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Jo Ramirez predicts Fernando Alonso McLaren exit

  • Published on 07 Nov 2016 12:46
  • comments 13
  • By: Dominik Wilde

Former McLaren team coordinator Jo Ramirez feels that Fernando Alonso could be on his way out of the team.

Alonso has said on a number of occasions that if he is not impressed by next year's cars, he will walk away from the sport.

But Ramirez, who spent 17 years at McLaren, thinks that it will be the team's performance, not the 2017 rules that will decide Alonso's future.

"It's still painful," the 75-year-old told Spanish sports daily AS. "McLaren's evolution is good but it's too slow."

"They're losing sponsors and will lose Alonso as well," Ramirez warned. "It cannot be otherwise. He is a winning driver and he has to win."

"I don't think he will endure more than next year. I do believe that's his limit."

Ramirez also thinks that McLaren should have already performed much better this year,

"I think this year they should already have been on the podium," he said. "Of course it's possible to fight for the title, but I think it's difficult. But they have to do everything possible, because I think next year is McLaren's last chance."

"I think they have a lot to improve because do you know what? It's not all the fault of the engine," he said. "The engine is still not good, but I don't think it's the best chassis in the world. So they have to work together, McLaren and Honda, as if they were a single team, and keep Alonso," he concluded.
 

Replies (13)

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  • Kevin

    Posts: 4,719

    The chassis isn't good. Honda made massive gains, but McLaren is still struggling with the chassis. They have brought a new wing to almost every GP, and their worst performances have been at circuits where chassis would show. I am sure Honda will deliver next year, but I am afraid it will be McLaren that will fail. To win against Mercedes and Red Bull, every part of the team has to deliver.

    • + 1
    • Nov 7 2016 - 15:38
    • Hemex

      Posts: 991

      I agree, Alonso seems frustrated by the lack of car performance. I quite enjoy his verbal outbursts when he gets those annoying messages from the pit wall, but it's no good putting a high performance driver in a low performance car. Not being able to make the difference is frustrating, and that showed in the 'Yihaa' when he overtook Carlos Sainz in Austin. Good for you Fernando. Too bad for you Carlos.
      Who knows, maybe someone pulls a rabbit out of the hat, but there are many more contenders fighting for the points. Right now, I would not put my money on McLaren.

      • + 0
      • Nov 7 2016 - 16:15
    • Yes, the engine is much better, not sure how true it is that the ERS is the best or second best, but it sure has improved. Im not sure if its a good sign that the 2017 PU concept is close to finished already, though its definitely good in the sense that they'll get plenty of testing on it. I think McLaren can fight for decent points next year, but for wins? Likely not. But we'll have to see. They designed the concept car for 2017, so alot depend on how well McLaren can draw from that advantage.

      • + 0
      • Nov 7 2016 - 16:33
    • Hemex

      Posts: 991

      I don't think Honda is much different from the other manufacturer in that regard. I'm not an engine designer, but I image the design process is divided into any number of smaller steps, and once you finalized a step and continue with the next, there's no going back, really, without losing huge amounts of time. Once you've committed, you continue with what you have. We'll see what eggs get hatched next March in Barcelona.

      • + 0
      • Nov 7 2016 - 19:02
    • Yeah, thats probably how things go. I really hope they'll manage to get a good design on the rest of the engine now that they've nailed the ERS.

      • + 0
      • Nov 8 2016 - 14:34
    • Kevin

      Posts: 4,719

      @Calle Really? McLaren designed the concept car for 2017? I didn't know that. Them being strongly involved in next years car design could for sure work in their advantage. Not testing with 2017 tires, is a big fail though imo. It seems the teams who did test the new tires, gained a lot of knowledge from them.

      @Hemex It was problem that Honda could not change fundamental design flaws in the engine, due to the token system. There were just not enough tokens available to make changes anymore. I think with that not being a restriction for next year, Honda will gain massively. But we'll have to wait and see how it will turn out. Can't wait for this season to be done with, and to watch the cars on track in March. Testing period is the most exciting time of the season for me :p

      • + 0
      • Nov 8 2016 - 14:56
    • @Kevin Yes they did. Originally, Red Bull and another constructor (Ferrari or Mercedes) made two different prototype chassis designs, but neither gained enough support, so McLaren was tasked with designing a compromise between the two..
      And I agree fully that it was a mistake to not test the new tyres, especially seeing as how the MP4-31's tyre wear is less than optimal.

      • + 1
      • Nov 8 2016 - 17:48
  • KEVIN, YOU KNOW IT'S the engine,, they are being breezed by on the straights as if they were a regular car when the chassis has no effect whatsoever,, they get passed by at least the top 5 (merc, RB, Ferr, Force India & Williams) without those having to use the DRS,, I am not claiming they have the best chassis, but they have a great power disadvantage..,, and the proof on this is that HONDA has come up with a total new engine for 2017.

    • + 0
    • Nov 8 2016 - 04:21
    • Kevin

      Posts: 4,719

      Honda is not the best engine, no. Only better than STR's Ferrari. But their deficit to the other manufacturers isn't as big anymore as last season, and the gains they made under yhe token system is admirable. Being overtaken by others without DRS was an issue last year, this year, I can't really remember seeing that happen. They can overtake others with DRS now though.

      Monaco has been McLaren's worst qualifying of the season, a track where engine power is not really an issue, while chassis is. On Spa though, they had their best race of the season, while it is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, where engine does make a difference.

      Red Bull has got a power disadvantage to Mercedes too. Yet, they are able to fight Mercedes on some occasions. They have a weaker engine than Ferrari, yet they are in front every GP. Red Bull is able to compensate their weaker engine, while McLaren is not. Even Force India's car is better than McLaren's, while McLaren has got a much bigger budget than they have. McLaren is just underperforming with the facilities and resources they have. I expected a lot from the arrival of Prodromou, but I'm not seeing any gains yet. All McLaren has got is a Red Bull-esque front wing, which is not working at all.

      • + 0
      • Nov 8 2016 - 15:04
    • Hemex

      Posts: 991

      @Keven: You've seen the headlines a year ago?: "McLaren has made big aero gains under Peter Prodromou". If that's the tune for next year as well, they're doomed to fail, I fear. But who know what they can do with a little more backing from Japan giving them more horsepower.

      • + 0
      • Nov 8 2016 - 17:36
    • More ponies in their stable will definitely help, and I think next year's free engine development will help them quite alot. Some ponies fed by actual dreams would be nice. ;)

      • + 0
      • Nov 8 2016 - 17:55
    • Hemex

      Posts: 991

      I'd say 'dream on', but that would not fit the bill exactly. Maybe 'nice dreams' would be better. You've got 5 months, so that's a lot of nights of dreaming ahead...

      • + 0
      • Nov 8 2016 - 18:11
    • Well it was more meant to be a pun based on Honda's motto "the power of dreams". :) But I'll hope for a better Honda Unit either way. :)

      • + 0
      • Nov 8 2016 - 18:51

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