Driving a Formula One car is less fun these days with the new rule changes introduced by the sport’s governing body, according to two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.
FIA have tinkered with the rules in a bid to increase competitiveness, with the most radical change adopted for the coming campaign being the sweeping overhaul of qualifying.
Alonso, however, isn’t sure the moves were necessary.
“I think in recent years, even if the sport has been criticised sometimes, the show was always there for the people to enjoy,” Alonso said on Thursday.
“But I think the main point for me right now are the cars and the rules that (mean they) are probably not as fun to drive as a couple of years ago.
“We are relatively slow in terms of timed laps and in terms of how the car feels with the tyres and with the weight of the cars. I think we’re 125kg heavier than six or seven years ago, so I think there are some changes in Formula One that mean we probably aren’t as fast as we should be.”
The sport will undergo a radical overhaul in 2017 after FIA adopt a raft of rule changes that will significantly alter the appearance and performance of the cars.
Alonso believes the changes made to qualifying sessions for this season won’t have the desired effect, with teams to work out the best strategy in a relatively straightforward manner.
He also believes new restrictions on radio communications between the pit crew and drivers – designed to give drivers greater autonomy – will have the reverse effect.
“It’s strange the direction that they are going … in the era of communication and technology Formula One try to restrict it, which is probably not the normal way to go,” he said.
“I don’t think it will give to the driver any more power to influence the race itself because of those (communication) limitations the strategy for the race will be much more strict.
“We will follow, more or less, the (team) approach to that race – how we prepared in meetings – much more than before.”
Alonso, who took out the 2005 and 2006 F1 championships in a Renault, is confident he can claim a third world title before he retires despite well-documented issues with his McLaren-Honda.
At 34 years of age, the Spaniard is fighting a battle against time and a car that allowed him to finish in the points just twice last year, as McLaren embarks on the second season of their partnership with Honda.
Alonso missed last year’s Australian Grand Prix with concussion after a steering issue with his McLaren caused a high-speed collision during testing in Barcelona.