Alonso's future at McLaren in doubt

McLaren CEO Ron Dennis hopes world champion Fernando Alonso will complete his multi-year contract with McLaren, amid growing speculations that the Spaniard is looking to leave the team at the end of this season

Alonso's future at McLaren in doubt

Alonso is signed with McLaren until the end of 2009, but his relationship with the team has been visibly strained in recent weeks, the Spaniard hesitating when asked at Hungary yesterday if he would see out his contract with the Woking-based outfit.

Recent rumours suggest Renault want Alonso back, while other teams are likely to be interested in signing the Spaniard should he be freed by McLaren.

Renault have yet to confirm their 2008 line-up and team boss Flavio Briatore made clear at the weekend that he was in no hurry to do so.

"I know nothing about that. We have never had any discussions about that," Briatore said on Sunday when asked about the rumours.

"This is a McLaren problem, not mine."

But Dennis dismissed these rumours as inevitable, and said his team intend to respect the contracts they have with both Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

"There is an inevitability that these things are rumoured and discussed in other teams," Dennis said on Sunday in Budapest.

"We have two drivers who are contracted for several years into the future. We will respect our part of that bargain and that part of the situation - we hope that the drivers respect theirs, because that's what a contract is about."

According to sources, Alonso appears disillusioned by McLaren's treatment of both drivers, believing he should have had more support from the team due to his status as a double world champion.

A Spanish flag in the crowd on Sunday summed up the feelings of many Spanish fans about their hero's position - "McLaren=Traidor (Traitor)".

But Dennis was adamant that his team would not change their long-held belief of treating both drivers equally.

"That is our position," Dennis stated. "It is a challenging situation to manage, and I fully recognise that. But that goes with my job.

"I have to take any decisions that are in the interests of the team. But at the moment, we are most definitely going to maintain a very firm commitment to our principle of equality.

"We appreciate the pressure and the difficulties and the level of competitiveness that the drivers have to each other. We understand that there are always moments of indecision and a feeling of trust being stretched to the limit.

"But our team principles were not compromised; we make every effort as a team to generate equality.

"We will continue to function as a Grand Prix team with specific values, and if anybody does not want to be part of those values - irrespective of where they sit in the organisation - ultimately they all have a choice. But we will not deviate away from our values."

shares
comments
McLaren yet to decide if to pursue appeal

Previous article

McLaren yet to decide if to pursue appeal

Next article

Dennis to take a much-needed holiday

Dennis to take a much-needed holiday
Load comments
The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1 Plus

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

OPINION: The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Plus

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push Plus

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push

The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2021
How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era Plus

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era

The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021