Will Fernando Alonso pick BMW, Honda or stay at Renault in 2009?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso is not going to be in Ferrari overalls any time soon
Fernando Alonso is not going to be in Ferrari overalls any time soon

Ferrari has confirmed Kimi Raikkonen will drive for the team for at least one more season in 2010. With Felipe Massa contracted for the same duration, the Scuderia will not be looking for any news drivers until 2011 at the earliest.

So where does this leave Fernando Alonso? The Renault driver was widely tipped to join Ferrari in 2010 and possibly even as early as 2009.

Recent rumours have linked him with BMW and Honda, and of course there remains a decent chance of him staying at Renault next year.

Renault

Pro ?ǣ Renault are a known quantity to Alonso and, after the debacle at McLaren last year, that must be important to him. Similarly, he knows he is not in any danger of being paired with a team mate he disapproves of. He won back-to-back championships with the team in 2005 and 2006 so he knows they have it in them to win again.

Con ?ǣ The 2008 car is poor, and that was despite them curtailing development on last year?s R27 early in the season. Renault have fallen behind on engine development because of Flavio Briatore?s desire to obey the spirit, rather than the letter, of the engine rules. Alonso and the team have differed on strategies at several key points this year, and a potential win at Spa went begging as a result.

Honda

ProSome sources claim Alonso has already signed with Honda. Honda is his chance to ??do a Schumacher? and transform a struggling team into race winners. Alonso has first-rate abilities in developing a car (despite his much-derided ??six-tenths?? comment last year) which is exactly what Ross Brawn need. They?ve got Ross brawn, who?s been prioritising their 2008 campaign for a long time. And it would keep him in England, where he has been living for several years.

Con ?ǣ Jenson Button might be a more competitive team mate than Alonso would wish for (although he didn?t fare well against Giancarlo Fisichella in 2001, who Alonso hammered at Renault in 2005-6).

BMW

Pro ?ǣ BMW are a top-three team at the moment and, given the improvements they made over the last two winters, could well be winning regularly next year.

Con ?ǣ I can’t see Alonso being paired with Robert Kubica, who looks every bit as promising as Hamilton, and therefore just as likely to upset Alonso. Nor can I see BMW letting Kubica go, especially as Ferrari is now full until 2011.

Who do you think Fernando Alonso will drive for in 2010 – or 2009?

F1 2009 drivers and teams
F1 2009 season

28 comments on “Will Fernando Alonso pick BMW, Honda or stay at Renault in 2009?”

  1. The biggest con at honda will be going atleast 2 years without even thinking of title; and trying to catch up to ferrari and mclaren. Jenson or Rubens both seem harmless to me.

    I think, Alonso will stay with Renault. Ther is an outside chance for Ross Brawn to get him to come at Honda. BMW – not a chance…

  2. I would like to see Alonso in BMW, as a driver of his caliber can easily take BMW to regular podiums if not wins. Also BMW are quite ahead on their KERS development program then others. And with his eagerness to win as soon as possible that seems to be a good fit.
    Alonso will also bring with him massive sponsorship deals which will only boost BMW’s efforts and we should remember this year alleast for some part BMW was as competitive as a McLaren and Ferrari so with some more investment things could change quickly.

    Alonso and Kubica are very good friends too.

    However there are equal chances of him staying at Renault who are getting better with each race.

  3. I can only see Fred going to BMW or staying with Renault. His current team seem to be on the slide at the moment and the investment required to make them competitive again does not seem to be forthcoming. BMW look to be the best choice as current third ranked team and having reportedly made good inroads with their KERS development for next year. Kubica is out of contract at the moment. I was under the impression that Heidfeld still had another year with BMW, but am quite happy to be wrong on that score. The best price option for BMW would be to go with their current driver line-up, but the services of a 2 time WDC racer must be tempting. I can’t see Kubica and Alonso sitting happily side by side, so maybe Alonso Heidfeld would be a better option.

    As an outside chance, STR have confirmed the Ferrari engine again for next year. Could Alonso be tempted to take the challenge to Ferrari in a STR powered by their own engine? Vettel has shown this year that STR with the Maranello power unit is a powerful combination.

    I think Honda is a long shot for Alonso. He would probably rather stick with Renault than step down to Ross’ team.

    BMW is my best guess.

  4. Alonso together with Kubica? Ha, Alonso will get a nervous breakdown and again leave after one year. Could be fun, because I’m sure Kubica don’t care a rats a** about Alonso’s claim to fame. But it is probably a bad deal for BMW in the end, so I don’t see it happen.

    Alonso together with Heidfeld? Heidfeld will be reduced to nothing, and (like with Webber and Button) the “he-is-really-great-but-hasn’t-got-the-chance-yet” crap will go into high gear explaining everything. Heidfeld never gonna make it big, that’s it. He is good, but not that good. Kubica can take a bad car and make it good and wrestle every little bit out of it; Heidfeld hasn’t got that talent.

    My guess is that it will be Honda, but I’m not sure how that will work out regarding the culture in the team. Could be great or just another McLaren-like disaster.

  5. I would be surprised if Alonso left Renault. Briatore said at the beginning of the year that he would not sign him for just one year as that would be stupid and not be in Renaults favour/interest. I appreciate there are opt out clauses but Alonso has exceeded expectations so I would guess he stays on. I also think the other teams would not pay him what he wants. But this is F1 and anything is possible.

    I should add that I do feel a little sorry for Alonso as he is a good driver and it would be great to have another driver duking it out in the championship mix

  6. BMW has to have at least one German driver on board of their cars so I don’t see Fernando driving for them while Kubica’s there. I hope so anyway, as pairing ALO and KUB in one team would be nothing else than repeating McLaren’s mistake. It’s another season at Renault for ALO in my book. If I was Alonso I wouldn’t even consider Honda as it would be a drop down in tem charts two years in a row.

  7. On second thoughts: Could there be a Heidfeld-Alonso pairing at BMW next year. Since, the recent articles say:
    1. Nick is relaxed
    2. Kubika says team is asleep
    3. Alonso gives no comments about joining BMW.

    May be, Nick has consented to playing 2nd fiddle to Alonso. Mario Theissen might have really pulled a rabbit out of the hat if he has done that..

  8. i highly doubt that one mate! they’d b stupid to let Kubica go

  9. He will stay in Renault.
    BMW must have a German driver.
    Let go Kubica? No way like Jonesracing82 sad.

  10. Its ashame that the most talented driver is essentially a nomad, McLaren wont have him because Ron Dennis is a prat, Ferrari wouldn’t have him during Toads tenure and can’t now because seats are full.

    He’s renault’s prodical son, and in return they give him a car that wants nothing more than to see him suffer (instead of R28 it should be called Desire).

    Honda want him providing he drives their boat of a car, Toyota also want him but the suspension system would try to kill him much like its trying to do to glock now.

    Rumour was Toyota is willing to do anything for him, money, girls, 2nd drivers, even fire trulli… to have him

    Dede says Red bull aren’t ready yet, not till past 2009.

    BMW are willing to pay Heidfield 10million to moan about tyre temperatures yet don’t wanna pay 20 mil for a proven champion.

    and force india, ha lol, even if! Mike Gasgoyne would probably argue with him over bottled water, since he argues with everyone.

  11. I forgot Williams didn’t I?

    i’m sorry Frank, i have brought on my house and my family, please forgive me.

    errr… williams, no. They are in bed with Rosberg, even though he leaves the toilet seat up and doesn’t call them when he’s late from work.

  12. If I’d be a betting man, I’d put my money on Alonso-Heidfeld at BMW next year, with Kubica at Renault.

  13. Kubica and Alonso could work at BMW. The pair are very good friends so competing against each other might be done in good nature. One pushing the other. It would be up to BMW to make sure they have enough resources to concentrate on both drivers equally as to not cause a falling out. Senna and Berger managed their competition.

  14. i think he will stay with renault as he suggested today at italian f1 quali…

    it would be quite interesting i he goes to honda…and really exciting if he can pull them in the top 5 contnders…honda have been working on 2009 for quite a long time so they might surprise everyone…i will feel really sorry for honda if they cant produce anything next year…

    its will be a stupid if BMW give up kubica…

  15. I´m also betting for BMW, Alonso and Kubika are good friends and in the past has commented they could work well along.

  16. I would put my money on BMW as Mario Thiesen has been suspiciously postponing the 2009 line up. I am not sure that they can offer him a winning car. They may be the third team but their lack o development in the second half of the season is incredible and now Toro Rosso, Toyota and even Renault have close the gap. Anyway I fear that wherever he ends, he won’t win anything anymore.

  17. @ Niguen.

    I completely agree with you on the Alonso/Kubica situation, I think they would make an excellant partnership and would take BMW Sauber forward.
    The point that most people forget about Alonso’s disastrous year last year was that he was not so much unhinged by Hamilton’s raw pace, but by his standing in the team.
    The closeness between Hamilton and Dennis, and others within McLaren hightened Fernando’s sense of paranoia, which was not misplaced in my opinion. Hamilton was an unknown quantity to the Spaniard, where as Kubica is not. Would Mario Theissen favour Kubica over Alonso?
    All the evidence suggests that Theissen would almost certainly handle the pair alot differently than Dennis did at McLaren. After all, Hamilton is McLaren, Dennis found him, nurtured his career, and gave him his big break. It is completely different.
    The bottom line is that nobody is better placed within Renault now than Fernando Alonso, and only Fernando knows in what ‘true’ state the team is in, and how far off the pace they ‘really’ are.
    Alonso comes across to me, in interviews that is, as a tremendously proud and confident man, in no way content to play second fiddle. With both Renault and Honda in such dire straights, and the Ferrari deal dead in the water, Alonso has only one realistic alternative. For the sake of Formula One, it would be great to see Alonso back in a car capable of winning the championship again. He is just too good a driver to let go to waste!

  18. Alonso at BMW, he wants to be champion again, they are looking to win a championship, they go hand in hand. I dont think Alonso would have the same problem with Kubica as he did with Hamilton because with hamilton there was the factor of how close he was with Ron, the fact he was the brit in a british team etc. Kubica and Alonso are also friends, get rid of hiedfeld and put Alonso there.

  19. @ the limit

    Spot on, mate.

    I’ve got my BMW T-shirt at the ready ;)

  20. I can’t see him moving anywhere. I am sure he has enough get out clauses in his contract to walk away from Renault but his options are limited.

    Ross Brawn’s affect on Honda is overrated. Some people have suggested that Brawn and Alonso would be like Brawn and Schumacher. But Ferrari had Rory Byrne, Nigel Stepney and a whole stack of other people which Honda don’t. I can’t understand why anyone would think Button would be a threat to Alonso. We know how Barrichello fared against Schumacher and he certainly isn’t any faster now than he was then but Button hasn’t exactly dominated him. WHen Mark Hughes did his half season team mate comparison the most evenly matched pair on the grid were at Honda. Alonso would burst the Button myth in double quick time. There is no reason whatever to believe Honda will progress in the near future.

    The BMW car suits Kubica’s driving style more than Heidfeld’s and Alonso style is the closest on the grid to Kubica’s so unless next year’s new regs fundamentally change the basic behaviour of their car it should be easy for Alonso to slot in their. He may be friends with Kubica but the first time Kubica goes faster than him there will be fireworks. Fisichella was rarely ever a threat but its no secret that any time he was Alonso blew a fuse. I don’t see Mario Theissen putting up with that. The thing is though that Alonso in the car seems to be immune to any ructions that are going on within the team or sport so although I would expect a fiery relationship between the two I would not expect it to affect Alonso’s performance.

    Renault seem to be dead in the water right now and will stay that way until Flavio realises that F1 is not a hippy commune. When did anyone in F1 ever pay any attention to the spirit of the rules. I really can’t bleieve Flavio made that statement when you consider some of the strokes Benetton pulled in the Schumacher years. Maybe Ross Brwn just didn’t tell Flavio what he was doing.

    Alonso deserves to be in one of the best cars on the grid but I can’t see it happening next season.

  21. Renault have taken their eye off the prize with their seeming lack of engine improvements to enhance their own “reliability”. Alonso is too competitive to stay there.

    His best drive would be BMW, but I agree with all of the earlier comments that Kubica and Alonso may be a poor fit. And Dr. Mario wouldn’t tolerate his antics.

    I wouldn’t discount Toyota if they continue to improve over the last five races. And If Felipe bungles the championship this year and Kimi continues to be mediocre, don’t be surprised if they drop Massa and pair Freddie and Kimi as early as next year.

    The price of failure in Maranello is very steep indeed.

  22. Good point GeorgeK, but Massa is looking good, and I don’t think he’s going to revert to early-season form anytime in the near future. Still, if he or Kimi do regress, absolutley a seat could open at Ferrari.

    If Fernando dosen’t stay put, It’s either Honda or BMW as a destination. Any team looking to sign him needs two things- the resources to compete for the championship, and big money. That rules out about half the grid, including Williams. Honda appears less likley as a destination as I see it now, even though they would probably do anything to get him as well.

    With BMW, Alonso is indeed good friends with Kubica and I believe Robert would welcome him as a team mate. In terms of driver management, absolutley Dr. Mario would take a different approach than Ron did, as the situation would be much different than when Alonso was in Woking. BMW is one of the key movers on the KERS deal, and could be in very good position to compete for the title- all in all, it could be an excellent fit.

    In my view, if Alonso sees the ship stuck in the mud and/or sinking at Renault, he calls BMW and they welcome him with open arms. And for as much respect as I have for Heidfeld, I’ll use a phrase from sportscaster Stephen A. Smith to describe his situation in that case- BMW would ditch Nick YESTERDAY….not tomorrow, not next week….YESTERDAY if they had a chance to put the double champion in blue and white.And if he thinks Renault can make progress and be back at the top, he’ll stay- simple as that.

  23. I think Alonso will take Honda. Brawn is clearly quite keen to have him there, and the desire for a team to have a driver is very important. Honda would probably pay Alonso more money than anyone else on the grid (more on this in a moment), and they would give him a more generous contract in non-monetary ways than any other team. Brawn knows how to build a team technically, and he will attract plenty of talent to come and work for Honda. Alonso is PRECISELY who Honda needs to take the next step, and the opportunity to add to his legacy will be a powerful incentive to a man who is clearly very keen to get back to the top.

    I don’t think BMW would be a very good fit for Alonso. For one, Dr. Theissen will not put up with the drama that has been associated with Alonso in the past, be it during his year at McLaren or even before. Secondly, BMW will not pay Alonso the rate that he’s likely seeking, as they in the past have not been that keen to pay drivers highly. Thirdly, BMW already has a driver with very good developmental abilities in Heidfeld, who has a lot of responsibility for the rapid progress BMW has made up the grid. Thus, it’s not very important that they acquire a driver with developmental talent, especially since they have a budding young elite in Kubica. BMW’s focus shouldn’t be going out to get Alonso: it should be on keeping Kubica happy, and the last few weeks have at least produced the appearance of some discord among the parties.

  24. ALO -> BMW
    KUB -> Renault

    we’ve seen this already w/ Heikki

  25. I don´t think Kubica would be happy to part ways with BMW now there´s a good possibility to fight the championship, i see more probable Heidfeld going to renault

    ABout the alonso don´t putting up with fastest teammantes, Trulli was beaten him in 2004, and Alonso never told a word about him, possibly it had more to do with Alonso not being concentrated, but they worked along very well and they stillregards themselves as good teammates, last year Trulli said many times he wanetd Alonso at Honda. I think Alonso can put up with a faster teammate, but can´t put up with an unequal treatment, at least if he thinks it exists.

  26. Have any of you considered that Hammy was to blame for th whole McLaren fiasco? Seems to me that Fernando has a lot more friends in the circuit and as of lately, Hammy is only getting on people’s bad sides with all his arrogant rants and blatant disrespect for his opponents. Also, Alonso and Kubica are friends so I really don’t see a problem with them being on a team and still maintaining a good competative relationship. I’m all for Alonso going to a team that will allow him to be competative. He’s stuck with a “back of the mid pack” car at best and he’s still managing to score points so I would love to see him use his talents with a car that has the potential as well.

  27. I don’t think Jenson Button as a team mate is a “Con” for Alonso to Honda – as much as I like Jenson Button, I’m 99.999% sure he won’t be troubling Alonso if they were paired up. In fact, I’m almost sure he’d be the perfect number 2 – someone to bring home points without really being able to challenge Alonso….that is if the car was capable….which brings me to the REAL Con of joining Honda: how much better will they be next year/year after – look at the past 2 seasons, they’ve not improved at all.

    Ross Brawn is considering long term success, but Alonso wants it relatively soon (and to be honest, I want to see Alonso up there too, it’s been a bit boring without him near the top). Alonso’s also made a few remarks about teams jumping several places within a season, so I’d imagine that Ross Brawn would have to offer him something extremely good that would make it worth his while if they produce yet another steam-pile-of-cow-pat car.

    But who knows, with the aero rules next year, it could switch teams around a bit: Mark Webber was always in the wrong team at the wrong time.

    If I were Alonso, I’d sign for BMW before Honda. If I were to sign for Honda, I’d need to see something solid in place – not just Ross Brawn – a real plan, for me to go there…and that won’t happen because it’ll probably be team secrets.

  28. Why be so obvious. BMW, Renault, Honda…
    Fernando doesn’t need money, he needs a team built around him. Renault and Honda might not have a decent car in a few years time. BMW and Ferrari are done.
    If I were him i would choose STR Toro Rosso. Good engine, small team, sponsorchip is there especially with a 2xChamp, the car is developing nicelly and the tech crew is very good.

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