Alonso claimed a British bias in F1 favouring teams and drivers hailing from the UK.
Fernando Alonso has claimed a bias in F1 which is skewed in favour of Lewis Hamilton because the roots and main stakeholders in the sport have British origins. Most teams are based in the UK or have a major outpost in the British Isles, and the same goes for many of the commentators and media which according to Alonso mobilises support for teams of British origin and their drivers. Alonso famously became a villain at McLaren when he was paired up with Lewis Hamilton who at the time in 2007 was a rookie.
Alonso cited his experience in the McLaren team with what’s happening in Verstappen’s fight against Hamilton in the wake of their controversial crash at the British GP which landed the Dutchman in the hospital. Red Bull and Max Verstappen have been scathing in their remarks about the UK based Mercedes team and their star driver Lewis Hamilton who over the course of the last decade has become statistically the most successful driver in the history of the sport.
Verstappen and Hamilton are in the middle of a titanic battle for the world title
When Alonso clashed with Hamilton and even threatened the team about exposing its knowledge of Ferrari’s development plan and in doing so he was labelled a traitor. Eventually, McLaren’s possession of the confidential Ferrari information was exposed and McLaren was disqualified from the 2007 world constructors championship.
The situation led the then 2-time world champion to leave the team and return to Renault in 2008. Since 2014, Hamilton has more or less dominated the sport with him losing only world title to his former teammate Nico Rosberg. The challenge by Verstappen and Red Bull is the most strenuous thing Hamilton has faced in his career.
A lot of this intrigue was triggered by Verstappen’s outburst at the Hungarian GP press conference at F1 presentation Tom Clarkson. “I didn’t see the press conference. But I feel probably what they are experiencing now. Especially Max, because he’s the younger guy fighting with a legend, with a champion. He’s not British, so it will be always more difficult for him,” said the 40-year-old 2-time world champion.
Alonso went further to clarify these comments.
“I have the impression always that when things become a little bit spicy or tense in the title fight… this sport is a British environment. All the teams, they are British. Most of you guys, journalists or the media attention, and TV crews, every one comes from the UK. Understandably, there is a little bit of preference of your guy in your country who can be competitive and keeps winning,” he said drawing parallels between his situation against Hamilton in 2007.
“Always what I felt when I was racing, it seemed like I was the bad guy in Formula 1 when I was trying to fight against normally British guys. When I saw the Silverstone thing, when I see what Verstappen gets with some questions etc, I understand his position for sure,” added the Spaniard who thwarted Hamilton is a brilliant drive for P5 in the last race.
Most F1 teams are based in the UK, including ones that aren’t owned by British companies. For instance, Mercedes, Red Bull, Haas, and Alpine all based out of the UK.