With the announcement of his retirement at the end of the season, the talk has certainly migrated to which driver will fill Alonso’s vacant seat at McLaren. There has been a lot of healthy speculation in the press, most of it perfectly logical, but the most talked about name is that of fellow Spaniard, Carlos Sainz.
When Daniel Ricciardo announced his move to Renault for 2019, this meant that Saniz, on loan from Red Bull, had to find a ride. Some believed McLaren were looking to replace Stoffel Vandoorne but now it seems Alonso’s seat is open for next season and perhaps Sainz is an obvious, available choice.
But there are other options for McLaren with current junior driver Lando Norris available. There is also the issue of Lawrence Stroll acquiring Force India and if he moves his son from Williams F1 to his new team, then Sergio Perez or Esteban Ocon could be facing a need for a ride as well and money would suggest the former as Ocon is a Mercedes backed driver on a Mercedes-powered team.
Lando Norris, Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz…these three assume that McLaren will stick with Vandoorne for 2019 and that would be a logical choice but there have been tremendous changes at McLaren. A complete management shakeup and there’s a part of me that thinks the team could do something rather unorthodox. Perhaps they won’t but let’s just say it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.
Perhaps McLaren might pickup both Sainz and Norris? Maybe Sainz and Perez? Perhaps retain Vandoorne and sign Sainz? Maybe something completely different? What do you think?