The biggest question that has been raging in the Formula One world for some months now is what Fernando Alonso plans to do next.
Carlos Sainz Jr., a rookie driver and a Spaniard summed up the mood of the paddock when he told a Spanish publication that he had no idea.
But some publications think they know what is going on and Italian specialists La Gazzetta dello Sport has claimed that incoming Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne is scheduled to travel to Austin, Texas for the United States Grand Prix for two reasons, announce the departure of Alonso and the arrival of Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull Racing to replace him.
Whereas that might be a valid update from the Italian media, Alonso’s departure is not as easy as it seems. Reports in Germany indicate that Ferrari has already tied up a deal with Vettel to be their leading man for the2015 season and that leaves them with three top level drivers with Alonso and Raikkonen.
But the manner of termination of Alonso’s contract is the cause of all this delay in announcement. If Alonso was to pull the plug on his contract, he could race for any team, McLaren-Honda, Lotus, Red Bull or go in for a sabbatical.
But if Ferrari terminates the contract before it is run down, they will have to pay millions to Alonso as his severance pay, just as they did with Kimi Raikkonen when he was unceremoniously shown the door back in 2009.
Alonso was eager to leave the team in any way and that is where the problem lies, Ferrari is reluctant to pay off someone so that he could drive for another team when he himself would have wanted to leave the team anyway, leading to the current impasse between the two parties.
Former world champion Fernando Alonso is leaving Ferrari confirmed outgoing team chief Luca de Montezemolo simply because he cannot wait any longer to secure another world championship.
The former Renault driver had long been rumored to be leaving the Italian giants at the end of the current season, two years before his contract with the team expires and it was recently confirmed that he will indeed be leaving the team with reports suggesting Red Bull Racing driver and four time world champion Sebastian Vettel will replace him behind the wheels.
The maverick Italian boss told Italian television that the Spaniard is leaving for two simple reasons, one, because he wants to test himself in another environment and secondly, he has realized that he cannot wait much longer to land his much coveted third world title.
There have been various reports from several publications which have highlighted that Alonso has lost faith Ferrari and their inability to produce a car capable of competing for the Formula One Drivers’ World Championship and the Constructors’ title, especially after the season that the team has had this season.
Ferrari currently lie at fourth in the Constructors’ Championship standings, miles behind Mercedes F1 which have already won the title and some distance off Williams F1 in third place. Alonso himself sits at sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings but he has no chances whatsoever of pushing Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg for the title and having endured such a difficult time at Ferrari, the Spaniard has decided to move on.
It is believed that luxury car makers Audi is planning a foray in Formula One in 2016 and will begin their journey with Alonso as their leader, but that is still a year away. What he does in 2015 is definitely something to watch out for.