Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso says the outcome of the Formula One Strategy Group’s meeting last week proved that the sport has been heading in the wrong direction or the last “four or five years”.
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The strategy group plans to combat the sport’s declining live attendance and TV viewing figures by shaking up the regulations from the 2017 season onwards by increasing the speed of cars and re-introducing refuelling.
Alonso says that if the proposed rule changes are implemented, it will prove the sport has been heading in the wrong direction.
“If they happen, we will get rules like seven or eight years ago,” Alonso is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
“For the last four or five years we’ve been going in the wrong direction.”
The McLaren says it had been almost ten years since he felt physically on the limit in an F1 car, with the last time being when he was in his world championship winning Renault’s of 2005 and 2006.
“They were eight seconds quicker,” Alonso said.
“The engineers did some calculations. The winner of Malaysia this year would have been lapped six times by the winner of Malaysia in 2006.
“So when you are eight seconds a lap quicker, that is very demanding physically and mentally and everything was pushed to the limit.”
Alonso added that a move away from a control-tyre formula would benefit the sport, saying the competition between Bridgestone and Michelin in the mid-2000’s made the sport more exciting for fans.
“Tyre competition would help F1 just because everyone will push to the limits,” he said.
“I experienced tyre competition for some years with Michelin and Bridgestone and then the single tyre with Bridgestone, so that change was quite big from 2006 to ’07.
“The tyres were amazing in 2006 from both companies because they pushed each other to the limits and we had super-fast tyres that were also able to do the whole race distance in 2005.
“And then in 2007 the tyres were a completely different thing. At that time Bridgestone made a step backwards and relaxed a little bit.”