Fernando Alonso to leave McLaren for 2008

2007 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Mercedes, Interlagos, 2007, 2 | DaimlerReports from Spain suggest that Fernando Alonso’s departure from McLaren for 2008 has been confirmed.

The newspaper El Mundo stated that Alonso will cut short his contract with two years left to run.

McLaren later confirmed the news in a statement but there is no indication who he may drive for or who will take his place alongside Lewis Hamilton.

The statement said:

The mutual parting of ways has not been discussed until now, since it was felt that any such discussion could have seriously disrupted the team’s and Fernando’s 2007 Formula One World Championship challenge.

Alonso, who has criticised the team vehemently on several occasions this year, said:

Since I was a boy I had always wanted to drive for McLaren, but sometimes in life things do not work out.

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.

He also denied his earlier suggestions that the team had given preferential treatment to Lewis Hamilton:

I know there have been suggestions of favouritism 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.

Ron Dennis added:

He is a great driver but for some reason the combination of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Fernando has not really worked out, and in the end we reached a stage where none of us could find a way to move forward.

Alonso later claimed McLaren have imposed no restrictions on who he is allowed to sign for.

Photo: Daimler

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35 comments on Fernando Alonso to leave McLaren for 2008

  1. Woody said on 2nd November 2007, 13:16

    If de la Rosa had a full F1 seat, i’m sure there would be calls to get he and FA into the same team ;-)

    I reckon it’s straight to Renault for FA and Heiki to McLaren. HK has already commented on the Beeb that “Equal status with my team-mate is also important”…..i wonder which team he’s leaning toward?

  2. “While that may be true, we should also realise that both drivers were new to the team.”

    Not technically true, Hamilton was just new to F1, I dare say he’s probably been, at the very least, a part of McLaren than some of the people in the F1 team.

  3. MattX said on 2nd November 2007, 13:43

    Ok the latest rumours are Mclaren wont let FA go to a competitive team leaving options such as Red Bull and Williams
    Red bull have two experienced drivers… (can you see where I am going with this)
    …one of whom is experienced and has driven for Mclaren before so:
    FA – RBR, DC back to Mclaren!!!

  4. oliver said on 2nd November 2007, 14:06

    Loki,

    I meant new to driving for the team. Except of course u mean, Alonso isn’t happy because Lewis gets more hugs from Ron.

  5. To be exact, according to the news from the Spanish newspaper AS the conditions for letting FA to break his contract with McLaren would prohibite him from signing with a team affiliated with a major car/motor manufacturer, not a “competitive” team. This demand does make a lot of sense from the legal point of view, since defining a “competitive” soundly in legal terms is basicly impossible.

    I personally think AS may have got this straight from the legal staff of FA. It would have been strange if McLaren had let FA go without setting some sort of conditions, and these demands seem quite reasonable.

  6. hobbitland said on 2nd November 2007, 15:20

    Hope Alonso takes up the rear of the grid for the rest of his F1 career. How about Toro Rosso, Super Aguri or
    Spyker???

  7. Daniel said on 2nd November 2007, 17:11

    I sincerily hope that Alonso drives a competitive car (I believe that a switch to Adrian Newey’s toy would not be a bad thing), because its best for everyone that a double world champion and a proven driver that is Alonso is able to fight for yet another crown.

  8. Daniel said on 2nd November 2007, 17:13

    Ah! That would mean (at least for me) that Webber would be at the wheel of a Mclaren and give some headaches to Hamilton!

  9. Captain Caveman said on 2nd November 2007, 17:15

    Like in any split in business and sport is a business, Alonso would have undoubtedly signed a compromise agreement, stipulating that both parties don’t talk of each other negatively etc. (gagging clause)

    This is common practice but does normally have a time clause, I personally can’t wait until this is up. I have my opinions that not everything was down to Alonso and most of the issues were down to Ron’s bad management.

    Anyway I believe this is bad for the sport if Alonso is limited to a non competitive drive as suggested by some articles. As long as he is mid pack he will have a chance to entertain, race and strive for a podium… but lets face it unless something else happens other than Ferrari and Mclaren which other manufacturers really have a race winning car?

    I have not evidence to justify this opinion I have next, but I can only assume that for Alonso to move from such a competitive car, he must be aware of something around the corner… problems with Ferarri IPR perhaps? . ( I assume he wanted to go because if mclaren had terminated it early there would have been financial penalties I am sure)

    Anyway, lets hope next season is just as intriguing, albeit for the right reasons.

  10. Magnus said on 2nd November 2007, 19:07

    Alonso at Red Bull would be interesting. As mentioned they have Newey and cash shouldn’t be much of a problem. Not likely they will be at the front next year already but they’ve been improving lately and having Alonso on board should be positive (about 0.6 sec per lap positive? ;) ).

    Williams would be interesting too. BMW leaving hurt them but they’re an experienced team that knows how to build a car. They look to have improved this year (with Rosberg’s help) and Alonso + the sponsor money he could attract could help out a bit (unless it all goes to Alonso’s salary).

  11. Well at last it has happened – no regrets here about alonso’s departure – but still think rbr – again money will soth that delicate ego – and rosberg for mclaren – 2 young drivers – competively pushing as hard as they can – provided max’s boys haven’t banned the 2008 car – it has wheels on it – and an engine – obviously the intellectual property of ferrari!! – ps have voted keith – thanks fr great blog

  12. Peteszab said on 2nd November 2007, 21:36

    Don’t forget Alonso went to Mclaren mostly for the money. Not many people thought a year ago, that Mclaren will be a winning car. So the problem was Alonso never loved the team. He loved the money.
    Next year I think Rosberg will be at Mclaren with Lewis and Alonso, KOvalainen at Renault. The best for Flavio.He is the manager of both of them.
    If Alonso will go to Renault next year and the car will be really good again then Alonso is really better than Lewis. But I don’t think that will happen. Only Michael did something like this with a team.

  13. Peteszab said on 2nd November 2007, 21:42

    Next year I think Rosberg will be at Mclaren with Lewis and Alonso, KOvalainen at Renault. The best for Flavio.He is the manager of both of them. He would never let Kovalainen go away from the team.
    If Alonso will go to Renault next year and the car will be really good again then Alonso is really better than Lewis. But I don’t think that will happen. Only Michael did something like this with a team.

  14. AmericanTifosi said on 3rd November 2007, 3:26

    Think about this, what is Ferrari put Massa back in a third driver role and signed Fernando?

  15. AmericanTifosi said on 3rd November 2007, 3:26

    That should be ‘what if’ sorry I can’t type.

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