Fernando Alonso has been a staunch critic of Formula One in recent seasons and has now claimed that fans would find the 80’s era of Formula One boring.
The Spanish World Champion said,
“Formula 1 at that time, it was very boring.
If you see a race now from ’85, ’88 or ’92, you will sleep through the race because it was two McLarens, the fourth guy was lapped and there was 25 seconds between each car.
There were 10 cars DNF because the reliability was so-so.
Television figures, spectators are going down [now], like it was in these boring years in the ’80s where Senna, Prost and these people were saving fuel, saving tyres and things like that, so it’s exactly the same boring as it was at that time.”
– Fernando Alonso
Alonso also claimed that the 2000’s era in which he won two titles was the most engaging and exciting. The sport is set to regress to this era in terms of overall speed next season. But tyre durability and fuel economy remain as unknown quantities for next season.
“A lot of manufacturers came into Formula 1 in the 2000s – BMW, Toyota, and there were many people coming. Television figures and the spectators were at the maximum.
We opened Formula 1 to new countries – we raced in Korea, we raced in India, we raced in Singapore, two races in Spain – and that was the maximum.”
– Fernando Alonso
Alonso does have a good point regarding the manufacturers attraction and the calendar expansion to Korea and India, which were both quite unique layouts. India definitely needs a Grand Prix and Formula One needs the Indian audience.
I can’t bear to dismiss the 80’s era as boring though. The gaps were quite large, but the driver’s have been rightly immortalised and the cars themselves were monsters. Also, Murray Walker was a commentator second to none, bringing the races to life. There is a nostalgia factor, which is why all previous era’s are looked upon with yearning. It was also a time when Bernie Ecclestone was managing the sport very well.
Look at the sport today and there is a sense that 2017 will be a make-or-break year. 2016 was entertaining enough on-track at points, but the management of the sport beyond the grid in terms of race stewarding was appalling. We were also exposed to the decade-long money-drain that was CVC, the trickle-down culture surely infecting corporate aspects of the big teams and beyond. Maybe Liberty Media will be an unfortunately rare body in which the owners are actually passionate about the sport.
2017 will hopefully see a sport that regards the fans and better protects the teams under Liberty Media’s stewardship. Looking after the circuits wouldn’t be a bad idea either.