Sports / Motor news

Alonso outburst underlines F1's mounting problems

By Agence France-Presse in Abu Dhabi (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-02 07:52

Fernando Alonso launched an angry outburst at motorsport's ruling body on Sunday, telling them to focus on the serious problems facing Formula One and to be fairer in its decision-making after he was being penalized on his way to 17th place in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The two-time world champion, widely respected as one of the sport's elder statesmen, said it was time the International Motoring Federation (FIA) used "some common sense".

Alonso said he was unfairly penalized for making contact with Felipe Nasr's Sauber and that he could not avoid a collision with Pastor Maldonado's Lotus. He contends the FIA had missed an opportunity to demonstrate justice and sense.

Alonso outburst underlines F1's mounting problems

McLaren Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain (left) and his girlfriend Lara Alvarez arrive at the Yas Marina circuit before the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, November 26, 2015.  [Photo/Agencies]

"It's FIA things," said Alonso. "We see the grandstands half-empty on this circuit - and half-empty on most circuits.

"And there are championships which are overtaking us on the right, like WEC (world endurance), MotoGP (motorcycling). And then we are trying to make the cars louder!

"I think we need a bit of common sense.

"To have a drive-through (penalty) after you've been hit by another car is a bit strange and I think it's unique.

"F1 needs to ask itself about the sound of the cars, or what is the problem to have less and less spectators.

"This kind of season, they need to make more sense about what they are doing because I don't see this in WEC, MotoGP and other categories that are much more fun than us.

"We need to look at many things. They need to get some consistency in the penalties, some common sense and be fair."

Alonso ended doubts about his participation in Formula One next season.

"I will be racing, 100 percent," he said on Sunday.

"At the same time, goodbye to 2015 because it has been a very tough year for us, very difficult and the performance has been quite poor.

"If I had to choose a sabbatical year, I would choose this one!"

Alonso's frustrations after a season of disappointment with McLaren Honda following his move from Ferrari may have influenced his feelings, but they could not hide the truths in his comments about F1's current crisis.

Embroiled in financial, political and technical problems, the season ended on Sunday with few signals the sport will rebound any time soon.

Earlier this week, former FIA president Max Mosley told the BBC that F1 was in serious trouble and nobody wanted to buy the business because it had become too expensive.

"There are only two or three teams that can really afford to spend the money that's being spent now," said Mosley.

"The others are either on the verge of having to stop, or at least greatly disadvantaged by not having enough money.

"I don't really see how anyone can sell it until those problems have been resolved.

"The rich teams don't want the less rich teams to become competitive, so the problem will persist."

Shortly before Alonso's angry attack, F1's veteran commercial ringmaster, Bernie Ecclestone, confirmed his belief the Lotus team will pull out of the sport if its takeover by Renault fails to go ahead in the next week or two.

Renault boss Carlos Ghosn is set to decide on the French company's plan next week.

If Renault decides not to pursue a takeover of Lotus, it will mean the end of the British team, Ecclestone said.

"I'm sure they'll stop," he said.

"They are running a business unsuccessfully. They haven't got enough money to keep going. So, they'll stop."

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