Johnny Herbert says he stands by his recent criticism of Fernando Alonso, even after the Spaniard’s angry reaction.
Having written in a column that Alonso should use the occasion of his chest injuries to retire, former F1 driver Herbert was gatecrashed by the angry Spaniard live on British television during the Bahrain race weekend.
“You ended up a commentator because you were not world champion,” Alonso told him.
Briton Herbert, 51, looked uncomfortable during the exchange, mumbling ‘Happy man’ as Alonso departed, but he now says he stands by his earlier comments.
He insists the incident did not “personally” affect him, “But I have to say that my wife didn’t think it was funny. She said that Alonso was a little impertinent.
“I have to say I understand Alonso’s reaction, but my opinion is clear, as it was before,” the former Sauber and Jaguar driver told the Spanish sports daily Marca.
“I believe Fernando’s time in formula one has past. He is no longer the future, as with other drivers like Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen.
“The future belongs to Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and then Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz,” Herbert added.
“After Alonso’s incident in Australia, my mind went back to the crash of Michael Schumacher in Singapore in 2012 — they were similar and to me it seems to be a loss of concentration and focus on formula one.”
Herbert said he thinks a good next move for Alonso would be endurance sports cars, including Le Mans.
“I think it would suit him perfectly,” he said. “The WEC would be a good place for him and he could even be champion, as Mark Webber did.”