Ferrari officially announced Fernando Alonso will leave the organization at season’s end.
Competing in his fifth year with the team, he has scored 11 wins and 44 podiums in 93 starts.
But 2014 is turning into a year to forget, as the team struggles to find speed. Considered by many as the best active driver in F1, Alonso has yet to win and has just two podiums in 16 starts. The Italian outfit is currently fourth in Constructers’ Championship Standings:
1. Mercedes: 565
2. Red Bull Racing-Renault: 342
3. Williams-Mercedes: 216
4. Ferrari: 188
Former Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo gives two reasons for the Spaniard’s exit:
“One, he wants another environment. Two, because he is an age when he cannot wait to win again.”
Current Red Bull Racing superstar Sebastian Vettel will be replacing Alonso at Ferrari in 2015, but plans are still vague for the two-time champion.
If he wants to win now, the obvious place to go is Mercedes; the team is dominating the season, winning 13 out of 16 races this year. But their drivers, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton both have contracts through 2015. Team boss Toto Wolf is downplaying the possibility of Alonso driving for him in the near future:
“We have a contract with both of our drivers for 2015 and we want to continue with Nico and Lewis beyond 2015. If you get somebody else in, that could be detrimental to the team performance, so our main priority is to continue with Nico and Lewis beyond 2015.”
McLaren is another possibility for Alonso, an organization he raced for in 2007. BBC.com reports the team has reached an agreed upon multi-year deal with the driver that is waiting to be signed. Veteran Jenson Button and rookie Kevin Magnussen currently drive for the British outfit, but their jobs are under intense scrutiny as Team Principal Ron Dennis looks to return McLaren to its former prominence.
Alonso, himself, has kept tight lipped about his future plans. Some reports have speculated he may take a year away from F1 as he waits for Hamilton’s Mercedes contract to expire at the end of next season. But Alonso has stated it is “probably not a big risk” he will end this season without a drive in 2015.”