Alonso: “Hamilton and Verstappen did not build great teams, it was just a change in regulations”

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It’s no secret that we are currently living in an era where Red Bull is the team to beat, while Max Verstappen is the dominant driver on the starting grid. It is not the first time that there has been such a dominant car and driver in this sport.

In 2005 and 2006 it was Fernando Alonso and Renault who had the power in Formula 1, later we lived in a four-year hegemony (2010-2013) where Red Bull showed that they were the most dominant, it was where Sebastian Vettel managed to obtain his four drivers’ championships.

Subsequently, there was a change in regulations, where hybrid engines began to be used in single-seaters, and that was where Mercedes managed to prevail and achieved 8 consecutive constructors’ titles (2014-2021), while they achieved 7 drivers’ championships (6 for Lewis Hamilton and 1 for Nico Rosberg).

Now, Red Bull is currently the strongest team within the category. It is clear that this year they will clinch their second consecutive constructors’ championship, and their third consecutive drivers’ championship, unless something extremely rare happens.

Photo Credit: Aston Martin F1 Team

Many people say that the drivers are building a winning team. On social networks we can find thousands of comments saying that the drivers would not be able to obtain their respective championships if they did not have such a fast car. It happened when Hamilton was winning race after race, it’s happening now that Verstappen is doing it.

The two-time world champion and most experienced driver in the category, Fernando Alonso, has commented that it is not possible for a driver to build a winning team, but it is thanks to the changes in regulations that have occurred over the years, where one team interprets them better than the others, and that is where hegemonies begin.

“Lewis and Max did not build great teams, it was just a change in regulations.

“I think this is something that is always said about drivers ‘building’ teams. But when Lewis went to Mercedes [in 2013], he didn’t ‘build’ anything. It was just a change in regulations [in 2014] that built everything for him,” Alonso commented in an interview with British media “The Telegraph. “And when Max joined Toro Rosso and Red Bull, it was still Hamilton winning everything. He didn’t ‘build’ a winning Red Bull team.

“In 2021 it was very close between them, and now with the change in regulations last year, Red Bull wins every race so far this season.

“I don’t know exactly what we mean when we say you can ‘build’ teams around you because I think this is a sport where, you know, technical decisions, technical regulations, inspiration from the design office or wind tunnel or something like that normally makes more difference than your input, your feedback, your personality, or your way of driving,” the two-time world champion stated.

On the other hand, Fernando Alonso also reflected on the project that lies ahead, which is in the hands of Aston Martin. After having won his two titles a little less than 20 years ago, the Asturian driver is still in contention to obtain his third, and apparently he believes it possible that it will be with the British team. For Alonso, age is not a problem, and he comments that he is even more motivated than when he was younger.

“When you have some negativity in your career, or a negative run of results, it is like you need to force yourself to do certain job, but when you have good results it is easy.”

As we already mentioned, eras and dynasties arise after a change in regulations, and the next one will take place until the 2026 season, so Alonso maintains the idea of continuing to be in the sport until that year, it should be noted that the Asturian will be 45 years of age when the regulation changes come.

“We would need a couple of bad decisions from Red Bull to deviate a little bit from the good direction that they seem to find on the car,” Alonso confessed.

“And we need some big steps from ourselves. But we did one last winter. I have a lot of trust in this project.”

Alonso is confident in the direction in which the British team is going, and we know that it can resurface at any moment, as it did from last season to this one. Currently, Aston Martin is positioned as one of the best 3 teams on the starting grid, in addition to the fact that Alonso has managed to be on the podium in 6 of the first 8 races of the season, something surprising.