Fernando Alonso’s claim that Formula 1 has become too predictable — leading to him leaving the sport next season — has been backed by the sport’s managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches.
Last week Alonso announced he will not race in F1 in 2019, the 37-year-old opting instead to seek challenges elsewhere after 17 seasons in the series. Explaining the reasoning behind his decision, Alonso said the change is driven by a lack of unpredictability in F1 rather than McLaren’s recent struggles, with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull enjoying a clear performance advantage over the rest of the field.
In announcing his decision, Alonso stated that F1’s bosses had tried to convince him to stay, and Bratches says he agrees with the double world champion’s assessment of the current competitiveness of the sport.
“There is an opportunity for Formula 1 to be less predictable and I think it’s important that we get there,” Bratches said at a Black Book Motorsport Forum. “Since 2015, only three teams have won a grand prix (Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull). So it is pretty predictable.
“So I think he’s right and we have a plan to fix it. I wish he was around for another 10 years to be part of that. He’s been such a phenomenal ambassador for the sport, such a hero and a legend.”
Despite the Spaniard criticizing F1 in its current form, Bratches says Alonso’s standing and achievements make him someone he wants to have as an ambassador in future.
“He’s been around for a long time. He’s climbed the highest peaks, and I respect his decision to move on. I hope we can engage him to be an ambassador for this great sport of ours going forward.”
Having been heavily linked with a switch to IndyCar, Alonso has yet to announce what he will do in 2019, with his ongoing participation in the WEC Super Season for Toyota his only confirmed drive so far.