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Alonso not on Red Bull radar

NEWS STORY
09/08/2018

Along with Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly, one of the names being considered by many fans and pundits in terms of the vacant seat alongside Max Verstappen in 2019 is Fernando Alonso.

The two-time world champion has yet to announce his plans for next year, which may or may not see him remain in F1 or move to IndyCar as he seeks the final instalment of his Triple Crown dream.

If he remains in F1, it will likely be with McLaren, for Christian Horner has ruled out any hope of the Spaniard joining the Austrian team.

"I've got huge respect for Fernando, he's a great, fantastic driver, but it would be very difficult to see," Horner told the official F1 website in a recent podcast.

"He's tended to cause a bit of chaos wherever he's gone," he added, though opting not to expand on the matter. "I'm not sure it would be the healthiest thing for the team for Fernando to join.

"Our preference would be to continue to invest in youth than take a driver who is obviously close to the end of his career," he concluded, somewhat diplomatically."

While the Spaniard is known to be high maintenance and has earned a reputation as being somewhat 'Teflon-coated', having played a part in two of the biggest scandals to rock the sport in the modern era - Spygate and Crashgate - yet emerged the other side almost untouched.

That said, he helped McLaren during its most difficult days during its recent unfulfilled partnership with Honda, even if some claim that in the process the Spaniard has been allowed too much power within Woking.

As for replacements for Ricciardo, without naming names, Horner doesn't appear unduly worried about finding a suitable talent to place alongside Verstappen next year.

"We're fortunate that we've got several drivers under contract that are great talents," he said. "I think we're going to sit back and evaluate what the situation is, see what comes out.

"It's an incredibly attractive car to be driving," he added, "I don't think we're going to be short of requests and offers. We'll look at everything. The preferred route will be to invest, as has been so successful, in home talent: Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Sainz, Gasly – they are all products of the junior programme that have delivered for us.

"Both of those guys are very quick," he said of Sainz and Gasly, "so I think this just gives us opportunity to take a breath.

"They're under contract anyway till the end of the summer or beyond. We'll look at the options available to us and make sure we make the right decision for the team."

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1. Posted by Spartacus, 10/08/2018 18:21

""Posted by Batman, "
Alonso it's more like a fox in hennery and I am not seeing him powered by Honda again. So, Alonso isn't an option. And who is the so called talented RB driver to replace Ricciardo's talent? I have a name, he's french and Gasly isn't his surname."

Sometimes you need to eat crow to get a shot at another win. Perhaps you are right that Honda/Redbull will not endorse Alonso and he does have tendencies to be pretty emotional but isn't that normal for Spaniards, Italians and Frenchman? In the past Alonso had the talent to wring out every bit of performance possible from a chassis, so let VER and ALO throw down the gauntlet. I hope you are not referring to Grosgean for the RB seat? There are many younger drivers out there that would be a better choice like Gasly. "

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2. Posted by Rock Doc, 10/08/2018 13:50

"They will probably go with Gasly, I have no problem with that. I like Sainz and I would not like to see him fall back in to the Rd Bull driver mangle (perform or your out).

Gasly has shown to have the speed and the maturity to run at the top (excellent race in Hungary). He's at the start of his career so has no baggage. Would happily fall into Max's shadow if he is given the chance to show himself.

But probably the one thing he has mostly in his favor over Sainz is that he will have had a year with the Honda engine under his belt.

But I agree with Horner about Alonso. He's know as being a great driver, but also a team killer. Time Alonso moves on to another series."

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3. Posted by imejl99, 10/08/2018 8:18

"Honestly, I don`t get all that fuss about Alonso. He is 37, was champion 12 years ago, won approximately 10% of races he started, and in my view never ever developed a winning car with his feedback. He was for 5 years at Ferrari, we see now how it goes in 4th year at Ferrari for Vettel. It is hard to believe car can be made competitive without driver feedback. But by quality one, not by throwing anyone under the bus over the radio. And yet, he is in the middle of the news almost daily. "

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4. Posted by stackvideo, 09/08/2018 23:56

"I doubt very much that Honda would allow him back and I don't see Alonso playing 2nd fiddle to Max."

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5. Posted by Batman, 09/08/2018 22:58

"The Lord of Red Bull Racing rings, notably Mr. Marko, does not appreciate temper tantrums like that of Sainz a year ago. So, Sainz is at the very low on the list. Alonso it's more like a fox in hennery and I am not seeing him powered by Honda again. So, Alonso isn't an option. "We're fortunate that we've got several drivers under contract that are great talents, he said". Sure! But ... Honda has really really nothing to say? And who is the so called talented RB driver to replace Ricciardo's talent? I have a name, he's french and Gasly isn't his surname."

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6. Posted by Spartacus, 09/08/2018 19:49

"I think Fernando should do what he can to make the move to Redbull. It is too bad Fernando gets tied up in creating the right fit (which is long term, time he doesn't have) than to look at his performance abilities. This probably would be his last chance to win a race or multiples. McLaren seems to be on the Williams track, all the complaining about the Honda engine and where they would be with another. Now they have the Renault and they are even further back. Time to move on, put your head down and focus. Not too many options from here. If the seat is open, go for it!"

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7. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 09/08/2018 18:40

"Sounds like smoke and mirrors."

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8. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 09/08/2018 18:23

"I wonder what this all means for Brendon Hartley? I mean, almost all other drivers got a mention in the article. I realise that Hartley has been out done by Gasly, especially in qualifying, however he hasn't exactly had the rub of the green either. Hopefully Hartley can smash out a few good results over the next few races and put himself in the frame to at least lead Toro Rosso should Gasly get the nod to Red Bull. That being said, why hasn't Red Bull just announced Sainz?"

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