Fernando Alonso pulled no punches yesterday when expressing a jaundiced view of the current state of F1 and the way regulations are made without input from the drivers.
The Spaniard has been left confused by the changes to the qualifying format, and the general direction the sport appears to be taking.
Drivers have no formal role to play in shaping future rules, although on Wednesday a group of them met the FIA’s Charlie Whiting in what was a highly unusual meeting to discuss qualifying, among other subjects.
“I am sad for the sport because it doesn’t look right, from the outside,” Alonso said in Barcelona. “When in one week, we change the qualifying format three times… If I was a sportsman from another sport, I would look at F1 a bit surprised about that. I don’t think it’s right. And the changes, too many changes. The complexity of the rules, also for the spectators, is quite high.
“All my friends here in Spain, they want to switch on television, watch battles, big cars, big tyres, big noise and enjoy the race, like they do with other sports. But for us they only know MGU-H, MGU-K, state of charge, supersoft, use mandatory mediums. Things like that. It’s no wonder they switch off the television.”
Alonso didn’t attend Wednesday’s meeting, but said he trusted his colleagues to put their views across.
“I was not in the meeting, but any of the things that my mates will say, I will agree completely, because I think it’s a unanimous thing. We want simplicity in the rules – and even the one-lap format, the super pole [one lap format] that we did in 2005, I think, 2006, was spectacular.
“Everyone has one lap of television coverage, it’s simple: one lap, you brake late, maybe you start 15th. There is some adrenaline on that lap as well. But I don’t know. Whatever they decide, we will go for it as we did for the last 16 years.”