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F1 Driver Development Challenges Alonso Verstappen Advocates for F1's Future Talent

Alonso and Verstappen: Advocates for F1’s Future Talent

16/03/2024

Fernando Alonso highlights the challenging journey to Formula 1 for new drivers, citing limited testing and a packed race calendar.

Fernando Alonso acknowledges that the path to Formula 1 has grown tougher for aspiring drivers. The Aston Martin F1 racer notes the limited testing, as teams are already stretched thin with 24 races in the season.

“Formula 1 is a tough sport. No one hands you anything,” Alonso reminds us. “There’s not much time. Seeing more testing would be beneficial, and there are a few top teams capable of running an old car to set up a program for F2 drivers.”

Mercedes is planning a program for Andrea Kimi Antonelli, but Alonso points out that this is unusual: “I read that Antonelli would have a program this season. So, you know, some big teams can afford this, but still, there’s no adequate preparation and testing.”

“With so many races and teams already under immense stress with the budget cap and all the personnel traveling the world for these 24 races, I think it’s quite impossible to establish a test team like in the past to properly prepare a young driver.”

“And we don’t even have winter testing, as I mentioned last week. So, even if you put a rookie in your car, they’ll only have a day and a half before starting a world championship.”

According to the Spanish driver, this is a very problematic situation: “It likely deters some team principals from really promoting a young driver. So yes, there are many issues in this sport. And we sometimes raise our voice. But I hope someone will listen.”

Max Verstappen advocates for “more teams”

Max Verstappen believes more teams are needed to allow more young drivers into F1: “I think, of course, lately, there’s been a definite interest from new teams trying to enter the market, which is very positive.”

“But you also have to look at the bigger picture. A few years ago, teams were not profitable, and now, everyone is growing, the sport is becoming more popular, so naturally interest increases.”

“For my part, I would always support more teams to provide more opportunities for people because there are many great drivers who have had very limited chances or never had the chance to make it to F1 and thus might have an opportunity. But yes, you need to be very well prepared.”

“And for now, I’m not involved in those meetings where plans are proposed and where they show you how serious everything is. But personally, I would welcome more teams, but it’s about looking at the details to see how serious things are.”

F1 Driver Development Challenges. F1 Driver Development Challenges

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