Fernando Alonso: F1's British bias made me/Verstappen 'bad guys'

Fernando Alonso feels that Formula 1’s British-centric views are the cause of drivers like him and Max Verstappen being portrayed as the sport’s ‘bad guys’.

Fernando Alonso: F1's British bias made me/Verstappen 'bad guys'

In the wake of an incredibly tight title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen,  emotions from fans on both sides reached fever pitch after their British Grand Prix collision.

And, as focus on the Silverstone crash refused to die down in Hungary last weekend, Verstappen eventually lost his temper in the post-qualifying press conference when he objected to ‘ridiculous’ questions about the chances of another clash.

Alonso then prompted some intrigue when he was asked if he had any sympathy over Verstappen’s outburst for being on the receiving end of repeated probing.

“I didn't see the press conference,” he said. “But I feel probably what they are experiencing now. Especially Max, because he's the younger guy fighting with a legend, with a champion. He's not British, so it will be always more difficult for him.”

Having originally not elaborated on his comment, Alonso was later pushed to clarify exactly what he meant by his ‘not British’ remark.

And the Spaniard explained that he felt the UK domination of the sport – with seven of teams being British-based – had left the sport biased towards home nation drivers.

“I have the impression always that when things become a little bit spicy or tense in the title fight... this sport is a British environment,” he said.

“All the teams, they are British. Most of you guys, journalists or the media attention, and TV crews, every one comes from the UK.

“Understandably, there is a little bit of preference of your guy in your country who can be competitive and keeps winning.

“Always what I felt when I was racing, it seemed like I was the bad guy in Formula 1 when I was trying to fight against normally British guys.

“When I saw the Silverstone thing, when I see what Verstappen gets with some questions etc, I understand his position for sure.”

While Alonso’s two world championship successes in 2005 and 2006 came after close title fights with Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher, his most intense campaign was in 2007 when he fought for the crown during a controversial season at McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Gasly expects more F1 podium chances after Hungary miss

Previous article

Gasly expects more F1 podium chances after Hungary miss

Next article

How sim racing gave Verstappen the assurance he needed after 51G shunt

How sim racing gave Verstappen the assurance he needed after 51G shunt
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021