• "Mwoah" - Kimi Räikkönen
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Dear Guest. Follow RaceDepartment on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Steam and YouTube.

Featured Debate: Is Alonso Better Served Staying with McLaren?

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Chris, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Chris

    Chris
    Administrator Staff Premium

    Messages:
    9,430
    Ratings:
    +5,811
    AloMcLaren.jpg Flavio Briatore has dashed the hopes of fans hoping for the mouth-watering prospect of Alonso joining Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton for the 2017 season. But could staying with McLaren actually pay bigger dividends in the long run?

    In a statement to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Alonso's manager [Briatore] asserted that the contract with McLaren is solid and that they will respect it. "People always think of Fernando when a top car is free, but we have a contract [with McLaren] and we will respect that.", said Briatore.

    Alonso last drove alongside Hamilton in 2007 at McLaren when the young Brit was just a rookie. What developed was a rivalry so deep and bitter that it very nearly caused a total team implosion after multiple on-track and off-track incidents. Despite Toto Wolff admitting that they [Mercedes] were seriously considering Fernando Alonso for the 2017 drive, the chaos and deep intra-team divisions seen at McLaren in the 2007 season is something he is keen to avoid at all costs.

    Given that Alonso looks to be staying on with McLaren - according to Briatore - could the Spaniard actually have a better chance of a title with the Woking outfit in the long run, rather than going up against Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes car that surely will be the favourite for the title in 2017, but will also have stiff competition from the likes of Red Bull and possibly even Ferrari?

    Alonso.jpg Why stay with McLaren?
    Well, for one, he has a contract. Breaking contracts never reflect well against the breaching party, unless the performance of the other end of the agreement is massively below par, which I don't believe McLaren have been, at least not this year.

    Secondly, Honda have made incredible progress in just three years of engine development. Teams such as Mercedes have been working on these complex hybrid power units for upwards of six years, so it's only natural that Honda are behind the ball in that respect. However, the amount of performance they have gained in such a short amount of time is truly staggering, even if they are only ever fighting over the lower end of the points, especially when you consider that they've been running sub-optimal engine layout configurations.

    Honda's F1 boss, Yusuke Hasegawa, has also stated that they will be moving to the accepted gold standard for power unit layout to mimic the "Mercedes model". This will result in vastly greater power outputs, greater fuel efficiency, a lower centre of gravity and a more controllable power and torque delivery. Combine all of this with a revamped McLaren chassis with Peter Prodromou at the helm (Adrian Newey's former sidekick at Red Bull), and McLaren-Honda could be a serious player in the years to come.

    Finally, Alonso will surely have number one status within the team as the new kid on the block makes his long awaited entrance to Formula One: Stoffel Vandoorne. Whilst his performance in the Bahrain GP was mightily impressive, Vandoorne has never faced a driver of the calibre of Fernando Alonso over the span of a full racing season.

    Whilst McLaren-Honda still may need some time to get back to the pointy end of the grid, they are doing the right things to get there. It's only a matter of time. If Alonso remains onboard, he'll be part of something truly special.

    AloHam.jpg Why Move to Mercedes?
    In a word: Winning. There's no two ways about it. If he joins the Silver Arrows, then he'll be a title contender over night. Alonso does not have a lot of time left in Formula One, and he's desperate to go out as a three (or more) times World Champion. Something he's been clear to point out in seasons gone by is that he realistically should have had at least one more championship after 2012 slipped through his fingers in arguably the greatest season the sport has ever seen.

    The Hamilton rivalry we saw in 2007 is water under the bridge, according to both Hamilton and Alonso. A new-found respect has flourished between them, and working as teammates could actually be feasible. However, that's all just media fluff and it remains to be seen whether or not the two could realistically have a working relationship that wouldn't turn into turmoil all over again, especially when you have a car so good that coming third is seen as a disaster.

    Alonso hasn't won a championship for 10 years. Yes, that's right, a whole decade. He needs immediate success if he's to capture that elusive third title before he is forced to retire, and Mercedes is without a shadow of a doubt the best option for him if he wants to "chuck a Rosberg" and leave the sport on top. However it may not be as easy as simply signing the contract and winning the title as he'll have arguably the best and most motivated driver on the grid as his teammate: Lewis "The Mercenary" Hamilton.


    Over to you!
    Do you think Alonso is better off staying with McLaren-Honda? Or should have a quick burst in a Mercedes to try and win that third title he's so desperately craved all these years?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
    • Like Like x 10
  2. Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    Messages:
    2,523
    Ratings:
    +844
    I I think we should look at it from a Mercedes standpoint. Alonso is 35 years old, and next summer, he will turn 36. Alonso would be such a short term solution to the problem. Mercedes could easily promote one of their youth drivers, save themselves millions, and give them the opportunity to develop into a world championship winning driver. I think throwing them in the deepend is the best way to see what a drier is actually capable of, and Wehrlein and Ocon (both world class talents) would excel. Also Mercedes will have to deal with Lewis and Nando battling for the world title again. Has anything really changed you must ask? They will both be in the same positions, and even though Lewis is a far different personality to what he was in 2007, Lewis is far more arrogant, that it could easily drive Alonso up the wrong way

    However, let's look at it from Alonso's standpoint. He's 35 years old, and next summer he will turn 36. He's desperate to win at least one more world championship, and he surely must me thinking where is the best place to be in order to win the world championship. Mercedes is his last hope, as I don't see him winning the world title with McLaren, especially with how little time he has left.

    The thing is, McLaren will be desperate to keep him. He's the perfect man to partner Vandoorne (having the experience of winning world titles) and he can be useful in developing the McLaren rather than having two rookies. He would push Vandoorne, which would be perfect for McLarens future
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 15
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ghoults

    Ghoults

    Messages:
    486
    Ratings:
    +214
    As far as 2017 goes it would be huge surprise if mclaren could even consistently be near the podiums. The chances for them to make a winner car are tiny. And no matter how good a car mclaren builds they are still at major disadvantage with the honda power units. If you want proof then look no further than red bull. Their last season was catastrophic despite having very good car. The renault engine killed them. This year with much better engine they did better than they themselves could imagine.

    I think it makes no sense for alonso not do his best to get into the mercedes. The merc has had the best car in every possible way for last 3 years. They won't suddenly forget how to make winning package. They have the aero expertise, best engines with direct manufacturer support, solid team and at least one strong driver. It would be huge massive surprise if merc is not the best package next year as well. It sure won't be mclaren.

    As far as contracts go I think everybody understands that F1 is based on one thing only. Results. Without results (or money) you are out. Often times this is just seen as teams changing underperforming drivers to better ones but I think it applies to drivers switching teams as well. Mclaren has failed horribly to achieve any of the targets they had in mind when they switched to honda. It is a sinking ship that floats only because it is filled with cash. There is no reason for alonso to stick around driving that uncompetitive car when he could be sitting in merc winning races and challenging for championships. The team would switch him to other driver if as soon as he was underperforming. Alonso should also think about a switch because clearly the team is underperforming. He doesn't own anything to mclaren except his contract. If he wants out then the contracts has couple of pages about that too. He won't have many years left and it makes no sense to waste the at mclaren.

    History has also shown that when this kind of opportunity comes you need to grab it with both hands. Otherwise you may never get another one. Great example of this is nick heidfeld. After a season in sauber against kimi räikkönen it was nick who was the first choise for mclaren. But out of respect towards sauber nick declined. This decision turned out to be huge mistake as nick never got another chance to drive for winning car in f1. It was well played by peter sauber but it did bad things for nick's career.

    From alonso's point it is as clear as day. It is more complicated from merc's perspective as andy wrote above. For next season alonso is clearly the best option. But is merc happy to have him just for a year or two or three? Alonso has already mentioned several times that he will retire one day. Surely not the kind of talk you want to hear if you are looking for a long term plan driver.

    The mercedes will likely be really quick car in 2017. Even with average driver merc will probably win both drivers' and manufacturers' championship. So putting bottas or even ocon or wehrlein is not a huge risk in that regard.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Kakusso

    Kakusso

    Messages:
    136
    Ratings:
    +146
    Alonso denounced Mclaren for spying on Ferrari while he was driving for Mclaren out of his frustration from rivalry with Hamilton. Who knows if he might reveal any of Mercedes secrets if the rivalry with Hamilton at Mercedes turns bad once again.
     
    • Haha Haha x 2
  5. stbreaker

    stbreaker

    Messages:
    111
    Ratings:
    +16
    I think it's a no-brainer on Alonso's end. It's true that McLaren and Honda have made huge strides, but I don't see them winning a title in the next 2-3 seasons and Alonso will be retiring by then. He's already hinted a few times that if there isn't a significant shake up from these rule changes, that he's moving on. This is probably his best chance at another title and I'm sure he knows it - in spite of his bad luck with jumping onto sinking ships.

    But this is a two way street... On the Mercedes end, I'm not really seeing the appeal of Alonso over the more obvious choice in Bottas or their other young talents. As mentioned in the post, Hamilton is going to be very determined next season and I think he would beat Alonso badly in a straight fight - if not only on pure skill, but by the advantage of familiarity with the car and team. I also can't imagine that prying Alonso from McLaren is going to be cheap. If they are that intent on taking a contracted driver (which they do not seem to be at all), I'm still voting for Sainz Jr or Perez as the best choices there.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Martin Larsen

    Martin Larsen

    Messages:
    604
    Ratings:
    +153
    I dont really understand why Mercedes needs Alonso... I mean sure, he is a great driver who could challange Hamilton but he is still almost 36 years old. So Mercedes allready have Hamilton who is more then good enough to be champion next year ofc, so why not get a younger driver they can develop and let Hamilton be the 1st driver for a season without the drama arround teammate fights with a driver they would have for 1-2seasons...
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

    Messages:
    845
    Ratings:
    +211
    From Alonso's perspective i would say the choice is go to Mercedes, back in the day Fernando choose to forgo the better car to "get away" from Hamilton, but now the clock is ticking and he must step up(if given the choice).
    You can't compare Mercedes with Mclaren's "hopes and dreams".

    I also don't buy into the Hamilton will be "focussed and motivated", Lewis always seems to fluctuate a bit during the season, he was inch perfect in the tail end of 2016 but he also faced no opposition since Nico seemed perfectly happy in cruise and collect mode, imo no one can say this level is here to stay.

    From Mercedes perspective however i don't think they need Alonso, if they are tentative about sticking to Wehrlein (i am too, not nearly convinced by that guy honestly), Bottas will be just fine.
     
  8. Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    Messages:
    2,523
    Ratings:
    +844
    They would have to be super dominant to get away with that. Ricciardo and Verstappen is such a strong line up that Mercedes could be making an error by signing a number two driver.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  9. Sky

    Sky

    Messages:
    303
    Ratings:
    +139
    Retire
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Haha Haha x 1
  10. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven
    retired from this site. Premium

    Messages:
    1,518
    Ratings:
    +256
    and the arguments are:
     
    • Haha Haha x 1
  11. Runic

    Runic

    Messages:
    127
    Ratings:
    +27
    'Hamilton is going to be very determined next year and I think he would beat Alonso badly,' do you even know F1? Alonso is the best driver in F1 right now (for a lot of people) He would beat Hamilton more than Hamilton beats him.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. Runic

    Runic

    Messages:
    127
    Ratings:
    +27
    I think Alonso should go to Mercedes. It's best for the sport and the fans. The Rosberg - Hamilton rivalry wasn't a rivalry, it was them battling on track a few times in 3 years. I think Alonso - Hamilton would be very interesting to watch and even more interesting if Red Bull were as fast as Mercedes. Obviously, 2007 wasn't a good year for Hamilton and Alonso's relationship. But Hamilton has matured a lot more from 2007, his rookie season.

    Alonso's Perspective
    Alonso is 35 years old. He has said if 2017 doesn't excite him he will move onto other types of Motorsport. If Mercedes sign him, Alonso would probably want a one year contract with an option to extend it for 2018. Alonso is one of the sports greats, so it is weird to see him only battling for a couple points a race if that.


    Mercedes' Perspective
    Mercedes will probably hesitate as first because of the infamous 2007 season of Alonso - Hamilton. But as stated earlier, Hamilton has matured a lot. It would be the be a very hard lineup to beat even if Red Bull are as fast as Mercedes next year. Alonso is probably the best option if Mercedes want raw pace, As they have said before.



    (Just to say, I don't like Hamilton that much because he always been a very fast car so I would like him to be beaten!)
     
  13. Sky

    Sky

    Messages:
    303
    Ratings:
    +139
    1. he's getting old
    2. he could go win championships in other series, race at le mans, etc
    3. he's getting old
    4. him and lewis wouldn't work well. look how it went last time, as well as much drama happened with hamilton having a calm teammate.
    5. he's getting old
    6. he costs way too much for someone that hasn't won a championship in many years
    7. he's getting old
    8. mercedes should be thinking of the future, hamilton won't be racing forever either.
    9. he's getting old

    [i realise he's not that old, but the longer he hangs around in f1 he goes from 'alonso, what a talent' to 'alonso, he hung around too long']

    :p:roflmao:
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
    • Haha Haha x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Yapci

    Yapci
    Premium

    Messages:
    662
    Ratings:
    +236
    Alonso himself stated that physically F1 nowadays is pretty soft and that some years ago he did finish every race sore and tired. Now he doesn't. For him, he said, when people now retire (talking about button I think), is because they are tired of the sport or tired of not having time to spend with your family. He even said that he can't even play football with some friends because all the year he got races so is a risk to get injured.

    So yeah...he is old...but he is faster that many young drivers in a slower car, outclassed his teammate, a world champion, and managed to get top 10 in a car that is...top 20?

    And his gf is hot, we need more tv time of Alonso and Alonso's box!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. fortyfivekev

    fortyfivekev
    Premium

    Messages:
    880
    Ratings:
    +318
    You don't get to F1 without thinking that you are the quickest guy out there. Everybody on the grid would take that seat if they could because they all think that they could beat Lewis and Mercedes will probably still have the best car in 2017. So from the drivers perspective everyone would want that seat.

    From the Mercedes perspective I suspect if they knew Lewis would do five more years then they would take a Wehrlein or Sainz and build them up to be the big name that you need to be to lead a team like that. Their problem is that Lewis has also made some noises about only doing a couple more seasons and if he really threatened to quit after Spain this year then they can't have much confidence in him staying long-term. The only reason to try for Alonso is if they think Lewis will retire in the next two years otherwise they should go a lot younger.
     
  16. David Dominguez

    David Dominguez
    Premium

    Messages:
    2,568
    Ratings:
    +1,558
    Yeah, because cars will be so similar in 2017.
     
    • Haha Haha x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Blimey

    Blimey
    Banned

    Messages:
    820
    Ratings:
    +199
    " and McLaren-Honda could be a serious player in the years to come."
    They should've been a player to play with a long a## time ago, that is nothing but a dream for them that will most likely never come true.
     
  18. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim

    Messages:
    1,151
    Ratings:
    +569
    We are not even sure Mercedes will be the team to beat next year :)

    Red Bull will be (at least) very very close to Mercedes.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. fortyfivekev

    fortyfivekev
    Premium

    Messages:
    880
    Ratings:
    +318
    LOL. Do you think Mercedes were actually running flat out the last few races?
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  20. burrito

    burrito
    It's an opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Premium

    Messages:
    359
    Ratings:
    +394
    Why is their possible sandbagging in these regulations relevant to who has the best car next year in a totally different set of regulations?

    It could suggest they started earlier on their car (because they didn't need to push their current car further) but pretty much everyone started as soon as the draft regulations were created and everyone has the same windtunnel hours now.