Fernando Alonso might consider F1 future after McLaren’s Canada failure

first_imgSebastian Vettel Read more Read more Share on Twitter Max Verstappen Problems make for a processionThe season has provided some great racing but has now suffered the blow of two successive processional races, after Monaco also failed to ignite. Canada is often a thrilling race and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve offers overtaking opportunities but, this year, the way the cars were forced into a train so early on again highlighted the task facing F1 in forming new regulations for 2021. Once again the race was single-stopper which meant drivers were concerned with managing their tyres and reluctant to attack as they degrade quicker in the dirty air. The cars are wider now, of course, and teams were managing fuel as well. All of which was exacerbated by the perennial issue of being unable to close to below a second without losing grip due to the wake from the car in front. It is hoped the latter, addressed in the form of slimmer front wings, will make a difference next year but the importance of dealing with them all cohesively could not be clearer than when Canada turns into a damp squib. The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage The Recap: sign up for our weekly email of editors’ picks. Share on Messenger Sportblog Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Formula One 2018 Since you’re here… Topics Leclerc impresses againThe 20-year-old Charles Leclerc is going from strength to strength in what, thus far, must be considered a hugely impressive rookie year. Tenth in Montreal, he has now scored points in three races. More pertinently, he has put his more experienced team-mate Marcus Ericsson in the shade. The Monégasque driver has made it to Q2 in the last four races. Ericsson has yet to do so once. The Sauber is an improved car and with this year’s Ferrari engine (badged as an Alfa Romeo) the car has the horses it lacked in the past but it is also a handful to drive. Yet Leclerc has proved able to master it. In Canada he once again held his nerve and control to ensure he secured a point. Doing so amid the highly competitive midfield pack is even more impressive. He is 15th in the world championship, in front of Stoffel Vandoorne in the McLaren. Ferrari may want him to drive for another season with a junior team but on this form he is making a strong case to replace Kimi Räikkönen in 2019.Max does it cleanMax Verstappen is nothing if not an entertaining personality. His refusal to back down and sheer self belief presents a more fascinating, wilful character than many in the paddock. On Thursday before the race he was offering to headbutt anyone who continued to ask questions about the incidents that have plagued his season. They were valid enquiries but the Dutchman simply wanted to do his talking on track. At the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve he finally did so. Fastest in all three practice sessions and with an excellent third in qualifying, he just needed to execute on Sunday. In doing so it seems that some of the admonishments Red Bull have administered have sunk in. With another good start he beat Valtteri Bottas off the line and was alongside the Finn in turn two. He could have refused to cede the place and contact would have ben inevitable. He chose to back off, stayed in the game and took third, temperament finally in tune with his talent.Ferrari step upcenter_img McLaren Share on WhatsApp Sauber Share on Pinterest Red Bull features Fernando Alonso Share on Facebook Support The Guardian Share via Email Alonso considers the futureFernando Alonso’s 300th grand prix was far from a celebratory affair: he started 14th on the grid, his lowest position this season, and retired from the race with an exhaust failure. The McLaren racing director, Éric Boullier, had been clear about their car’s problems in lacking grip in low-speed corners that was making them struggle in Canada and afterwards Alonso could not wait to walk away from it. He wanted to talk about Le Mans, where he will race next weekend. He will be in the class of the field Toyota at La Sarthe, a world away from the recalcitrant McLaren. The Spaniard is now in talks with McLaren about his future and CEO, Zak Brown, has already hinted that a McLaren Indycar project might be where he goes next. If Alonso wins at Le Mans, the triple crown he has targeted would be one victory away at the Indy 500 and with his team not providing the performance he so desperately desired this season, he might just call time on F1. Lewis Hamilton keeps his chin up, despite wake-up call for Mercedes Mercedes have been open about their shortcomings in Canada. The lack of hypersoft tyres for practice, not bringing a new engine and the cooling issue that cost Hamilton among them but on the form Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari displayed, they would have had a huge challenge regardless. The Scuderia did have a new engine but what was most impressive was how they reacted and worked on the ground in Montreal. On Friday Vettel described practice as a “disaster”. The team addressed it, not least with reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi putting the hours in overnight on the simulator at Maranello and by Saturday they had the car where they needed it. Pole followed as did an almost flawless run to the flag, with Vettel dominant. Ferrari have proved they are developing strongly and that the team is functioning efficiently and cohesively at the sharp end. These are the hallmarks of a championship-winning unit – attributes Mercedes have demonstrated repeatedly in the past four years. Reuse this contentlast_img

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