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Rumours link Alonso with move to Red Bull-Ferrari

  • Published on 21 Sep 2015 10:43
  • comments 4
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Wild speculation is being whispered in the Singapore paddock about Fernando Alonso's future. McLaren supremo Ron Dennis has insisted the Spaniard is on a fixed contract for 2015, 2016 and 2017 without exit clauses, but Italian and Spanish media sources this weekend have insisted those clauses do exist. And so the rumours have legs.

Alonso was spotted coming out of the Red Bull motor home at a recent race, and now the Italian insider Leo Turrini says he has heard a whisper from within the 34-year-old's own camp that a Ferrari-powered car might tempt him next year. Another veteran Italian journalist is quoted by the Spanish newspaper AS: "With this Ferrari, Fernando would be fighting for the title, just as he did in 2012."

At the same time, Alonso admitted to Spanish reporters that, amid his negotiations with McLaren a year ago, "expectations were higher" that 2015 would turn out better than it has. The knock-on effect of the performance slump for the works Honda camp is financial, with reports suggesting Jenson Button will only be kept if he agrees to forego his scheduled EUR 4 million pay-rise.

Alonso, meanwhile, is currently the highest-paid driver in the entire sport. When asked about the fact that McLaren will take an income hit for 2016, boss Eric Boullier said in Singapore: "I cannot give a full guarantee, but it is 99.9 per cent that we will soon make a number of statements (about new sponsors). If we cannot finish the season in a position that we consider normal, the amount of money from FOM will be less and we have to find ways to compensate for this," he added.

At least for Honda, one way to raise money would be to sell its 'power unit' to a customer team or two, although Yasuhisa Arai has admitted talks are not currently taking place. Boullier said: "We (McLaren) have factory team status and that will not change. To be honest, this (Honda finding a customer) could happen in 2017, and why not? This would mean that the Honda engine is so good that other teams are also interested, and so in this scenario it would be a positive." (GMM)

Replies (4)

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  • I am not surprised, there is no way FA, can stay with Mc Laren, it's damaging for his own personal motivation and damaging for the ''Alonso Brand'' as he is a brand in his own right. I am only surprised it took so long. Ron is a liar as usual as no way FA would sign with Honda without some performance clause, especially with a new start-up team which is what they are in effect. Honda will pul a few sponsors out of the bag, if it wasn't for that Mc Laren would be in the s*it, big time!

    • + 0
    • Sep 21 2015 - 11:39
    • What bothers me is that there are rumours that the reason Honda hasnt gotten a sponsor for McLaren this far is because none of the potential sponsors want to agree on anything as long as Dennis is in McLaren. Not sure how much truth there is to that, but could be one more reason to replace Dennis.

      • + 0
      • Sep 21 2015 - 12:28
    • That's rubbish, no outside company would get involved in the politics of the team they are sponsoring. Why would they want to remove the most successful team Manager in F1 history. McLaren in this state, because they lost the Merc engine, through no fault of their own after winning the WC with LH, and current problems are due to new engine types and rule changes which prevent them testing their way out of a problem. Ron is one of the best team manager around, despite the problems currently. People quick to forget what he has achieved.

      • + 0
      • Sep 22 2015 - 10:28
  • khasmir

    Posts: 893

    Whatever Ron is saying, you need to take it with a huge grain of salt.
    I remember him saying Button had a 2 year contract but see where he is now...
    Being honest and straightforward are not his strongest points.
    It would surprise me if there isn't a performance clause in Alonso his contract.

    • + 0
    • Sep 21 2015 - 19:08

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