To misquote The Italian Job, one of my favourite films, “It’s a long way back to Spain. And it’s that way.”
So, Fernando Alonso has left McLaren. They must be delighted. He’s a top driver, no doubt, but demonstrated this season that he’s got the temperament of a three year old. Sure, as a two time world champion turning up at one of the best teams he’d have expected to be quick – and he was. But because his rookie team mate turned up and blew him away over the early part of the season he threw his toys right out of his very fast pram.
“The team aren’t giving us equal treatment,” he bleated. Did he expect sympathy? Sorry son. You’re paid millions of pounds and you’re driving one of the fastest cars on the grid. Just get on with the job. But he couldn’t stop moaning and has talked his way into an almost certainly inferior bit of kit for next season. Pillock.
Everyone’s talking about where Alonso will turn up next. I’m more interested in who’s going to get the second McLaren seat. Ron Dennis has always said that he’ll have two top drivers in his team, rather than a number one and number two. But is that the right thing to do? After all, this season Alonso and Hamilton scored 218 points between them – the Ferrari drivers only 204. But it was Raikkonen who walked off with the title. McLaren hasn’t won a drivers’ title since ’99. Perhaps it’s time for a clear team leader? I think so.
Ron, in case you’re reading. I’ll happily play second fiddle to Hamilton in 2008. I absolutely promise not to outshine him.