The Formula One season is often full of gossip and rumor particularly about driver contracts. Reports are swirling that Honda are interested in signing Fernando Alonso when the company re-enters the sport as engine supplier to McLaren for the 2015 season.
Honda are hedging their bets in the belief that Alonso is growing increasingly frustrated at Ferrari’s inability to produce a championship winning car. For Honda its now become a seemingly money no object “head-hunt” 30 million euro’s is the amount being talked about and Ron Dennis has also joined in the chorus in wanting Alonso back at the Woking based squad.
Alonso’s future at Ferrari isn’t clear, the Spaniard has constantly quashed all rumors, he is a Ferrari man right to the end of his career. Or is he? The 2014 campaign has been lackluster for the Italian based team, as it has for the last two seasons. Even Alonso can not fully mask the deficiencies of the equipment given to him. Alonso’s frustration at not winning the drivers championship with Ferrari has been an open secret, his loyalty to the team never lacking.
Alonso is thought to be hesitating, McLaren like Ferrari have not had benchmark season’s of late and jumping ship to a team that has gone backwards is no different to staying with Ferrari just right now. McLaren are making moves to shore up their design team in particular the recent appointment of Peter Prodromou a former Head of Aero from Red Bull.
And will Honda’s powerplant be powerful and advanced enough to compete with teams who already have a one year head start, will Honda be able to cope with all the complexities involved with the new Hybrid V6 engines.
James Allen, F1 commentator and journalist stated on his website that Alonso’s time at Ferrari may be coming to an end. “According to Italian colleagues, Ferrari doesn’t want to give Alonso some of the guarantees he is seeking and Alonso has told Ferrari he wants to leave. [Team principal Marco] Mattiacci said cryptically on Sunday night that Alonso was set to stay with the team ‘for the moment’.
Allen further speculated: “If Alonso takes the Honda bait can Ferrari get Vettel, who is earmarked to replace him, for 2015 or will they have to wait until 2016? Vettel’s contract with Red Bull has one more year to run. Red Bull will certainly not make it easy for him to leave, he is linked with their sponsors like Infinti, but all things are negotiable.
The biggest question yet to be answered is, will Alonso be agreeable to working again with Ron Dennis, a man with whom he famously fell out with when he was at McLaren for one season in 2008. Dennis is a wheeler-dealer team principle who has orchestrated multiple championship winning titles at the helm of McLaren.
However both Alonso and Dennis share the same ambition, to win races, perhaps this may be a common bond that joins these two opposite forces together.