Alonso: Drivers need more respect
RESPECT IS EARNED: Fernando Alonso thinks drivers need to be more respectful of each other during races and says too many of rivals are too focused on winning putting fellow competitors at risk.
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
Formula 1 drivers need to wind back the clock and show each other more respect like they did in the past when motor racing was much more dangerous, according to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
As he prepared for his home grand prix in Barcelona this weekend, the Spaniard reflected on the old days in his personal blog (www.ferrari.com) marking the 30th anniversary of the death of Ferrari great Gilles Villeneuve.
Alonso took part in an event at the team's Fiorano test track to remember the Canadian, whose son and 1997 world champion Jacques also drove laps in Gilles's 1979 Ferrari.
He also compared Villeneuve senior's era to his own, with a veiled allusion to recent controversial track manoeuvres.
Recalling Villeneuve's epic 1979 French Grand Prix duel with Renault driver Rene Arnoux, when the pair banged wheels and overtook each other repeatedly in the closing laps, Alonso recognised the sport had changed.
Alonso said: "Unfortunately these days we no longer see this sort of fight because there are more difficulties to deal with: the cars are now dominated by aerodynamics and those sorts of passing moves are no longer possible.
"On top of that there was definitely more respect then than there is now between us drivers, partly because they knew that in those cars they were risking their lives. I don't want to say that today things are done incorrectly but I believe there is not that mutual respect, at least not from everyone, that there was back then," he said.
Alonso was furious after April's Bahrain Grand Prix where stewards decided not to punish Mercedes's Nico Rosberg for two controversial moves. Alonso shook his fist angrily from the cockpit as Rosberg forced him off the track and on to the runoff.
Hamilton made it past Rosberg but only after going completely off the track.
Race stewards took no action but that prompted Alonso to comment sarcastically: "You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy!"
Alonso was one of four different winners in the first four races of the season, making the most of wet conditions in Malaysia with an otherwise uncompetitive Ferrari who are fourth in the constructor standings.
He hopes his home race will narrow the gap between Ferrari and current season leaders Red Bull, with new car updates set to be unveiled.
Alonso said: "In Montmelo (Barcelona) we will be counting on making a step forward but we won't know until Saturday if we have and if so, how big a step it is.
"We have updates on the F2012, some of which we tested in Mugello last week and others which we will try out on Friday in free practice. Clearly, having limited the damage in the first four races this year we must turn things around. Having said that it's not the case that if we are not on pole in Barcelona then it's the end of the world," he said.
Barcelona is the first race of the season to take place in Europe and the fifth of 20 Grands Prix this year.
Alonso is fifth in the drivers' championship on 43 points, 10 behind Red Bull's leader and champion Sebastian Vettel.
Stay with Wheels24 for the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.