Fernando Alonso, IndyCar test, Barber Motorsports Park, 2018

Another burned bridge could drive Alonso to NASCAR


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Suggestions that HPD, Honda’s North American motorsport arm, is jibbing at supply engines to an IndyCar entry linked to Fernando Alonso – and, by extension, McLaren – are no surprise given the public humiliation the Japanese motor company suffered during their truncated F1 partnership. Given the background, said suggestions are not only fathomable, but utterly logical.

It may be an understatement to say Honda’s F1 engines were initially sub-standard in terms of power and reliability. But, as we suspected then and know now, McLaren’s hardware was not up to scratch either. Indeed, in this era of overly complex power units, the one commodity Honda truly needed upon its return to F1 was tolerant co-operation, and that was blatantly conspicuous by its absence on the parts of both McLaren and its star driver.

During a recent McLaren press session I asked whether Alonso’s history with Honda could force him to run with Chevrolet power units, and whether any Honda deal would not bring him into direct conflict with Toyota, with whom he holds a WEC contract through to the end of June 2019. The answers were non-committal – as expected – which spoke volumes.

The fact is that this highly gifted driver, arguably the best in the sport, has regularly backed himself into corners during his career. McLaren may have forgiven his role in ‘Spygate’, but it can hardly be coincidental that since the scandal one of the sport’s top drivers has not been in the (serious) running for a drive with a Mercedes-powered team.

Remember: at the time the Triple Pointed Star was not only McLaren’s engine supplier, but also a 40% partner in the company – and thus, crucially, directly carried 40% of the draconian $100m fine levied by the FIA, at the time presided over by Max Mosley, in turn no great fan of the team’s then-boss Ron Dennis. Mercedes main board members clearly have long memories.

Nelson Piquet Jnr, Renault., Singapore, 2008
Renault hasn’t reunited with Alonso since Crashgate
And consider: since ‘Crashgate’ broke in August 2009, Alonso has not been on the radar of Renault. True, the company withdrew in the wake of arguably F1’s greatest-ever scandal, but has had three opportunities to re-sign Alonso since returning to F1 in 2016 – yet their 2005/6 champion was never in serious contention for a seat. Renault main board members clearly have long memories too.

Was Alonso simply badly served by coincidence by being at the heart of two major F1 scandals within as many years?

In the run-up to the Belgian Grand Prix, Red Bull boss Christian Horner gave his explanation for not considering Alonso as a possible replacement for Daniel Ricciardo. “He’s a great driver, a fantastic driver,” said Horner, but it was “very difficult to see [him joining Red Bull], and he’s tended to cause a bit of chaos wherever he’s gone.”

Understandably Alonso took exception to Horner’s comments and pointed to various negotiations – Horner maintains there was but one such occasion, in 2007, when Alonso was on the driver market after “Spygate”. Either coincidence has (again) been unkind to Alonso, or there is some truth (at least) to Horner’s allegation.

But Horner’s remarks have the ring of truth. Every F1 team boss Alonso has driven for save Paul Stoddard (who owned Minardi, and thus could not be fired), lost his job during Alonso’s tenure with that team: Renault’s Flavio Briatore (also his manager), Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali and Marco Mattiacci, McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh, Ron Dennis and Eric Boullier. One could also add the names of more than a few senior engineers to this roll call.

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Earlier this month Alonso tested a Honda-powered – but not Honda-stickered – Andretti IndyCar. Rumours persist that his fractured relationship with Honda means that if he does join the series it will be at the wheel of a Harding-run, Chevrolet-powered machine, potentially with input from Andretti and McLaren staff.

But there are complications, not least Andretti’s contract with Honda for the rest of its four-car operation. Meanwhile Alonso has been dropping hints on social media about interest in other championships.

Start, NASCAR, Daytona 500, 2018
The Daytona 500 could be on Alonso’s bucket list
Was his video stunt with NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson a calculated plot to remind IndyCar they are at risk of losing this star draw to their number one US rival? The thought of seeing one of the world’s best single-seater drivers oval racing not in an IndyCar, but in Detroit heavy metal, is anathema to some.

And it may not be Detroit heavy metal but Japanese (financed) steel. Given his WEC contract with Toyota and stated aim of winning the endurance championship to add to his two F1 world titles and recent Le Mans victory, it would make sense for Alonso to throw his lot in with current NASCAR front runners Toyota for 2019, then gear up for a full IndyCar season (and perhaps select NASCAR outings) with a Chevy team in 2020.

While it would tick all the boxes by enabling him to “become the best [all round] driver in the world”, it would also leave McLaren totally out of Alonso’s USA loop. Though that could ultimately prove to be the McLaren management team’s saving grace.

During McLaren’s Monza press briefing, I listed all team bosses who had lost their respective jobs while Alonso drove for them, then requested comment. He grinned broadly, then pointed at McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran, “He’s next.” Beware coincidence, Gil, and have a short memory…

As Alonso prepares to bid farewell to F1 at the end of the year, some have blamed the state of the sport for losing one of its top drivers. But the bottom line is that the job of drivers is to master the F1 of their era: technologies, circuits, competition and politics. Alonso mastered that list, save for the final (and perhaps most crucial component), and thus failed himself, and by extension F1. Not the other way around.

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130 comments on “Another burned bridge could drive Alonso to NASCAR”

  1. Was an Indycar with a Honda engine even an option? And after last year heartbreaking Honda failure at Indy 500 I guess he was not willing to drive one either. Chevrolet is the way to go I guess, and it’s not a bad option.

    1. @spoutnik I would say if you want to win the championship a Honda is the best bet, but if your priority is the Indianapolis 500 a Chevrolet is probably better. Not much in it, though.

    2. i really think Chevy would be better for Alonso given how this season they dominated the big ovals, that’s if he’s more interested in Indy500. Honda powered cars won more races and seem to be better on regular racetracks, but had less pole-positions, which i believe is an important comparison for engine performance given how qualy usually involves less hazard than in a race.

      With Alonso’s experience and racecraft i believe he can get in the mix as well even on street circuits and regular tracks. There doesn’t seem to be such a big margin, like in F1 (Merc / Ferrari vs Renault / Honda), so he might get a chance at winning the championship in a Chevy car. Ofcourse, if he finally decides to go there.

    3. Let him switch back to gokart. The guy is poison for any organisation. At least long term impact.

      1. he is one of the best ever. when you are trying to achieve great things you ask for the best. if you cannot achieve because people have hurt feelings then you are not a championship outfit.

    4. @spoutnik Great article. However, I think it’s a bit hyperbolic in the potential implications. If Alonso wants to do Indy he definitely will. There is too much interest in him joining. I doubt even Honda would be able to resist the potential $$$ Alonso could bring. The only issue would be if Alonso refuses, which I also has been blown out of proportion. Yes, there is no way in hell Alonso would drive a Honda F1 engine. But this is Indy, where Honda is arguably the best engine. Alonso is only interested in winning. If Honda is the best option, I’m sure he’ll take it.

  2. “He’s next.”

    Yikes haha. That must have taken some guts to ask Dieter, but I’m glad you did!

  3. I keep reading on this site hints that alonso knew about crashgate. Give it a rest.

    1. I’d rather read hints that Alonso might have known, than assertions that he definitely didn’t.

      The investigation failed to find proof that Alonso knew; it did not prove that Alonso knew nothing…

      1. @hammerheadgb, the problem with going down that route is that attitude, if taken to extremes, creates a situation where it feels that you can condemn anybody for anything by placing the onus on them to provide absolute proof of innocence, something which can become a rather high threshold.

        If any driver is involved in even the merest whiff of a scandal now, do we hold all of them to the same standard and say “just because they’ve not found evidence of guilt does not mean that they were unaware of what went on”?

        1. I have an opinion
          19th September 2018, 6:36

          The association is far greater than a “whiff”. Alonso’s deniability is just, barely just, plausible. In F1, think of Schumacher’s Option 13 for another example. There are boundless examples of plausible deniability outside of F1 e.g. organised crime, governments, religious institutions, etc.

          I, for one, believe that it is correct to suspect and distrust even if you lack the evidence to openly accuse for fear of libel. There seem to be few unsuspicious and trusting people inside the paddock.

    2. You really don’t think he knew? Okay ….

      1. Explain to me why on earth he would then?

        The strategy was normal for a car at the back that had pace. Many many examples, including about 4 others in the same race(so did they know? one had the same engine so would make sense on that logic and also desperately needed a result).

        And Flavio needed a result, if you remember renault were rumoured to want to leave the sport unless results come quickly.

        Fernando did not. He had a ferrari deal pretty much in hand. It was well known even then.

        So i can’t see it. Certainly getting boring explaining to many that don’t or didn’t understand basic F1 strategy of the time.

        1. Basically you are asserting that FA could not have known about CrashGate simply because he did not NEED to win.
          That is your only evidence… but, first of all, it’s negative evidence, and proves nothing… and secondly, maybe FA might have WANTED to win… after all, he’s a talented racing driver who at the time was not winning too often – why would he refuse – IF he had known…?
          You choose not to believe FA was involved; that is your prerogative… but your ‘evidence’ is like that for defending the ‘Flat Earth’ theory, or the existence of life after death, or the non-existence of the Holocaust…
          But it’s also getting boring reading this same comment from you on every Alonso page on this site… and now you also try to suggest that anybody who chooses to think differently to you doesn’t understand basic F1 strategy – another negative comment without evidence…
          Sorry, you still haven’t won me over… lol ;)

          1. I gave counter evidence to the fact that everyone else only evidence is the strategy that he was on was apparently crazy. As i have stated the strategy was sound.

            He may of known but its less likely and than likely. After for sure he knew, but after 2007 he couldn’t grass another team.

            Yes he should of sacked Flavio.

        2. If he didn’t know can you explain why he didn’t fire Briatorre as his Manager to this day?

          1. @pking008, there were several other drivers who also kept Briatore on as their manager as well after that race and the hearing, so he seems to have inspired quite strong loyalty from a lot of drivers.

            For example, Mark Webber continued to use Briatore as his manager at least up until his retirement from the sport (I’m not sure if he kept him on when going into the WEC though). In fact, Webber was very staunch in his defence of Briatore, stating that Briatore “was a very good character for our sport” and praised Briatore’s loyalty and commitment to him in the years leading up to his retirement from the sport.

    3. We will have to wait for the book

    4. Even if he knew, I don’t see how Renault could possibly blame Alonso for it. It’s their team, the owned it and were responsible for any decisions made by the team. They cheated to benefit Renault, not just for Alonso personally.

      1. Good point also. i suspect after the event he quickly worked it out and kept quiet.

        This article claims renault weren’t interested in him again after. Also not true, they said they were but couldn’t provide him with the car he needs so he would be frustrated. He left Renault on good terms.

        Sadly this is one of the worst articles i have read on a great great website. i read like someone having to fill up words so is basically making it up. Interesting but incorrect on most levels.

        1. So Renault state they couldn’t provide Alonso a car he deserved yet they are above McLaren in the standings and where happy / desperate/ determined to get Sainz as part of the deal for Honda supplying TR and Renault supplying McLaren. Alonso is out of contract and could have gone to Renault but they chose to keep Niko and sign DR and didn’t bother to ask Alonso if he was interested. Sure the money would have been less, I’m sure Alonso would have wangled some free publicity for his clothing brand too.

          Basically Renault where politely stating they didn’t want him. It’s a bit like saying Alonso knew nothing about crash gate when his team mate, manager and team principle and also senior team manager where all in on it, conspiring to get Alonso the win without Alonso knowing they’ve contrived a situation that’ll get him to the front of the pack on a circuit that is hard to overtake on.

    5. Another Alonso-condemning content – is Dieter also a member of the Cult of Alonso Haters?

      Christian Horner courted Alonso multiple times but it was the latter who rejected the offers, the latest rejection because Red Bull can’t prove they would fight for championships next year. And how can Horner be trusted on this one when he himself has burned bridges with Renault?

      And it wouldn’t be right to say Alonso wasn’t in Renault’s radar after their return. The fact is Renault wasn’t in Alonso’s radar. There was nothing in them to suggest they would win titles. The McLaren Honda combination seemed potent at the time, and you can’t blame Alonso for not having a crystal ball.

      As for the Honda “bridge burning”, what do you expect a legend like Alonso to do when given a miserable go-kart of an engine? Sing its praises? Vettel, Hamilton, Senna or anyone for that matter would do the same.

      It seems it isn’t some fans alone who are struck with the Alonso Prejudice Syndrome.

  4. Great article as always, @dieterrencken. I already said it, but with your contribution, Racefans really stepped up its game. I have to admit: I’m not a native English speaker and the complexity level of your article is above the average in my opinion; it is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. What I suggest to fellow readers is a solution I found that may help others: I let my phone read the article. I’m sure every phone OS has its way, on iPhone you can enable on-screen reading in the accessibility options. It’s not like a podcast episode (which, by the way @keithcollantine could be a nice addition) but it looks like it.

    What can we expect in next Racing Lines episode :)?

    1. getting a bit repetitive………but thats daily sports reporting these days.

  5. As i can see, the only place where Alonso has any kind of opportunity is FormulaE, but none of the teams there have the financial capacity to pay his salary…
    He has broken the relationships with
    🔹️Renault after the whole Crashgate story
    🔹️Ferrari, as he left in tension
    🔹️Mercedes, after his Spygate role
    🔹️Honda, where he embarrssed them in their home country.
    He didnt break the bonds with those just in F1, but in general…
    So, he has extremely limited options…

    1. Honda embarrassed themselves without Alonso’s comments.
      Ferrari weren’t good enough. Now that they are good enough they have Vettel who prefers Kimi because he would be a good little boy.
      Mercedes don’t have any place for Alonso as they are happy with Bottas also being a good little boy.

      It’s more to do with other teams being happy with with their 1/2 scenario.

      I’m not so much of a fan of Alonso although I respect his speed, but people need to reel their neck in. I feel embarrassed for the people who write those kind of things as they show how little they know about F1.

      1. BMF66 Actually Honda was rushed into their F1 return… They started developing their engine in 2014 & they were expected to be ready for 2015, which wasn’t possible. Mercedes for instance, started back at 2012 their engine development(Source: Ross Brawn).
        You can’t just blame Honda… McLaren was in danger of being left without engine for 2015 & Honda was rushed a year earlier… Sure, they accepted that challenge, but their task was impossible…
        As for the Ferrari years, he had a team with everything on point & he only had to be patient. 2010 was a very good car, but mistakes from both sides throughtout the season cost the championship. He left the team at the end of 2014 & Ferrari became again competitive in 2015. If he was patient, he would have been in Vettel’s position fighting with Hamilton…

        1. Without a doubt the poor performance of mclaren in 2015, 16 and 17 was more down to honda than the chassis. Sure the talk about the mclaren chassis being the best was very optimistic but the chassis was at least very decent as proven by the sector times and performances in the twisty and less power dependent tracks. Honda’s engine on the other hand was unreliable, had poor fuel consumption, awful reliability, super slow, super bad reliability, poor drivability, really bad reliability and poor harvesting capability (ers). And in 3 years honda did not show any improvement at all. Zero. Nothing. Let’s not forget mclaren had difficult time even developing the car because the engines were dying all the time. Hard to fix your chassis when you can’t drive the car…

          Would mclaren been in the competition for wins with mercedes engines? No. Would they have finished 9th in 2016 with mercedes (or renault or ferrari) engines? Of course not. Mclaren is not blameless but honda is at least 80% at fault.

          1. Don’t forget the Honda reliability was pretty poor too.

          2. @socksolid Its truth Honda from 2015 till mid 2017 was the main reason why McLaren suffered. For me they are 50%-50% at fault. The reason why is that they rushed Honda into getting in 2015. They had to start from 0 & build am engine in less tham a year. And not a simple engine, the most complex engines ever created. I’m not sure if McLaren had any alternatives for 2015, in order to wait for Honda’s entrance in 2016.

          3. @miltosgreekfan, since you ask, McLaren did have an alternative option – the contract they had with Mercedes had the option for them to use their engines for the 2015 season. In fact, I believe that Whitmarsh’s original statements about that deal did imply that the original plan was to use Mercedes’s engines for 2015, which would have given Honda another 12 months to continue developing their engines.

            It was Ron Dennis who seems to have insisted that Honda had to enter in 2015, forcing them to rush the development of their engines – and it seems that there was no reason to do it other than the fact that Ron didn’t want to be seen as a mere “customer team” for Mercedes in 2015.

            That said, it should be said that Honda wasn’t completely starting from scratch in 2014 – we know that Honda sent representatives to the committees that drafted the current regulations, so they should have had a fairly good understanding of those rules.

            I believe that Racecar Engineering also wrote an article in 2013 that indicated Honda might have begun design work back in 2011, starting with the initial conceptual design work and may have already been running single cylinder tests by 2013. The design was probably still fairly basic at that stage, but they potentially had the basic outline of that engine in place by that stage – however, by bringing forward the introduction to 2015, they couldn’t really do much to improve that initial conceptual design given they needed to produce prototype engines for testing in late 2014.

          4. @anon.

            Ron wanted Alonso and Merc didn’t want him running their PU.

            For Ron to get Alonso, Honda needed to be ready.

        2. To a few people replying to me…
          If that is your final response and ultimate train of thought even though the facts are part of history, then I would say you’re probably delusional. That or you haven’t watched F1 regularly or watched/read anything of real value regarding F1. This site is not one of them.

          Honda are STILL unreliable and least powerful of all F1 engines. They consistently over promised and under delivered. They refused help from McLaren. They were stubborn in sticking to their traditional ways.

          Anything else is secondary no matter what McLaren’s internal problems were. It doesn’t matter if Honda were with Virgin who couldn’t even get their fuel cell right, Honda were and still are the junk engine of F1 who I bet are promising the world to Red Bull. You can hear the PR talk through gritted teeth.

          1. You make too much sense – good to see though rare on this site.

      2. alonso has one job. drive to victory. he has shown great competency in doing that. if i was a team principle id be more interested in having a champion driver than having a driver that doesn’t make me look bad when i fully deserve it. Nobody wants to be accountable to their driver, but in the end a car goes nowhere without a driver…….and the best get there fastest.

    2. @miltosgreekfan With Alonso’s track record at breaking things, if he goes to Formula E, you fear for the entire formula.

      1. @david-br FormulaE might be his last chance in getting a competitive seat (full time) in a competitive series.(WEC only with Toyota as LMP1 isnt that good).
        There are big brands interfering with the sport (Audi, BMW, Nissan etc ) & if he is interested in a move there, he must be careful in his negotiations…

  6. @q85: we’re talking about a driver who bisects every angle of every aspect, always, yet somehow did not question a decision to fuel him ultra-light at a circuit where one does not wish to be forced into an early stop for fuel due to the vagaries of an almost-certain Safety Car.

    This is a comment piece, not a report or interview, so opinion is in order. You are entitled to yours, of course.

    1. Thats it!!! Finally someone tinks the same way i do, it was impossible for him not to know it because of this!!

      1. you guys sadly know very little about basic F1 Strategy for a car that is fast at the back on a street circuit.

        Michael run the same strategy at monaco in 06. Red bulls, Rubens and Nico ran the same strategy in the same race. So did they know as well????

        it is all about getting clean air, which an early stop will do. And by the time you catch the pack they pit and give you more clean air. And you will still be faster than them as by that point you will have less fuel so you can pull away to be ahead by time you put.

        I am amazed some can’t grasp this.

        1. In 2008 the Renault was one of the slowest, hence the pressure to win a race. In 2006 the Ferrari was one of the fastest, if not THE fastest. I am amazed…

          1. Come on, Renault in 2008 totally upped its game when it found out how to manage tires thanks to a Safety Car in Germany. R28 wasn’t by any means one of the slowest cars of the grid by the end of the season, as the win in the Japanese Grand Prix just a fortnight later proved.

          2. @dieterrencken has my vote. He knows what he’s talking about in contrast to q85.

          3. Then Dieter you never watched that weekend.

            i am finding it hard to take your comments seriously on the matter when you think that in 08 singapore the renault was a slow car??? don’t you remember practice where Alonso was lighting fast. And how it was a shame they broke down in qualifying as they had a shot at a top 3.

            You say you are amazed at least i can remember one of the most iconic weekends in the sports recent history. As a journalist you should really be more on top of what happened or don’t comment on it if you can recall the facts.

            Shame as this is a great site

        2. Let’s see… your knowledge of F1 strategy vs Dieters… well, I know who’s opinion I put more faith in…

          1. You are misguided then. Dieters with all due respect clearly doesn’t know alot or is choosing to forget for the story he is writing.

            Or Ross Brawn, Adrian N, Pat S, and whoever was in charge of strategy at BMW that day also know less than this guy? I think not. If he has an issue with Fernando then fair enough just say rather than paragraphs of waffle.

          2. q85 – presumably since you’re more knowledgeable than everyone else on this thread you recall that in 2008 the top ten had to start with post-qualifying fuel loads. Alonso was not in the top 10 and therefore a more sensible contra-strategy if he was racing the front runners would have been to run longer than them, not put himself behind the backmarkers. Kubica and Rosberg both made the top 10 and therefore would have compromised on fuel levels to gain track position which at a circuit like Singapore is crucial. To suggest that the strategy Alonso used was the same as those in the top 10 is ridiculous when in reality he had the freedom to fuel up and they did not.

  7. What a joke this article about burning bridges when it argues all the team bosses fired by Alonso. Are you seriously bellieve that??Please be objetive and analyze each situation carefully. its not fair blaming Fernando for all of them or none of them…

  8. Just a stupid rumor, Honda and Indycar are looking forward to have alonso.

  9. conclusion from this article is that Horner and other dudes are scared about losing their jobs :)

  10. Complete BS. Indy car will move mountains to get Alonso into their series. Chevey-Ilmor may provide the engines, but he will race Indy car if he so desires. In fact it would be for the best if he doesn’t race for Honda – the revenge factor would come into play and spice things up.

    Having said that The division of Honda that builds engines for Indy car has already said they have no problems with Alonso. How could they? Would any champion worth his salt – Hamilton or even Versteppen for instance, not do the same or worse? Of course. And Honda knows it. Mr. Honda himself said he didn’t blame Alonso.

    All this talk about Alonso burning bridges is ridiculous. I agree with a previous poster. He left for the same reason RIC couldn’t get a seat at Ferrari or Merc – because of the screwed up nature of F1 teams shielding their number 1 drivers from competition. One of the reasons their ratings are slipping no doubt – the WDC was pretty much decided half way through the season. How exciting! Ferrari is paying a heavy price this year for that reason – RIC or ALO in that car would be ahead, not 40 points in the hole. They wanted him, they got him.

    As far as Jimmy goes, I can see ALO running the Daytona as Mario did or them pairing for a WEC series race but he won’t race a season in NASCAR – it’s not in his DNA.

    1. Wow who remembers that infamous race that Mario won at Kalimari desert?

    2. Andrew in Atlanta
      18th September 2018, 14:07

      Exactly right, read US based articles and it’s a VERY VERY different story. As in there is NO STORY here. HPD has said they need concessions from other teams OR more money as they support the maximum teams currently and adding another team for the season would be hard. It has ZERO to do with any supposed Alonso hatred, even Honda has said directly and clearly they will NOT be blocking HPD from signing with a McLaren/AA team. HPD has to decide if they can furnish the supply in a manner worthy of a full season team, they have multiple times referred to low parts stock after oval events and the difficulty of meeting the teams currently running Hondas needs after wrecks. Teams have HAD, not opted but were required, to use salvaged parts from wrecked cars because there were no spares. It has zero to do with any Alonso hate and to get his butt in a seat going for the “triple crown” and the advertising Honda would use in their museum, they would swallow any pill to get that car in there. They love and fully support Indy and AOWR, please actually come to the US and follow true motorsports journalists regarding the sport before pontificating from afar.

  11. “But, as we suspected then and know now, McLaren’s hardware was not up to scratch either.”

    Disagree with this part. I think the 2015 car was quite good, whilst perhaps the 2016 car had a flaw that made it similar to this years car (they were hammered in Suzuka 2016, but Honda weren’t where they are this year either, although better than 2015). I think 2017 Monaco, Mexico showed that the car was also top 4 and quite good, but Honda were at it’s worst again.

    Sure, this years car is a dog again, but it’s a bit unfair to say this years car reflects McLaren’s hardware over the past 3 years. It’s like saying the 04 Ferrari was a dog and it was exposed in 2005 when Bridgestone dropped the ball…

  12. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    18th September 2018, 13:17

    Said it before – Alonso is a great driver but a horrible person to work with and most certainly not a natural motivator that can lift spirits/motivation of an entire team.

    1. @jelle-van-der-meer

      Exactly, he’s marmite. I think the same as you. I’d hate to work with him but some of his work is outstanding, he has been involved in some very dark episodes though, like spy then crash gate.

  13. Lol. This man just keeps burning bridges. He needs to go to formula e. There are ex formula 1 drivers and fair racing. It’s an opportunity to show he really is the best still. The cars, except for regenerative breaking, are more manual than formula 1 and I think he will like it. It will also be very easy for him to get in. There are no Honda engines there lol.

  14. I really hope the McLaren-Andretti-Harding-Chevrolet solution comes to fruition.
    NASCAR has too steep a learning curve for any single-seater maestro to step in and just start winning.
    JPMs sole NASCAR win coming on one of the few road courses, but when he jumped back to Indy he challenged for championships again.
    I’m sure the last thing Nando wants is to be stuck in the midfield again, but I think that’s the best he could hope for in NASCAR.
    Even if somehow he did manage to be on the pace of the leaders in year one, the “chase” is a stupid lottery which shouldn’t be validated by his participation in any case.

    1. Anthony Guarnieri
      18th September 2018, 19:37

      Although JMP didnt win alot, by the end of his career in NASCAR he was a solid contender every week and lead laps. He was even a contender to win the championship in 2009(i beleive) but fell apart with a few races to go. I think toyota should get him some experience in some top level equipment in the xfinity series ans see how he does. Biggest problem open wheel drivers have going to stock cars is managing tire wear. JMP and

  15. I don’t think Alonso’s career ever got past Crashgate. Ferrari did give him an awesome opportunity however. Either way it’s time for him to go. Good luck with NASCAR. Keep those lips shut Fernando.

  16. 07, stepney shared confidential docs to coughlan who copied them and brought them to mclaren… but it’s alonso’s fault mercedes got fined $100m

    08, briatore and symonds persuade piquet jnr to crash on purpose, but it’s alonso’s fault the senior personel are fired (btw light-fuelling for the start in the ‘closed-pit during safety car’ era was a viable strategy, worked for piquet himself in hockenheim)

    10-14, nearly delivers two drivers titles to ferrari despite them never producing a championship winning car, domenicali gets the sack after the new ‘14 power train underperforms… alonso’s fault

    14 – dennis ousts whitmarsh to wrestle back control of mclaren… alonso’s fault

    15 to 17 – honda grossly and continuously underperforms, mclaren mismanages the whole thing and also underperforms… boullier gets the sack… whole thing is alonso’s fault

    Love your articles Dieter but I feel like this one is adding 1 plus 1 makes 5…

    He’s got his fault’s, sure, but nothing like what this article suggests.

    1. @aussie
      Spot on!

    2. Dieter usually produces excellent copy but this tabloid style trash is beneath the quality of his and RaceFans usual efforts.

    3. (btw light-fuelling for the start in the ‘closed-pit during safety car’ era was a viable strategy, worked for piquet himself in hockenheim

      Err. What? Piquet wasn’t light fueled at Hockenheim. In fact, Piquet was extremely heavily fueled that he made his sole pitstop just before the Timo Glock induced safety car when around 50% of the race was done. He freely gained a lot of time thanks to the safety car.

      Infact, I believe Piquet’s fortune at this race was the motivation for formulating Alonso’s strategy at Singapore. Basically, pit just before the safety car and enjoy..

    4. Aussie, I am not sure if you are being deliberately disingenuous?

      Firstly, the article isn’t really saying Alonso is responsible for team principles being fired or leaving. It is just pointing out the coincidences, which are striking but not conclusive. What it is saying is that Alonso has burned his bridges repeatedly through poor judgement in the political arena of F1, and this over a number of years.

      So, lets flesh some of your points a little more then:

      07 – No, Alonso wasn’t responsible for the espionage. He DID, however, use this situation to try to blackmail the team and when he didn’t get his way he went to Bernie. Thus, he was responsible for the situation becoming public and thus the fine. Reason? The massive ego taking a beating at Hamilton’s hands. Politics failure? Yes.

      08 – Alonso denied knowledge of the accident, yes. But, as you know, the general hypothesis here is that the strategy was formulated to suit Alonso because of his contract in an attempt to keep him on the team. In other words, he was complicit (?) in race fixing and accepted this because he got a win. Sure, Briatore and Symonds copped the ban, that’s not the point is it. Good favour for Alonso in F1 politics ? Probably not.

      10-14 – Alonso, despite performing well for Ferrari, is pushed out. Why did the team not want him anymore? Politics failure? Well, we don’t really know do we. But, if you believe the rumours, yes it was.

      15-17 – Alonso publicly denigrates and shames Honda repeatedly, even at their home race. To a lesser extent he also implies McLaren are no good, all the while claiming he has never raced better. Thus he shows he is more than willing to bite the hand that feeds him (many many millions a year) for the sake of stoking his own ego. Yet another political faux pax? You bet. Especially given the expectation of teams that their drives will be politically correct puppets to the media.

      18- engages in mind games through the media with Red Bull over the slight of Horner’s comments. Again, it can only concluded that ego was the motivation. I wonder if there is more that Horner is alluding to when he said Alonso causes chaos wherever he goes…? Stuck a chord didn’t it.

      His megalomania has been his biggest enemy, both in terms of greater success in F1 and future options in the sport. Yet it doesn’t appear that he has learned from his past mistakes….which isn’t surprising when you consider that megalomania is basically a delusion.

      1. The last word in your post defines your clsims perfectly.

      2. @mog. Well put

        The guy is on the spectrum.

  17. While I do get companies wanting to distance themselves from FA because that would be the safe thing to do, I think there is some pettiness going on at the same time. FA had a very minor role in spygate. He wasn’t the spy, and it was Ron Dennis that actually opened up the can of worms. FA could not possibly have known that in fighting for equality at Mac he would end up costing them/Mercedes $100 mill. Was FA to blame for Ferrari needing restructuring when he was there? Is Honda still not balatantly behind? Are they really so incensed at remarks that FA made mostly in the heat of the moment, and mostly by F1’s choosing for us to hear those of all comments? Hey as I say I’m not all bent out of shape at the possibility that FA has actually burned all these bridges, but bridges go two ways. I guess because it didn’t cost them $100 mill, Mercedes were fine with LH accusing them of sabotage (why only my engine?) throughout 2016. They’re favouring Nico. Oh well, as he said at Abu Dhabi 2016, he’ll tell us all about it when he’s out of F1. Thar’s the same LH that enraged FA at Mac by refusing a team order and jamming FA up for a qualifying run, which Ron Dennis then failed to manage. I guess some guys are luckier than others.

    1. @robbie

      it was Ron Dennis that actually opened up the can of worms

      Let’s take that in slow motion: Dennis did so when Alonso threatened to blackmail Dennis and McLaren, and soon retracted sending dear old Flavio round to make the peace, but too late. Dennis had already done what any smart person does, defuse the blackmail immediately. If you’re going to stoop to blackmail, you pay the consequences. Nobody will ever trust you again. That’s the reputation Alonso carved for himself and the remainder of his career was a destiny he made for himself.

      1. Bottom line is Dennis cheated, rightfully got caught and would have regardless of Alonso.

        1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
          18th September 2018, 15:31


          Yes, but that was not the reason Alonso left after one year. He left because he tried to blackmail his boss! Try doing that at work, see what relationship you build!

      2. @david-br I never got the impression that FA’s blackmail attempt was anything that in itself alarmed Dennis or was an overwhelming aspect of the situation. What alarmed RD was that FA actually had possession of the emails that he did, and that was when he felt he had to get the issue out in the open. After all, it was Ferrari man Stepney that started it all by taking secrets outside of Ferrari to begin with. Dennis’s failure imho was not managing LH and FA well enough, not soothing FA’s ruffled feathers when he insisted on equal treatment on the team.

        1. @robbie Isn’t the whole point that Alonso didn’t want equal treatment, he wanted first driver status? Anyhow, I’m sure on reflection that everyone would have resolved things differently. What I meant was that Alonso’s ‘nuclear’ option, a moment of rage that passed, had an effect he couldn’t contain and is still being felt today. I still tend to think he’ll be back in Formula 1 in a year or two, partly because he clearly wants to continue racing, and a good team opening could appear. As for Dennis, no, I don’t get him either.

          1. @david-br My understanding, and of course I could be wrong, is that FA felt LH was being given preferential treatment, or at least his suspicions of it were not helped when LH disobeyed a team order that resulted in FA losing a quali run, and the team (RD) didn’t do anything about it. Hence the blackmail threat. I believe FA himself only ever said he wanted equal treatment, and it was moreso those against FA, or suspicious of him because of how he was treated at Benetton, that made some people assume he wanted preferential treatment on the team.

            As to a return by FA sometime? That would be great.

    2. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      18th September 2018, 14:48

      While Hamilton may have a reputation for abrasive relationships with fast team mates (no different than Alonso, Vettel, Senna, Prost, Schumaker…….) he tends to be supportive of his team, even when he was driving dogs like his 2009 Mclaren and 2013 Merc.
      While Alonso was driving for Ferrari he was asked by a reporter on live TV what he would like for his birthday, he replied “a different car!”
      Some drivers are “luckier” than others I guess.

      1. Tends to be supportive of his team? Maybe recently but certainly not a couple of years ago.

        1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
          18th September 2018, 15:27

          “Tends” means most of the time, not “always”

          He had a problem after the Spanish grand prix where in a debrief Mercedes refused to apportion blame to Rosberg for the collision in which Rosberg shoved him onto the grass. He wasn’t happy in 2016 but he rarely criticised the team in public during that season. Alonso on the other hand…. never misses an opportunity to publicly criticise if he’s not happy.

          They are both massively ego driven but they behave very differently. An objective comparison of the two drivers shows Hamilton to be more of a team player over the course of both driver’s careers.

          1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
            18th September 2018, 17:08

            First half of 2009 before Mclaren figured out double diffuser
            Lewis Hamilton DSQ 7 6 4 9 12 13 16 18
            From world champion to midfield / backrunner
            Very similar to the modern Mclaren I would say.

          2. Dave (@davewillisporter)
            18th September 2018, 17:13

            That’s one team. If you combine his behaviour at Mclaren in 08, Ferrari 13 – 14 and Mclaren now it gives an overall picture of his approach, which isn’t ideal from an employer’s perspective.
            He has a reputation amongst the teams. There’s a reason for that!

          3. @davewillisporter Interesting how you say in 2016 LH rarely criticized his team. It was actually the opposite in that he often criticized them. At one point TW published a letter defending the 1500 staff on the team, because the conspiracy theories abounded, no thanks to LH’s comments.

          4. Definitely berated his crew multiple times, even insinuating that they were conspiring against him at one period. Yes, Alonso is more vocal, but Hamilton is snidier. Don’t buy into his image.

        2. He’s supportive of his team when winning, quite the opposite when they make a errant strategy call.
          It’s easy to be supportive when you have had a class of the field car.
          Put him in the McLaren and see how supportive he is!

          1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
            18th September 2018, 15:48

            As I said in another post, he was in a Mclaren, in 2009. It was rubbish! He rarely criticised his team. He was in a Mercedes in 2013. It was rubbish! He rarely criticised his team.
            Hamilton is not beyond criticism, and I have made many over his career, but Alonso is by far the more manipulative and publicly critical of his team.

          2. @Dave
            Your attempt to compare the recent McLaren/Honda years to ANY year HAM was in a McLaren is ridiculous! Don’t even know why I am wasting my time responding to such drivel..

          3. Hamilton was critical of Mercedes’s strategy decisions and other issues earlier this season, even. Look what happened. They sorted it out. Their strategy is now excellent (Hamilton holding up the race at the start, conserving his tires to have pace when the pit window came was brilliant) and they seem to have sorted out tire issues in particular. Clearly that’s work on both sides, including Mercedes accepting the criticism and responding positively.

            I don’t think the Alonso comparison is that neat though. Yes Alonso was too aggressive, failing to register the cultural differences and just how deeply offensive he was being in Honda’s view. But the actual issues probably come down to McLaren management failures with their engine contractor, not Alonso’s criticisms.

          4. @Dave

            He was only in F1 a couple of years in 2009 and didn’t have the social standing he has now so unlikely he would have said anything even if he wanted to.

            In 2013, he had just joined Mercedes and knew not to expect anything. Also unlikely to harshly criticise the team that had just signed him.

  18. I had no idea de la Rosa was so heavily involved in Spygate. Got to be a fool to think that Alonso didn’t know about this or Crashgate. He’s one of my favourite drivers, but he’s got flies on his soul.

      1. Maybe you and I, but not all of us.

  19. Formula E it is, then.

    1. If there is ANYTHING that would make the FIA panic it would be ALO running Formula E.
      It would give the series instant credibility. They are currently flirting with him and I would think ALO knows the impact he would have and I’m sure he could command a lot of $.
      Personally I’d love to see it happen if for no other reason than to demonstrate to the F1 world that it will be a force to reckon with in the future.

    2. I think their is a good chance of this happening – Formula E has already made it known they will try to land him in 2020.
      Having ALO join their series would give them a huge shot in the arm and instant credibility.

      Alonso seems to be in the catbird seat at this time with Indy car, NASCAR, WEC and Formula E all welcoming him with open arms. Meanwhile, F1, which is still the pinnacle of racing technology if not racing, continues to slide down a slippery slope by refusing to change to a level playing field where many participants have a chance of winning.

  20. Maybe he did have something to do with Spygate and Crashgate or maybe he didn’t, but it is strikingly coincidental he’s involved in both of them yet twice ‘knew nothing’. I mean one of them would be suspicious but two? I don’t buy he’s that thick. He’s no doubt one of the best drivers out there but at the same time there’s always something seriously shady about him and frankly I think the problems that come his way are mostly his own doing. Shame because if he had been a bit more careful he probably would have eclipsed Schumacher’s titles ages ago.

    1. Don’t forget that Briatore fired Trulli from Renault in 2004 for poor performance while leading Alonso in the championship. Briatore was Alonso’s manager as well.

    2. I don’t know of anybody claiming FA ‘knew nothing’ of spygate. It’s just that he was sent some emails of some sensitive Ferrari information, which is what he brought up to Dennis. FA wasn’t the spy, wasn’t the original recipient of the info, never used the info to spur the team to improve the car, only ever just received emails and therefore had them in his possession without asking for them.

      1. @robbie I believe that Alonso did specifically discuss with de la Rosa using some of the information obtained from Ferrari in testing – so in that sense he not only knew about the information but actively looked to gain advantage from what he knew (I think it related to tyre pressures or maybe weight distribution).

  21. It’s all rather sad now. He’ll embarrass himself in NASCAR and then blame everyone but himself.

    What Raikkonen is doing is far more dignified. Racing for the love of it. Doesn’t care what it does to his legacy.

    Alonso is obsessed with creating a legacy, with being remembered as one of the greatest ever.

    He’ll be forgotten as quickly as Button or Rosberg was when they left.

    If he is remembered, it’ll be as that guy who made up the numbers in Indycar or NASCAR. That will be everyone’s lasting memory.

    1. What’s wrong with wanting to leave a legacy exactly? It’s great we have a driver that wants to excel at more than one series. Alonso has is many faults (opening a museum to himself before retiring confirms this!), but trying to do something no other driver has done and be unique – that should be celebrated.

    2. While I do agree it would be sad to see him go to NASCAR, I cannot agree that he will be quickly forgotten. After all, many still consider him the best driver on the grid, even with one of them about to hit 5 WDCs. Button and Rosberg have at no point been touted as the best drivers on the grid, in spite of their WDC achievements.

  22. Alonso has burnt some bridges, agreed. However he is one of the few (current?) drivers who has actually been welcomed back to two major championship winning teams.

    He left Renault in 2006, yet they happily took him back in 2008.

    He left Mclaren in 2007, yet they happily took him back in 2015.

    Which other world champion has returned to 2 major teams? Clearly his talent overcomes other issues he may have. All this ‘bridge burning’ is highly subjective opinion that does not stand up to scrutiny.

    1. Alain Prost (2 x) and Kimi Räikkönen…

      1. Nigel Mansell

  23. While I agree with all of Dieter’s points, I can’t help but feel F1 is the loser due to Alonso’s retirement. There is no driver guaranteed to create headlines every week due to his on-track and off-track exploits.
    F1 will be a whole lot boring from Monday to Thursday without Alonso.
    Every good story needs a bad guy. And Alonso played that role to perfection.

    1. I would say there is one respect in which F1 has let Alonso down – and many other drivers for that matter – which is by allowing a situation to arise where we have a two-tier championship in which at most only three teams are ever likely to win races. The gulf in performance between the ‘big three’ and the rest is an embarrassment. If Alonso is to blame for not being able to get a drive with one of the big three, F1 is partly to blame for the rest being so uncompetitive.

      1. @keithcollantine

        He was offered drives with all of them.

      2. Agree with that.

  24. Agreed Keith.

    Stat question for you:

    Other than Williams and Force India’s odd trophies, it’s been Merc, Ferrari and RB all the way since F1 started turbos again.

    There have been plenty of times where one or two teams have dominated, but has there been another era where so few teams have a chance of a podium?

  25. The IndyCar race in Sonoma last weekend showed already a Harding Andretti partnership, since both cars with Indy Light Andretti drivers were serviced by Indy Light Andretti employees.
    Andretti even gave them some new dampers to replace the old ones used by Harding before and may be more car parts.

    I see no reason why that cannot continue next year.

  26. @dieterrencken Weel done. this is an excellent in-depth article with real life facts. I believe one of the best that I’ve read on this site for a long time.

  27. Funny how both Ferrari and McLaren’s last glory year was with Alonso in the car. So much for him being bad for the team and burning bridges.
    *No McLaren wern’t better in 2008 than 07, neither was Lewis, who is large part responsible for McLaren’s decline.

    1. Delusional a bit aren’t we? In 08 Alonso was a new recruit ar Mclaren. So what could FA have done in 2007 to make the car the best? Maybe he designed it :)

  28. Senna, Prost and Mansell all banged fists on desks, proper men sticking up for their own best interests. Imagine if Alonso did that today.
    The discredit of Alonso is the result of the sport becoming more santizied and sports’s audiences in general becoming more sn@wflake like. All this at the same time as the teams who Alonso has apparantly upset, being involved in very dirty business practices in the industry. Such as Mercedes being heavily fined for price fixing and emissions cheating. Alonso is an angel in context.

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      19th September 2018, 14:33

      Ferrrari was clearly snowflake and santizied after the GP Japan 1991.

  29. Two paragraphs into the story and Dieter’s fantasy version of events shone through like a searchlight … so couldn’t be bothered with the rest.

    You would think people working F1 on a daily basis might actually understand it …

  30. oh thats right. i forgot that one of the most gifted drivers that has been driving around in substandard equipment for the better part of a decade isn’t allowed to voice what everyone else sees. its true alonso should pay for the mistakes of others, and not even say anything about it because we all know that the driver is the least important part of a car……………………………if honda can’t supply then they are children. if nobody wants to back alonso, then they are committed to fielding not the best driver, but the best PR agent.

  31. People know Honda-Toyota are two sides of automotive world, and you can’t have feet in both of those places. Even a data entry operator working in one of the organizations might have a clause in his contract which prevents him/her from having any sort of link or contact to the other side.

    But i see some people who write for this site comfortably choose to ignore this factor and instead ride on toxic man theory to indicate Indycar problems for Alonso, and even defend it in the comments. It’s not always as convoluted and complicated as you think. Jeez. Thought this site was better than Daily Mail level hit pieces

  32. Kimi drove NASCAR for a laugh.
    Fernando is gonna drive NASCAR because he has no other choice lol.

  33. A “real” piece of good journalism!
    You can’t find a single FACT in the entire article!

  34. Alonso should *totally* go to NASCAR. It would be just like Talladega Nights! … “My name is Fernando Alonso, and I am the greatest racing driver in the whole world!”

  35. YellowSubmarine
    19th September 2018, 8:26

    How can he be “arguably the best in the sport” when the man who beat him in the same car is still in the sport too? Or has Lewis Hamilton retired? When a rookie performs like Lewis did against Alonso, forcing the double world champion to resort to illegal tactics to try and beat the rookie – and still failing to – how can the beaten man then be called the best in the sport?

    1. It seems the worse the car, the more his brilliance shines. I’m not being that facetious. But I think if you put Hamilton or Verstappen in the same car, you’d see even more spectacularly improbable results.

    2. Hamilton did not beat Alonso in 2007, they finished on the same points technically Hamilton finished higher due to high placings. What is important to remember is that Alonso had just come from Renault and had adopted a unique driving style tailed to the Renault car. When Alonso arrived at Mclaren he then had to change his driving style back to a conventional driving style. If you compare the first half of the season Hamilton was on top, by mid season they were the same and by the end of the season. It is unlikely that Hamilton would risk driving with Alonso again in the same equipment.

      1. Hamilton was a rookie having arrived from a different series altogether, first time driving in f1 competitively. If anything, Alonso had an advantage – he’d been in f1 several years.
        The rules of f1 are used to judge who brats whom, and by the rules Hamilton beat Alonso, end of.
        Alonso has had excellent cars – ferrari comes to mind – what has he won since his two World championships? Nothing.
        He’s a petulant, overrated driver living on glories over a decade old, a driver whose mere two titles both came in cars designed by Bob Bell – a bit ironic when one considers that Alonso reportedly derided vettel for only having won titles “in Adrian Newey cars”.
        What record does Alonso hold in f1, other than that of being the worst driver anyone can sign for their team? Is there a team he’s left that has regretted letting him go?
        There’s NOTHING Alonso has achieved in f1 that’s extraordinary and which marks him as the best driver of any era, nothing he’s done in f1 that other drivers haven’t matched or bettered, and there’s a lot of poison he’s heaped on teams in ways that no other driver has.
        Plus he lost to a rookie in the same car.
        He’s totally overrated.

  36. News came out today Chevy has offered to partner with Andretti and supply an engine for Alonso.
    So much for this speculative, fake news article.

    1. Rumours persist that his fractured relationship with Honda means that if he does join the series it will be at the wheel of a Harding-run, Chevrolet-powered machine, potentially with input from Andretti and McLaren staff.

      Also, from what I’ve read Chevrolet are offering an engine but it’s still not clear if this will lead to an actual drive for the reasons mentioned by Dieter.

      In other words, you’re confirming the accuracy of the article. We all know that calling something “fake news” when the evidence supports it is a sign that you simply don’t like something. Disagreeing and disliking are ok, but you have spectacularly failed to debase the mixture of opinion and facts in the above article.

  37. I keep waiting for him to drop his armour and accept his role in his own fate. That sign of growth would, I think, open every damn door in the world to him. If he said, publicly, “I made some mistakes, and I want to start a new chapter,” I’m betting a lot of teams would be incredibly happy to bring him on. Until that happens, he’s poison only because he’s in denial about his own ego and the damage it does.

  38. It’s a column, not fake news. Go educate yourself rather than react.

  39. As a Fernando Alonso fan, I will admit that Fernando hasn’t done himself any favors by failing to build/maintain relationships through channels other than his talent.

    But I will say this: darn, is this piece meant to inflict damage!

    To blame Alonso for the firing/sacking of the team principals he has worked with is just ridiculous, if not outright an altogether dumb claim:

    – Flavio Briatore (and Pat Symonds) was fired from Renault because he got caught red handed for orchestrating crashgate. While I do believe Alonso had some idea of the plan, I wouldn’t go far as to say that he knew everything about it just because he didn’t question his strategy during that race.

    -Stefano Domenicalli resigned because he was man enough to admit that the team wasn’t getting any better with him at the helm (although there were rumors at the time, that he did it to save Paolo Martinelli from getting axed).

    -Marco Mattiacci was sacked because his failure to convince the FIA/Bernie to relax the regulations on the engine freeze for 2015 showed his lack of skill/connections in F1.

    -Similar to Domenicalli, Eric Bouillier resigned (or was forced to?) because he failed to bring the team he led forward.

    -Ron Dennis was terminated (and later on completely jettisoned from his own company) because he stabbed his allies in the back, and failed to live up to his promises of finding new sponsors/shareholders for the team.

    -Martin Whitmarsh never worked with Alonso in the capacity of team principal, in 2007 he was only Ron’s second in command (he was even the one who initiated Alonso’s return to McLaren in late 2013).

    -Renault couldn’t be serious about taking him back because they’re at different stages of their development cycle: Alonso is (still) primed to fight for/win a championship but only has a few years left in the game, whereas Renault are still on the long road to recovery.

    As Daniel Ricciardo’s failed bid to land in either Mercedes/Ferrari proves, it doesn’t matter how good a driver is; if he doesn’t fit in the agenda of the front-running teams, he will be left out in the cold (similarly, see the ongoing saga of Esteban Ocon).

    While there may be some truth to the rumor that Honda (U.S.) is reluctant to supply Alonso/McLaren if/when they enter IndyCar due to their tumultuous relationship on the F1 side, I find it more logical to believe that it’s primarily due to Alonso’s ongoing partnership with arch nemesis Toyota in WEC. The broken relationship is just a convenient side story, but it will ultimately be bad PR for Honda if they fail to power Alonso/McLaren’s IndyCar bid due to that reason.

  40. It’s nice of you to write his confession – perhaps if you send it to him he will realize his faults and repent.
    He owes no one an apology – he’s not a politically correct snowflake – he wants to win as any champion would and if that rubs people the wrong way too bad.
    There are plenty of doors open for him such as Formula E, Indy car, WEC and NASCAR. He’s not in a bad spot I’d say. Evidently they are willing to overlook his grievous “mistakes” from the past.

  41. @ tim
    It’s nice of you to write his confession – perhaps if you send it to him he will realize his faults and repent.
    He owes no one an apology – he’s not a politically correct snowflake – he wants to win as any champion would and if that rubs people the wrong way too bad.
    There are plenty of doors open for him such as Formula E, Indy car, WEC and NASCAR. He’s not in a bad spot I’d say. Evidently they are willing to overlook his grievous “mistakes” from the past.

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