Alonso to fight for top team seat

Fernando Alonso is targeting a move to one of the two current leading F1 teams, insists Flavio Briatore who continues to look after the Spaniard’s affairs.

Following another depressing year at McLaren-Honda, his third since joining the team in 2015, Alonso’s  departure from the Woking-based outfit now appears to be a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. If Briatore can make it happen, he’ll guide his protégé to Maranello or Brackley.

“Fernando must go to Mercedes or Ferrari, Renault is still a good distance from being a top team.” Flavio told Auto Motor und Sport. But opportunities for 2018 may be few and far between with Briatore comparing F1 and the football scene.

“There are ten attractive clubs in Europe, Messi would have a much wider choice. In Formula 1 you can only win with three teams.” he said.

Pundits are putting low odds however on the two-time world champion joining either team, partly because Alonso is still being one of the best in the field, which the likes of Vettel and Hamilton don’t want, and partly because of past history and Alonso’s reputation as a trouble-maker.

“This is Ron Dennis’ fault, he instigated the problem at McLaren in 2007, and Mercedes had nothing to do with it at the time.” Briatore insisted.

Former McLaren and Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger says it is a sad state of affairs when one of the sport’s greatest champions is left without a competitive drive. But the Austrian also pointed to Alonso’s past to justify the disappointment.

“For every expert and fan, it is bitter to see a driver like Fernando fighting with dull weapons. On the other hand, Alonso left a lot of scorched earth behind him at Mercedes and Ferrari and has to take it on the chin if it doesn’t work out” the Austrian told Bild.