Spanish driver Fernando Alonso is very worried about the current state of Formula 1: he thinks it is boring, as well as showing poor quality racing, and he is not even fighting for the championship.
"It's the worst Formula 1 we have in many years, in history, because of the politics and all the fights," Alonso complained Thursday in an interview with the German Press Agency DPA and two other media in Silverstone ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix.
Alonso - Formula 1 world champion in 2005 and 2006 - is relaxed but clearly annoyed as he speaks of the current situation within motorsport's highest category, ahead of a crucial day Friday: the battle between the International Motorsport Federation (FIA) and the top teams threatens to produce a schism.
Alonso is on the teams' side.
"The teams are doing the maximum to get a solution, to reduce costs. They want to race in the best category of the world, with the best technology and the best teams. One thousand people for each team, so we're talking about 8,000 employees among the eight teams. They have to save those people as well," he said.
Alonso's comments were aimed at the drastic budget cap of 60 million dollars that the FIA introduced against the teams' wishes. The teams would rather have more gradual, consensual restrictions.
"FIA cannot do the rules as they want, everyday changing. We need consistency, we have to reduce the costs but step by step and not forgetting that this is Formula 1, the highest technology. You cannot destroy 60 years of history."
Alonso does not think that the new teams that are set to join Formula 1 in 2010, as costs are reduced, can replace traditional teams like Ferrari, Renault or McLaren.
"This is not Formula 1, it's another category," he said.
"It's time for FIA to step back. FOTA (the teams' association) is doing the maximum. Drivers are with FOTA. They pay us, they support us and we'll support them, because Formula 1, without these companies, it's not Formula 1."
The Spaniard said he is willing to compete in a series parallel to Formula 1, or even to cross over to Indy Racing in the United States or to Europe's Le Mans Series, should his current category fall prey to the infighting.
Alonso criticised all innovations adopted for the 2009 season and described the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) as "the big mistake of the year."
All those changes, and Renault's unsuitable response, have left him far from the fight for the championship, 50 points below leader Jenson Button after just seven races.
"The drivers will drive with the best teams of the world," he noted.
"We want the best show, the best Formula 1 possible, and with all this politics they're damaging the sport. We want to see racing, the teams and the drivers fighting," Alonso stressed.
On the tarmac, however, away from team offices, things are also not proving conducive to the best show. Alonso describes this season as "the most boring championship in terms of points" in many years, in the face of Button's huge lead, which reminds the Spaniard of Michael Schumacher's in 2004.
Alonso thinks the FIA will realise sooner or later that there is no show without star drivers.
"If the teams are not racing next year, there won't be more Formula 1, no companies, no manufacturers, no star drivers, so Formula 1 will become GP3, GP4," he noted. "I won't drive."
Alonso considered things from the point of view of the sport's large television audience.
"People at home don't understand why Ferrari is not winning, why Renault is not winning. They don't care about diffusors, about KERS, they care only about show," he said. "This is not our dream of Formula 1."