Fernando Alonso has insisted that “99% of the people” watching Formula 1 “cannot understand” the true meaning behind a radio message, with some of the Spaniard’s recent mid-race conversations having been questioned.
At the Japanese Grand Prix recently, Alonso made his first pit-stop much sooner than everybody else, something which put him at a disadvantage a few laps later in the race.
When those around him made their first pit-stop, Alonso’s new tyres were already several laps old, with him being heard telling his team on the radio that they’d “thrown him to the lions”.
This particular radio message received some backlash from the media, as many saw it as a potential indicator that the two-time World Champion is becoming frustrated with the outfit falling backwards.
With the exception of his podium at the Dutch Grand Prix, Aston Martin have struggled since the summer break, mostly because they’ve been out-developed by the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and, most importantly, McLaren.
McLaren have closed to within 11 points of Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Championship, meaning a fight for P4 is definitely on with five races remaining.
Given that Aston Martin were second earlier in the season, it shows their downward spiral.
Because of this, Alonso’s radio message in Japan was viewed negatively; however, he’s insisted that this isn’t actually the case.
Not all of Alonso’s and the Silverstone-based team’s radio conversations during the Japanese GP were heard on the world feed, with the Spaniard having insisted after the race that his ‘lion’ remark had been taken out of context.
Alonso recently explained how it’s difficult for those watching F1 to truly understand the meaning behind a radio message, as conversations prior to a session aren’t heard by the world.
The Aston Martin driver revealed that he’d spoken to the team about not pitting to early in Japan moments before the race whilst sitting on the grid, with his early-race comment having been in reference to that.
As nobody other than Alonso and the team were aware of the talks ahead of the race, this made the Spaniard’s radio message sound angry, something which wasn’t the case according to the veteran.
“Obviously in Suzuka it was difficult to get the point of the media,” said Alonso recently in Qatar, as reported by RaceFans.net.
“Even I think last Monday, Motorsport.com still put in the radio – so it was one week after Suzuka – saying that I was in traffic after my stop. Which was a little bit surprising because I don’t know what negativity it is on that, discussing with the team.
“Obviously you have no information about how the weekend goes, all the meetings that we have on Sunday morning.
“Even on the grid, the conversation on the grid on Sunday in Suzuka we were talking ‘don’t stop too early’ because then with our lack of speed on the straights, we will be in traffic and we will get stuck.
“So when the radio comes out, obviously the level of maturity and complexity on the comments [means] 99% of the people cannot understand.”