Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Le Mans 24 Hours, 2014

Alonso also wants to race at Le Mans

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Le Mans 24 Hours, 2014In the round-up: Fernando Alonso, who waved the starter’s flag at the Le Mans 24 Hours this year (pictured), wants to join Nico Hulkenberg and Mark Webber at the race in 2015 but his rumoured new team McLaren will not let him.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Alonso forced to put his Le Mans dream on hold (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Fernando Alonso looks unlikely to be able to squeeze the Le Mans 24 Hours into his 2015 schedule, despite trying hard to convince McLaren to grant permission for him to do the race.”

I need to prove I deserve 2015 seat (F1)

“You have two years and you take this time to do the best you can – always.”

Ex-Diageo chief Paul Walsh lined up to be F1 chairman (FT, registration required)

“Ex-Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh is being lined up to become chairman of the Formula One board, a move that could signal the beginning of the end of Bernie Ecclestone’s control of the motorsport.”

Why Ferrari has failed (MotorSport)

“It is not believed that Mattiacci’s departure had anything to do with his Alonso negotiations. Whatever it was that caused him not to be even given another position within the Fiat empire was unrelated to how he performed his brief role as Ferrari chief.”

Why manufacturers spurn F1 for WEC (Autosport, subscription required)

“Another suggestion is for teams to acquire six-second video clips (of their own cars, note) from the commercial rights holder for promotional purposes, but the proposal ends ominously: ‘We’ll need to be willing to offer Bernie [Ecclestone] something in exchange for this…I don’t know what…'”

UBI targets UB Holdings over Kingfisher default (Reuters)

“The move piles pressure on one of India’s most-prominent businessmen, who is also being pursued by other Indian banks for not meeting loan repayment obligations linked to his Kingfisher Airlines.”

When is an athlete’s management agreement in restraint of trade? Lessons from Hamilton Management Group v Paul Di Resta case (LawInSport)

“At trial, Louis Di Resta asserted that at the Hockenheim DTM meeting on 17th May 2009, Anthony Hamilton said to him words to the effect that his son ‘was not good enough’, ‘had not proved himself’ and accordingly there were no opportunities for him in F1. Anthony Hamilton denied this but Paul Di Resta gave evidence that these statements were contemporaneously relayed to him by his father and this led to a breakdown in the management relationship.”


Comment of the day

The FIA’s desire to see all races start at least four hours before sunset (except those held under artificial lights) could lead to several races starting earlier in 2015:

If such a rule is going to be enforced, then the start time will have to be changed for at least five races:

Australia – sunset at 19:40 on 15/03/2015, race start at 17:00 in 2014
Malaysia – sunset at 19:22 on 29/03/2015, race start at 16:00 in 2014
China – sunset at 18:20 on 12/04/2015, race start at 15:00 in 2014
Japan – sunset at 17:44 on 27/09/2015, race start at 15:00 in 2014
Russia – sunset at 17:46 on 11/10/2015, race start at 15:00 in 2014

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On this day in F1

Honda, who are returning to F1 as McLaren’s engine supplier for next season, pulled their factory team out of the sport six years ago today.

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  • 63 comments on “Alonso also wants to race at Le Mans”

    1. So McLaren and Alonso have had their first disagreement and he’s not even been confirmed to be driving for them yet.

      1. Have to say, I had a good chuckle at this comment. But that’s not showing good signs though, especially now there is no turning back to Ferrari.

        This said, it genuinely wouldn’t surprise me if he is back at Ferrari for 2016, replacing, ironically, Kimi.

        1. This said, it genuinely wouldn’t surprise me if he is back at Ferrari for 2016, replacing, ironically, Kimi.

          Actually it would surprise me if the move to McLaren isn’t his very last in F1. He’ll have had a drive at Minardi, two stints at McLaren, two stints at Renault, and he’s done and completely lost e at Ferrari. He won’t keep switching around – if it doesn’t work out at McLaren I suspect he’ll be properly fed up with it and leave F1 altogether.

          1. Unless he’s able to get into a Mercedes…

      2. @jackysteeg, good one :-) I have to say it’s a crying shame they won’t let Alonso do Le Mans. Ron and McLaren need to loosen up a little. Why not give Fernando Le Mans and get something else for it in their contract negotiations?

        1. SennaNmbr1 (@)
          4th December 2014, 6:57

          They could even run a car for him if they don’t want him to drive for another marque.

        2. To be honest I think Alonso should just go ahead and do Le Mans even without McLarens permission. What are they going to do? Fire him mid-season?

          1. Sue him for contract breach and not pay him. @tthwaite

            1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
              4th December 2014, 13:26

              @xtwl as if he needed the money

            2. @omarr-pepper That is often a wrong path of thinking. We poor sould think ‘oh they have a very big pay and they can live and do whatever they want’. But in fact they can do whatever they want but that doesn’t come free. Their current lifestyles needs big cash incomes to sustain that style. So he’ll be worried if.

          2. I think its pretty likely that yes, Ron would fire him if he did do that @tthwaite. If Ron is still leading the team by then.

      3. Yeah, weird isn`t it. Nando replacing Gary Paffett as a test driver for McLaren and now he is not allowed to race in other series. Paffett could race in DTM.

        Yes. It`s a joke.

        1. Paffett doesn’t draw as much media attention as Alonso though. And the issue would be the media attention being drawn away from him as a McLaren driver and towards him as say a Porsche driver (for example).

      4. Haha indeed, but if true, this makes me hope McLaren-Honda suck next year, beaten by Force India.

        McLaren have a glut of drivers.. 4 to choose from, for 2 seats… surely they can let Alonso drive Le Mans, and give Vandoorne a debut or Magnussen another appearance (depending on Jenson or K-Mag for 2015) if the Korean GP goes ahead (which is unlikely anyway).

        1. @fastiesty
          I thought Korea was clashing with Spa 24h, not Le Mans?

          1. Derp, see the comment below. Also forgot Spa 24h and 6hrs were different races :P

            1. @george You must still have the iRacing 24 hours of Spa on your mind :P

    2. So is Alonso going to McLaren? Has it been officially confirmed by the team?

      (Sorry if it was in round-up and I missed. Im getting married on Saturday so I haven’t been here for a while)

      1. @brunes No more official than it was before, but seeing as the only seats left are McLaren and Caterham (if they even make it), then it would seem so, unless he leaves F1!

        (Congratulations for Saturday though!)

    3. The Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is on the same day as the Korean Grand Prix Qualifying.

      Nico Hulkenberg is supposed to be attending both.

      1. @craig-o Guess Hulk might have to drop LeMans altogether, it would be a shame. What’s not a shame to me is to see the Korean GP back. The place is beyond lacklustre but the layout is good and the racing apart from one GP there has been fantastic.

      2. Bernie likes to be helpful.

      3. He should ditch South Korea for the 6hrs of Spa!

        He’d get to drive in a car more likely to win the race if he did Spa instead of Yeongam plus he’d be fresher for the Spanish F1 the following week too not having to do long haul flights to and from Asia! Win-win!

        1. @calum even if you are not being 100% serious, it would actually make sense. Force India could properly evaluate their reserve driver (and/or sell the seat) by letting him race in Korea, and it’s not like the Force India drivers are fighting for the world championship, so Hulkenberg can skip a race.

        2. Yes – too many drivers, too many races and not enough cars in F1. It’ll make no difference whether Hulkenberg does 20 races or 21. Give a reserve driver (Juncadella, Palmer or whoever) a race or two and it’s way better for everyone.

          I’d love to see Alonso do the same thing and really send a message to the people ruining F1 (sorry – running) but I guess Ron and his contract will say no to that.

      4. UnitedKingdomRacing
        4th December 2014, 9:19

        Swedish touringcar driver Johan Kristoffersson ones raced in two series on the same weekend. One of them was also on Saturday. He had to start last because he couldn’t qualify and if I remember correctly wwent on to win both races. But they were in Donington and Sweden hence Hulk would Need something like a Concorde to do it. ;)

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          4th December 2014, 13:28

          Or a hitchhike by Superman

      5. They put the Korean GP to make the 2015, 5 engine instead of 4. In the rule it says if there are more than 20 races in the “original schedule” then it is 5 engines instead of 4. Korean GP is not happening.

    4. I can’t see how the proposed 2015 calendar isn’t a big waste of money.

      Why do they keep on flying to Canada in the middle of the European season is beyond me.
      Why not finish the european and asian races, then do Canada, USA, Mexico and Brazil?

      I can’t see how flying back and forth doesn’t cost everyone involved so much more than it should.

      1. Isnt Montreal freezing by Octorber/November?

      2. I’ve thought the exact same thing for a while now. Doesn’t make sense

      3. Canada is pretty well snowed in during the months of November.

      4. One of the things that sets when races are held is to try & get the best conditions.
        As an example if you go back to 2000 the British Gp was moved to April & since April tends to be very wet in the UK you had the various problems caused by the rain that year.

        For instance Montreal is in the middle of the year because thats when the weather conditions tend to be best in that region. Earlier or later in the year it tends to be exceptionally cold in the Montreal area, Thats part of why they used to have so many problems with new tarmac breaking up.
        On the other side however Texas can be exceptionally hot in the middle of the year so its placed later in the year to try & get the most optimal conditions. I believe that Mexico is similar to Texas in that regard.

        Malaysia was moved from the end to the start of the season for 2001 because in the original end of season slot the heat & humidity was ridiculous, It tends to be a bit cooler & more bearable earlier in the year.

        Japan is at the end of the season because earlier in the year the chances of rain are higher & the rain tends to be heavier. Australia is the opposite with chances of heavy rain a bit higher later on in the year.

        There also used to be local events taken into consideration.

      5. I believe October is doable, 13 degrees is the average with 1 day of snowfall, predctably later in the month. I remember Keith making a post about the Sochi climate, which averages 11 degres or something during November, and every day was in the low 20’s.

        1. The average temperatures don’t mean all that much, considering that Sochi and Montréal are in very different climates. Sochi lies in the subtropical zone, which means that it never gets really cold there. Montréal, on the other hand, has a continental climate which is characterized by big temperature swings between summer and winter. So while the average maximum temperature in October is 13 degrees in Montréal, there is a very sizeable risk of much colder, freezing temperatures.

        2. We got snow here in Colorado in November this year and we’re well south of Montreal. Canada in the winter months is not made for racing. The middle of summer makes the most sense, plain and simple.

      6. The Canadian GP can be held at the earliest late May, and the latest late September. Anytime else is too cold- the 1982 race was the first Canadian GP not held in Sep. or October; the race was somewhat controversial before 1982 for often having cold weather.

    5. How awesome that a driver of such calibre as Alonso and Hulkenberg want to compete in Le Mans alongside F1. Maybe if more drivers push for it, we’ll see them race there more often.

      Or maybe it’d force teams to go to Le Mans aswell… maybe even outside LMP1.

      It’s understandable tho that sponsors, and manufacturers, would veto that, but I hope Alonso keeps pushing for it !

      1. Unfortunetly it would probably only force Bernie to schedule F1 races so drivers can’t race in the WEC.
        In my oppinion it would be much better if the top drivers could show their stuff in other motoracing series, it woudl make the sport better as a whole.
        Hell the WEC LMP1 might even be a better calibre series as there arent any ‘pay drivers’. But i think F1 might already feel threatened and are already moving to stop this.

        1. What about Lucas di Grassi? Some would say that he was a pay driver in F1, and he now drives the No. 1 car for Audi.

          @matt90, I would assume that “outside LMP1” would mean drivers competing in the GT Pro category (where, for example, outfits like Ferrari have a presence).

      2. “maybe even outside LMP1”

        What do you mean?

    6. There was a good article by James Allen regarding the future of Bernie EcclestoneL


      It’s worth a read, and I must say, I have suspected that Bernie is making so many daft schemes and plans just for the sake of it, as he may well know he is on the way towards the door.

    7. Regarding the COTD, I didn’t realize that there were so many events pushing the 4 hour race limit in terms of their local sunset time. Even though most races finish in less that 2 hours, the new rule makes a lot of sense. It might give Bernie some fits though.

    8. 2013 points:
      Lotus: 315
      Williams: 5
      2014 points:
      Lotus: 10
      Williams: 320

      What did someone call it, The “Maldonado Effect”?

      1. More like “Pat Symonds in – James Allison out” effect.

        1. more like the Mercedes turbo vs. Renault turbo effect

      2. ….but funny anyway

      3. I wonder if Grosjean go to Williams this year

    9. I believe October is doable for Canada, 13 degrees is the average with 1 day of snowfall, predctably later in the month. I remember Keith making a post about the Sochi climate, which averages 11 degres or something during November, and every day was in the low 20’s on the weekend.

    10. The saga at Ferrari in these past few months could be made in a TV movie quite easily and Mark Hughes can write the script…he’s already done quite a stellar job.

      Thanks to “condition of non-attribution”, I think I will have a crack at my own narrative.

      1. i think mark hughes is losing it a bit – a lot of his stuff has been very speculative recently and his race reports, which used to be awesome, are now really sloppy.

    11. Jenson Button is doing a Mclaren/DIAGEO event in Edinburgh today. I beleive Magnussen is there too.

      I suppose they have to finish all these commercial obligations with the old drivers before the new Alonso+friend line-up is confirmed.

    12. Fascinating motorsport article on what was happening behind the scenes with Alonso/Vettel and some interesting conclusions if the information is accurate.

      Bringing Alonso in would, believed Toto, have ramifications upon the functioning of the team that didn’t fit in with how he wanted to run things

      This suggests that Alonso is still suffering from his behaviour back in 2007, even though everyone says he has grown up it still seems like signing him is a big risk to take for a top team (although as the article suggests it’s unlikely Hamilton would have been up for the swap either).

      Alonso had the choice of a very lucrative contract with get-out clauses on his side or an even more lucrative one that offered him no such choices. He’d opted for the latter.

      Again this doesn’t look good for Alonso, this suggests he was guided by the money ahead of the ability to make sure he was in a car which could win him a championship in future – we often hear how Alonso has been unlucky not to fulfil his potential because of Ferrari but this suggests that it was in part his own doing (albeit he presumably had faith Ferrari’s ability to deliver a championship winning car).

    13. Not sure if this has been picked up elsewhere, the Telegraph has an article here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/11272428/Bernie-Ecclestones-position-as-Formula-One-supremo-under-threat-by-major-hierarchy-changes.html
      under the headline “Bernie Ecclestone’s position as Formula One supremo under threat by major hierarchy changes”.

    14. I kind of wish all the F1 drivers switched to WEC. in so many ways it is so much more an interesting racing series than f1. the only thing keeping f1 ahead is the outright lap times, which is achieved by power/weight ratio. the technology in WEC is far more interesting, you get to watch the cars drive for longer, the cars look and sound better then current v6 f1, and you get all different power configurations and sounds. WEC could become the true F1, as-in the true world championship of motor-racing, all they need is the best drivers, (of which maybe half or less of the f1 field is). WEC could be the ultimate form of motorsport, the manufacturers are heading for it, but the drivers still feel F1 is the ultimate goal. WEC can also unite the best of open wheel drivers and the best of touring car drivers. maybe one day there will be a dream racing series, where the best drivers in the world run a series with open wheel races, prototypes/endurance, rally events both gravel and tarmac and oval events – and with all different cars to suit the races. we could get a true world champion then. at the moment the champion of f1 is regarded the highest of world champions, but that is such an old world pretentious notion, as you see so much more competitive racing is lower touring car series then say f1 2014, where the title is between only 2 drivers. that last part is the most ridiculous part of Formula One, and unfortunantly the truth in that is that it is the least competitive motorsport for race car drivers in real races, the real race is in money and development, the car/powerplant package wins first but 1 of 2 drivers driving that particular package are given so much more credit then the rest of the drivers in the series.

      1. I think the best driver of all is Sebastian Loeb. And he did some tests with a F1 car (Toro Rosso, maybe) and did a good lap times. And got a 3rd in the WTCC this year. In a rally car, no one could beat him…

        1. I agree that Loeb is an incredibly talented individual and it was a shame he couldn’t get his Super License that year (I think 2008?).

        2. He took part in a test for Renault that was a publicity stunt (with Kovalainen switching places with Loeb’s rally car), where Loeb was around 1.5s a lap off the pace of Hekki at Paul Ricard.
          He did also take part in a test for Toro Rosso, but the lap times weren’t fully representative since the car was in a hybrid configuration (the transition from the 2008 to the 2009 rules package), and quite a few teams were running various hybrid designs in that particular test.

          If I recall correctly though, a couple of years later he did actually later admit that, in retrospect, he was somewhat relieved that the FIA didn’t offer him a superlicence, since he felt that he lacked the necessary stamina to compete in F1.

    15. This should be very interesting.

    16. Great article from Mark Hughes in MotorsportMagazine on Alonso, Mattiacci and Ferraris journey to total chaos.
      Worth reading!

      1. only if you like fan fiction.

    17. I liked the Motorsport magazine on Ferrari. Kind of quick peek behind the curtains !!!!!

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