Has Alonso Been Naughty Or Nice?
Topics: Fernando Alonso
November 28, 2007
Where is Fernando Alonso heading? After Renault and McLaren, where will the former F1 Champ go? Or will McLaren ask him to stay? Has Alonso been naughty to deserve his current plight?
So many questions are still left unanswered. According to reports, the 25-year-old Spaniard was effectively paid-off to put his name to a conciliatory farewell when he left the McLaren team in November. This was made after a clamor for preferential treatment was turned done. Another reason for his departure is his strained relationship with teammate Lewis Hamilton. And their squabble was publicized making it hard for the teammates to fix.
In the press release published by the F1 team sponsored by the maker of Mercedes S430 radiator, McLaren said that the Spaniard has confirmed his departure. Alonso was quoted as saying: "I continue to believe that McLaren is a great team. Yes, we have had our ups and downs during the season, which has made it extra challenging for all of us, and it is not a secret that I never really felt at home. I know there have been suggestions of favoritism within the team and people say a lot of things in the heat of battle, but in the end I was always provided with an equal opportunity to win."
The acknowledgment represented a substantial u-turn from Alonso after months of paranoid suggestions that the team had favored Lewis Hamilton. But it has now been alleged by F1 Racing Magazine that Alonso was given little choice by to sanction the quotes.
“On November 2, Alonso, his manager and a lawyer met with McLaren and were presented with two options: go quietly, signing a press statement alluding to an amicable parting; or go through lengthy and painful court proceedings for breach of contract,” the release stated.
By agreeing to the first option, Alonso thus became a free agent, available to sign for any team of his choosing, Planet-F1 said.
Alonso won the World Driver's Championship title in 2005 at the age of 24 breaking Emerson Fittipaldi's record of being the youngest F1 Champ. The Spaniard is also the youngest double Champ. This year, Alonso became the second F1 driver, after Michael Schumacher, to score at least 100 points for three consecutive seasons.
Asked how Renault dropped that far this season, F1 Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone has this to say: “I think they missed Fernando Alonso. He was like Michael for Ferrari - a big driving force for the team. The top drivers do motivate the team for sure and they give the engineers better information.”
“Why not? Look at the situation at Renault in 2005 and 2006. With just Fisichella they would never have known how good their car really was,” Ecclestone said in an interview with Formula One staffer.
Amid speculations, F1 aficionados expect a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
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