Alonso: Honda can beat Merc; done switching teams

It always seems that after I say something on our podcast, the very next day I am hit with some contradictory news exposing me for the bottom-feeding hack that I am but hey, I’m not getting in fights on Twitter with other bloggers or calling people names so I have that going for me.

I said Monday night in our 2016 season preview show that perhaps Mercedes might take a peek at Alonso should they not renew Rosberg’s contract at the end of this year. It seems I’m not the only one thinking that as the question was put to Fernando Alonso about what he would do in the future and he said:

“Right now, to be honest, McLaren-Honda is for me the only challenger of Mercedes in terms of fighting for the world championship and stopping the domination of the Mercedes team in the recent years,” Alonso toldSky Sports News HQ in an exclusive interview.

“But with the big change on the regulations and the future of Formula 1, let’s see what happens. I’m not young anymore so I really hope to win with McLaren-Honda. We are getting closer and closer and we will see after 2017 if I stay with McLaren or I stop in Formula 1.

“I don’t think I will switch teams anymore.”

there you have it, he seems like he’ll give it a shot until 2017 (meaning I have a contract with McLaren until then) and then asses his options. What’s interesting, I I mean this in all sincerity, is that he feels Honda-McLaren will pose a serious threat to Mercedes and there’s something in me that is gnawing away at that thought. I feel like Honda are doing something very revolutionary with their Power Unit design and if they can get it on song, they well may be a threat.

Still, Alonso seems like he’s willing to see the 2017 regulation changes out and then contemplate something else entirely. A lot can change in two seasons so we’ll see what happens but I also wonder if he hasn’t lost his interest in the “new” Formula 1 or if the “new” Formula 1 hasn’t lost interest in Alonso.

Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1

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jiji the cat

Your not a bottom feeding hack. Keep it up.

Tom Firth

Certainly aren’t. In 2011 practically every F1 journalist including Autosport’s finest and James Allen took Fernando’s quote that he’d finish his career at Ferrari. Non of those folks are ‘bottom feeding hacks’, or for that reason when he denied he’d leave Ferrari for Mclaren…

No harm in predicting that Alonso could potentially change teams, based on previous precedent, no matter what he says.

Joe Mama

Absolutely no hack in sight here. I may not always agree with your perspective, but you’re more transparent and honest than most of the F1 cling-ons that seem to think they have something worth saying.

Don’t change a thing. And we all know the odds of Alonso moving before the end of 2017 are better than even; the more insistent he is, the higher they get.

That’s F1.


If Honda are doing something different with their engine (and the firing order is what I have seen hinted at), they only have this year to press home any advantage. With the power unit development completely free next year, other manufacturers will be able to change their crankshaft and copy what Honda are doing.


From what I’ve read, Honda were firing two cylinders at one time in their previous F1 outfit. Is that correct? Also, would it be allowed now? Also, what would need to be changed on the crank in respect to firing order (unless it’s what I mentioned).


I think that is what they were doing in MotoGP. Normally you would want the six cylinders to fire at even intervals over the two crankshaft rotations for the complete four stroke cycle. So a cylinder firing every 120°, taking into account that it is a 90° V6. If you have two cylinders firing together the you need a pair of cylinders at top dead centre every 240°, so the orientation of the cranks will need to change. The crankshaft was one of the earliest things to be frozen in the power unit, which is why Alonso stated last year… Read more »

Tom Firth

Except for with the freezing of specific parts now gone, they’ve lost that advantage an the others can catch up in terms of its design, if it works, right?


You are correct. I mistakenly thought that it was in 2017 they were getting rid of the black and white boxes in the technical regulations (those parts of the OH that were frozen, and those where modifications were allowed subject to token limits). Having just double checked, they have gone from the current 2016 regulations, so yes if Honda do prove to have found an advantage, other teams can now replicate that idea.

Van Dieu

Sounds like a man who is mentally battening down the hatches and preparing for another long and fruitless season with a team he’d rather not be with. There is no love at all between Alonso & McLaren, and were it not for Honda’s wishes he would not be there. He’s been a great driver, but that 3rd WDC will forever elude him I suspect.


I think Schumacher stopped when he was 43. Fernando still have plenty of years left for Honda to suck, and have time to switch to WEC.


Bravado award?

Richard Piers

Honda have a history of revolutionary design, not always successful, but generally not unsuccessful for long, and normally having the most powerful motors. It would be surprising if they did not get it right quite soon, they have enough tokens to play with. Personally I find the technical challenges and achievements an important part of the F1 story, not simply the racing. Last year hamstrung by initial complacency, a poor first design and lack of tokens was obviously extremely painful for all concerned. I have little doubt that much of Japanese industry will be working with them same as Italian… Read more »