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Alonso`s days at McLaren are numbered

Discussion in 'F1' started by jk0001, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. PhilNotHill

    PhilNotHill Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Going to Ferrari? Renault? BMW?

    `McLaren tell Alonso he can go`
    Tuesday 7th August 2007

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    McLaren are reportedly so "p***ed off" with Fernando Alonso that they have told him he can leave if he wants to.


    Alonso and his team-mate Lewis Hamilton suffered a complete breakdown of their relationship in Hungary this past weekend after Alonso illegally held Hamilton up in qualifying, preventing the rookie from getting pole position.


    However, that only happened after Hamilton first disobeyed team orders telling him to let Alonso passed at the start of the third and final qualifying segment.


    The result was that neither team-mate was talking to the other after Sunday's grand prix, which was won by Hamilton.


    And now, according to The Times, McLaren are ready to say goodbye to Alonso at the end of the season.


    'Fernando Alonso has been informed by Ron Dennis, the McLaren Mercedes team principal, that he can leave at the end of this season,' the newspaper reported.


    "My understanding is that he's been told he can go because they're so fed up with him," a 'well-placed source' said. "Ron is just very p***ed off with both of them."


    As for where Alonso will go, The Times speculates that it could be to either Ferrari, at the expense of Felipe Massa, back to Renault, he would probably replace Giancarlo Fisichella, or even to BMW.
     
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  3. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

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    While I do not believe Alonso is leaving McLaren, BMW would be a great team IMHO...they are improving dramatically with each race and with Alonso's leadership and car knowledge, he could very well bring them up to the next level in 2008. It would be great if Alonso won the 2007 WDC with McLaren and then went to BMW and won the 2008 WDC with BMW! Has any F1 driver ever won the WDC with three different teams?
     
  4. Tifoso1

    Tifoso1 F1 Rookie

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    I think the late great Juan M. Fangio did, with Mercedes, Ferrari and Maserati.
     
  5. PhilNotHill

    PhilNotHill Two Time F1 World Champ
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  6. Tifoso1

    Tifoso1 F1 Rookie

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    That's the thing, this is why I think there has to be more than what we are told about this whole episode. And I have a feeling that the whole thing started in the McLaren war room before the qualifying session, to have set LH off. The following is why I am uneasy with what is being told to us by McLaren:

    1) IMO, it is unlikely for RD and his ego to let a rookie talk to him that way, unless he knew LH is mad about something, thus refusing to let FA pass. RD and the rest of the team's body language and reaction is more pro-LH as oppose to pro-FA at the end of the session as FA snatched the pole and LH missing out on his fast lap.

    2) If LH is truely at fault here, why is it that FA appear to be the one that's rumored to be leaving McLaren and not LH? FA isn't old, he still has plenty of years ahead of him. FA is a proven champion as oppose to LH, still somewhat of a X-factor. McLaren should be putting the foot down with LH, not FA. Their press release all points to LH being at fault, but again, all this is very inconsistent with their actions. RD should be feed up with LH, not FA, if all of the statements made by McLaren is true about this incident.

    3) It is also clear that FA stayed in the pit longer than he was suppose to, by his own action. IIRC, McLaren had already cleared FA to leave, but he stayed stationary for another additional ~10sec or so before leaving. Which was just enough to cost LH his fast lap. Which is why RD was so upset after the session ended, instead of going off immediately after LH told him to "xxxx off".

    My take is that something happened in the war room, FA probably demanded his #1 status and wants LH to obey by it or something along that line. RD probably was not able to talk sense into FA thus hoping that LH will be the good team mate and cater to FA's ego. LH became upset at FA and went out ahead of him in Q3. Even know RD asked LH to move over, LH was still upset and refused. RD, being like a second father to LH, knows why and understands that LH is just angry (Just like any father would when his kid is angry) thus not going off immediately and needless to say, still has a team and qualifying session to manage. But when FA pulled his stunt, which I believe is not done with the consent of the team, that's why RD went off etc. While this is my own version and pure speculation, but it is done with logic and taken into considerations of what has happened and the previous behavior of all parties involved so far in the season. IMO, LH is a lot more mature than you or Pete give him credits for, he has shown that consistantly thru the season so far, this is very out of character for him.

    Bottom line is, I think RD also know that a team must have a clearly defined #1 and #2 just as well, as he must have learned his lesson from AP and AS first and then KR and JPM second. I think he did sign FA as the #1 driver, just to tutor LH until LH can be the #1 driver, hence the 3 year contract. However, the speed of the MP4-22 and LH not only surprised everyone, but also RD himself, thus he is once again caught in the middle of this bickering. This is why that RD is so willing to let FA go as he now feels that FA is expandable and no longer needed. And of course, probably have gotten tired of FA's off track behavior and his tendency of "speaking his mind" without thinking the team's well being in mind first. I have a feeling that he will think twice from now on about signing someone with so much "flare" as JPM and FA in the future.
     
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  8. phylotic

    phylotic Formula Junior
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    Anthony, you should def. write a book.
     
  9. barbazza

    barbazza Formula 3
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    BMW would need to be very careful though. It appears to me that Alonso can be a great asset for a team but he needs a definite #2 with inferior talent. Otherwise he seems to cause more trouble than he's worth. Hopefully McLaren ends up fixing things and both drivers stay.
     
  10. Strasse

    Strasse Formula Junior

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    Here goes... I don't much trust LH, and this incident has fueled my suspicions. Hear me out:

    Hamilton plays the part of the nice guy pilot, the humble up and comer, all smiles and teamplay. Yet, to me, he reeks of two-faced ambition, the kind of guy who smiles to your face and sticks it in your back (among other places) while you're not looking. Yeah, Alonso is an a$s, but at least he's up front up about it. Better the devil you know, I say.

    Don't get me wrong, LH is a fantastic pilot, very much world champ material, but I get a bad vibe from how his actions differ from his words. He's come to McLaren essentially saying he was happy to take an inch, but little by little he's surruptitiously taking a mile. I get the feeling he's trying to squeeze Alonso out, and while many might say that's normal F1 pilot ambition, this is happening at the cost of his team. This fiasco has clearly driven a spike through McLaren; the team is on edge, the drivers aren't on speaking terms, and this season RD has been in court more times than Lindsey Lohan.

    And--surprise, surprise--through all this mess LH comes out looking like the good guy while Alonso is the jerk of the season. It feels like some kind of slimy corporate coup. Alonso is what he is, and in some ways he reminds me a lot of Schumacher: pretty ruthless in the pursuit of winning, but like the duke, he wears his ambition on his chest, and that is to be respected. Call me crazy, but I sympathise with the arrogant Spaniard this year. But really, he's not got much to worry about. If he decided to go back to Renault, Briatore would tip over himself kicking Fisichella to the curb. Heck, I can see it now: Fisichella would show up to practice one day and his key to the pits wouldn't fit in the lock. ;)
     
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  12. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

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    A seemlingly fruitless exercise to convince..Ant.

    +1 good post I dont normally read long ones :)
     
  13. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

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  14. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Could be some truth in your view point.

    LH a wolf in sheeps clothes..

    But hell it could be ferrari s gain

     
  15. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

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    Correction: FOUR - (out of his 5 !): Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz
     
  16. barbazza

    barbazza Formula 3
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    I think Hobbs and Varsha mentioned something similar to your view on the Speed Report. It forget the exact wording but it was something like FA forced the issue with the team to let him out first in Q3 and LH felt he was pushed back one time too many and refused. This seems to be the result of contsant games by FA all season rather than LH flying off the handle for no reason.

    I'm still at a loss to understand how LH screwed FA's quali by being in front. FA was being caught by Kimi and was nowhere near LH anyway. I don't see how LH impeded FA's fuel burnoff phase.
     
  17. 355

    355 F1 Rookie
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    Ok then .... Your crazy......lol
     
  18. racerx3317

    racerx3317 F1 Veteran

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    The strategy was set before all the sessions. This is pretty much standard with all teams. Whether LH was told not to hold up FA before hand or not is unclear. Since we don't know the whole story we can only speculate. LH not wanting to let FA by was his feeling like McLaren was favoring Alonso. He obviously was not thinking clearly. Every angle that you look at the situation, it's difficult to come up with another reason for his refusing to follow a directive from the team. He didn't want Alonso to have an extra lap because he was afraid of getting beaten. He messed up and admitted it. Good enough for me, I can't think of anything else that it could be so I'll take McLaren's word for it. i think you are trying to read too much into it.

    1) We don't know what sort of sanction RD might have imposed on LH, he was clearly pissed at him and according to the radio told LH to never talk to him like that again.

    2) Alonso clearly feels that McLaren belongs to LH. He'd be a fool to not realise that McLaren has a huge investment in LH and they will not be willing to let him go. It's a logical deduction that FA will never truly be number one on a team with LH. FA keeps saying he wants to leave and that he isn't comfortable, RD would have to be a fool to try to keep him if he really didn't want to be kept.

    3) RD did seem upset. He seemed pissed at the situation in general and that Alonso had taken matters into his own hands if that is really what happened.(Someone could have been holding him by radio). RD probably wanted to settle the matter in private, now it couldn't be done that way.

    I doubt this had anything to do with any sort of I'm the number one driver stuff. Any team with any drivers would allow either of thier drivers to move over for the other in that situation. It all just seems silly.
     
  19. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ
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    Luis and Anthony C. excellent posts by both of you. I personally think that Alonso will be gone by the end of this season from McLaren, I also think Alonso blew it by holding up LH at that point in the pits. I understand that he felt like retribution for LH not letting him through to burn off fuel, but at this point with McLaren under the FIA microscope there was no reason to create more havoc in the public eye. Even if Alonso stared second he would have had a better chance to win or score more points than having the FIA get involved which they seem to do FA more than usual.
     
  20. barbazza

    barbazza Formula 3
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    RD has often shown that he would prefer to keep someone if only to prevent another team from benefiting. Imagine Ferrari or BMW with Alonso. If they were to give him undisputed #1 status he would do for them what he did for Renault. RD is better off insisting he stay under contract even if it means he refuses to drive.
     
  21. racerx3317

    racerx3317 F1 Veteran

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    And you would know he's wrong how?
     
  22. racerx3317

    racerx3317 F1 Veteran

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    I don't think FA is going anywhere. There are no top rides available unless Ferrari comes calling or he tries to go back to Renualt. RD isn't the same RD or old and is contemplating retirement. From a few reports he's going to retire soon. The RD of old might do something like that but who knows what he's thinking now.
     
  23. Tifoso1

    Tifoso1 F1 Rookie

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    Mind games and how to use the media to their advantage has always been a big part of F1 racing, and the best of them certainly knows how to play it. I actually don't really blame either one of them for what happened, as it is only natural for both of them not wanting to back down and wanting to win. Regardless of "right and wrong", it is completely understandable as this is just simply the nature of the beast. Neither one of them will be at where they are now, sitting in the cockpit of a F1 race car, if they didn't have this competitive nature.

    Interesting, that was only something I suspected as I was not aware of such report. Thank you for letting me know about it.

    As for the reason FA wanted to be in front, he wanted to be able to dictate that pace the Q3 session. Being able to burn off more fuel will allow him to be lighter and thus faster and better chance of winning pole, which has proven time and time again to be vital at this circuit. He also wanted to be the last one to put in the fastest laps so no one will be able to snatch it away, which is exactly why he held LH at bay in the pits.

    It wasn't long ago that you had mentioned on this very forum that we shouldn't believe everything we read or hear, and yet, you are willing to take McLaren's word on this incident? Luis, you are slipping :)

    1) Exactly. His reply to LH was a lot more friendly and more father-like than anything, with an add understanding tone to it. Do you think RD or even you, will be able to behave the same at such a highly tensioned situation if truely believe that LH is wrong? I can honestly say that I don't think I, or most of us can. You had mention once that emotion is a major part of this sport, or any sports, than you should also accept that normal human behavior, driven by emotion will elicit something a little more than "Don't ever talk to me that way again..." considering the circumstances.

    2) FA is not an idiot, he KNOWS that he is only there to groom LH. He KNOWS that RD and McLaren are more pro-LH than him.
    His main purpose there is to win races and more titles before LH matures. What he didn't count on is how quickly LH did that, much the same way Prost felt with Senna. With that said, he is still the 2xWDC and a young one at that as oppose to LH, only a GP winner up until now. And With FA's personality, it is only natural for him to want the #1 status, which I, and many others (including the media) believes that it was promised to him as well, written or not. If RD is as noble as he wants the public to believe and that LH is really at wrong here, LH will be the one on the hot seat, not FA. RD/McLaren's action so far also suggests otherwise.

    3) Yes, as mention before, RD seem more upset about what FA did as oppose to what LH did. But according to the McLaren press releases and your opinion, LH is the one at fault. To me, it just doesn't add up.

    We are at disagreement again, whatelse is new, right? :) IMO, team order and the status of being #1 or #2 has everything to do with it. Citing back to 1996 with DH and JV, theirs was resolved behind closed door and JV accepted the #2 status with DH not so openly critical of Williams-Renault and his team mate. You can't deny the fact that it is probably easier to work issues out with DH than FA, yes? FA is a hot head, a talented one that is. He often let his emotion get the better of him, which again is understandable considering how young he is and how much he has achieved at the young age, IMO, FA's head is no smaller than LH's head.

    Thanks Tony and I agree with you on this one. I have a feeling that FA will go back to Renault and retain his #1 status on the team with HK being #2 (GF is done at Renault, maybe F1 all together). I don't see him going to Ferrari unless KR is not there since there is no way the two of them can co-exist. BMW-Sauber is certainly a possiblity as I am sure that FA sees potential there as well. Question is, who will BMW let go, Heinfeld or Kubica?
     
  24. Fast_ian

    Fast_ian Two Time F1 World Champ

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    +1 Thanks for the comments, with which I broadly agree .... But:

    While I agree, he's had to learn that awfully fast! - As I said elsewhere, when he signed (late '05?) he was 1xWDC - He then goes on to be 2xwdc knowing that he's got a rookie joining him in '07 - How cool is that!?......

    Then the wheels fall off - Except, do they really? - He and his team "mate" (?) are #'s 1&2 in the WDC, the team still leads the WCC, and I suspect Lucifer didn't like the swivelling comment (I thought it was awesome btw) and may indeed favour FA for a while - We are talking about Lucifer himself after all.... According to many here, LH is nothing more than Lucifers robot - Maybe that robot is about to learn something new......

    Cheers, thx again for the org post
    Ian
     
  25. maxorido

    maxorido Formula 3

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    Ok let me get this straight. lewis doesn't like the idea of pulling over for his teammate, so he doesn't. You think Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Hakkinen, mansell or Piquet would go for something like that? Hell Senna and Prost punted each other off the track, you think that wasn't bad for the team? Just because Lewis is smart enough to apologize to everyone and get on with the job, unlike Alonso, you're talking about how "you don't trust him"? Yet you sympathize with the same guy who accused Renault of setting him up for failure last year? This is just a case of two drivers who want to win, and not wanting to play any sort of support role for their teammates. Let's not have a double standard here, one will do just fine.
     
  26. dsd

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    Any idea of what they are saying on MB/McL boards about this?

    -dsd
     
  27. maxorido

    maxorido Formula 3

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    What about Piquet jr.? Flav has a history of taking his new talents and sticking them in as a tester then bumping them up to the race position the next year. You do know that Flav and Nelson sr. are buddies right? I think it's a foregone conclusion that Piquet jr. gets a seat next year. If Alonso leaves Mclaren for Renault, which I doubt he will-especially if he wins the title this year, the both Fisi and Heiki are probably out.
     

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