The main protagonist of the Alpine presentation was obviously the new one A522. The car was unveiled by the French team with great pride and also a double color: pink for the first two races of the season, blue for the remaining 21. However, many of the headlights were also aimed at Fernando Alonso. The star of the team, now an ‘absolute’ veteran of the Circus after the retirement of Kimi Raikkonen, is back in Formula 1 precisely in order to be the protagonist of the new regulation cycle. At least in terms of expectations, this new technical regulation should in fact bring performance closer to the single-seaters and encourage battles on the track. All this, together with the introduction of the budget cap, to increase the chances of success even for the teams in the middle of the group.
In recent days, however, the attention of the whole F1 world has focused above all on the decisions taken by the Federation regarding the controversial events that occurred in Abu Dhabi last 12 December. Michael Masi, protagonist of some discussed evaluations at the last GP of the season, during the now infamous Safety Car regime, was in fact removed from his position as Race Director. In his place, the FIA has decided to establish a sort of diarchy, with Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas who will alternate in the role of referee during the various races of the season. Alonso for his part had never been particularly tender with Masi. The Australian had been challenged on several occasions by the two-time world champion for an alleged slack of decision-making consistency.
Interviewed on the sidelines of the presentation of the Alpine, the former Ferrari driver tried to analyze in detail the reasons that led to this replacement. “The new president wanted to make sure everything was okay – explained Alonso, as reported by the site The Race – I personally like Mohammed [Ben Sulayem]. I like the approach he takes. So if he thought we needed some new ideas, that’s for everyone’s good. I’m happy with this “. In the specific case of the race that decided the duel between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, however, Alonso is not so critical with the now former race director. “Perhaps I have a different opinion on the whole Abu Dhabi issue – He admitted – I don’t think there was anything wrong with that. I don’t think they replaced it because of Abu Dhabi. At least, I hope not“.
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