Mercedes engine in 2018 will NOT change my decision – Alonso

alonso_quoteSo what IS going on? McLaren and Alonso. Certainly what they have lacked in performance on track they have out performed almost every other team in terms of column inches and debates.

Crowd surfing, sunbathing, replacing camera men, even developing a signature gesture when he climbs out of his dead cars… but where is it all heading?

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Nearly all McLaren fans understandably keen and eager to see him stay with the team for next year but I have heard a number of quotes that follow the lines of “well you can’t blame him, he has been more than fair with us”

The team want to keep him.

These last couple of years have not been a complete loss for the team. They will have used the many hours of racing (ahem!) as “track testing” whilst the other cars have been fighting for points to develop an excellent chassis for Fernando, who seems very happy with it.

In regard to the car in the Canadian GP this weekend he said the car felt “very, very competitive”.

He went on to say:

“But this year’s car, as I said in the winter, I felt it’s very good for my driving style as well. “I’m able to drive the car was I was doing 10 years ago.

“I’m able to push the car to the limits in every qualifying and race this year.

“In that part I’m very happy, and I’m enjoying the laps.

“Obviously when you cross the line you are missing a couple of km/h on the straight, but the rest of the lap is quite fun to drive.”

So it seems quite clear, Alonso is happy with the car, believes it is a competitive Chassis, indeed in the “top three in F1”.

It would seem all blame lies in Alonso’s head with the the Honda power.

This belief is likely true when analysing the numbers. Indeed TJ13 recently revealed that Alonso would be knocking on the door of the top 3 in qualifying had he not lost out on the main straight.

Alonso said:

“We know our weakness, we know our deficit in terms of power,”

He has even been quoted since his retirement in the closing laps of the GP (loss of oil pressure due to mechanical failure) that the lack of speed the Honda had was “dangerous” on the straights”

Alonso has made it no secret in the last few days that his main priority for 2018 is a 3rd World Championship, and that he is open to offers for teams that can give him a car to achieve it.

Perhaps this has been the push behind Zac Brown’s recent change of tack. Zac and the McLaren team have for a couple of years been ultra supportive (and defensive) of the McLaren-Honda relationship, this has changed in the last few days.

It could be that Zac and Eric have simply had enough of playing the corporate politics game, or it could just be that (even after offering a shot at that elusive triple crown) they are running out of carrots to dangle in front of Alonso and this is their last ditch attempt appease Fernando, when they cant seem to give him a car that can finish a race let, alone hunt down that elusive 1st constructors point in 2017.

So probably they will now be looking to Mercedes for engine supply for 2018, and to have that agreed before Ferdy’s imposed 90 day / Summer break deadline to give him a winning car. Question is will this be enough and soon enough to retain Alonso

MIXED MESSAGES FROM FERDY:

Despite Alonso’s firm position of what he expects and needs for next year there has been very little talk about who he might be looking to for delivery of a car capable of achieving his potential, could it be Alonso has already has an agreement in place? Has is seat been reserved?

Asked this week by Ralf Bach of Sport Bild “..would it help you to learn for your decision for next year that you maybe get the same engine next year as Lewis has this year?”

The Spaniard replied:

“I think it doesn’t make any change to my decision”


VERDICT: Hmmm. sounds like someone’s made his mind up already…The Jury have decided on Renault. I am inclined to agree.  It would certainly explain his statements which with retrospect may turn into obvious evidence, the wood in the trees… but indeed without reasonable doubt, a course of action that would have no bearing on a Mercedes engine…time will tell.

 

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21 responses to “Mercedes engine in 2018 will NOT change my decision – Alonso

  1. I say Mercedes, can’t see him going back to Ferrari, and Red Bull can’t get him a car fighting for the championship.

  2. I don’t think that a Mercedes engine supply will be enough to tempt him to stay as that will guarantee that, as a customer team, they will never be allowed to win. How many races have Mercedes customer teams won to date? He is too good a driver to just be making up the numbers.

  3. I still think it’s Renault that Alonso will end up at. they are ramping up both spending and development.Palmer is almost certainly out and Alonso would likely bring in more sponsorship, so more money for development. I doubt Hamilton will agree to having Alonso in the M-B team. And neither Ferrari (I still think Raikonnnen will be there next year) nor Red Bull want or need him. Staying at McLaren with the M-B engine is an option, but the team could / will face serious financial challenges without Honda picking a lot of the bills. Less money = less development. Without Honda’s cash and no new large sponsors apparently on the horizon, McLaren financially look more Williams. And while Williams have a somewhat competitive car, the chances of them winning a race are slim and winning the WC any time soon are zero. And honestly, from the outside looking in, McLaren look like a team in decline and disarray.

    • Yes for sure Alonso to Renault is by far the easiest option available. But does Alonso (or anyone) really think Renault have a chance of meeting his expectations of a car that can deliver his 3rd world title? Even Red Bull are useless with their engine, and Verstappen is voicing his concerns about it for next year.
      If he were smart, he’d first have to throw absolutely everything he has at making a Merc deal happen.
      There may even be a hint that something is going on…
      I’m sure most here remember Hamilton last year telling everyone that he’d be ok with any teammate that Mercedes chooses. I’m sure we also remember Hamilton and Alonso giving each other quite a lot of love in the media over the years as well, as they talked down Vettel’s ability…
      However now that Alonso is out of contract and making it clear he wants in, Hamilton has responded in the media this week, labelling his partnership with Alonso as “toxic, and intoxicating to the whole team” and refererring to him as some who he “cannot live with in any way”. Strong words, and a definite swing in rhetoric… Personally, I sense some real concern driving those comments.

  4. Alonso will be driving a Renault next year. That’s why the Lando story is popping up.

    Stoffel is a good driver (although not the magnitude of Alonso) and there is still for him to learn, but he will be eager to stay on for another year. This year’s choices for Massa and Hulkenberg show the importance of benchmarks: Stoffel would do fine. I wouldn’t opt to get Lando into the second seat. Sainz might be an option, or even Kyvat, if they are looking for some Russian sponsoring.

    Still I remain confident that McLaren-Honda will be successful, the only questions is “when”? It boils down to whether McLaren can stand another year of wrestling or that they would rather outsource the ironing out of problems to a team like Sauber. The latter option could give McLaren a year/2 year break, so they could return to Honda later

    • I’m really beginning to wonder whether VanDoorne has what it takes. It’s hard to make a valid comparison when he and Alonso almost never finish a race.But if you use qualifying as the benchmark, VanDoorne’s performance compared to Alonso looks similar to Palmer’s compared to Hulkenburg, which isn’t something you’d want to advertise. And in qualifying it’s unlikely they are using different engine settings, so mechanically things would be equal. And in Monaco he barely out qualifiedly Button.

    • IMHO – a total nonsense – a top team with urgent need for major turnaround is never going to take two rookies, especially when one is nowhere near where he should be this year. McLaren must keep somebody who could show from day one with (possibly) new engine what car is capable of – not the one who might have a bad day, who might need a few races to adapt to the car etc. Also a team with a major need for sponsors is going to attract them with two unknowns, isn’t it? Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen are assets not just drivers, especially marketing assets. Marketing man like Brown will do all to keep one of the top marketing assets in F1 in his team.

  5. I doubt Alonso will have the desire to develop the Renault engine AND car. I think it will be Mercedes, and if that doesn’t happen he will stay at McLaren, Honda or Merc engines. If Brawn and Red Bull can win with customer engines, McLaren definitely can.

    • Neither Brawn nor Red Bull were competing against the factory team who supplied them with engines when they won their WC’s were they.

      • McLaren were the Merc factory team when Brawn won. Renault had their own team when Red Bull won their first title with a customer supply in 2010.

        • The engines were not the most dominant factor during that period. Nowadays the engine is the most important part of the package.

  6. We all know what will happen..Alonso will leave for a new team….Mclaren will use Mercedes engines…..And the Honda engine will turn out to be the best on the grid in 2018.

    Alonso & McLaren are going to make a big mistake…just give Honda time and they will come good..very good..

  7. Problem #1 – Renault can’t afford him. Problem #2 – Renault has nothing for him to offer – engine is not much better than Honda with constant statements about focus on next year (including one again during this week – Renault is yet to use MGU-H designed for this year), chassis is crap for a second year in the row. Alonso will stay in McLaren unless he goes to the real top team. Renault will probably have Perez, especially as doors are closing for him to Ferrari as they are hunting for Verstappen. Red Bull are telling he’s staying but some think there are performance clauses in the contract and the year so far has been bad for him.

  8. Whatever engine McLaren tries to change to, the chances of being good enough to win in 2018 would be slim. So I’m guessing McLaren with Merc and Williams with Honda and it should be an interesting year.

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