2013 Italian GP - The debate! Where will Fernando Alonso be next season?
Ted Kravitz and David Croft have their say on the Spaniard's future
By William Esler. Last Updated: 05/09/13 12:52pm
Italian GP debate
David Croft and Ted Kravitz have their say on whether Fernando Alonso could really leave Ferrari, and if so, where he could go. Rachel Brookes is your referee.
Rachel Brookes: Fernando Alonso made some comments about his car after the last race and was told by Luca di Montezemolo to pull together as a team. Alonso is not happy - will he leave the team before the end of his contract in 2016?
Crofty: "Not a chance - there is more chance of snow in northern Italy this morning than Fernando Alonso leaving Ferrari. It is all a big smoke screen to get Ferrari to raise their game a bit - something Fernando Alonso is very good at.
"It was a lovely birthday message from Luca di Montezemolo: 'Happy birthday Mr Alonso, now stop having a go at our team.' But he is not going to go anywhere - there is nowhere for him to go.
"He can't go to Red Bull - that is locked in with Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. He can't go to Mercedes - they've got Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. He can't go to McLaren - he's not going to go back to McLaren is he - and he is not going to Lotus as they can barely afford to keep Kimi Raikkonen, let alone have Alonso come and join the party. So he is going to stay where he is and I don't know why we are talking about this."
Ted: "I'll tell you why we are talking about this, something we learned from the Red Bull story when they did eventually sign Daniel Ricciardo, but did look at Kimi Raikkonen, was that Alonso's manager did go to Red Bull and say Fernando is available.
"We also learnt that he is fed up of having a car that can't win him a World Championship, so you really have to bear in mind that he is not happy with the car that Ferrari have given him and I don't think it is out of the question that he could go to Lotus. Who knows, next year if they have a very fast car, with the new engine rules, he could go to Lotus. If Daniel Ricciardo doesn't work out at Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel eventually goes to Ferrari as we think possibly could happen, then he could go to Red Bull. I don't think it is out of the question that if Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton gets poached that he could go to Mercedes.
"I agree with you about McLaren, but what I think is clear is that Fernando Alonso is now thinking that before the end of his contract he needs Ferrari to give him a World Championship winning car. If they can't do that he has to leave."
Rachel: You make a good point Ted, with the new engine regulations it could shuffle the grid up. Crofty, you say he won't go to Lotus or Mercedes, but there could be another team out there that have a great car out there and if they give him proof of that, then he could still go.
Crofty: "Too late, by the time they hit the track for the first race in Australia next year, it will be too late to go anywhere else - he will be at Ferrari until 2016.
"They have brought in James Allison and you can bet your bottom dollar that Fernando Alonso had a hand in that saying 'look, bring this man in from Enstone, he is one of the reasons we were so strong when partnered together. He is an ex-Ferrari employee as well and we need to win the championship - get this man in and he can help us out.'
"They are starting to get a better technical direction and I think Fernando Alonso can really benefit - if the engine is good enough, because of course next year it is all about the engine anyway."
Ted: "It is a nice idea that James Allison is going to cure everything at Ferrari, but James Allison left Lotus because he wasn't happy there and he didn't have the Ferrari deal in place when he left. It is a nice thing for Fernando Alonso to have one of his old technical directors join the team and yes James Allison will help the team - but that is not going to keep him there.
"I agree with you, I think Fernando Alonso will be a Ferrari driver in 2014 - but after that I am not so sure. I think the other thing we can take from the Red Bull saga, is whilst the decision to announce Daniel Ricciardo was delayed whilst Dietrich Mateschitz was on holiday and so they could announce it on their own terms on their own TV channel, Christian Horner had the time then, just to let everyone know that things weren't all happy at Ferrari and that there had been interest from Fernando Alonso in the Red Bull seat.
"I think that gives a pointer - they have a saying in Spain that 'you can't have three without two' and Fernando Alonso hast two World Championships and is looking at Sebastian Vettel about to win a fourth and that gets on his nerves, I'm sure. If he wants three then he is going to have to go somewhere else."