McLaren's Fernando Alonso calls for new Formula 1 tyre war

Fernando Alonso has called on Formula 1 to allow the return of a tyre war if it wants to again spice up the show and entertain the fans

McLaren's Fernando Alonso calls for new Formula 1 tyre war

In the wake of the Strategy Group's proposals last Thursday for stemming the tide of supporters turning off the sport, Alonso feels he has the answer.

"Tyre competition will help Formula 1 because everyone will again push to the limits," said double world champion Alonso.

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"I experienced tyre competition for some years with Michelin and Bridgestone, and after that we had a single tyre with Bridgestone, and the change was quite big.

"In 2006 the tyres were amazing from both companies because they pushed each other to the limits, and we had a super-fast tyre on which you could do a whole race distance in 2005.

"Then in 2007, only with Bridgestone, the tyres were completely different. At that time they took a step backwards and relaxed a little bit.

"You could still push on those tyres because they had some experience and technology from tyre competition.

"That would be good for Formula 1. For strategy you could have a tyre that is good in qualifying, bad in the race, or vice versa.

"Some circuits would maybe suit one company, other circuits the other company, so it would mix up the results, and people will work on that."

Current tyre supplier Pirelli's F1 contract expires at the end of 2016, prompting Michelin to suggest it would return, albeit only if it could run much harder rubber and on 18-inch rims.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told AUTOSPORT last week Michelin should not bother submitting a bid as he did not want tyres "you could put on in January and take off in December".

ALONSO WARY OF F1 GOING BACKWARDS

McLaren star Alonso at least welcomed the idea of refuelling, as is currently being looked at for a return in 2017, dependent on costs.

"It would open up imagination on strategy," added Alonso.

"It could help you in a race if you could choose whatever [amount of] fuel on which to start or to do the first stint. Things like that that helped in the past.

"I remember getting some pole positions in 2003 using half the fuel of the others, and then you see what happened.

"For the first 10 laps of a race you lead the group and then it may rain, or you may have a safety car. Many things could happen that could change the weekend.

"Now, if you give me a piece of paper I will give you the grid order for Monaco, Canada and Austria, and I will miss one or two positions, and this is probably what the fans are not welcoming now."

The verdict on latest plans from Formula 1 Strategy Group

However, with the likely rule changes, Alonso feels F1 would be taking a step back in time.

"If things come back we will get some kind of rules from seven or eight years ago, which means the last four or five years we've been going in the wrong direction," said Alonso.

Asked as to whether F1 has been heading in the wrong direction, Alonso replied: "The grandstands tells us."

Suggested to Alonso he should be involved in the Strategy Group, he joked: "I'm too radical. You need some common sense there."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Author Ian Parkes
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