Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Spaniard to leave VMM ??

Fernando Alonso's future at McLaren has been cast in doubt following the weekend's events in Budapest. The qualifying embargo left the double-world champion not talking to Lewis Hamilton, according to the 22-year-old, whilst team principal Ron Dennis is nursing strained relations with both of them.

It is more than evident that McLaren is struggling to harbour two fiercely competitive championship contenders now that the team has a car capable of challenging for titles. Dennis' and McLaren's long-running philosophy of equality between team-mates is being tested to the limit and the word at the moment is that Alonso might be the one to leave - as early as at the end of the year.When quizzed by reporters at the Hungarian Grand Prix about whether he would see out his contract - which expires at the end of 2009 - he replied: "I don't know." Then when asked if he would think about it he just repeated; "I don't know."The only reassurance Dennis could offer is that he hopes both drivers honour their contracts: "There is an inevitability that these things are rumoured and discussed in other teams. We have two drivers who are contracted for several years into the future. We will respect our part of that bargain and that part of the situation. We hope that the drivers respect theirs because that's what a contract is about."As for possible destinations for Alonso, the Spaniard has been linked to BMW Sauber, who is yet to confirm Nick Heidfeld for next season and might be keen to add the double-world champion in its attempt to bridge the gap to Ferrari and McLaren.

Moreover, Alonso has been linked to a return to Renault, where he enjoyed a strong working relationship and number-one status. Renault's engineering chief Pat Symonds did not rule out such a move when interviewed by F1 Racing magazine recently, saying: ""He is a damn good driver and we'd happily have him back. I'd love to think that one day he might come back." Team principal Flavio Briatore is also yet to confirm Renault's drivers for next season.

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