Although Fernando Alonso admits that he has been racing in McLaren Hondas since since he began karting at the age of 3, the idea of sitting behind the wheel of one has lost its luster for him.. Not only has the 33-year old Spaniard not won a GP since 2013, he has been struggling to just compete this year after leaving Ferrari to return to the team. Prior to that he spent several seasons bouncing between Renault and McLaren since 2006.
Yet, despite having picked (what he considered his lucky number) 14 to be used for the remainder of his F1 career as per a new F1A rule instigated in 2014, Alonso had a difficult season with Ferrari although he came close to winning the Hungarian Grand Prix last year before being overtaken by Daniel Ricciardo only a couple of laps before the finish. In the end, he finished the 2014 season 6th in the championship, with only one other podium, a 3rd-place finish in China.
Things continued to go downhill for him this year, when he had an accident at turn 3 during the 2nd day of pre-testing at Jerez, and suffered a concussion that kept him off the track until the Malaysia GP on March 29th. Unfortunately he was unable to finish the race after his car’s hybrid system overheated. In fact, the the team has continued to be plagued by engine problems all season, including one yesterday that saw him struggle to qualify 15th on the grid for today’s Hungarian Grand Prix after officials ruled that after pushing his car uphill in the heat, F1 officials forbid him from re-joining the “fray,” stating that the new regs required the car to get their under its own power.
“I love motorsport, all the categories,” Alonso. Stated after the testing. “But it is true that F1 is not exactly the same, or as exciting, as it was in the past — at least to me. We have our hands tied for the season.”
As a result, the Spaniard added that he is seriously thinking about switching to another category of racing, and has expressed taking a turn at LeMans, although he has emphasized that he is still committed to McLaren in heart (at least until his current contract is over). In addition, a surprising finish just ahead in the big race in Budapest this morning (where Alonso finished 5th with Hamilton a stunning 6th following all sorts ofl problems), may work to change his mindset.
In fact, it was the first time all season that the Mercedes team did not podium, with a late race tire puncture sending Roseberg back into 8th place. Dull order of finish for the Hungarian Grand Prix is as follows: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari); Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull); Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull); Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso); Fernando Alonso (McLaren); Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); Romain Grosjean (Lotus); Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); Jenson Button (McLaren); Marcus Ericsson (Sauber); Felipe Nasr (Sauber); Felipe Massa (Williams); Valtteri Bottas (Williams); Pastor Maldonado (Lotus); Roberto Merhi (Manor); and Will Stevens (Manor).
Retired: Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Sergio Pérez (Force India), Nico Hülkenberg (Force India).