Tag Archive | Grand Prix

Alonso answers fan tweets

Fernando Alonso enjoys interacting with his fans (Ferrari)

Fernando Alonso enjoys interacting with his fans (Ferrari)

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has a close relationship with his supporters around the world, which is visible at the races where he interacts with the crowds when possible, and also online, where he manages his own Facebook and Twitter account.

Alonso recently took questions from his Twitter followers. He answered as follows:

@isadoracl: What is your best childhood memory?
FA: My best memories are from my school days. When I played football during break time with my friends, birthday parties, where my friends and family would come together, Christmas…

@elcosmopolitasa: What is happiness for you Alonso?
FA: For me, happiness is to be able to enjoy my family. What I need to be happy is for all of them to be healthy and for me to enjoy what I do every day. Races can give you satisfaction as a result of a job well done or disappointment if the contrary occurs. But I really find happiness outside of my job.

@Ruben_173: What is most important in your life, your family or work?
FA: On a scale of 100%, my family takes up 99% and work 1%. I give work all my dedication and I always try to perform to my best, but my family is always on top; it’s always my absolute priority.

@08181: In what country do you pay your taxes?
FA: I love this question! It always comes up! I pay taxes in the country I live in, like everyone else. I’ve been travelling around the world for many years, working since I was small; always keeping out a watchful eye and here I am, with a perfect record. Thanks for the question!!

@Ruben08mzn: Do you know, more or less, when your museum-circuit will be ready in Asturias?
FA: It’s something that doesn’t only depend on me or my collaborators. What we had to do, as I explained in other interviews, we’ve already done. Our work is already done. But we will be in Asturias soon. We thought this through a lot because we want to share with all of you that part of my sporting career which many may never have the opportunity of knowing. After a lot of work, the Foundation (Fundación Fernando Alonso) has reached an agreement with the Canal de Isabel II and, towards the end of this year, we will inaugurate an exposition in Madrid where many of the cars I’ve driven will be on display: my first kart, my F1 cars from 1999 to 2011…Besides my trophies, some of my helmets, boots and gloves will also be on display. Even my first overall which was sewn by my mother for my first competition when I was three! There will also be road safety activities for kids. I hope you like it. At the end of the day, without your support, none of these victories would have tasted as good. What better way to thank you than by sharing it with you!

@f1nal_lap: A life without doing sport is?
FA: Sport, generally, is synonymous of health, well-being and for me it represents the best way of “speaking” to yourself. Sport improves the quality of your life; it cleans your mind and body. I consider it highly recommendable.

@paulagcantalejo: How many hours of sport do you do every week?
FA: On Grand Prix weeks I tend to do 5 hours, besides practice sessions, qualifying and the GP of course. When I spend a week at home, I complete between 15 and 20 hours of sport.

@Mooolina: On a relaxing day off have you ever swapped going out for a run for a couple of hours on the Playstation?
FA: Of course! Whenever I can! The days are very long and I’ve normally got time for a bit of everything. I usually spend my mornings doing sport and in the afternoons leisurely activities…which of course includes Playstation!

@Lili_Tim: Do you watch NBA? And which club do you support?
FA: Yes, I like basketball a lot in general, as a fan and as a player. Every now and then I like to take part in games. And I love the NBA, I’ve spent a lot of nights awake watching games. My favourite team? The Los Angeles Lakers.

@appotumus: Do you watch American sports, if so, which is your favourite?
FA: Yes, I love the NBA. I think it’s a really entertaining spectacle. As I’ve already said, basketball is one of my favourite sports.

@MARIOTETEGUAPO: Who is your current favourite player? And retired legend? #NBA
FA: Well that’s quite a tough question…Probably Kobe Bryant. Our great Pau Gasol also deserves a special mention. What he’s done and what I’m sure he’s still going to achieve deserves a lot of credit. And out of the legends, Michael Jordan. That number 23 for the Bulls made me dream as a kid!

@GomezCampillo14: What do you feel when swapping a team that gave you a Megane for one that gives you a Ferrari? Haha
FA: Well…they didn’t give me Renault cars and they don’t give me Ferraris now! It is true that now and again, for a couple of weeks, they give you a car that the brand has just released to promote it but until now, every car I’ve wanted to have in my garage I’ve had to pay for.

@MAguerri55: What road car which you have driven has impressed you most?
FA: The road car which has impressed me most is the LaFerrari. It’s a spectacular car; I honestly think a long time will have to go by until we see a car on the market with similar qualities.

@guille31794: Have you tested LaFerrari yet? What’s it like driving that machine? Is it a thoroughbred at the level of the F50 or F40?
FA: Yes, I was able to take part in the development of the car and give some directions which were finally adopted. Besides, amongst the team of designers is one of my best friends, so I’ve followed the project from day one.

@william_penna: If you had to choose one of the countries that you’ve got to know through F1 to live in, bar Spain, which would you pick?
FA: To visit, I really like Japan. To live, if I couldn’t live in Spain, I’d live in Italy. It’s the most similar to Spain.

@jupsanchez: Where would you spend your holidays in Spain other than Asturias?
FA: Asturias is always top of the list, without a doubt! 😉 I also think the Canary Islands are an ideal destination.

@Uckeritta: What languages do you speak?
FA: I speak Spanish, Italian, English and French. And I’m improving my Russian!

@elisacallen: A question I’ve asked you since you started in this…what is your favourite music, film and series?
FA: Here it goes:
-Series: Lost
-Film: Hannibal
-Music: Pop, Spanish music in general.

@Mr_Waits: How big is your neck?
FA: Hehehe…You’re not the first person to ask! It is 41 cm in diameter.

@_sergiolis_: Where do you find those sized caps?
FA: In any shop! I’ve always found all the commotion created with this really funny! You have to see the funny side 😉 My helmet and cap size is M, and is usually smaller than that of my teammates. I’ve always found all this confusion funny.

@ReginaF1addict: I’ve always been curious as to what size clothes you wear
FA: I’ve got size 42 shoes (8 in the UK). As for shirts, jumpers, etc, I wear an M.

@alvarodma: What is your favourite pizza? Where have you eaten what you would consider the best pizza in the world?
FA: Hmmmm…Maybe a “simple” one, with not too many ingredients, like a Margherita, or just with ham. I think I recall eating the best pizza in the world at a restaurant we usually go to in Monza. Spectacular! 😉

@therealrenz: Don’t you get tired of sleeping at hotels all the time?
FA: Formula 1 is probably the competition that chooses the most disperse locations on the planet to celebrate its events. Airplanes, hotels, waiting rooms, transfers…It’s probably the most tiring and worst aspect of F1. But we’re already quite used to it and we take it well.

@AlvGar89: Do you stay at the same hotels every year at each circuit?
FA: Normally, yes. It’s been twelve seasons now going to the same hotels, and at many Grands Prix, going to the same rooms…

@ASapena: Do you always manage your social networks??… Thanks for being close to your fans!!
FA: Thanks to you guys for your support!! Yes, of course I manage them. Always! I’ve already said it on numerous occasions. In my opinion, it would be very daft to spend time taking photos, explaining my sport sessions or mentioning my feelings towards different things that happen to me and then have to send it to another person for them to post it! Another thing is that on occasions I may ask someone from my entourage to take a photo of me in moments where, obviously, I can’t take them (in the car ready to leave the garage, running, on my bike…). My intention when I opened my Twitter and Facebook accounts and my website was to bring you guys closer to me, for you to always know the truth of my whereabouts or what I’m doing and to receive your comments. I think you guys have a lot to say and you always contribute. How then could I let someone else write for me! It would make no sense.

@Alessandra_fed: How would you describe your adventure on Twitter in three adjectives?
FA: I think three adjectives aren’t enough. I hope to answer your question by saying that I think it’s the perfect channel for me to communicate with my fans directly, with no middle men, as I’ve already said on other occasions. It also gives me the chance to “listen” to all of you, something that is really important.

@Grzechu_s: Fernando what do you think about future of Robert Kubica?
Best regards from Poland
FA: Thanks Grzechu. I hope that Robert’s future will be simply fantastic. After the serious accident he suffered, he’s a driver that, because of his strength and personality, is missed dearly. Hopefully we will see Robert back in F1 very soon! He deserves it; he’s an example of fighting and overcoming obstacles.

@IsaacIssy: Are you currently a better friend of Lewis than when he was your teammate or have you always had the same relationship?
FA: Mine and Lewis’ relationship has always been similar: one of respect and cordiality.

@Paula_fanAlo: Are you still in touch with drivers that you coincided with in other categories?
FA: Generally, yes. More with some than others, which is normal. But I keep in touch with all of them, especially those who have been my teammates.

@David_Y_95: Are there any decisions you made in your career that you now regret?
FA: The truth is no. Luckily, every decision I’ve made has turned out to be the right one in time. Some before others, but I don’t feel I’ve made mistakes.

@lukebarry97: How would you like to be remembered when the day comes that you retire?
FA: That’s something that each person will decide for themselves. And, like with everyone, each person will remember you in a different way…;)

It’s time for women to race in F1

2012 Chinese Grand Prix - Sunday

Williams development driver Susie Wolff has a real chance of racing in Formula One (Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic)

The question of whether or not women can or should race modern Formula One cars has been hanging over the sport for some time. Only a handful of women have even tested in F1 over the last few decades, and the last time a woman attempted to qualify for a Grand Prix was way back in 1992. Women are competing, or have competed recently, in almost all other major racing series, of which Indycar, NASCAR and DTM are the most high profile. Why not F1?

Those against the idea of having women in F1 have spoken about the physical challenges – strength, reflexes, endurance – and the mental challenges – thinking clearly under stress while still competing aggressively against the best drivers in the world, all while controlling a beast of a racing car.

Sir Stirling Moss, who is regarded as one of the greats in Formula One history, recently told BBC Radio 5 live: “I think they have the strength, but I don’t know if they’ve got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel.

“We’ve got some very strong and robust ladies, but, when your life is at risk, I think the strain of that in a competitive situation will tell when you’re trying to win.

“The mental stress I think would be pretty difficult for a lady to deal with in a practical fashion. I just don’t think they have aptitude to win a Formula 1 race.”

Unfortunately, Moss’s words will be taken seriously in some quarters due to his standing in the sport. But he has no evidence to support his ludicrous suggestion, and nor does anyone else. The idea that mental stress makes it impossible for a woman to win an F1 race is nonsensical. There are female fighter pilots and astronauts – both of those occupations are far more challenging in all respects than driving Formula One cars.

The reality is that the idea that women cannot or should not race in Formula One is simply sexist rubbish. When high profile people in the sport chip in their two cents’ worth on the subject, they are invariably just spouting an opinion rather than actually looking at the issue of women in F1 objectively.

Can women race in F1? Should they? It’s time to put a woman in an F1 race and find out.

The Spectacle of Formula 1

Formula 1 is at the most enthralling I’ve ever seen it. The cars, the drivers, the tracks and the regulations all contribute to what really is a fantastic show every couple of weeks.

The cars are extremely closely matched. This might not seem obvious  to someone with little experience of watching Formula 1, but the cars of 2011 are astonishingly closely matched. The gap between the fastest and slowest cars In Abu Dhabi 2 weeks ago was about 6 seconds during qualifying. While a Formula 1 car can travel a long way in 6 seconds (about 500 metres at top speed), the gap is small compared to what it might have been 20 years ago.

The cars are also unbelievably reliable. This season has seen 24 cars finish a race, something that has never happened before in the history of F1. And that was the entire field. Not a single car failed during that race. The days of watching only 5 or 10 cars finish a race are well and truly over.

5 World Champions will line up on the grid for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Probably in the top 8, given that they drive for the 4 top teams. What a wealth of talent! And the talent doesn’t end there. With drivers like Mark Webber, Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg alongside the champions, the competition is always sure to be fierce. Vettel, Button, Hamilton, Alonso and Schumacher know all too well they must keep improving to stay at the top.

For 2012 there is the possibility that Kimi Räikkönen will join Williams, which would push the number of World Champions up to 6. If there has ever been such a field in Formula 1 history, I’m not aware of it.

The new tracks – Korea last year and India this year – have provided some fantastic racing. Next year (fingers crossed) F1 goes to a new track in Austin, Texas. Plans for races in New Jersey and Russia are also on the table. Formula One is becoming more global, and is much better for it.

At the beginning of 2011, DRS was introduced as an attempt to increase the frequency and ease of overtaking. Many were skeptical (myself included), thinking that it would make overtaking artificial and routine. However, it has turned out to be an enormous success, and has led to hundreds of overtaking moves in a sport that was previously considered to be a procession. The return of KERS and the new Pirelli tyres have also contributed to the overtaking, and made the races more interesting to follow and exciting to watch.

Formula 1 has been transformed into a thrilling spectator sport. It is entertaining, easy to follow and gripping to watch. The organisers, the teams, the drivers and everyone else involved really have done a wonderful job. All we need now is for next season to start.

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