Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monaco, 2018

F1 wants Alonso as ambassador despite criticism

2018 F1 season

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Formula 1’s commercial director Sean Bratches says Fernando Alonso is right to say the sport has become too predictable.

The McLaren driver said the increased predictability of F1 is why he will not drive in the sport next year. He has been tipped for a move into IndyCar.

“I think he’s right and we have a plan to fix it,” said Bratches during today’s Black Book Motorsport Conference. “I wish he was around for another 10 years to be part of that.

“He’s been such a phenomenal ambassador for the sport, such a hero, a legend. I hope that his brand stays around for many years to come.”

“There is an opportunity for Formula 1 to be less predictable,” Bratches admitted. “I think it’s important that we get there.

“Since the 2015 grand prix season only three teams have won a grand prix. Only three teams. So it is pretty predictable.”

Bratches said the example of Premier League football shows how much competitive F1 could be. “Since the 14/15 season the bottom three teams have either beaten or tied the top six 29% of the time,” he pointed out.

While expressing disappointment at Alonso’s decision to leave, Bratches hopes the McLaren driver could become an ambassador for the sport one day.

“I was disappointed from a business standpoint. He’s been around for a long time, he’s climbed the highest peaks. I respect his decision to move on.

“I hope we can engage him to be an ambassador of this great sport for us going forward.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 24 comments on “F1 wants Alonso as ambassador despite criticism”

    1. “Since the 2015 grand prix season only three teams have won a grand prix. Only three teams. So it is pretty predictable.”
      – Since round 2 of 2013 actually to be precise. The last time a team other than Ferrari, Mercedes, or Red Bull won a race happened in Melbourne at the very first race of the 2013 season when Kimi won for the predecessor of the current-Renault team. Furthermore, F1 has more or less always been like that even during the seasons that didn’t feature one-team domination.
      From 2005 onwards: 2005, Only Renault, and Mclaren could really win races
      2006: Only Renault, and Ferrari.
      2007: Only Ferrari, and Mclaren.
      2008: The same two as the season before.
      2009: Brawn GP, and Red Bull (+Mclaren to a certain extent further into the season).
      2010: Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mclaren.
      2011: Only Mclaren and Ferrari whenever Seb at Red Bull failed to win.
      2013: Seb and Red Bull for the most part, but RB excluded, only Ferrari and Mercedes.

      1. @jerejj – thanks for that information. 2015 didn’t make sense to me for that statement because I was sure it happened in 2014 as well, but I was too lazy & uninformed to go and fact-check it (I wondered if Williams snuck in a win in 2014, but I now recall it was only a pole). Your stats so that the same 3 teams have been on it since 2013.

        2012 is conspicuous by its absence, obviously given the amount of different winners at the start of the season. :-)

      2. In 2008, BMW Sauber were definitely able to win too.

        1. And Renault

        2. @theniloc @David Not on a regular basis from weekend to weekend pace-wise, though, which is what my point about Mclaren and Ferrari ‘only really being able’ to win that season is about in the end. Kubica’s win in Canada and both of Alonso’s wins were down unusual circumstances (The Hamilton/Raikkonen crash at the pit exit in Canada. The deliberate crash by Piquet Jr., pre-planned by the team to help out Alonso from a lowly grid-spot in Singapore, and the errors/bad luck of the top two teams in Fuji) rather than achieved on merit.

      3. Also this season and last season, has there been two podiums by a driver driving a car in a team that is not in the ‘big 3’. So I can understand it being pretty predictable

    2. Alonso as an ambassador? Hmmm

      Alonso only does what’s best for Alonso.

      1. That was my first #cynical thought too.
        Probably we should ask Singapore if they need a goodwill ambassador.

        1. Bad idea when Hamilton’s available…oh wait…Liegate

    3. In sport somebody always dominates for a period. Why is this? Because that person or team is better than those around them. All this nonsense about somebody always winning is getting old. How does one become a champion? By winning. For those people who cannot understand or accept this truth, may I suggest snakes and ladders or some other dice game.

      Look at any sport and there will always be a winner who wins until someone else gets better and beats them. Alonso the husk is only complaining because he is not winning, no other reason. He made bad choices and failed so now its the sport’s fault. Dream on.

      1. s/better/spends more money/

      2. How does one become a champion? By winning.

        Hahaha, that made me chuckle :)) And cringe at the same time.

        You miss the point so badly. Let me lay it out for you, kid:
        Formula 1 is a peculiar sport where there are 3 simultanuous types of competition carried out that have a fundamental impact on each other, but the merits of the outcome are oddly ascribed to only one of them:
        – The drivers compete in an effort to drive their cars the best around race tracks
        – Car manufacturers compete in an effort to produce the fastest car
        – Engine manufacturers compete in an effort to produce the best engine

        So the race outcomes are the effects of the summed value of the car and driver and engine, but for some odd reason each driver is awarded for the total value of the 3 elements that he is only one of, and it is pretended that it is solely on his merit.
        It’s as if marathon runners were starting the race at different times – depending on the efforts of their managers to give them a head start or a handicap – but then we only awarded finishing times as if they had all started together.

        The Bottas+Mercedes+Mercedes combination is much faster than Alonso+McLaren+Renault, but it has no way of telling whether Bottas > Alonso or Alonso > Bottas, has it? Unfortunately, the whole championship is conducted as if that meant Bottas > Alonso, and people like you are fine with that distortion of reality.

        We all know, the speed of a driver+car+engine depends disproportionately more on the car+engine’s speed than the driver’s speed, so the actual winning that happens on F1 tracks is a reflection of the former, rather than the latter.

        We try to theoretically extract drivers’ value by all kinds of correlations and indirect comparisons, but at the end of the day, the results in the Formula 1 Championship mostly reflect the success of business operations, financial plans and economic power.
        The “winning drivers” are not made of flesh but steel.

        1. @damon
          Playing Alpha Male?
          “Let me lay it out for you, kid:”
          A bit aggressive maybe mate?

          “Formula 1 is a peculiar sport where there are 3 simultanuous types of competition carried out that have a fundamental impact on each other, but the merits of the outcome are oddly ascribed to only one of them:”

          Yes, drivers need talent, a great car and motor (or PU) this hasn’t changed. You must be an engineer?

          “It’s as if marathon runners were starting the race at different times – depending on the efforts of their managers to give them a head start or a handicap – but then we only awarded finishing times as if they had all started together”.
          huh?
          “We all know, the speed of a driver+car+engine depends disproportionately more on the car+engine’s speed than the driver’s speed, so the actual winning that happens on F1 tracks is a reflection of the former, rather than the latter.”
          I think this means a driver needs a super quick car?

          The “winning drivers” are not made of flesh but steel.
          Not sure on this one mate but love it!

        2. @damon You failed to explain why people moan about 2 or 3 teams always winning. I am fully aware F1 is a team sport containing 1000s of members. The car/team that wins generally is doing a better job than the other teams/drivers. The same with football, golf, tennis, swimming, etc. The better person wins and they win lots of times before they fade. That is the nature of competitions that are not chance based. I don’t understand your post. If it was to make you look stupid it succeeded. I forgive you because of your age and the meds you forgot to take.

          1. The point made by Damon was so simple, even you should be able to understand it. I’ll make it clearer, though.
            Only one driver each year gets the WDC. But well over 80% of the merit is the car’s/team’s, not the driver’s.

    4. Alonso would be an excellent ambassador for F1.
      People forget things change from being a competitor and a spectator – Webber and Vettel hated each other while in F1, when Mark retired he was happy to say Seb was quicker, and Seb said Mark pushed him further.

      Alonso has some bad grapes in F1 but once he is out and has a break what better recent retiree would you have to promote F1 (except Jenson Button, the great) ??

      1. that’s why Webber released his book? Because he was so happy to say that Seb was quicker?

        The problem with having Alonso as an ambassador will happen when new fans decided to google him

        F1 should create interest on its own, when if it stops doing so, you can start counting the days

    5. And who is your choice? Hamilton?

    6. These Americans don’t know much about F1. Between 1994 lets say to 2007 how many teams won races in any one year in a competitive capacity apart from the lucky odd win?

      1994: In 1994 it was 3 teams Benetton with Shumacher, Damon and Mansel with Williams and the one single win for Berger in a Ferrari.

      1995 it was also 3 teams with Benetton Renault, Willams Renault and Ferrari,

      1996 it was 4 teams that won races with Ligier Mugen Honda added to the 3 teams that have been winning before now with Olivier Panis winning just one race.

      1997 it was 4 teams, Williams Renault, Ferrari, Maclaren Mercedes and Benetton Renault in the hands of Berger winning one race.

      1998 In 1008 it was 3 teams with Mclaren and Ferrari duking it out and Honda managing to win one race

      1999 again the fight was between Ferrari and Mclaren with Jordan winning 2 races and Stewart winning one.

      2000 Then in 2000 only 2 teams won races. Maclaren and Ferrari

      2001 In 2001 it was 3 teams, Ferrari, Mclaren and Williams

      2002 In 2002 Ferrari won everything except 2 races by the Williams and one race by Mclaren

      2003 Only in 2003 did we have 5 teams win races being Ferrari, Willaims, Renault, Mclaren and Jordan

      2004 again Ferrari won everything with Williams, Renault and Mclaren winning just one race each

      2005 In 2005 it was down to 3 teams again with Alonso’s Renault, mclaren and Ferrari winning everything

      2006 In 2006 Renault of Alonso won everything with Ferrari while Honda won 1 race.

      2007 It was just 2 teams that won all the races. Ferrari and Mclaren

      So before the Americans think of making Alonso an F1 ambassador they should study a bit of history on F1 recent past and Alonso should carry his divisive politics and move on because Alonso only does what’s good for Alonso and not the sport. He has been involved in the biggest controversies of the sport. Singapore 2008 spring to mind and in actual fact the stolen Ferrari information were actually passed to Alonso even though he struck a deal with Max Mosley to testify against his own team for immunity. We don’t need to be reminded of this dark episodes of F1 anytime we see Alonso representing F1 to some kids.

      1. Or he ment that its the _same_ three teams who won since 2015 (which is really since the 2nd round ’13) – and not how many different teams won a each year since 2015 (errr since 2nd round ’13).
        Don’t you think?

        Try grouping it like that, including the odd wins here and there – can you, in recent times, find over a period longer than 4 and then some years where only the same three teams won?

    7. Alonso will make a great ambassador if they do the exact opposite of whatever he says.

    8. “I think he’s right and we have a plan to fix it,” said Bratches during today’s Black Book Motorsport Conference.

      Sprinklers!

      1. I’ll go for “sprinkler” any day contrary to what some might think. Will sort out the men from the boys

    9. I agree Alonso would make a good ambassador.
      He’s not afraid to go against the grain and as the senior driver in F1 (well, Kimi may be the senior driver but he doesn’t speak much as all), his words have impact.
      Contrary to his peers, he insisted the halo was the right thing to do and it was.
      When 50,000 fans sat in a downpour at practice for the German grand prix only to be deprived of seeing any action due to F1s crazy tire rules, he spoke up.
      Of course he complained about the unfairness that separates the “rich” teams from the rest. Yes, he didn’t complain when he drove for Ferrari, but it’s true what he says. F1 will never be truly competitive unless there are some changes.
      When drivers such as him and Button waste years in the back with no chance of being competitive, F1 and fans lose out.
      I think he will back in F1 in time but even if not, he should be a part of it.

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