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F1 Russian GP: Alonso: Overtaking is not as real as before…

Fernando Alonso: Nowadays it is very possible that a car running 16th or 17th can overtake a Mercedes out of the pit lane with newer tyres...
Fernando Alonso has reiterated that F1 has become 'a little too artificial' in its current guise, adding that the inclusion of DRS and alternative tyre strategies has increased overtaking but limited the skill involved.

McLaren-Honda driver Alonso has been a staunch critic of the current generation of regulations, in particular the frugal aspects that he feels are preventing drivers from pushing from start to finish.

Indeed, though the two-time world champion accepts the regulations have offered up new possibilities for overtaking through the introduction of the drag-reduction system and the time differential available from different tyres, he says it means some drivers aren't 'inspired' to pass in unusual places if they know they can do so in more standard areas.

“China is an extreme case because the race was very confused because of the strategies and the safety car and everything that mixed it up, but definitely nowadays it is very possible that the car that is running 16th or 17th can overtake a Mercedes.

“Out of the pit lane with newer tyres you overtake them and pull away. That's difficult to explain to the people in front of the television so the overtakings are probably not as real as they were before.

“You don't need to be inspired by something to do the overtaking or to choose the right moment in the right place. If it's not in this corner you wait for another corner and you will pass because they are five seconds slower.”

Discussing the current regulations, Alonso says there is often a desire to improve the show after races with only minimal overtaking, but feels there needs to be a balance between genuine ability and being 'artificial'.

"I don't think we need to point the finger at one thing to improve the show, because when we were having those races with two or three overtakes we were asking for more overtakes to improve the show. So it's a constant need of creating news or changing Formula 1 to improve.

“Sometimes as it is now it's a little bit too artificial and the cars are too slow because we're running at quite a good lap time in qualifying over one lap.

“Obviously this year we are using the supersoft tyres and full battery available and the cars are quite efficient now - but then in the race we are running nine seconds slower because you put fuel in and the tyres are not so grippy anymore so those lap times are not acceptable for a Formula 1 car.”
by Ollie Barstow

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April 29, 2016 7:01 AM

He is right. These days F1 races are more like Nascar. Save fuel, save tires, save everything and do some overtaking with DRS to please the crowd. If you want to witness skill, watch Senna lapping Monaco in a V12 McLaren-Honda with stick shift, one hand at the wheel and the other shifting! All those are happening without any driver aids! But those days are long gone now.


April 29, 2016 9:18 AM

@JACKABEE I agree fully with all. Reliability is a sign of not pushing the boundaries. If you push, it will break more. But nowadays you have to nurse everything. I told this numerous times. Even WEC races feels more sprint than F1 races. F1 is like WTCC now. Almost everything is road relevant now. Tell me, what is the purpose of F1 being road relevant? F1 has never been road relevant. F1 is (was) the pinnacle of prototype racing. F1 cars must look, go and sound alien. They have to make your hair rise when you behold them!

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