Fernando Alonso has responded to questions on his team spirit as he praises Honda and Renault’s F1 work, amid other things.
Amid a racing lull in Alonso’s busy schedule, the Spaniard is back in F1 news, especially after his comments after the Hungarian GP, where he praised the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
His tweet resulted in a long chat between Hamilton, Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel. Even Nico Rosberg talked about wanting to see Alonso make a F1 return as silly season rages on during the summer break.
Even though he has been linked to Mercedes and Red Bull Racing, it is only desperate rumours at best, while a McLaren drive is already ruled out. One can think of Renault, but it is unlikely for them to have a changed line-up.
The Spaniard is in no rush though as he awaits to achieve Triple Crown by winning the Indy500, having already won Monaco GP and Le Mans 24 Hours. Interestingly, there hasn’t been much talk around Indy500.
After the disaster for McLaren in 2019, it seemed like the Woking-based team would be pushing hard in the current period to be ready for 2020 but it looks like things are stagnant or being done away from any eyes.
Alonso, meanwhile, could only smile about the talk around him in F1, while he praised Honda for the progress made along with Renault when responding to fans on the social media in a Q&A session.
He also added that he does this instead of speaking to the media as it doesn’t allow them to make stories with controversial headlines. “F1 will always be F1,” he wrote to one fan’s query regarding the state of the sport.
“At the same time, the problems of these last years are still present with abysmal differences. Luckily, performances like Verstappen and Hamilton in the last grand prix make the race interesting, at least theirs.”
On Honda and Renault, he wrote: “Very good improvements! Happy to see all the guys [at Honda] that were struggling at the beginning of the programme now getting more competitive.
“Also for Renault. I think both did a very good step forward and the sport will benefit in next coming years.” Meanwhile, reacting to Rosberg’s comments on return plus the talk in the press conference, he wrote:
“I’ve been surprised a bit how many people talked about that recently. I had the best first half of 2019 possible. Winning WEC title, Daytona, Sebring, Le Mans. If one day I decide to come back, you will know it.”
Staying on the conference topic, he was also surprised by Vettel’s comments on him and the relationship they share: “Yes, I heard it. It is not true at all. We have always respected and have a very cordial relationship.
“I feel bad that he thinks that way. I guess it’s more because of the time of the press conference, the situation, etc, but I repeat that it is quite the opposite [to what he said].”
One of the bigger answers from Alsono was about the questions reaised on his team spirit by multiple bosses he worked with and also bosses of other teams, while answering if they would take Alonso in.
The Spaniard clarified: “Absolutely [I have team spirit]. It’s funny, it’s always the opposite message what the people that worked with me are giving, but maybe it’s not selling well that message.
“So for whatever reasons there is sometimes the need to create that feeling. It’s funny [but] shame for them who keep writing their own views. Surely, I am giving my 100% and I encourage everyone to do the same (I guess like Senna did, Prost, or whoever with ambition), but we are one.
“I give everything for any team, any lap I do, everyday I work. The best proof is that I drove for Renault and I came back to them, I drove in 2007 for McLaren and I came back to them, etc, etc.
“It is same with any team that recently we succeed in other series. The people that worked with me apparently are happy.” Staying on the F1 topic, he also praised Hamilton and Verstappen’s current form.
“[Verstappen] is a very smart guy. Jokes aside, both he and Lewis are embroidering this year.” He also talked about his time with Ferrari as one of the best years of F1 and hailed the work done together.
When asked on refueling, he felt it to be a good step but he added that it won’t happen. Having visited the Spanish GP this year, Alonso revealed that he will be there for the Italian GP and US GP and possibly Abu Dhabi GP.
Away from F1, Alonso also spoke about Formula E and the new hypercar class in WEC. “I don’t think [Formula E] as a successor [to F1], but it is true that they are gathering a lot of brands, great drivers and the spectacle of the race is many times superior and unpredictable,” he said.
“The two categories, I hope, they continue always and stronger every day. [As for the hypercar], I think it’s good news for the WEC. It is a fantastic championship and a great atmosphere among all teams.
“Yes, I’ll be back one day.” When asked if he will ever have a F1, F2 or F3 team like he has in karting and Formula Renault, he said that there is “small chance” of it happening as his focus is karting and lower formulas.
More to be added as he answers