Fernando Alonso’s (limited) options

You feel for Fernando Alonso. Perhaps the most complete driver in F1 his attempts to add to his world titles have been wrecked by mediocre cars and poor decision-making at Ferrari. To add insult to injury, by the end of 2014 Alonso’s nemesis from his McLaren days – Lewis Hamilton – is likely to have joined him as a double-world champion. So what now?

Alonso’s contract runs until 2016, leaving two seasons to get Ferrari on track. There are glimmers of hope: new management want to free designers to be ‘radical’; a comprehensive restructure is under way and the 2014 car is slowly progressing. But in F1 such changes rarely work within a season or two.

Rumours abound that McLaren want Alonso back. With hybrid-power experts Honda on board, ‘golden boy’ Hamilton gone and Ron Dennis back calling the shots, McLaren looks like a good option. But who knows how long it might take Honda to get on top and is swapping one team going ‘back to the drawing board’ for another a better option?

Some intriguing ‘long shots’ potentially exist elsewhere. Despite Rosberg and Hamilton committing to Mercedes, this year’s title fight could rip that partnership apart in a Senna/Prost fashion. And could the veiled barbs aimed at Sebastien Vettel about the value of his 4 titles – some from Alonso himself – encourage the German to move to prove his status as an F1 legend? After all, as Alonso has proven, few F1 drivers can resist the lure of Ferrari. 

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