Alonso Speculation Continues
Unhappy with the car’s performance and all round outlook at Ferrari, Fernando Alonso has reportedly been informed that Honda – who re-enter the sport as engine suppliers for McLaren in 2015 – are willing to spend 30 million euro in order to buy the Spaniard out of his current contract, which still has two years to run.
Commentator and veteran F1 journalist James Allen had a lot to say on the issue via his website, jamesallenonf1.com. “The McLaren Honda offer is there for Alonso if he can bring himself to work with Ron Dennis again. The Honda element is pushing hard to persuade him and it might be what swings it, but he will be concerned about the way the McLaren design office has flatlined in recent years.
The arrival of Peter Prodromou from Red Bull is a positive and there are others, but 2015 pre-season testing is little over four months away and there is nothing to suggest that McLaren will be able to find 1.5 seconds in the chassis to close the gap in that time. Time is racing.”
Allen added “Veteran F1 journalist Pino Allievi told me at the weekend that if Alonso wants to leave, with two years of contract with Ferrari still outstanding, then he has to pay €30 million. Honda would sign that off without hesitation, sources suggest.”
With regards to Vettel potentially replacing Alonso at Ferrari, Allen stated “If Alonso takes the Honda bait can Ferrari get Vettel, who is earmarked to replace him, for 2015 or will they have to wait until 2016? Vettel’s contract with Red Bull has one more year to run. Red Bull will certainly not make it easy for him to leave, he is linked with their sponsors like Infinti, but all things are negotiable.”
“Vettel, like Alonso, clearly needs a change of air, a fresh challenge. Red Bull is in the strong position of having Daniel Ricciardo ready to lead the team and Daniil Kvyat on standby. The Russian looks an outstanding prospect, it is generally acknowledged in the F1 paddock.”
Meanwhile, former Benetton and Renault boss Flavio Briatore thinks that Alonso should go to Lotus if the team is bought by billionaire Canadian Lawrence Stroll, who has reportedly offered to finance the Alonso buyout and pay for sought after Mercedes engines for the struggling team.
Schumacher Family in the News
Seven-time world Formula One champion Michael’s Schumacher’s son, Mick, plans to eventually become a world F1 champion, like his father, and the 15-year-old has got off to good start by being crowned World Karting Vice-Champion.
Also, while Michael Snr continues his recovery following last December’s skiing accident and resulting six month medically induced coma, his brother Ralf – a former multiple F1 race winner – is reportedly in the midst of an expected divorce from current wife Cora.
Hamilton in five-race shootout with Rosberg and Ricciardo
Winning the Singapore grand prix while seeing his team mate fail to finish the race after suffering problems with gear changes and ERS, Lewis Hamilton has recovered the F1 driver’s championship lead by three points.
Nico Rosberg stays on 238 points in second place, with Daniel Ricciardo a relatively distant third on 181, but still in with a shout as the last of the five remaining seasonal races gives the winner double (50) points.
The Japanese GP is up next, with the first practice session held at 02:00 on Friday morning, live on Sky Sports F1.
The race towards the F1 drivers championship couldn’t be closer after the latest action from Singapore which leaves Lewis Hamilton 3 points clear of team mate Nico Rosberg. Bookmakers Sky Bet make Hamilton the favourite at 1.53. Rosberg can now be backed at 2.5.