Alonso: F1 getting it wrong

Date published: May 21 2015

Fernando Alonso has welcomed potential rule changes to Formula 1, as the sport looks to address flagging viewership figures.

F1 has seen a continuing dip in race attendance and TV viewers and this was at the forefront of discussions at last week's F1 strategy group meeting.

The group announced that they would be looking at ways to make cars faster and that a return to refuelling, which has been absent since 2010, would be considered ahead of the 2017 season.

Alonso has welcomed the findings, asserting that a lack of spectators in grandstands is evidence enough that changes are needed, with the Spaniard asserting that the sport has been changing for the worse in recent years.

"If the tests come back we will have similar rules to seven or eight years ago, which means the last four or five years we have been going in the wrong direction," he said.

The McLaren driver believes that refuelling could be key to adding some much-needed excitement to races, which he believes have become too predictable.

"Probably, it will open some kind of strategy imagination that could help you in some of the races," he explained.

"If you can choose whatever fuel you can start on, or do the first stint with. Things like that helped in the past. I remember in 2003 getting some pole positions with half the fuel of the others and then, in the race, you see what happened.

"The first ten laps you are leading the group and it may rain or have a safety car. Many things can happen that will change the weekend."

He added: "If you gave me a piece of paper and a pen, I will put you the grid order for here, Canada and Austria. I will miss one or two positions, but this is what probably the fans are not welcoming now."

The 33-year-old lamented the fact that F1 cars are now only slightly faster than those in GP2, asserting that races are no longer a physical and mental challenge for drivers.

"We cannot run one second quicker than GP2 cars because the grandstands are empty," he said. "It is a sign it was not going in the right direction.

"Hopefully now it is a good change and we can see the fastest cars in the world in the future.

"In 2005, the cars were eight seconds quicker," he added.

"In Malaysia the engineers did some calculations. The winner of Malaysia this year would have been lapped six times by the winner of Malaysia in 2006.

"So when you are eight seconds a lap quicker, that is very demanding physically and mentally and everything was pushed to the limit."