Alonso seeks a ‘project that will challenge Mercedes’

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso gave a further indication about his plans for next season following his final race for Ferrari, saying he intends to join a “project that will challenge Mercedes hopefully soon”.

Alonso has severed his ties with Ferrari and rumours have linked him with a return to McLaren to drive their new Honda-powered car next year.

“I think we need to see how the things goes for everyone next year,” Alonso told reported when asked about what his next move will be. “Definitely Mercedes has a big advantage we saw this year and they will carry probably this advantage into next year as well.”

“But I will join a project that is not for next year only, is for a long-term relationship. I think it’s the project that will challenge Mercedes hopefully soon and this is why I make the decision.”

Alonso admitted having “mix of sad and emotional feelings” after his final race for Ferrari. “I will miss the team, I will miss the guys.”

But he added: “I look the future with enthusiasm as well because when you join a new project it’s because you think it’s better. I guess it was the same for Felipe also last year after a long-term relationship with Ferrari, and today he’s second in the podium.”

Asked whether his departure from Ferrari could have been avoided had new team principal Marco Mattiacci been replaced Alonso answered: “No I don’t think that is one person what is the problem there.”

He described today’s race as being “tough like all season – I think it summarised perfectly what has been the season so far with ninth place, not the position you look for”.

“A tough race in general, we were not competitive all weekend and now it’s time to look at the future with optimism and prepare for 2015 in a better way.”

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    60 comments on “Alonso seeks a ‘project that will challenge Mercedes’”

    1. Window has closed.

    2. FA will drive for McLaren next year. Former Spain’s king has let it slip during an interview for a spanish TV. And FA has not denied it in the pre-race interview

    3. Im looking forward to Alonso vs Hamilton next year. I really hope Mclaren Honda do their homework really good.

      1. I am looking forward that fight, too. Hopefully, the next tests will tell us more about the Honda engine.
        Our (Ukrainian) F1-commentator told some reports were indicating that Honda has approx. 700 bhp (without ERS) (although, I don’t know where he found that). Let’s wait and see, and, certainly, good lack to Alonso! Again, nearly perfect season.

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          23rd November 2014, 21:15

          @slava he has had a good LACK this year, lack of engine power!

      2. @redbullf1 few things that could make 2015 an epic season:

        1. Williams improving their aero package and being even closer to Mercedes
        2. McLaren-Honda building a competivie car (by competitive, I mean a race-winning car)
        3. Renault and Ferrari improving their power output, cutting their deficit to Mercedes to zero or close to it.
        4. Better powered Red Bull

        This could mean Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso, Ricciardo, Vettel fighting for wins.

        1. Yeah, And I also look forward for underdog surprise of Romain Grojean Lotus-Mercedes fighting for podiums and wins with neat design, good downforce and aero.

          HAM, ROS, ALO, GRO, RIC, KVY, BOT, MAS – All of them fighting for podiums and wins! That would be the most epic season if it turns out as you mentioned! I don’t have much hope for VET and KIM in Ferrari but if they can also up their game, then that’ll be awesome again – just like 2012 (breaking 7 winners in first 7 races records)

          1. Too many teams, some teams will draw the short straws, like Mclaren and Ferrari did this year.

    4. Today Ferrari were barely any faster than a Mercedes without ERS, severe brake problems, a malfunctioning DRS, and countless other problems… and about 2-3 seconds slower than the properly running Merc. They basically looked like an improved Marussia.

      Needless to say, Alonso has made the right decision. Shame he never won the dream title with the Scuderia, but it’s clear that Ferrari have a lot of problems within the team and their car philosophy which will not be solved overnight, or even over the winter. Plus, Fernando isn’t exactly getting any younger.

      1. And Vettel w/o Newey car won’t be terribly helpful either. Just wait ’til he find out what the Ferrari buzzsaw is really like.

        1. let’s see how kimi does in a full Allison car, right?

          1. I’m really hoping Allison and Kimi combo work like it did at the start of 2013. Allison delivered Kimi his perfect car and I’m sure with Ferraris budget Lotus season would have been even better last year (and this for that matter).

          2. Yup. Allison has already worked with Kimi for 2 years where he has won podiums and couple of wins, some of the best return to F1.
            So, he already knows what to give to Kimi, what Kimi wants. But will be challenge for designing also for Vettel. Moreoever, the driver needs to be a bit flexible to adapt as well.

      2. Agreed, the last few races were painful. Remember his first race in Bahrain 2010, Alonso -Massa 1-2. Ended struggling to get into the points. Hopefully Alonso-McLaren pt 2 will allow him to achieve his dreams and goals.

        1. @brum55

          Remember his first race in Bahrain 2010, Alonso -Massa 1-2

          …because Vettel had an engine issue.

          1. Irrelevant, you don’t get points for not finishing the race

      3. Winning the title in a McLaren-Honda like his idol Senna would probably mean a lot to him too.

        1. Good point. If Alonso wins the title in a McLaren, he will be the first Latin driver to do that since Ayrton Senna…

          1. hardly been a long list of Mclaren WDC’s since Senna though has there?

        2. With Alonso, you can expect to win a WDC even with second best car on grid( just like his campaign 2010, 2012), but not a WCC – it’s a team effort! McLaren can win WDC like Lewis in 2008, but for WCC they’ll need to work much harder and get a bit lucky as well.

          1. @functor …but Alonso *didn’t* win in 2010 or 2012.

    5. further indication? come King Juan Carlos I Of Spain confirmed today at Abu Dabi that Alonso will drive for MCLAREN next seasson. his exact words were “I just spoke with Fernando and he told me he will drive for McLaren next seasson”.

    6. I always wonder what those fast guys in F1 think when they switch off a particularly bad car for the last race of the season. Such a long and tough journey…

      But look ahead, Nando ! your samurai quotes will fall right into place.

      1. I guess Maldonado did it right by putting torch to his @fer-no65 :-D

        1. Haha… I thought the same thing as he walked away… “Let it burn…..”

      2. @fer-no65 what of the guys who sign to move INTO such situations..?

        I’m sure the gulp was fairly audible as Vettel overtook Fernando with relative ease.

    7. Sorry for Button, Alonso decided Magnussen will be easier partner to drive. Button will have gave Alonso very hard moments.

      1. Alonso was quoted recently as saying that he would prefer Button.

        And I doubt if Ron Dennis would give a mere driver the right of veto over who his team mate is, even if that driver is Alonso.

        1. What he said was that he hoped Button would stay in F1.

      2. according to spanish tv It was the other way around, Alonso could’d said to McLaren that he prefers Jenson as partner. what evidence do you have to say so?

        1. Yeah we know Alo does not want no youngster what would he do next time?

        2. The decision is with Ron. Alonso can suggest who he prefers is his teammate just like Prost did with Williams for 93. Ron will choose/has chosen Alonso because he is right for the team and I don’t think he will have taken Alonso’s preference into consideration. If Button isn’t in a McLaren next year it will be Button’s decision. You heard it here first :D

          1. of course it is Mclaren’s decision, WHAT i said it was that ALO DID not veto Jenson, on the contrary he supported him. but the final decision will be Ron’s.

        3. Spanish tv didnt say anything. And he prefers Magnussen 100% i know him he prefers the weaker and less experience driver always. That means best drivers get out of the team when he arrives like the examples of Raikkonen (Ferrari), Kovalainen (Renault), De la Rosa (McLaren). He said he preffered De la Rosa to hamilton, but ofc McLaren werent stupid to accept a second driver without level to challenge him. I know Alonso very well, and i know what he likes. Also Button was saying goobye today to everybody, and his body language reflects he wont race again, he knows already, sorry for him, he deserves de seat 1000 times more than Magnussen.

          1. this morning, before starting the race, ANTENA 3 tv said ALONSO supported Jenson. by the way YOU ARE making up your arguments.

            1. I didnt hear that in antena3 tv. By the way im not making up anything. And Alonso didnt say by himself he preffered Button. May be spanish commentators (so partial they are) may be they said, but in their own opinion. Not Alonso opinion.

            2. And im so sure of what im saying that if Magnussen isnt the second McLaren driver next year i pay u a dinner in the restaurant u want.

            3. so it IS a dinner then. magnusen in MCLAREN i pay, any other driven (Jenson or another one BUT magnusen) You pay. THE place… TO be defiend. DEAL?

          2. He destroyed Raikkonen this year.

          3. It is a coincidence that Kimi comes to Ferrari and Fernando goes. He knows that with a better car Kimi would be formidable opposition. Same with Vettel. Danny Ric made him look very average this year and he’s going to a team known to favour one driver.

            Also, wouldn’t surprise me if Jenson doesn’t race anything ever again. He said of Lewis’s 2nd championship, “one is enough, two is amazing.” Sounded to me like for him, one is enough.

            1. no it’s not a coincidence and nothing to do with Raikkonen. What this season showed is Ferrari, despite all the FIA special treatment and huge budget are miles off the pace. Raikkonen proved again that without a car that gives him what he wants, he’ll be nowhere. Alonso has thrashed him quite frankly, you cant blame Alonso for not wanting to go through another season at Ferrari.

      3. Like his struggles with Raikkonen this year?

    8. I’ll repeat the sentiment from the Vettel article : what is the point, in this day and age, in all this dissembling, hinting, wink wink nonsense?

      Do they think we live in caves?

      1. It’s because they cannot say under any circumstances unless it is signed or announced by the team.

    9. I wish Alonso all the best in McLaren to win at least 2 more titles. Then I hope Seb will build something in Ferrari and unite them again as Schumi did.

      1. Reminds me Merc are Williams of 96-97, McLaren might be Mika-98-99 with Alonso?, Ferrari?Shumi?Vettel? Ehh. Back then there wasn’t RB LOL,

        1. @functor Surely you mean Williams of ’92 (that’s the last car of theirs that was so similarly dominant)… That means 4-5 more years of Mercedes pasting everyone under the sun before something goes wonky and the wheels fall off.

          1. Naah, I mean Merc as Williams [Hill, Villenuve] years so {Lewis and ? }, McLaren might come back just like Mika years {with Alonso}, Ferrari with Vettel is a long slow project just like Shumi back then(if only Vettel can replicate it which I doubt, not just ‘coz of driver but because of whole team of engineers, managers, etc}, meanwhile RB and Williams may clinch some before Ferrari does – Seems like a second loop of similar history . We’ll have to wait and see.

        2. Back then there was Benetton.

    10. Kimi will win next years championship…. Ferrari engine will improve & it’s aero & suspensions will be geared towards Kimi’s style… Seb will take a year to settle i guess…can’t be ruling out Ferrari & Kimi so soon.

      1. Yeah, 3-way fight between Lewis, Alonso, and Kimi will remind 2007

      2. Ferrari’s engine cannot be improved enough in the time frame without opening development up, which will essentially allow Mercedes to improve further.

    11. In an interview made in the paddock to the King of Spain, he has commented: “I have talked to Fernando Alonso in his final race with Ferrari. He comment to me he will be racing with McLaren, next year”

      Logically, after that, they have asked Alonso about that and he commented: “Yeah I know I know, take it as you want and… I leave it there”

      Funny situation

    12. Well, that’s that! Another season over, and barely a ripple in the water.

    13. I genuinely hope he gets that coveted third championship somehow – I’m an Alonso fan, but I think I’d still think the same if I’d been neutral towards him, seeing his exploits in those Ferrari years.

      1. Yeah. True. His 3rd championship is long overdue, just like Lewis’ 2nd was until now!. 6 years for Lewis. 8 years for alonso without one! (had 3 chances 2007, 2010, 2012)

    14. Now that Lewis has won, I would want to see either Alonso, Kimi, Bottas, Ricciardo, Grojean (surprise underdog), Rosberg win among next few. Hulkenberg as well(but unfortunately he’s in wrong team – never got a better car to show his talent)

    15. Only Honda miracle can save Alonso.

      1. Yup. Don’t worry, Alonso is going right direction. If you see McLaren improving in just last few races, they have changed a lot of things, hired new aerodynamists (RB’s and others), getting Honda PU.

        Whatever happens, Alonso will be much better off than in Ferrari. His last interview, he did mention Massa’s case where he left a LONG time relationship and with Williams he’s better scoring more podiums (3rd, 2nd,) than in Ferrari.

        So Alonso in McLaren will score more than Vettel in Ferrari. It’s similar to Massa’s case where Williiams changed PU (from Renault to Merc and Pat symonds) and Massa is in at right year. Same for Alonso, McLaren is changing a lot of stuff (Merc->Honda, and RB Aerodyna..) and Alonso in.

        Infact Massa in Williams and Alonso in McLaren-Honda will be fighting on track for positions! That’s my prediction.

        After seeing Merc’s secret, don’t you think the smart Japanese well known Honda get inspiration of ideas, etc. Honda engine’s are one of the best in terms of road cars – Even building their hypercars (in future).

        1. @functor Yes, Alonso will get more podiums or even wins next year if things go as we expected. Mclaren chassis has improved significantly, Honda might not powerful as Mercedes but works team treat would compensate it, I suppose. but I’m not sure it would bring him long overdue 3rd title. That’s the problem.

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