MARCH 10, 2022
No driver likes 2022 F1 cars says Alonso
Fernando Alonso has blown the lid off Formula 1's exciting new era by insisting that "none" of the drivers on the 2022 grid "like" the all-new cars.
The sport's authorities are excited about the close-competition and overtaking opportunities offered by the radical switch to 'ground effect' aerodynamics.
But the weight limit has gone up again, and the way the ground effect works results in a feeling in the slow corners that Sebastian Vettel recently likened to driving a "truck".
"You have the feeling of going faster because the duct under the floor generates more downforce at 300kph," two-time champion Alonso, 40, told Forbes Espana.
"But in slow corners it still takes a lot of effort. The cars are lower than the previous ones with very hard suspension. None of us like them," the Spaniard insisted.
"If we were doing 1 minute 17 on a track in 2021, now we are starting from 1 minute 22. And if you ask each driver, he will tell you honestly that he wants to do 1 minute 10.
"They are heavier cars with less horsepower as well for the greener gasoline," Alonso added.
However, the Alpine driver agrees that Formula 1 had to take a sharp turn down the greener and more sustainable road.
"It is the right path," Alonso admits. "F1 is moving more and more towards these areas of technology and respect for the environment.
"In theory the cars will also be more equal because there are basically common parts such as the front and rear wings. There is not too much freedom to develop there and it is good for the sport to be more balanced."
However, he is not a fan of the new 18-inch Pirelli tyres for 2022.
"You lose grip much more quickly than before," said Alonso. "I liked the ones from 2005 more, but they no longer exist so I'm happy with what we've got."
On a personal level, Alonso says he is back to "100 percent" after having surgery to remove the remnants in his jaw of his early 2021 cycling crash.
As for his 2022 Alpine car, though, the message is not so optimistic.
"We have made progress but the truth is that other teams have made more progress than us," the Spaniard admits.
"We will start slowly and see, but after Barcelona I think there are some of our rivals who have worked in a smarter way than we did."