Whatever we think of Fernando Alonso, his response to the recent disbarment by the FIA to race in the Bahrain GP was laudable. He apparently performed a ‘drop and roll’ in front of Derek Warwick – followed by 50 press ups in 30 seconds – in an attempt to impress the stewards he was fine to drive.
A 5 day old scan revealing cracked ribs meant the Spanish matador was refused the opportunity to ply his trade and tame the Toro that is the McLaren-Honda.
This decision embodies the fundamental flaws with modern Formula One. Growing up and subsequently being involved in F1, the drivers to me were heroes. I remember a number of them fighting the introduction of seatbelts – why? Because they believed it was better to be thrown tens of metres from a crashed car than be trapped inside a potential burning wreck. Pass me a pack of Marlborough red please.
But I digress.
Of course the 21st century PC world in which we live does not allow us to send our sportsmen and women to the field of battle with more than a 0.000012567% chance of death – and maybe this is more civilized than the world of sport many of us grew up with. BUT – there comes a time when enough is enough.
As TJ13 predicted following the FIA’s medical officers pronouncement on Alonso prior to the Bahrain weekend, it could be the Spanish world champion is again barred from climbing aboard the bucking bronco of the McLaren-Honda for te upcoming Chinese GP.
The double world champion admitted yesterday, “While I hope I’ll be back in the cockpit on Friday, until I get the all-clear from the doctors to race – whenever that may be – we cannot assume anything, but I’m continuing to prepare for the race weekend as normal.”
Eric, the believable, Boullier is also uncertain as to whether Alonso will be permitted to drive this weekend. “Fernando has been recuperating at home and training as usual, and we, like him, hope to see him back in the car.” Yet the Frenchman is philosophical about the possible latest ruling of the FIA’s medical officer. “We’ll accept the outcome [of his examination] – whatever that may be – and plan accordingly.”
With closed cockpits and halo protection on the horizon, Formula One is about to enter a new era of uber safety, which for many is an obsessive and unnecessary path to take.
And all this whilst the F1 FIA safety delegate believes its appropriate to race in the eye of a tropical storm AND then fails to deploy the safety car when marshals are working just 40 feet from the race track in monsoon like conditions – appears somewhat ‘au contraire’.
Fernando is not some punch drink boxer who doesn’t know when to quit – he cracked a couple of ribs in Australia four weeks ago – and it should be HE and McLaren-Honda who decide whether he is fit to race at the Chinese GP – and not the muddled minded FIA dodderers who appear to be trying super hard to make up for their blunders during the 2014 Japanese GP.
So much for Christian Horner’s campaign to ‘make the drivers heroes’ once again.