Driver Rumours – Future Of Fernando Alonso

It is no surprise that the most talked about topic these days is the future of Fernando Alonso. The messages and hints coming out of his camp as well from outside sources are however a sign that the things may not be shaping out exactly as he would wish for. That is in a case he actually has an clear idea what he wants …
Fernando Alonso
It has been widely expected he will be returning to Renault. Massa’s new contract with Ferrari increased chances of this happening as there do not seem to be too many other viable options. The first blow to the Renault idea came from Alonso himself few days back when he replied to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser “Right now I’d say no” – the question was whether Renault would be his first choice if he were to leave McLaren.

So what would his first choice be ? I wonder if he knows himself. Let’s have a look at all the options circulated in the media:


Toyota – After his comment on the Renault I was wondering if Toyota may be the team of his choice. This would provide Alonso with 2 things – high salary and a challenge. Money is always welcome. The challenge would be quite similar to Michael Schumacher’s when he decided to leave title winning Benneton and go to midfield underachieving Ferrari. Being the one who finally lifts Toyota from the midfield abbys to the top of the field would definitelly seal his place as one the all time F1 greats. The risks of this move would not be small however and the decline of Ralf Schumacher after moving to Toyota is probably raising Alonso’s thick eyebrows …

Renault – Even if this may not be his first choice the negotiations are apparently going on. According to grandprix.com they also involve Telefonica – the company expected to foot the bill. The talks are allegedly not going too well. What are the sticky issues we can only guess. It may be the cash required is larget than what Telefonica is willing to provide. There also may be some doubts on Alonso’s side about the quality of the Renault package after their not so good 2007 season. Also, with all the tensions between Alonso and McLaren this year, many have already forgotten that Alonso’s relationship with Renault was far from ideal towards the end of 2006 season. There are still some pluses of his return to Renault. The car would likely be more competitve than their 2007 one. They seem to know what was wrong with the car this year and unlike last year, they could shift theur focus to the new car development much earlier than Ferrari or McLaren. He would also be returning to a familiar enviroment. What puzzles me is the sudden change of tone from Briatore. After weeks of “welcome back” talk from him he made the “they should have left Alonso out” comments…

Red Bull – A surprising new addition to the possible destinations for Alonso. Red Bull seems to have both drivers confirmed but as I mentioned several times in previous posts, I haven’t seen any black and white conformation on Mark Webber yet, I may be mistaken… Red Bull definitelly improved a lot during the 2007 season and could have scored a fair amoungt of points with a bit more reliabilty. They sure have their ambitions and having a driver like Alonso on board would definitelly give them a boost. I am not that sure though that Red Bull would be the dream destination for the two time wolrd champion at this stage of his career. I feel that Red Bull might be in his mind an option for 2008 before better seat becomes available in 2009. Better Red Bull than sitting out the season. But … to sign Alonso Red Bull would have to get rid off either Coulthard (unthinkable) or Webber. They might contemplate to sacrifice Webber if it means getting Alonso. But if they were to do that, they would sure require more than a season long commitment from Alonso… Unless DC himself decides to step aside, retire and make room for Alonso… How likely is that …

Williams – Another team that came up this week is Williams. The team has seen some revival this season. They are also very optimistic about their 2008 car. It may actually be a better option than a move to Toyota. Williams, unlike Red Bull, has a vacant seat. But to fill up the vacant seat with Alonso may be out of financial reach for Williams. The option may be a straight swap with Rosberg. But I somehow can’t see Alonso making permanent move to Williams. And would Frank Williams agree to let Rosberg go to McLaren if all he could get would be Alonso for let’s say 1 year ?

Eventhough Alonso mentioned that there are 10 teams besides McLaren, there are not too many other open options for him. BMW is all set and confirmed, as is Ferrari and Toro Rossa. Spyker and Super Aguri are am sure not on Alonso’s mind. What does it leave ?

Honda – OK, this paragraph is pure speculation. But think about that. There has been no talk about Alonso going to Honda, at least I am not aware of any. But… The sudden talk of Barrichello’s future opens up a new gate there. Barrichello’s position seems to be very vulnerable and he definitelly did not do himslef any favours in the final few races of 2007 season. Honda has an option to relegate him down to Super Aguri. I would not be surprised if Barrichello accepts that. The only realistic goal left for him in F1 is the number of F1 races record he has in his sight, and for that he does not have to block the seat in Honda. Honda has the money, Honda is rebuilding their technical team. It is also unlikely (although possible) that the team would build another dog of a car for next year. Alonso to Honda may not have been talked about but who knows… And even if Barrichello stays, Honda always has Button to offer to McLaren…

The last team left is … McLaren – The latest comments from Alonso’s manager Luis García suggest that staying in McLaren is on cards.

“We have a contract next year with McLaren and that’s it. Can they sell it? Without our approval, no they cannot. Nothing is urgent. We are trying to rest a little. I have no special meetings with McLaren scheduled.”

This may mean one thing – finding a good drive elsewhere is not easy even for a driver of Alonso’s caliber. As unlikely as it seems, it may well happen that we will see Fernando Alonso alongside Lewis Hamilton again next year. But how would Ron Dennis manage that, I have no idea…

Download high resolution photos of Fernando Alonso here.

One Comments Post a Comment
  1. SirajNo Gravatar says:

    I tend to agree that it makes perfect sense for him to join Toyota. With his brilliance, mental strength, resolve and Toyota’s money, Alonso will elevate this team to great heights. It does not matter where he goes, he will better any team. Comprende Senor?

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