Fernando Alonso says new era of Formula 1 is still exciting but admits that the slow speed of the cars takes away the enjoyment level to a certain extent
There has been a mixed reaction about the new generation of Formula 1 cars from fans and drivers alike. Supporters have praised the versatile sound of the cars and threw light upon as to how the drivers are made to work harder to drive these cars, especially in the corners. In stark contrast, opposition, led by no other than F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has criticised the sound the new V6 power units, insisting they don’t sound like racing engines.
But Fernando Alonso believes that 2014 Formula 1 cars are still exciting to drive, insisting that level of competition is the most important aspect for him
“It’s still exciting because at the end of the day you are competing against the others, and that's the DNA of the driver - the competition,” Alonso told the written press at Bahrain.
“If we drive go karts, we enjoy so much, we drive at 50 kph, very hard tyres that are sliding everywhere. So we keep enjoying the race, it’s not the problem of excitement.
“We feel the cars are too slow. The fastest lap in Malaysia is 1:34.7 with Vettel some years ago and Hamilton did 1:43.0(in Malaysia last week), so that’s nine seconds behind the fastest lap. Behind the wheel, when you drive nine seconds slower, you don’t enjoy as much as driving a fast car,” the 32 year old said.
“With drivers like me or Kimi or Jenson, we drove another Formula 1, not better not worse, just another different Formula 1. We will miss some of those cars,” he added.
When asked whether he would be in the fight for the title at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, given Ferrari's poor start to the season, Alonso affirmed, saying this year's cars are expected to develop a lot more over the course of the season than in yesteryears, but urged Ferrari to improve in all areas if they are to close the deficit to Mercedes and others in the title fight.
“It would be extremely sad, if I say no we will not be in the fight for the championship, Thursday afternoon at the third race. I still think that we can do a good job," the Spaniard said.
"It’s a very young car. We are on early days in the development of the car and all the things that we find either on the windtunnel, or the power area, they are are not the steps that you used to see in the last year. You see half a tenth now, but you only saw a couple of tenths in yesteryears. So there is very good room to improve in all areas. To become more competitive, and at the same time, it’s same for everybody.
"So, we just need to be a little more clever than the other teams. Unfortunately, we are starting with a deficit so we need to close that gap but the potential is there and there is no question that in Abu Dhabi we will be in the fight."
After two races, Alonso sits third in the standings with a 19 point deficit to championship leader Nico Rosberg, who along with Lewis Hamilton is widely touted to lift the 2014 drivers trophy.