Fernando Alonso has ruled out ever becoming a ‘pay-driver’ in F1. The Spaniard, a two-time world champion and now entering his third consecutive season with Ferrari, is believed to be the sport’s current highest earner.
But recent economic conditions have seen retainers become lower throughout the grid, while seasoned drivers like Rubens Barrichello, Jarno Trulli and Adrian Sutil have been left without seats as ‘pay-drivers’ gain the upper hand. Alonso, however, vows to never become one.
“My family and I made many sacrifices for me to race, from the age of three,” he is quoted by El Periodico newspaper. “When I started, I knew that either I won or I went back to school. I will never be a paying driver.
“If I had to pay to race, I wouldn’t race – it’s unthinkable.”
As for his and Ferrari’s prospects for 2012, the 30-year-old answered: “I know that some people are saying we start with a disadvantage compared to Red Bull, McLaren or Mercedes, but we will only really see in Melbourne.”