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Evidence for Alonso move to McLaren piling up

  • Published on 05 Nov 2014 11:47
  • comments 1
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Evidence is building by the day that Fernando Alonso is definitely McLaren-bound. Writing in the Swiss newspaper Blick, veteran correspondent Roger Benoit claims the deal was actually all but finalised a few weeks ago in Sochi, Russia.

It appears a two-year term with an option for 2017 has been agreed, but perhaps with the minute details still being discussed. "Alonso has played it (the negotiations) very hard," a McLaren insider is quoted as saying by the Spanish daily Marca.

The newspaper's correspondent Marco Canseco claims all the evidence points in favour of the Spanish driver switching from Ferrari to McLaren-Honda for 2015. Another piece of the puzzle, he said, were "several meetings" in Austin last Sunday morning when "Santander marketing representatives" sat down with their McLaren counterparts ahead of the US grand prix.

Although the Spanish banking group is signed up to stay with Ferrari as a major sponsor, Santander - closely and personally aligned with Alonso - has worked with McLaren since 2007, with branding still prominent on the drivers' chests. Marca also published a photo of Alonso taking a close look at Jenson Button's 2014 McLaren in parc ferme immediately after the US grand prix. (GMM)

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  • While I agree that the mounting evidence points to a move by Alonso to McLaren in 2015, I do not accept the notion that there are any negotiations still on-going between Ferrari and him. Big-money negotiations cannot proceed amicably for months. That’s why I personally believe that the basic terms of their amicable arrangement are in place for his early contract termination and buy-out. This means that other factors need resolution to compete the deal – so called (in the law) “conditions precedent.” Looking at their situation, I think they probably relate to Ferrari’s final placement in the 2014 team standings. Let’s say that, instead of a fixed buy-out amount, Alonso agreed to a percentage of the Ferrari team’s final team-ranking bonus. The benefits to Ferrari would be (1) it would not have to dig into current funds so pay him, and (2) it would keep Alonso driving hard to raise the team’s final placement and increase his pay-out. Based upon the points awardable for remaining races, there are still mathematical best- and worse-case possibilities that Ferrari may pass or be overtaken by other teams in the final standings. Once those possibilities are removed over the next two races, Ferrari’s final placement in team standings is established, and the parties can calculate Alonso’s buy-out amount, THEN they will jointly announce his departure, and he will announce his destination. If I’m right, then this also means that Kimi Raikkonen’s continuing low or lack of points accumulation may be penalizing Alonso financially.

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    • Nov 5 2014 - 22:16

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