is so greedy and self interested they can’t and won’t make a bold move or statement.

    Thank goodness for Hamilton and Alonso for speaking out recently, but they drivers are the bottom of the pile here, I just wish they would realise their collective strength and push for change… but the corporate “yes-man” culture has got them all on the leash…

    It’s sad for the fans, and maybe if it all dies then something new can reborn. I’ve been a fan for nearly 30 years and I have to say that its never been this bad, even though I was pleading for them to get rid of eccelstone 10 years ago. …

  17. While some of the current (or upcoming) F1 rules are indeed too confusing, I do not think that F1 is supposed to be simple from the spectator’s point of view. There are many sports that are not so easy to comprehend. Try watching diving – if you have never watched it before, you will certainly struggle to understand why one diver has scored more points than another and what the commentators are talking about. It will take some time and effort to learn the basic rules, understand the dives, the scoring system etc. The same goes for F1; there is nothing wrong about MGU-K or different tyre compounds. If F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport, then it cannot be simply about ‘big cars, big tyres, big noise’. If done correctly, complex rules do not only make the sport more challenging for the teams and the drivers, they also make it more entertaining for the spectators.

  18. These words spoken by two men who will never have to work again if they didn’t choose to yet potentially affecting the lively-hoods of thousands. They are a disgrace.. If they are so knowledgeable and smart, from their lofty see-all positions why don’t they use their power to instigate change for the better instead of continually sniping at the hand that feeds them. That is the WORLD CHAMPION talking in case everyone had forgotten. That pretty much goes for anyone that works in the industry. I find it gut wrenching to hear these moans at the beginning of a season, and if you’re a REAL fan, why sign up to an enthusiasts website and tell everyone how sick of it you all are?

    F1 is drowning in a sea of negativity…

    1. Just to put things in perspective: Lewis Hamilton net worth $280 million – Fernando Alonso net worth: $200 million.
      Personally, I would be extremely grateful to f1, not dissing it to the press.

      1. First of all, the drivers only have so much say, unfortunately. Secondly, I’m sure they are very frustrated at the state of F1 and are not enjoying the racing and know that it could and should be better. They may be looking at this from the angle that they are World Champions and they want that to mean something in the history books other than they are WC’s of a series that has become a joke. I surmise that is why the likes of Jacques Villeneuve still talks about where F1 should be by now, which is far from where they are. He wants it to remain a vital and enthralling series, as do the current drivers I’m sure. It just seems that things lately have come to a head while they are on the cusp of setting a new direction for 2017 and yet we get quali changes that nobody was complaining about, rather than true meaty stuff that hints at real improvement.

      2. @baron, You know what happens when good people say nothing.

  19. So Mclaren got royally screwed over with MGU-H last year and Alonso, hence, hates it?

    The decision to run mandatory two tires in a race has been there for long. Wonder why he is complaining about it now. At least this year there is a third option tire for teams to choose from. And it is his fault he has been driving machines with less than perfect engines since the start of the new formula (ok, maybe 2014 can’t be attributed to him).

    I don’t like the new changes, but didn’t people keep complaining about not seeing any cars doing qualifying runs? Short of placing a gun to their heads, I don’t think there could be another way of getting them running throughout the session.

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