Alonso: No decision on future before end of season

2014 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso doesn’t expect to have his contract situation for 2015 decided before the final race of the season at Abu Dhabi.

“I don’t think so,” he told reporters after the Brazilain Grand Prix. “We’re still in the middle of the championship with some important things to do every Sunday in terms of points so let’s make that first priority.”

“Australia 2015 is still a lot of months [away],” he added, “so I will do something before”.

Alonso is contracted to Ferrari for the next two seasons but Red Bull’s announcement last month that Sebastian Vettel will leave them sparked speculation that he will replace Alonso at Ferrari.

Alonso finished sixth in today’s race after prevailing in a wheel-to-wheel battle with team mate Kimi Raikkonen. Although Alonso eventually got past Raikkonen in the DRS zone, he did not feel it was necessary for his team to intervene sooner by imposing orders on them.

“I think at the end for the constructors’ championship we were OK having Magnussen behind us,” he said.

“We saved more or less this weekend, starting eighth, finished sixth, so it’s OK and one more lap left hopefully we could keep these positions.”

2014 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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60 comments on “Alonso: No decision on future before end of season”

  1. I expect for the reality, replace decision with announcement.

  2. So with JB 51 points ahead of Magnussen prior to the final race, common sense would have it to keep JB with Alonso…though I very much doubt that will happen.

    1. JB is old, Magnussen has is young and has way more potential and will learn a lot from Alonso.

      1. And Alonso is only one year younger than Button, so he is a Formula 1 veteran too.

    2. JB cannot stay in the same team as Alonso, because he won’t accept #2 driver status.

      1. JB was essentially a #2 to Hamilton. Magnussen certainly has potential, but for a team who should be fighting for championships McLaren just isnt right for him yet. Dare I say Hulk should take the job!

        1. On what planet?

          And even if that was the case, what does it say about Hamilton when the number 2 driver beats you over a season and scores more total points for your team during your time together as team mates?

          Pretty bad too that the ‘number 2’ driver was the only driver in the team who finished higher than 4th in the championship.

          1. I was implying he was employed to be a ‘#2’ (in my view). I agree his results were favourable compared against Hammi.

          2. @nFive

            Seriously, you would employ a current WDC to be a “#2” in your team? (Current in the sense because Button was the reigning WDC at the start of 2010)

    3. McLaren would be wise to keep Button. He’s doing all he can to retain that seat. Even though it would be harsh to ditch another youngster after one season, I just think Button deserves to stay more. And I reckon he could still remain at the top for another two or three seasons at least. He has been very patient about the whole situation which can’t be easy. McLaren maybe don’t realise how fortunate they are to have him, but I really hope they do.

  3. I do wonder whether his rather slow decision-making process is due to the rumours that Red Bull and Ferrari will be running 3 cars next season. If Red Bull do suddenly have a third car they need filling, perhaps Alonso would prefer to go there. I’m sure Red Bull would court Alonso in that situation too – assuming Vergne is well and truly out of Red Bull, I can’t see any talent they could promote from within to the main team.

    1. I’m thinking the same thing. Could Ferrari be paying for three champions next year?

      1. @repete86

        Even in 3 cars scenario, I don’t think Alonso will be staying at Ferrari. He will either go to Mclaren or RedBull. I didn’t count Mercedes because they are already having a lil headache managing Rosberg and Hamilton and if Alonso arrives there it will be very difficult environment within the team.

        So who will be driving Ferrari for their 3rd seat? Could it be Perez as he still hasn’t signed contract with FI or would it be Hulkenberg? But Hulkenberg is already driving for FI. It would require some technicalities to get Hulkenberg driving for Ferrari instead of FI.

        1. Alonso to Red Bull and Jenson to Ferrari lol. McLaren with Magnussen and Chilton.

        2. You think Ferrari and Alonso hate each other so much that it isn’t possible anymore?

          1. I have this feeling that Abu Dhabi will be the last race we will be watching Alonso in Red overalls. @il-ferrarista

    2. While I don´t believe it´s about Alo to RB, I do suspect that it is about wether there´ll be 3-car-teams or not. Neither teams nor drivers know yet, so they are waiting.

  4. I hope it backfires on him because this is just getting unprofessional

      1. I would love to see McLaren simply sign BUT and MAG for instance.

        1. Agree. I don’t think Alonso will make a huge difference compared to Button. McLaren needs a faster car, not a faster driver.

          1. @kroonracing
            In 2012 Alonso scored 90 more points than Button despite driving an F2012 while Jenson was driving an MP4/27 (which was clearly faster than the Ferrari, and more reliable than Lewis’s car), so quite obviously, Alonso does make a difference.

          2. @kingshark

            Alo made as many points as Ham when they were teammates, Button had 15 points more than Ham in their years together. Button may be stronger than Alo, he´s just not ruffling his feathers as much. And the F2012 just appears so weak cause you assumed Alo was so good.

          3. Button is no where near as good as Alonso. Alonso is widely regarded as the best driver in the field. Button was lucky to get a championship, more to do with Brawn and their double diffuser than his talent.

          4. @crammond
            Yes, when you ignore the fact that 2011 was by far the worst year of Hamilton’s career, and that Lewis lost some 150 points due McLaren’s incompetence in 2012, then your point about Button “may be stronger than Alonso” might carry some weight.

            Also, the F2012 was weak not because I assume that Alonso was so good, but because of the fact that up until Spain it wasn’t even capable of qualifying in the top 7 and was essentially running with a faulty exhaust layout.

            Then they couldn’t properly develop the car because their windtunnel was giving them faulty readings:

            And their simulator is also ancient:

            Here’s data analysis on the car performances of 2012, McLaren had on balance the fastest car, Ferrari were 4th, also behind Red Bull and Lotus:

            All the evidence points towards the F2012 being a significantly weaker car than the MP4-27, which it was.

          5. @kroonracing Go ask Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel or Kimi Raikkonen. Alonso is a HUGE improvement over Button

        2. Well, Boullier stated this week that they wanted a decision from Alonso before Abu Dhabi.
          So he might lose that McLaren seat after all…

  5. Car One: Sebastien Vettel. Car Two: Fernando Alonso. Car Three: Kimi Raikonen

    1. Third car is for a rookie, I think

      1. Well, Kimi is driving like one – does that count?

    2. Car one: Sebastian Vettel Car two Kimi Raikkonen Endurance car: Fernando Alonso.

  6. I wonder if he’s waiting for a decision regarding 3 car teams….

    1. @fer-no65 probably. I really wonder what he is waiting for. 3 cars? A one year deal with lotus? (or more as I just read?) Or a (risky) deal with mcLaren? I doubt mcLaren is willing to sign him just for one year.

  7. November 17 – Transfer news; “Alonso, Button and Vettel reitre, current formula to boring for talented drivers.”

    Now that would be a shocker.

    1. That would be amazing. Maybe they can field their own car at LeMans.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        9th November 2014, 20:21

        @repete86 and win. hahaha too many dreams in a single comment

  8. Really wondering what is taking so long. Maybe waiting for confirmation on 3-car teams, but that doesn’t make sense because he said he already made up his mind 3 months ago.. I bet it’s the termination of his Ferrari contract thats pending.

    1. Could very well be waiting to see who steps out of the Ferrari contract and who pays for it. Undoubtedly there are clauses in that contract and possible penalties or a buyout clause for whichever party steps out first. Maybe Alonso’s potential deal with McLaren hinges on any buyout or penalty stemming from the Ferrari contract. Of course, everything at this level is negotiable.

      It would seem in principle the parties of Alonso/Ferrari/McLaren are in agreement. Alonso and Ferrari seem to want to part ways and McLaren seems to want Alonso to drive for them. Alonso appears to think that he is in the driver’s seat when it comes to both sides of that deal though. Ferrari, clearly, are ready to make do without him having Vettel and Raikkonen ready as far as we know for 2015.

      Maybe Alonso thinks he has Ron Dennis over a barrel with the oft repeated sentiment that Honda wants a top driver like Alonso. But, would McLaren/Honda really suffer that much going into what is already a season of unknowns for 2015 with Button instead of Alonso? Is Alonso worth everything he must be asking for if the first season the McLaren/Honda experiment puts them worse of that they are in 2014 with the Mercedes power unit?

      This of course does not even address the 3rd cars issue. For which there are not any actual hard and fast rules for yet. If, it ever happens at all.

      So, Alonso at McLaren and Button out? Or, Button stays and Alonso goes on hiatus? Or, 3rd cars come into play? More questions than answers right now.

      1. 3rd paragraph is supposed to be”…worse off than they are in 2014…”

    2. or maybe it’s already signed (with a new team or Ferrari) and they’re just waiting. In my view, the decision and the legal part is done, they’re just waiting for the announcement.

      1. @matiascasali – I think it would be fascinating to see Alonso drive for Sauber, for example, next season and show what he could do there.

        1. @bullmello Sauber? They already have four signed drivers for next year!

    3. I believe that Alonso is keeping the Ferrari contract close to him, so that if he does believe that a sabaticaal or (probably not) retirement is the way to go, then he can still be paid £20,000,000 per year by Ferrari for a further 2 years! But if what Ron Dennis is saying is true, then McLaren-Honda could be 2nd best next year!

  9. I wonder if this has more to do with with team position issues. Alonso is a driver who likes clear number one status. I’m beginning to think that Button staying or going could be the cornerstone of the issue.

    Clearly Button has outperformed K-Mag this season. With his experience and links with Honda, surely an extra year with McLaren would be highly beneficial. However, I can’t see Jenson happily playing second fiddle to Alonso and I wonder if this is the crux: McLaren want both Alonso and Button, but Alonso won’t have anything other than number one status, and Jenson won’t have it.

    1. I don’t get the fuss about Alonso. 5 years @ Ferrari and they are still a mediocre team. Schumacher did way better in less years. So I really don’t see his added value for McLaren …

      1. Alonso almost won the title in 2010 and 2012 in a car that was so much worse than RBR. He never gives up and always outperforms his machinery. he has dominated Kimi who is no slouch. If you gave all the drivers the same car, it would be Hamilton and Alonso that would show their class, whereas Vettel and Button will be put to shame.

      2. This is exactly my view. Is he a very good driver? Well, yes, an awesome driver he is. But if Ferrari’s plan was to bring Alonso and repeat the Schumacher model (building a whole team and even designing a car around his star driver), then he failed miserably. Arguably that is not a task for only one man, but obviously Schumacher had the talent and the politicial drive to cement the team around him. On the contrary, Alonso just cemented his reputation of a confrontational and divisive team member, a great driver that brings in a lot of points and leaves behind a rotten environment at the garage.

      3. @hogee @AldoH Well, Alonso can hardly force Newey, Horner, Allison and Prodromu to join Ferrari could he. Michael had the advantage of having Todt, Brawn, Byrne and Allison. And why do you keeping comparing Alonso to Schumacher? Name one other driver who THEMSELVES were influential in their team becoming a dominant force. F1 has changed so much over the years. In fact, you should respect Alonso. Look at Vettel. Once year with bad car and a good teammate, and he’s run off to Ferrari

        1. @Mashiat. I mention Schumacher here because Ferrari tried to revive the formula of having the best or one of the best drivers on the grid and build a whole team around him. Ferrari brought Brawn to supervise the processes at the garage, Burne to design a car, and Todt to coordinate the strategy. They built a (very good) car adapted to Schumacher style, and in general terms they put the whole team behind Shumacher. The result was the most successful period for Ferrari in modern F1. That’s why I mention Schumacher. Because he was the center of a plan and he managed to make all the pieces fit and made the machine work for him.
          They tried to do the same with Alonso, but the garage was a mess, the strategy was another mess, and Alonso divided his time bringing a lots of points in and complaining non-stop that the whole package just wasn’t good enough. He poisoned the environment at the garage so much that now you can see Ferrari letting go a twice world champion with two more years of contract.
          In that sense, Ferrari’s failure in the last several years was his own failure. He wasn’t hired to defeat his teammates, but to build a strong team with him as a central pillar. You can say that he “almost” won a title and all that, but the ONLY REAL moment in which Ferrari “almost” won a title in recent years was with Massa in Interlagos, not with Alonso.
          To me? A very good driver, but enormously overrated.

          1. Amen to that. Alonso is a fantastic driver, but I honestly don’t believe he will be “the One” who can bring McLaren back to the front. At least not any better than Button can. From that point of view, McLaren’s mating dance around ‘ol Alonso is becoming rather embarassing.

        2. Now we will not know how important the ‘Alonso factor’ is until another hotshot German can put the Scuderia to work, will we?

  10. I will be bitterly annoyed if Jenson does not get a proper send off, should it come to that. JB deserves it. Seems to me McLaren want it sorted out before Abu Double, so Jenson may still have a chance.

  11. I think he’s waiting for a final decision on whether we will have 2 or 3 cars per team next year. If it’s 3, then he is going straight to Mercedes, and I think that is what he is holding out to see.

    1. I don’t know if Mercedes would want him with them.

    2. If Mercedes have to field 3 cars next year, 3rd seat will either go to Bottas (he is Toto’s protege) or the new kid they signed few weeks ago (forgot his name) as thr 3rd driver.

      Bringing Alonso in would only lead to more tensed environment within the team. They are already having a lil headache managing their current driver line up and getting Alonso would be like a time bomb which would explode any moment.

  12. Even if i wasnt a button fan, id find this whole situation ridiculous and unfair. I would even rate Alonso as the top driver at the moment, but this whole ‘i can do what i want, go where i want, i am F1’ is wearing thin…

  13. Regarding his own future, Alonso said that zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzz (yawn) zzzzzz
    This is called silly season for a reason.

  14. Jonathan Sarginson
    10th November 2014, 1:51

    …the one unknown here is Adrian Newey’s sabbatical from F1, quickly followed by Sebastian…so who will pilot the 2015 Newey designed Red Bull Nissan LMP1H?…

  15. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    10th November 2014, 19:15

    Has Hamilton been confirmed at Mercedes yet? I don’t think he has, so I’m sure things won’t be fully decided until he announces what he’s doing. For example, would Alonso move to McLaren if Hamilton went back? If not, McLaren might hang on to Jenson. Then if Ferrari and Red Bull do run 3 cars next year as Sky has suggested, could Alonso stay with Ferrari with Vettel and Raikkonen? Big wage bill! If not, how about Alonso, Ricciardo and Kvyat at Red Bull?

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