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Fernando Alonso

Alonso worried by 'impossible' F1 problem

Testing opportunities for young drivers have become a rarity in recent years due to restrictions and the implementation of the budget cap, much to Fernando Alonso’s annoyance.

Alonso Bahrain 2024
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Fernando Alonso has voiced concern over the direction of Formula 1 and the few opportunities presented to young drivers.

Currently, F1 is competing with 10 teams with many of the existing manufacturers against expanding the grid amid fears over the impact it would have on end-of-year revenue shares.

Andretti’s formal bid to join the F1 field was denied by F1 despite approval from the FIA, ensuring that the grid will not expand in the coming years.

F1 ran as many as 12 teams in the early 2010s, while testing opportunities outside race weekends were more common in previous years compared to the current era.

When asked by media including RacingNews365 if it is a shame that no new teams are joining, which may provide a chance to young drivers, Alonso replied: “Maybe yes, but Formula 1 is a tough sport. There are no gifts. There is not much time.

“It will be good to see a little bit more testing happening and there are a couple of the big teams that they can afford to run an old car and set a programme like maybe for F2 drivers.

“[Kimi] Antonelli, I read that he will do a program this season. Some big teams, they can afford that but [it’s] still not proper preparation and testing.

“This is the way the sport is at the moment and we have so many races and the teams.”

'Hopefully someone will listen'

F1 teams once had separate operations within the squad with a group, including a car, dedicated to testing throughout the race season.

However, with the sport’s budget cap in place such opportunities are unfeasible - meaning any testing for young drivers must be done in older cars.

“They [teams] are so stressed already with the budget cap and all the personnel that travel and around the world for these 24 races that I think it is quite impossible to set up a test team like in the past to really prepare a young driver,” Alonso said.

“And we don't even have winter testing, even if you put a rookie on your car, he will have one day and a half before starting a world championship.

“So that probably stops some of the team bosses to really promote a young driver

“There are many things wrong in the sport and we raise [our] voice sometimes. But hopefully someone [will] listen.”

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