McLaren’s Fernando Alonso says he thinks the standard of Formula 1 driver is lower than it used to be, and says that the WEC doesn’t have silly crashes like the one that took him out of the COTA race.
Alonso was taken out at Turn 4 of the United States Grand Prix when he was speared into by Williams’ Lance Stroll. Stroll spun around but was able to continue, while Alonso was forced to retire with terminal damage. The pair also came to blows during the Japanese Grand Prix when Stroll pushed Alonso off the track at the chicane, while the McLaren driver was also taken out of the Belgian Grand Prix on the opening lap through no fault of his own.
“These guys are impossible to race with. Impossible,” Alonso told Channel 4 afterwards. “They cannot do the starts like this. You cannot go into the corners crashing with other cars.”
“[There] was a lot of action into Turn 4, which is normally a corner where there should not be too much action. Three cars, I think, went into the corner together and the result was well-known – one of the guys will end up in the wall, and it was me.”
“It’s a misjudging of distances and speed which is quite strange to see.” he continued. “It’s always the same story, it just keeps happening. At the start, people are trying to bump everyone else, the same as when you have a rental car. No-one does it on purpose, but today they played bowling with my car again, like they did in Spa.”
With Alonso also racing with much greater success in the World Endurance Championship with Toyota, he was asked whether he thought the drivers are more aggressive in Formula 1: “No, the level is lower.” Alonso retorted.
“I race in the WEC and they are very aggressive as well and we have three different categories there – some amateur drivers in the GT-Am, but no one crashes into each other. There’s another mentality.”
“Sometimes you make a mistake or you try to take a risk at the start, or you can overshoot your braking point or make a mistake. But it’s like Spa, where you start and suddenly they are playing bowling with you and you have the bad luck of having to retire.”