Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017

McLaren has a ‘Plan B’ in case Alonso leaves

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: McLaren CEO Zak Brown says the team has done its contingency planning in case Fernando Alonso decides to leave.

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Comment of the day

Williams need to look at who’s driving their car to fully get to the bottom of their problems, @Ju88sy reckons:

I think looking at the driver line-up might provide the answer for 2017’s performance! They have swapped an excellent, consistently fast, points-scoring driver for cash. I don’t think it needs a ‘root and branch’ review to understand the problems.

Apart from Stroll’s freak podium, there is no way that driver pairing is pushing the current car to its limits – imagine what Hulkenberg or either of the Force India drivers would be delivering if they were swapped with the Williams pairing.

Last year Valterri delivered 85 points for the team to Massa’s 53. It looks like Massa will fall short of 53 this year and Stroll may pick up another 10 or so before the end of the Season. Even acknowledging previous Williams mid season issues it doesn’t take an experienced leader to see where the points are being ‘lost’.

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  • 54 comments on “McLaren has a ‘Plan B’ in case Alonso leaves”

    1. Maybe it’s a plan JB

    2. Does the B in plan B stand for Button

      1. Beat me to it, dang

      2. But does Plan C stand for…Coulthard?

        1. Plan D for… Damon Hill?

            1. To summarize…
              Plan A – Alonso
              Plan B – Button
              Plan C – Coulthard
              Plan D – DiResta
              Plan E – Ericsson
              Plan F – Fisichella
              Plan G – Gutierez
              Plan H – Hamilton
              Plan I – ?

          1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
            2nd September 2017, 2:18

            Plan E for Earl Bamber?

            1. BTW Plan A is Alonso

        2. “C” for Carlos

      3. In spite of what looks like a wide set of permutations and uncertainty, McLaren is not yet a stage where they’ll sign a lacklustre pay driver. Alonso out means Plan C, Carlitos jr in in exchange of a PU swap with STR, if that falls through, then it’s Plan Button.

        1. @peartree
          Sounds like an amazing swap deal for Toro Rosso. Here we take your best driver and you take our crap engine.
          What a nonsense.

          1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend Nonsense, you don’t know what you are talking about. RB almost got STR Honda engines last year, Ron Dennis blocked it. Red Bull even started to sponsor Honda in motogp, they usually only sponsor riders. By the end of last year McLaren were beating STR on a year old Ferrari, RB thought about taking a chance with Honda, they ended up pairing engines with STR. Just saying, if McLaren get Renault they won’t need Carlitos…. that’s what I said, the PU swap is not imminent.

        2. And of top of it’s been called nonsense above, it’s nonsensical as Alonso will certainly stay if McLaren does a PU swap with STR. That’s exactly what he is pushing for.

          I’m still betting on.
          McLaren and STR to swap PU in 2018. RBR to join STR and take Honda as works engine as soon as the performance and reliability is there (might be years).

      4. Plan C = Costs a lot

      5. I read the title and thought it was plan Button too! Since Button is already contracted with the team for 2018 and is also the current reserve driver, I don’t see why they would go for anyone else if Alonso leaves.

    3. Fernando, Ernando, Nando, Lando

        1. Or that other McLaren jr driver who’s scoring more and more F2 podiums: Nyck De Vries.

    4. Fantasy booking McLaren, I’d rotate Andretti Autosport Indycar drivers for the rest of this season in one of the cars. Especially if it is the last hurrah for Honda.
      Why, well why not? They have zero to lose anymore and a bunch of good press to gain. Putting an Andretti, even if it is the career mediocre one, in an F1 car is iconic.
      Next year, if/when Honda remains and The Ronin decides on a sabbatical or a move to Williams, I see a lifeline for Wehrlein, realistically

      1. @uneedafinn2win, McLaren have already been there with Michael Andretti in the past, and that didn’t exactly work out well.

      2. Maximum of 4 drivers per team per season. So you couldn’t do this anyway.

    5. CoTD is spot on. Of course they won’t admit or say that, but I hope they are at least thinking that.

      1. If they are thinking it, Laurence Stroll will cause them to think again by increasing his payment for Little-Lance’s seat to $45 million per year.

    6. “I look at Seb or Lewis and think: ‘If only I had your car.’ I acknowledge they are at the top of their game but I feel I could be there as well.”

      Not while Verstappen is still driving you won’t.

      Max makes Daniel look overrated (for the record, I’ve never really believed Ricciardo to be in the same league as the likes of Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel, whereas Verstappen is).

      Only one of Verstappen’s DNFs this season can be attributed to him (Hungary), so the relative points scores don’t tell the whole story

      1. @nvherman The Ricciardo vs Verstappen team battle was one I had high hopes for this season, but thanks to Max’s car issues it has barely got going, with Max leading 2-1 in races and 7-4 in qualifying.

        Remarkable that both Red Bulls cars have only finished three races together!

        1. Crashstappen on same league as Alonso Vettel and Hamilton?He cant even outscore Ricciardo.THat’s the best joke I hear in a while.

          1. @sylversurferr, considering that Verstappen has had to retire from twice as many races as Ricciardo has, meaning that he has effectively missed out on scoring points in half of the races that have been held so far this season, it is not exactly surprising that Verstappen isn’t outscoring Ricciardo.

          2. Crashstappen

            Maybe you should hashtag it and you might start a viral.
            If a loonie can become president, why can’t another start a viral :p

          3. Max has hammered Ricciardo and shown him up badly this year. Ricciardo is very lucky this year with reliability and situations falling to him. Performance wise he is not in Max’s league. To any looking at the points we should apply the same rule to 2015 when Kyvatt beat Ricciardo on points. Ricciardo fans say 2015 was only reliability but this year they are doing the opposite and can only argue based on points.

          4. @sylversurferr: keep crashstappen for a driver who causes crashes often, I only remember him being the victim in spain and austria this year, once due to bottas, other time due to kvyat and a mechanical issue at start, which is the only reason why he was so far back and also, are you serious?

            They only JUST said, BEFORE your comment, why verstappen is behind ricciardo in the standings, but like someone said, he’s winning 2-1 the race-battle when both cars finish and 7-4 the qualifying battle, in fact it would be 8-4 since the comment was made before qualifying started, he’s outracing ricciardo everywhere he can; your comment surely looks more of a joke than the ones you replied to.

            In fact, like someone said earlier, ricciardo got outscored by kvyat some years ago, but who knows why, kvyat is now on toro rosso and barely scoring points (look what sainz is doing) and ricciardo regularly challenges for podiums as soon as ferrari and mercedes mess up, just as a demonstration how much points let you understand.

      2. Only one of Verstappen’s DNFs this season can be attributed to him (Hungary), so the relative points scores don’t tell the whole story

        You mean when Daniel DNFed and Max scored points @nvherman?

        1. Yes, maybe I do.

          In that case none of them can be attributed to him.

    7. Yes McLaren, we know you like a good plan. Problem is, none of them are any good! 💣

    8. Mclaren will bin Alonso. There is only so much revenge in the world and Alo has suffered enough. I hope he learns the price of back-stabbing now. A real dumb move to go work for the people you screwed over.

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        2nd September 2017, 9:17

        So McLaren’s revenge plan was to ruin Alonso’s career by ruining their reputation? I didn’t know that Dr. Evil was hired as McL’s new CEO.

      2. Marian Gri (@)
        2nd September 2017, 9:56

        Not really. Some people can get over past problems and be friends again. The problem this time for the McLaren-Alonso duo is that… they have another problem. Things do not work as ALO wants… again. Back in 2007, the car was great, the problem being HAM and with hindsight, it wasn’t the best move for McLaren to promote HAM. He was too fast and consistent out of the box. Had McLaren played it more like no.1 and no.2 OR ALO+a less faster and consistent driver as team-mate, McLaren would have won in 2007 too, not only in 2008, ALO being a 4-time WDC now. Now, in 2017, the problem is not ALO team-mate anymore, but the car. ALO wanted/wants a champ winning car, a car (Ferrari) good for P3-P5 most of the time not being enough anymore for him since long time ago. Had this McLaren-Honda car been fast enough to grab podiums and even some wins from time to time, pretty sure things would have been a looot better between ALO and McLaren. So, I wouldn’t say it was a bad move completely to go back to a team where he had some problems in the past, people can get past problems easily when they have the same goal, but things are bad again because expectations are not met at all for one of the parts: he wants a champ winning car, but after 3 years the team cannot offer him even a race/podium winning car. So, yeah, it was a bad move to sign McLaren again, but not because they had problems in the past.

        1. Hamilton was too immature according to Ron Dennis. Lewis kicked off the argument that led to the Stepney-Coughlin relationship being revealed remember and got unjustifiably upset at the Monaco team orders.

    9. Ricciardo is thinking if only he had Hamilton’s or Vettel’s car, meanwhile Verstappen is looking at Ricciardo and thinking if only he had his.

      1. +1 :-)

    10. Does anyone else feel uncomfortable about the sport endorsing Pat Symonds, the man behind Crashgate? Same for the links between Alonso and Briatore, one would think that Alonso should’ve cut ties with a man who put him in an awkward position. Maybe I’m being harsh but I think it ruins the integrity of the sport as a whole and makes me wonder what else has been swept under the carpet…

      1. You’re right. Briatore, Symonds and Stepney. All involved in much bigger controversies with Michael Schumacher than Piquet crashing on purpose. In Schumacher’s day crashing on purpose was ‘part of racing’ and went unpunished.

      2. @howie987 yes, absolutely. I don’t understand why these people both had their F1 bans overturned.

        With regards to Briatore especially, there was a conversation on here about this a few days ago, suggesting that perhaps that is part of the reason why Alonso cannot get a good drive. Who wants him around in their team?

        1. Briatore was an excellent manager and team principle. They wouldnt want him around as they’re probably jealous of what he did with Schumacher and Alonso on low budgets. Deep down, given that the cheating and spying still goes on, he is probably respected in private

        2. Sadly I think Briatore doesn’t put off any potential suitors; only a few months ago Toto Wolff and Briatore posted a picture online of themselves having dinner with no shame.
          I understand that politics and intrigue are part of the sport, but lines need to be drawn and elevating Symonds to a position of power is a disappointing confirmation of the more subtle acceptance that has already taken place.

      3. Yes, it is very unconfortable. To see people like Alonso, Symonds and Briatore in formula 1 after Singapore 2008 is downright disgusting.

        1. @jorge-lardone

          Luckily you wern’t watching in the Schumacher era. It was the same people only heavier cheating and crashing into competitors for points not barriers.

    11. All the excitement over Button getting a drive again, as nice a bloke he is, he will end up just as miserable as Alonso.
      Let it rest.
      If he really wants to drive F1 again offer himself cheap to Williams or Force India (he has to give 40% of his salary to his investor anyway)

    12. As for the comment of the day I think there is more to it than just the drivers. Williams is now in 5th place in the teams’ championship with 45 points. Force india is 4th with 103 points and red bull is third with 199 points. With good drivers williams could only get one better – 4th. One position higher. It is unlikely williams could challenge red bull who holds 3rd even though redbull is suffering from a bad case of renaultis at the moment. To challenge redbulls the williams need a driver like bottas and a faster car.

      It is clear as day that massa is way past his peak. At most he is at the level of maldonado. But with less money. He only looks good because stroll looks so bad. The stroll kid is all money. His podium was total complete fluke and all he needed to achieve that was to not crash. With a better driver that 3rd place would have been a 2nd place. Or even a win was possible. He only needed to be couple of tenths faster in the whole race to get 2nd. Everybody else in the grid (except ericson and palmer) would have gotten that 2nd place.

      But what would that have achieved for williams? They’d be just one step higher in the team championship. Reading the numbers how much stroll could be paying for his seat: 30 to even up to 80 million dollars!!! Only a fool would not take the money. Which is more important for williams? Extra 30-80millions income with a one bad driver and that money also helps developing the car? Or two better drivers but with far less money to develop the car. In which case would you get 4th place instead of 5th and how much would that help you financially? It would be meaningless. Losing that 30-80million income though, that could be devastating.

      F1 is about the car 95%. If your car is bad you are bad. But if your car is decent then your drivers have decent finishes as well as long as they are horrible. And stroll is not horrible. There are no horrible drivers in f1. No, palmer or ericsson are not horrible. They are maybe below average.

      If you need to choose where to spend the money then super rich pay drivers and more money to develop the car usually is the better option. And realistically the best williams could achieve is 4th place. One better where they are now. Is that worth 30-80millions, maybe even more considering good drivers want money?

      1. Obviosuly meant to say:
        But if your car is decent then your drivers have decent finishes as well as long as they are NOT horrible.

      2. @socksolid

        It’s funny reading past comments on how crap Stroll is after watching today’s qualifying where he showed true talent in the rain today, out qualifying a couple of world champs renowned for their past performances in the wet.

        I think he’ll do just fine in the future (prob just ruined his career with that statement though (: )

        1. Yes, stroll has a part of his game where he’s good on: wet weather flair! Really have to give it to him, he was great in every session.

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