APRIL 29, 2018
Alonso may leave McLaren says Briatore
Fernando Alonso could be set to stir up the 2019 'silly season'.
Currently, Daniel Ricciardo appears to be the key to the driver market, as he weighs up between Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari.
The Australian said in Baku on Friday that he would enjoy racing alongside Lewis Hamilton.
But he's also eyeing Ferrari, where he would be reunited with Daniel Ricciardo.
"At the moment, Seb is definitely happy with his teammate," Ricciardo told Welt newspaper. "Anyone can see that.
"But I also don't think Seb is scared. I think I know Sebastian and the competitor in him would love a chance for redemption after being beaten in 2014."
However, even if Ricciardo does sign with Ferrari, there might still be a major shakeup at Mercedes.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is in Baku and he suggested Hamilton may be getting tired of F1.
"Bernie always throws hand grenades," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is quoted by Handelsblatt. "It's his style. But the fire and the desire are still burning in Lewis."
The 'hand grenade' thrown by Ecclestone may actually have been planted by his friend and old business partner Flavio Briatore.
Briatore, also in Baku for a rare F1 visit, still oversees the management of Fernando Alonso's career.
And the flamboyant Italian hinted that Alonso may finally be tired of waiting for McLaren to shine.
"Very bad," Briatore told the Movistar broadcaster when asked how McLaren went in qualifying in Baku.
"They should give Fernando a TV in the car so at least he can be entertained in the race.
"Will Fernando stay at McLaren? I don't know," he added. "But with an engine like Renault's - a very good engine - the team must improve.
"Last year the problem was Honda but this year I don't know. The problem is that the car is too slow," said Briatore.