Thu, Dec 04, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Alonso could ponder retirement over F1 rules

AP , MADRID, SPAIN

Ceramic figurines called “caganers” of Spanish Renault F1 driver Fernando Alonso are pictured at the Santa Llucia Fair on Tuesday in Barcelona. Statuettes of well-known people defecating are a strong Christmas tradition in Catalonia.

PHOTO: AFP

Fernando Alonso might ponder retirement if FIA goes through with its plans for Formula One to have a sole engine and transmission supplier starting from 2010.

“If they approve a single engine, that would be the last straw. It would be time to start thinking about retirement,” Alonso said on Tuesday.

F1 teams haven’t been impressed by FIA’s cost-cutting solutions, with Ferrari already saying it could pull out of Formula One if the sport’s governing body goes ahead with plans to have a standardized engine to help cut lower team budgets amid the global financial crisis.

Alonso said streamlining the engines would be another “step backward,” after F1 already scrapped 3-liter V10 engines in favor of 2.4-liter V8 machines after the 2005 season.

“[The V10 engine] was exciting for pilots — auto racing at its limit,” Alonso said. “We’ve gone from a glimpse of the future to cars without electronic aids and no traction, which is a visual image of the past.”

However, Alonso was positive about next year’s regulation changes, which include having teams use slick tires and the new KERS energy recovery system, saying it would even the field and help him fight for a third F1 title with Renault.

“The advantage is that practically everybody is starting from zero,” he said at a sponsors function in the Spanish capital.

“Next year I will try to be champion. You can’t allow yourself to start the championship without thinking you’re going to win. My objective is to win the title. It’s a very clear objective,” he said.

The Spanish driver recovered from a poor start to the season to win two races in Asia and a second-place finish in Brazil.

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