Alonso: New rules proof F1 went in the wrong direction


Fernando Alonso believes that the proposed changes suggested by the Formula 1 Strategy Group in a meeting last week act as proof that the sport has been going in the wrong direction in recent years.

At a meeting in England last week, representatives from six of the leading F1 teams plus the sport’s governing body, the FIA, and the commercial rights holder, F1 Group, agreed to seismic changes to the technical regulations for the 2017 season.

In a bid to make races more exciting, the Strategy Group agreed to reintroduce refuelling and make the cars more aggressive, believing that they could lap up to six seconds per lap quicker should these changes be implemented.

Speaking about the proposed changes ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, Alonso questioned the direction that F1 is moving in given that it will be going back to its former self.

“I think if the rules comes back we will get the same rules as seven or eight years ago, which means the last four of five years we were going in the wrong direction,” the Spaniard said.

“In 2005, the cars were eight seconds quicker. In Malaysia, compare the winner this year to the winner in 2006, it could be six laps slower. When you are six or seven minutes quicker than this year’s car, that is very demanding, physically and mentally. Everything was pushed to the limit.”

The reintroduction of refuelling has been the most controversial change tabled by the Strategy Group, but Alonso is supportive of the move, believing that it would shake up the pecking order and strategies used by teams.

“[It] would open some strategy and imagination, and help you in some races if you can choose whatever fuel you will start or do the first stint on,” he said.

“It helped in the past, I managed to get some pole positions with half of the fuel of the others and then in the race you see what happens.

“If now you gave me a paper, I’d give you the grid for here, Canada and Austria. This is probably what fans are not welcoming.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor “It is great for to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”