NO MORE FUN: McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso says all the new F1 rule changes will make the sport less fun. Image: AFP
Melbourne, Australia - Formula 1's new rule changes are unnecessary and have made driving less fun heading into the 2016 season, former world champion Fernando Alonso said Thursday (March 17).
F1 bosses have approved yet another new format for qualifying for this year's world championship, despite reservations from some drivers.
Confusing the fans
Qualifying will now see drivers eliminated one by one in a knock-out-type format that will debut at this week's opening race of the season in Melbourne.
The 34-year-old Spaniard complained that making too many changes would confuse the fans.
"I'm sad for the sport because it doesn't look right from the outside when in one week we change the qualifying format three times," he said. "I think in recent years, even if the sport has been criticised sometimes, the show was always there for the people to enjoy.
"But I think the main point for me right now are the cars and the rules that (mean they) are probably not as fun to drive as a couple of years ago. We are relatively slow in terms of timed laps and in terms of how the car feels with the tyres and with the weight of the cars.
"I think we're 125kg heavier than six or seven years ago, so I think there are some changes in F1 that mean we probably aren't as fast as we should be."
Alonso won the world championship with Renault in 2005 and 2006, but he is now in the second year of a three-year deal with the struggling McLaren team.
He also disputed whether new restrictions on radio communications with pit crews would give drivers greater autonomy, as planned.
"It's strange the direction that they are going... in the era of communication and technology F1 try to restrict it, which is probably not the normal way to go," he said.
"I don't think it will give to the driver any more power to influence the race itself. Because of those (communication) limitations, the strategy for the race will be much more strict.
"We will follow, more or less, the (team) approach to that race - how we prepared in meetings - much more than before."