De La Rosa: "Only the name the same at McLaren"

Published on 16 Jun 2017 13:03

Former Grand Prix driver Pedro de la Rosa believes that the only thing that remains the same at McLaren is the name. McLaren has made many major changes in recent years, including ridding itself of Ron Dennis, who was the long standing CEO of the team.

"I don't know the current McLaren very much," he said. "There are still fantastic people and I still have friends, but 80% of the people with whom I had the privilege of working at McLaren are now at Mercedes or Red Bull or Ferrari. The McLaren today with Honda, I cannot say anything because I do not know anyone, but the only thing that remains is the name."

When asked if his Spanish countryman made a clear mistake moving to McLaren-Honda for 2015, de la Rosa answered: "That is a question only he can answer, and knowing him, some day he will. I am nobody to judge, but what I can say is that he had to leave Ferrari. That he should then go to McLaren, I cannot judge, but living what I lived in Ferrari it was impossible for both parties."

Alonso is now clearly on the market for 2018, but given the breakdown of the relationship with Ferrari, de la Rosa is not sure he can contemplate a return: "I have no idea where Fernando can go and if Ferrari is an option. I think it's early to think about it and I still see Fernando focused on the McLaren-Honda project."


Fergal Walsh

Replies (8)
US Rindtchamp 16 Jun 2017 14:25+1
Posts: 178
Alonso and Hamilton at Merc would be a truly epic season.. shame that Toto is too spineless and prefers to hire a lapdog #2 driver for Ham.
GB f1fan0101 16 Jun 2017 15:260
Posts: 1303
Would be amazing
Posts: 179
The above + Alonso vs Vettel in the resurgent Ferrari, that would make it doubly amazing!
US ajpennypacker 16 Jun 2017 17:37+1
Posts: 866
It would be a dream. However, calling Toto spineless is unfair. You have to admit bringing Alonso would be disruptive at best, even if they play nice, because you know he will be beating Lewis much more often than Rosberg or Bottas ever will. But one can dream... he would definitely get maximum attention which should attract cameras, sponsors, money, etc. Lewis and Fernando are in my opinion the two best drivers in F1. no better pairing would be possible.
Posts: 501
Alonso would in all likelihood humiliate Hamilton. I don't really like either, but Alonso is at least one level above Hamilton. Hamilton just happened to find himself in a rocket ship with a mediocre teammate - who ended up beating him!
SE calle.itw 16 Jun 2017 18:330
Posts: 4236
I certainly dont blame Wolff and co for not wanting to hire Alonso, imagine having 2 very dominant drivers who fight for the number 1 driver spot in the same team. It was a nightmare for them with Rosberg, imagine what it'd be like with Alonso. A pity, because I'd like to see what Alonso could do in one of the best cars of F1.

I dont necessarily think ALO and HAM are the best in F1, IMO that is probably Vettel (especially if you take the bits they dont do on track into consideration), but they are no doubt among the best. Räikkönen is no pushover, yet he is more or less dominated by Vettel, and I dont think its all down to Kimi not being in his prime.
Posts: 628
Although the general consensus is that Alonso's driver skills are excellent the same can not be said for the way he handles himself towards teams. I was surprised that mcLaren had him back after the trouble he left behind; and the same counts for when he left Ferrari. How did he win that 2008 Singapore? Did he know anything about that plan?

So, if I was a team boss would I have Alonso? Not so sure, he seems to create bigger issues than he is worth. Applying more pressure to Honda will not have any effect on the their (un)ability; it only seeds discontent. So the answer in my case would be no I would not have him as my driver. Drivers like VET, VES, HAM, RIC, HUL, OCO, PER would be within my selection.

I feel that the current lineup between teams is just about right, if only Honda and Renault could catch up a bit more with Ferrari and Merc it would really break open F1. In that situation the midfield and front would have even better battles.

If Honda and mcLaren did decide to split I can't see Sauber getting Factory support of Honda. I can see RedBull moving in with Toro Rosso or even RB themselves. The lure of a factory engine would be to big to ignore.
SE calle.itw 17 Jun 2017 13:370
Posts: 4236
Good points, and I agree. That is one of the reasons for why I do not consider him to be the best driver around. Likewise, Hamilton's lack of teamwork is a reason for why I dont rank him as high as he could be ranked had I only based my personal rankings on raw pace.

Yeah, agree on that aswell, Sauber just doesnt have what Honda is looking for in a works team as it stand today. I could very well see Red Bull grabbing them if Honda improve to a point in which they are equal to or better than Renault.

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