Sean Bratches: Fernando Alonso right over F1 predictability
Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches says Fernando Alonso is correct to view Grand Prix results as predictable, but insists Liberty Media has a plan to address the current situation.
McLaren driver Alonso, who will leave Formula 1 at the end of the season, has regularly criticised the championship in recent years for what he regards as its predictable nature.
Only three teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – have won a race since Lotus’ victory at the season-opening event in Australia in 2013, a stretch of over 100 Grands Prix.
A growing divide has opened this season between that closely-matched trio and the remainder of the grid, with several midfield drivers referring to their own results as a ‘Class B’ win.
Only Force India, courtesy of Sergio Perez in Azerbaijan, has taken a podium finish, outside of the leading three teams.
Bratches, speaking at the Black Book Motorsport Forum in London on Tuesday, accepted that Alonso’s viewpoint is right, and says proposals are in place with the aim of alleviating the problem.
“I think there is an opportunity for Formula 1 to be less predictable and it’s important that we get there,” said Bratches.
“If you look at it, since the 2015 Grand Prix season only three teams have won a Grand Prix, only three teams, so it is pretty predictable.
“If you look at the [English] Premier League since the 2014/15 season the bottom three teams have either beaten or tied the top six [teams] 29 per cent of the time.
“If you’re, let’s say, Cardiff this year, as a Cardiff fan, unless you’re a crazy optimist, and Leicester City aside, you might not think you’re going to win the Premier League [title].
“But when you play Chelsea or [Manchester] City you know you could actually win the game and it actually happens; it doesn’t happen in Formula 1.
“I think he’s [Alonso’s] right, and we have a plan to fix it, and I wish he was around for another 10 years to be part of it.
“But he’s been such a phenomenal ambassador for the sport, a hero, a legend.”
Expanding further on Alonso’s decision to leave, Bratches said: “I was disappointed, from a business standpoint, and he’s been around for a long time and he’s climbed the highest peaks and I respect his decision to move on.
“I hope we can engage him to be an ambassador of this great sport of ours going forward.”