Fernando Alonso is not happy in Formula 1 right now. It could be the current state of F1 or it could be his McLaren has not been up to snuff (to be kind), Alonso is seriously considering leaving F1.
Alonso Doesn’t like the conservative nature of current F1 racing. In a recent interview with Autosprint, Alonso voiced his displeasure.
“I’m not at all happy for some things that are happening: we can never drive the cars to their real limit; we can never attack as much as we would like because the tires don’t allow you to… To be quick in today’s F1, you must not attack too much, that’s the secret, but that’s something against a driver’s instincts.”
“Before, after 10 laps you had to have a two-hour massage, while now you can drive 150 laps and barely sweat by the end.”
I’m not the biggest Alonso fan, but I can definitely see his point. Current F1 is about the power unit and how well a car conserves tires. Personally that isn’t what I think about in F1. I think of F1 as the pinnacle of everything motor racing. The top tech in every facet of automotive design. Most advanced engines, suspensions, brakes and definitely tires. In recent years the tires have been designed not to be the best they can be but rather to fit inside a specific performance window. Without refueling the tires were designed to degrade at a certain rate to promote more pit stops. This always felt artificial to me. I don’t see why we can’t go back to refueling in pit stops. Don’t give me this “re-fueling rigs are too expensive” bs. If F1 really wanted to they could find a cost-effective solution. Put that back into the sport, give the drivers the sticky-est tires they can find and let’s go back to what Formula 1 is supposed to be.
If changes aren’t made and Alonso gets further disillusioned he won’t have to wait long to make a change. There is only 1 more year left on his current McLaren contract so if Alonso is serious about leaving he could do so sooner rather than later. If he does want to leave when his contract is up, and this isn’t just a ploy to get more money, where would he likely end up? There is IndyCar, It seems a little ridiculous but Alonso hasn’t exactly denied the idea of racing in Indy.
“The Indy 500 is a fascinating, radical change because you must learn a completely different driving style and way of thinking.”
Fernando Alonso at the Indy 500? That would be pretty awesome. Not only will a 2 time F1 World Champion be racing at Indy like the good ol’ days but if Indy could woo some Older F1 stars the caliber of Alonso it would be a huge win for them. Yes Rubens Barrichello drove in Indy for a few years but while he was a very, very good F1 driver he isn’t the same caliber as Alonso.
While Indy is an interesting option, the most likely landing spot for Alonso if he decides to leave F1 is the World Endurance Championship, or at the very least, The 24 Hours Le Mans. The current crop of LMP1 cars are every bit the technological spaceships that F1 cars are. The open formula allows for a wide diversity in design strategies and the racing is fantastic.
“Le Mans would be the option closest to my driving style, and to what I’ve always done.”
I think Mark Webber started something when he left Red Bull in favor of Porsche’s LMP1 team. I think more drivers as they get older in F1 will look to the WEC and Le Mans as a viable alternative. The pay is good enough, the work load is less and the prestige of winning Le Mans is immense. Throw in the cars and the style of racing and suddenly it becomes an attractive ride. The only limiting factor is the number of seats available in Sportscar Racing’s top-tier. Right now there are only 3 Factory teams in LMP1. But I think if Fernando Alonso comes knocking with this 2 World Championships you find him a seat.