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F1: Where Will Alonso Be In 2015?

For Ferrari this year has been nothing short of a disaster, never more obvious than at Spa last weekend, where the lack of performance of the cars of Raikkonen and Alonso were exposed by the long drag down the Kemmel Straight, being easy pickings for anyone following them.

For Fernando Alonso it has been perhaps the most frustrating year of his Ferrari career yet. Not only is the car not competitive with the class-leading Mercedes, but it's struggling to match up against Force India and Williams who, but for mis-fortune, would probably be ahead of Ferrari in the constructors championship already.

With the current regulations, which prevent changes to engines in season, and only allows limited upgrades between seasons, it seems likely that Ferrari engined cars will be at a deficit for the next two seasons as well. Which doesn't bode well for Alonso's stated aim of winning a third title before he retires.

It's on this basis that Eric Boullier, now in charge at Mclaren, is making serious overtures to Alonso, publicly and (presumably) in private too. The Mclaren boss firmly believes that Alonso is the best driver in the field right now and is very keen to persuade him to break his contract with Ferrari and throw his lot in with Mclaren next year.

Given that Mclaren is doing so badly this year (worse than Ferrari even) that sounds like a difficult argument to make, however Boullier has an ace up his sleeve: Honda. The returning Japanese giant won't be impacted by the engine freeze regulations until submitting it's engine spec ahead of the first race of next season, which means it can continue to develop the unit whilst others are racing.

If Alonso is tempted then it's unlikely Ferrari will fight to keep him. Especially when it has Jules Bianchi waiting in the wings after a number of impressive performances in the Marussia.

If Alonso doesn't bite then it's alleged that Boullier will attempt an audacious double capture from Red Bull, taking both Sebastian Vettel and Adrian Newey. That seems like a pretty long shot, however Gian Carlo Minardi, for one, is convinced that it will happen, with Vettel's place going to Kyvat and Carlos Sainz taking his Toro Rosso seat alongside Max Verstappen.

For the existing Mclaren drivers it remains to be seen what this means. Jenson Button has had a poor season and other than his debut race in Australia, Kevin Magnussen hasn't looked like a contender. Whatever Alonso and Vettel decide, will Mclaren look for a clean sweep of drivers to go with it's new engines?

Realistically, the right move for Alonso will be to jump ship to Mclaren and bank on Honda doing a better job than Ferrari. Perhaps another humiliating weekend for Ferrari, at home in Monza will be enough to make his mind up.


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