LONDON: Fernando Alonso is set to join McLaren, with the former two-time world champion’s move due to be confirmed before the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Nov 23, according to a report on the Autosport magazine website published on Monday (Nov 10).
Last month, Luca de Montezemolo, the outgoing chief of Ferrari, the Spaniard’s current team, said the 2005 and 2006 world champion would leave the Italian giants at the end of the current campaign, two years before his contract expires, because of their failure to provide him with a car where he could challenge for a third world title.
Alonso finished sixth in last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix and the 33-year-old is currently fifth in the overall standings for this season. But even with the innovation of double-points for the season’s climax in the UAE, there is no way he can close the gap on the Mercedes’ leading duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Autosport added that the only reason why Alonso’s move to McLaren, for whom he drove in one turbulent season in 2007, had not yet been confirmed was because the management of the British team had still to decide on which of their two current drivers, Jenson Button and Kevin Magnusson, would remain to pilot their other car.
Button, after finishing fourth at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo on Sunday, said he was still in the dark regarding McLaren’s driver line-up for 2015. “I enjoyed the race and had a great battle with Kimi (Raikkonen),” said Button, world champion in 2009. “To beat both Red Bulls, both Ferraris and a Williams is not a bad day’s work. But that’s all I can do right now – go out and enjoy my racing,” the 34-year-old Briton added.
Last month, reigning champion Sebastien Vettel announced he was quitting Red Bull, with whom he was won four successive world titles. That led to reports the German was being lined up for a move to Ferrari, Formula One’s most iconic team.