You can read here and there that McLaren is considering Fernando Alonso for 2014. That will send a marauding horde of hacks down to the Ferrari garage to wind the team up and cause questions to be asked within the corridors at Maranello. It will be all rather disruptive. The question therefore is whether McLaren is really considering such a thing; whether the team is doing this just to wind up Ferrari with a little gamesmanship; or whether the media is getting its knickers in a twist and seeing deals where there are none. There is not much evidence to go on. Martin Whitmarsh was asked by the BBC whether the team would be interested in signing Alonso.
“Yes – any team would,” he said. “He’s the best driver. I don’t know his contractual situation. I assume he’s under contract.”
That is all pretty general stuff.
Reuters reported a slightly different quote.
“Yes, if I could,” he said. “I think most teams up and down this pitlane would happily sign Fernando Alonso. He’s a very talented driver. I expect next year our driver line-up to stay the same but we are open to anything. And in the longer term then he’d be a great asset. I think Fernando’s in control of his own destiny, but we’ll see.”
Some will say that McLaren and Alonso fell out to such an extent back in 2007 that it would require an act of ultimate pragmatism for the team to take the Spaniard back, knowing what he is capable of doing to an employer. Having said that this is Formula 1 and teams operate on a “needs must” basis and if it deemed necessary to sign Alonso then Alonso will be signed. One might suggest that McLaren would certainly listen if its new partner Honda wanted Fernando… but that would be for 2015. Of course, timing is the other big question…