Rumours continue to circulate regarding Fernando Alonso’s future plans, and the consensus is that in the next few days we will learn a bit more about how the 2015 entry list will look.
Alonso has been linked with McLaren and Honda for months, and his name has obvious appeal to the Japanese manufacturer, which sells a lot of motorbikes in Spain.
It’s absolutely imperative that McLaren has a star on board, and with due respect to Jenson Button, the paddock acknowledges that Honda is working from a very short list, headed by Fernando, Lewis Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel.
Of course the big questions over the weeks have been a) who might be able to make themselves available to join McLaren for 2015, and b) who has faith in the potential of Honda to be competitive from the off. One thing that is not in doubt is the funding available to pay for a big name, which would certainly cushion the blow should Honda not quite be on the pace immediately.
If Alonso is indeed on his way to McLaren, then obviously Ferrari needs to find a superstar with which to replace him – and for the past couple of years Sebastian Vettel has been the name in the frame as the next Ferrari signing.
However a source close to the Italian team tells me that none other than Lewis Hamilton now figures high on Maranello’s wish list, and indeed the Briton might be more easily able to walk away from Mercedes in 2015 than some might believe. He’s certainly less tied down than Vettel.
Of course for Lewis the issue is complicated by the ongoing title battle, but Ferrari would have obvious appeal to Hamilton, perhaps moreso if he secures his second title with Mercedes and can perhaps lose a year or two being a key part of a Maranello revival, thus following in the footsteps of Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher.
Those who think the idea unlikely should remember that exactly two years ago this week the world didn’t believe that Lewis would quit McLaren for Mercedes…