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Fernando Alonso's attempts at the Indy 500


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#3501 Radoye

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 14:49

I'm just throwing a random thought out here perhaps without the necessary political knowledge to be making such comment, but Roger is also the owner of IndyCar now. What are the chances he might try to sign Alonso on the condition of long-term commitment? This year's 500, perhaps some races after that, but also the full 2021 season? RP has all the necessary things to make it happen.

It'll get the global attention, and the commitment RP might want from Fernando for IndyCar and his team. Take it or leave it.

Perhaps I'm dreaming out loud, but I'm curious to see your thoughts on this perspective.

Alonso has stated many times he's not interested in running IndyCar outside the 500. Which is shame, because IMHO it would help him in many ways - getting the team gel together better, making him more attractive to top teams (like the aforementioned Team Penske). I don't think Penske would be interested in Alonso for just one season (and that too with dubious commitment, if Alonso manages to win Indy and fulfill his goals on his first run with Penske), RP is all about long term team building and doing what is best for him in the long run rather than short term gains. There have been occasions where he fired drivers quickly but that was only if he felt they are underperforming and there was a better long term prospect available (case in point - Montoya being shown the door when Newgarden became available). All signs are that he is now preparing McLaughlin as his next long term investment (either as a replacement for Pagenaud, if he doesn't renew his contract which is up at the end of this season, or for Power who hasn't been winning all that much lately. And for his +1 Indy 500 car, that's been reserved for Castroneves as long as he's up for it (HCN is still a member of the Penske family, racing for them in IMSA, and is chasing the record-tying 4th 500 win).

 

So, unless Alonso is willing to commit for the long term (3-4-5 years full season) i don't see it making a difference.



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#3502 maximilian

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 15:52

Correct.  Penske is winning everything without Alonso, so why would they even bother to put up with all the bruhaha of bringing him on board...?



#3503 kosmos

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 16:19

It wouldn't be unrealistic - according to this it costs around $2M to put together a team for Indy 500:

 

https://www.indystar...-500/626282002/

 

Now - such team would be the definition of an underdog backmarker, with almost non-existent chances of winning, which is exactly what Alonso doesn't want to be involved with.

 

So, on the second thought - actually, it would be very unrealistic for Alonso to decide to do that.

 

$2M for Alonso + sponsors is nothing but, it could be another nightmare like last year with McLaren. He should put his money and time in another place if this is the only chance to do Indy 500.



#3504 AustinF1

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 16:38

... So implying that Penske has somehow rejected Alonso so there must be something wrong with him/his attitude is IMO yet another attempt to spin a negative narrative. ...

 Yep. I keep seeing this now with ECR, too, implying that ECR just doesn't want Alonso in the team. They don't have the capacity to run another car. They already turned down Kyle Busch, too, but that doesn't stop the 'toxic Alonso' & 'another team snubs Alonso' comments. 


Edited by AustinF1, 14 February 2020 - 16:53.


#3505 AustinF1

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 16:51

Alonso has stated many times he's not interested in running IndyCar outside the 500. Which is shame, because IMHO it would help him in many ways - getting the team gel together better, making him more attractive to top teams (like the aforementioned Team Penske). 

He had said that a couple of times, but his most recent comment on it indicated that he's interested in a possible full season in the future.

 

 

“In 2019 I was very busy. For this year I didn’t want to commit myself after Indy, but I was thinking about 2021: thinking about whether I want to go back to F1 for a few more years or compete in the full Indycar championship or race in WEC in the Hypercar category.“ 

 

https://www.essentia...meback-in-2021/



#3506 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 16:58

It's getting late to add a car to an existing team, it'd be insane to start a whole new team. The good people were hired a long time ago. 



#3507 Lerdes

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 17:15

He had said that a couple of times, but his most recent comment on it indicated that he's interested in a possible full season in the future.


https://www.essentia...meback-in-2021/


Yes 2021 will be the crossroad in front of him - F1 or Indycar. Retirement won't be an option.

#3508 prommer

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 17:15

The deal between Alonso and Andretti was reported to be for the Indy 500 plus a few other races afterwards. There's all this talk about Penske already maxed out at 4 cars -- and yes, for the Indy 500 there's no chance in heck they'd open up a 5th car for Alonso.  But that 4th car is sitting idle most of the season. McLaughlin one has one race, Helio one; the crew is likely to be busy during IMSA weeks, but other than that, Roger really could run Alonso for whatever non-Indy races he was contracted for, if he really wanted to get him on the grid "for the good of the series".

 

The problem is, if Alonso wants to run the Indy 500 this year, the only places he's likely to do it are McLaren and Carlin, who both had a hand in his ignominy last year.  I can easily see him thinking twice about either of those options.



#3509 loki

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 20:14

Finding a competitive ride this late after Honda's veto is almost impossible, especially since it only leaves Chevy teams. We all know this. I don't think any other driver would manage it. Bourdais had to pick up a Foyt drive and Hinchliffe is also still looking. Guess they also failed to make that compelling case to a top team to hire them.

Hinch is fully funded for at least May and possibly TO.  Miller is floating Hinch to RLL for at least the 500.  Bobby said earlier that funding that car was the issue.  Now it’s not.



#3510 SonGoku

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 20:20

The deal between Alonso and Andretti was reported to be for the Indy 500 plus a few other races afterwards. There's all this talk about Penske already maxed out at 4 cars -- and yes, for the Indy 500 there's no chance in heck they'd open up a 5th car for Alonso.  But that 4th car is sitting idle most of the season. McLaughlin one has one race, Helio one; the crew is likely to be busy during IMSA weeks, but other than that, Roger really could run Alonso for whatever non-Indy races he was contracted for, if he really wanted to get him on the grid "for the good of the series".

 

The problem is, if Alonso wants to run the Indy 500 this year, the only places he's likely to do it are McLaren and Carlin, who both had a hand in his ignominy last year.  I can easily see him thinking twice about either of those options.

 


You would expect Roger to do something for Alonso to help the series, but I guess a Penske seat is a bridge too far.

#3511 Henri Greuter

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 20:58

You would expect Roger to do something for Alonso to help the series, but I guess a Penske seat is a bridge too far.

 

Can you answer this question for me.

Why do you expect Roger Penske to come to the aid of Alonso?

 

 

There are other drivers out in need of a good car and who have made some kind of a reputation within Indycar in the past years and have contributed to the popularity and fan appeal of the series

Sebastian Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe, to name only two of them.

Or Tony Kanaan who could have been persuaded to continue if offered a Penske ride.

Lots of fans of these drivers would love to see them in a Penske car as well, must he help them too?

 

I know that every Alonso fan posting within this thread will only rate me as basher of Alonso because I am a known `Antilonso`.

But even if I would like him, or if it was another driver than Alonos who is causing all of this posting. then I still can't understand why so many Alonsofans or fans of another driver who would have been in his situation think it to be logical that Roger Penske will help out on getting Alonso or any other driver in a similar situation a competitive ride.

No matter who would be the driver involved, nothing what I write right now is intended to bash Alonso because of me wanting to bash him 'cause I don't like him. It is the situation that a driver got into that makes my write this.

 

My feelings towards Fernando have nothing to do with how I think about who should be helped by Roger Penske or who-ever needs to come to the aid of Alonso.

That Alonso is rated as the best thing after sliced bread in F1 doesn't mean that within Indycar everyone apart from Honda should come to his aid since he has a problem with Honda.

Indycar racing is its own world with its own rules and habits and opinions.

And they have their own feelings and thoughts about what is the best for the series and/or who can get the seats available.

 

Again: I don't think that Honda did a neat job at all when they turned down Alonso this late in the season and with so many work being done by people who wanted to make it work.

But more and more, I become convinced that there has been way more between Honda and Alonso in the past than `only` the GP2 thing. And we can only guess about what kind of recent things have been going on that may have caused this embarrasing situation. I hope that one day we will finally learn about all of this but I wonder if it will happen. It looks to me as if all of this is simply too embarassing by now for all involved to go public about it right now.

But whatever happened, it doesn't mean that Roger Penske has to do something about all this.

 

By the way, who provides the engines for his IMSA team and with which company is that engine supplier involved????

Roger Penske trying out to find on which toes of these companies he can step onto without problems?


Edited by Henri Greuter, 14 February 2020 - 21:00.


#3512 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 21:13

Alonso is definitely more a draw than Bourdais or Hinchcliffe. 



#3513 Henri Greuter

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 21:52

Alonso is definitely more a draw than Bourdais or Hinchcliffe. 

Also for the locals? Most people at the track on race day are locals.

International (non North-America [ Hinch being Canadian]) ) it's no contest, I agree with you on that.



#3514 PayasYouRace

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 22:03

Also for the locals? Most people at the track on race day are locals.

International (non North-America [ Hinch being Canadian]) ) it's no contest, I agree with you on that.

 

I think Fernando made a pretty big impression on the locals in 2017.



#3515 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 22:13

Also for the locals? Most people at the track on race day are locals.

International (non North-America [ Hinch being Canadian]) ) it's no contest, I agree with you on that.

 

I think local and series fans attend/watch even without Hinchcliffe and Bourdais.

 

Now, I think Alonso is a bit like Danica in that he brings viewers that only pay attention to him which does't do much for the race or series; but it's still more of a gain than another random Indycar driver.



#3516 KLF1F

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 22:30

We should get rid of all these no-mark Indy drivers and just let Alonso run laps by himself in a Kurt Busch me car until he wins the 500.

#3517 AustinF1

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 22:42

We should get rid of all these no-mark Indy drivers and just let Alonso run laps by himself in a Kurt Busch me car until he wins the 500.

Why? Nobody would want that.



#3518 PayasYouRace

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 23:16

Why? Nobody would want that.

 

It's pretty much how Fernando won Le Mans.



#3519 AustinF1

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 23:21

It's pretty much how Fernando won Le Mans.

He didn't have a choice. You race whomever shows up. And I won't be at all shocked to see him go do it again under a vastly different rules set.

 

That's also how races are being won in F1, too ...


Edited by AustinF1, 15 February 2020 - 00:51.


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#3520 PayasYouRace

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 23:25

He didn't have a choice. You race whomever shows up. And I won't be at all shocked to see him go do it again under a vastly different rules set.

 

It's also how races are being won in F1, too ...

 

Yeah, it would mean a lot more if he had some real competition.



#3521 Jvr

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 23:42

Yeah, it would mean a lot more if he had some real competition.

Real competition allowed from the other car(s) within the team, too.

May be this is the reason why Penske does not want him.



#3522 HeadFirst

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 23:56

Yeah, it would mean a lot more if he had some real competition.

 

Very true, but that thought can be applied to many other champions as well.



#3523 AustinF1

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 00:51

Yeah, it would mean a lot more if he had some real competition.

Just like the last few F1 championships.



#3524 PayasYouRace

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:22

Just like the last few F1 championships.

 

No there are definitely 20 cars in class in F1.



#3525 kosmos

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:24

No there are definitely 20 cars in class in F1.

 

Where very few cars compete for the title, sometimes only two (Mercedes), so he is right.

 

 

 

 

Definitely not happening with Penske.

 

https://omny.fm/show...for-team-penske



#3526 loki

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:28

Alonso is definitely more a draw than Bourdais or Hinchcliffe. 

Not in North America.  The overseas fans that tuned in the first time didn’t bother to watch again for the most part.  Same with the second try.  The Alonso fans are largely overselling him in the US market.  Great driver, would love to see him in the race or even win.   When it comes down to bread and butter Indycar or more specifically the 500 fans he’s more than a curiosity but not really the draw here the F1 fans (many perhaps most that haven’t been to the US let alone the 500) might think he is.  



#3527 PayasYouRace

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:42

Where very few cars compete for the title, sometimes only two (Mercedes), so he is righ.

There’s a difference between a 20 cars all competing to the same rules and just 2 or 3. Even if one team does a better job, they’re still on a level playing field.



#3528 kosmos

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 09:29

There’s a difference between a 20 cars all competing to the same rules and just 2 or 3. Even if one team does a better job, they’re still on a level playing field.

I think we understand "level playing field" differently. WEC is obviously different than F1 when it comes to rules and the cars that compete but, at the end of the day, Hamilton fighting Bottas is the same as Alonso fighting the sister car.



#3529 Henri Greuter

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 09:30

Not in North America.  The overseas fans that tuned in the first time didn’t bother to watch again for the most part.  Same with the second try.  The Alonso fans are largely overselling him in the US market.  Great driver, would love to see him in the race or even win.   When it comes down to bread and butter Indycar or more specifically the 500 fans he’s more than a curiosity but not really the draw here the F1 fans (many perhaps most that haven’t been to the US let alone the 500) might think he is.  

That is indeed the line of thinking (save a few details) I had as well and what my posts are based upon.



#3530 Henri Greuter

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 09:41

There’s a difference between a 20 cars all competing to the same rules and just 2 or 3. Even if one team does a better job, they’re still on a level playing field.

 

I think we understand "level playing field" differently. WEC is obviously different than F1 when it comes to rules and the cars that compete but, at the end of the day, Hamilton fighting Bottas is the same as Alonso fighting the sister car.

This kind of reasoning can also be translated onto what was, before the Hybrid Era, was the most dominant F1 car ever.

 

the 1988 McLaren-Honda MP4/4 (Now it is a bit painful to bring up that car&engine combo over here...) won 15 out of 16 races and set point score records.

In 2002, when Ferrari brought in the F2002 it ran only 15 races and in one of them only a single car but the statistics and absolute numbers for the F2002 closely match that of the MP4/4.

 

The big difference however was that 1988 was the last year for turbocharged engines in F1 with new rules coming up for 1989. Many teams didn't went overboard anymore for building brand new cars and relied on stopgap options for this last year of the formula

in 1988 we had three categories of cars:

- brand new turbocharged engined cars (McLaren and Lotus)

- Modified to the 1988 rules turbocharged 1987 cars

- Atmo cars using updated versions of the old 3 liter Cosworths or contemporaty Judds, all V8s.

 

2002 on the other hand had a single set of rules, allowing only a single type of engine and all teams had built cars built according the rules.

 

Both years had utter dominance over the entire field by one team (Car) But:  In which year die we have a "level playing field" for everyone involved an dwas the dominating team doing the better job over its opponents than the other?

Or do any of you read both years being an equal playing field?


Edited by Henri Greuter, 15 February 2020 - 09:43.


#3531 Henri Greuter

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 09:58

I think Fernando made a pretty big impression on the locals in 2017.

Sorry PYS, missed that one, but the least I can do is agree with you on that.

But I have the feeling that with missing 2018 entirely he lost out on cementing a much larger fanbase with the locals than that he eventually got and still has. I wonder what kind of following he would have had if he had ditchet F1 one year before and kept the Indy momentum going. But when I write this rules, I have no idea as  of how easily he could have obtained a ride in 2018 already. The more and more I think about all of what happened between Alonso and Honda in the recent weeks has been affected by things that happened between them after the Indy project.

 

Despite everything they might have had against Alonso by that time, Honda still participated big time in making that 2017 Indy project possible and offering the best possible support on location. Be it since they felt they owed it to Alonso, or for wahetever other reasons, they still did it and made it possible. And people with knowledge about Indycar will tell you that with embedding that entire McLaren project within Andretti Racing, Alonso and McLaren couldn't have asked for much better anymore.

So at least at that moment (up till May '17) there was still a level of tolerance for Alonso's doings that could have offended Honda. But after that, apparently not anymore.

So here my wondering about what has happened between Honda and Alonso after May 2017 which might be the major reasons for Honda for keeping Alonso at bay. That and other developments in which Alonso was involved after 2017 what may have ticked off Honda.

 

So I must kind of backtrack on my comment about the missed opportunity of Alonso doing Indy 2018 and keep the momentum going. Was such possible at all to begin with, I have my doubts.



#3532 PayasYouRace

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 10:06

I think we understand "level playing field" differently. WEC is obviously different than F1 when it comes to rules and the cars that compete but, at the end of the day, Hamilton fighting Bottas is the same as Alonso fighting the sister car.

But Mercedes are fighting Ferrari, Red Bull and the rest while Toyota have no one.



#3533 kumo7

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 11:32

701-466-391, 235 points difference where the 4th got 140.

I would not call it a fight.



#3534 kosmos

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 11:55

But Mercedes are fighting Ferrari, Red Bull and the rest while Toyota have no one.

 

 

There was a time when Mercedes was fighting Mercedes. I can give you Ferrari for the last two years, but RB has never been in the title fight in recent memory.



#3535 PayasYouRace

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 12:35

There was a time when Mercedes was fighting Mercedes. I can give you Ferrari for the last two years, but RB has never been in the title fight in recent memory.

 

Let's just say I understand perfectly why you don't like to see the difference between all teams building cars to the same rules and one or two doing a much better job and one team building cars to a set of rules that are different to what all the other teams around it are doing.

 

In fewer words: Regulations =/= Results.



#3536 Eruobodo

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 13:25

Let's just say I understand perfectly why you don't like to see the difference between all teams building cars to the same rules and one or two doing a much better job and one team building cars to a set of rules that are different to what all the other teams around it are doing.

 

In fewer words: Regulations =/= Results.

Were you saying this when the Porsches and Audis were also competing?



#3537 PayasYouRace

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 13:43

Were you saying this when the Porsches and Audis were also competing?

 

Think about it. Three manufacturers competing under the same class. I wouldn't have had to say anything.



#3538 kosmos

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 13:50

Let's just say I understand perfectly why you don't like to see the difference between all teams building cars to the same rules and one or two doing a much better job and one team building cars to a set of rules that are different to what all the other teams around it are doing.

 

In fewer words: Regulations =/= Results.

 

 

I don't know why is so hard to understand that Hamilton fighting against Rosberg is exactly the same as Alonso fighting the other Toyota car, the other teams doesn't matter if they can't fight for the title which was the case in WEC and some F1 seasons. Let's agree to disagree.



#3539 Jvr

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 15:30

Rosberg was not denied of fighting against Hamilton as the other Toyota car was.



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#3540 Branislav

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 15:33

Is he (Alonso) found a car?



#3541 Sabre1977

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 15:44

Rosberg was not denied of fighting against Hamilton as the other Toyota car was.


Any evidence?...

#3542 Jvr

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 15:52

Any evidence?...

Are you serious?

 

Start of the season 2018 at Spa Kobayashi not going to the podium to begin with...


Edited by Jvr, 15 February 2020 - 15:53.


#3543 Sabre1977

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 16:05

Ejem....

I could put the opposite example . Remember China 2018?

#3544 Jvr

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 16:23

:p

 

If that was anything, it was just a minor pay back of earlier team orders already done and Alonso already having achieved the LeMans victory.

The point from the team made at Spa was that at the next race (LeMans), do not go and challenge the other car.



#3545 AustinF1

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 16:55

No there are definitely 20 cars in class in F1.

LOL. Sure there are. 



#3546 Muppetmad

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 17:04

...why does the difference between F1 and WEC matter here?



#3547 Sabre1977

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 17:23

:p

 

If that was anything, it was just a minor pay back of earlier team orders already done and Alonso already having achieved the LeMans victory.

The point from the team made at Spa was that at the next race (LeMans), do not go and challenge the other car.

 

Ohh I see

 

its-a-conspiracy.jpg

 

:rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:


Edited by Sabre1977, 15 February 2020 - 17:23.


#3548 PayasYouRace

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 17:31

LOL. Sure there are. 

 

OK.

 

https://www.fia.com/...on/category/110

 

Please show me in the regulations where the different classes of Formula 1 are defined.



#3549 Brod

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 18:44

Who gives a damn about these regulations when we are rating a driver? Alonso had a dominant car in LeMans, the same way Hamilton had one in recent years, the same way Vettel had one before, the same way Schumacher had one at the start of the millenium. 

 

If Alonso  isn't driving a top car? Burned bridges. 

If he is? Worthless victory. 

 

Alonso wasn't the first one winning a title in a dominant car, he won't be the last one. Not at LeMans, not in F1. 



#3550 AustinF1

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 21:04

OK.

 

https://www.fia.com/...on/category/110

 

Please show me in the regulations where the different classes of Formula 1 are defined.

Of course there's no way to show you that, and you know that's not what I or anyone else is saying here. Lewis just has only had to beat his teammate, just as Alonso et al had to beat the other car ... but Alonso gets raked over the coals for it and Lewis is hailed as a GOAT for it.