In the end Fernando Alonso left Ferrari after five years convinced the team would continue with its clueless course to compete for F1 world honors. Alonso was so convinced Ferrari’s worst days were still ahead he rejoined McLaren a team with whom he drove for, fought against and fell out with back in 2007.
Alonso’s gamble was to assume that both Ferrari and the newly reformed McLaren Honda partnership would struggle, but of the two Ferrari would struggle the most. Ron Dennis lured Alonso back and Alonso himself could see little light at the end of Ferrari’s funnel, so he rolled the dice and made the decision to leave the Scuderia.
However the McLaren Honda marriage has been fraught with difficulties, the Honda engine is down on power and unreliable, just to finish a race is an achievement in it self. Contrast this to Ferrari who have just won their first race under the Sebastian Vettel era after the Alonso era ended in a disastrous 2014 campaign.
Lewis Hamilton said after the Malaysian Grand Prix, “what must Fernando be thinking”, but Fernando is not one to look back in anger but at the job in hand.
Speaking to Spanish publication, El Mundo Deportivo, Alonso said Mercedes still has the superior form and that yes Ferrari have progressed but not enough to regularly beat Mercedes.
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera saw things a little differently, “Sebastian leaves the Alonso era behind and leads us back to where the Ferrari success story was interrupted.”
Ferrari’s unexpected success in Malaysia was down to better tyre strategies in the heat and humidity of the Sepang track whereas Mercedes experienced higher than normal tyre wear.
Mercedes and therefore Lewis Hamilton are expected to resume normal service at the next round in China. Or Ferrari could continue where it left off in Malaysia.
Did Fernando Alonso make a mistake by leaving Ferrari just as they delivered the second best car on the grid for 2015?
Yes and no, you see what ever car Ferrari made during the Alonso era simply wasn’t good enough. It is the rare case where a driver was simply out performing the machinery given to him and wining in same manner if not more so than Vettel’s Malaysian GP win.
Fernando didn’t outperform his machinery on one occasion he did until Ferrari could give no more and the mistake was Ferrari not being able to convince Alonso to stay.