Alonso: Less talent and preparation needed to graduate to F1

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso feels the level of talent and preparation required to graduate to Formula One is not as high as it used to be when he started competing in grand prix racing.

Having made his F1 debut with Minardi in 2001, the two-time world champion won titles racing V10- and V8-powered machines in an era where refuelling was still allowed and tyres could be pushed more.

Talking exclusively to F1i’s Chris Medland, Alonso remembers how he used to look up to his future Renault team-mates while learning the ropes in the feeder series.

“Giancarlo Fisichella and Jarno Trulli, I was racing go-karts in Italy so they were the last big champions in go-karts and then they were racing in Formula One,” the Spaniard said.

“They achieved that goal of racing those amazing cars that are out of physical limits and they are very prepared, they train every day, they fight, they sit on the podium because they are completely exhausted after the race.

“It’s something that when you are in Formula 3 or something you never imagine you would be there one day because for Formula One you need a lot of things, you need a lot of talent but you need a lot of preparation as well. Right now I don’t think you need that talent and definitely you need no preparation.”

Once again, Alonso lays the blame for this situation squarely on the latest breed of F1 cars, as the 35-year-old feels frustrated with what he describes as “driving to save everything”.

“Definitely we have to change a lot with the current regulations,” the McLaren-Honda star continued. “And also I think it helps the new generations to come to Formula One because if you do a lot of simulator, if you do a lot of PlayStation, now the cars are so slow and so delicate to drive that it’s about that kind of feeling that you can get on those tools.

“Whereas before, Formula One was just for heroes and for big men. You need to eat a lot if you want to drive a Formula One car from 2004 or 2003 at 15, 16 or 17 years old - or even 20 years old - you need to eat a lot. And now you are ready in winter testing already because the cars are half Formula One.”

INTERVIEW: Fernando Alonso: Why F1 is no longer just for heroes

TECHNICAL: Under the skin of the Ferrari SF16-H

F1i Classic: Brazil 1991 - Senna's pain and glory

FEATURE: Foul Play or Foul Language

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter