Alonso: Critics too harsh on drivers

Fernando Alonso thinks it unfair that Formula 1's top drivers have faced a barrage of criticism for their mistakes this year - because he thinks the intense competition of the season is the real reason why errors are more common

Alonso: Critics too harsh on drivers

The Spaniard has been under the spotlight at times this year - following his jump-start in China and crash in Monaco practice - while rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have also made high-profile blunders in races.

Despite the number of incidents, Alonso thinks it is not right that the drivers have been criticised - because he believes the ultra-close nature of the title battle is putting drivers more on edge than before.

"I think when you have a car that is better than all the rest, your approach or the way you do races is very different," said Alonso in Singapore.

"In terms of driving style, in terms of starts, aggressiveness, the team itself prefers to race much calmer. You don't need to push in terms of performance, so when you have tough competition, everything is on the limit and you risk much more - the team, the drivers, the engineers, everyone.

"So I think it is unfair to say that this year there were more errors for anyone. But it is true that they are more visible as well, because there are six drivers with the possibility to win races.

"If anything happens to any of these six, it is on the first page on the day after. In the past it was only two fighting for the title, so if the fourth or the fifth guy made a mistake it was not a big thing. This year it is."

Sebastian Vettel has also backed up Alonso's claims that the tight nature of the season is making the margins between success and failure much smaller.

Speaking about his own crash in Belgium, and Hamilton's error at Monza, Vettel said: "Obviously, things like that give you a wonderful opportunity to hammer onto a driver. In the last race it was Lewis, in the race before myself.

"Obviously you can say that this was a mistake or so on, but if the suspension would not have broken down then nothing would have happened and no one would have talked about it. In that case, it did break down and it all went wrong for him, so of course it looked not very nice after the race.

"But it is a very tight call from the inside of the car. In the end I think it depends who you are, and your driving style. Some drivers try, others don't. Surely you need to see the risk. Is it possible? Is it not? If it is not possible then you don't try, but sometimes you think it is possible, you try and it doesn't work.

"I can give you my example in Spa. I don't think there was terribly much I did wrong, it just ended up the wrong way. We are all human. We all do mistakes. And if we do them on a Friday nobody cares, and if we do them on a Saturday people care a little bit more. If we do them on Sunday then depending where and when, it is a big thing.

"That is correct, because the race is the time we need to deliver, but we are all human, we all do mistakes - and in the end the quality of the driver is down to his speed and consistency and the amount of calls he makes right."

shares
comments
Red Bull duo still free to fight each other
Previous article

Red Bull duo still free to fight each other

Next article

Red Bull hard to beat, fears Hamilton

Red Bull hard to beat, fears Hamilton
Load comments
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021