Fernando Alonso says fans shouldn’t be surprised if there are processional Formula 1 races, despite the adoption of regulations aimed at providing scope for more overtaking opportunities.
Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, last weekend’s race in Azerbaijan has remained a talking point after a lack of overtaking following an early safety car as the two Red Bull drivers eased away from the pack. Aston Martin’s Alonso finished fourth behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
“This is Formula 1 — it has been always like this,” Alonso said. “There was seven years of (Lewis) Hamilton and (Valtteri) Bottas first and second, it has been in the past (Sebastian) Vettel and (Mark) Webber…
“If you have the fastest car and you’re going to start a little bit behind you will still maybe be making some moves and overtakes, but if you are in many other cars (that) are all within one tenth or whatever, where you qualify you’re more or less secure in that position and there’s not many overtakings after lap two or three.
“Maybe here (in Miami) we can see some rain so it may change on Sunday, but to not see many overtakes is the nature of Formula 1, so should not be a surprise.”
Alonso doesn’t believe the current regulations can be judged by the shape of the current season, saying that there could be more intriguing races ahead if Red Bull’s advantage can be closed.
“I think there were high expectations on following cars and having the grid a bit closer together, but I don’t know — I think we need to give a little bit more time,” he said. “If we didn’t have the Red Bulls that much ahead I think it’s a very interesting fight, with three or four teams (within) one or two tenths.
“We’re saying the new rules are a success, so maybe this is the story in a few years’ time or whatever when we have some stability in the rules — maybe 2026, everything changes again.”
For their second visit to Miami, the F1 cars will run on a new track surface that Alonso believes will add a different challenge given the heat in Florida.
“I think the circuit is going to be different from last year with the new tarmac so let’s see how it goes,” he said. “It’s similar to Jeddah and Baku, so maybe not too many surprises but still these temperatures are a little bit unique — yesterday was 60C (140F) track temperature. We have to wait and see but the car should be fine — only five days since Baku, so I guess the performance will not be too different.”