November 2, 2007

Divorce, F1 style. (now with two updates!)

No cactus at Mclaren, the obvious has been finalized. Obvious since the announcement that Mercedes had decided to give up on Alonso in mid October, inevitable since Ron Dennis' commented in China that Mclaren was racing against the Spaniard.

Interesting to see develop will be Mclaren's relations with their Spanish sponsors Banco Santander and Mutua MadrileƱa as it sounds like they are staying with Mclaren from the official press release. The Woking team must have the better contract lawyers as I cannot imagine the Spanish sponsors staying because of De La Rosa.... (unless Pedro got the race drive as part of the deal?)

And what to make of Alonso not announcing next year's team? Is there a real possibility Fernando might not drive in 2008? I doubt it, but if he does not have a signed contract in the bag (and why would he not announce it if he did?) he sure lost any negotiating leverage he had left. Now Alonso will have only his talent as a bargaining chip, nobody is going to hire him for his personality or because he is the reigning world champion and now, who would hire him just to take him away from Mclaren?
Sounds like a team will end up with a bargain and perhaps Alonso will seek his happiness over money for the coming years....then again he might join Toyota!

Anyway, Nano....remember when you were a happy guy kicking the great Schumacher's butt rather than kicking a can down the road sulking? Remember when you did that first test for Cesare Fiorio at Minardi? Well here's to you finding that happy version of yourself. Put it this way, even Kimi is smiling after his years at Mclaren!

UPDATE: Alonso has not lost all his sponsors, Mutua MadrileƱa announced that it will continue to support him but Banco Santander will stay with Mclaren.
Meanwhile the issue with Renault is said to be that Alonso is only willing to sign a short term contract, perhaps just one year as rumors of BMW's interest in the double world champion gain traction. Some voices say the Bavarians would have taken Alonso in 2007 already had his obligations with Mclaren been resolved sooner.
BMW, as much as they deny it, do need a star driver to move the team to the next level, right now there are only three top tier drivers/stars in F1 ... two are taken.

UPDATE II: The Alonso at Red Bull rumors can be put to bed, as the Austrian tema has officially confirmed their 2008 driver lineup of Webber and Coulthard.... Renault, Toyota and Williams are still in the running with Flavio Briatore apparently ready to give Alonso pretty much anything he could possibly want down to the specified bust size of his grid girl....


  1. Gosh, the SLR really may be the ultimate Hooligan machine... McLaren should have never put their name on it.

    Having said that, imagine the injury Fernando would sustain if those two knocked heads like I did with my driver at WGI (thankfully we BOTH had helmets). After seeing the damage to my helmet in that accident, I really don't think the risk was worth it for Fernando just to show off that he is too confident for a helmet when giving demo rides. I bet his insurance underwriter had no idea he was doing that.

  2. Funny you should bring that up because I had the exact thought when I first saw that clip. I can just imagine the titanic struggle between the legal and the PR departments at Mclaren. I guess in the end they figured the driver was expendable since it was Alonso anyway ! :)


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