Formula 1

Senna/Prost era was boring and Formula One has already peaked, says Alonso

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Fernando Alonso believes that Formula One reached its peak in the 2000s, and the Ayrton Senna/Alain Prost era would be considered boring now.

Alonso, who has never been one to hold back with his opinion, thinks that the 1980s championship battles are viewed over-generously with hindsight.

“Formula One at that time, it was very boring,” he told Autosport.

“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.”

The two-time former world champion has been a renowned critic of the sport and has not held back his opinion of the modern era of Formula One.

The outspoken Spaniard holds Formula One today in the same regard as he does for the Senna/Prost years.

"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."

By contrast, he believes that that the manufacturer boom of the 2000’s as the F1’s high point.

“I think Formula One grew up a lot,” the 35-year-old said.

"Television figures and the spectators were at the maximum.

"We opened Formula One to new countries - we raced in Korea, we raced in India, we raced in Singapore, two races in Spain - and that was the maximum.

"And we didn't understand that situation, probably. The costs were very high, technology was very high, some manufacturers pulled out."

He added that his frustration with recent regulations was that the performance available from the technology could not be fully exploited.

“The resources, the budgets of these teams, the technology we are using allows these cars to be fantastic machines and probably beyond any physics that the human being respects," he said.

"Now we don't have that feeling. We have a car that is way too slow with no grip.

"So we are sitting in a single-seater but with the feeling of a GT."

Alonso made his debut back in 2001, and has enjoyed a successful career on the track. He has had 32 race wins and 97 podiums, racing for the likes of Ferrari, Renault, and McLaren.

He believes that it is common for drivers to be looked upon more favourably after they retire from the sport.

"When you stop racing you transform into an idol, when you are racing you are criticised," he claimed.

"When you stop racing you are fantastic, it happened with Felipe [Massa], with [Mark] Webber.

"The people of the '80s - they're great champions, they are idols. And now in this generation [Lewis] Hamilton, [Sebastian] Vettel, they will be idols for the kids in go-karts now."

Despite his damning assessment of the sport, Alonso is looking forward to the start of the new season.

The increased performance of the 2017 car designs - which are intended to lap four-to-five seconds faster due to improved aerodynamics – will make this season more exciting and more to his taste.

"I think this will make that excitement of driving and this joy of driving, because we'll feel the grip and we can push in the corners.”

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