Fernando Alonso says the external demands put on drivers to promote Formula 1 is “sometimes a little bit too much” ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
F1 is invested in this weekend’s race on the Strip as a promoter itself, leading to a huge number of events and activations surrounding the grand prix that will be held on Saturday night. Now in his 20th season as an F1 driver — punctuated by a spell racing in other categories — Alonso says while there’s an awareness of the importance of promoting the sport he doesn’t always feel the right balance is struck.
“Sometimes the parade laps or presentations and things like that, they are not always in our dream preparation before the race,” Alonso said. “So we try to balance.
“We know it’s important for the sport but I think drivers, teams, even for you guys in the media, it’s a very long season, a lot of traveling and we just go for racing. This is what we love but the outside package is sometimes a little bit too much, but we understand it.”
Lando Norris agrees, citing the acceptance of the Netflix series “Drive To Survive” as how drivers are willing to let creative license boost the sport’s popularity, but saying quite often there are aspects that he is just tolerating to be able to race.
“It’s still a show, it’s to entertain people,” Norris said. “It’s not there to provide maybe the most honest things about everything. I know, it’s for the business, right? It’s a business, Formula 1, it’s an entertainment. As much as I don’t do it for entertainment — if it didn’t get televised and all of those things wouldn’t really matter. I just want to do the driving, and that’s why I’m here.
“I’m not here to do all the interviews and enjoy all of this stuff. I love Formula 1 because I love to drive and compete against these guys and race and do all of that stuff. And even since I’ve started, the media has risen a lot more, but in the business world, it probably makes sense because there’s more money and all of those things, and that’s normally how it works. But as drivers, it’s not the thing that we enjoy too much of — but (there are) some perks of it, I guess.”