Fernando Alonso helmet, McLaren, Albert Park, 2018

F1, IndyCar or just WEC for Alonso in 2019?

2019 F1 season

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In recent months RaceFans has repeatedly prompted Fernando Alonso for clues about his plans for future seasons, in particular how long he intends to continue racing in Formula 1.

The implications of his decision could be profound. This is, after all, the driver who prompted the World Endurance Championship to move one of its races just for him. His decision to compete in the 2018-19 WEC ‘super-season’ with Toyota in addition to his McLaren F1 duties saw the team move the race at its home track so its star driver would be available.

As things stand, the sixth round of the 2018-19 WEC series will take place at Sebring on March 16th – the same day as qualifying for the first race on the 2019 F1 calendar. Which of those will Alonso be at? We’ve asked him twice, but he declined to answer both times.

But he did drop a hint about how long he intends to carry on racing in F1 when we asked him what he thought of plans to introduce 18-inch wheels for the 2021 season. “I will not be here in 2021 so I don’t care,” he said. Asked what he plans to do instead, Alonso mimed himself sitting on a sofa playing video games.

Having given that response in English he later took to social media and complained, in Spanish, that it had been taken literally when it was meant ironically. Make what you will of that ‘clarification’…

Alonso has been consistent about the timing of his decision. He intends to make a call during the summer break, which for him includes next week’s WEC round at Silverstone.

Does he want to spend another season in F1? It’s been over five years since he won a race and it’s hard to see him getting his hands on the equipment to challenge for race victories, let alone a third world title, next season.

When Alonso joined McLaren it was in the hope that reuniting with Honda would make them champions again. That has failed to materialise. By sticking with them for their first season with Renault, Alonso hoped they would be somewhere near Red Bull’s level, potentially able to take the occasional podium finish. But even that modest goal hasn’t been realised.

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Now the team is embarking on a restructuring programme which could take years to realise. Is Alonso really willing to hang around that long for an outside chance of winning again?

Fernando Alonso, IndyCar, McLaren Andretti, Indianapolis 500, 2017
Will Alonso head back to IndyCar
If not, the odds aren’t good that anyone else is going to offer him a potentially race-winning car. Mercedes and Renault have filled their seats. Christian Horner says Alonso creates too much “chaos” for Red Bull.

That leaves Ferrari. Sebastian Vettel, who replaced Alonso three years ago, is on a long-term deal. Kimi Raikkonen’s seat is believed to be under threat from Charles Leclerc. But the unexpected death of Sergio Marchionne, who championed Leclerc’s cause, has left a question mark over their plans for next year.

Will new CEO Louis Carey Camilleri simply carry on where Marchionne left off? Or does he plan to make his mark from the outset? Has he taken note of the points Vettel squandered in Baku, Paul Ricard and Hockenheim and figured these are the kind of errors Alonso wouldn’t make? It’s a long shot, but nothing can ever be ruled out. After all, Ferrari took Raikkonen back after paying to get rid of him in 2009, and McLaren took Alonso back after Spygate.

But while McLaren is very unlikely to be able to offer him a race-winning car, they may be more willing to offer concessions regarding Alonso’s extra-curricular activities. Following his Le Mans 24 Hours victory this year, the Indianapolis 500 is the only remaining leg of the ‘triple crown’ Alonso covets.

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If he’s going to make another attempt at winning it while still competing in F1, he will require a deal which allows him to skip the Monaco Grand Prix, as he did last year. Otherwise he’ll have to sit out a season of F1, in which case he may as well compete a full IndyCar season.

Alonso hasn’t ruled it out, but is it realistic? Doing the Indianapolis 500 as a one-off is one thing, but going up against IndyCar’s established stars on a densely-packed schedule of almost entirely unfamiliar tracks surely risks surely presents Alonso with more to lose than to gain.

In recent years Alonso has strongly criticised how Formula 1 has become dominated by a small handful of teams and the races have become predictable. Meanwhile IndyCar has had seven different winners from five different teams so far this year. If Alonso is inclined to put his money where his mouth is, IndyCar is the place for him.

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Author information

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...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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Posted on Categories 2018 F1 season, 2019 F1 season articles, Fernando AlonsoTags , ,

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  • 102 comments on “F1, IndyCar or just WEC for Alonso in 2019?”

    1. An interesting read. I think it’s a given that Alonso’s only option in Formula One right now (that he would entertain at least) is that of continuing with McLaren. There are simply no other teams that could offer him a better package. Mercedes and Renault are tied up, Ferrari are surely choosing between Leclerc and Raikkonen to partner Vettel and Red Bull have been pretty forthcoming in their opinion of Alonso.

      As you say, McLaren are incredibly unlikely to be in a much better position next year than they are this year. He’s spent the last few years driving a narrative that being the best driver in the world extends beyond the realm of Formula One. If he’s really to put his money where his mouth is, he’ll at least be having another go at the Indy 500. To give himself the best shot at winning it, you’d imagine that he needs a full-time IndyCar drive, which is not something one can balance with a full-time Formula One seat.

      Personally, I do hope he hangs tight because having him on the grid unquestionably strengthens the quality of the field and retaining him indicates that McLaren are not giving up on their project to get back to the front quickly. It’ll be an interesting decision when it emerges.

      1. I’m 100% sure mclaren is going to be better next year. This season hasn’t been total catastrophe for mclaren either. They already have almost the double the amount of points that they had from all of last season. The main question is how much better they’ll be next year. It is unlikely mclaren’s chassis is going to be as good as red bull’s but the mclaren renault engine is going to be better than the red bull honda engine.

        I don’t think anyone can get to the front with the current engines. F1 is totally dominated by ferrari and mercedes. Both on track and in the negotiation tables. Red bull could occasionally luck into a win but that won’t be happening with honda. Not in 2019 for sure. A reasonable target for mclaren for this year was 4th. They have failed on that. In 2019 4th is going to be more difficult as the factory renault team keeps improving. It will be almost impossible for mclaren to beat the renault factory team with their own engines. Renault is not going to make it easy. If renault can make a step ahead next season and red bull slows down then p3 in the championship could be possible for renault. It won’t be anywhere near mercedes and ferrari. Best mclaren can do is probably 5th in 2019. If they get it all right a p4 would be great. But getting higher than that is probably not going to happen as long as these engine regs stay.

        1. Your second paragraph contradicts your first… naturally the team will likely improve as regulations stay largely the same and they go into a second year with Renault.

          I think it’s a given that Ferrari and Mercedes will be ahead of them as you say, Renault surely will be and you’d expect Red Bull to be, even with the Honda engine, as Toro Rosso’s performance has stayed largely the same since their switch. That leaves them fighting over 5th, maybe 4th at best.

          For Alonso, who moved from a consistently 2nd/3rd best team (Ferrari) in search of something more, this doesn’t feel enough and I can’t see it getting any better.

          1. It doesn’t contradict. Mclaren can improve but they’ll never get to the front with the current engines.

    2. Pie in the sky dreaming from me, but I’m clinging to the “Alonso to Ferrari” part of this story. Realistically I’d guess Vettel’s has the power of a veto in his contract.

      1. I agree! I’d love to see Alonso back at Ferrari!! IMO he’d smoke Vettel and would never make the stupid mistakes Vettel has made. If Alonso was driving this year’s Ferrari, I’ve no doubt he’d be leading the championship.

        Cmon Ferrari – DO IT!!!!!

      2. As far as I remember, Danny Ric held at least some talks with Ferrari before settling with Renault. For me, this says that Vettel’s “veto power” is vastly overblown, as otherwise there wouldn’t be any talks at all – I highly doubt Vettel would even consider having Ric alongside him. I don’t think Alonso will end up at Ferrari, but I think it will not be up to Vettel.

        1. Yes Ferrari are going to hire again the driver that destroyed Ferrari and leaved Ferrari like trash, no podiums, and 75% of the workers out of the team. I don’t think they’ll make that mistake again, it cost Ferrari 3 years to return to the top positions.

          1. Oh, really? Then who is blamed for the poor performance in 2005, 2009 and 2016??? Who has driven the second or even the third fastest car and kept on top of the rank in 2010, 2012 and 2013? Who is the driver that made stupid mistakes by himself that ruined the chance for the wdc last year and might lose this year’s too?

    3. I want Nando to go to a full Indy season. It’ll be a great news story for all, especially if he’s in a Mclaren branded team.

      1. If he’s won’t get a seat at Red Bull or Ferrari, I’d rather him go to Indycar as well. It’d be great to see if he could do the same as Mansell and win the title as a rookie… If he managed that, he’d only be one title away from an even more impressive triple crown – Monaco/F1 World Champion, Indy 500/Indycar Champion, Le Mans/WEC Champion.

      2. I also think full time Indycar his best option if he wants to add to his trophy cabinet.
        I can’t see FA getting a podium, let alone a win, in his remaining time in F1, however long that may be

    4. Fernando announced an announcement on 14-08.

      1. Will the announced announcement announce what he’ll be doing next year?

        1. I think the announced announcement on 14-08-2018 will be to announce a future announcement date to announce an announcement on future plans, if his pronunciation and annunciation are not denounced.

    5. If the wins the WEC, he’ll for sure go for the “tripleest” crow: the first to have an F1, endurance and Indycar championship.

    6. OK I feel sentimental about this: give Alonso a final swan song Ferrari, a one or two year deal, racing alongside Vettel. Leclerc can wait. The excitement around Ferrari with Alonso in a race-win-capable car (again) would be enormous and it would do the Ferrari soul a lot of good to allow some free competition to blow through it for once.

      1. @david-br

        a one or two year deal, racing alongside Vettel.

        Ferrari always adopt a #1 and #2 driver approach.. which is why I don’t see him alongside Vettel. The slimmest of chances for Alonso racing at Scuderia will occur if Vettel fails to win the title this year, and the new Ferrari boss doesn’t consider Seb good enough to be a #1 driver at Ferrari.

        1. Proud_Asturian
          12th August 2018, 14:27

          dream on, knuckleheads.

          1. Where’s the dream buddy? Vetttel isn’t in Alonso’s league. Even the writer had to admit to Vettel’s 3 mistakes this year, not to mention lots of mistakes from last year. And Kimi isn’t worthy of a Ferrari seat, his time is done. And people wonder why Ferrari haven’t won a WCC in a decade.

            1. LOL. Ferrari will NEVER hire Alonso again. He had his shot and couldn’t get the job done.
              We have no idea if Alonso is even any better than the midfielders he races against. Vettel would out qualify and out race him everywhere.

            2. He had his shot and couldn’t get the job done.

              He had half a shot and nearly got the job done. He took two championships down to the wire at the last race of the season. Vettel hasn’t even come that close to winning a championship for Ferrari, even though he had a championship contending car last year. Ferraris are the ones who are losing our right now, by having a championship winning car but not a good enough #1 driver.

              Vettel would out qualify and out race him everywhere.

              LMAO. Keep telling your self that. What a yoke!

            3. @gabe
              Evidently you only recently started covering F1.
              In 2010, ALO went to the last race with the lead for the WDC and lost solely due to Ferrari’s faulty pit strategy.
              Present facts – not opinions and you may be taken more seriously.

        2. Ferrari always adopt a #1 and #2 driver approach

          @todfod Well they have done, paradoxically, since Alonso’s first stint with the team. But as far as I can recall, in 2007 and 2008 Massa and Raikkonen were treated equally until one became the potential championship winner (RAI in 2007, Massa almost in 2008). They do have some precedent to fall back on. Vettel and Alonso are more assertive drivers and former champions, true. I don’t see it happening either. But that’s not to say it wouldn’t be good all round (well, Vettel might not be entirely thrilled, but it would do his reputation a lot of good to race and maybe beat someone of Alonso’s level).

          1. @david-br

            2007 and 2008 were the only seasons I remember without a clear #1 driver at Ferrari, before that it was the Schumacher era, which was the most blatant #1 driver status we’ve ever witnessed.

            1. Great point. Kimi and Felipe were a great lineup. Loved the 07-08 seasons.

            2. And before the Schumacher era Ferrari tended to give equal status to both their drivers, as far as I know. Think Alesi and Berger, Villeneuve and Pironi, Prost and Mansell (despite Mansell’s protests I imagine).

            3. 2007 and 2008 were the only seasons I remember without a clear #1 driver at Ferrari

              the previous very, very obviously non-#1 season Ferrari had off the top of my head involved both drivers suffering career-ending crashes at separate points after an Imola 1-2.

              Not sure how the rest of the ’80s went, or the ’90s. I think Alboreto fought for WDC once?

            4. Schumacher didn’t need team orders he dominated every teammate.

              Schumacher gave Irvine a win Sepang 1999. He gave Barrichello a win USA 2002. Barrichello gave Schumacher a win in 2002. Only time it happened but people talk about it like he needed it throughout it his career.

              Ferrari were still burned by the near missed in the late 90’s, so weren’t taking any chances. They weren’t to know early in 2002 it would be such a dominant season.

            5. @anon You’ve got the cart before the horse here. MS’s teammates were under contract to not compete with him. Therefore he dominated them. He didn’t have to lose a minutes sleep over a teammate potentially getting a better handle on the car and having a good run at him. His teammates were driving MS’s designer car only without all the latest upgrades. They were never there to compete against him which is why it appears he dominated them. Everything was set in place for him to dominate them such that any driver under the same circumstances would have done the same. So yeah, MS needed teammates under contract to not compete in order for him to compile the numbers he did.

            6. Schumacher dominated teammates from the moment he got into F1.

              I probably can’t speak any sense with you if you think Schumacher was gifted 91 wins. He was the clear best driver on the grid from the mid ’90s to the mid 2000s.

              He only had teammates move over him 3 times his career by my count. Hamilton had twice that last year alone.

              Schumacher came back from a broken leg at Sepang 1999 and was 1 second a lap faster than Irvine.

              On a good day, Lewis Hamilton is 0.3 second quicker than Bottas.

              Yet Schumacher was forced to give the win to Irvine.

            7. @anon . I have to agree with @robbie on this one. Schamacher was given the better engineers and mechanics, the car was designed purely around Scumacher’s driving style, he was given updates before his teammates and was given more testing preference at Fiorano. And yes, he also had every driver play a #2 role to him in their respective driver contracts. So yes, he dominated his teammates who had one hand tied behind their backs.

              I’m not denying that he wasn’t the best driver on the grid from the mid nineties to early 2000s, but we are discussing his preferential treatment received at Ferrari, which was an extreme case of favouritism. It’s easy to say Schumacher didn’t “need preferential treatment”. Unfortunately, he didn’t agree with that approach and went for every bit of preference he could get over his teammate. Including asking them to just move over.

            8. @anon You speak of the literal number of times teammates have moved over for MS, but you ignore the fact that before each season began MS’s teammates had already ‘moved over’ for him by contract. If it is only 3 times that his teammates literally moved over for him then that tells me how badly they were held back and were almost always, by design, behind him. After all, they were driving a car meant for MS but without the latest upgrades. And then there’s the contract thing.

              You want to compare to LH? Well at least LH, especially with Nico in the other seat, had psychological grief to deal with race after race. Whereas MS had no need to concern himself, even if the odd time his teammate outqualified him, he still could rest easy on Saturday night that there would be no competition from said teammate on Sundays. You can’t say the same of LH/NR.

              Him moving over for Irvine has nothing to do with anything really. That was just the circumstances of them having to appear to back Irvine, but ultimately there was no way they were ever going to let him take the glory of ending the Ferrari WDC drought after spending all that money for MS to do it.

            9. To be the middle guy in the argument, you could argue that Schumacher had the best engineers on the grid/best team and had teammates which were number 2 because he was the best driver on the grid. Why give the #2 driver a chance when he would have beaten them overall anyway, all you’ll do is give someone else in another team a slim chance of the championship because of lost points.

              Obviously every F1 fan wants to see every team have an equal status policy, but the teams want to win at all costs

            10. @burden93 But I’m sure you’re aware MS/Ferrari went way beyond the pale in terms of the 1 and 2 policy. There’s what they did, but then there’s truly giving both blokes every equal opportunity possible from race 1, until the math dictates who, if anyone, has the WDC shot and thus who should not have points taken away by the other teammate as the season winds down. That’s respectable to all, especially the viewing audience. Of course some, especially Ferrari, do the unfortunate thing and forgo that, and that forces other teams to have to make premature decisions along the same lines in order to be on the same page if you will. Certainly, imho, teams not vying for the Championships needn’t hold either driver back from racing each other all season.

            11. @anon . I have to agree with @robbie on this one. Schamacher was given the better engineers and mechanics, the car was designed purely around Scumacher’s driving style, he was given updates before his teammates and was given more testing preference at Fiorano. And yes, he also had every driver play a #2 role to him in their respective driver contracts. So yes, he dominated his teammates who had one hand tied behind their backs.

              The better driver always gets the new parts first.

              To do otherwise would be daft.

              Of course teammates had it written in their contract they had to obey team orders.

              Even Schumacher had to move over for Irvine at Sepang 1999. Out qualified Irvine by 1 second despite Ferrari doing everything in their power to ensure Irvine would win.

            12. @burden93 But I’m sure you’re aware MS/Ferrari went way beyond the pale in terms of the 1 and 2 policy. There’s what they did, but then there’s truly giving both blokes every equal opportunity possible from race 1, until the math dictates who, if anyone, has the WDC shot and thus who should not have points taken away by the other teammate as the season winds down. That’s respectable to all, especially the viewing audience. Of course some, especially Ferrari, do the unfortunate thing and forgo that, and that forces other teams to have to make premature decisions along the same lines in order to be on the same page if you will. Certainly, imho, teams not vying for the Championships needn’t hold either driver back from racing each other all season.

              Just give me some examples where teammates were forced to move over.

              Bottas moved over for Hamilton more times last year than Barrichello and Irvine did in their entire time at Ferrari.

              Just provide me with specific races. Also keep in mind that Schumacher gave up a win for Irvine at Sepang 1999, was forced to play rear gunner for Irvine at Suzuka 1999, gave up a win for Barrichello USA 2002.

            13. @anon And again it is not about literally moving over for MS. It is about that Mosley and BE along with Ferrari set everything up so that rarely were his teammates even ahead…by design…not just because MS was better. If we were to wind back the clock and relive that era you would find literally no talk of any of MS’s teammates being any kind of challenge whatsoever. No strife there at all. And Austria 02 finally provided proof of what to many had become obvious anyway. I suggest you rewatch that race and hang in for the post-race fun, including the driver interviews.

              You keep citing the unique circumstances of 1999 when MS broke his leg as proof of something, and it was not. And you cite US 02, but the key race in 02 was Austria when RB let MS by for the win with metres to go, after which RB admits he thought he better obey his contract. It is there for you to google. I didn’t invent it. Once you have a driver under contract to not compete, you can then just go ahead a build the car to the #1’s liking with no concern at all for the other driver. And the tires. And the upgrades.

            14. @robbie total agree with you on the fact they shouldn’t have had the 1-2 policy that they did, it’s really not good for F1.

              I was saying from a point of view of a team that wants to win at all costs I can see why they choose to run a team like that

            15. Just give me a list of examples where Schuamcher’s teammates moved over for him.

              You bring up Austria 2002. I can bring up Germany 2010, or even this year at Hockenheim where Bottas was ordered to let Hamilton win. On 5 occasions last year Bottas was ordered to move over for Hamilton and even had his race sacrificed to play the role of rear gunner to disrupt Vettel as best he could.

        3. I hope that happens. Alonso to Ferrari announcement would send Formula 1’s stock rising, and it would give him the opportunity for ultimate F1 glory, along with his enviable Le Mans 24 Hours and WEC stats.

        4. The reason he’ll never go back to Ferarri is very clear, in which position he leaved Ferrari (2 podiums in all the year), 75% of workers changed for next year, Ferrari image like unproffesionals that cannot make cars (Alonso words everyday of that year), etc etc etc. U think Ferrari have forgotten already how he leaved the team, destroying everything he could?
          It took Ferrari sometime to return to its level after the demolishion work Alonso done in the past. So yes they are masochist and want their team to return to their darkest times in moder F1!!

    7. I’m sure, like all sportsman, he’s enjoying being constantly asked when he is going to retire.

    8. Vettel back to RBR, Alonso to Ferrari. F1 needs to step in and fix this – this is insane that they could lose a generational talent like Alonso to Indycar in the prime of his career.

      If he’s smart, he’ll get a cut from the series on to of a salary to drive there because he’ll bring so much more interest to their series.

      1. @Hendy
        I couldn’t agree with you more but it isn’t going to happen. F1 is broken – the big dogs have black balled ALO and so he will go.
        I know it’s seems to be a step back for him to go Indycar, but he will get to race again and that’s what he needs.
        Just as important, he was so happy at Indy because he is appreciated – he was a different person.
        I’m glad he’s leaving the stodgy world of F1. No more Rolex crowd!

        1. As much as the big teams have squeezed him out, he’s not an easy driver to have on the team — I get that. I think his talent level is such that you would have to think they’ll make concessions. This is egg all over the sport if they lose — for a lot of people — the best driver in the world.

          I hope he does a full season in Indycar and pulls a Mansell. He can win a championship there and I think the variance between the tracks + the equality of the grid would play right into the hands of someone like him. There’s a lot of luck involved in the 500; I wouldn’t expect he wins it on his second go ’round and will likely need a few kicks at the can but he clearly has the talent to do so.

          I hope he can get creative and looks at other series that he could win in, too. WRC seems like something you need to grow up doing to be at the pinnacle; I’m not sure if that’s something that would interest him but there’s lots of different disciplines.

          1. Agree..the Indy 500 will most likely be the hardest because there is so much that can go wrong.

            It would be bigger than the triple crown if he can win the WEC and Indy car championships in addition to his F1 WDC. I don’t understand the big deal behind counting Monaco as part of the triple crown.

          2. @hendy I’d love to see him do indy, full season. I think i’d prefer to see him up against vettel in the ferrari (if he beat him it would be personal satisfaction for him, if he lost he could just blame his old age and the fact it’s vettel’s team now) rather than against verstappen in the red bull (will be more like staying at mclaren). but really, if he did a mansell that would be so cool and it would boost F1’s standing in america.

            he won’t do rallying – i don’t believe he’s ever done anything like that. we saw with kimi and kubica that even if you have a lot of talent for it, the margins for error are much smaller and circuit drivers just seem to crash a lot. even jim clark crashed a few rally cars (though he did tend to win when he didn’t crash…he might be the exception that proves the rule because he was just exceptional).

    9. I imagine you meant that last point in Jest as Indy car isn’t run by Bernie, there’s no side money for special people. You get paid based on where you finish the race. (what a concept :) ) Now Maybe a big sponsor wants to utilize this opportunity?

    10. I think he should do a half season at Red Bull, to help Verstappen Mature and give the team time to find another Ricciardo.
      Then after the winter break he can take over from Raikkonen and help the red team to get the WCC.

      not realistic, but it would be great to see the guy next to Verstappen and Vettel in race winning capable cars.

    11. Proud_Asturian
      12th August 2018, 14:28

      why are you bothering with an article on this has-been?

      nobody honestly cares what joke series he’ll run off to next year.

      1. A 2 time world champion and one of the greatest drivers to ever race in F1. A lot of people on here care where he’ll end up next

      2. That “has-been” will run circles around every guy on the grid. The only one worthy to be mentioned in the same sentence is Hammy. “No one wants him” is just a pathetic excuse to justify Hammy and Vettel’s veto because thy don’t want the competition. They have nice obedient No.2 partners.

        1. It’s obvious to any un-biased knowledgeable race fan Alonso is better than the rest and up there with the greatest ever. Let them get their rocks off.
          We shouldn’t waste our energy responding to such senseless drivel.

    12. Alonso at Red Bull with Verstappen or Ferrari with Vettel would be incredible. Heavily doubt either would happen, but would love to see Alonso up there again battling the other greats

      1. I agree. I think he’s too big a risk for either of these teams now but I would love to see him have one more real crack at the Championship in a top car.

        I suspect he wants to try a full season in Indy Car but I really don’t know if this will be next year or 2020.

    13. Alonso has been fortunate enough to win 2 WDC’s. there are a number of drivers who arguably has the same skill as him that were not that fortunate because they simply didn’t have the car.

      It is unlikely he’ll win a 3rd because he doesn’t have the car and is unlikely to get one competitive enough but I suspect he’s accepted that.

      If (and it’s a huge if) he stays in F1, he’d only be helping a team develop, and I’m not overly sure that’s going to maintain his interest. Probably time he moves on to a new challenge.

      1. there are a number of drivers who arguably has the same skill as him that were not that fortunate because they simply didn’t have the car

        Aside from Ricciardo, at a push, I don’t know who you mean among the present drivers.
        I’d like to see Alonso in one of the two top cars (i.e. with some serious competition intra-team and inter-team) in part to answer the question of how good he now is. Since winning his titles, it’s been unclear, beaten by a rookie Hamilton in 2007 and, I think, somewhat disappointing at Ferrari when he had an outside chance during the Vettel-Red Bull years. And since then it’s all been – including from himself – how brilliant he is driving around one of the worst cars on the grid.

      2. Alonso has been fortunate enough to win 2 WDC’s. there are a number of drivers who arguably has the same skill as him that were not that fortunate because they simply didn’t have the car.

        He’s destroyed all his teammates, save for Hamilton (who had over 20,000km developing and testing the car to his liking before his first race) who he was dead even with. Look at all the temmates he put out to pasture.

        “Alonso stronger than Schumacher was”: Massa | Racefans.net

        1. Of course, because 20’000 km development is more of an advantage than 5 full seasons and 2 championship wins! It’s rediculous the extent to which people go to diminish another drivers achievments!

          By the way, I don’t recall Alonso demolishing Button during their time together.

        2. I am of the firm belief that Alonso is indeed one of the, if not the, best driver in F1, but destroyed all his team mates??

          If I recall, Button beat Alonso in 2015. So far, the ONLY driver in F1 history to take more points over a season than Alonso as his team mate. But then again, Button has always been vastly under rated.

          Seeing both Button and Alonso finish up their careers in pathetic, non competitive cars has been a stain on modern F1. If there’s any way to make this in some way right, Liberty need to do all they can to make it so. Give Alonso a competitive car god damn it!!! ALONSO FERRARI 2019!!!

          1. If I recall, Button beat Alonso in 2015. So far, the ONLY driver in F1 history to take more points over a season than Alonso as his team mate.

            @nick101

            How could you even take their points total into consideration after the reliability issues they had in 2015? Alonso did out qualify and outrace Button that year, but lost more points than his teammate due to poor reliability.

            1. @todfod

              The fact remains Button beat Alonso in 2015, just like he beat Hamilton in 2011. This is what the history books will show.

              However, I am not suggesting that Button is a better racer than Alonso, so just relax.

              I’ve never been a huge fan of Alonso, but I still firmly believe that he is probably the best driver of our generation and it pains me to see him in non competitive equipment. It’s just plain wrong and a tragedy for Formula 1.

              See this website for some very interesting reading that takes a very analytical look at F1 and driver rankings (Alonso fans will enjoy) – https://f1metrics.wordpress.com

            2. @todfod As I have learned, some people around here do not care about things like unreliability as a factor in why the points for two drivers on a team ended up where they did over a season. Eg. Several here just like to say DR beat MV last year…end of. Even when professional F1 authors of articles point out that when two drivers on a team only finish 7 races together over a season that clouds the comparison between the two drivers, that doesn’t matter to some. It’s just about the points in the end. I have to assume that these same people fully acknowledge Nico beat LH to the WDC in 2016, end of. None of this ‘it came down to one dnf for LH.’

      3. Can’t honestly think of anyone who fits that. The only two non-champions I ever hear being considered truly great are Stirling Moss and Gilles Villeneuve, but both had ‘the car’ at least once.

    14. I’m assuming at least one more season in F1 in 2019 as the clashes between WEC (to which he is already committed) and Indycar would make racing the second Le Mans impossible without missing races in Indycar. I’m expecting Alonso to fully commit to Indycar for 2020 especially if McLaren shows little or no progress in 2019.

      1. FlyingLobster27
        12th August 2018, 15:19

        There’s no clash between Le Mans and IndyCar. Several IndyCar drivers do Le Mans, e.g. Bourdais and Kanaan with Ford. The only possible clash is IndyCar + WEC Spa. Spa is slated for the 4th May, while the traditionally early May Indy Road Course race doesn’t appear to have a definitive date yet. Hmmm…

      2. Noah J Richardson
        12th August 2018, 18:18

        The indycar schedule does not conflict with Lemans as other Indy drivers and teams race there

    15. FlyingLobster27
      12th August 2018, 15:11

      “This is, after all, the driver who prompted the World Endurance Championship to move one of its races just for him.” With that in mind, if Alonso were to choose F1 over Sebring, it would be the most masterful piece of trolling in motor racing history. Seriously, I can’t think of anything more ironic, and as I’ve lost all love for the WEC, I’d be laughing.
      But I don’t think it’ll happen, Toyota and the WEC have consciously given him nothing to complain about so far, and I think they’ll keep it that way in the hope that he’ll stay beyond LM’19, now that he’s reached his declared goal of winning the 24 Hours. If all the dates are compatible, WEC+IndyCar seems a good way to go. And maybe they’ll make it compatible, they’d only eventually have to move Spa.

    16. If he’s going to make another attempt at winning it while still competing in F1, he will require a deal which allows him to skip the Monaco Grand Prix, as he did last year.

      I’m more inclined to think that with a championship-winning F1 car Indy 500 will be put at the back of his to-do list.

    17. In recent years Alonso has strongly criticised how Formula 1 has become dominated by a small handful of teams and the races have become predictable. Meanwhile IndyCar has had seven different winners from five different teams so far this year. If Alonso is inclined to put his money where his mouth is, IndyCar is the place for him.

      That would imply that Alonso actually has a problem with a F1 dominated by a few teams, because it sure didn’t bother him when it was him that was in those few teams. Never heard him complain in 2005-07 where it was his team or McLaren/Ferrari winning virtually all the races. Alonso isn’t looking for a series with good competition, he is looking for a series where he can win and/or make himself look good. That is why I believe he will either retire and enter a cushy full-time WEC gig with Toyota or continue the McLaren/Toyota combination so he can grab the record for the most race starts in 2019.

      1. “Never heard him complain in 2005-07 where it was his team or McLaren/Ferrari winning virtually all the races”

        I think this is a false claim. Can you show some proof?

    18. My prediction: He’s going to stay at Mclaren.

    19. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to know he is going to Indy and I am a happy camper to say the least.

      First off, McLaren tried to sign RIC. If they knew ALO was staying, they wouldn’t have bothered. Also, Zak said last week there are 2 open seats at McLaren. In addition, statements by ALO such as F1 was a “constructors championship not a driver’s”, prove that he’s had enough. If only he would have come to this conclusion several years ago.

      I can understand why many ALO fans don’t want to see him leave – I used to feel that way. But why would anyone want to see a continuation of the misery he has gone through (other than his detractors) for the past 4 years? He simply cannot be competitive, let alone win in F1. The deck is stacked against him. F1 is not and has never been a truly competitive sport where all or even most teams have a fair shot at winning.

      In F1 it’s luck of the draw in most cases. There are 2 or 3 teams that are competitive and the rest are midfielders at best. Usually the top teams manufacture their own engines and although they also provide competitors with said engines, they are always a step or two ahead of their rivals.

      His presence will be a huge shot in the arm for Indy! F1 will lose some viewers such as myself but not many I would suspect. I only wish he could make the change now instead of next year as it’s sad for seeing him content to get 7th or 8th place. His fans should be happy – at long last we will get to see him RACE with the competition fair and square.

      1. I agree. Honestly, after seeing what he’s had to endure in F1 over the past 4 seasons, I would rather he leave for another sport where his talent can really shine. I think he’ll seal the triple crown pretty easily, and then maybe set the bar even higher by chasing a formula e title (quadruple crown).

        He’s too good a driver to be trundling around midfield. Heck, he’d probably be leading the championship right now if he was still driving for either Mercedes or Ferrari, which makes it even more difficult to see him racing in the 8th fastest car on the grid… Around 2 seconds a lap slower than the leaders.

        I think his 14th August announcement is that he’s leaving for indy.

        1. @Dave @todfod Yeah I can’t disagree with what you two are saying, however, I’m not sure if FA should leave quite yet. I’m envisioning a scenario where he sticks it out at Mac for a few more years. Oh I totally get what you mean about trundling along in the midfield, his talent wasted. But then again, he’d make a bucketload more money, possibly having a little more fun if they can get that car to be respectable next year, while Mac helps him with Indy for the future. I just wonder if he has a place to go in Indy yet. Does he? Or is that something that is in the works?

          Unquestionably FA in Indy full time would be a massive boost for Indycar and as I watch all the races anyway, that would be awesome. So I would love to see him in Indy too, but I’m just not convinced he wants to go as soon as next year, nor that he should. Indy will be there for him and he’ll make the same splash whenever he does decide to go, whether that is just for the 500, or he actually wants to compete in that for full seasons. I think my underlying thing is that once he’s gone from F1 he’s gone, no coming back, so it’s not a decision he should take lightly, not that I think he would. There is definitely a part of me that would like to see him in the 2021 cars.

    20. Alonso should have moved to Indycar when he left Ferrari. He might have won the championship, after all he seemed to do well on the Indy 500 course so can handle ovals. Right now I think he’s too old for such a move to be worthwhile.

      1. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
        12th August 2018, 20:28

        Maybe, but IndyCar was only just becoming a big series again( in the few years before it was averaging only 300,000 viewers per race. That wouldn’t be big enough for an ego like Nando’s.

        1. If his go at Indy was any indication, he’ll bring the viewers (looking for great racing) with him.

      2. A lot of people think Indy car is just ovals when in reality it’s split equally between ovals, street and road circuits.
        I think you wrong – he’s not too old – he keeps himself fit and Button claims he carts constantly.
        Even more than that the fire is still burning strong in him whereas others burn out.

    21. I remember when a majority of the teams on the grid could win a race – Tyrrell, Lotus, March, Brabham, Hesketh, McLaren, Wolf, and of course, Ferrari – those were the days. The Cosworth DFV Hewland era really was the best.

    22. Beneath Alonso’s team-mate dominance
      In the third and final part of this mini-series, we look at the team-mate comparisons of Fernando Alonso
      In 2017 he was the dominant force within McLaren against the highly rated rookie Stoffel Vandoorne, just as he has been dominant over every team-mate in terms of results, with the notable exception of Lewis Hamilton in 2007. In qualifying comparison, however, he was narrowly out-performed by Jarno Trulli at Renault in 2003 and very closely matched with him in ’04. Furthermore, the 2015 McLaren pairing with Jenson Button saw them matched to the thousandth of a second over the seven comparable events. Hamilton has been his strongest competitor in the race by race match-up, with Alonso defeating him only 6-5 in the 11 comparable races (54.5 per cent), and next is Button, who Alonso beat in just 57 per cent of the 26 races of straight comparison. Every other team-mate is comprehensively beaten in the race match-ups.

      1. @Hendy
        You seem to be quite an ALO fan like me. The ALO wasn’t very indicative while they were at Honda as in the link below you can see how many DNFs they had.
        Also attached a clip of ALO carting that is pretty cool.

        http://grandprixrankings.com/compare/2015-f1/alonso-versus-button/
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pkFT0b6rYCs

        1. I’m an admirer of his, for sure. I think he’s the best there’s been since Senna but it’s hard to get a reading on how well he’s driving. Most driver’s career arcs don’t look like Fernando’s: he’s driving better now than he ever has (I think he wasn’t quite as adaptable as a younger driver)

    23. Indycar Full season, WEC and Formula E a triple champion at once…. sounds like a Fernando plan

    24. Heard plenty about the new Indycar being a little trickier to drive than the one he used when he raced at Indy. With that in mind, a full-time Indy drive might be a really good idea.

      Just hope he doesn’t end up stuck at McLaren for another season…

    25. A dagger if he leaves.
      Not a good look for F1 when arguably the best and one of the most popular drivers packs up and heads to a supposedly inferior series. Or is it?

    26. Haas can replace the woeful Romain Grosjean with Fernando alonso

    27. Alonso is not going for the Triple Crown…he is going for the Super Triple Crown…ie F1 World Champ, WEC Champ and Indy Car Champ…by next year he will be crowned WEC Champ…2 down and 1 to go.

      He will more than likely move to Indy after next year…probably…now that would be cool.

    28. Winning the Indy 500 has no prestige (for an F1 drive). Indycar is a single-spec domestic series with second-rate drivers.

      LMP1 is a two car field with second-rate drivers.

      A triple crown doesn’t mean anything — especially when one of those victories (Le Mans) was achieved in an effective two car class.

      It’s all becoming rather pathetic. Alonso is desperate to create this narrative that being a “complete” driver that wins in multiple classes is better than winning 4 or 5 world championshps.

      The guy needs to find something else to do in life rather than risk life or health in a dangerous sport like Indycars.

      It’s all rather sad that he can’t move on to his next chapter in life.

      1. Let me guess…you aren’t an ALO fan…LOL

        1. He’s a great driver, but his relative lack of success has been his own doing.

          Time to move on rather than seek race wins in second-rate series. They mean nothing when you have already won F1 world championships.

          Alonso had his chance in 2007 but allowed a rookie to get into his head.

          2010 he bottled it getting stuck behind Petrov.

          2012 he underperformed in the last 3 races barely outperforming Massa (who we know is an ordinary driver).

          1. You’ve get 2010 wrong – bad pit strategy caused him a WDC – even the Tifosi admit that.
            Actually all your assertions are either untrue or opinion only.
            Thanks for proving my hunch though:)

            1. The point is he had his chances but failed to take them.

              Vettel took his chances in 2010 and 2012.

              Hamilton failed to take his chance in 2016.

      2. I’d say for what i’ve seen of the Indy 500 (I don’t claim to be an expert by any means) it seems far more unpredictable than F1. Only taking Alonso’s race last time as an example, at least 2 or 3 of the favorites for victory either had car failures or crashes towards the end of the race, often with 3 or 4 drivers having a chance to win on the last lap. That seems far more difficult to win than having the fastest car (then parade around at 75% speed in the race due to no overtaking) at Monaco.

        To win the triple crown is a seriously impressive feat and shows a driver that can win at all different types of Motor racing. Could more drivers have won it if they had gone for it? Yes probably, but the fact is they haven’t and you have to admire the drivers that have accomplished it

    29. This is one of the funniest, yet most ‘jingoistic’ threads I’ve ever seen online… Thanks guys. lol.

    30. OK, how about a couple of really left field ideas…
      1. Alonso to Renault to partner Danny Ric. They seem to have plenty of dosh washing around and Fred did win 2 titles for them.
      2. Alonso to Force India. Now that moneybags Stroll has the team for sonny jim, having a top driver to nurse him along would seem a good idea. And its not like Stroll is short of a bob or two.

      The more I think about it, the more the second option becomes a bit more likely.

      Ultimately, I think it more likely he will do Indy as age is less important there.

      1. I think the problem with both of those is that Alonso probably only wants to stay in F1 if he has a chance of championships. Either of those options he doesn’t have a chance,

        1) It will be a few years till Renault get a shot, 2021 at the earliest
        2) Force India won’t have the budget to challenge the top 3, you would expect McLaren to be faster than them next year anyways (given McLaren’s record recently there’s no guarantees though!)

    31. Look who’s on the front page of the IndyCar website

    32. I’m a def fan of Alonso but his hardcore fans much like Senna fans are incapable of having any kind of rational discussion on anything and it’s annoying. I think he should go to Indy full time and go for not only the 500 but the title as well then come back to f1. I’m sure he could arrange something like that with mcleran .

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