Austria was a rather quiet weekend for Fernando Alonso news, wasn’t it? Nothing in the way of Honda engine failures or frustrated team radio calls – well, aside from his bowling comment when he was bundled out at the first corner.
Speculation over his future seemed to die down a bit as well as the focus seemed to switch to the whole Red Bull situation and what Carlos Sainz Jr would be doing next year. That doesn’t mean Alonso isn’t still busy looking for a better drive for 2018 though, and recent rumours suggested he could even return to Ferrari next year.
The big boss of Ferrari, Sergio Marchionne, has completely shut that suggestion down however, saying that he isn’t interested in having Alonso back.
“Alonso may well have shown the desire to return, but he did not find the right response from our side. We’re not interested.”
Well, that’s pretty straightforward! Not that that necessarily means anything in the world of Formula 1, but seeing the Spaniard back in red looks less than likely after comments like that.
Marchionne also dismissed rumours that Ferrari had signed a contract with Max Verstappen and said a decision on its driver line-up will be made before the end of the year.
It’s going to be quite interesting to see who is at Ferrari next year because the team isn’t exactly 100 per cent happy with either of its current drivers, both of whom are out of contract at the end of the year.
Vettel’s antics in Baku didn’t impress the boss and it was suggested that it could have jeopardised his chances of staying with the team next year, although Marchionne said they’d talked about it and put it behind them.
“We met and we said that this was something to be avoided. We have now closed that chapter, so we must think of the races and not the personal squabbles. Sebastian is aware of what happened. I understand the pressure and it was not an easy race. We lost the other car at the second corner in a manner that was not very correct. But I don’t want to talk about who behaved well and who did not.”
Kimi Raikkonen on the other hand is looking more and more likely to be out of a job next year following further questions about his performance and commitment from Marchionne.
With so many good drivers ‘on the market’ for 2018 and so many things happening on- and off-track this year, it’s turning out to be one of the most exciting silly seasons for ages!