Alpine’s Fernando Alonso has highlighted issues that he sees with the new Formula 1 cars ahead of the 2022 season, but is pleased with the sustainability push with regards to the new fuel blend.
The technical regulations underwent massive change ahead of this year, with the cars losing significant downforce as a result of the return of ground effect in a bid to aid overtaking.
The tyres have also increased in size to 18 inches to increase the longevity of on-track battles.
The physics of the cars is distinct to what we saw last season, and the lethargic nature of the car through the slow corners is something that the Spaniard is not keen on.
“You have the feeling of going faster because the duct under the floor generates more downforce at 300kph,” he told Forbes Spain.
“But in slow corners it still takes a lot of effort. The cars are lower than the previous ones with very hard suspension. None of us like them.”
The 40-year-old maintains that all drivers want to go faster, contrary to the increase in lap time seen with the new cars.
“If we were doing 1 minute 17 on a track in 2021, now we are starting from 1 minute 22. And if you ask each driver, he will tell you honestly that he wants to do 1 minute 10,” he explained.
“They are heavier cars with less horsepower as well for the greener gasoline.”
The new fuel blend features 90 percent fossil fuels and 10 percent ethanol, in a formula that had been named “E-10.”
This comes as part of F1’s ultimate goal to become carbon neutral by 2030, and the Alpine driver has praised the initiative.
“It is the right path. F1 is moving more and more towards these areas of technology and respect for the environment,” he said.
“In theory the cars will also be more equal because there are basically common parts such as the front and rear wings. There is not too much freedom to develop there and it is good for the sport to be more balanced.”
Multiple drivers have testified that visibility is being adversely affected by the bigger front tyres, and Alonso also remarks that they give less grip than the previous ones.
“You lose grip much more quickly than before. I liked the ones from 2005 more, but they no longer exist so I’m happy with what we’ve got,” he stated.
Alonso’s teammate Esteban Ocon previously mentioned that Alpine’s “overall package is not strong enough,” and that work was needed over the winter if the Enstone team are to break into the top three conversation, but the double world champion fears that they have not done enough.
“We have made progress but the truth is that other teams have made more progress than us,” he conceded.
“We will start slowly and see, but after Barcelona I think there are some of our rivals who have worked in a smarter way than we did.”
Ocon is on track on day two of pre-season testing in Bahrain after a struggling, stuttering day on Thursday in which Alonso managed 24 laps and set the twelfth fastest lap.