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Webber believes Alonso could quit

NEWS STORY
28/03/2017

Mark Webber believes Fernando Alonso could quit McLaren before season end.

In qualifying, Fernando Alonso admitted that he had nothing more to give, next day's Australian Grand Prix had the Spaniard describing his performance as "probably one of my very best races", "I was able to drive the car at my maximum", he added.

Yet all he had to show for it was a DNF, the two-time world champion retiring seven laps from the end due to bodywork damage incurred earlier in the race.

Even so, at the point of his retirement he was running tenth, struggling to hold off Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg.

Finishing the race thirteenth, even Stoffel Vandoorne's result flattered the McLaren-Honda of which Alonso said: "In normal conditions on a normal circuit we should be last."

Alonso was running in tenth at the time of his retirement mainly due to his extraordinary qualifying performance, passing Hulkenberg on the second lap and then Romain Grosjean's retirement.

Speaking to Belgium's Sporza, Mark Webber, who filled Alonso's seat at Minardi in 2002 a year after the Spaniard had made such an impression on the sport, suggested that the two-time champ might soon decide he's had enough.

"Maybe Fernando is not going to be at McLaren for the whole year" said the Australian. "Fernando might not do the whole year. He's frustrated like hell, he doesn't even want to finish seventh or sixth.

"It's not like Vandoorne’s situation," he continued. "Maybe points for him is quite nice, but Fernando is not interested in points, he wants to be fighting for podiums. So mentally he's a long, long way away from where he wants to be."

In recent times Alonso has made no secret of the fact that not only was the (continuing) frustration at the lack of progress from Honda causing him to doubt his future in the sport, so too was the fact that the actual racing no longer gives him a buzz. Much, he admitted, would depend on how this year's new regulations impacted the sport.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 04/04/2017 16:29

"If Alonso needs a change of car, put him in a McLaren GT series entry. Or he can try Indy Car. Honda has connections there. But keep him busy and let McLaren's designated test driver run the F1 car for a while to gain experience staying out of the way of the Mercedes and Ferraris."

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2. Posted by TokyoAussie, 31/03/2017 4:35

"I don't know what Alonso's contract says, but I am a bit surprised he hasn't walked away already. I don't think he's still there because of a contract, anyway. That's never stopped him before."

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3. Posted by GrahamG, 28/03/2017 23:03

"What driver would want to step in to that mess. The engine might not be great but by all accounts neither is the car itself or (from the seem of it) the organisation.
Maybe what McLaren need is a new strong figure to pick them up and have the courage to change everything that needs to be changed - the "Ron" of 15 years ago. "

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4. Posted by sumpnz, 28/03/2017 16:45

"Hope Button is hitting the gym hard."

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5. Posted by SideGlance, 28/03/2017 11:21

"and how could you blame alonso on wanting to leave, dreadful awful situation at McL.

yes he ran away from an awful Ferrari that made a step AFTER he left, but then they faltered a bit the next year, now they may be back.

poor alonso, bad timing, bad teams, no fun if winning is your desire.

McL needs a Mercedes engine & soon or honda finally giving McL what they promised.

Sad, very sad, $$ is not all to a sportsman yearning for winning and that feeling.

a great driver, awful car/engine.

who will step in JB ?"

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