Motorsport Magazine reports this morning that McLaren and Fernando Alonso have parted company. The separation is believed to be amicable.
“We have no plans to run him in any further F1 test sessions this year…He is free to pursue other opportunities in motorsport and we support him doing so,” a McLaren spokesman said.
Alonso has had an off and on relationship with McLaren since his first season with them in 2007, when he complained of the team giving preferential treatment to Lewis Hamilton. When he returned to McLaren for the 2015 season, Alonso complained loudly and often about the uncompetitive Honda engine.
This past May at Indianapolis Alonso and McLaren failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 after a series of missteps by the team.
Where does Alonso go from here? If he wants to pursue the triple crown Alonso will need to find an existing team. Will it need to be Chevy team? I’m not sure. it seemed Honda was less happy with McLaren than Alonso. He will also need to bring a lot of money.
I believe his commitment to Toyota in WEC ends after this season as well. Alonso has talked of racing in virtually every major series in the world, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him doing a bunch of one-offs. We might see him in the Daytona 500 next year as well as the Indianapolis 500. Perhaps a couple more races with Wayne Taylor Racing are in the cards.
I would like to see Alonso try a couple of Indycar road races, especially road America and Laguna Seca. While McLaren may eventually come to the NTT Indycar sreries full time, I see Alonso just running selected races.
We know wherever he races there will be crowds of fans and press following him.