Johnny Herbert: “Alonso has all the skills to beat Verstappen”

Johnny Herbert was a relatively successful pilot in the 90s, with three Grand Prix victories (two with Benetton – where he was Schumacher’s partner – and one with Stewart-Ford) to which he added a memorable triumph at Le Mans, with that Mazda rotary engine. Now, in addition to being a commentator, he is part of the Formula 1 stewards panel.

As such, it was at the center of the controversy with that discussed sanction to Fernando Alonso in Australia (already had a clash with the Asturian years ago in Bahrain) and, this weekend, he also participated in another controversial penalty on Verstappen. The Brit reviews with MARCA, courtesy of CoinPoker.comsome of the main points of the F1 news…and gives us his particular vision of the situation of the two Spanish pilots.

RV Racingpress

Question: Speaking of bets… what would be the most ambitious bet for the British GP? Norris… or Verstappen? Because it seems like things have changed… right?

Answer: The comfort that Verstappen had has become… uncomfortable. But it’s like Senna The how Schumacher: You will always be able to achieve a victory that no one thought was possible. But that is starting to change. It’s seen in friendship with Lando, which is getting thornier because Norris is starting to put pressure on him, not allowing him to dictate the race. But Max has already been through this situation with Hamilton and knows how to deal with it. Of course, Norris is getting stronger, He and McLaren are in a sweet moment, maybe not so much in classification but in the last phases of the races. The McLaren there seems faster and Lando knows it, it was shown when Norris did not leave the road in the accident with Max. I think Norris now thinks that can beat Verstappen with his own rules.

I still think that the sanction against Alonso was correct

Johnny Herbert, former F1 driver and steward

Q: You worked as a commissioner in Austria, a risky profession. How do you handle the pressure of having to judge and punish so many actions so quickly?

R: Well, it’s part of our job. But the key is maintain consistency in the decisions, as requested by the teams and drivers. We have some rules, some precedents and with that we try to be consistent in the decisions. But The incidents that happen in the race are very different each other and that’s where it gets more difficult. We are four commissioners and normally we have the same vision of things.

Q: Is it more difficult to sanction Verstappen, Hamilton, Alonso…?

R: We very much agreed that It was Max’s problem.. Us we have a lot of informationwe know when the steering wheel moves, when it brakes… Norris complained about its movements and we have all the information about that. There is always pressure, but decisions must be made, although sometimes they are uncomfortable. We cannot not sanction Norris for breaking the track limits four times because it is better for show. You can not do it. There are rules.

Herbert was an F1 commentator on Sky Sports until the 2023 season.RV Racingpress

Q: Pilots, journalists… we think there is a bit of inconsistency in the sanctions. Do you agree? Do you think a fixed panel of commissioners would be better?

R: Obviously, sometimes there are different opinions, but Among the stewards we all understand racing pretty much the same.. The problem is that almost all situations are different from each other. I think that the commissioners’ decisions are quite consistentalthough there are drivers, journalists or team managers who see it differently.

Q: You became famous in Spain following Alonso’s sanction in Australia. As time goes by, I guess he’s still convinced that it was fair… Were you surprised by his reaction?

R: I’m not surprised by any reaction from any pilot (laughs). Max also thought it was a tough decision, he didn’t agree. Pilots have always been like this, also when I was running and even before. With Fernando, all the data and statements, including his, told us that his maneuver was not correct and we made that decision. Me too I keep thinking about it. There are people who did not share it… but also others who did.

Alonso would deserve to have one or two more World Cups

Johnny Herbert, former F1 driver and steward

Q: They also had their ups and downs in Baherin but… is their relationship good?

R: We are ok. There may be disagreements, of course, but there is always respect. Fernando is one of the best drivers I have seen, I respect him a lot. Sometimes you have to make difficult decisions and I think the pilots know it. There are times when you may not want to impose a penalty, but you have to because they are the rules. There can be no favoritism.

RV Racingpress

Q: Do you think you will have a real chance of competing for a new title in 2026 with Aston Martin Honda?

R: I don’t know… and no one knows. You have to give him the tool, the car. Until they give it to him, it will be very difficult for him to get it. In Austria they had a very poor performance. Last year they started well but have not evolved correctly. I know that They are betting very hard on bringing Adrian Newey but maybe it won’t come to fruition. Alonso He has all the skills to beat Max and Lando. He deserves another world cup, should have one or two more championships. He is driving fantastically well in a car that, unfortunately, does not allow Alonso to demonstrate his full potential.

Why hasn’t Mercedes gone after Sainz? It is something that I do not understand

Johnny Herbert, former F1 driver and steward

Q: Are you surprised that Sainz’s future is lately linked to the teams at the back of the grid?

R: I do not think that’s true, I can’t believe I’m talking to the teams behind. Everyone knows how good Carlos is. Why hasn’t Mercedes gone after Carlos? It is something that I do not understand. It would also fit perfectly in Red Bullthere is the situation with AudiOf course, but are they going to be champions in 2026? I doubt it, because it is not easy to come and win races. AND Williams…yes, very good, they have improved… but they are not in a position to give a Grand Prix winner a car to win a title, nor is it going to happen in the next four or five years… if that happens. I hope there is some common sense on the part of the teams, Carlos and their representatives. They have to put pressure on the big teams. Carlos deserves better than Williams.

Herbert considers that Sainz junior deserves a midfielder in a leading teamRV Racingpress

Q: For British people like you, I suppose seeing Hamilton in Ferrari is going to be exciting… Is it the right time for that change?

R: Exciting, I’m sure it’s going to be (laughs). The right moment? Absolutely. Hamilton knows the future that is coming at Mercedes and Vasseur will have told him what the future of Ferrari is. He must have thought: what option is going to give me the opportunity to win the eighth World Cup? And Ferrari, I think, was the obvious choice for Lewis. Hamilton doesn’t go there just to wear red, but to win a championship dressed in red. It’s the perfect setting for Lewis fans, Ferrari fans, Brits… Let’s hope it works.


Davide Piano

An experienced journalist with an insatiable curiosity for global affairs on newshubpro

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