Fernando Alonso says the plans laid out by Formula One's Strategy Group last week are proof F1 has been going in the wrong direction for the last few years.
In an attempt to halt the decline in viewing figures both on TV and at the track, the Strategy Group put forward proposals for a shakeup in the regulations from 2017 onwards. The main aim is to increase the speed of the cars by as much as five or six seconds, while re-introducing refueling to spice up races. Refueling was banned in 2010 while lap times have been getting slower since their peak in 2004.
Alonso said all F1 needs in 2017 is more testing and the sport will be back to where it was in the late 2000s.
"If the tests come back we will have similar rules to seven or eight years ago, which means the last four or five years we have been going in the wrong direction," he said.
Asked if he really felt F1 had taken the wrong direction, he added: "I think the grandstands tell us."
Alonso believes the return of refueling will open up strategies and add an element of randomness.
"Probably it will open some kind of strategy imagination that could help you in some of the races if you can choose whatever fuel you can start on or do the first stint with. Things like that helped in the past. I remember in 2003 getting some pole positions with half of the fuel of the others and then in the race you see what happened. The first ten laps you are leading the group and it may rain or have a safety car, many things can happen that will change the weekend.
"If not, if you gave me a piece of paper and a pen, I will put you the grid order for here, Canada and Austria. I will miss one or two positions, but this is what probably the fans are not welcoming now."
Asked when he last felt he was pushed to the limit physically and mentally, Alonso added: "I think 2005. In 2005 the cars were eight seconds quicker. In Malaysia this year the engineers made a calculation that the winner this year compared to the winner in 2006 was six laps slower - so he would have been lapped six times. When you are six or seven minutes in a race, or eight seconds per lap quicker than this year's car that is very demanding physically and mentally and everything was pushed to the limit. This was maybe ten years ago."
Alonso believes tyre competition would also help add an element of randomness while providing quicker lap times.
"Of course tyre competition will help Formula One just because everyone will push to the limits. I only experienced competition for some years with Michelin and Bridgestone and with a single tyre for Bridgestone, so that change was quite big from 2006 to 2007. In 2006 the tyres were amazing for both companies because they push each other to the limits of a superfast tyre that was able to do even the whole race distance in 2005 and then in 2007 with only Bridgestone the tyres were a completely different thing.
"For sure Bridgestone at that time made a step backwards and relaxed a little bit. You could still push because they had some experience and technology from the competition, so I think that would be good for F1. Also with strategy, if you have a tyre that is good in qualifying and bad in the race and vice-a-versa. Some circuits suit some companies more than others, so you can mix a little the results and people will welcome that."
When asked if he would like to sit on the Strategy Group, Alonso answered: "No! I'm too radical. You need some common sense there, eh?"