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. KimiRulz said on 3rd November 2007, 6:39

    Alonso should go to BMW….BMW should swap Heidfeld with Alonso with Nick going to Mclaren..

  2. Webber – Hamilton – a dream team :-) I am sure Webber would love to have Hamilton as a team mate, he loves the guy :-)

    DC will not go to McLaren for exactly the same reason as Button …

  3. milos love the joke about webber at mclaren – ron needs another whinger as with alonso leaving he wil probably think he has went deaf all of a sudden!!

  4. Daniel said on 3rd November 2007, 14:01

    Heidfeld driving a McLaren would be very interesting… if BMW starts winning races with Alonso, and McLaren quits winning with their wonderboy after the ugly duck’s arrival, then I’ll be sure… Heidfeld is the most unlucky guy on the grid! He was Massa’s (2002) and Raikkonen’s (2001) teammate at Sauber, outpaced them both at the time, and never won anything after that, wasn’t hired by a better team (when he was, at 2005, Williams began its fall from grace), while Felipe and Kimi are driving Ferraris, winning races, and Kimi is the new world champion …

  5. Daniel said on 3rd November 2007, 14:37

    I disagree that Alonso went to McLaren ONLY for the money. I think he was moved by the same vanity that led Schumacher to Ferrari back in 1996: the dream of giving back a ‘once-great’ team its greatness… considering this, and the rumors informed by the brazilian press, that Mercedes only liberated Alonso from the fine if he signs a non-manufacturer team, Williams would be a real option, and perhaps the last chance Frank would have to attract powerful sponsors and try to have a winning car again…

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