'F1 without Alonso is like Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo'

Sunday, 02 december 2018, 10:03 , by Matthew Scott

Flavio Briatore says Formula 1 in 2019 without Fernando Alonso will be comparable to Real Madrid in the Spanish football giants' post-Cristiano Ronaldo era – perhaps offering the king of motorsports a chilling warning of what lies in store, with Madrid in the midst of a miserable campaign without the superstar striker.

Alonso will embark on a first year without involvement in Formula 1 for the better part of two decades in 2019, with the Indianapolis 500 and 'Triple Crown' instead dominating his thoughts.

Two-time world champion Alonso has not won a grand prix since 2013, having seen a return to McLaren in 2015 backfire badly – the Spaniard did not secure a solitary podium in the past four seasons.

But Briatore says it is F1 that will be left counting the cost of Alonso's retirement, rather than the other way around.

He told Motorlat: "F1 without Alonso is like Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo.

"He is one of the few recognisable stars. If you see these guys from here and take off their overalls, I only recognize Lewis, Vettel, Raikkonen and that's it.

"Alonso needs a period of relaxation. He had three very frustrating years in which he behaved impeccably, the performance of the McLaren was ridiculous and he still fought for positions that did not correspond."

Speaking at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP, Alonso left the door open for a return to F1, but Briatore doubts his close friend will make a comeback unless the right team make him an offer.

"There are only two teams: Mercedes or Ferrari, there are no other choices. The other choice is to finish fourth, fifth or sixth," he said.

"I think with the talent he has, you put him in the right car and he could still be the strongest driver along with Hamilton.

"Some day the teams will realise that to win the constructors' championship you need two strong drivers in the team. We will see what happens in a few months or a year."

MORE: Alonso says sound is F1's biggest problem
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Comments (13)

  • Ricardo Gilperez
    Last three seasons were like he wasn't there either. ... He was driving a truck with GP2 engines ... he didn't cause any effect but complaints, crashes and DNF's ... He probably will do better at Indy to be at least top 5?
  • Tyler T
    If he'd have left from a top team and a recent string of wins, perhaps. Sadly I've forgotten Alonso was racing since he's usually never shown on tv or in the points. Which is a shame
  • Jose Antonio Perez
    Noooot at all, Senna departed, Schumacher quits Ferrari and new names appeared. Since many years ago Alonso is just driving among the backmakers
  • Prakash M Seervi
    No one is here till eternity everyone has to go one day or other be it life or sports theres a end to everything........
  • Malibongwe M James Ndlovu
    Naah more Real Madrid without Raul cause F1 still has Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel who are CR7 & Messi of F1
  • Scott Stevens
    And both went on just fine without their aging stars
  • Matthew Wilson
    McLaren will miss him, until Australia then move on.
  • Kenneth Petrie
    People won't notice he's gone.
  • Jody Harrison
    Hahahah what a dumb thing to say.
  • Gerco Busink
    Drivers come and go , the sport is still there
  • Zarraga Luis
    Without a doubt
  • Hector Golcher
    Man alonso was cry baby

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