The future of Fernando Alonso is certainly on the minds of fans as is the future of Daniel Ricciardo and a report out of Germany suggests that perhaps both could be orbiting the McLaren camp. A story in Bild says that McLaren offered Ricciardo a very large $20M deal to drive for them. Asked about that offer, Ricciardo said:
“I haven’t been presented anything which says that.
“But, I’ll be honest, everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari for potential places for me to go, but I’m aware there’s probably going to be interest from other teams and I guess McLaren is probably one of them.
“It probably depends as well on what Fernando [Alonso] does, if he stays or if he goes. If he does go, they’ll probably want a more experienced driver to come in, but we’ll see. There are a lot of things to weigh up right now, but nothing really further to comment on that.”
It would be an odd offer if Fernando was staying at McLaren because they don’t have the car to take full advantage of two very expensive, very talented drivers. If Alonso was staying, you would have a world class driver and Stoffel Vandoorne to develop the car further. Having both Alonso and Ricciardo in cars that are mid-field or worse isn’t going to do anything to improve your finishing position. The car has to be addressed first.
If Alonso is leaving, then this offer makes all the sense in the world. The team needs a top-shelf driver to build on and a driver who can squeeze results out of a car that seemingly doesn’t have it in it. Alonso does that and to be fair, so does Ricciardo.
Could a rumored offer to Ricciardo signal Alonso’s decision for 2019? If Ricciardo is offered a slot at McLaren, that may telegraph Alonso’s future but I’m not sure what McLaren’s Zak Brown will want to do. Alonso is committed to the triple crown and will want to win the Indy 500. Brown will more than likely be fine with that effort but perhaps Alonso wants the F1, WEC and Indycar championship, not just the individual race wins.
Perhaps Zak will think outside of the box and bring a Ricciardo caliber driver in, while letting Alonso and Norris share the second seat whenever Fernando isn’t racing in Indycar or perhaps Alonso isn’t going anywhere. Difficult to say but that’s the fun of silly season…trying to determine who will go where.
Hat Tip: Sky