FIA president details ‘angry’ phone calls with Fernando Alonso over F1 issues

Sam Cooper
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso using his phone.

Fernando Alonso on his phone.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has revealed who the first person to call him is if there is something that needs fixing in F1 – Fernando Alonso.

Alonso has always been known as being unafraid to say what he thinks but at the age of 42, you may have thought the Spaniard had mellowed out somewhat.

Well that apparently could not be further from the truth with the Aston Martin driver more than happy to ring up the FIA president for a moan.

Fernando Alonso makes ‘angry’ calls to FIA president

There are perhaps few drivers on the current grid who could get away with cold calling one of the most powerful men in the sport but it should come as no surprise that two-time World Champion and F1 veteran Alonso is one of them.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper AS, Ben Sulayem revealed he will often receive calls from the Aston Martin driver.

“He’s not just a champion, he’s smart. I’m not saying that others aren’t but Fernando is a truly intelligent champion, good for the sport,” he said.

“When he gets angry, he calls me: ‘Boss! President!’. And he says some swear words.

“But we are drivers and I understand the frustration of drivers. He is really good at this sport, he talks, he has good ideas and he brings enormous value to the sport.

“Aside from his speed and the improvement he brings to the team, he is undeniable.”

Ben Auslayern also praised Alonso for taking two years out of the sport but coming back with the same level of enthusiasm. The Emirati described Alonso as an “example” for all those trying to get into the sport.

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“Fernando is a true example for young drivers,” Ben Sulayem said.

“He was in Formula 1, he left, he came back and he is as strong as ever. That is very complicated, F1 is extreme.”

When Alonso joined Aston Martin, many predicted him to fall out with opinionated team owner Lawrence Stroll but 10 months into the relationship and that has yet to happen. Team boss Mike Krack denied that Alonso was difficult to manage.

“I don’t think we need to manage each other, because he’s a team member, like all of us are,” Krack told Motorsport.com in August.

“Obviously, he’s the most exposed with the highest profile, so obviously, you listen to what he’s doing, and you care about what he’s saying, and all that.

“But he knows that we want to do this together. And we are also humble and honest, if we cannot achieve the targets that we have set or that maybe he expects from us.

“So, I think the key for us at this stage is really to have as open and transparent a relationship as possible. And working together eye on eye without saying who is the manager. And this has worked quite well so far.”

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