It has been quite a peculiar weekend for Fernando Alonso thus far, given that he is leaving F1 at the end of the season. As per tradition, McLaren’s Saturday ‘Meet The Team’ event took place, featuring both drivers, Zak Brown, Gil de Ferran and a special guest, Jimmy Johnson.
Most of the questions were addressed to Fernando Alonso, who received a visit from long-time friend and former boss Flavio Briatore in the paddock. The Spaniard gave it all in qualifying, despite the fact that he was not in the position to fight for Q3 but he stood out regardless, owing to a scorching lap which brought him to Q2.
“I’m happy with the feeling in this last qualifying. Today I was happy with my last Q1 run as well as the one I performed in Q2. On the personal side I am pleased to have finished maximizing the lap” he commented.
The fire still burns, even from the bottom of the grid. However, Fernando holds no regrets on the past, even though he laments he was unlucky on a number of occasions. He repeated that making the switch to McLaren-Honda for 2015 made sense, because the Ferrari V6 turbo engine was not competitive, but in the end the winner is going to be the one who takes it all.
“There is always one winner and the others are not winning. There is only one happy person there, and that’s Lewis Hamilton. You have for example Nico Hulkenberg, who is very good but has zero points, Sebastian with many years not winning, Ricciardo, a lot of talent but zero titles, Verstappen, a lot of talent but zero titles.”
This one last remark on his fellow drivers was perhaps the umpteenth attempt to point out that Ferrari was not able to win and since his long-time rival Sebastian Vettel left Red Bull, he could not go back to winning ways.
As for his 2019 commitments, he was rather cryptic and passed the honours to Zak to answer such a question. The American CEO reiterated that Alonso will be involved in next year’s campaign, helping the drivers, other than focusing on its main goal: winning the Indy 500. The double world champion has not met Bob Fernley yet, but he assures he will do it soon. “In the next couple of months we will have a few meetings. I am looking forward to my IndyCar tests and simulator work”.