Fernando Alonso reflected on the changing relationship between F1 drivers across his career, and implied friendships now are more visible but could be more disingenuous than when he made his debut.
All 20 drivers joined together for dinner celebrating Sebastian Vettel ahead of his retirement, but Alonso will still be on the grid in 2023 after making his F1 debut all the way back in 2001.
“It was like more respect before, now it’s actually more friendly in a different way,” Alonso told the reporters.
“I don’t say fake but it’s just all young, all friendly but before it was different, but I like it more now. It was different, it was Jos Verstappen and now it’s Max, it’s just different.
“Before it was like very strong characters in Formula 1, it was DC [David Coulthard], it was Mika [Hakkinen], it was Michael [Schumacher], he was very established. It was less of this younger generation or social media or whatever.
“Everyone is taking pictures, that’s the only thing you need to be careful of because you cannot have a bad moment or it will be all around the world, someone will be filming.”
Alonso looking out for Vettel
Vettel had a great qualifying as he reached Q3 and will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ninth.
Alonso was the last driver eliminated in Q2 but will line up in tenth as Daniel Ricciardo serves a three-place penalty following his crash with Kevin Magnussen at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Vettel endured tough treatment from the Red Bull drivers as he felt he was blocked in Q1 and Q2, but Alonso said the rest of the grid were hoping he’d have a dream last weekend.
“I think we all, it’s not that we tried to help him but we all tried to have an eye on him,” Alonso added.
“When we see him in the mirror or when he’s coming on the fast lap or whatever, because we want a smooth weekend for him.”