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."