I know I’ve been talking and writing for some time now (here, here, here and here) about how Formula 1 is biased towards Ferrari and therefore Michael Schumacher, but in recent comments it now seems as though Fernando Alonso and indeed Renault have discovered the same thing.
During the last GP, and especially now, Alonso is saying that he considers that F1 is no longer a sport, and that he considers Schumacher the most unsporting driver in F1 history, with the Renault boss Flavio Briatorie saying that the FIA helped Schumacher win his last Italian GP for Ferrari, it looks like Renault are the latest ones to openly speak out about the power Ferrari weild over Formula 1.
Actually to be fair I think that all the teams know that the FIA are biased towards Ferrari, but that they only ever speak up when they are the ones directly involved in the weighted decisions. For instance the championship rivals of Schumacher against Damon Hill, David Coulthard or Jacques Villenueve, or the technical compeition in and out of the courts between McLaren and Ferrari.
Alonso spoke out directly about it after the Monza GP, from an interview with Radio Marca through Reuters:
…That doesn’t take away from the fact that he has been the best driver and it has been an honour and pleasure to battle against him…
…We are talking about the most successful driver in history and a little bit of help has never gone amiss. Quite often they go over the line of what is acceptable and it is inexplicable…”
Were just some of the comments he made. It is good that he was positive about Schumacher and his achievements to date, but he was very clear that he no longer considers Forumla 1 a sport – welcome to reality Alonso, it’s been like this for a very long time.
I agree with him, both with his comments on the lack of sporting ethics both in the FIA and between Schumacher and other drivers. With Schumacher we’ve seen it at it’s most obvious with his running Hill off the road to clinche the championship, a few similar run ins with Coulthard, and the recent parking of his car at Monaco to ensure the pole was his.
The most obvious examples of the biased nature of the FIA have been the technical battles between Ferrari and McLaren which have even gone to the ruling courts for a decision, where Ferrari complain about McLaren’s wing differences to the FIA and ensure a penalty is imposed, and McLaren complain about the Ferrari infringements later in the season only to be turned down.
In Touring Cars I can understand the “by any means necessary” route where crashing and bashing is accepted, but in the skill and precision sport of Formula 1 it’s hardly acceptable. We want to see the racing on the track, not behind the scenes.
It was ludicrous that Alonso was hit with that penalty, and it’s not just me that’s saying that, it’s Formula 1 drivers both current and past. It will be interesting to see how many times we see that penalty applied to others in the coming races for the season, and indeed if it is.