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Is Alonso Alighting to Ferrari, Mercedes?



Image © McLaren Honda F1 Team

Fernando Alonso has made himself very clear: either McLaren provides him with a Formula 1 car capable of winning or he’ll find someone who can (or he’ll leave the sport altogether).

The Spaniard is perhaps the most polarizing talent in F1. His talents are plainly obvious even while he’s driving a golf cart like the McLaren-Honda. His salvo into oval racing at this year’s Indy 500 was a bravura performance, until his car did what his cars have done all season; he challenged for the lead and set fast laps despite little to no experience on ovals, before he was forced to retire due to engine failure.

That display would motivate any team to retain his services. But his collegiality Ð or lack thereof — is going to be far less enticing

Alonso’s ability to quickly adapt and compete proves that he’s one of the most talented racing drivers on the planet, but his reputation as a poor teammate and a prima donna might have left him locked out of the top teams says co-founder Geoff Johnson, referencing the reported tension between Alonso and the Ferrari team, and the obvious rift between Alonso and Mercedes #1, Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso has three possibilities: (1) stay with McLaren, (2) move to another team, or (3) leave the sport entirely.

Should he leave McLaren, his preferred landing spots are Mercedes, which seems to be happy with its current driver lineup (and is very aware of Alonso’s conflict with Hamilton, which stems from their time as teammates at McLaren) and Ferrari, for whom the return of Kimi Raikkonen is not guaranteed.

For any other driver with similar qualifications, Ferrari would seem like a natural fit, but there appear to be some personal issues between Fernando Alonso and the Scuderia, with Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne dismissing the notion of signing Alonso with a clear were not interested.

The only other team likely to attract Alonso’s picky tastes is Red Bull, but since their dedication to their young drivers program is both a huge part of the team’s brand and a proven championship-winning and cost-saving strategy, signing a hugely expensive veteran seems unlikely.

Alonso will most likely either stay with McLaren (though perhaps not McLaren-Honda, as that partnership may not be long for this earth) or move to a marginally more competitive team like Renault or Williams. A move to one of the current top teams seems very unlikely given the scarcity of seats and the obstacles in Alonso’s way.

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