Canadian GP: Alonso, drivers are like aeroplane pilots

Seb Scott

Formula 1 Reporter
Feb 12, 2015
Alonso Aeroplane pilots.jpg

Fernando Alonso, one of three multi-World Championship winning drivers on the grid and has been racing in Formula One for fifteen years now, has come out in Canada saying a Formula One car driver now “is probably like an aeroplane pilot.”

Alonso was asked how he judged the challenge of driving in Formula One now, "You have to control everything in the best and most efficient way, that's your challenge, it is probably like an aeroplane pilot - they just have to control that everything is working fine.”

"It's now difficult to push the limit because if you push at the limit something will go into a less efficient mode and that will affect the total laptime.” Talking about how fragile the cars are to race now and how easily they can be over driven.

"You just need to make sure everything is at 100 per cent, but not yourself. A lot of communication (is) going on with the team and (there are) a lot of steering wheel changes to make sure everything is running efficiently. Even the lap time, if you lose half a second for five laps because you're not pushing, maybe it's not even a bad idea because your tires will be perfect condition for the coming laps and you'll gain one second per lap afterwards. This kind of driving is a little bit strange."

Coming from an era where you could race Formula One cars flat out for a Grand Prix distance, Alonso was asked if this style of driving frustrates him, Alonso said ”A lot, yes."

Gary Thompson

May 6, 2009
The way the headline to this article reads "Fernando Alonso etc etc has come out in Canada".
I thought we were about to be told he was part of the gay brigade of sportsmen :D


Feb 9, 2015
Alonso just exemplifies how ridiculous is nowadays F1, a fact clear and obvious to many and that Schumacher himself has already stated some years before as he came back to competitions with Mercedes.
An interesting question is: why does he complain now?

Jake Fangio

Please don't rain pleeaassee don't rain
May 14, 2015
Good timing from Alonso,with all the talk around changing it.Clear message from him.


Sep 25, 2014
An interesting question is: why does he complain now?
Obviously because A. he has enough status by now to not damage his image B. The state of F1 is generally agreed to be an issue compared to before so his comments aren't going against the grain C. They're making a concerted effort to change things and now is when comments like this would have the most benefit

At this point though, don't you think they should just let the engineers have automatic control of the car's capabilities, leave a few basic controls to the driver and just let them drive full on whenever they please? I think they should make the sport into what it used to be with respect to the design of the steering wheel - few buttons and all about the driving. Let the geeks tinker behind the scenes. If the difference between winning and losing is now all based on the driver doing what the geeks tell him through the radio to the knobs on the wheel whats the point of keeping the geeks from doing it themselves, or from being cut off from those options (to take another angle)?


Jan 22, 2014
I 100% agree. Not pushing the car, and even gaining so much massive lap time later by driving very slowly and cautiously, is a joke. This is not a matter of drivers simply overdriving like an idiot and therefore ruining their tyres (and deservingly so) from all sorts of crazy lockups, burnouts, etc. etc. obviously that will happen and should happen, it's much, much beyond that. Everything is now about managing all systems because driving to the full potential laptime, or heck, even 95% of that laptime would just ruin your car and slow you down. It's almost all about just driving to a specific laptime now, whatever your engineer tells you to aim for. What a joke.

Nothing wrong with a one-make tyre series, but the FIA forcing/telling Pirelli to make these ludicrous types of tyres for the sake of "excitement" is, and has been, a terrible idea. Absolutely terrible.

Same with all the systems now on the car. Remove the 900 settings for corner-entry diff, corner-exit diff, (and possibly preload too), and all sorts of other adjustments. Only brake bias should be allowed to be adjusted outside of the pits. And why the heck are the cars allowed to have these automatic clutch bite-point things for the start??? On top of that they have a two-stage clutch further increasing the chances of a good start. You might as well just re-instate full launch control, jesus, lol.
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Jun 29, 2013
Meanwhile in WEC, we're getting 6 hour races of on the limit push to the max racing. I've watched every F1 race since I can remember, and I love it, but they really have a lot of work to do. Alonso is right.
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Marian Zelenka

Aug 22, 2010
I stopped watching F1 and I haven't seen a race this year. It really frustrates me watching it. Now I watch WTCC, DTM, Blancpain GT series, Indycar and V8 supercars. Plenty of good races there.


Nov 10, 2012
Very insightful from a guy I have been pretty harsh on in the past. However, one simply cannot deny his intelligence, albeit sometimes too eager for his own good, and his frankness, at least here. Even from one who never really liked the guy, he just makes it so damn hard not to respect him. I guess that is why he is so popular. Part of me feels sorry for him, and part of me wants to say..."hey man, you have all the money and admiration in the world...if you really want to make a statement and you really want to *drive* go race in IndyCar." Just like Nigel.
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Dec 4, 2012
Alonso as a kind of Franchitti replacement for IndyCar? Would be good.
No chance Bernie will let it happen. He will do everything he is able to do (anything related to F1 :p ) so that Alonso doesn't leave for either IndyCar or WEC or anything else, because it will damage F1's image massively.


Sep 25, 2014
All I know is that in the last 5 months I've watched more Indy car races than F1 races to completion.