Carey crosses fingers for Alonso in 2018
"Alonso is a driver we all admire and follow"
Chase Carey says he has his fingers crossed for Fernando Alonso in 2018.
Spaniard Alonso has struggled with Honda power for the last three years, but now McLaren is switching to Renault customer engines.
"We hope they find a new energy with the Renault engine," F1 chief executive Carey told Corriere della Sera newspaper.
"Alonso is a driver we all admire and follow. Last year was very hard when he exited in Russia on the warm-up lap," he added.
Carey also said he backs the Ferrari team, even though he is locked in a dispute with the Italian outfit that is threatening to quit the sport.
"Ferrari has a unique importance and is a legend, but it must be treated like all the other teams," he insisted.
"We want them to remain part of the category — we want to change the sport for the better, not change the teams.
"Agreements can be reached," he predicted, "but the main objective is non-negotiable: the interest of the fans comes first.
"We have to improve the show we offer on the track. The aerodynamics do not help and I am told that it is also a problem of some of the circuits."
Overall, Carey said he is happy with how Liberty Media’s first year in formula one went.
"In the beginning, the priority was to look at the organisational parts, and we did that," he said.
"Then we wanted to give a fresh air to the environment, as only negative things were being heard — like when Bernie said he would not spend money to watch a race.
"Now everything is more open, there is a lot of social activity, ticket prices have gone down and we have created entertainment areas for the fans. All that accelerates the change," said Carey.