McLaren target Alonso and Vettel in driver market

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014In the round-up: Ron Dennis says McLaren intend “hire the best drivers” as the team are reported to be pursuing Sebastian Vettel and former driver Fernando Alonso.


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Moving McLaren forward (F1)

Ron Dennis: “McLaren will always make efforts to hire the best drivers available. If such opportunities arise, we’ll appraise them; we always have and we always will.”

McLaren pushing to hire Vettel, Alonso (Autosport)

“It is understood that McLaren has been told it will get an answer from Vettel and Alonso very soon, and it wants to sort out its 2015 driver plans before the final flyaway races that begin with the Singapore Grand Prix next month.”

Marco Mattiacci Q&A (Sky)

“I don’t have to keep Fernando Alonso happy. We are not here to look for happiness; we are here to look for the fastest cars.”

Hamilton contract talks to wait (ESPN)

“At the moment we need to be concentrated on the championship and not get involved in contractual discussions or intense discussions, because it is something that is one and a half years away from us.”

Red Bull not pursuing its own power unit, Horner insists (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Red Bull’s human resources department created a stir recently by advertising for personnel to work on ‘our Formula One power unit.'”

Mark Webber takes us inside the F1 war between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes (Herald Sun)

“At this point (moments before the contact) Nico knows he has no chance to get the move done. It’s strange that he tried to come in so tight behind Lewis.”

Accident at our building site (Toro Rosso)

“After receiving immediate attention at the site, both men were taken by ambulance to the Cesena Hospital, where neither men is in a serious condition.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2013Car interviews Hermann Tilke, the F1 architect (Car)

“Many people ask me why my tracks have long straights in them. First, it’s good for F1. But circuits need to be successful all-year-round and when clients pay for track days they want to feel high speed. The easiest way for them to achieve that is down a long straight; that’s also why we do it.”

Miles away from Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg (MotorSport)

John Miles: “Next morning when I came down to breakfast, Jochen [Rindt] was sitting there eating a boiled egg. I said to him, ‘For me, without wings this car is dangerous.’ He just said, ‘You’ll be all right, John.’”

Magicians and Machiavelli (Joe Saward)

“As I do once a week since the trial ended I have checked to see whether [Bernie Ecclestone] has been put back as a director on the boards of the various F1 companies. There is no sign that this has happened. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened because you don’t have to file such things immediately, but it is a suggestion, nonetheless that, despite the rah-rah and the cheerleaders, change is in the air, even if it is only in the planning stages.”

Hamilton ‘victim’ complex rivals that of Senna (The Telegraph)

“For a man paid north of £20 million a year to make 10 decisions through the compression of Eau Rouge, Hamilton makes some astoundingly cement-brained calls the moment he lifts the visor.”


Comment of the day

Sergio Perez’s race engineer Giampiero Lambiase will be the voice in Sebastian Vettel’s engineer next year:

I met and had a long chat with Gianpiero Lambiase once (in which he spent most of the time saying how fantastic a driver Perez is and how hard done he was by McLaren) – lovely guy and will no doubt do a fabulous job at Red Bull. Big step up for him – congratulations!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jelle Van Der Meer, Metrium, F199Player and Stefano!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Unusually for a race in 2004 Michael Schumacher did not win the Belgian Grand Prix ten years ago today. But he did finish second, securing his seventh and final world championship, and his fifth in a row.

Victory went to Kimi Raikkonen, while Jarno Trulli started what turned out to be his penultimate race for Renault from pole position.

Images © Red Bull/Getty, Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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107 comments on McLaren target Alonso and Vettel in driver market

  1. McLaren should concentrate on making its car better, not on changing its 34 year old driver for one that is a year younger. Looking at Button’s output compared to the two rookie hotshots he had to compete with, I think Ron Dennis should kiss both hands that the Brit is even willing to stay and is not criticizing the team 24/7.

  2. TMF (@tmf42) said on 29th August 2014, 8:23

    McLaren’s car isn’t good enough to attract top-notch drivers. Imo, they should continue with the current line-up and if they make a step forward in 2015 then they might be able to get one of the top stars.
    Hamilton might be an option if there is a fall-out at Mercedes this year, but still unlikely. And all the others might be slightly better than Button but none of the options has a bigger name recognition.

  3. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 29th August 2014, 8:32

    Hamilton is not a corporate slave. And we all “cry” for an F1 driver with character?!?! There you have one. Plain and simple. He does not want to “keep it internal” as Nico does. And I’m wondering if it was Lewis’s mistake in the first place, would Nico still wanted to keep it internal? Anyway, Lewis had corporate lies experience in McLaren before, which is another reason he left them.

  4. Sumedh said on 29th August 2014, 9:14

    I am surprised Vettel is still being considered as an option by other teams in spite of the drubbing he is receiving at the hands of Ricciardo.

    • Because your disgust runs so deep you fail to look at what he actually achieved. Which is a lot whether you like him or not.

      • Jarnooo (@jarnooo) said on 29th August 2014, 11:39

        Vettel is a great driver and has achieved a lot, but under the current set of rules, Ricciardo is doing a better job. I think it’s completely reasonable for a team to choose Ricciardo over Vettel, at the current point in time.

        • @jarnooo RIC is doing a better job. Helped by a trouble free season, unlike Vettel is having which makes it look like Vettel is having a terrrible season. If you keep his troubles in mind, he’s hanging on quite well. Ricciardo on the other hand, for me, has done a great job but also gets too much credit for what he has been doing. He is being praised like he’s the new Senna.

          Look at the two comments below. That’s what I mean. That are people who are completely blind to what a talent Vettel is. Button is one of the most overrated drivers ever. Better than average but in the end it took him three years before he was able to take a pole in a McLaren, I think that says a lot.

          • Sven (@crammond) said on 29th August 2014, 16:44

            Look at the two comments below. That’s what I mean. That are people who are completely blind to what a talent Vettel is.

            uh? You may read through my previous comments on this site and may show me wether I have ever rated anyone stronger than Vettel. Or am I underrating him when I say others are on the same level and some more are really close?

    • Oli (@dh1996) said on 29th August 2014, 10:16

      In a Button vs Vettel situation, I am 100% convinced that JB would destroy SV. Vettel can call himself lucky that Red Bull are hanging on to him.

      • Sven (@crammond) said on 29th August 2014, 10:47

        While I don´t think “JB would destroy SV”, I am quite surprised by the underrating of Button both in the comments on this site and in the media lately. He is one of the top-drivers, maybe slightly short of Alonso´s abilities, but as he has proven absolutely on par with Hamilton. I´d not be surprised if he could keep up with Vettel even if the latter comes back to his true form. And no, by that I don´t mean to say Vettels true form is any weak.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th August 2014, 22:46


        Vettel can call himself lucky that Red Bull are hanging on to him.

        After providing them 4 championships, a win for their B team and winning the most ever consecutive races. LOL.

        • Oli (@dh1996) said on 29th August 2014, 23:13

          Image what Ricciardo or any other above-average driver could’ve achieved ;)

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 30th August 2014, 1:45

            @dh1996 – They would have achieved less- Vettel’s achievements were near impossible to top. The main point is, it’s a bit foolish to suggest RB would sack a driver based on half a poor year, after delivering near unparalleled accomplishments for as long as he did.

  5. Diego (@ironcito) said on 29th August 2014, 9:29

    To the 92% in favour of free racing, what sanctions would you impose for breaking the ‘no contact’ rule?

    I would not create such a rule. The biggest incentive for a driver to avoid contact is to avoid contact, not courtesy or politeness. If the stewards decide that there was foul play, reckless driving, or anything like that, then let them deal with the driver. If not, then it’s just as risky for the contacter as for the contactee.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th August 2014, 10:40

      I told them to let the driver pay for his damages if they want a penalty :-) Alternatively, maybe put in a young gun for the FP1 session (Although Mercedes doesn’t even have a reserve that could take the job, do they?)

  6. mateuss (@mateuss) said on 29th August 2014, 9:37

    “Oh no FOM have finally cottoned on to @canalplus’ region free access to their onboard video footage :(”


    I’am never going to pay or watch anything that gives views or anything to FOM. Illegal only!
    How can they make the fans hate them more?!

  7. With Alonso and Vettel their contract both still running I find it odd McLaren is not ‘reporting’ trying to get Hamilton back. Or did I miss an article?

  8. BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th August 2014, 10:38

    That interview with Tilke starts of great:

    They encourage close racing and some observers reckon the stunning battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix could only have taken place at a Tilke track because the layout lends itself to overtaking and the vast run-off areas encourage the drivers to have a go.

    Ehm, yeah.

    Because it was Populous that actually did the current Silverstone layout, one of the few not touched by Tilke actually!

  9. ADD (@addimaf1) said on 29th August 2014, 12:08

    For once Hamilton did nothing wrong in his actions and interviews and the telegraph puts out a personal attack like that. I’m all for throwing the book at Hamilton when he’s in the wrong but come on.

  10. David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 29th August 2014, 12:17

    @keithcollantine Twitter was started, not really invented :)

  11. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 29th August 2014, 13:19

    As a lifelong McLaren fan the prospect of both Alonso and Vettel there, two of the greatest drivers on the grid without question, is one that certainly wets my appetite but would that combination work? I’m not so certain.

    Both Alonso and Vettel are well aware of each other’s driving ability by now, they’ve been racing together since 2007, and have met each other on the same piece of tarmac on more than one occasion. We have also seen both publicly having falling outs with their respective team mates in the past. While they have arguably both grown up since then, there is nothing to say that something like this could not happen again. McLaren are also a team that needs rejuvenation, that is a given. Losing Hamilton has clearly been a big loss off and on the track and their current two drivers (plus Perez) have not delivered the amount of points that they arguably should have over the last year and a bit. I don’t see how both Alonso and Vettel would be both able to build the team around both of them, it simply wouldn’t work. I believe that with either one of these two, McLaren would be back towards the front within a short period of time, we have seen that from both drivers, albeit Alonso is arguably somewhat less of a team player than Vettel. As a McLaren fan who refuses to put aside the events of 2007, I would prefer the team to go with Vettel, and either a strong young driver (Bottas, Magnussen, Vandoorne) or one who definitely needs a step up to a big team (Grosjean, Hulkenberg). I feel that sort of combination would perhaps work best. Also in Vettel’s favour, he is incredibly hard working, and takes a huge interest in the technical side of things, both things that Big Ron likes in a driver.

  12. Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 29th August 2014, 13:56

    I don’t see any of them leaving their current team until 2016. At least not at McLaren. If it happens, then they must be a lot more unhappier with the current situation than they let us know.

  13. Roland said on 29th August 2014, 16:49

    I didn’t care what Webber said when he was in F1. I care even less now.

    And most of the recent Tilke tracks are boring. The best part of the Sochi circuit is the walls.

  14. Baron (@baron) said on 31st August 2014, 13:55

    I cannot see Alonso leaving Ferrari for McLaren or anyone else fir that matter. Alonso’s nightmare would be a resurgent Kimi Raikkonen in a dramatically improved car winning a WDC for Ferrari whilst he (Alonso) languished in yet another poor car in another under performing team. No, I believe he will stick to Ferrari until he has won at least one WDC. A gamble? Certainly, but better that than the humiliation of being humbled by Raikkonen.

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