Giving an insight into driving a Formula 1 car, Fernando Alonso has highlighted how his perception from the cockpit changes outside of it.
Alonso returned to Formula 1 in 2021 with Alpine following a two-season hiatus from the sport, but having first debuted in Formula 1 in 2001 he has raced through a range of different eras in the series and therefore experienced many different cars.
He is also a very well-travelled competitor outside of Formula 1, having turned his attention to endurance racing, IndyCar and even the Dakar Rally during his F1 break.
There is little though that can rival the speed of a Formula 1 car, an experience that takes drivers to the very limit of their physical capabilities.
Some drivers have that natural need for speed, for others there can be an element of fear.
Alonso does not identify himself in the latter category, but explained he has a respect for the dangers linked to the speeds F1 drivers compete at.
When he is inside the car, interestingly it all feels rather slow. But watching from outside, the magnitude of how fast they are going sinks in.
“When I’m in the car I think I’m going slowly, but when you are standing next to the car and you see what’s left of the session you think ‘they are going to kill themselves’,” said Alonso as part of the UNO plus UNO son TRES by FINETWORK program, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“I never felt fear for speed – respect, yes.”
Of course, competing on a dry track is hard enough but the challenge takes on a whole new layer when a circuit is wet.
Alonso still does not feel fear in those conditions, but admits it is not an enjoyable experience.
“There are unpleasant situations of driving, which is when it’s raining – you don’t see anything, it’s very difficult,” he said.
“You are not afraid but you are not enjoying it. The speed of 330 or 340 km/h is the same but you don’t see, and if you lift your foot, the one behind you won’t see you and will hit you – it’s trusting each other.”