McLaren the best choice for Alonso – Boullier

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In the round-up: McLaren team principal Eric Boullier says McLaren’s new engine supply arrangement with Honda for 2015 makes them a more attractive option for Fernando Alonso than Red Bull.


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‘McLaren more attractive than Bulls’ (Sky)

“McLaren will be back and winning with our new engine partner. We will become a very attractive team today, even if we don’t have a fast car we are on the way to recovering this.”

Jenson Button Q&A: There are always other options in life! (F1)

“It’s not just a language barrier between Woking and Tochigi. It’s also a culture difference – something that I have been used to over the last decade of my racing career. The fantastic thing about Honda is that they are very passionate racers and I love that about them.”

Typhoon could hit F1 preparations for Russia – forecaster (Reuters)

“Probably Phanfone will pass to the south-east of Suzuka. There are also model solutions that can draw the eye directly on the race circuit.”

Verstappen, 17, ‘too young for F1’ (BBC)

“It’s too young because in F1, the risk is high. In F1 you don’t go to learn, you have to be ready. F1 doesn’t allow you to do too much learning.”

Last Words of Ferrari Chief Montezemolo: ‘Life Is Strange’ (Bloomberg)

Sergio Marchionne: “When I go to Monza, and I see the first six cars on the grid are not Ferrari, my blood pressure pops.”

Caterham’s status confused despite Manfredi Ravetto’s explanations (The Guardian)

“We managed to explain to the bailiffs that we have nothing to do with the claims. Our opposition was successful and therefore, contrary to rumours that have been spread around, no server was switched off and no additional parts or equipment has been removed.”

FIA steps up F1 penalty monitoring (Autosport)

“F1’s governing body is seeking to alter procedures following complaints from some teams that Toro Rosso appeared to have cut short one of Jean-Eric Vergne’s five-second pit stop penalties for exceeding track limits during the Singapore GP.”

Wurz appointed chairman of GPDA (James Allen on F1)

Alex Wurz has been appointed chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, replacing Pedro de la Rosa, following a meeting of drivers in Suzuka. Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel were also re-appointed as GPDA directors.”

Rosberg: I’m proud of my duel with Hamilton (The Telegraph)

“[Rosberg] gave countless public apologies [for the Spa incident], and while sources initially suggested he was fined, the more plausible theory emanating from Brackley in recent weeks is that Rosberg, in keeping with taking responsibility, offered to pay for the damage, amounting to a six-figure sum.”

Mechanics’ tales: Kerry Adams (MotorSport)

“We did everything, we were always running out of hours, and now I think the chances of a mistake or a failure are diminished because there are so many more people on the cars.”

Lewis Hamilton Suzuka – from computer games to the real thing (BBC)

“You never know how long you have got on this earth. And when I get to the pearly gates, I want to be able to say: ‘You know what, I rocked it. I did everything I wanted to do. I got every ounce of my potential out.'”


Comment of the day

An Alonso fan’s view on his next move:

When it was first announced that he was going to McLaren in 2007 I was ecstatic as I felt the two were a great match. Perhaps in another season they would have been. Shunning BMW and Red Bull in favour of Ferrari now looks rather stupid but at the time I was completely sure that Ferrari would be able to produce the goods consistently.

My honest evaluation would be Alonso would need time to settle at the Maranello which was ultimately proven correct and his own mistakes were as much a contributing factor to losing the 2010 championship as Ferrari’s pit strategy which over the course of the relationship has been well above average for me. 2011 saw Ferrari a very distant third and this was when alarm bells started ringing for me that this was not the stroll into the history books I had expected.

2012 saw Fernando prove what he can do. Any doubters to his class were certainly erased in Valencia where he was flawless in terms of race craft. But ultimately it was not enough, mainly in my opinion down to having a subservient team mate who didn’t take anywhere near enough points from our rivals. Alonso is simply great enough to comfortably beat almost all of the grid consistently bar the three or four superstars of the day. 2013 began well but from mid-season the fight from other teams was frankly embarrassing. At the time, I put it down to the 2008-2009 turnaround that sent many championship challengers to the back but based on Ferrari’s showing in 2014, 2013 was also thoroughly unacceptable.

So Alonso is 33, Ferrari look destined to struggle for two seasons at least, one of which will almost certainly be won by either Red Bull or Mercedes where I can see no logical vacancies. Will McLaren be a quick fix? I doubt it at the moment. The Honda engine is slow, heavy and behind schedule. McLaren have the best engine and are fighting with a privateer. McLaren will not be winning races until 2016 at best and from then on who knows? McLaren have the same chance as Ferrari from then in my opinion.

Honda engines were in F1 from 1991 to 2000 with several teams as Mugen-Honda taking only four wins admittedly not with any big hitters. They then helped to fund BAR which managed one win up to the 2009 season. Obviously the 2009 designed car was a great success but with a Mercedes engine. So I’m not pinning my hopes on a couple of championships won on two wheels or won 25 years ago.

Whatever transpires, Alonso has one team from here to the end of his career. I hope he makes the right one.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Five years ago today Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix:

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45 comments on “McLaren the best choice for Alonso – Boullier”

  1. Is that actually the Caterham simulator?

  2. I think its increasingly clear that Jenson is going to be the one left out of the McLaren team, that interview just shows some signs that perhaps that he has almost accepted and is resigned to his fate. Which is sad, because, I actually like the bloke. Not that I think he’s one of the greats, or even one of the best in the field, I just think that he’s a terrific guy. His presence will be missed if he can’t find another drive next year.

    1. @dragoll

      I love the guy… But I’d rather Button retire than find a place elsewhere on the grid. Unless he can miraculously get a seat in a Ferrari, Mecedes or Red Bull, he’ll be in the midfield at best (I know McLaren is midfield at the moment, but it’s at least a well-renowned team), and I don’t want him to be one of those drivers just making up the numbers, like Sutil.

    2. I fear his career will end just like Barichello’s, abruptly without one retiring. Just not getting a seat to drive, and boom you’re out!
      He sure is a racer, so I guess he might go to WEC or maybe do something else :) – After all he’s fit and has some more in him. Maybe he can do biking, Oh, maybe he should replace Murray and play tennis :) – would be popular bloke.

  3. As far as all the talk of Verstappen being too young for F1, I personally believe a driver’s character and intentions are far more important than his age or even his experience to a point. For example I would gladly have a grid full of Verstappens over a grid of Maldonados. If you want to talk about who’s a potential danger to himself and others, let’s start there.

    Verstappen seemed perfectly capable of handling himself on one of the toughest circuits of the year, and wasn’t phased by it when something as unexpected as an engine failure reared its ugly head. We’ll see if things are drastically different under race conditions in Melbourne, but something tells me he’ll do just fine, especially when compared to the likes of Maldonado.

    1. Good point. Agreed. And PM is a paying driver, whereas MV is the opposite…special enough he’s shattering the age record, so sure are they he might as well be in an F1 car, age not the issue, nor money.

      I do take Hakkinen’s point about F1 not being meant as a learning grounds, and that you have to be ready, and I just think MV will be. Not all 17 year olds from here on in. This one.

      Besides, I think drivers are always learning. That doesn’t stop once you get to the pros. And it’s kinda what Torro Rosso is there for in the RBR family. Can anyone fathom a TR surpassing an RBR car over a season? Not likely. But what if…

  4. Hopefully, when we get to Suuzka next year..Fernando will be in the hunt for the championship!

    1. He was mathematically in 2013.

      Alonso is long overdue a great car though.

  5. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    4th October 2014, 2:01

    Vettel to leave red bull at the end of the season. Kvyat to take his place.

      1. AND HERE WE GO

        1. Say what? Is this real?

          1. Wow…big news!

      2. Formula-I (@)
        4th October 2014, 2:37

        HOW COMES???? then Vettel have a chance to Ferrari as Alonso to McLaren. Shocking but amazing. Unfortunately that might halts young talent like Hulkenberg, JEV, Grosjean, Perez and Bianchi from progressing to Top teams

        1. @f1indofans Well, one young talent does get promoted in exactly the way RBR has designed it, with Torro Rosso and the move of Kvyat upwards.

          Otherwise, any moves of SV or FA were always going to be lateral anyway, and weren’t going to open up a spot at the top unless they were retiring.

          Btw is Kimi still on for next year?

    1. Wow big big news!

      Now where is he going Mclaren or Ferrari?

    2. That’s quite the news to wake up to leading up to the third practice.

      And quite a time to announce it for the Europeans…

      I bet @keithcollantine is just as taken aback and is in the process of writing up the story…

    3. wow
      it’s and Vettel Ferrari now who make the move first.
      I wondered whether he really join McLaren… or just do a sabbatical gap like Prost.
      but I guess McLaren, it will be

  6. Vettel likely off to Ferrari now with Alonso having no choice but to go to Mclaren. Of all the teams on the grid, who would have thought that Alonso would end up back at Mclaren. How strange…

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      4th October 2014, 2:40

      Yep, Vettel to Ferrari has been confirmed.

      Alonso to McLaren would be the most likely thing I think.

    2. But is that a given? If Horner has said Ferrari, is he right? Or is FA staying and Vettel off to Mac/Honda?

      1. Wow again.

    3. What if Alonso will not drive for a year? He may consider to take a rest for a year after disastrous times in Ferrari.

  7. petebaldwin (@)
    4th October 2014, 2:42

    Kvyat is apparently getting the Red Bull seat vacated by Vettel!? I presume that guarantees Alonso to McLaren then?

    Vettel wouldn’t leave unless he had a top seat to go into and there wouldn’t be a top seat unless Alonso was leaving. Likewise, Alonso wouldn’t be leaving unless there was a seat to go to and with the Red Bull seat apparently going to Kvyat, it only really leaves McLaren!

    1. Yeah I doubt FA ever considered RBR anyway, did he? Not after witnessing Renault’s level.

    2. Solid reasoning.

  8. Can’t believe what I am reading on the RedBull site.

    We knew there was a chance it could happen, but it’s still really surreal to see the black and white confirmation that Vettel will be leaving.

  9. I hope Button stays for one more year at McLaren. Alonso Button combo would be very nice for the first year.

    1. But…would they turf KM?

      1. Yeh, that is the problem. Heart says Button, business head says KM.

        He could go reserve for a year!! Stranger things have happened.

        If Button can soundly beat KM this year, then there is maybe still a chance.

        1. My thoughts exactly @mach1

          Putting KM in a reserve roll, only to spring back when Button retires would be great. An ALO-BUT patnership would be hugely interesting. They could develop one hell of a car. I’d love to see how Button fairs to Alonso when both are driving a decent car

    2. Hm, I think if he stays with McLaren it will be in a role something between test driver, brand ambassador and maybe a GT program with the team. I just don’t think he is fast and dominant enough to be in the drive next to Alonso.

  10. Still cant get my head around the fact that Alonso will be back at Mclaren after the whole 2007 debacle. It is such a shame that it didnt work out for Alonso at Ferrari. It has to go down as one of the greatest unfulfilled partnership in the history of F1.

    Vettel leaving after one season with Richardo?

  11. Candy apple red helmet for Vettel. Vettel for Ferrari, he’s the one.

  12. Are we sure FA is leaving Ferrari? Or is one of their changes to have two roosters? Keeping in mind, they have two WDCs on the team now. What of Kimi?

    1. I always knew that Vettel-Raikkonen would go well together, their styles even match up a little. I assume that Bianchi will replace Raikkonen in 2016.

  13. I really think Matiacci is being shortsighted on this decision. Vettel is obviously a very good driver, but losing FA just seems like madness. It’s a shame, since I think Ferrari would be the better bet for FA versus McLaren next year. Maybe he knows something we don’t.

  14. At the moment Alonso is without a team in 2015! Who could imagine!

  15. LATEST NEWS, according TO spanish TV F1 presenter (close friend of FA) Alonso agreed to leave Ferrari TWO weeks ago, without paying any compasation for leaving THE team. FA has an important offer from McLaren BUT he has not accepted IT YET, The reasson IS that 4 weeks ago Mercedes offered Ferrari To exchange Hamilton FOR FA AND there are conversations in Mercedes about Hamilton’s future.

    1. Apparently a decission about Hamilton WILL be made by Mercedes during The next days/weeks AND if Hamilton continues driving for Mercedes FA WILL go to McLaren. If Mercedes decides To end Hamilton’s contract FA WILL be in MERC next year.

  16. Why do RBR need FA is my question? They already have a top driver in DR, why would they want all the drama that FA would bring to RBR? Kvyat is the perfect choice both in driving ability and youth for the future and plus Kvyat is allot cheaper in dollars then FA will ever be.

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