Alonso: F1's British bias made me/Verstappen 'bad guys'

Fernando Alonso feels that Formula 1’s British-centric views are the cause of drivers like him and Max Verstappen being portrayed as the 'bad guys'.

Alonso: F1's British bias made me/Verstappen 'bad guys'

In the wake of an incredibly tight title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen, emotions from fans on both sides reached fever pitch after their British Grand Prix collision.

And, as focus on the Silverstone crash refused to die down in Hungary last weekend, Verstappen eventually lost his temper in the post-qualifying press conference when he objected to ‘ridiculous’ questions about the chances of another clash.

Alonso then prompted some intrigue when he was asked if he had any sympathy over Verstappen’s outburst for being on the receiving end of repeated probing.

“I didn't see the press conference,” he said. “But I feel probably what they are experiencing now. Especially Max, because he's the younger guy fighting with a legend, with a champion. He's not British, so it will be always more difficult for him.”

Having originally not elaborated on his comment, Alonso was later pushed to clarify exactly what he meant by his ‘not British’ remark.

And the Spaniard explained that he felt the UK domination of the series – with seven of teams being British-based – had left F1 biased towards home nation drivers.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

“I have the impression always that when things become a little bit spicy or tense in the title fight... this sport is a British environment,” he said.

“All the teams, they are British. Most of you guys, journalists or the media attention, and TV crews, every one comes from the UK.

“Understandably, there is a little bit of preference of your guy in your country who can be competitive and keeps winning.

“Always what I felt when I was racing, it seemed like I was the bad guy in Formula 1 when I was trying to fight against normally British guys.

“When I saw the Silverstone thing, when I see what Verstappen gets with some questions, I understand his position for sure.”

While Alonso’s two F1 world championship successes in 2005 and 2006 came after close title fights with Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher, his most intense campaign was in 2007 when he fought for the crown during a controversial campaign at McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton.

shares
comments

Related video

Gasly expects more F1 podium chances after Hungary miss
Previous article

Gasly expects more F1 podium chances after Hungary miss

Next article

How sim racing gave Verstappen the assurance he needed after 51G shunt

How sim racing gave Verstappen the assurance he needed after 51G shunt
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023