Double world champion Fernando Alonso thinks that he is in one of the best places on the grid, if he wants to win another drivers title.
After completing 5 seasons with Ferrari, Fernando mutually split from Maranello at the end of the 2014 season. In 2014 Ferrari struggled to adapt to the new hybrid regulations, and the season’s frustrations got the better of Fernando and decided to leave for pastures new.
After coming close to the title in 2010, 2012, and 2013 whilst with Ferrari, his decision to leave the red team and join McLaren was scoffed at by many on the grid. McLaren of course were entering into a new partnership with the returning Honda team, who were a full year behind with their hybrid engine technology.
Fernando’s decision was again questioned last year when the mountain that the McLaren-Honda effort needed to climb, became brutally apparent. During 2015 the restructured Ferrari team (now with 4-time champion Seb Vettel at the wheel), managed to score 3 race victories and were the ‘next best’ behind the dominant Mercedes team.
This season however we have seen some encouraging signs from McLaren as the MP4-31 has shown much improved performance. The result being McLaren are firmly placed into the ‘midfield pack’, where they are regularly fighting for point scoring positions. This year has already brought more pain for Ferrari as ‘off the track’ struggles coupled with a lack of performance ‘on the track’, has seen them slip to third in the constructors standings behind Red Bull and Mercedes.
Fernando is still convinced that he made the correct decision in 2014, especially if he wants to win a third drivers title.
“I was right,” Alonso said. “I was right because I felt I was right. In 2014 I made the decision and had two years more on my contract, but felt I was right to go. Whatever results they achieve in 2015 and 2016 or in the future, for me my time there was fantastic and I wanted to finish on that fantastic feeling.
“Every year was a little bit more stress because you are not winning and it seems that it is your fault. Now it is not a relief that they are not winning or having more problems, I don’t wish any problems on Ferrari because it is a team that I will always have in my heart.
“But in terms of driving, how competitive or my third world championship hopes, then you drive for Mercedes or McLaren-Honda. That is my opinion and the feeling from that decision.”
McLaren in past seasons were famous for their in-season development, and have shown again this year that their speed and quality of their development still exists.
With the regulation changes for next year and the chance for the pecking order to be ‘reset’, McLaren-Honda may be fighting for podiums and Fernando fighting for a coveted third crown.