AUGUST 7, 2007
Alonso and McLaren
The Times newspaper in London is reporting that "well-placed sources" say that Ron Dennis has informed Fernando Alonso that he can leave the team at the end of the year if he wants to do that. This does not seem very likely.
The newspaper quotes the unidentified source saying that "my understanding is that hes been told he can go because theyre so fed up with him."
There have been suspicions for some time that Alonso was not comfortable in the team and believes that it favours Lewis Hamilton. Ron Dennis has been trying hard to make Alonso feel at home and it may be this that cause some of the problems in Hungary at the weekend.
Having said that, not being happy with a driver and letting him go are two very different things. In this case McLaren would not only lose a double World Champion but would also be handing him to a rival. Dennis cannot make Alonso drive for him in 2008, if the Spaniard does not want to drive, but he can stop him driving for another team.
"We have two drivers who are contracted for several years into the future," Dennis said. "We will respect our part of the bargain - we hope that the drivers respect theirs, because thats what a contract is about. 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 will have a choice. But we will not deviate away from our values."
Renault would love to get Alonso back and BMW would almost certainly be bidding as well. These would likely be the only choices that Alonso would consider as Ferrari with Kimi Raikkonen is not a very attractive option and it is unlikely that Jean Todt is going to axe Felipe Massa, who is managed by Nicolas Todt, Jean's son.